My Trip to Kalamazoo

Bill's Blog

Yesterday (Sat.) I drove to Kalamazoo for the Holiday Parade. Kalamazoo has a combined holiday parade (Thanksgiving, Christmas) earlier in November to have a better chance of getting good weather…and it was an awesome day! It was mostly sunny for the parade. At noon, Kalamazoo had a temperature of 33°, but with the sunshine and a wind at only 5 mph, it felt warmer than that.

Before I got to the parade, I witnessed a traffic accident. Driving south on US 131 near the Plainwell exit, the car two cars in front of me just veered off the road to the right, went down a hill…the car rolled 3 or 4 times (sending snow flying into the air). The car went over a fence and landed rightside-up.

The first thought I had was that it was a medical. Several cars stopped (including me). Someone quickly ran down the hill, while another called 911. The guy who got to the car first said there was one younger/middle aged driver, no passengers. He speculated that the driver had fallen asleep. He appeared to be mostly OK – maybe a concussion. The airbag(s) had deployed. I thought how great cars are now that someone can walk away from an accident like that without serious injury.

I also thought how this could have been much worse. Instead of veering right, the car could have veered left into oncoming traffic. Also, much of the highway had trees (that don’t move) on the side of the road. Here, the car ended up 30-40…maybe 50 yards from the road without hitting an immovable object. Lesson one is always use your seatbelt…and lesson two, make sure if you are too tired to drive…don’t drive.

Kalamazoo Holiday Parade
The 57th annual Holiday Parade brought music, color and cheer to Kalamazoo on Nov. 26, 2019. (Michael Buck/WOOD TV8)

WOOD TV was 74th in the parade, which started at 11 am. I usually figure about 40 seconds per entry, so I thought we wouldn’t start in the parade until around 11:50 am and that was about right. In the meantime, I like to move along the parade route and/or in the staging area and talk to people. I only had one person mention the blog, but at least a dozen congratulated me on my 45 years on TV in W. Michigan. I said “hi” to the people in the parade from WXMI and WWMT and several Kalamazoo radio stations. While Casey and Theresa

At our WOOD studios across the street from Bronson Park

After the parade, I headed to our WOOD TV8 studio across the street from the NE corner of Bronson Park. We had milk and cookies for everybody – and Bill’s mustaches, too.

Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus were there!

Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus were right there in our studio to meet the kids.

Reindeer by our WOOD studio after the Kalamazoo Holiday Parade

Just outside the studio, we had two friendly reindeer for the kids to see.

I took this picture at the southeast corner of Bronson Park. Note all the leaves on the trees. Some trees hang onto their leaves longer than others (ornamental pears, willows, some oaks). This year there are still a few trees that are mostly green…or a dull gray-green or gray-brown. The leaves will eventually all fall off. When I got home from the parade, I raked up 3 bags of leaves from the backyard. The rest of the backyard either had snow or was too wet to bag.

Also, a good part of West Michigan (inc. Kalamazoo) still has ice on the sidewalks (and some driveways and lesser traveled roads where there is some shade. There are slippery spots. I saw one kid take a tumble on an icy sidewalk. Fortunately, he had on lots of “padding” and wasn’t hurt.

Clouds move in this Sunday AM and hang around for much of the week. It was nice to have the partly-to-mostly sunny day come on a Saturday.

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