We've spawned a new race here, Mr. Dickinson. Rougher, simpler; more violent, more enterprising; less refined. We're a new nationality. We require a new nation.
- Howard da Silva as Ben Franklin, 1776
Every year, the small town of Johnson, nestled in the rolling hills of the Palouse region in far eastern Washington state, holds a 4th of July parade that attracts visitors from all over the region that far outnumber its normal population of around 200.
They don't do it for money. Other than a breakfast and a barbecue held later in the day, there's nowhere for visitors to spend their money. They don't have any corporate sponsors. There are no fancy floats or big marching bands. The folks in Johnson do it strictly out of love of country and community.
The parade started nearly 4 decades ago when Johnson residents started decorating farm equipment as floats and drove them up and down the road while neighbors watched from their front lawns.
Now there are beauty queens, horses, classic automobiles, Boy Scouts, and politicans...
...lots and lots of politicans (State Senator Mark Schoesler (R-Ritzville) and State Representative Joe Schmick (R-Colfax)...
...all the things that make a good parade. But the Johnson parade still maintains it's funky, "come as you are feel."
Many parades have fire trucks. But there are not many parades where the fire trucks douse the crowd with water.
The crowd does fight back with water guns.
And the crazy farm equipment is still around.
Including a car split in two with both halves still driving.
The Johnson parade epitomizes everything that da Silva's Franklin said. We are rougher, simpler, more violent, more enterprising, and less refined. We're Americans. I wouldn't have it any other way.
God bless you, and God bless the United States of America!