Of Homesickness, Holidays, and Horses

Funeral director Jim Meng drives the old, wagon-style hearse from Anderson Poindexter Funeral Home each year in the parade. | Photo courtesy of Sue Ann Preble

Most people who know me know that I don’t get homesick. I’ve just never been the type to miss home.

I’m extremely close with all of my family, and I always miss them when I’m away; however, they know I’m doing what I love and what I need to do to be happy. It makes it much easier.

This weekend is going to be a lot different though. In my nearly 25 years, there has only been one summer when my family wasn’t home for the Fourth, but we were still together.

I know I will have a good holiday with friends here in Colorado, but I’m already looking forward to next year’s Fourth of July.

In my little hometown, the Fourth is a celebration akin to Christmas and Thanksgiving combined.

There are approximately 6,000 people who call Linton, Indiana, home, but on the Fourth of July this little town hosts the largest parade in all of Indiana.

However, it’s not just the festivities that make the Fourth special. Every year, my family and friends get together to eat ham, enjoy one another’s company, watch the parade, and take in the fireworks show.

The parade hasn’t changed much throughout the years, but that doesn’t mean it’s lost its allure. Marching bands from local schools perform (a task I looked forward to with a strange combination of dread and excitement); a local Indiana Representative dons his Elvis costume and sings along the parade route; all the local companies put together floats; and, my favorite part, the horses!

Every year since I can remember, horses have been a part of the parade. As a youngster, I couldn’t wait until the end when teams of miniature horses pulled carts, massive draft teams pulled wagons, riders decorated their horses in patriotic duds, and an occasional trick rider would cue his horse to rear. There is even a local funeral home that gives a salute to the old days with their team of Percherons that pull an old, wagon-style hearse.

It’s sad to say, but I’ve noticed that the horse involvement in the parade has declined throughout the years. I look forward to the day when the horses make a comeback. For a little girl who didn’t get to see horses all that often, I couldn’t wait for that part of the parade!

So Coloradans, if you see me moping around Denver this weekend, be sure to say hi! You just might make my weekend better!

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