Sunday, July 6, 2008

A 45 year family tradition

4th '08 in Plymouth, originally uploaded by suzeesjubileez.

These shots should give you a little insight into where I get my fun loving ways. Dressing as clowns and riding highwheelers has been our fourth of July family tradition for 43 years. It happens in Duxbury or Plymouth, Mass. in between Boston and Cape Cod. My dad Russell "Rah" Shirley and my brothers Russell, David ( later Jay and Scott) dressed as clowns and rode decorated High Wheelers in the Duxbury Days Parade for the first time in 1964. My dad rode his antique High wheeler and the boys rode bikes he created from cannibalized trikes, bikes and unicycles. This Shirley love of parades started when my dad was a boy and rode the high wheeler in the Duxbury Days parade and also for kicks on his paper route. He graduated from that to putting together "horribles" for the parade at his uncle's garage Herrick's ( horribles are junk cars that are graffitied and ketchuped and hacked in various unseemly ways with crazy costumed drivers and passengers and all manner of shoes cans effigees and what not dragging from them). Dad started his grease monkey years at an early age at that garage next door to his home, graduating to airplane mechanics and computer maintenance in his adult years. He loved to put together bicycles and we had an enviable fleet of one of a kind wheeled contraptions as kids in our garage on Chamberlain Ave. in Brunswick Maine .

We also filled out our family collection of High Wheelers with a couple of replicas and another antique High wheeler in the past decades. The clown costumes and the crepe paper ( now we use mylar which holds up better in humid weather) were really my mother Shirley's (Yup that would be Shirley Shirley) design. She is crazy about costumes and decorations. Even in her small apartment she still has closets of holiday decor.

Poor Mom, I had out grown doll buggy parades, which we also did during Duxbury days. One year she made me a crepe paper grass skirt and totally fringed and flowered my doll buggy with crepe paper and dressed my doll in a matching Hawaiian outfit for a prize winning Aloha themed entry. Another year Mr. Glass constructed a plywood boat on wagon wheels, bedecked with strings of lollipops. We dressed as saliors on the Good Ship Lollipop. My brother Russell and I pulled David and Jay. As you might imagine, Halloween which was also quite a spectacle at our house (there were four of us in a five year spread and this made for some terrific ensemble get ups). I inherited Mom's festive spirit, and had my own fun with my uncle's antique bicycle built for two and a few floats and walking units I put together over the years. I recruited my cousins and friends to go in on some Duxbury Days fourth of July spectacle or another.

This year two of my brothers Russell and Scott rode, my son Jake, a niece Kayla, a nephew Kyle and several of their friends. My sister Sandra who often rides was in Alaska this year. Jay declined for medical reasons and David sadly passed away in 2002

If I ever get a scanner I will post some of the older shots. If you have any pictures of horribles or shots of the old parade please feel free to add them or links to them thanks.


tori said...

Great pictures and a great tradition :D

AltheaP said...

I can see how this would keep you smiling!

SuzeesJubileeZ said...

Thanks so much. It is really our annual family get together.