The Doo Dah Parade helper signaled to Lafayette Hight, who was driving the Official Entourage car and he manuevered it into parade position. Tom Webb started up my convertible and Atticus sat up. We were finally rollilng – slowly, but we were moving!
There are no words to explain the mix of feelings that hit you when you take that first long look down the parade route. It’s a blend of excitement, happiness and fear. There were so many people lining the streets and they were cheering and waving. It was surreal.
As we made our way down the road, I was able to pick out some people that I know- my mother, waving just like she did to see my school bus off each morning, the well-known society columnist Patt Dirrol standing fittingly in front of Tiffany’s, my dear friend from high school, Russ Kriegel and his friend Mark, standing in front of Victoria’s Secret (woo hoo), one of my most favorite co-workers Grace Reaza, plus another colleague cutie Todd Ruiz and so many others!
Also along the way were many of my readers. How would I know that? you ask. Well, they were holding up the newspaper with my photo in it and waving it at me! Wow! Now that’s an honor befitting of a Queen!
As we passed a balcony full of people, they cheered and tossed mardi gras beads down toward me. “These are for the Queen!” they yelled. And my faithful followers picked up the beads and passed them to me. It would be too involved to remove my crown, so I wound the beads around Atti’s neck. He beamed, happy to be in the middle of everything.
Then the tortillas and marshmallows came flying past and at us. Atticus was a pro. He sat serenly by my side watching the incoming edibles without flinching. More intriguing was Nikki the cockatoo, who was also in the car. She was extremely calm and looked at all the things in the air as if to say, “That’s your best aim?”
Time to time I would throw a marshmallow or tortilla back at the crowd with a big grin. I wanted to let them know that I was in on the fun. I managed to catch one tortilla and its thrower asked me to send it back. I planted a big red lipstick kiss on it and handed it to Deb, one of my ladies-in-waiting, to return to its rightful owner.
I waved and blew kisses and smiled until everything hurt.. and continued waving, blowing kisses and smiling. All the way down the route.
Then I saw the end nearing. “It’s almost over,” I sighed.
Sir Ben of the Arts took my hand. “My Lady, it’s not over, it’s merely the beginning of another chapter of your life,” he said.
I had to agree.
At the end of the route the cars had to go one way, with the walkers going another. We hoped to meet up at Memorial Park or the after-party. To find out who showed up and to see some of the fun, come back tomorrow….