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Harvest Home Fair Parade - Ohio, by CJ
Ed Monahan spearheaded the efforts to have Prowlers in the parade in Cheviot, OH. Eight Prowler owners were invited to particpate. Bob Longstreth was to be the eighth cat, bringing down the white “Iscream”, but a last minute project canceled his trip. So, I ventured down on my own! I arrived mid-afternoon at Andy’ Rapach's place of business. I was able to pull into one of his car wash bays to scrape off all the bugs that the cat couldn’t eat! Around 4:00 pm, Lee and Sue Schaeffer (Woodward), Ken Gensheimer (Yellow) and Andy’s (Black) wife Shelley and son Matt arrived. We met the remainder of the parade participants over in our staging area a few blocks over. When we arrived, Lou Stavale and niece (Orange), Ed & Sandy (Red), Kerry McManus (I hope I got the name right) (Black) and Jeff & Kathy Asman (Mulholland Blue) were already in line. Ed tells me that this is the 143rd running of the Harvest Home parade! It was such a big parade, they had everyone divided into sections. The parade ran 3 hours in order to get everyone down the parade route!!! It was awesome and I’ve never seen so many people line up for a parade like this (except Dream Cruise)! We were to be lined up and ready to roll at 6:00 pm. Well, it was 7:15 before we actually joined the parade!!! While we were waiting, it gave us time to visit with everyone and catch up on things. The float that was behind us was late in getting there due to traffic and the people who were putting it together were scrambling to finish it. It was from a church, I believe, and the woman in charge was just a bit stressed out as she was shouting instructions to everyone! They had all kinds of props strewn about on the ground, including a very large bouquet of artificial flowers. Sue, Kathy, Sandy and I were sitting on the grass watching all the activity when along came a group of people with “service” dogs who were going to be lining up in front of us. One of the dogs was a beautiful Great Dane. As he was walking by, he promptly peed on the flowers that the woman had left lying on the ground! We were laughing so hard I thought we’d roll down the hill we were sitting on!! One of the guys working on the float saw what happened and he picked them up. For some reason, he decided to smell them................wasn’t any flower fragrance he’d smelled before!!! Too funny! There was also a friend of Andy’s that showed up while we were hanging out. It was his anniversary that day. His wife and family were at the parade somewhere down the street from us. He had told his wife that he was working late and wouldn’t be able to make the parade. Instead, he’d bought a big bouquet of red roses, a balloon that said “I Love You” on it and made up a cardboard sign wishing her a Happy Anniversary. He was going to try to hitch a ride on one of the floats and jump off when he reached the place where his wife and family were sitting. So, instead, I offered him the empty seat in my Candy Cat, which of course, he took me up on!!! As we approached where she was sitting, I started honking the horn. I stopped in front of her and he got out of the car with all of his goodies for her! I think she was stunned, as at first it didn’t register with her. All of her family and friends that were with her started clapping and whooping it up! It was so great.................what a romantic guy............and what a cool thing to do!!!! The cats got a lot of cheers and thumbs ups!!! Of course, lots of people (adults, teens and kids) wanted us to “light um up!!” I’ve been collecting for a while, the Matchbox Gold Prowler diecasts and had brought a bag of about a dozen of them. I threw them to kids that I picked out along the parade route which they thought was pretty awesome!!! As we continued down the parade route, a group of young teen boys (about 13-14 years old) were standing in the street. One of them asked me if he could have a ride. I told him sure, but only for a couple of feet or so (I didn’t want any parents think I was kidnapping their kid). He said, “Not for just a couple of feet”. Another one of the boys said he would, even if it was only for a short distance. So, I let him get in and he said, “Wow! I’ve never ridden in a Prowler before!” He really got into it and was waving to all his friends!! He told me that his dad was sitting along the parade route almost at the end and could he ride that far. I said sure. When we got to where his father was sitting, I started honking the horn again and got his Dad’s attention. His Dad’s jaw dropped and shouted to him.......”how did you get in the parade?” The kid said, “I just asked this lady for a ride and she said yes!”. At that point, his Dad was laughing and he got out of the car. As he walked away, he said, “Thanks! You made my day”! Most of us went to dinner after the parade and it gave us a chance to visit some more! It was great seeing all of the owners again and the parade was awesome! Another great Prowler outing!!!

Click On Images To Enlarge

  Andy Rapach's Black Cat, Lou Stavale's Orange Cat, Ed Monahan's Red Cat line up for the parade.  
  Lee Schaeffer's Woodward, CJ's Candy Cat, Ken Gensheimer's Yellow Cat.........lined up and waiting to go! 
  Ken Gensheimer's Yellow Cat, Carey McManus' Black Cat 
  Still waiting! 
  The infamous peed-upon flowers!!  
  The 143rd running of the Harvest Home parade! 
  I think half the state of Ohio attended this parade!! 
  Kenny G waitin' to roll! 
  I was amazed at the number of people. It was a true down-home parade!!  
  Awesome parade and the cats were a hit!!  
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