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CHILDREN’S COSTUME PARADE, EPHRATA, PENNSYLVANIA, 1961

Children's Costume Parade

The Rose Parade, each New Year’s Day, is the superstar of all parades. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a distant second. They are the only annual parades that are broadcast on national television. But they are just two of countless annual parades held in communities across America. And going through other peoples’ old slides I’ve seen plenty of them. But I’ve never run across slides from a parade as bizarre as this one, which leads me to this week’s slide: CHILDREN’S COSTUME PARADE, EPHRATA, PENNSYLVANIA, 1961.

Mothers parade their costumed babies and small children in decorated strollers and wagons down Main Street. This child is anonymous, hidden inside a home-made paper mache Humpty Dumpty costume. The onlookers are mesmerized. Can he see? Can he breathe? Does he have claustrophobia? Is he secure? – he’s leaning back a bit – or is he going to fall off the wall that looks more like a chimney

Many nursery rhymes are scary. They are strange and full of doom. Humpty Dumpty – the name alone is really quite odd if you think about it. And then he falls off the wall and is destroyed. In Rock-a-Bye Baby the baby and the cradle fall from the treetop – ouch! In Jack and Jill, Jack falls down and breaks his crown and Jill comes tumbling after. Serious injury is a theme! Can you think of any other tragic nursery rhymes?

Here’s to you, Humpty Dumpty and all the other nursery rhymes misfits and mishaps.

I’ve never run across slides from a parade as bizarre as this one, which leads me to this week’s slide: CHILDREN’S COSTUME PARADE, EPHRATA, PENNSYLVANIA, 1961.Mothers parade their costumed babies and small children in decorated strollers and wagons down Main Street.