May Day caravan and Covid-19 closures

A caravan of a dozen or so cars and trucks honked down Philadelphia Street at noon on May Day in support of local businesses trying to cope with COVID-19 restrictions. Photos by Fred Kipp. Click to enlarge.

Coronavirus Diary

By David Loomis

INDIANA — At noon Friday, a caravan of cars and trucks circled a largely shuttered downtown business district, honked horns and displayed hand-lettered signs in support of local entrepreneurs struggling through an ongoing global public-health quarantine.

Organizer Tammy Graham Curry prepares to depart a caravan staging area at the Bi-Lo grocery on North Fourth Street in Indiana.

Event organizer and shop owner Tammy Graham Curry led the parade at the wheel of a heavy-duty pickup truck wearing a red-and-black plaid lumberjack shirt over a black-and-white T-shirt that read “Straight Outta Toilet Paper.”

In social media posts on Thursday, Ms. Curry asserted the “We CARE-avan Cruise” was “NOT political.” But it was “bipartisan.” And in other posts she expressed opposition to Gov. Tom Wolf’s strict closure rules on non-essential businesses under emergency powers COVID-19 pandemic.

In Harrisburg, meanwhile, Gov. Wolf announced relaxation of restrictions on shops and businesses in 24 largely rural counties beginning next week. Indiana County was not among them.

Caravanners display non-political signs. Click to enlarge.

Earlier in Harrisburg, Republican lawmakers backed a party-line bill unsuccessfully challenging the governor’s business-closure orders. State Rep. Jim Struzzi, R-Indiana, voted for it. So did state Sen. Joe Pittman, R-Indiana.

Both lawmakers, among other local officials, attended the May Day car-cruise. Some wore masks. Some didn’t.


State Sen. Joe Pittman, R-Indiana, waves at the passing caravan.

NATIONALLY, large majorities of Americans support stay-at-home measures and non-essential business closures.

In downtown Indiana on Friday, car-cruise participants honked horns vigorously on the procession’s first pass. Other traffic was not impeded. A second pass a few minutes later was shorter and muted.

Across Philadelphia Street from the closed county courthouse, a couple waved at the dozen-car parade and snapped cell phone photos of the first pass. At the corner of Eighth and Philadelphia streets, a masked borough police Chief Justin Schawl observed the westbound procession.

State Rep. Jim Struzzi, R-Indiana, watches the passing procession.

On the convoy’s second swing around the block, the couple and the chief had moved on. In 10 minutes, the procession had passed.

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8 Responses to May Day caravan and Covid-19 closures

  1. William Edmondson says:

    Thank you for the publicity you should have rode with me , we need people like you to show what stupidity is in this country you could have sit on my car roof.

    • Tammy says:

      Excellent publicity! Unfortunate that the writer felt the need to go in to detail of Ms. Curry’s clothing and what she was driving especially when this event was to support small local businesses. I would like to see in future articles more about the event then the apparent dislike that Mr. Loomis obviously has towards Ms. Curry. Maybe The Hawkeye needs to monitor more of the details that they are publishing.

      • William Edmondson says:

        Amen. No one person should be allowed so much free rein and still hide behind an institution of higher learning.

  2. Judy Palaski says:

    I wonder how many of these supporters actually support the businesses by buying from them during this time. Put your money where your horns are and order a take out meal ,a gift certificate or something you need from those that are open.

    • William Edmondson says:

      Many of us have gone to the still open businesses, spaghetti benders, Crouses cafe, Dan Smith chocolates, Cunningham’s cafe, Italian village, bobs pizza and bobs subs. We are spending our money locally where possible. I hope you are doing the same.
      So now David Loomis will stalk you along with the rest of us.

    • CINDY Cantor says:

      Curb takeout food has been fabulous. Those that are open have been very thankful for our support during this time. And we, “the locals “ are appreciative for their service.

    • The Victim of a stalker says:

      Just a little FYI.
      YES…I DO cater to the restaurant’s that are open for take out.

      Here’s a running total for this week only.

      Tom’s Pizza $25
      Brunos @24 with a $16 tip = $40

      Al Pattis= $55 ( tip included)

      You need to focus your energies on helping others, as i have been, rather than making assumptions

  3. moireblair says:

    David Loomis,
    I’m wondering why you described Mrs. Curry’s clothing and vehicle. Please explain. As a college graduate who drives a truck, and wears wool buffalo plaid often, I’m interested in the stereotype you are trying to portrait, what further divisions and deep dark chasm are you perpetuating.
    The people that were trying to bring light to the plight of small business owners, the backbone of this country, are expressing their Constitutional rights.
    My question to the Liberal Socialists like yourself is what have you built, made, grown, that anyone would pay money for besides the poor fragile minds you’re brainwashing to believe in the anti-constitutional Bull you teach. Personal responsibility is key.
    Your personal attack on Mrs. Curry should be eye opening to your employer, peers, and students.

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