On the issues that matter in Malone NY (USA)

A Real Parade!

Malone needs to do something about its abysmal parades!

Malone’s idea of a parade is to assemble every cop car and fire engine it can muster, tell them to turn on their sirens and hideous strobe lights, then slow-walk this ear-splitting, mind-numbing racket down Main St.

To call this cacophonous spectacle “lame” is to be kind.

Nor surprisingly, one can count the number of onlookers on two hands. Maybe three.

Drum roll, please!

Here is a real parade!


. . . with thanks to Suzanne Zerbe

Mayor Dumas and Supervisor Stewart: Get a grip !

“I myself, like others of my generation, was born in an age which has already perished. At my death I will look my last upon a nation which, save for some linguistic continuity, will seem increasingly alien and remote. It will be as though I peered upon my youth through misty centuries. I will not be merely old; I will be a genuine fossil embedded in onrushing man-made time before my actual death."

8 thoughts on “A Real Parade!”

  1. I’ve only recently become aware of your website, or I would have commented on this post closer to when it was written. I’m wondering if you have ever watched the parade of lights that has been put on every year in the village for the last four years? I think you’d find a little more of what you’re looking for. Various businesses, individuals, and yes, local fire departments and police departments decorate their vehicles, floats, etc., in lights and parade down Elm St and Raymond St, before ending at the Fairgrounds where they light the big Christmas tree.

    My husband, children and I did a float last year for our snowcross team, and it was a blast! The crowds up and down the streets in their cars and on the sidewalks were impressive, to say the least. I would definitely recommend checking it out on December 4th!

    Editor’s response: Hmmm, why didn’t I now about this? Trish, thank for enlightening me! I’ll see you on December 4th, my dear.

  2. That was fantastic, I smiled while sitting alone at lunch.

    I agree about the local parades, not as inspiring as the ones from yesteryear. I wish I would have been at this phase of my life (with my family) back when my mother was young. My mom occasionally tells me of the shenanigans my uncles would get into and the elaborate floats they would make for Hopkinton’s parade. They would make large unicycles and ride them as well as assembling unique floats which would be amazing (according to my mother).

    People just don’t do the things they used to, partly due to lack of funding, time, or volunteers.

    I think there are still a lot of good family-oriented folks who just plain do not have the time/money.

    Loved the video!

  3. Amazing.
    Lovely piece!!!
    Love the Eiseley quote.
    Thank you, Calvin.
    As ever, the presentation of your thoughts and ideas is stellar.
    Will circulate this.


  4. Calvin, I could read you forever, why…because you care.

    Interesting, I just started reading Loren Eiseley again.

  5. You forgot to include the tow trucks normally in the Malone parades. And, if we’re lucky, we might even get one band (Chateaugay High School).

    Editor’s reply: By golly, you’re right! Forgive my omission.

    As you can see from her comment, below, Andrea is prickly on the subject. She’s doing a terrific job as mayor; I have argued this consistently in these pages. The job is huge. Unfortunately, it does not leave her time to focus on–what to call it–amenities?

    For months I attended village board meetings. It’s all business business business. (I exaggerate, albeit slightly.) The sewage treatment plant is a suppurating sore: endless problems. Building a new DPW garage is problematic and frighteningly costly. (I would have recommended that the village have a contractor like Michael Lashomb look over the old DPW garage and see about repairing it at a fraction of the cost of building this new “facility” at the sewage treatment plant. But I knew I would be wasting my breath.)

    Then there’s T-Mobile, that tried to sneak in 5G on the village water tower, and Liberty (!) Utilities, that is laying natural gas lines throughout the village as we speak. If I may digress for a few moments, the mayor and board should have consulted the community on natural gas before finalizing its contract with Liberty, for gas lines are a major hazard. Yeah, Kaboom! Besides, Liberty is financially shaky, as revealed in documents filed with the NYS Public Service Commission. (Liberty’s predecessor, St. Lawrence Gas, went bankrupt, even after taking several $ million in subsidies from the then-stupid Franklin and St. Lawrence County legislatures. Liberty has taken on SLG’s debt. If Liberty goes under, the village is going to be stuck with all its junk hardware and a lot of pissed off customers who have to retool their furnaces.) Moreover, laying gas lines damages trees, since these people bore through masses of tree roots.

    There is also the question of how many people are going to sign up for natural gas instead of propane and heating fuel. RCM conducted a door-to-door survey of potential natural gas customers at the west end of Main Street (yeah, all those businesses out there) and discovered that virtually none were interested, and yet Andy Stewart welcomed them with open arms. In response to what appear to be DOA (Dead on Arrival) contracts with west end businesses, Liberty is now hawking its expensive product throughout the village while refusing requests to share evidence of residential contracts for public scrutiny. Something smells bad in all this! (For reasons I won’t go into here, natural gas rates are frighteningly volatile, and there is no room to negotiate prices.)

    Anyhow, you see my point. Andrea and the board have had to wrestle with Liberty, T-Mobile, a chronically ill sewage treatment plant, a DPW department that is homeless and leaderless (the mayor has tried to find a competent replacement for the last DPW Supervisor, without luck), there is a constant barrage of state mandates, and so on.

    Frankly, I don’t know how to fix all this. Malone is the most dispirited (non-spirited?) community I’ve ever lived in. City Hall has a tradition of simply paying the bills, rolling over for state directives (municipal home rule is a thing of the past), and being stymied by a dead downtown historic district (more aptly named the downtown business cemetery, now wrapped in a laughable canvas shroud claiming that Lazarus is really truly gonna rise from the dead), a dead hotel, a dead dump in the middle of the village, dead housing owned by absentee slumlords, and more slouching hoodie welfare deadbeats per square foot than is our fair share.

    Andrea is struggling to change this, but she’s battling decades of inertia. I have hectored and cajoled this community in these pages for many years, to no avail. Instead, my neighbors and I on Clay St. have managed to create a real community and something beautiful. When the barbarians from Liberty Gas announced they were going to tear up our medians and maim our trees with their ridiculous gas lines, the mayor and board–God bless them!–stood up to them and had them re-route their lines. (Yeah, it was a battle. The mayor and board did well!)

    As I say, I’ve run out of suggestions. These embarrassingly absurd parades accomplish little more than confirm Malone’s pitiful state.


  6. Carolyn M White

    After a horrible week and weekend that was non-stop, I was hoping for the new week to be far better. The picture of this parade gives me hope! I don’t know if it will loosen up and perk up the parade agendas in Malone, but it sure has started my week off on the right note.

    Thank you!

  7. Good morning Calvin,

    BEFORE you tell me to get a GRIP, why don’t you talk to me? Stop always attacking people because the event or the outcome is not what you want.

    I’m happy to support the perfect parade, organize one. We all would love to have perfect parades, perfect streets, beautiful flowers, perfect people doing the right thing. What we do have is people working in a community that does struggle, but we all keep trying.

    The senior parade that strolled down Main Street on Saturday was not the perfect parade for you, but it was for parents, family, friends, and the community getting together to celebrate the senior class. Malone is not perfect, but we are a community that does try hard.

    A lot of people work hard together and support each other. We will come out and support your parade if you wish to put one on.

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