There’s nothing like a parade

I love a parade. I enjoy seeing it line up and then watching units await their turn to slowly wind down the streets lined with people and excited children, many of whom are anticipating a handful of candy that usually comes flying through the air.

In my years of covering Christmas parades in Cadiz, Smithfield, Brilliant, Yorkville, Tiltonsville, Rayland and Adena, there have been warm days, brisk days and “Jack Frost nipping at your nose” days. Dec. 7 was the nose-nipping one.

Susan Nolan, Brilliant Elementary School principal, was right on the button in reminding pupils to bring along a blanket for a ride in the wagon with high sides. I kept hearing someone calling what I thought was the name “Esther” as I took a picture at the back of the wagon.

Susan said she thought it was just someone calling out “Mister.” When leaving, I heard the name again and discovered two of my buddies from Bradley Road – Jayden and Jordan Hill. Jordan, the blonde girl, had a cute hat made of red sequins, with a red bow and real fur. Jayden had a hat with Merry Christmas embroidered on front.

If Ozzie and I are out walking when they get off the bus, we are always greeted with a big wave and a happy hello.

I saw a young boy and girl peeking from the window of one of the Brilliant fire trucks as I walked by, shivering and blowing on cold hands that couldn’t work a camera well with gloves on. The girl had a fuzzy white hat to wear in the event her ears got cold.

I met a young llama, Lillie, that I am told took very sick in October and was not expected to live. She seemed to get her strength back for the Christmas season, as she was wearing a holly wreath around her neck and a red jingle bell collar. She had the most beautiful velvet brown eyes I have ever seen.

Then there was Jingle. I mistyped his name as Jungle in my story on the parade last week. He nuzzled up to me in a friendly way, or maybe he was just cold and wanted to get under my coat.

The Taylors – Ron, Memory and Austin -have a petting zoo in warmer weather.

Heavenly Home Health had a float again this year. I remember them from last year. This time, they seemed to be asking “How Do I Get to Sesame Street?” Many of the characters were on the float. I would have enjoyed wearing one of the furry costumes to keep warm. There were even heads with places for your eyes to peer out. Very cozy.

The Steubenville Free and Accepted Masons group posed for a picture along the street. If they seemed “extra cold” it was because they had just come from the parade in Steubenville.

Jim Everson was driving the Brilliant Lions Club truck that had a stocking decoration on the side that I would like to have hanging on our fireplace. It was gigantic. Ralph Nickoson, president, was to be with the truck but became ill. Perhaps it was all the shouting for attention at the Lions Christmas dinner held two days before. When people are eating and having a good time, it is hard to get their attention.

The Sassy Dancers were showing their spunk and determination as they twirled flags, shook silver pom-poms or danced up and down while awaiting their turn to start marching.

Susan Nolan was scurrying around with a stapler re-attaching white paper used for the decorations for the Merry Christmas wish that got torn a bit from grabbing onto the side of the wagon.

As I was walking back around the corner from the float, I saw a young father carrying a younger child and holding the hand of a girl clutching a blanket and wearing a Santa hat. “Can you tell me where the elementary school float is located?” he asked. I was happy to be able to tell him that it was just around the corner, and he was not a bit late.

The Brilliant Fire Department had many vehicles, and Rayland was there with a truck decorated with a Christmas wreath and green, red and silver pine roping that looked quite festive. I saw my Smithfield Fire Department guys in two vehicles. Brian Parteli was driving one, and Ben Long was at the wheel of the other.

I commend the village recreation department for putting on a nice parade in the coldest of times. Elizabeth Cook was in charge, and I think I saw her directing units out in to the street in the lineup.


Aside from walking around in very cold temperatures taking pictures, what could be worse? How about having your power and telephone both go out on a cold morning when snow is pelting down so much Ozzie doesn’t even want to go out.

If I decide to take him for a short walk in the snow – because we both need the exercise – he turns around and gives me a hard look, as if I were hitting him with the icy pellets falling from the sky.

Back to my original story. On Tuesday morning I saw the television go off suddenly, and since it shuts off after playing a certain number of hours, I wasn’t troubled about it. Then I glanced at the clock that had gone blank as well.

After checking the snow damage out the window and searching for my fleece robe and fuzzy slippers to keep warm, I yelled to Lamont, who was in the basement and already knew it anyhow as the underground room gets very dark without a light.

Three or four minutes later, it came back on and all was well with my world. Only it didn’t last. It went off again with a definite click that made me realize that it would be a long time before I felt the furnace turn on again, and I was going to have a cold breakfast.

I remembered that there would be hot water in the water cooler. That doesn’t sound right for hot water to be in a water cooler, but that is what I call our water dispenser. I quickly made a cup of tea, and since Lamont was out sweeping off the drive – yes, sweeping as the snow was so fluffy that it could be swiped away – I made him a cup of instant coffee and covered it with many paper napkins to keep it warm.

Lamont told me to call American Electric Power and report it, as we didn’t know if we were the only ones. The reason for not knowing was that the landline had gone out as well. It took a few seconds to realize that we had the cell phone, running low but still operative.

I called and want to say that the representative I talked to – her name was Sandy – was very friendly and helpful, telling me we were only one of 1,900 homes that had a loss of power in our area. And she had no idea why.

I later learned that a landslide in the Rayland area had caused the problem, and it was eventually restored. Sandy told me it was estimated to be off until 12:30 p.m. I don’t know if it came on at that time or not, as we left, and it was on when we came back. I appreciated their kindness.

(McCoy, a resident of Smithfield, is food editor and a staff reporter for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at