The annual Fourth of July parade on Phillips Road is always sold to me as a Classic Car parade, and it may have been that at one point in time, but it’s actually just people from the neighborhood driving down and flinging candy at whoever is nearby, which is much more fun anyway.
As far as I know, this isn’t an officially sanctioned event. I’m told that about forty years ago some guy strapped some flags onto his car and drove up and down Phillips Road banging on a cowbell. The following year a few others joined him, and since then it has become a neighborhood staple without actually getting much bigger.
It’s a refreshingly sweet and local event, free of politics or commerce or even a grander purpose. The neighbors all come out and stand at the end of their gravel driveways. Some come out when they hear the car horns, others come out a half-hour or so early and set up tables with drinks and snacks. One family turned their driveway into a veritable outdoor restaurant, with a half-dozen tables and a rather elaborate coffee station. Kids gather to strategize about how to get the most candy. If someone brings an airhorn, then they plan out who will get to blow it when.
It starts at 8 am and lasts maybe a half hour. Participation seems to include anybody who can get to the starting line in time.
There are inevitably a few people—renters, tourists, newcomers—who don’t know about the parade and go out for their morning jog, and are surprised (I assume pleasantly) when they get cheered on enthusiastically by the crowds that have mysteriously gathered. Some look confused, but most play along.
These are some of my favorite pictures from this morning. Happy birthday, America.
I went to Heritage Gardens in Sandwich today. I like it there. I first went a few years ago when there was a lot of family in town and I really needed to spend some time alone. I asked if anybody wanted to join me, and when everyone made a polite excuse I knew I had found my home away from home. (Side note: I should probably talk to someone about my steadily-increasing inability to deal with too many words. It bodes ill for my future, I figure.)
I went today with my new camera hoping to learn some of its settings. The sky was overcast and very few flowers were in bloom. The classic cars exhibit, though, has always appealed to me, and so I was happy to go in there.
I’ve never cared at all for cars. Once, at a party in Queens, a friend of mine offered to show everyone his dad’s Ferrari, and everyone—male, female, young and not-so-young—leaped to their feet and went out to simply stare at this car. I suppose it was a fancy car. Maybe I’m just really unsentimental. I feel like a car should get me from point A to point B with a reasonable amount of comfort, and have air conditioning because I don’t like wind blowing in my face. Everything beyond that is, I don’t know, not interesting. So I really couldn’t understand why everyone was standing around staring at the engine of a car that wasn’t even going anywhere. A car that the owner confessed he almost never drove anywhere because he was worried about it getting damaged. Go figure. Go all the way to Queens to look at a parked car. I slipped away and declared dibs on all the best apps. Continue reading “Heritage Gardens and Museums”
I read Moby Dick at the start of this year, and while that book did nothing to influence my decision to take a whale watching cruise yesterday, I did reflect on what I’d read during the voyage.
(Don’t think me too smart, though: because it was a three-hour tour, I also hummed the theme to Gilligan’s Island for most of the trip.)
(And, more embarrassingly, I hummed the Titanic song whenever I went to the prow of the ship. I actually hum this song whenever I am on a boat. Any boat. Cruise ships, car ferries, log flume rides. Anything. It never gets old for me. I didn’t even like that movie.)
The whale watch left from Barnstable on Cape Cod. It was a jet-powered ship, meaning it had no turning parts that could injure the less-thoughtful whales. I imagine a teenage whale, perhaps looking too intently at his or her whale iPhone, stumbling into a rotor, but I guess that probably isn’t how it works. Continue reading “Whale watching in Massachusetts “