Tomorrow is Memorial Day. Yesterday was the Felton Remembers Parade and Covered Bridge Festival, which is how Memorial Day is celebrated in Felton. It was a celebration worthy of Memorial Day, with plenty of music, crafts and expensive but unhealthful food to go with it. All that was lacking was that which is ‘memorial’. It seems that we have forgotten about that which we should never forget.
There were plenty of classic cars to provide memories of how stylish cars had been. There was a Boy Scout Troop to conduct the Flag Raising Ceremony at the main interchange of Highway 9 and Empire Grade Road to provide memories of when we still respected the American Flag and traditions associated with it. We were reminded of who our local politician are, and that we are still procuring funds for a new library, and that there are too many clubs for hateful women, and that the individual members of the motorcycle club get more done around here than everyone else combined (except for our local District Supervisor who provides the memories of what a public servant used to be.)
Felton Covered Bridge Park, the venue of the Covered Bridge Festival, is surrounded by memorial trees. All the redwood trees (which are of the cultivar ‘Soquel’, rather than wild trees) are memorial trees, sponsored by friends and families of the honored deceased. Some are outfitted with plaques. One was recently added. Another sweetgum tree is a memorial for Charlie, a very respected English bulldog. The small valley oak in an island in the parking lot is known simply as the Memorial Tree, to commemorate several who did not get their own tree. All the trees were there for the festivities, but only to provide shade and beauty.
Perhaps celebration is the best Memorial, or at least the best that such a large group can collectively participate in. Actually, the Covered Bridge Festival was exactly that, a ‘festival’ that merely coincided with the Felton Remembers Parade. It was not really a Memorial by design.
The big old Featherstone Tree at the center of town, and in the picture of the Felton Remembers Parade above, is not really a memorial tree, but does happen to be outfitted with a commemorative plaque for Mr. Featherstone who planted it, and has witnessed more parades on Highway 9 than anyone has.
The little Memorial Tree in Felton Covered Bridge Park, and in the picture below, was easier to ignore in the parking lot behind the mobile kitchens. I have written a few articles about it, beginning with this one –
and most recently this one –