This is a somewhat strange tale in that I can't say that I truly remember it. I'm not sure I don't either. It may have been told to me or I may truly remember it. It's a odd thing what happens to memory over long periods of time. The 4th of July,I remember. The parachutist as they were called then, I can't say for sure but I'll tell it anyway.
Every year we went to the 4th of July parades. In the earliest years the parade was on Shipping Place in front of all the stores. Crowds of people gathered along the sidewalks and on the park across the street. There was no post office there, only winding sidewalks grass and a few trees. The parade started on Dundalk avenue came across to right in front of the Strand theater and down Shipping place it turned onto Dunmanway and stopped there. It wasn't very long march but the parade lasted a long time. There were the usual firetrucks, marching bands and of course the army and Navy drill teams. There was no air force as such, it was part of the Army. The Marine core was represented by the navy.
Two teenage marching bands represented Dundalk The Saint James Band and the American Legion Band. They were also drill teams that competed in competitions around the state. A big part of the parade were the World War One veterans. Believe it or not they received the most applause from the crowd. All day long your ears rang from the explosions of fire crackers. People were not shy about spanking other peoples kids. If a kid got careless with his firecrackers and threw one among small children a father among the bunch was likely to run out of the crowd grab him and give him a good spanking. Got one of them myself one time. In spite of what everyone says I don't remember any person I was acquainted with growing up that had blown any fingers off. There were a lot of bruises and powder burns but they healed in a day or two.
We'll go on tomorrow with some more forth of July. I have to put a smoke stack on the shed I am building a boat in.