Sunday, March 10, 2013

Swinging Our Pearls for Suffrage

Way back when-according to those cars in the background-my cousin and I participated in a summer event-a grand parade which was the crowning event of a week-long celebration. The parade seemed to last all Saturday afternoon. There were high-marching bands and high school bands and drum corps with amazing majorettes from all over the place-even Canada-sending their music all through our downtown which rambled on for blocks. There were horses and tractors, cars and trucks, police and organizations-beauty queens and their courts and floats-all kinds of floats.

From what I can remember we were part of a float highlighting Women's Suffrage and the 19th Amendment-which is what that plackard my cousin is holding represents. I don't remember where those dresses came from-or those pearls. I do remember thinking why it would have been a question that women or anyone would not have the Right to Vote. Isn't that what that flag behind us symbolizes I thought-freedom, and in this instance, Freedom for Women to Vote. Not really. The Constitution left that up to the States.. Now that I am a bit older I understand what we were representing-years of women like Susan B. Anthony fighting for that Amendment so that she and other disenfrachised women had a Voice; the same Voice passed down to me and my daughters and my granddaughter and so on and so on.

Summer parades in small communities are joyous celebrations. Along with the hot dogs and cotton candy, trinkets and clowns, there is a Spirit about them-a flavor of a country with all kinds of rights. That's what we were doing; recognizing and celebrating-even if dressed in funny-looking dresses and swinging our pearls on a Saturday afternoon in a downtown that represented so many other downtowns-way back when.


  1. There's something so safe and comforting about growing up in a small town. I recognize it in other small town people, anywhere in the world that I go. I know Irish, Koreans and Nigerians who are products of small towns, and they have an integrity and self-worth that resonates with me. Hillary Clinton popularized the saying "It takes a village to raise a child," and, from what I've seen, that is true.

    1. So true Sil. Small towns have their draw backs but nothing beats growing up in a small town. I think it grounds you-gives you a base from which to grow!

  2. I just love those small town parades. We still have them. I've always lived in a small town and wish to be here forever.

  3. Small towns ground you no matter where you go. They give you roots and they always welcome you back home!