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Thursday, July 4, 2019


We left Cooperstown, New York as doting grandparents, who arrived there to witness ace lefty Coleman’s weekend Little League tournament in late June.  Family pride was running high as grandson Cole pitched a winning game and hit two home runs over the fence.

It’s unreal how long and loud grandparents can cheer when so motivated.

From Bucolic Cooperstown, we traveled as tourists to Gettysburg, PA, where we were amazed and inspired by a place we’ve read about for years but never visited.  Inspiring and it leads the league in statues.  If your great, great, great relative made an appearance in the Civil War no doubt there is a statue of him or her.  Women played a huge role in support of our troops. Their statues tell their stories.

 In fact, Gettysburg might be a fabulous relocation project for those Rebel statues that are causing such a ruckus in the South.  Take those Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson granite or marble poses and reunite them at Gettysburg, where they’ll be revered instead of PC-ed out of town.

From south central Pennsylvania we hit the turn pike to seek out Cousin Amy (everybody has a cousin Amy in the middle of the country).  Ours happens to live in Canonsburg, a small borough south of Pittsburgh.   She welcomed us with open arms. 

She will always have a branch of her own on the family tree because she discovered vintage photos of my grandparents.  My dad was born in Canonsburg, but because the grandparents passed on before I was born, I never saw a picture of them until Cousin Amy found images of them in a dusty trunk in her parents attic.  Wedding pictures no less.

The big annual parade will begin at 10 am in Canonsburg PA at Cavasina Drive (near Walgreens) and proceed westward onto Pike Street ending at Bluff Street.
We arrived in Canonsburg to just in time to catch the annual Canonsburg Fourth of July Parade.  Reportedly, it’s among the longest parades in the nation.  Because residents take folding chairs to the Pike Street route the night before to save a viewing area we lucked into reserved seating.

Our seats were on the high steps of St. Patrick’s Church.  We thanked Cousin Amy for making our arrival such a big deal because almost everyone carrying a flag or dress in a Knights of Columbus uniform stopped to give us a salute.

It wasn’t until later, after I repeated my salute story for the dozenth time, I was told all the church-related groups in the parade stop in front of the church to salute the cross.  I obviously had to share the limelight with the Bishop and other KofC poobahs, many of whom sprinkle holy water for a living.

But, I’m still basking in the salutes.  And, that’s my story and I’m still sticking to it.

If you’re more modest—or who cares just plain rowdy—come to Canonsburg for the July 4th parade.  It will be a festive three hours well spent basking in the July sun and being a part of Americana worth supporting.

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