Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Reborn On the 4th of July

                                           Reborn On the 4th of July


                                                                  Jay Agan

      The fellow I worked with at the shooting range in Powell, Ohio was an interesting guy. Former serviceman (Said he dodged the draft by enlisting.), he monitored Soviet military radio traffic in Alaska in the '60s. Insurance adjuster full time, avid shooter all the time. Every year, he followed a specific schedule for July 4th.

      First the flag went up on the porch. Then he & the wife would head on down to the Short North of Columbus (A neighborhood between 5th Ave. & I 670.) to catch the Doo Dah Parade. The Doo Dah is a sort of "anti-parade" consisting of humor/satire. Regular groups such as The Marching Fidels, Close Order Drill Lawnmower Team, The Parade of Holmes, etc. There's even the Fashion Police patrolling the route giving out tickets to badly dressed folks. I especially remember one "act" consisting of seven men & two women dressed as the Supreme Court. A tenth person had to keep grabbing & guiding them to the center of the street as they kept meandering to the right side. I'll never forget the float comemorating a murder in northwest Ohio in the '90s: "Give your wife an anniversary gift she'll never forget. A new basement floor!"

      Then they'd grab the one in Upper Arlington that crossed Lane Ave. A LARGE suburban parade with a small town feel. Afterward, an afternoon of barbecue & socialisation. He'd set a 5 platter CD player loaded with SoUSA, etc, on the porch, setting it on random play. Passersby seemed to like that.

     As the sun went down, the couple would head to the Park of Roses in Clintonville for the fireworks display. Clintonville is home to Columbus' best cheap thrill: Riding fast on Cooke Rd. A real "roller coaster". With the fireworks done, they'd head on home, take down the flag & relax.

      His backyard adjoined about five others & was the perfect set-up for the last ritual.

      It's between 10 & 11 PM. All's quiet except for the crickets. Everyone's inside. Taking a revolver loaded with blanks, he'd sneak out, point the gun to the night sky and ..... BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! then slip back in.

      People would run out, "what the heck was that!"

      He also dashing out, "what the heck was that!"

      He was sure the neighbors suspected he was the one, but he was never caught.

      The last time he did that was a year before cancer took him. I miss him.

                                       Article copyright © 7-6-2011 Jay Agan

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