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Troy Turner: ‘I am the parade and don’t you forget it’

By Kay S. Pedrotti Not everybody can claim to have had a belly dancing grandfather (not grandmother), but Tim Turner Tim says for years his grandfather Troy Turner, a Shrine affiliate, appeared in swirling skirts and belly-button jewels for the Buggy Days Parade. ’Everybody loved it,’ Tim says. ’All the women would cheer when he’d ‘˜bump’ that big green stone in his navel. Every year I’d ask him whether he was going to be in the parade. He’d say, ‘˜I am the parade and don’t you forget it!’ My family’s always been involved with Buggy Days ‘“ my uncle Reuben Ware wrote the official Buggy Days song. It’ll be sung this year by the Lamar County Middle School chorus, on Sunday at 2 p.m. on the downtown stage.’ Tim is the ‘second Buggy Days chairman ever,’ following 33-year veteran Dick Esco seven years ago. He says he is excited by all the things that are different this year ‘“ more games, the pie-eating contest, a bigger beauty pageant, more craft and food booths ‘“ ‘You’ll just have to come and see,’ he says. ’I’ve always loved Buggy Days, as long as I can remember. Buggy Days was a huge event in my life. It’s been so exciting to watch it evolve over the years. This is like a homecoming event for all of us,’ he adds. As the county historian and an expert genealogist, Tim has taken his hometown to heart in many ways. Grandfather Troy was not just a belly dancing clown, says Tim. When he retired from a long career in the U.S. Army, he went to work driving a school bus. ’Troy was so active and happy and irrepressible, the kind of guy you might have to nail his coffin shut to keep him in it,’ says Tim. ’He was the first school bus driver ever to have an eighttrack player in his bus. The kids loved him. They would come down to our barbecue restaurant, Pinecrest, and wash the school bus for him.’ Tim notes. He said his love for Buggy Days probably came not only from his grandfather but also from Tim’s own successes ‘“ he caught a pig at age 8 and in a later year got to the top of the greased pole. Tim concludes, ‘Buggy Days has always been fun. I absolutely love it. So does this community or we wouldn’t have the volunteers and support we get year after year.’

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