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November 28, 2014
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Before the parade passes by

New Sullivan County residents Joel and Sybil Sanchez happily watch the Jeff Fest tractor parade pass by for the very first time.
TRR photos by Jonathan Fox


As I strolled Main Street in Jeffersonville, I chatted with kids who were in strollers last year, barely able to construct a sentence. I met brand-new residents Joel and Sybil Sanchez, who appeared overjoyed with this celebration of small-town life. Observing the happy couple through the camera’s lens, I momentarily experienced the parade through their eyes. I asked if I could snap a pic of their shining faces, and they were happy to oblige. I wondered aloud as to what drew them to Sullivan County. Patting her belly, Sybil pointed to the obvious and acknowledged her impending motherhood. “We wanted a different life for our child,” Joel said, “and our priorities have changed. It’s not just about us anymore, we have future generations to consider.”

Before heading down to Callicoon Creek to capture some of the kids participating in the duck race, I glanced at my phone’s calendar and saw a reminder that my 40th high school reunion was around the corner. Forty years. Over those decades a lot of babies have entered the world, my own has grown up, and many of our loved ones have left us. Tradition dictates that I inscribe my own thoughts in the “Book of Life,” of which the Old Testament says, “even the tears of men are recorded in this book,” and “every one that shall be found written in the book… shall awake to everlasting life” (www.wikipedia.org).

I’m having second thoughts about attending the reunion. On one hand, it would be swell to see how my classmates have remained the same over the years. On the other, of course, is the chance that the obvious differences will be a shocking reminder of just how much time has elapsed and force me to look in the mirror and open the floodgates of memories, some sweet and some tinged with sorrow. During this time of reflection, I recall hearing motivational speaker Harvey Mackay’s sentiment that “Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.”

Maybe I’ll make the trip to Binghamton and my alma mater after all, and revel in the passage of time, honoring the proverbial ticking clock, before the parade passes by.