I went to a parade in Quartzsite yesterday. Every year Q has a parade celebrating their most famous citizen named Hadji Ali, who became known as Hi Jolly since no one could pronounce his name. Hi Jolly was brought to America from Syria by the US Army to teach the Army how to use camels in the desert. It seemed like a good idea at the time and actually worked up to a point, but the fact that the Army mules and horses were horrified of the beasts, and at the time the United States was sinking into a civil war that wasn't going to require extensive use of camels, the camels were auctioned off and Hi jolly was given a rousing hip hip hooray and a couple of Attaboy's, booted out of the Army and forced to survive in the Arizona desert.
He gained some notoriety for working with General George Crook during the Indian wars but came back to Quartzsite when he got older and is buried here in the Quartzsite Cemetery. So Camels, Hi Jolly, and gold mining, is what put Quartzsite on the map. [ But RVers keep it there ]
Y'all have probably seen the Thanksgiving day parades with the giant balloon characters, extravagant floats, and 100s of marching bands. Well the Quartzsite Hi Jolly parade is exactly like that but without the giant balloon characters, extravagant floats, and marching bands. And it doesn't even have any Mummers, what's a parade without Mummers?
What the parade lacked in size and glamour it made up for with small town pride, and small town love of America. Where the small town people work hard every day and don't have much time or money to spend on ostentatious floats.
I had a good time at the parade and wanted to go to the shindig at the city park where the parade ends to get some food and listen to the band but it was starting to cloud up and look like rain, which by the way it did later, but I had some hard backbreaking work to do back home on my rearview camera project and didn't have time for anymore frivolity. Wires don't run themselves you know.