The festival lacked somewhat. Hard to make a series of "cause booths" festive. Nevertheless they were important, just few.
The crowd was so much younger. And though they wore clothes suggestive of world weariness and contempt for the norm, they still looked as though they'd spent a few hours on their hair.
The parties weren't materializing at the early hours we attended. Perhaps we were just early but we began to surmise that the in-fighting among the organizers and the limited budget was having a trickle down affect on the attenders. Those who had "been there, done that" for years were just not as evident. The young definitely prevailed.
The crew did a great job on our over-the-top-for-a-politician-but-why-not-for-Pride convertible. Those gathered to escort our candidate down the parade route numbered over 20 and the average age wasn't much over that as well. They screamed and portioned out the beads with relish.
I had a good time. I didn't have the best time I've ever had. At the end, I determined why.
I wasn't with the reason for my pride. Sure, I'm thrilled my candidate would rather the government stay out of the bedrooms. But, in many ways, I was working this parade, not experiencing it as I had in years gone by.
And my guys were in the crowd, not by my side. Oh, Roger was there and the best moment of the evening came as we made our way back to the cars. I was taking him to his and trying to maneuver traffic and simply reached for his hand.
"I'm proud to call you friend, my dear," I said. "No, I'm proud to call you family."
And with that we parted.
Others made their way to more parties and the kind of craziness that is usually associated with this parade. I went home and took a hot bath.