A Grand Marshall's Lament
I am truly sorry !
Yes, if I could turn the calendar back, I would. You see, last year, I was chosen to be the Grand Marshall ( the very, "First Grand Marshall" ) of the Fourth of July Parade held here in Pottstown. Whatever I did, It must have been something wrong because, this year, there was no parade. Am I to go down in Pottstown's history as the very first, as well as, the very last Grand Marshall in our town's hundreds of years of history ?
Little did I know that last year I was setting the town up for a fall. Poor John Potts would roll over in his grave if only he could have known. Me, one of the chief champions of the town; one, who has lived here over eighty years, now turns out to be a loser.
How does a town our size die ? Our's has outlasted Indians, plagues, floods, wars, loss of industrialization, and loss of population but still has survived. The problem still remains that the town can't survive me.
Surly as ever, Pottstown is a structured governmental unit which works as well as its present personnel allows it to. But, the spirit, the character, the essence of a town lies in incalculable intangibles pent up in its citizens which reside there at the moment. It is in these ordinary citizens, the simple ones who love a parade, the ones who love fireworks, those who honor a place to live, not for structure of governance, but for a few intangibles found there which trumpets the spirit.
For these people, I am truly sorry that I let them down !
Ronald C. Downie,
Former Grand Marshall