Thursday, July 5, 2012

4th of July Post Post Mortem

Congratulations to Pam Tallmadge and her sidekick Penny Forman on staging another success 4th of July parade! 
There were a couple hitches this year that forced a delay, but I think most everyone had a great time as usual. 
One of my highlights was watching the Black Hawk land in the Village, and then take off after the parade.  Talk about a spectacle.   And talk about force.  As the Black Hawk was landing, the wind coming off the propeller was strong enough to knock over an elderly gentleman (fortunately, he appeared to be okay after receiving lightening-fast medical attention), blow orange traffic barrels and chairs like they were hot dog wrappers, and even destroy the Knights of Columbus tent that was, at the very least, 75 feet away (three of the metal legs to the tent were snapped in two)!

While I have a great time at the parade, it's also one of my least favorite events.  As a member of the DHA parade committee in charge of traffic control at the Village, I make a few enemies every year.
When the parade makes the left turn off Dunwoody Village Parkway into the parking lot, and then makes the final right turn at the corner by the cleaners heading towards the post office, many of the drivers of the cars and floats just want to stop and park right there - it makes for an easy walk back to the festival area. 
However, if these vehicles are allowed to park, or even spend a lengthy period of time trying to unload personnel and props, the parade starts to back up and slow down.  Invariably, I get into a heated discussion with a few of the drivers. 
Yesterday, I got into it with a member of the DeKalb EMS crew.   The EMS vehicle made the turn by the cleaners, pulled up about 50 yards and then just stopped.  One member of the crew started heading back to the festival area, and another member started out that way as well while the driver remained.  I asked the driver if he could pull up, or at least move as close to the curb as possible.  That's when the second member of the crew doubled-back.  He said told me they had a person they needed attention, and that the vehicle needed to be there.  I said fine, but please pull over to the curb.  That's when he started into me, and basically told me they didn't have to move.  I told him I'd work it out with the driver, while he proceeded to yell at me.  That's when I asked him, "if you've got an emergency, why are you wasting time talking to me?"  He proceeded to yap-on for another 30 seconds, before leaving. 
Bottom line, if you're driving a vehicle in the parade, please following directions. 
And with that said, 95 percent of the parade participants are fabulous in helping with traffic control - thank you so much!

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