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Before the parade passes by

New Sullivan County residents Joel and Sybil Sanchez happily watch the Jeff Fest tractor parade pass by for the very first time.
TRR photos by Jonathan Fox

September 20, 2012

With the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah here already, once again I pause to reflect. The next 10 days, leading up to Yom Kippur, are important, not only to me, but to millions of Jews around the world. It seems like only yesterday that I wrote a bit about this subject, and my inner voice cried out with trite expressions. The mere fact that “time flies” and “waits for no man” are true, I suppose, and although I celebrate the New Year, I’m also taking stock of what has transpired over the last 12 months, some of which (like life itself) has been a bit icky.

Time—what a concept. Without holidays, seasonal changes, and yes, even parades, the passage can escape us. One of the beautiful aspects of living in the Upper Delaware valley is the ever-changing landscape and the often fleeting reminder that there is no time like the present. Once in a while it’s “on our side,” but more often than not, it just “keeps on slippin’ (slippin’ slippin’) into the future.” As Yom Kippur approaches and I spend some of these moments in quiet meditation, I can’t help but notice that the most “solemn day of the year” ( ) arrives right on the heels of spending time with loved friends and family, celebrating joy.

Typical of my own Jewish upbringing (and the overall yin/yang of universal law) I am reminded that life wouldn’t seem so sweet if it weren’t tinged with sorrow from time to time. And so it goes. One of my pals, who lives in the timeless illusion that is southern California, decided to “like” The River Reporter on Facebook ( and scan the photos that I took over the weekend of the tractor parade, duck races and general hoopla that is Jeff Fest ( “Didn’t I just see these same photos last year?” he asked. “How do you even distinguish one tractor parade from another?” I thought about it before responding. “It’s all about tradition,” I answered, “and like all traditions, (both old and new) there are ties that bind, but if you look closely, one can’t help but notice the changes that have occurred during the last year.”