Vail Daily column: What a long, strange 4th it was |

Vail Daily column: What a long, strange 4th it was

Well, that was certainly a July 4 weekend for the record books, if there is such a book here in Happy Valley.

Not necessarily extremely good or excessively bad, just weird.

On a national level, in spite of all the dire warnings of impending doom from ISIS high command or American-born “lone wolfs,” there were no terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

Hooray for us! (’Merica, hell yeah!)

However, Darwinism was working overtime within our borders, as a 22-year-old in Maine thought it would be cool to launch a fireworks mortar tube off the top of his inebriated head.

He died instantly.

Political Darwinism was in full force as well, with Ted Cruz going out of his way to salute Donald Trump and his “courage” to take on immigration and “RopeGate” in New Hampshire as the Clinton campaign played rope-a-dope with the “press peasants” (aka journalists) to ensure their silly little questions never made it close enough to be heard by Her Highness.

Like I said, weird.

Locally, the strangeness began with Avon’s annual Salute to the USA fireworks show when a lone wolf firework exploded in its tube instead of going vertical, and then decided to send a few friends horizontally on a quick trip across Nottingham Lake, straight into the crowd of thousands.

Luckily only nine people sustained superficial wounds, but the fact that it even occurred was bizarre.

The next morning at the parade in Vail, the crowd was treated to Packy Walker in drag carrying around his visually ironic puns, but now that I think about it there was nothing weird about that at all.

Textbook Packy.

But then the High Command at Vail decided, in spite of three decades of Vail’s Precision Lawn Chair Demonstration Team being at the end of the annual parade, they would put us in the front.

Something to do with “picking up the pace” and years of complaints that some would think the parade was over due to the large gap between the Precision Lawn Chair Demonstration Team and whatever float was unfortunate enough to be in front of us.

They tried it once before but it backfired, resulting in a new record for parade length. So like most government analysis, “If it didn’t work before, let’s try it again the exact same way and see if it works this time.”

It did not.

They even had Mr. Security walk along as we marched, desperately trying to force us to move along faster than the crowd wished. Being the professionals that we are, we’d rather please the crowd than “The Man” any day.

So we did.

And we won the Best Marching/Musical Award for 2015, which came in the form of a first class trophy (for real) that the 20 or so of us will share somehow, probably through a picture on Facebook.

And the “musical” part of the award has us intrigued. We’ve already discussed working a few special numbers into our parade routine for 2016. Perhaps a few hits from “The Book of Mormon” would be appropriate.

I guess we’ll just have to see, but either way, we promise to keep it weird.

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at

Support Local Journalism