Friday, August 10, 2007

One Edinburg Answer, More Edinburg Questions

Location: Edinburg, VA

As with many places on the eastern seaboard, the weather here has been hot and humid, resulting in late afternoon thunderstorms -- some severe. I have learned that, in unfamiliar locations, having the weather radio on is not enough -- you must also know what COUNTY you are currently sitting in, or listening to the weather reports becomes frustrating and useless. So one of my first duties when I get into a new city is to put the county name on a sticky note along with the zip code (useful for finding things on the Internet) and stick it next to the desk.

Yesterday, a fairly violent storm rolled through in the late afternoon, with lots of thunder, lightening and rain. The weather forecast said we might several
waves of storms during the day, so I made sure the weather radio was on in case something Really Bad was happening. Sure enough, a little later my weather radio alarm went off showing a tornado warning, but it was not for this county (Shenandoah). Still, worth staying alert. About five minutes later, I heard some rolling thunder and then sirens started going off all around us! I remember tornado sirens from growing up in Michigan, and this sounded pretty similar. Plus, they didn't stop right away.

So I ran outside, but there was no menacing dark cloud anywhere near, just normal rain clouds and a very light drizzle. The campground owner
was walking by, so I asked him if those were warning sirens and he said ... (insert drum roll here).... it was THE PARADE beginning! The kickoff for the Fireman's Carnival that would be at the "new school"! If you remember from an earlier post, there were no-parking-parade-route signs up, but no evidence of a parade.

I rushed to the street and found the evidence moving down Main Street. There were loads of firetrucks, all whoop-whooping, woo-eeeing, and beep-beeping. There were ambulances, trucks and tractors. There were slowly moving cars with local dignitaries diligently waving at the onlookers, and Little-Miss-Something-Or-Others looking girly and cute. There were happy throngs of Edinburgians (see photo), eagerly watching the firetrucks, tractors, dignitaries, and their young 'uns stuffed into cheerleadery outfits, twirling and dropping batons while trying, and sometimes succeeding, to all be on the same foot. It was a hell of a show.

Edinburg Watertower Update: I searched up and down Highway 81 for the infamous Edinburg Watertower to no avail. As one of Edinburg's main attractions, you'd think it would be easy to find (the other attraction, the library, was a snap)! Finally on my way home yesterday, I topped a hill... and there it was. Or at least there the very top of it was. I drove in and around Edinburg for what seemed like an eternity trying to find a location to get a picture of it, and I haven't been able to do that yet. The roads are twisty, and you can only see it from certain vantage points. But I'm narrowing it down! I may also be getting a deeper understanding of what drives the locals to put their water tower on a pedestal, so to speak -- more later.

While I was driving around looking for the water tower, I thought I'd find the "new school" and check out the carnival. Now Edinburg has two main streets, and a few assorted side streets, but it really isn't big enough to hide both a water tower AND a school, but yet there we are. I can't find it. Edinburg is a town of many secrets.

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