The Fourth of July Parade Manzanita, Oregon We swing our pick-up truck into the library lot, and settle in the truck bed, kingpins on folding chairs. There’s a husky in a red-and-white bandana and a bloodhound with a Statue of Liberty crown. Sweating, paunchy men wear goofy hats. Aging women in sparkles guard igloo coolers. I want a kazoo band. Parades are not free-form. There’s rules. Don’t throw candy at children; it lures them into the street. Clean up behind horses. Pony up a five-dollar donation to enter. A private plane buzzes Laneda Avenue. Boy Scouts show the colors. Some veterans walk. The float for veterans has four empty seats. A Patriot Guardsman roars his Harley. Manzanita’s Citizens of the Year precede the Mayor. Fire & Rescue tows a trailer of jet skis and boogie boards. It’s off! Big Wigs. Jabez Cleveland, my ancestor, a fifer, died in the American Revolution. What did Lao Tzu mean, “Rule a big country the way you cook a small fish”? The marching band plays Yankee Doodle Dandy. And riding in on a pony is the Tillamook Rodeo Queen. Then Juliette, Miss Fourth of July. Clean up behind her bay mare. Grass is for Animals – the Elks drug awareness truck sign. Living Local and the Tillamook County Jersey Princess. Imagine No Malaria on a lone walker. I vote for the eight maids a-pushing book carts from the Tillamook Library. Eight men with sunglasses and black suits patrol beside a black convertible carrying a man wearing an Obama mask. My first glance? Morticians. Three Chinese dragons. A drill team twirls dragon boat oars. The only Chinese restaurant here went broke years ago. A man on a tall unicycle. A gaggle of girls carrying white umbrellas trailing white streamers. . A simple costume. Moon jellies. A young girl in a motorized wheelchair with her panting yellow lab companion. She made my parade. People who clean the street follow those who came before. Lao Tzu: “Good walkers leave no tracks.” Around the all-one earth clouds scud. Here, isolated patches of cumulus cold-float over interconnected seas visible from the moon. For free: sunburn.