The Harvest & Herb Festival booths included all sorts of crafts, all sorts of paintings, and, uh: a cow skulls booth.  Lima's Shelby Crider, with a penchant for artistic taxidermy, said she specializes in "...deer skulls, cattle skulls, any skulls."  (Herald / Joe Schriner)
The Harvest & Herb Festival booths included all sorts of crafts, all sorts of paintings, and, uh: a cow skulls booth. Lima's Shelby Crider, with a penchant for artistic taxidermy, said she specializes in "...deer skulls, cattle skulls, any skulls." (Herald / Joe Schriner)

I know some of you aren’t going to believe this, but there was actually a time in America when, during small town parades, people on the floats, in the fire trucks, on the tractors… waved and smiled. And the people along the parade route, in turn, waved and smiled back.

That was it.

No candy throwing.

That has, decidedly, changed.

And in no parade in Hardin County, or the state of Ohio for that matter, maybe the country, is there more candy thrown out of parade vehicles than at Ada’s Harvest & Herb Festival every year.

How I, personally, know, is as the newspaper’s photographer at this year’s parade, I was out in the street taking photos in between the parade vehicles and the spectators.

And the candy whizzing by me was absolutely dizzying. In fact, I got more than a bit dizzy, twice.

During the half hour the parade was passing by, I received two concussions, just from being hit by a good number of “Jolly Rancher” hard candies.

But it wasn’t just Jolly Rancher, nope.

It was Twizzlers red licorice, miniature Milky Ways and Snickers, Whoppers, Milk Duds, Tootsie Rolls, and I could stay on a ‘roll’ with this…

But what was more amazing than the variety, was how fast area kids were able to collect it. Think: a flock of seagulls on the beach when someone is throwing pieces of bread.

The only thing difference is that the kids weren’t “squawking,” they were actually too out of breath for that. So, of course, the parents seeing this, would go out into the street to ‘help’ their children collect the candy, clandestinely putting a few in their pockets each time as well.

“One for junior, two for me…”

I, of course, tried to remain professional and ‘above the fray/flock.’

That is, until I saw Isabella Hernandez’s candy stash. Isabella, five years old, was there with her aunt Liz -- AND WITH A PILE OF, LIKE, 100 CANDIES!

I sidled over after the last parade vehicle passed, and told the aunt that I was doing a newspaper story about parade candy, which I actually wasn’t. (I’ve since, obviously, changed my mind --so I don’t feel that guilty.)

I marveled, out loud, at Isabella’s pile of candy, congratulated her, and asked the aunt if I could get a photo of her, Isabella, and the pile of candy “…for the story.”

The aunt excitedly agreed. And both Isabella, and her, posed behind the candy. Then, when they both looked away to talk to a friend who had just walked up – I took a Twizzlers.

JUST KIDDING! I WOULDN’T REALLY DO THAT!

I took a small Hershey’s bar.

I like those better.