I won’t ask you about how your New Year is or will be. Shoot, I don’t think anyone is enjoying our holidays when you think about how many of our loved ones have been lost to the pandemic.
I have told you that I came from a family of four brothers. I have mentioned that we all competed with each other to see who could do the craziest things. I may even have mentioned that the one sure way of making our folks really mad was to tell them a lie. I won’t tell a fib. I made them mad lots of times, but I think a lot of kids probably tell their parents a lie occasionally.
In my case, I just didn’t want to hurt my parents by my actions and that occasionally required a twist of the honest meter. Of course, I didn’t even think about hurting them. I was too young to know that a lie was more hurtful than if we had stayed out late and maybe tasted an alcoholic beverage. My dad was my hero and heroes have no faults. I just couldn’t imagine anything I did would hurt his feelings. He was tough and feelings were not something you thought about when he asked where we had been and what had we been doing.
Like a lot of things I learned in the Army, the most important was that lies could actually kill someone if you weren’t careful with the truth. In Officers Candidate School, you had to take a pledge the first day you were there. I think these words were taught to all officers in the military. We would stand out in formation and say together, “I don’t lie nor do I steal and most importantly I don’t tolerate anyone to do so.” You only did this maybe three times while you were in training. However, it was on your mind in anything you did.
I actually tried to raise my children to never lie and to be honest in all they do. I’m sure that was just another dream of mine. I even told them that they hurt me when they told an untruth. Still, they, like me, did not understand how much a lie can hurt. I really don’t think they do anymore. They have grown and become adults while I was taking a nap, I think. It happened so quickly.
A long time ago there were a couple of actors that starred together in quite a few movies. They were Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. It seems, if my memory hasn’t gone away from the Covid, that they were always trying to find ways to make a little money. They would sit around and discuss this theme for a while and then Mickey would jump up and say, “Hey! I know, we can put on a show!” Then these broke kids would somehow come up with all the requirements of a Broadway show. I mean they somehow came up with a theater, then all the wardrobes and the songs that we still remember. It was kind of a dopey movie concept, but they made 10 movies together.
I was reminded of those innocent films the other day when my bride came into the house after one of her meetings and asked if I would drive my pickup in a parade. Of course I said yes. I mean, what other reason could there be for spending so much money on the old Ford than to let people know how I spend my weekly allowance. I thought this was just another deal where a couple of cool cars drive around Gonzales and wave at the folks. I was wrong, as I so frequently am when it comes to my bride’s activities.
When I told my boys about the parade, they were hyped. I thought to myself, “Hey! We might get a few cars for the parade.” Then I found out that my younger son had come down with Covid. He was out. He had to stay home with his girlfriend, who was also a victim of the dreaded Covid. However, my older prodigy said he wouldn’t miss it.
So, along with half the town of Gonzales, we turned out for the parade. It was a blast! OK, it was a little cold, but our hearts were filled with the warmth of all these folks who spent a good deal of time putting lights all over their cars and trucks and met at Brusa Field to marshal for the parade.
My bride and I had spent quite some time putting lights on my truck, but when we got ready to go the lights wouldn’t work. Then, enter our former recreation coordinator Sara Papineau Brant. We had collectively decided that the problem was in the switch for the lights. I’ll tell you a little secret: I hate electrical items. I get shocked when I change a light bulb and now the problem was in the switch. This is an area of electrical engineering that I would just rather walk away from.
Sara whipped out a Boy Scout knife and began to cut into the rubber case for the switch. Snap, crackle and pop and the lights were fixed — like the Disney movie where Dumbo, the baby elephant, found out that he could fly. One of the crows in the movie said, “I have heard of a house fly and I have heard of a horse fly, but I ain’t never heard of an elephant could fly.” He was as astonished that an elephant could fly as I was astonished that an electrical connection could be repaired with a two-bladed knife. Good work, Sara! You saved the parade. OK, well, you saved my part of the parade.
After that I figured we would have a good parade, and lo and behold Manuel Perea came rolling up with a huge truck and it was lighting up the sky. There were some wonderful memories made at this parade and now we know what to do if we need to get the lights lit. A big thank you to all the participants in the parade! I enjoyed it as much as anything I have done lately and look forward to next year when we will have even more entries.