Although they were involved in many serious pursuits (such as saving lives and running the town), they also had a fun — and some might say mischievous — side. In fact, Jr. admitted always being “up to something!” One of the events they enjoyed organizing the most was the annual Broadway Firemen’s Parade.
Folks in Broadway never quite know what to expect when they attended the Firemen’s Parade. There was, of course, the traditional bandwagon pulled by a team of horses. This process was not as simple as it sounds. They would have to put the wagon wheels in the creek for a week so they would soak up water and swell up big enough to use. On one occasion, the bandwagon wheels swelled too big to cross the bridge into Broadway. Fortunately, there was time to allow the wheels to dry out and deflate a bit before the day of the parade.
One particular parade in the late 1940’s literally left spectators with their mouths agape. The Grand Marshall of the parade was none other than the famous King of the Bull Whip, Lash Larue!
Sometimes Mother Nature cooperated with the parade, and sometimes she didn’t. Once Jr. had arranged for skydivers to jump from a plane and surprise the spectators. There were surprises that day, but not exactly the ones on the agenda. The wind blew the stuntmen past Broadway, west to Cootes Store. Jr. and Betty had to follow the off-course divers and drive them, unceremoniously, back to town.
Broadway residents still enjoy two parades each year: the Homecoming Parade in October and the Christmas Parade in December. The bands still play (although not from a bandwagon), the floats still dazzle and the fire engines roar, but we would all be pleasantly surprised if, by chance, a rope twirling cowboy or an amazing stuntman would happen to pass by.