Saturday, July 19, 2008

Saturday: Sinclair Lewis Days Parade and a Car Fire

I think I've had enough excitement for now.

Yesterday, the family evacuated the house because of a gas line break.

Today, it was a car fire. Not one of ours, happily.

The day started routinely. My wife and #3 daughter went out in the morning to get groceries and see what was to be had at rummage sales. I got caught up on my tasks, talked a little with my son, and some with #1 daughter when she showed up.

#1 daughter's cartoonist efforts passed a milestone. A monthly comic strip she's been making for a website in Great Britain is going to be printed. Not by itself: as part of the artwork that's been on the website. She doesn't get paid, so far as I know, but it is exposure. She's quite pleased with the news.

I grilled this noon. In the rain. Actually, I stayed out of the rain as much as possible. The grill is closer to the shed than it was last season, so I was able to stay in there, out of the rain, and still keep an eye on the grill. The burgers came out a bit more well-done than usual, but still quite edible.

Afternoon, and more catching up for me. The ladies and my son enjoyed a game they'd picked up - I think this morning. If its pricing was typical for rummage sales, it cost the family about 25 cents - and well worth it, from the laughter I heard. The name escapes me - something about a "clue."

#1 daughter and I went to church this afternoon, for the same reason we did last week. It lets her spend some time with us - and reduces her travel to once a week. And, she's still helping us get organized.

Supper, then I went to see the Sinclair Lewis Day parade. My son decided not to go with me, since he likes to pop in and out of the house when the parade goes by here.

I think the parade organizers were a little off on their organization this year. Sometimes there was over a block between units.

In fairness, they had two issues to deal with.

First, they were on unfamiliar territory: starting out from the Industrial Park, heading down Sinclair Lewis Avenue, and then making a left and two right turns to get onto Main ("The Original Main Street," as the street signs say).

Second, there was a little excitement as the parade started.

What I first noticed was a police officer loping by, talking earnestly into that little radio on his shoulder. Someone was leaning against the trunk of his patrol car, but moved as he got in and drove off, lights and siren on.

That got my attention.

I noticed that there were sirens coming this way - most likely on the street paralleling Sinclair Lewis Avenue, one block south. Looking around, I noticed a lot of smoke rising from the north side of the street, just this side of St. Paul's Church.

Just about exactly where I'd parked the van.

I set off in that direction, at a discrete but brisk walk.

As I got closer to the downtown stoplight, I could see that the smoke was definitely coming from right around where I'd left the van. No question about it.

At Main and Sinclair Lewis Avenue, I watched the Sauk Centre Fire Department go by - including a unit with, if memory serves, a boat in tow. I started wondering just what sort of emergency they expected.

That sort of response makes sense, though: the units would have been out and lined up in the parade, toward the head of the procession.

It wasn't the family's van: but it was close. A smallish dark green car was getting close personal attention from the Fire Department's staff. It was parked in the second spot ahead of our van. Too bad: it was a fairly new vehicle, from the looks of it.

Nobody got hurt, apparently, and the fire fighters were soaking down the engine by the time I arrived. I knew the situation wasn't too serious, when I overheard them discussion how to get the city's emergency vehicles back into the parade.

On my way back, after the parade, I heard the folks whose car was right ahead of the auto flambe looking at the rear of their car, and saying something about heat damage.

The parade? It was fun - and had my favorite float, the titanic grocery cart.

I'll be writing about that in the Sauk Centre Journal, tomorrow night.

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