I was in the catbird seat, in the flatbed of the pickup truck towing float number 137 in the Pittsfield Parade. Playing their hearts out on old jazz standards, were cornetist Paul Monat and his band, Jailhouse Five Plus 2. The float was a riot of July 4 regalia: flags large and small, sparkly garlands, and red, white and blue bunting. Full disclosure, on the tuba sat my husband, Eli Newberger, also, of course, playing his heart out, and delighted to be playing with splendid musicians, some of whom he’s known for decades, including Tim Coakley on drums, Ronny Bill and Don Monat on banjos, and Skip Parsons on clarinet.
Nestled between the Mountain 1 Banner and the Salvation Army, we were part of a parade that seemed to stretch for miles, embracing Pittsfield leaders, programs, and players large and small. North Street was filled with cheering citizens, babies asleep on shoulders, and children of all colors of the human rainbow waving American flags on a gorgeous summer day.