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Beau's Journey » 2009 » December » 07

Archive: December 7th, 2009

December 7, 2009: Tony Weighs In – From The Spectators View

  Well – the final version of what happened Saturday night.  Tony – who watched the parade has sent me his version of those events.

  Here it is 🙂

Waiting for the parade to start, I am excited as I know what a tremendous parade that Mayfield had, and can only imagine that Paducah’s will be 10 times better.  After the cop car, 10 trucks, and a few thrown together floats, I am sorely disappointed at the lackluster effort put on by the parade participants.  However, I know that the Dippin’ Dot’s float will soon be coming down the street and since they are a multi-million dollar company with a work force of hundreds, I can only dream about the awesome display of retail goodness that will soon pass by.

As I stand hunkered down with only my eyes bared to the wind, I hear someone say, “Here comes Dippin’ Dot’s!”.  The excitement within me warms me to the point that I pull my hands out of my pocket and unzip my coat a bit so I can scream and cheer with the rest of the crowd. Even at that moment, as cold as I was, I knew that those dippin dot samples would hit the spot and I couldn’t wait!

Then as I looked out into the street, there it was.  Dippy the Dot was standing high upon the float waving to each and every child, even the kids at heart.  The lights of the decorations along Broadway gleamed as they reflected off of the brightly colored dots on the float. Almost like a dream, I stood staring in awe and amazement, unable to take my eyes from the float until I then heard a voice beside me scream out “DIONE!”. 

My attention returned, I looked beyond the float to see my sister-in-law, Dione, rushing about like ol’ Saint Nick trying to fill all the stockings of the Duggar kids on Christmas Eve.  As she went from kid to kid, handing out candy and coupons, you could see their faces light up with joy and happiness.  Then, as if on cue from ol’ Saint Nick himself, she turned to look towards where we were standing and gave a nod of her head, a hearty smile, and a twinkle of the eye.  She just as quickly turned back to her calling of joy-maker and moved on down the parade route. I laughed from within as I knew the sheer happiness that she must have felt making all those kids feel joyful and alive.

Quickly, I turned and begin to search for the next member of the Dippin Dot crew that was my brother-in-law Beau.  At first I wondered how I would ever find him among all the Dippin Dot’s employees that would be working the parade with the same pride and vigor as Dione, but I soon realized it would be easier to find him than not.  No worries I thought, this will make it easier to get those Dippin Dot samples that Beau would surely be handing out, as Dione was focused on candy and coupons.  I holler out “Beau..Beau…over here!” but to no avail.  Beau was a man on a mission.  The mission of handing out candy and coupons to little kids.  I chuckled at the thought of this wealthy and semi-famous man which I know all too well reaching out to those he knew not with only the thought of bringing joy and laughter to their hearts.  Good Cheer to you Beau, I thought, as he passed on his way down the parade route. Surely he would be blessed for all he had done this wintery night. A little saddened by the lack of Dippin Dot samples, I let not my heart dwell upon that which I possessed not, but instead upon the grand scene which I had surely just stolen from a Charles Dickens’s novel.

The street quickly emptied as the Dippin Dot float moved on down to the next group of waiting and anxious souls. Oh how they would dance and rejoice with glee as the float brightens their holiday spirits. As quickly as I had finished my glad tidings for those good folks, I began to wonder what happened to my other brother-in-law Joey.  I knew he had committed within his heart and mind to participate in this joyous event, and why not of course as the blessings bestowed that night would be many for those who gave so freely.

“That’s IT!” I exclaimed as my shivering mind brought forth the only logical thought it could. Joey has the samples!  Oh how my heart leaped for joy as I knew the answer I had been searching for was just given to me, much like the prayer of Mary upon that star lit night so many years ago in Bethlehem. I stepped out into the street, daring those who watched to stop me as I searched, no, longed for just a glimpse of Joey coming down the street with the dippin dot samples.  Would he be pushing a cart perhaps?  Or better yet, driving a truck loaded down with those delicious delights of delectable desire?  Surely we would be put out of our misery quickly and be filling our tummies with the goodness of dots.

Seconds turn to minutes, as the hand of time passed by, with each passing tick of the clock dimming my hope that Joey was too heading our way to save the night. Then, upon the empty street, a commotion. I turned to my spouse and said, “Could it be?”  We stepped out from our warm spot from within the corner of the building and looked out over the crown, straining our weary eyes to see if it could be what we had been waiting for.

“IT’S HIM, IT’S HIM!” She said.  “It’s JOEY!”   I must admit that within that sheer moment of time, all that was around me ceased to move. Each little person and adult alike was still, and silent.  The night air was crackling and the light was shimmering off of the stars and candles that lined the street.  I knew that the time had arrived and as I stepped out to greet him, to greet the one that I call family, it seemed as if it were just he and I and no one else were around us.

But wait, something was wrong. I saw no cart, no truck, no samples of any kind. I saw only Joey looking lost and bewildered, as if someone had taken the very last Christmas tree and hidden it with only minutes to find it before it would be gone forever.  I yelled out “JOEY…OVER HERE”, but it was as if the sound of my voice was frozen in that cold night air and fell to the earth at my feet like an icicle, crashing to the ground and breaking into thousands of little pieces.  Joey did not turn to look at me. He did not stop to see what it was that I was longing for. Joey simply ran, not walked, but ran down the street as fast and furious as Rudolph himself on his very first flight.

It seemed like forever, but I know it was only seconds, and then Joey was gone. I stared after him as his white fur-lined jacket faded into the dark night of the end of the parade, and I knew then that it was over.  There would be no samples. There would be no more to come with the hope of handing out the mouth-watering morsels I had so longed for.  I gathered up my family and begin to walk towards the car.  Surely there were reasons. Surely there would be an answer as to why. But, for that night, I would leave with only the wonder of what should have been, stripped away like the ornaments from the tree after the holiday rejoicing were over.

I wish I could leave you with one of the Dickens’s classic endings.  A “God bless us everyone” or “To all a good night” but sadly, I can’t.  I can only hold onto the tiny spark in my heart that is next years parade. That spark that will hopefully one day light the fire that is to be filled with joy, warmth, and samples for all!


December 6, 2009: Joey’s Version Of The Christmas Parade

  Okay – well now Joey has weighed in with his version of the events on Saturday night – 🙂

  Ok I see that these stories are very one sided here.   I thought that it was only fair to get a third  view to the way this  event  played out .   To  get the full feel of this story we need to  go back a few hours  before the  parade.  This is when I realized  that I had exhausted all of my options and  I was going to have to do this parade because Beau wasn’t going to budge.  We  left eating lunch with Judy around 3 pm and  we are about 1 hour early so Beau decides that we need gasoline.  So we will just run over to the Smoke Shop and  then head over to meet Dione at the “police station”  (wherever that is –  am not from Paducah).   So we got some gas and killed a bit of time.  We then decide to head over to the rally point  – the time is about 4 pm.  It is a good 30 minutes before we have to  meetwe should have plenty of time.  Little did I know every street was closed and we ran into a stampede of humiliated and angry horses wearing deer antlers.  I had to coach Beau around all the horses and then we finally made it to our destination.

  Afterwe got out of the car and walked 2 blocks in the wrong direction (because Beau doesn’t know what street we actually parked on) we realize that Dione is watching us.  She is two blocks away – standing in the middle of the street and waving.  As I am looking in her direction I am looking for the  big Dippin’ Dots  float.  To my surprise it is a flat bed truck with wooden rails, one strand of Christmas lights on it, and  a Dippin’ Dots pre-pack man with a  Christmas hat on.  I think to myself it’s a recession and times are hard but how much are a few extra lights anyway?  We finally make it to the float and I see Dione with 5 stockings with candy and coupons in them.  I do some very quick  math in my head and see that it is just Me, Beau, Dione, Nancy and Luke is the Pre-pack .  This is when I found out that I would have to Juggle both coupons and candy in the parade. 

  OKAY so its go time the moment of truth we are about to get startedI have my candy and my coupons ready!  I  took off one of my gloves so I could have the best possible  grip  because it was a strict rule that we only hand out 2 pieces of candy per child.   The float basically takes off like we are in some kind of drag race.  I am handing candy and coupons out as fast as I can. You see I never had the time to look up to see where anyone else was – I was  totally focused on my task to give out candy and coupons.  I am rushing along as I hand out candy I am getting the usual response from kids (thank you and a lot of Merry Christmas’s) but when I had out the Dippin’Dot coupons I see the kids just light up and they are saying “sweet Dippin’ Dots  I think to myself  I need to hurry before they find out its only 1 dollar off  and not free Dippin’ Dots. 

  It is about  5 min into the parade when I realize that the float is getting really far away from me.  So, I start to ditch the candy as quick as I can and try to catch up to the float.  At this moment I realize that  I am supposed to be helping out Dippin’ Dots so I better hand out  the coupons and let Beau hit the kids with candy.  So I give him my candy bag and try focus on the coupons. 

  I am  handing out  coupons as fast as humanly  possible.  My left  hand is cramped and now stuck to the stocking while my right hand is frozen solidBut  I am still pushing forward  handing out coupons.   I finally gave up trying to keep up with the float and just let it get away.  I  look  up and I see Broadway Methodist church – I am way behind and have no chance of catching up.  This is when I run out of coupons right  in the middle of a group of kids.  After being  verbally abused for running out of coupons by an 8 year old kid I take off in a sprint to catch up with the float scared now that they are going to leave me.  After about 2  blocks I hear my name look back and see Tyler but I think to myself “no time for hugs or chit-chat I have to keep going”.  After another block I realize that I am at the end of the parade and I just give up and start walking.  I finally make it to the  float  to  find 2 coupons  for  a  free small  cup of Dippin’ Dots waiting for me.

  I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. 

  Dione says "see you next year" and leaves me standing on the corner – her limo pulls up and away she goes.  I walk back to Beau’s car – 13 blocks away.

– Joey