It was foggy and damp for today’s parade, but there was music for everyone: the Eastside Memorial band, the LBJ High School band, and a contingent from the 36th Infantry Division band of the Army National Guard complete with banjo and instrumentalists who sang. The Air Force J.R.O.T.C. from Del Valle was there; so were Shriners and a group of Vietnam veterans. There were no political candidates. The day was damp and overcast; spirits were bright. Search this site for recollections of other Texas Independence Day parades. See photographs and unedited videos and look for people you know.
The prelude to the parade was noisy: drum cadences, bagpipes, thunderclaps, and pounding downpours accompanied by tree-branch-ripping gusts of wind. As we headed down Congress from the Capitol, we kept asking the barricade workers and the police whether the parade had been cancelled. “Not yet,” was always the answer.
And the thunder stopped and the rain almost disappeared, although the wind never did quit. It tore my souvenir Texas flag right out of my hand and carried it away out of sight. It also took the beret from the head of one of the Del Valle ROTC cadets. An older woman recaptured it several yards to the west of Congress, and another spectator ran after the parade with it and eventually caught up.
Del Valle is a faithful participant in these events. Today also brought out the Crockett High School band, along with many other participants, including a spritely drill team wielding force cups, also known as plumber’s helpers, and a wagon drawn by a team of mules with very handsome tack. The Texas Cowboys found it necessary to fire off the cannon at frequent ear-confounding intervals.