Memorial Day in a small town


Jessica Lewis

I live in one of the smaller towns in Chenango County. While Otselic is far from the smallest town, (we’ve got German, McDonough and a few others beat) it’s a far cry from the larger areas like Norwich, Greene or Sherburne and the events that take place there.

Still, there is nothing like life in a small town, especially during Memorial Day weekend. Most people have probably seen their share of Memorial Day parades, but unless you’ve been to a small town like Otselic for one of these events, you haven’t fully experienced the day.

On Monday morning, I drove to South Otselic for the annual parade. As always, I, along with the rest of those in attendance, picked out a prime spot on one of the lawns along the main stretch of road in the middle of town. (No one seems to mind this intrusion onto their properties.)

Parked in a truck along the parade route was the emcee of all Otselic Valley events, James Dutton. It’s a well known fact that any event in the valley requiring an announcer, will be handled by Mr. Dutton, including sporting events, parades and whatever else may come up. None of these events would be the same without him.

The parade may not contain a ton of floats or marchers. In fact, it is usually made up of a few fire trucks, some groups of people marching, the school band and some ATVs. Occassionally we also see some tractors, horses or other animals. It might not seem like a lot, but I doubt there is another town in the world where the emcee can announce that the next truck will be driven by someone named “Oatmeal” and everyone in attendance knows exactly who to expect.

It might not have the glitz and glamor of some of the larger events, but it’s the little things that make me enjoy life in a small town.