I spent the weekend visiting family in Ohio. My family has been
"How'd we get from Michigan down to Ohio?" my mom asked my uncle.
"Chased," he said.
I've never lived in Ohio myself. I just grew up thinking of it as the homeland, visiting family there once a year, and always making Buckeyes for Christmas. Chocolate & peanut butter: it's my heritage.
This weekend there was a community event in the town where my uncle lives. On Saturday night we all trooped to the downtown traffic circle, and watched as local firetrucks led a parade of floats around and around.
The highschool marching band was there, playing cadences and their fight song. The highschool cheerleaders were there, too; they were in uniform and crammed on the back of a small flatbed truck like cattle. There was a more spacious float, carrying the members of the town's city council. An older gentleman, resembling Santa Claus, drove a make-shift pioneer wagon.
There were floats constructed by local businesses (a beauty salon, a plumber, the A&W). There was a pipsqueak-sized color guard, twirling orange flags. PNC Bank passed out tote bags, a couple of churches were there to pass out candy (definitely the highlight of the evening for my little cousins).
After the parade passed us by, we wandered around the rest of the fair and purchased kettle corn and heard a local cover band perform a (semi-decent) rendition of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing." Then it was time for the fire works; we stood - necks craned back - watching them explode in the sky above the white townhall building.
It was sweet and lovely.
I generally think of New York as a city that has it all. But one thing it doesn't have?
Small town charms like I soaked up last Saturday night.