Small-town political parade in sweet smoke

In 1956, a flag-filled "We Like Ike'' parade in Cohasset, Mass. A cool, fresh day, with the northwest wind pulling the remaining red and orange leaves off the maples and the muted yellow ones off the hour-glass-shaped elms, of which we still had many, although Dutch elm disease was rapidly killing them off.  Many kids and their young parents cheering alongside the road. 

We proceeded  in our station wagon over a little bridge near the harbor and headed toward the town common with the little pond with a fountain on a tiny island in the middle. On two sides of the common were the very white (in  two senses of the word) Unitarian and Congregational churches. Nearby, on top of a granite outcropping,  presided the neo-Gothic St. Stephen’s Church, a monument of the WASP upper-middle and upper class in the town.  The local family who owned Dow Jones & Co.  had financed much of its building.

The more liberal and, for that time and place, “Bohemian,’’ folks attended the Unitarian Church – for which the joke motto was “the fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of man and the neighborhood of Boston.’’ The Unitarians removed as much as they could any assertions about the divinity of Jesus from their hymns and liturgies. As the years passed,  even references to God diminished. General, diffuse celebrations of the glories of nature and plugs for the Civil Rights Movement replaced them. In the '80s, it was in The Witches of Eastwick.

The rich sweet smell of fallen leaves being burned. That's now illegal.

Some kid, slightly older than me, sang  “Whistle while you work, {Adlai} Stevenson is a jerk’’. It already seemed to me that politics was a tad harsh.

--- Robert Whitcomb