4th of July and Local Orientation

“I rode on a float in one of the parades in Mississippi. It’s an experience.”
– Elliott Smith

For the 4th, we went canoeing and kayaking on our river which for obvious practical reasons is not photographically documented. We came back a muddy and poison ivy-ed mess. Then my sister linked up with friends and my brother was pretty done in, so Dad and I packed up some chairs and meandered into town for the local parade.


Dad found a prime spot.

Locally, the biggest parade of the year is the Christmas one, the Independence Day one is pretty dinky by comparison but still pretty fun. Boy and girl scout troupes marched, so did local veterans associations, and so on. But most importantly the local fire department.


Our entire county fire department is volunteer based – there simply isn’t enough money to house a full time one and our county is very big, but very empty. The towns came up with a fairly simple but brilliant solution: to share the costs of the equipment needed to fight fires in the country by divvying them up. Thus, one town owns and operates the traditional truck. Another (since water is plentiful but plumbing is not – most ponds near buildings have pumps built into them that serve as fire hydrants), a mobile water tanker. It’s an imperfect system that works remarkably well given their task.


Some country communities revolve around a town hall or a church. Ours, around the volunteer fire department. There are regular fairs and events to support or raise money for them and they are a source of great community pride.


All townships, cities, and areas are represented.

Bumpass is justifiably famous for its unusual name, which is incidentally also a source of local pride, but its history is far less colorful than one would hope. It’s an anglicized corruption of  bon pas, or good step, the name of a long ago family.


Most of main street in one shot. Not pictured (but should be and will get it’s own post), Floozie’s Pie Shop.

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