Louisa’s parade tribute to its chief

Rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the Mineral Hillbillies during the annual Louisa Fireman’s Parade on Thursday, July 3. Louisa Fire Chief Robert “Perk” Perkins, who for the first time wasn’t able to make the short drive to attend the event due to his declining health, can still say he’s never missed a parade.  The route took a decided turn to the west as parade participants strayed from the regular route to file past Perkins’ Harris Creek Road home.

Rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the Mineral Hillbillies during the annual Louisa Fireman’s Parade on Thursday, July 3. Louisa Fire Chief Robert “Perk” Perkins, who for the first time wasn’t able to make the short drive to attend the event due to his declining health, can still say he’s never missed a parade. The route took a decided turn to the west as parade participants strayed from the regular route to file past Perkins’ Harris Creek Road home.

A little rain didn’t stop the 72nd annual Louisa Fireman’s Parade from going on as scheduled on Thursday, July 3, but the procession was anything but routine.

Everything was moving along according to the usual plan when all the fire trucks and ambulances took a sudden and unexpected turn to the west and disappeared from the line-up.

Unbeknown to parade-goers, the vehicles were headed to the home of long-time Louisa Volunteer Fire Department Chief Robert “Perk” Perkins, just outside of town.

Perkins, who is battling lung cancer, was unable for the first time in his 73 years with the fire department to attend the parade. Fireman Mark Stanton said Perkins has always maintained an active role with the event and was disappointed that he couldn’t be there.

A few days before the parade, Stanton, along with crew members from Company One, visited Perkins and it was evident that his spirits were down.

Perkins asked his long-time friend Captain “Buckshot” Clements, a volunteer with the Orange Fire Department, to drive to the top of the hill near his house with lights and sirens on after the parade, so he could see the truck from his window. Clements agreed.

To read the entire story, see the July 10 edition of The Central Virginian.

By tcvnews
Posted on Monday, July 14, 2014 at 9:00 am