Sunday, June 29, 2008

76 trombones did not lead this parade!

In my last post I mentioned that I had a busy weekend planned - and then later in the comments revealed that my son Austin was going to be one of the Grand Marshals in St. Cloud's Granite City Days parade on Saturday (read about it in our newspaper here).

As I'm sure most of you are aware, Austin has received some very positive recognition for leading an effort to build a skateboard plaza for the youth of our city (you can follow this series of posts for more information if you're interested).

As part of that recognition, our Mayor appointed Austin and another St. Cloud teen, Alise Post (the 2006 National BMX Women's Champion) the distinct honor of being co-Grand Marshals for our annual summer festival's parade.

And, as an added bonus for the entire Lee family... my oldest and dearest blog buddy Jennine just happened to be in town covering a story for her city's newspaper (from which she was hired as a result of her first class blogging and photography skills) and stopped by for a few minutes just to meet my parents and see Austin lead the parade.

I was deeply touched by the fact that she, her husband and son, took the time to squeeze in a visit to see us even though she had to be on the other side of town only a few minutes later to start covering her event.

And thanks to Jennine, I now have this awesome photo of Alise and Austin to remember this moment.

Before the parade


After the parade commenced, I quickly headed a 1/2 mile down the street to where our chairs were set up and waiting. A few minutes later this is who I see leading the parade.

Hey... somebody get that skateboarder off the parade route!


Dad! You're embarassing me!!!


Austin was lucky though. The weather had threatened the entire day to rain during this parade, but he made it through to the end without getting wet. His sister Roseanna on the other hand wasn't so lucky. She was in position #80 out of 93 floats and the rain started coming down before her karate team even left the staging area. By the time she got to us, she was drenched.

Still in good spirits though!


Oh, and here was my brush with fame for the day...

As the usual political suspects were walking by, I saw Team Franken handing out fliers but didn't think much of it - until I turned to the right to see Al himself approaching me at a pretty fast clip. So naturally I stuck out my arm and shook his hand. I was actually surprised to see him there. I really wasn't expecting it.

He's good enough, he's smart enough, and doggonit, people like him!


So as you can imagine, it was a pretty exciting day for everyone - rain or not. My kids were in the parade, my folks came down to visit, I got to see Jennine again, and The Receders played to a packed club later in the night - after which I didn't hit the sack until 3 a.m.

And now today I'm spent. But hopefully I can now get back to seeing what all of you fine folks are up to again. So until then...

Have a great week!

* * * * *

Update: Stop by Jennine's place to read her side of this event along with a very touching tribute to my parents.

32 comments:

Drowsey Monkey said...

Wow ... how tall are you? LOL

Sounds like a fantastic weekend ... perfect in fact! :)

Jeff said...

drowsey monkey - I'm just average... but Jennine is 2'9".

Michelle said...

Way cool, Jeff! I love that both your kids were in the parade AND that the mayor recognized Austin for his efforts enough to have him lead the parade. Way cool, I say again!

And I like how you leave no mention of you and yours sitting in the rain watching 93 floats getting drenched. How very parental!

Heather said...

How cool!

Bill said...

I got cold and wet during the parade, but it was wonderful to see the grand marshals being escorted by two squad cars. That is a lot of recognition for a boy that just turned 16. I was proud of Roseanna for finishing the parade regardless of the cold and windy rain. Thanks again for the wonderful weekend and delicious food. Just sorry we could not have had time to visit with the Johnson family.

Corrina said...

How fun!

Phil said...

Did Austin get Alise's number?! They would make a cute couple.

Ed (zoesdad) said...

Austin should have used a little ski rope and had Alise pull him.

Gette said...

Dude, Franken rocks. I am so jealous. That would be a total squee! moment for me.

Jennine said...

2'9"? Wow...you were generous by half a foot!

Spending time with the Lee family, even if only for a few minutes, is like being wrapped in a warm blanket while being served chicken noodle soup and having a foot massage.

Char makes Caorline Ingalls seem like a bi**h in comparison and Austin? Who gets a kid like THAT? He's articulate, cute as a button and has sweet skateboard skillz.

And you, Jeff, despite your comment about my shortness of stature, are the best, most encouraging blogging friend anyone could have.

I'm saving my Bill and Lois gush for my blog.

Needless to say... I'm in love with your family.

Alice said...

OK ya ol' cheapie! The next time your boy leads a parade, would you PLEASE buy him something with sequins on it or maybe some majorette boots.

Jeff said...

michelle - Aw gee, thanks. After being parents for 17 years you come to realize that you just kind of do these kinds of things, and you don't even think twice about it.

heather - I agree!

bill - That's my only regret too... that our visit with the Johnsons was too short!

corrina - It really was. We even had fun being in the rain.

phil - You're right, she's a cutie. No, he didn't get her number but they did hit it off right away.

ed - Good idea. Where were you on Saturday?

gette - Funny. Sorry... I didn't squee.

jennine - Awww, thanks Jennine, you're making me feel all mushy inside. We feel the exact same way about you guys.

Oh, and I always make that dumb height joke. I think it's some kind of defense mechanism against being considered a human giraffe. When you're 6'4" pretty much everyone seems like they're 2'9".

alice - Don't laugh... we had that tee-shirt custom made for him just for this event. And that, my dear, was not cheap ;b

Memarie Lane said...

Where's his skateboard?

cathouse teri said...

I'm with Drowsey ~ I was gonna ask if you're like six foot ninety or something! *swoon* If I'd known you were so tall, I'd have started stalking you sooner!

Cute pics of the embarrassed teen boy. Love it.

Jennine is so cute! I just noticed you have a top twenty commenters thing and now I feel bad that Jennine is not number one, where she clearly belongs!

I'll be quiet now so she can move ahead. :)

Jeff said...

memarie - Well, if you look carefully you can see it in all of his pictures. The top of a skateboard is made out of a black sandpaper-like grip tape, so it's not that easy to see.

teri - Actually I'm amazed that Jennine has time to be as high up the list as she is. Not only is she the mother of 7, but she's now a famous reporter for her city's newspaper!

VE said...

I think you should have put your building skills to work and made him a half pipe float to skateboard on up at the front!

Tell him I used to be able to high jump 5 feet over a bar and land back on my board. I was 2 inches off the record at the time...

Sounds like a fun time was had by all.

Windyridge said...

Sounds like a fun and packed weekend. I'm glad the whole parade wasn't drowned out.
Is your son thinking about running for president some day? His public life career is off to an early start and God knows we can use someone with some brains and leadership skills to lead this country! There seems to be a dearth of that...

Whit said...

That, my friend, is a good day.

Bee Repartee said...

...and doggonit, people like him. !snort!

Do you have to perform neck-breaking sports to become Grand Marshal?

Elizabeth said...

Awww, Roseanna looks so cute. What a trooper to keep going even in the rain! Good for her!
:) Elizabeth

Mom Thumb said...

Aw, now I'm REALLY sorry I didn't get up there when I was so close. Roseanna is adorable!

Mushy said...

Everything but his politics!

Mylhibug said...

I think the rain would be nicer than having the parade in 90+ degrees and 90+ humidity.

Did Austin actually use his skateboard, or did he walk the whole route?

Roseanna looks like she had a lot of fun, and realized that she wasn't going to melt in that rain anyway. :)

I wish I had that kind of enthusiasm.

Jeff said...

ve - That's right, you did mention you were a skateboarder in the past. Sounds like you had some pretty sweet skilz too. I'm guessing you could still pull off a few tricks if you gave it a shot - eh?

windyridge - At this point, Austin is more concerned with skating than politics. To him, being on the Park and Rec board is no big deal, which is really funny because since he is the Vice Chairman of the board, he will now have to be the acting Chairman for the next 3 months until they elect a permanent one.

whit - It really was. :-)

bee - Apparently only this year.

elizabeth - That's her to a tee - Miss Roll-it-off-my-shoulders.

mom thumb - We are too! We missed you!

mushy - I figured you might have something to say about that. ;b

mylhibug - Austin skated the whole thing, except when he walked over to me to give me the "look." And... he knew the wet streets would ruin his board (which it did) but he skated on it anyway. Roseanna actually loves the rain, and chooses to play outside in it every time we have a shower.

cathouse teri said...

Jeff, you are so silly.
I have three children. Ages 27, 23 and 20. They are pictured in this post:

http://cathouseteri.blogspot.com/2008/03/you-may-be-right-i-may-be-crazy.html

My oldest has two children, a girl (three) and a boy (four months) and my youngest has one daughter who is fifteen months old.

My daughter has no children. She has her hands full babysitting the patrons at the L.A. bar where she works!

All clear as mud?

Jeff said...

teri - You're right... I am a dufus. I was having a brain fart when I asked you about your boys. I knew you had 3 kids but you confused me when you posted those pictures of your gorgeous DILs. I figured they had to be yours.

Carla said...

Don't those parade organizers that the grand Marshall usually rides in a convertible? Better yet did Austin get to ride his skatboard in the parade? Whichever way you slice it, that's pretty cool.

Sornie said...

That is an event that will be remembered for quite some time. Very cool.

cathouse teri said...

Aw.. how sweet. Yeah, those DILs are not really "mine." Although I call them my own. :)

Kathy said...

Jeff -- Sorry I'm late to the party. I was busy making 61 cents over on my blog. Do you want that in a check or cash?

Way to rock the weekend!

Shieldmaiden96 said...

Congrats on the obviously awesome kids! Our town parade was rained out too; a severe storm warning delayed it by 35 minutes and cut off the last 15 or so floats because of the giant splattery rain and lightning. Though I have to admit, since I watched it from the passenger seat of an ambulance I pushed the button to close the window when it started and sat giggling at the people running for cover. 'Cause I was tired and I'm evil like that when I'm tired.

Maureen said...

Cool beans! Looks like a great time was had by all (well, except the rain...) Very cool photos (and yes, you ARE tall!)

Congrats to both your kids too.

Off to see Jeannine's blog. Thanks for the link!