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Parade in Austintown was so sweet



Published: Fri, July 8, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

By David Skolnick (Contact)


On the side

Parallel universe: The federal government sometimes operates in a parallel universe.

That became apparent when I received a call from a federal agency official.

I was offered information for an article about Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams being appointed by the president as the executive director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, also called the auto czar.

But the story came with conditions.

I could write an article to be posted on the newspaper’s website at 6 a.m. Wednesday, but it couldn’t be in the print edition until Thursday. No flexibility and no negotiations, even though most Vindicator subscribers don’t see the paper any earlier than 6 a.m.

So there was a lengthy article on Vindy.com on Wednesday and nothing in The Vindicator until the next day.

I was standing next to a guy with a beagle waiting for the Austintown Fourth of July Parade to start, who asked, “You’re going to write about this, aren’t you?”

Ahh, a fan — or at least someone who knows I write about the parade every year.

The Austintown parade is an event my family has enjoyed every year since we moved here in 1995. We’ve gone in the pouring rain and in the hot sun — and ate wet and melted candy.

It’s my favorite political event.

It turned out to be a hot day. Mahoning County Commissioner Anthony Traficanti was wearing black dress pants and walked the parade route. He looked a bit warm and I was glad I didn’t have to shake his hand as I’m sure it was a bit sweaty.

A word of advice to Traficanti, who should know better, and others in summer parades: shorts are OK.

All right, on to the candy!

Throwing candy at parades is as American as illegally shooting off expensive fireworks making your neighborhood look and sound like a war zone.

For some reason, it’s become tradition for some parade participants to throw as much candy at me as possible. It’s also a tradition for the Austintown trustees to throw as much candy at me as possible.

Trustee Jim Davis was the first to spot me, yelled my name, and Trustees David Ditzler and Lisa Oles and Fiscal Officer Michael Kurish threw what seemed like thousands of miniature Tootsie Rolls at me and my family.

The smiles on their faces made me think they enjoy this annual ritual.

My wife got a mini to the top of her head. Among the few that hit me included one that got me in a tooth.

When the candy drive-by concluded, there was a hill of mini-Tootsie Rolls at our feet. We [mostly me] ate well for 15 minutes.

People standing nearby gave us strange looks. My wife explained the situation, which didn’t seem to satisfy them as the distance between us and them grew a little bit wider as the parade continued.

State Rep. Ronald V. Gerberry threw Dum Dum pops to the crowd. He spotted me and threw a handful in my direction, nearly taking out an eye. Not really, but it could have happened.

I casually mentioned in last week’s column certain candies I like.

The Mahoning County Republican Party made up a nice bag of many of my favorites and hand-delivered it to me. With such attention to detail, I have a feeling the Republicans are going to make a huge impact in next year’s election.

A volunteer for U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan gave me a gigantic bag filled with about two pounds of assorted candy. It was so full that the handle ripped.

A day later, Ryan told me he did it to get his name in my column, though I suspect the volunteer, who I know, was more responsible for the candy than the congressman.

My lone complaint is there was soft toffee candy and some bad-flavored Dum Dum pops in the bag.

At least it wasn’t thrown at me. I put the not-so-good candy into The Vindicator newsroom candy jar, but don’t tell anyone.


Comments

1author50(1121 comments)posted 3 years ago

With all due respect - Anthony Traficanti in shorts?!

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2pgurney(266 comments)posted 3 years ago

I have to laugh. Once in a while you do come out with quite an entertaining article, David. This was definitely one of them.

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3Adams(14 comments)posted 3 years ago

State Rep. Ronald V. Gerberry threw Dum Dum pops to the crowd. He spotted me and threw a handful in my direction, nearly taking out an eye. Not really, but it could have happened.

Ha Tish......Why do some politicians give candy that is named so close to them!

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4jrolley325(784 comments)posted 3 years ago

i always thought the candy was supposed to be for the kids. then why was i next to a 60-some year old guy standing in front of all the kids holding his bag open? his game was this: he would let the little kids grab the "small stuff" such as tootsie rolls and bubble gum as to appear to not look like a jackass, but the minute somebody threw out something bigger, he'd be the first to jump on it before any of the kids even had a chance. this guy even jumped in front of a 9-10 year old kid to catch a bottle of water that was meant for the kid. took every ounce of my strength not to slug that guy in the face.

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5DavidSkolnick(49 comments)posted 3 years ago

Jrolley,

Agreed. I always let the kids, particularly the little ones, get candy before me. But if none are around or if I'm pelted with it and it lands by my feet, I'm going to eat it - if it's the good stuff.

I've also seen "adults" grab candy from kids. Not a nice thing.

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6isaac45(261 comments)posted 2 years, 12 months ago

a war zone exactly...austintown over the fourth is baghdad at bush's height, a living hell

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