far too much writing, far too many photos

Yesterday’s big event: the annual strawberry-picking excursion. Just me and a field full of sunburned families in full berry-grabbing frenzy. This year I saw no toothless/dentally challenged folks, a kind of participant that abounded the last time out. An absence that left me feeling mildly disappointed.

Today’s big event: Montpelier’s Fourth of July parade (the customary day early), where I worked as a volunteer in the pre-procession staging area, several streets of a green, normally quiet neighborhood.

This being Vermont, the event turned out to be a funky, sweetly chaotic blend of people and happenings, including:

– encounters between kindred souls:

– hordes of dancing women:

– inexplicable sightings:

– firetrucks:

– music:

– and, of course, Shriners on go-karts:

One of the event’s most striking aspects: a graphic show of the local tendency toward respectful, even joyful co-existence between drastically contrasting social/political elements. For example, a group of a dozen or so exuberant sailors from the U.S.S. Montpelier preceded a flatbed truck packed with a motley, dreadlocked, multi-ethnic group flailing away at drums, four grass-skirted, dancing women following in their wake, the truck flying a banner featuring the now classic (possibly even clich├ęd) image of Che Guevara, parade spectators cheering it all.

There is nowhere quite like this patch of green, mountainous land tucked away in New England’s northwest corner. Where, as I write this, fireworks light up the falling darkness.

Have a fine weekend.

Madrid, te echo de menos.

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