A Good Time Was Had By All . . .

Taking some time off is one thing, but two whole months is a bit much, even for me.

Sad news.  Our darling cat Gizmo died in his sleep on June 1st. He’d been a joy and a blessing in our lives and we miss him very much.

Work schedules have been crazy and I’m burning the candle at both ends lately, but surviving nicely.  Sort of.   One of my brothers had a 4th of July party on Saturday July 6th (6th of July party?) with fireworks, food, family, and friends, and “A good time was had by all.” 

That line never fails to delight me. It was often used in days gone by when little local papers described community events, parties, school activities and the like.  People made the most of simple pleasures. They appreciated the little things that make life good.  And if something went awry, they made the most of that, too.  And made it seem like fun!

If a picnic had to be moved indoors because of a sudden rain-shower, they made it seem like it was all part of the fun.  Dashing in and out of the rain bringing in tables and chairs, food and drinks, blankets and umbrellas.  Laughing and joking all the while.  A good time was had by all. 

Small town events like parades were attended by everyone.  You were happy to listen and show support for the high school band even if you had no children in the band.  You cheered for the drill team waving pom-poms and marching in perfect or not-so-perfect unison.  You admired the floats, waved to the firetrucks, and laughed at the clowns.  And when the veterans came marching or riding by you stood up.  Men and boys took off their hats and caps.  Everyone applauded. And stayed standing until the line passed.  The parade continued with more bands, floats, beauty agent queens, Poppy Princesses, clowns, and politicians shaking everyone’s hand.  It was simple and fun. A good time was had by all.  

A sad commentary to today’s expectation of fun is the following incident.  It happened to me during the Memorial Day weekend in my small town.  I was in town with one of my brothers to watch the parade.  We greeted some friends, looked in a few shop windows, and found a bench in the sun.  We were just about to sit down when a young woman in a van stopped near us.  She asked when the parade would begin and if it would be worth bringing her kids, who were still at home.  We told her it would be a little while yet, and she had time to run back and get them. 

Then, because apparently it was the deciding factor, she asked if there would be candy and treats given out at the parade.  If not, she didn’t think she would bother with all the commotion.

I was stunned.  I told her truthfully that I didn’t know.  She sighed and thought for just a second, then said it probably wasn’t worth it, thanked us, and drove away. 

Candy and treats or they don’t come.  How sad.

My brother and I finally sat down and the parade finally began.  We listened, cheered, admired, waved and laughed.  Then we stood, brother with his cap in hand, and applauded the veterans, old and young men solemnly marching and riding by, their backs straight and heads high. We were happy to be there showing our appreciation for all they had done to make the day possible.  They passed by.  We sat down.  The parade continued.

And a good time was had by all.”


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