I just have a lot to say.
November 5th, 2014 by

Priceless Pics of My Pretty Peeps at the Peanut Parade


The parade route still went north on Foster, turned right at the old Houston Hotel, and proceeded south down Saint Andrews. Perhaps my sisters were old enough to drive. They were at least old enough to participate with peers. I was in a pickle. Mama was too pooped to plow through the plentiful crowd, and Daddy was back peddling.

“Do you want me to call the Pitmans and see if you can go with them? How about Becky or Evelyn? Are they going?”

“If I can’t go with you, I don’t want to go.”

“Lemme get my hat.”

The Southeast Alabama Community Theater had just performed its first play, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, starring my friend Sandi’s mom, Jo Peterson. She was a passenger on the SEACT float. Daddy hollered, “Are you down yet, Molly?!” She piped back, “NOT YET!”

I remember Kenny Rogers posing in a convertible. Possibly, it’s a phony memory. If so, please don’t reprimand it. I prefer to keep it.

NPF - float
Mama (on left) as Miss Newton (1952)
Mama Byrd made Mama’s pageant dress, displayed on our playroom wall.
sisters at parade

“The parade was fun for two smiling sisters, Angie (left) and Starla King. The daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Phillip King, 1304 Decatur St., used a coat against the chilly morning air,” stated the Sunday Dothan Eagle (1965).


My cousin, Brittany Shepard Pugh, rockin’ her Byrd blood (2005)

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Rowdy Boltons (and Halla and Jordan Lee) make everything, well, rowdier (2005).

NPF - Abby

Abby marched with Northview High School band from 2008-2011.

She did not march with an instrument, because she played the marimba.

NPF - Emma

Emma and Briana sold concessions for FBC youth

to raise money for summer missions for a half dozen years or more.

Phillip for blog

Phillip’s first parade (November 9, 2013)

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Katy and Jeremy came to cheer for Phillip!


In 1977, particular personnel at Dothan City Schools pondered how to penalize the upcoming 8th graders. They purposefully changed the present junior high schools to middle schools and put all the kids who had finally arrived in the big league back with the babies.

Although my classmates and I are still perturbed over this puddin-head decision, that’s not the year that this post is set. This story takes place in that practically perfect 7th grade year. (7th and 11th were my 2 favorite grades, and not just because they rhyme.)

Mama pressed her babies to perform with the band in junior high. She permitted us to our own preferences regarding high school, pending our knowledge of an instrument. So, there I perched in 7th grade Beginner Band at Girard Junior High School. We had skills tests and theory tests and competed for first chair.

Most importantly, we partook in a primo competition. GJHS provided 2 classes of Beginner Band. The student who possessed the highest cumulative points in each period was picked to portage the pennant for the 8th and 9th grade Advanced Band in the National Peanut Festival parade. I pronounced spit spot that if I had to be in the band, by golly, I would be proudly prancing in the procession.

I pulled it off! Alan Lopez procured the other spot. We both played alto sax, and neither of us pursued our saxophone potential post Girard. The parade premiered on West Main Street that year. We passed right by my church.

Here’s the pathetic part of the parable: I don’t have a picture. It was my prized parade appearance, and I have no proof.

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But I’ve got one of Bradley.


One Response to “Priceless Pics of My Pretty Peeps at the Peanut Parade”
  1. What a great post, Celeste! Your family definitely has some deep roots in the Peanut Festival. No doubt, this heritage will be passed on through your three children..

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