Visiting deer, patriotic concerts and splendid drummers


On June 18, a young deer hopped the fence in my back yard and stumbled into the grass. It seemed as though she had been running – maybe crossing the highway.

I was going to feed the birds, so I told her that and just chatted a few minutes. She wasn’t spooked or anything – just watched me with her ears perked up. This was at noon. She lay down by a tree and had quite a long rest because she was still there at 1 p.m. When I took another look at 2 p.m., she was gone; such a nice encounter. I hope she made it to a safe spot.

When I was a kid, there were few houses in my neighborhood. We just had little groves of trees everywhere and winding dirt roads. It was the best of times; it was the worst of times, ha! The next day, the little deer brought a friend so there were two creatures in my yard, but they didn’t stay long. After moseying around, chewing on some vegetation and leaving solid evidence of their having called, they left again. I had one more visit of a lone female the next day, and then she moved on. At least they didn’t eat my roses.

On July 3, I attended the patriotic concert in Astoria with friends Alvis, Leila and Helen. It was the North Coast Symphonic Band at the Liberty Theater, conducted by Dave Becker. (You know conductor watching is one of my favorite parts of any concert.) They opened with the “Star Spangled Banner” and advancement of the colors by a veteran from Post 12 of the American Legion. The only jarring note was that a young people didn’t know enough to stand and salute when the flag passed by. Even some adults were also ignorant, but they were enthusiastic about the music.

The anthem was sung by soloist Deac Guidi. Ordinarily, I detest the practice because of what they can do to the song, but he sang in strict tempo and didn’t try to make it a ballad. It was perfect.

There was an entertaining program of Sousa marches, opera, recitations, a marvelous trumpet solo by Joan Paddock and a few sing-a-longs of the service songs from the Army to the song of the Merchant Marine, which I had never heard before. It was really pretty. The finale was the “Stars and Stripes Forever,” played as perfectly as I’ve ever heard it, with three piccolos!

On July Fourth, I walked over to 10th Avenue and Holladay Drive to watch the parade at 11 a.m. It’s getting better and better.

There were police officers on motorcycles; dogs; puppies; a horse in the middle of the parade (not bringing up the rear with shovels); fire trucks; the trolley car full of TOPS participants, who should have walking to lose weight; old cars; contestants for various pageants; and ending with the Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps that played “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”— my favorite all-time piece of music.

It was a grand parade with many more entries, and we thank everyone who took part. In the afternoon we went to Broadway Park for the drum and bugle corps performances. How wonderfully thrilling they were! Each of them — the Oregon Crusaders from Portland, Eruption, The Columbians and the Santa Clara Vanguard — was a superb group of interaction among the drums, bugles and drill teams with flags. The Vanguard, especially was back and forth, in and out in perfect precision.

I’d call it splendor in the grass. It should have been splendor on the artificial turf. They were downright hair-raising. Seaside was so fortunate to have had this wonderful show.

Q: What do you name a camel without a hump?

A: Humphrey.

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