The Stumptown Daze parade this last Saturday in Guerneville was a hoot. I never get tired of this small town tradition. All that was the lower Russian River was represented. You had mounted honor guard, rodeo queens, antique fire trucks, politicians, the El Molino H.S. Marching Band, erotic clowns, classic cars and so much more. One of my personal favorites was a gray-haired musical group that belted out some nifty dixie and jazz tunes. Never too old to swing. There was also a ragtag group of folks who live on the edge out here along the River. They festooned themselves with a mishmash of colorful hats, striped capes, and wide grins. As my grandfather once said, “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much room.” Everyone was welcomed to participate and why not.
Others in the parade greeted kiddies with a friendly handshake and free candies. A lady aboard a black stallion and wearing a lavish Arabian dress, stopped to take pics with the locals. All of this was trailed by a resident pooper-scooper who wanted nothing more to complete her day than the opportunity to gather up manure for the benefit of the town. The laughter and spirit of the community is contagious. This is not just some catchy phrase but you honestly feel engulfed in this sea of pride. The Stumptown Daze parade brings the “belonging” out of you. You are one of the crowd. You are a member of a small and tight group of locals.
This sense of community inspired me to write Stumptown Daze, a historical fiction novel where a bunch of characters all come together in the 1960’s. All of the local newspapers have given it rave reviews. But you judge for yourself. Who knows, it might just bring back to life some of those old memories of the River that you buried so many moons ago. Cheers! http://www.johnmccarty.org/