The polls closed at six and an hour later the square

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Unformatted text preview: r to the house. "That wasn't so bad now, was it?" I said. "I enjoyed it. Thank you. Are you coming next Thursday?" She asked the same question each week. The answer was the same too. Chapter Twenty-Seven At noon on the Fourth of July the temperature was 101 degrees and the humidity felt even higher. The parade was led by the Mayor, even though he was not yet running for anything. State and local elections were in 1971. The presidential race was in 1972. Judicial elections were in 1973. Municipal elections were in 1974. Mississippians loved voting almost as much as football. The Mayor sat on the rear seat of a 1962 Corvette and threw candy to the children packed along the sidewalks around the square. Behind him were two high school bands, Clanton's and Karaway's, the Boy Scouts, Shriners on mini-bikes, a new fire truck, a dozen floats, a posse on horseback, veterans from every war that century, a collection of shiny new cars from the Ford dealer, and three restored John Deere tractors. Juror number eight, Mr. Mo Teale, drove one. The rear was protected by a string of city and county police cars, all polished to perfection. I watched the parade from the third-floor balcony of the Security Bank. Stan Atcavage threw an annual party up there. Since I now owed the bank a sizable sum, I was invited to sip lemonade and watch the festivities. For a reason no one could remember, the Rotarians were in charge of the speeches. They had parked a long flatbed trailer next to the Confederate sentry and decorated it with bales of hay and red, white, and blue bunting. When the parade was over, the throng moved tightly around the trailer and waited anxiously. An old-fashioned courthouse hanging couldn't have drawn a more expectant audience. Mr. Mervin Beets, president of the Rotary club, stepped to the microphone and welcomed everyone. Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, Prayer was required for any public event in Clanton, and in the new spirit of desegregation he had invited the Reverand Thurston Small, Miss Callie's minister, to pr...
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