(Part 2 of 2)


The college bowl games are finished. The Super Bowl is over. There's no more Browns football until the August exhibition season. Hockey and soccer are not quite any one of the big three, yet, but give them time and they'll get there. As for Northeast Ohio basketball, what can I say? It's as if the Cavs have taken a giant leap backward to the pre-LeBron James days – almost back to the days of Ted Stepian.


With so little to do now is why I started my column last week by indicating there's no better time than now to pull the family together and decide first; to enter this year's 45th annual Portage Lakes July 4 Boat Parade, and, secondly; to agree on a theme.


In the previous column, I zeroed in on such themes such as Westerns, cartoon characters and movie musicals. Decorating a boat for a two to three hour parade is really not such a big deal. It is a wonderful way to include the entire family. If you remember some of your early parades, you have that memory on which to fall back. By including your kids, you're doing the same for them – building their memory bank like your parents did for you.


Last week, I also suggested George Washington as a theme, but none of the other 43 men who served as president. Think about them. Among the more well known were Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump. Surely there must be some of them you can have fun with by using them as a theme for your decorated boat?


More ideas can include fashions such as those worn in the wild, Roaring Twenties; the depressing thirties; fighting forties; and the Rock 'n' Roll fifties and sixties. And don't forget the spaced out late sixties where hip-huggers, bell bottom slacks and any combination of mismatched colors, patterns and flowers seemed to be the fashion in a society laid back in both style, manner and attitude.


However, three themes I've rarely seen used are fictional characters, local schools and the Portage Lakes. With fictional characters, you have Dick Tracy along with the rest of the Tracy gang. Then there's Batman, the Joker, Bat Girl, Wonder Woman, Superman, aka Clark Kent, and any character from TV's space shows or the Star Wars Movies.


There are the local schools and the Portage Lakes itself. Take any one of the four school districts, Coventry, Green or Manchester or Springfield and build a theme around its strength.


As for the Portage Lakes, there are so many ideas you can use. Just grab a boat and cruise the lakes. As a guide, take photos of lake highlights, such as the Rosa Villa, the Harbour Inn, Pick's, Upper Deck, Dietz's, Dusty's Yacht Club, State Park Beach, the Tudor House and the newly renovated Danos, where Howies used to be.


Finally, if it's not advantageous at this time for you to start this small project with the family, save this article as well as last week's for when you do get time to plan for the boat parade.


And who knows? Any one of these suggestions could win you big bucks in this year's parade.


Comments may be emailed to: Frankweaverjr@aol.com