[Nfbmo] ohio school for the blind band

James Moynihan jamesmoynihan at kc.rr.com
Mon Nov 10 02:49:46 UTC 2008


For those of you who haven't been members of NFBMO long enough to remember, the affiliate used to march and have a float in the American royal Parade in Kansas city each fall.  We didn't have a band, but those of us young and able enough marched ahead of the float carrying banners.  John Dower used to march out in front carrying the American flag, and one year we had a blind baton twirler.  Those not able to walk long distances or who had young children rode the float.  We did this from about 1972 to 1996.  We designed and built the floats ourselves.  some of our sighted members and blind members who knew how to use tools assembled the float and pounded in the steaks to hold the skirt and bunting.  We girls did detail work and stretched and stapled the skirt and bunting.  We worked in the warehouse of the trucking company which furnished the flatbed truck for the float and as people came from all over the state, they joined the K.C. chapter in assembling the float.  Following the parade the K.C. chapter provided a pot luck lunch and we had a State board meeting.  It was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun.  members came from all over Missouri and our Kansas friends from Johnson and Wyndotte Counties came over to march with us.  There were usually several thousand people along the parade route who always greeted us enthusiastically and many thousand more watching on TV.  We also got newspaper coverage from time to time.  Sadly, some of our chapter members felt somewhat embarrassed doing the float and felt that since there was no evidence that it got jobs for anyone it was an expense of time and money not worth the trouble.  The next year the Royal decided the floats in the parade should all be professionally made.  We couldn't have aforded that, but I have often thought we might have found a corporate sponsor.  Think what a great Meet the blind Month activity we would have had to report.

Cordially,  Jim and Jana Moynihan

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