I've been out of town. Way out of town. I spent Thanksgiving with an old, dear friend of mine who lives outside Charlottesville, Virginia. It's a long drive, but worth the effort.
We spent Thanksgiving morning taking the bird out of the oven to baste every hour or so and watched the Macy's Day Parade. No, that's not a misprint or a typo, I said the Macy's Day Parade. Let's face it, Macy's has a lock on it. If they bailed out, what would you do on Thanksgiving morning? Watch the Target Day Parade? Wal-Mart?
No, it's been The Macy's Day Parade since "Miracle on 34th Street" premiered in 1947. The parade is actually 80 years old (this year), but Macy's didn't take possession of the day until the movie came out. That's when mothers all over America started calling it "The Macy's Day Parade". "Turn on the tv" they'd yell from countless kitchens... "the Macy's Day Parade is coming on!"
And sure enough, it did.
Oh, in olden times it had some ostensible competition. I remember something from Detroit called "The Hudson Parade" and, of course, Philadelphia had "The Gimbel's Parade", but they were pale imitations of the real-deal... The Macy's Day Parade, with it's floats and clowns and marching bands from just about every high school in the U.S., not to mention THE FABULOUS ROCKETTES! And what little gay guy, stuck in some hickburg with a name like "Dead Cow" or "East Jesus", parked in front of the 13" black and white, donned only in his Davy Crockett coonskin hat and pjs, didn't want to grow up to be one of those? WHY, NONE!!!!
So, here's a great big thanks to you, Macy's Department Store! Thanks for the memories, thanks for the parades, thanks for Thanksgiving but most of all thanks for giving little gay guys like me all over the country something to dream about and something to hope for.
God bless us, everyone!