Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Alpine Days...Primary Parade!

The Flintstone Car...
I've told the story recently about the Flintstone car my dad made us for the Alpine Days parade the year that I was seven.  It was a very kind thing for him to do.  He knew how important the parade was to me and how much I wanted to be in it. 

It was just a little small-town parade...a parade that began in 1947 when the Alpine LDS Ward needed a fund-raiser to reshingle the church.  The church ladies (Relief Society) were in charge of the bazaar and the Primary (children's organization) took over the miniature parade. 

My Parade Story...
The Primary President's name was Rose and she was an imposing woman.  When she stood at the podium in the chapel of the old Purple Church, squirming Primary children had best sit still and pay attention.

That day, however, she didn't even have to clap her hands for order, all the sunburned and freckled little faces were looking up at her with anticipation.  For that was the day when she would make the class assignments for the Alpine Day miniature parade and announce the names of the King and Queen.  The lucky boy and girl would get to wear fancy crowns and ride on a special float.

The boys feigned indifference, but the hearts of the little girls beat faster.  My own heart was in my throat.  Would this be the year?  I hoped with all my being to be chosen to ride on the float.  Maybe I would even get a pretty new dress if I were Queen.

I looked into the eyes of Sister Rose and willed her to call my name.  I can't remember who they chose, but it wasn't me.  I wished I was as pretty as my next door neighbor, Janae, who had blonde hair and shiny shoes.  I'm not sure if she were Queen at that time, but I remember the special float being parked in their yard.  I was pretty let down to be passed over again...and I probably didn't hide my disappointment well!

Rhythm Band...
Row by row, the children were dismissed to go to class.  Upstairs, in a stuffy corner classroom, the teacher desperately tried to keep order while a helper passed out an assortment of rhythm instruments.  Bored noisemakers...inevitably equals chaos!

Immediately the too-small room was filled with the clanging of triangles and clopping of wooden blocks to the accompaniment of pie tin tambourines and scratchy sandpaper blocks.  Like squawking hens running around the chicken yard, we were out of control.

Walked and Walked and Walked...
When she finally got us settled down, the harried teacher attempted to teach us the words to a song about pioneer children.  "Pioneer children sang as they walked, and walked, and walked and walked.  Pioneer children sang as they walked, and walked, and walked and walked."

It must have been the last straw for that poor woman when I raised my hand in the middle of the song.  "Those pioneer children sure did a lot of walking, Teacher!" I remarked brightly.  I remember spending the rest of Primary out in the hall, to the annoyance of Sister Rose.  Served her right for not picking me to be Queen.

Our Very Own Float...
If you look can see my two little sisters in the wagon.

So that was how I finally got to be the Queen of my own float...even if I had to share the honors with Mike, Patti, and Sandy.  Using a rusty old wagon and a lot of ingenuity, Daddy fashioned a remarkable likeness of Fred Flinstone's car.  The wheels were formed from round ice cream cartons.

There would be just enough room in the wagons for the little sisters.  While Daddy put the float together, Mom got out the ancient black sewing machine and sewed Fred and Wilma costumes for Mike and me.  I will never forget my parent's kindness that summer...making my little dream come true.

Little Rhea in Lehi Primary Parade.

I think my mom really understood how I felt about the parade...but I never knew how much until I saw this picture after her death. 

"It's Good to be Queen!"

Note: The first three photos are from the book "Alpine Yesterdays" by Jennie Adams Wild.  My youngest sister, Lisa made the "Miss Spirit of Primary" memory book page.


Dorothy said...

Awww, I love that float, and the Flintstone outfits! Your parents were so sweet.

vintage grey said...

What a fun family story, and cute float!! Love the Flinstone outfits, too!! Your parents were very sweet! xo Heather

Tammy's in Love said...

Oh Pebbly poo! You are the best ever and wouldn't you love to have your Flintmobile now!? I think it deserves a paper craft tag series on Wilma, Fred, Pebbles, Barnie, Betty and BAM!BAM!


LBP said...

What a great story! I was in our local parade for years because I was a majorette and one year I was the high schools Snow Queen. LOL! I loved riding the float instead of marching.



Betsy said...

The feelings you described was just how I felt in 6th grade when our class voted for the Snow Princess, who got to ride on the back of a convertible in the Christmas Parade here in town. It ended up in a tie between me and another girl (I'll never forget her name!). We voted several times and it still came up a tie--finally someone changed it and she won. But she didn't want it! So I thought I was home free. Unfortunately, her mom was the school librarian, so our teacher made us go down and ask her to make sure. Of course her mom said she should do it. I was THAT close--I still think about that! I wanted so badly to sit on the back of that car with the cape around my neck.

I love the Flintstonemobile. So creative--it's too bad more people don't still do things like that. Your family kind of reminds me of MaryJane Butters' family and how creative they were and how they made memories doing things together and making use of what they had.

I love reading your historical stories.


Lynn said...

Hi Shirley,
I love your stories and what a sweet memory for you to have of the thoughtful things parents do for their children to help make their dream come true!
Have a lovely weekend,

Chenille Cottage said...

Dearest Shirley,
What wonderful stories you have to share! They are heartwarming and bring a smile to my face.

I am savoring the time this evening, finally, starting to get caught up on some blogging! I have been away at my Momma's birthday celebration..home for a few days...and, then, away again...Joining other family in helping move our Mom into a new living situation at one of my sister's. Mom is happy as a clam.

I love hearing about your childhood adventures, my sweet friend!
Carolynn xo

Little Susie Home Maker said...

What another wonderful story. You sure have been blessed with loving parents that really wanted to make their babies happy! What a lovely sentiment to honor them in such a wonderful way! I love the Flintstones car and outfits!

Creative Breathing said...

Shirley, I can't tell you how happy I am to have found your blog again. It is simply charming beyond words! Your little Flintstone mobile is just so cute. You may not be wearing shiny shoes, but you were Queen for the Day in my book!
PS Your tags are absolutely Cute as Can Be! Thank you so very much for sharing your talent with me.