Sunday, July 4, 2010

July 4th Parade

Elgin, IL July 4th Parade Jazz Float

On Saturday we (Ellen, my brother Stewart, Jerry and Maggie Hochburger (Maggie is my brother's ex-wife and mother of my nephews and nieces), my nephew Daniel, nieces Rebecca and Suzanne, nephew Peter and his wife Lori) all went to the Elgin, IL July 4th parade -- a 2-hour affair which included a local jazz club-sponsored float that featured Ryan McQuen and Tristan Crockett (my great-nephews) and Dennis McQuen (Ryan's dad, my niece Suzanne's husband) playing jazz. The parade was a real celebration of the diversity of Elgin as a community, with veterans' groups, peace groups, day-care centers, senior centers, martial arts, librarians, many ethnic groups and races, loads of politicians (including Illinois governor, Pat Quinn, who shook Jerry's hand) -- it was great. There were ironies - like the hospital health fitness center throwing out handfuls of candies that the kids scooped up! But then everyone was throwing out candy. Kids went home with bags full of it --better than Halloween!

Jerry and Maggie, Daniel and Ellen

My brother, Stewart

After the parade, Stewart showed me some new features of downtown Elgin (one of the fastest-growing cities in Illinois with an especially burgeoning Hispanic population), and later Ellen and I took a long walk in Bartlett, IL (where Jerry and Maggie live), and in the evening the whole clan gathered for pizza and a lot of animated conversation and laughter. We love this family!

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