In most of the adventures that turn into my best stories, there is always that moment when I find myself thinking "Of course this is happening to me . . . this would only happen to me!" I definitely had one of those experiences while celebrating Independence Day!
This was the first year that I was able to join the Franklin County Farm Bureau's float in the Hilliard Parade. My good friend, the Hay Farmer, does a fantastic job of arranging for this activity every year. He had one of his John Deere tractors hooked up to a hay wagon. The wagon had straw bales for seating and banners promoting Farm Bureau & Farm Days at COSI. The Hay Farmer had recruited some young friends to toss candy from the wagon. In addition, there were several adult volunteers from Farm Bureau who walked alonside, passing out coupons for Velvet Ice Cream.
Independence Day weekend was very busy for me with catering jobs. After working some late nights, it was a bit of a struggle to pull myself out of bed on the morning of the 4th of July! I hustled to get to Hilliard and meet up with my friends for the parade. After debating what to wear, I decided blue jeans were acceptable for a parade. The parade organized at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, and I passed by many other floats & organizations as I hurried to walk to the front of the parade line where the Farm Bureau float was waiting. I stopped to say a quick hello to the awesome Clarence Mingo, Franklin County Auditor. I also passed by some people I knew who were there to support Senator Portman. I was sorry that I did not see Congressman Steve Stivers, but many of his supporters were gathered to walk in the parade.
I finally located the Franklin County Farm Bureau float, and we were quickly ready to start the parade! It was a great event! We had absolutely perfect weather. There were large crowds and the attendees were very enthusiastic. We received an excellent response for our Farm Bureau float! I spend the first half of the parade working the crowd: "Did you get your ice cream coupon? This is for Velvet Ice Cream's new flavor sponsored by Ohio Farm Bureau: honey caramel! Support your local farmers! Eat more ice cream!" These coupons were very popular! None the less, it takes more time to walk along passing out coupons than for a tractor to move down Main Street . . . thus, I was often running to catch back up with our float!
Normally I only run when chasing pigs or evading bears, so this was a good workout for me! About halfway through the parade, it began to sink in that I had neglected to eat breakfast while hurrying to get to Hilliard. Thus, I jumped on the hay wagon and enjoyed the granola bar I had stashed in my purse. I sat with one of my girlfriends and we chatted while I rested up. In a few minutes I was restored and ready to pass out more ice cream coupons. I jumped off the moving wagon . . . and immediately heard: "RIIIIIIIPP!" Now, I've been climbing on & off moving hay wagons since I was a kid. I had never done that, however, on this particular hay wagon . . . and I was unfamiliar with the location of nails on it. A nail head managed to snag my jeans (so glad I didn't wear dress pants!) and opened them up all along the back of my upper thigh! Fortunately, I was not injured at all and nothing "inappropriate" was showing. Still, there was a LOT of visible thigh, so I thought it best for the President of the Franklin County Farm Bureau to spend the rest on the parade sitting on the float!
The conclusion of the parade went great and we began working our way back to the fairgrounds. This took quite a bit of time for the slow floats to travel. We happened to be stopped at one point, and I looked up to see that we were right next to Congressman Steve Stiver's contingent. They were decompressing after the parade, and the Congressman was right there with them! We saw each other and I went to greet him. As is usual for me with people of whom I am fond, we immediately went for the hug. At that moment, as I gave a friendly hug to one of my favorite Members of Congress, I suddenly remembered my pants were completely slit open up the back! Hoping no operatives of the other political party were there with a camera, I thought it prudent to tell the Congressman the funny story of my jeans being attacked by the hay wagon. Then I passed out ice cream coupons to all of the Congressman's supporters!
I hope you enjoyed a blessed holiday, and honored our country's glorious heritage! I also hope you enjoyed a good hot dog . . . and avoided any potential "Weiner" moments!