before we begin

Okay, so I'm sitting here signing up to finally join the much ballyhooed blogging revolution and suddenly I hear a drum beat. I dismiss it, thinking it surely must be someone upstairs listening to music too loud. It quickly becomes apparent, however, that the drum beat is growing closer and is now joined by a brass accompaniment that has all the earmarks of a marching band. A parade, I wonder? Now, I'm about a half-block off a major road, so this isn't out of the question. I go to put on some sandals and walk outside to see the parade as it passed when it became increasingly apparent that the parade was much too loud to be even a half-block away. Sure enough, a peek out my window revealed a band dressed up like police officers drumming away as they marched in front of some religious statue which was covered in fake dollar bills and an honor guard holding the Italian Flag marched in the distance.

Ah. A Saint's Day. A phenomenon I hadn't the occasion to witness, which is odd since I grew up and have lived in very Catholic (and more the point, Italian Catholic) neighborhoods. Yet, here it was marching down my side street awaiting people to come from their houses and deposit money with the cash-happy religious statue. It looked like Jesus, but so do half the Saints, anyway. Doing a web search, I now believe it was actually a Feast Day for San Lorenzo. Who I believe is actually Saint Lawrence who was the namesake of my first school. Which is weird, because I'm not Catholic, but I'm told my mother didn't trust our public schools until she knew she couldn't trust the Catholic ones.

Naturally, the very small parade was followed by an old guy pushing a shopping cart full of unlicensed balloons of Spiderman, Clifford, and other children's characters. Cuz, really, would it be a parade without unlicensed balloons?.

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