Here are our annual observations about the Franklin Independence Day Parade. Keep in mind we sat near the end of the parade by the Fire Department.
WHAT A CROWD: As I mentioned we always sit near the very end. We’re usually some of the last people sitting. Not anymore. The crowd is stretching further and further down Drexel. Civic pride is a very good thing.
HERO OF THE PARADE: Ken Sweet, Pearl Harbor Survivor
A MAJOR THANK YOU: Mother Nature. Just the right cloud cover and a nice breeze
BIGGEST CHEERS: Easily for Paul Ryan who had a sizeable entourage
BEST GIVEAWAY: Root beer floats by the Root River Church
ALMOST DIDN’T RECOGNIZE: Mayor Steve Olson and School Board President Janet Evans without their umbrellas
Janet and Steve are to the far right, pictured at a recent groundbreaking for yet another approved Franklin school referendum.
THANKS FOR STOPPING BY AND BEING SO NICE TO KYLA: Mayor Olson, Janet Evans, and Alderman Steve Taylor
ALSO NICE TO SEE: Franklin’s own Lance Allen (Today’s TMJ 4), retired Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Dan Konkol, and state Representative Ken Skowronski (we saw you, Ken, but you didn’t see us). The same holds true for Alderman Mark Dandrea. Just couldn’t get his attention (or was he avoiding me?) Saw you too, Police Chief Rick Oliva, but you were looking the other way and missed our entire family. It’s okay, Rick. My daughter will get over it.
MISSED YOU: Alderman/Alderwoman/Alderperson/District 3 Officeholder (Good grief I never know what the hell to call her) Kristen Wilhelm. Didn’t see her at all. Probably on her cellphone somewhere.
SHAME ON YOU: Larry Gamble, a very new member of the Franklin School Board. He concedes he ran out of candy about 200 feet before the end of the parade. He gets a pass because he’s new at this. But Larry, you better not let this happen again.
SHAME ON US: We wanted to go see the historical buildings at Lions Legend Park. Instead we forgot and high-tailed it for AC before heading to the Civic Celebration. We’ll be back.
DAVE BARTELS, WHAT DID WE EVER DO TO YOU? Owner of Franklin’s Point After Pub and Grill, you ran out of free coupons early? What, you graduated from the Larry Gamble School of Parade Protocol?
I MUST BE GETTING OLD: I said to my wife, “That looks like Shari Hanneman.” Jennifer said, “That’s because it is Shari Hanneman.” Shari was on a car with the Franklin Educational Foundation. I can be excused for not recognizing Shari because she was in a car, not on a horse. Small world: The person next to me at the parade went to high school with Shari’s husband and even lockered next to him.
QUOTE OF THE PARADE: Man to his wife: “Get out of the way. I can’t see the parade route gaps.”
FIRST GAP OF MANY: Remember we were near the very end of the parade that initially got to our location at about 11:12. The first gap came at 11:19 and it was big.
WORST GAP: Timed at 12 minutes. 12 minutes.
THEY WERE REALLY, REALLY MISSED: Sitting next to me was a fellow Franklin resident and co-worker. She mentioned she hoped the Chicago African-American group that was so entertaining last year would be back this year because they were the highlight of the 2016 parade. Jinx.
A PARADE WITHIN A PARADE: The Corvette convertibles. How many were there? Two dozen?
RIGHT BEFORE OUR VERY EYES: Two young guys from one of those martial arts schools. One held the boards, the other… BANZAI!!!!
NO MARCHING BANDS: Musicians were in vehicles. A parade with no marching bands. You’d think with all those referenda…never mind.
NO ENTERTAINMENT: No offense to the poorly named Double D Dancers or Vern and the polka people. But not even a juggler or baton twirler. Plenty of people handling out flyers about their businesses. That just doesn’t cut it.
MASCOTS? WHAT MASCOTS? Cousins and the Milwaukee Admirals. That was it. A Racing Sausage wasn’t available?
SO WHAT CAN WE DO TO IMPROVE THE PARADE NEXT YEAR? If someone asks you, I respectfully suggest you ignore the inquiry. They won’t listen anyway.
Having said all this we’ll be back in our usual spot in 2018, if only to stand and cheer loudly for Paul Ryan and all the veterans.