Photo by Evan Brandt
A lifeboat on the Atlantic City beach opposite the Tropicana, just as it started to rain heavily ... for the first time.
We took a chance.
The weather report said it might rain .... OK, they said it would probably rain.
But as our son is a junior and this would be last time he would march in the Miss America Pageant's Show Us Your Shoes Parade in Atlantic City, we decided to chance it.
So not surprisingly, in a city dedicated to chance, the house won and the weather report was right.
Of course, it waited until we had arrived, paid for up to eight hours of parking and walked onto the boardwalk itself before it started to rain.
We slipped into the Chickie and Pete's in the Tropicana, hoping that making an offering to a place with a sunny name might appease the weather gods.
They were not appeased.
Oh it stopped for a while, long enough to lure us back out to the sparsely populated boardwalk and even to eschew the covered bench area in favor of one closer to the action.
Once again, we gambled and lost.
It started off well enough of course.
And, then, once there was no other option, the rain returned.
Not surprisingly, the Miss America contestants who ride vintage cars down the Boardwalk in costumes representative of their state, do so in alphabetical order.
By the time Miss Colorado passed by, it was pouring.
The first local bands to make their arrival were the steadfast Boyertown Alumni Marching Unit, followed by the Pottsgrove High School Falcon band.
It rained, and we waited.
And then we waited some more in the rain.
Have I mentioned it was raining?
And getting dark?
You start to notice, under circumstances like this, how many states start with M and N.
Finally, after Miss Wyoming passed by, there were our Trojans, damp but undaunted.
We joined the rest of the exodus as soon as they had passed us by, heading to our car and the car's heater.
The band caught up to us at the rest stop on the Atlantic City Expressway, where my deep desire for a Starbuck's coffee required a stop on the way home.
They seemed cheerful enough and so I spared them a speech about how impressed I was with their endurance.
But I was.
Here are the Tweets from the parade, fewer than I might otherwise have sent but in case you haven't figured it out yet, it was raining and I was trying to preserve the electronic integrity of The Mercury's iPhone.