During Pandemic, Community Adapts "Reverse" Parade to Honor 90th Birthday in Memorable Way


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During Pandemic, Community Adapts "Reverse" Parade to Honor 90th Birthday in Memorable Way

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Local resident Genelle Richey retired in 2012, dedicating 62 years of her life to teaching the youth of Blanchard, Oklahoma. Since then, Mrs. Richey's status of being a local educator and mentor as only grown in appreciation. On April 11, 2020 during the peak of COVID-19 shutdowns, the community of Blanchard expressed its gratitude to Mrs. Richey by organizing hundreds of participants to drive past her in a "reverse" parade celebrating her 90th birthday. She and her family gathered on North Main Street to greet the cheerful crowd as they passed. The event was organized by her family and mostly through Facebook to preserve the surprise to Mrs. Richey herself. The event took place between 3:00 and 4:00 PM on that Saturday, April 11. The parade featured vehicles displaying signs and decorated "float" style trailers. The line of vehicles were led by Blanchard Police and Fire Departments. Parade vehicles dropped off birthday gifts and took photographs to preserve the special event. During an otherwise quiet and uneventful month of pandemic closures, the community of Blanchard resiliently came together to adapt a memorable day for a very special woman.

Submitted for the #ruralvoices collection. Contributed by Clinton P. Roberts, curatorial intern for Arizona State University, HST 580.
On April 16, 2020 The Blanchard News (Volume 111, Number 25) ran an article on page 10 titled, "Happy 90th Mrs. Richey: A Tribute to Mrs. Richey" by Vickie Eisenhour-Coyle and photos courtesy of Moe and Liz Armstrong. The full article is provided as a PDF attached item.

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The Blanchard News

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Clinton P. Roberts Internship Portfolio Linked Data Interactive Resource

This item was submitted on August 16, 2020 by Clinton P. Roberts using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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