I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has asked me the last couple of days “Have you thawed out yet?”. To be honest, I haven’t checked the weather records, but think we’ve had a couple of colder parade days in the last few years. At least I know I was colder–actually shivering on a couple of occasions — but so bad this year. Maybe it was the bright sunshine that made the difference.
No question it was cold in Holyoke on Sunday for the 64th edition of the St Patrick’s Parade. So cold that our broadcast anchor position for Brian Corridan and Eileen Curran was moved inside our RV command post. They started and ended the parade coverage from the usual elevated platform on Northampton Street — but it was just too cold and windy for them to stay there for the entirety of the program. The wind creates a lot of microphone noise and the cold gradually makes it hard for you to see and even to talk. Seriously, the jaw and facial muscles tighten up and your eyes tear over and it’s just not a good situation.
I was “on the street” for the parade, interviewing some of the honored guests and marchers like JFK Award Winner and Friendly’s CEO John Maguire, Springfield Roman Catholic Bishop Mitchell Rozanski and State Senate President Stan Rosenberg. However, there’s often a significant amount of time between my interviews — and I had the chance to get out of the cold for a bit a couple of times.
If you ask me, the real, stalwart heroes of our 2015 parade were the folks working the cameras along Northampton Street. They were outside in the wind and bitter cold with little or no break for the entire day. Starting at sunrise — or earlier — getting everything set up, working through the roughly 3 hour parade broadcast itself, and then another couple of hours taking everything down and packing it away. It’s an unbelievable amount of hard, back-breaking work and when you tell them that or offer a compliment to our crew , do you know what they say? “Just doin’ my job. It’s what I signed up for!”
So, when you watch the parade next year, or really anytime you see TV coverage of a major event — take a minute to think of all the strenuous labor that went on behind the scenes by people you never see on camera.
Oh, and speaking of the parade next year, please say a prayer for sunny and 65 degrees!