The child within allowed me to stand throughout a two-hour parade on Saturday evening. The lights were beautiful, the floats were outstanding, and the marching bands played my favorite Christmas Carols. But as much as I get into that scene, I had a different reason for wanting to be there this year. Jerri Marr was the parade’s Grand Marshall. No amount of snow or cold weather could have kept me away. I had to be there to cheer.
Jerri Marr became our local celebrity during the Waldo Canyon fire. As supervisor of the Pike and San Isabel Forests and the Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands, Ms. Marr was the person who calmly provided honest information and reassured a terrified community.
As I stood waiting for the parade to begin, I heard the roar of the crowd to the north of my location. I knew this signaled Jerri’s soon arrival.
Riding on the back of a stunning convertible, with Smokey the Bear by her side, Jerri smiled and waved as the crowd clapped and cheered. I’m confident that many of the 32,000 evacuees were there to express their admiration for this lovely, knowledgeable lady. Hubby and I were two of them. I will never forget the fire raging close to my home, and I will never forget Jerri’s voice, her smile, her encouragement, her straight answers to hard questions, or her untiring efforts on behalf of our community.
Jerri Marr (USDA Forest Service Photo)
The band from my brother's Alma Mater stopped in front of us.
Mary and Joseph were there and …
…so was Santa.
Fun - fun - fun - and more fun!