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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Small Town Americana

     Durelle's and my home town is Athol, MA.  Although there were settlements on the Millers River fifty years before that, the town was officially incorporated in 1762.  It had been a land grant to the Scottish Duke of Atholl; hence the name.  250 years later they held a great anniversary party.  The population is about 10,000...about the same as when we lived here.  Today's highlight was a 2 1/2 hour parade, but there were many other activities.  Many classes from Athol High School (the old one that we attended has been converted into apartments for public housing) chose the occasion to hold reunions.  Ours was a three day affair hosted by Claire and Buddy Carey and Mike Dube.  We parked the bus for a weekend of dry camping in the parking lot of the now inactive Silver Lake School.
     What follows is a bunch of parade pictures.  The streets were lined with spectators hours before the parade started.  I suppose you could find many other places to take similar small town pictures, but here's the ones from our town:
     This is the lead element proceeding westward with the Town Hall visible in the upper left.  One of the first elements recognized the military veterans.
     As a matter of fact, patriotism was as much of a theme as was the birthday celebration as is shown in the following picture.
     To typify the small town nature of things, across Main Street from where we watched the parade is the Garbose building, built in 1891.  It is three stories with shops on the street level and apartments above.  One of the parade watchers was a barking dog in the window.
     There was an assortment of marching bands;
but one of the highlights was the team of Clydesdales from Merrimack, NH.
     There were cars, fire trucks and a horse drawn hearse from a local funeral home.
     One of the things for which Athol is known worldwide is the L S Starrett company, a manufacturer of precision measuring equipment for more than a century.  Look for the micrometer on the front of their float.
     One of the more interesting floats was a joint Kiwanis/Rotary/Lions effort that used some great taxidermy.
     We even had some Mummers from Philadelphia.
     There were many other pictures of interesting bands and cars, but this should suffice.  After the parade we returned to the Careys where I grilled up a bunch of onions and peppers, sweet and hot Italian sausages, hot dogs, and hamburgers for about forty people.
     The picture of me and Mike Dube at the grill had bad lighting, but I'll include it for completeness.


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