The parade that wasn't

Mary Parker knew there were problems.

I spoke to Mary when I dropped into Ginty’s Irish Gift Shop at around 10:30 a.m. I was the only person in the store.

“I came into town at 9 a.m. and saw only cops,” said Parker, as she awaited customers who were not coming.

Usually,the store is packed at 10:30 a.m. on parade day, she said. But not today.

I walked down to town hall where parade participants shape up. Very few people were there. This was around 11 a.m. So, I went next door to Yo and Papa, the old Calaloo Cafe, and had the first of many Bloody Marys.

I ran into freeholder Doug Cabana.

“The weather is miserable, but the spirits are high,” he said. “I haven’t seen anyone who doesn’t have a smile on.”

John Gerrity was ready to go; he was with the Cuchullain Pipe Band and although rain is bad for the instruments, he wanted to march.

Yep, he was smiling, but not for long.

At around ten minutes to twelve, the parade start time, I saw a DPW guy driving a truck on the street. He held out his hand and his thumb was down. A few minutes later, there was an offiicial announcement. No parade today.

“Good news, l bad news,” said Harry Boyne, a member of the Friendly Sons of Ireland.

I knew what he meant. It was sad that the parade was postponed on one hand, but on the other hand, it was good. After the annoucement, I looked down the street; it was empty. So, why have a parade with no spectators?

I quickly ordered another drink and hunkered down for an afternoon inside a bar. Who could complain about that?

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About fsnowflack
Fred Snowflack was editorial page editor and a political columnist for the Daily Record of Morristown for almost 12 years. He has won numerous awards for editorial and column writing from the New Jersey Press Association and has written a blog on county and state politics for the last three years. He lives in Ledgewood in Morris County.

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