Commentary, Local Commentary, Uncategorized

Editor’s Editorial: The Wondrous Rain on Our Parade 

Yes, it’s true. For the first time in over three decades, the annual Falls Church Memorial Day Parade and Festival, the biggest event of the year in the Little City, got rained upon, and heavily. As photos from the event by Gary Mester in this edition document, it wasn’t just a sprinkle. There were more than one heavy downpours that got everyone plenty wet. But, on the other hand, the temperature was mild, unlike some real roasters in the past, including just last year.

Folks can judge for themselves when the video of the parade gets edited and prepared for repeat showings on the Falls Church Cable Access channels (11 for Cox, 31 for Verizon and 2 for RCN). But trust us, Mother Nature, and not the South Jersey Shore Mermaid, Bolivian dancers or the Shriner putt-putts was the headliner item in this year’s parade. Mother Nature even eclipsed Harry Shovlin’s moving annual memorial service in front of the Community Center, as it was completed before the rains came around 2 p.m.

And so be it. The heavy rain did not diminish one iota of the amazing spectacle of this special day. If anything, it was made more memorable by the intervention from the heavens. Nobody drowned. Nobody melted.  

For our soaked owner/editor, riding in the FCNP’s signature forest green Mustang convertible with managing editor Nick Gatz, his daughter, Emmy, and writer Charlie Clark, it was reminiscent of the summer of 1991. Only months into this newspaper’s first year, on the spur of the moment, he and Danny O’Brien decided on a quick road trip to Manhattan for one of the famous Concerts on the Lawn in Central Park featuring Luciano Pavarotti. After Pavarotti’s first song, there was a lightning and a great clap in the skies, and an unrelenting gushing thunderstorm proceeded to wash out the event, entirely. Thousands of folks who’d laid out picnics to watch had to flee the torrent, and after an hour the concert was called off. But to our heroes, the whole thing was a blast. They sat as others fled and only long after it was postponed did they make their way to the car with a long, wet, happy drive home.

For our team this year, including Kylee Toland, Brian Reach and intern Catherine Kane manning the FCNP booth, it was another wonderful occasion to happily interact directly with many of our readers, including tons of little ones probably a season or two from being able to read the paper for themselves. 

We are reminded of the great hit song from the Woodstock festival of 1969, when Melanie Salka became an overnight star with her rendering of “Lay Down, Candles in the Rain,” a classic homage to the rain that not only ceased to deter that historic concert, but more, in fact, blessed it from on high as a great inflection point for peace and beautiful music in that, our nation’s troubled era.