Pat Shingleton: "The Time and THE Parade..."
It may be safe to note that we’ve settled into the time change. Ben Franklin’s embraced using more daylight time in 1783. He also invented the Franklin stove and bifocals. His first experiment determined whether electricity and lightning had exact characteristics. To test whether clouds were electrified, he proposed placing a manned sentry box on top of a high tower, holding a wire loop connected to an iron rod pointing 20 to 30 feet into the storm clouds. As noted in a previous column, Franklin never performed the experiment, but French academic Thomas Daliband did in 1752. He placed a 40-foot iron rod on a wooden pallet, insulated from the ground with wine bottles. A storm approached, the wires were connected to the tower and sparks flew from the rod. Satjurday marks the 34th anniversary of Baton Rouge’s “St. Patrick’s Day Parade, The Wearin’ of the Green.” There were other St. Patrick’s Day parades in the Capitol city’s history, dating back to the 1970s. When I started this parade in 1986 I desired to replicate the parade traditions in Ireland and Pittsburgh, PA. Some of those traditions are mainstays, including the Mayor of the city and Bishop of the parish or county, leading the parade. There is also a Grand Marshal of Irish descent in attendance and other traditions such as pipers and shamrock painted streets. Before, during and after the parade families and friends enjoy their heritage along the parade route. Most importantly, it recognizes the patron saint of Ireland, our namesake, St. Patrick.