From Red Righter . . .
Cuffs was in an extra pleasant mood at the North Street Hotel over this past weekend. His lined face that usually held a firm scowl offered a slight hint of a smile. And maybe there was a little bit of a leprechaun glint in his dull gray eyes.
“What’s with the good mood?” I asked, slipping into his booth. “Whaddaya mean?’ he snapped, reverting to form. I mentioned he seemed in good spirits. In fact, he reminded me of a little kid, excited about a circus coming to town. “Not a circus,” he replied, “a parade.”
“They’re having a parade on Main Street? When? Today?” “Nah. Tuesday night,” Cuffs said, taking a sip of his beverage. “I missed the last one, but I’m sure as all get out, not going to miss this one. Ya know, I love a parade.”
As often occurred with Cuffs, his cryptic remarks caused a bit of confusion. Even if there were going to be a parade, it would traditionally be held during the day. Probably around high noon, so it could attract the big crowds in downtown Elkton—when visiting tourists and local shoppers were at their peak. Oh, okay, I guess I was thinking about North East. Anyway, I needed more details to process Cuffs’ latest clue.
“What parade?” I asked. Looking at me like I needed a brain transplant, he calmly replied, “The Firemen’s Parade, you nitwit. They’re the best kind. You get to see those big, monster, gas guzzling trucks. The pumpers, hook and ladders, ambulances. When they stop and park, you can climb all over those suckers. I most of all love a fireman’s parade.”
I still didn’t know the where and when and why.
“On Tuesday night, at the new County Building. When they’re supposed to vote on that sprinkler thing you been writing about. Don’t you do your homework? Last month, when they had the public comments meeting about the sprinklers, they had a huge parade with loads of trucks. It was bigger than most of the street parades they have at the summer carnivals.”
Finally, I understood. There were trucks. Lots of fire trucks, surrounding the county building . . . .