Being the grand marshal of a parade isn’t as easy as it may sound. Trust me.
The day finally came after weeks of knowing it was bound to happen. To prepare ahead, I asked co-worker Lori Denniston if she would pick me up at the fairgrounds and take son Jamie and me to the parade lineup site just north of Sherwin Williams on North Broadway. Of course, being the friend she is, she did just that.
Jamie and I got out of her van and were told we’d have to await the arrival of the carriage in which we would be riding. Time kept ticking away, and we were informed closer to the time of the parade we would have to get up on a wagon pulled by a team of horses, because two of the three carriages that were supposed to be there weren’t. What! How was I going to get up there?
Kirt Stryker, driver of the team, placed a ladder at the back of the wagon and Jamie and I climbed on top without any incident. I’m surprised. I have a fear of heights and that about did me in. I think the whole ride I was wondering how I was going to get off of there without falling. I hated to take my hands off of the railing to wave to the crowd.
But, we persevered and got off safely at the fairgrounds after a couple of attempts of unloading all of the passengers as there was no ladder there. Riding with us was a young couple with a child seated in front of us, Tammy Wilcox and two granddaughters seated behind us plus the Stryker family at the helm.
I would like to thank everyone who showed up for the parade and for Kirt Stryker and family for leading us through the parade route. There were people there that I didn’t even get to see because I was too busy watching both sides of the street. Jamie, however, had me covered on the one side.
I may not have gotten to ride in a carriage, but I felt it was meant to be that we got to ride in that horse wagon. You see, I’ve done quite a few stories on and met with Kirt’s grandfather, the late Lloyd Stryker, quite a few times in my life. I think my father even had dealings with him when he was in the horse business.
I took some photos along the route when I felt the wagon was at a standstill. I’ve posted them on page 7 in today’s edition.
Another thing I did that will make it memorable is that I carried Lori Denniston’s husband Don’s cellphone with me. She had loaned it to me to get hold of her prior to the parade, but I didn’t have to use it after all since we met at The Daily Advocate office. But, I told her, in memory of Don, who passed away July 22, I would make sure he got to take the ride with us.
And, he was there in spirit. I was just hoping the phone wouldn’t ring during the ride, and thank goodness Lori didn’t follow through and dial that number intentionally. Or, they would have had to clean out that wagon.
I want to thank the Annie Oakley Committee for the hour I served as grand marshal and for the days and weeks leading up to it. Jamie was proud. So am I. Thanks to all who made this possible.
A couple of weeks before the parade, I checked out the Annie Oakley website and on there was a list of the former parade marshals.
They were: 2011, Harry Birt; 2010, Harry and Marcia Ballengee; 2009, Ted and Holly Finnarn; 2008, Bryon Brown; 2007, Marilyn Delk; 2006, Judy Logan; 2005, Mike Jones; 2004, Bess Edwards; 2003, Dennis Baker; 2002, Lowell Hamilton; 2001, Jim Buchy; 2000, Dottie Seman; 1999, Robert Birt; 1998, Jim Doseck; 1997, Margaret Howard; 1996, Bill Booker; 1995, Jack Cornell and Bud Gray; 1994, Buzz Nealeigh; 1993, Toni Seiler; 1992, Richard Birt; 1991, Susan Gray/ Irene Black (Annie’s niece) as honorary marshal; 1990, John and Mary Fourman; 1989, Margery Pepiot; 1988, E.F. Eddie Kuester; 1987, Dick and Earl Ashley; 1986, Jean Louise Thieme; 1985, Bob Schinke; 1984, Hugh Staley; 1983, Lester Shultz Jr.; 1982, Fr. L. Jaekle; 1981, Mossy Husted; 1980, Sam Puterbaugh; 1979, Rush Blakeley; 1975, Donn Smith; 1974, Eugene Phelps; 1973, Lloyd Miller; 1972, Donald “Buzz” Lukens; 1970, Dr. John Alley; 1969, George Hamid (as a youth performed in the Buffalo Bill Show and knew Annie); 1968, Greenville Mayo Dan Hawley; and 1967, Ron Swartout.
There were no parades from from 1964-66, in 1971 or from 1976-78, and there was no parade marshal in 1966.
• Beth Campbell on her retirement from the U.S. Postal Service after nearly 35 years of employment.
• Aug. 7 to Shelba Kelly, Dennis Sebring, Erica Barga, Dave Fitzgerald, Allen Newbauer, Lavonne Good, Hunter Burns , Zoey Burns, Hayden Burns, Barb Hess and Johnanna Beam.
• Aug. 8 to Ty Gasper, Dick Billenstein, Matt Hiestand and Kathy Hiestand.
• Aug. 9 to Kathy Moody Wagner, Jason Billenstein, Lisa Parsons Miller, Adia Brooks, Kim Ward, Steven Garland, Barb Westgerdes, Brent Coursey, Barb Weimer and Beverly Batten.
• Aug. 10 to Tom Lawson, Herman Lutz, Doug Leis, Krista Widener, Keith “Slick” Schlechty, Brenda Brinley, Tammy (Subler) Morrison and Tonya Blocher.
• Aug. 11 to Stanley Duncan, Darren Coby, Gary Middleton, John Farmer, Carolyn Brumbaugh and Duck Curtis.
• Aug. 12 to Patty Hinkle, Paul Hartzell, Francis Rose, Jordon Wright (18) and Karen Jackson.
• Aug. 13 to Brad Albritton, Jack Amspaugh, Roxanne Rehmert, Mattie Hiestand, Brittany Ulman, twins Ross and Grace Dapore, Troy May, T. J. Phlipot, Lane Clark, Mike Oliver, Bryan McEldowney, Rodney Widener (40), Amy Huecker and Zach Keller.
Happy belated birthday to: Diane Birt and Bonita Moyer (65), both on Aug. 2.
Happy anniversary Aug. 7 to Jim and Carol Nelson and Larry and Katie Hummel; Aug. 10 to Hugh and Melinda Linebaugh, Chris and Kim Puckett and Ralph and Sandy Henning; Aug. 11 to Stuart and Debbie Powell; Aug. 12 to Tom and Shila Magoto (40), Gary and Kathy Meyer (40), Doug and Carol Riffle and Pat and Kim Custenborder; and Aug. 13 to Roger and Bonita Moyer,
Happy belated anniversary to: Jim and June Stroble (65) on Aug. 2.
Please keep these people in your thoughts and prayers: Randy Fourman, Carrie Waymire Dehart, Harry Moody, Marilyn Hittle, Larry Bryson, Carmen Sanders, Kathy McEowen, Rob Hathaway, Mac Goodpaster, Mary Thacker, Alberta Aukerman, Rick Jones of Ansonia, Curtis Miller, Gene Yohey, Tom and Marilyn Smith, Chuck Davis, Cindi Aukerman, Rick Clear, Dolores Nestor, Linda Lore, Clinton Randall, Jane Dynes, Rylee Blanken, Becky York, David “Red” Kremer, Julie Widener, Deputy Dave Werling, Goethe Rhodeheffer, Tom Brumbaugh, Mike Custer, Maxine Didier, Karen Meier, Barbara Martin, Dana Holzapfel, Gayle Rismiller, Kara Didier, Mike Rammel, Ed Widener, Nick Voisard, Kathy Swabb, Laura Harman, Joe Whittington, Jared Marker of Fremont, Linda Manos, Tod Fink, Dorothy Rismiller, Gertie VanDePitte, Bea and Lee Moody, Judy Henry, Joe Fortkamp, Betty (Koons) Tinkham, Tom Henry, Tater McCollum, Jim Moody, Carla Welch, Keith Hiegel, Amber Kiser, Mike Collins, Chad Wert, Vickie Martin, Kathy Black, Jeremy Litten, Mike Walter, Kathy Walter, Deanna Jones, Betty Grimes, Greg Eubank, Alice Broering, Peter King, Ralph and Sandy Henning, Terry Black Sr., Shane Wetzel, Brandy Reier, Gene Sharp, Shannon Peters Hall, Holli Anderson, JoAnne Foreman, Lester Ward, Stephanie Klingshirn, Karen Newbauer, Harold McKnight, Greg St. Myers, Paul Hodson, Kenny Blackburn, Rusty Edwards, Zane Wetzel, Sherry Prasuhn, Dick Foureman, Leann Ressler, Rick Gump, Roger Harbison, Steve Sewell, Mamie Warrick, Pauline Powell, Meta Sue Livingston, Eddie Rhoades, Gertie Hampshire, Mike and Brenda Grimes, Don Hittle, Steve Holden, Judy Henderson Barga, Stacy Mortensen, Jeff Schricker, D.J. Miller, Bill Schuette and all of our military people.
Jamie and I send our condolences to the families of: Michelle Netzley, Paul Zehringer, Dale Organ, Baby William Schilling-Radcliff, Randy Keeler and Lillian Longfellow.
Think about it: It is far better to forgive and forget than it is to hate and remember.
Linda Moody is features editor for the Daily Advocate. Her column appears every Sunday. She can be reached at email@example.com.