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High Atop Grandpa’s Shoulders

Howdy, Neighbor. People have been telling Phil he’s a good storyteller for a long time… so we are trying something new and pretty-much non-sales Just sharing occasional sweet stories, tall tales, and life lessons learned around these parts. Northwoods Notes are a new, semi-bi-irregular peek into the heart and mind of Phil Frasier… you can read or listen… whichever you prefer… and you are receiving a copy because you’re a current customer of Frasier’s Plumbing and Heating, Inc. We think you’ll like them, but you can unsubscribe any time by clicking on the link at the bottom. But we hope you give us a chance!



Snow on the Fourth of July. Do you remember it?

My folks and some of their friends still talk about the time the Northwoods got four inches of snow on 4th of July. I don’t know about you, but it’s hard to imagine standing downtown, shivering in the snow as the Fourth of July Parade went by.

I wasn’t around yet. So I don’t remember that parade, and I can’t find any evidence on Google that snow happened, so I’m gonna have to take their word on it.

But I do remember my first parade in Rhinelander.


I think I was four… or maybe five. My grandparents owned a music store called Budreau’s Music. The store sold appliances, too. It was the only place in town where you could buy a refrigerator and a tuba.

Anyway, I remember standing out front of Budreau’s Music as the parade began. I was just a tiny little shaver. Thankfully, Grandpa was tall.

Chet Budreau the first… tall, handsome, and always dressed to the hilt.

After watching me stand on my tippy toes and crane my neck to see over the wall of adults in front of me, Grandpa grabbed me and hoisted me up on his shoulders so I could see over the crowd.

High atop grandpa’s strong, well-dressed shoulders, I could see for what seemed like miles. Man, what a parade! I’d never seen anything like it. I giggled at the clowns’ antics. I was fascinated by the Hodag floats. Gosh, there were so many of those Hodag floats. And then, here came the big marching band. The Bells of Saint Mary’s. I can still picture them swinging their batons and crashing their cymbals.


I remember holding my ears at the bellowing horns and bells of the big red firetrucks.

Oh, and the old Model T’s. People would be driving, waving, and tossing out candy. Tootsie Rolls were always my favorite. Sugar Babies, too. The Tootsie Rolls seems to last the longest, though. I’d stuff as many as I could in my pockets and in my mouth.

I tell ya, I was always a happy camper on parade day. And I’ve always looked forward to it every year from that day on.


Life is all about the anticipation of big events. Because those events inspire tall tales and often-told stories that are shared for generations to come.

I’m so glad we get to have the Fourth of July parade this year. Maybe I’ll see you there.

I just hope it doesn’t snow.

Happy Independence Day, neighbor.


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