Presidential Candidate

IMG_2584Not long ago Bernie Sanders, one of Vermont’s senators, announced he was running for president. It was a bold move. He immediately was pronounced the underdog and the media paid some attention. He is a United States senator, so I guess they had to pay attention. I was happy about it. Bernie Sanders is a straight-talking, take-action kind of guy. He understands that he represents all of our small state, as well as the nation, and that the nation has a whole lot of people in it. He works to truly represent as many people as he can.

This is from his website,

The American people must make a fundamental decision. Do we continue the 40-year decline of our middle class and the growing gap between the very rich and everyone else, or do we fight for a progressive economic agenda that creates jobs, raises wages, protects the environment and provides health care for all? Are we prepared to take on the enormous economic and political power of the billionaire class, or do we continue to slide into economic and political oligarchy? These are the most important questions of our time, and how we answer them will determine the future of our country.

Politicians talk all the time about change, and often they seem to dance around the issues. Bernie is a bad dancer. He stomps right in. Could this be bad for his presidential bid? Of course. Many things will be said about him that turn what he says into something it isn’t. But I am betting, and I imagine he is as well, that that is OK, that his message and what he stands for and the work he wants to do will matter more than the ugliness of presidential campaigns.

The photo above is from the Memorial Day parade in Vergennes last Monday. That right there is Bernie Sanders. He is wearing a regular jacket; I swear he wore that in the last parade in which I saw him, and I missed this same parade last May. He is wearing running shoes. His baseball cap is in hand, his hair the usual muss. Even his pants are not ironed. That is just the thing here–he is tidy enough and respectful, but in no way pretentious. He does not pretend to be someone he is not. He dons the suit and tie when appropriate but here, where he stops to hug his constituents and to take photos with those who ask, he wears something comfortable. He cares more about wealth inequality than he cares about the Windsor knot.

In this photo, his wife, Jane, is walking behind him. I am not sure what she was doing with her phone. Maybe she was tweeting “Mem Day Parade w/Bernie @Berniesanders. Need to remind him to iron pants!” but that is just a guess on my part.

Your Typical July 4th Parade

Went to the parade on Friday. 11:00. It passed through town and ended down by the post office. It had your usual ingredients:


Floats (plus fun hats)




Tractors (the pink tractor that usually appeared did not appear–bummer)



Plus a 1952 Citroen--now that's patriotic!

Plus a 1952 Citroen–now that’s patriotic! Maybe we should have a parade on July 14th with this puppy in the lead.

We stuck around town for some free ice cream offered by a local church (You’ll love our other Sundays too!) and watched some kids get wet in the dunk tank. It wasn’t hot. I could have used a sweatshirt. The dunk tank did look fun, however.

At days end we watched the fireworks from our porch. A few of them of them were a little hidden by the hill, but behind the screen we had no mosquitoes. The highlight was one burst that spread out into a huge smiley face. We ended the day happy, all independent and stuff. Hope you had a happy Fourth yourself.



Giant Independence Day Cakes

Hinesburg celebrates 250 years as a town this year, so our July 4th parade theme was Hinesburg’s birthday. Several people who made floats for the parade had the same idea–to create a giant cake. Here they are, with some bonus pics.

Getting Things Started, 1762 Style

The Most Genuine Float–No Vehicle Visible

Lorax Motif

Cake and Cupcakes

This One Won Best Float

Plus Firetrucks. What’s a Parade Without Firetrucks?

Tractor Parade Portrait Gallery


The Pink Tractor Makes its Annual Appearance


My family and I went to the tractor parade in Charlotte yesterday.  It was the 10th annual event, held on the tenth day of the tenth month.  It delivered, as usual, even if it did start more than an hour after the start time.  But so it is.

I did not have a good spot to stand this time. We dithered a bit before things got started so, while the children were right up there next to the road, I stood behind some chairs that someone had set up and left empty the whole time.  I had a really tall guy uphill from me, in the direction the tractors were coming from. Plus, there were just simply people all around. So I changed my focus. Instead of taking pictures of the tractors, I took pictures of the people driving the tractors. Here is a gallery of some of those portraits.











Hinesburg July 4th Parade 2010

Went to the parade. Sweated. My son and I waited in the sun while the girls in the family scooted off to ride a float. They handed 0ut candy while we watched the procession. We ate a slice of pizza afterwards at Good Times Cafe. Skipped the festivities. Too hot. Watched the fireworks in the swarm of mosquitoes from the home of friends in town. A good show, especially with the neighbors starting things off. It is hot again today. And tomorrow. Heat wave, baby.

On the Way to the Start

Girl Scout Float

Lots and Lots of Firetrucks...

And Classic Cars...

And My Favorite Tractor...

And of Course Llamas

Even the founding fathers would approve of llamas. I have not doubt.

Parade Day

The smoke drifting down from Canada had not cleared by the time we headed to Vergennes, but we managed to breathe fine anyway. Vergennes has the don’t-miss Memorial Day parade. The governor was there, and Senator Bernie Sanders, and a slew of governor-hopefuls. It may not be the best use of time for someone running for office, but it makes sense to be there–one would not want to be the one who did not show up.

There were lots of other highlights as well, including firetrucks from a dozen different towns and a “bomb diffusion” float that was a little disturbing with its rifles and blindfolds. I thought Memorial Day was supposed to commemorate those who died in war, not war itself.  Maybe I just missed the point.

Some pics from the event:

Veterans Were There

Summer Santa Was There

There Were Floats

And of Course Lots of Fire Trucks

Veterans for Peace


How Long IS This Thing?

This Guy--from Middlebury Union High School Band--Was Into It

Shriners Zooming About

The Drumming Clowns Were a Hit

The Civil War Reenactors Scared the Pants off Small Children

And by Afternoon, the Smoke Had Mostly Cleared

Halloween Parade

Shelburne hosts a halloween parade every year. There is a lot of candy involved. While other parades (4th of July, Memorial Day, and the like) have discouraged candy tossing (in the name of safety! Children apparently, run into moving vehicles in pursuit of sugared confections), this parade seems to require everyone in it to toss the sweet stuff. My daughter wasn’t feeling well so it was just the boy (with the tractor costume recycled for a third year) and I. He hauled in the loot, despite his inability to bend over with ease, and willingly shared with his sister. Good kid, he.

As with most parades, the ambulance started things off

As with most parades, the ambulance started things off

There were clowns on carts...

There were clowns on carts...

and a paddy wagon of sorts...

and a paddy wagon of sorts...

and this witch cowboy themed float.

and this witch cowboy themed float.

Looks like a stacked deck

Looks like a stacked deck

And get this, after they all pass by, tossing candy all the way, they turn around and come back to toss more. Like I said, lots of candy.

And get this, after they all pass by, tossing candy all the way, they turn around and come back to toss more. Like I said, lots of candy.