As a jolly parade of farm vehicles rumbled west along Elm St. to deliver thanks to St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital, an ambulance sped by, lights flashing and siren screaming.
And at least for a few moments, it was a reminder – as if anyone would need reminding these days – of serious times.
But the ambulance gone by, the tractors and sprayers and semis and trucks continued to approach, their own lights blinking and their own horns honking.
And for the 20 minutes that the parade encircled STEGH a week ago this past Wednesday in salute of the health-care workers there, you could smile and wave. And think of other things.
Organized by Elgin’s farm community and east Elgin farmer Glen Debrabandere, whose daughter is on the front line of the COVID-19 outbreak as an ER nurse at STEGH, the parade of about 50 vehicles came together from across the county on just 12 hours’ notice.
Some tractors were so big, they bobbled on their giant tires almost across 1-1/2 lanes of roadway.