25 November 2018
Timeline: Christmas Season 2018
Uncle G’s FUN Christmas Stories: Greeley Loves A Parade
Story and Photography (pictures_videos) by Gary “Uncle G” Brown
If not for finding out on social media (Facebook) ninety minutes before it started, I would have been in complete shock that a Christmas parade started one block up the road, from where I am staying, here in Greeley, Colorado. Marching/slowly driving right past me. I would have been watching ‘Homicide Hunter’ on the ID channel, learning the ins and outs of Colorado Springs (located on the other side of the state), and all the sudden been bombarded out my second story window by the old fashion familiar sounds of winter’s most celebrated holiday; Christmas. Even those who are not Christians, revel the 25TH day of December, either in part or in whole. A couple of reasons off the top of my head; gift giving/receiving and ugly sweater contests.
The adults have New Year’s Eve. For the younger ones in the family unit, that means hearing Mom bitch and moan until Daddy concedes and they go out for a steak and lobster dinner (without the children) that is so high in cost that the restaurant offers their own financing. To hell with anything learned in Economics Class 101. It’s a family tradition. The money aspect is never really discussed. Nothing wrong with eating turkey galore for the remainder of the month.
Myself, an only child, when in my single digits, was blessed with a rather ‘cute’ female teen as the one to guard me should anything go astray while my parental unit was not around, be it Christmas, or just another Saturday night. My Mom was a professional musician, and my Father was a heavy drinker, so the two were not home a lot. This is how I developed my fondness for cleavage and the television soap opera; Dark Shadows. The young blonde goddess was paid whatever the going rate was, for services provided either by daylight or in the blackness of night. The dear thing, ends up the only thing she could cook was, Morton Pot Pies. That didn’t bother me so much. BTW…chickens my favorite to this day. Not that brand anymore. I would go out of my way for a homemade one. When eating, I’d watch TV. Our house possessed one television. I remember how my sitter would manage to irritate me by switching off my cartoons (Speed Racer) at 4 PM (weekdays) to watch Barnabas and Company. It was a few years later when Bela Lugosi caught my attention. The real vampyre, an interesting character of sorts, is a tale best told in its own article and not one that is mostly about the birth of God’s only son. I’m an old Catholic (altar boy). A little wine for the priest, and a little wine for ME (I really did that preparing for mass. Please say prayers after I’m dead for my soul will certainly be in, Purgatory).
For yours truly, a usual naysayer to public spectacles, a planned new tradition while staying here in the Greeley area. And good for ME that the town of Greeley also celebrates other things throughout the year like; Monster Day, and get this…Greeley has a weekend on its calendar in which their beautiful downtown Lincoln Park is devoted to those age 21 and older so the curious and the connoisseur can discuss and worship in its uniqueness; craft beer. A shame I had to be out of town for the last one. Shit like this blows my socks off! Figuratively speaking cuz it was very cold outside this particular evening (parade night), and if so, my feet would have suffered horribly.
Time went by and once reading again about the parade, I peeked out a window and looked down at the street below. It was happening. A small crowd was gathering. Putting on a jacket I was given recently that could help a person withstand zero temps, I made my way outside, and proceeded to prepare myself for the night’s festivities. Nice I didn’t have that far to travel.
The MagickBalls YouTube Page
I cannot tell a lie. The ‘page’ is mine. It’s not what you’re thinking. Swear to God! An origin story that I’ll save (you the reader) from for now.
Lets review. I spent the wee hours of the morning uploading amateur/cheaply made cell phone videos onto a webpage that I had actually had for ages now:
Four uploads making for a featurette that I shot, in which no animals were hurt. And for the record books/web pages, that I was nowhere even near prepared to do.
I moved to Greeley from Fort Collins this past March. Down to Earth vibes. Around 100,000 in population. Blue collar, Republican town (or so I hear). A part of Weld County. It’s courthouse in the national news this month; Chris Watts Case. A hundred and fifty years ago, he’d hang from the highest tree. Escaped a death sentence by pleading guilty. An empty courthouse to the left of me, and a choir on the right singing “Joy To The World’. And doing such a nice job! Just as I fondly remember it. This is kind of really how it started. I fumbled with my two camera cell phone apps. Multi-layered clothing. No scarf, but I am sporting a cozy wool cap.
The rest, meaning the four videos I managed to create so to be forever immortalized in the history books/platforms on clouds. Shot in the dark. Artificial lighting. Faces not clear. A viewer can still who, when watching point a finger, proclaiming loudly: “That’s me”. Better now than on a rather unflattering story found on the nightly news program.
What these crudely made mini movies document mostly is a community of people from Colorado who usually come home from a hard day’s employment, and either read on the Internet or view however capable, the news of the day. Not be a part of it. Lots of positive things happen in Greeley. As far as parades go, this isn’t like anything seen in the big cities. Can’t compare this to the mindless Macy’s grand parade where celebrities on floats pretend to sing and sound like they were on a real stage. In Greeley, we had fairly inexpensive vehicles, if comparing to what’s seen on the streets of New York City on a day (Thanksgiving) that is devoted to consuming something that for $59.99 could be found to be a link to the dinosaurs. Here in northern Colorado, they had wrapped everything they could think of in decorative (cheap) lights (including humans of all ages) made probably nowhere near a U.S. border, let alone inside one. I bet the sight itself could be seen from outer space. Of course, I’d have to be much higher than I was at the present time, to prove if that statement was one hundred percent accurate. Big cities have bigger budgets. Back in 1992, I met actor Charlton Heston, who when this happened, was grand marshall at a Thanksgiving parade in Houston. I was having a cigarette standing at the entrance to a downtown high rise when he suddenly appeared. I just happened to view a couple weeks earlier with a group of friends, the 1956 film; The Ten Commandments. I take a drag from my smoke, look straight ahead, and there he was; Moses. Wearing a sharp looking suit. Nice man! We spent a few minutes together. A surreal moment for myself. Even after that…I conclude that there is nothing better than a good old fashion celebratory parade with a small town feel. I can say that sure as shit, because I have been witnessing these things, since the 1960s. As a child, I marched in Halloween parades (South Amboy, NJ USA). Been on both sides; spectator and participant.
If not anything else, the good folks here in Welds County displayed a positive holiday spirit that frankly I’ve been missing in my life, for some time now. Separation/Divorce after 21 years together (plus the year and a half dating) will drain the life from you. As will the mental/financial clean up after. Hearing the kids laugh and seeing the adults really get into what they were doing … felt like a perfect meal on an empty stomach. In which I had filled up my own later on that night, compliments of a very cool neighbor (and his wife). Whipped sweet potatoes that complimented the rest of the wonderful meal.
The spectator in me sincerely appreciated one and all who participated with the holiday nighttime spectacle. I’m already looking forward to doing this again next year. Will hopefully have a better video camera, and when shooting footage, try and not to aim the camera lens at the dark sky, as much as I appear to do in these clips. The parade itself, a fine homage to a day know as; Christmas. Had an old fashion down yonder appeal. Nice to experience that when so much crazy shit (news wise) is happening damn near every day now (rest of the world). I didn’t capture one moment when shooting video or taking stills where one person of any race or different religious upbringing, or even nonbelievers for that fact would have been insulted. Nor a reason to keep a child home the following year. And seriously, who don’t like looking at colorful light displays? Or seeing how creative people can be, with strains of their favorite colors illuminating whatever they got going on? Step right up. Greeley has it all.
Merry Christmas to everyone! Happy whatever it is others celebrate this time of year, as well. I was taught to try to respect people and their customs. A bit of diversity here in Greeley. Am thrilled to report that all within eyesight this evening, seemed to be on the same page.
SEE for yourself…
Greeley Colorado 2018 Christmas Parade/Celebration Cell Phone Videos by Journalist and Photographer At Large; Gary “Uncle G” Brown.
YouTube Web-links (in order): Greeley Loves A Parade (2018)
Video #01 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtCoA589TDw
Video #02 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49f3DN2A3sA
Video #03 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GkoEXSwShM
Video #04 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZqkRN6VdSQ