The town of Montclair, NJ has an annual 4th of July parade that I’ve attended for many, many years. It’s the kind of parade where you sit on the curb and wave to your friends marching with their local interest groups. When I shout and wave to friends, many break rank and come over for a quick hug and chat before they zip back into formation. The parade features bands, dancers and floats and banner carrying politicos too. It’s a mishmash of pageantry and fun, and it makes the town of Montclair seem smaller and friendlier than ever.
I have a few really favorite groups. When they pass by I sit up straighter. I wave more vigorously and cheer louder. Who gets my stamp of approval? The Veterans who march, the Police and Firefighters who march, every high school and younger sports team that marches, and the bagpipers. I have a serious affection, nay love, of the sound of bagpipes. When I worked in New York I always attended the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade; nothing and I mean nothing at work would keep me away from the crowed curb where I’d sway to the sound of band after band of bagpipers and their drummers. Well, I don’t work in New York anymore, but the Montclair 4th of July Parade always guarantees me a bagpipe and drum fix. When the band marched by me this year it was in fine sound. The keening sound of a pipe and the boom of the drums never fail me; my heart opens and I feel happier and freer; it’s hard to explain, but I have a smile plastered over my face for hours after hearing a pipe band.
After the parade my husband Mike and I went to Tierney’s for a sandwich and a beer; we followed the St. Columcille Pipe Band over to Tierney’s last year and thought we’d do it again this year. I’ve told you about Tierney’s and it’s cold beer and killer corned beef sandwiches. when we walked into Tierney’s the musicians were already hoisting pints at the bar. I can’t think of anything better than being in an Irish bar with a group of Irish musicians on the 4th of July after a parade. Mike and I chatted with a few people we knew, then Mike nudged me and motioned to the band. “They’re going to play.”
“No way,” I said. “They must be exhausted after marching and playing in that heat.”
“Watch!” he said.
And watch I did. You can watch a video snippet HERE!
And the St. Columcille Pipe Band played right in front of me. Inside Tierney’s. The band played three songs. When they played “Amazing Grace” I thought my knees would buckle with happiness. Members of St. Columcille Pipe Band, if you ever read this I want you to know that you made my day. And you may very well have made my life. I still have a smile plastered across my face. Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!