Author(s): Garrison Keillor
Clint is one of the old reliables in Lake Wobegon - the treasurer of the Lutheran church and the auto mechanic who starts your car on below-zero mornings. For six years he has run the Fourth of July parade, turning what was once a line of pickup trucks and girls pushing baby carriages that hold their cats into an event of dazzling spectacle. Blazing bands, marching units, cannons, horses, a fireworks show, and the famous Living Flag - one thousand men and women wearing red, white, or blue, standing in formation - have attracted the attention of CNN and prompted the governor to put in an appearance as well. The town is dizzy with anticipation. Until, that is, they hear of Clint's ambition to run for Congress. They're embarrassed for him. They know him too well - his unfortunate episodes involving vodka sours, his rocky marriage. And then there is his friendship, or whatever it is, with the twenty-four-year-old girl who dresses up as the Statue of Liberty for the parade. It's rumoured that underneath those robes she is buck naked, and that her torch contains a quart of booze. It's Lake Wobegon as it's always been - good loving people who drive each other crazy. First published 2008.