A rough year hit the mountain and two months remain.

The Cranston Fire destroyed homes and property, but no lives were lost because of it, as happened with California communities elsewhere.

Yet in the past months, this community has lost people — Charlie Clayton, Paul Kirk and Lilah Whitney, to name but a few. I’m sure you knew at least one of these and likely all.

Yesterday was an election, most notable for its divisiveness. But differing opinions don’t have to be a civil war.

The tragedies we have all suffered should be reasons for accepting and acknowledging we’re here together. We may have three water districts, but we all live on the Hill and drive the same roads.

We have friends in every water district and with every political oopinon. Disagree, but joke; enjoy the friendship. Recognize that life is short and death unexpected.

We’re not robots and built with identical system boards and switches. We’re people with unique DNA, unique backgrounds.

But we all live on the Hill, have to drive in snow, evacuate for fires and console our friends when tragedy occurs.

So many times I’ve witnessed people at war with each other here reach out to each other in times of hardship and put aside their differences to help.

With that said, I need to take exception to incidents Halloween evening during the parade.

Why did the Idyllwild Fire Department need to drive its vehicles in a perfectly safe and fun community parade?

Was it necessary for one of its crew to blast an air horn several times from an IFD engine? The loud blast startled folk on both sides of the street.

I was sitting next to a couple in their 80s who had other senior citizens sitting to their left and the noise caused us all to bolt in shock.

As I was handing out candy and this occurred, the small children in front of me were frightened cold. We all jumped as someone violently interrupted an annual fun event for our town.

As I looked up at the driver of the engine, he had a big grin on his face. I don’t know if he made the decision or someone else inside, as I could not see who else sat inside, but please don’t do that again.

What were those vehicles even doing driving with children running back and forth on North Circle Drive? The restrictions for the Fourth of July Parade where vehicle passengers/drivers are not allowed to throw candy out the windows because it puts children in an unsafe situation if they run toward the vehicle is a double-standard.

We can do without any fire vehicles in the Halloween parade — I don’t care if they’re IFD, Cal Fire or Forest Service. If you want to represent yourselves, march with others. Please consider keeping the vehicles off the parade route.

This should be, as it traditionally was, a safe environment for children. That’s why we don’t trick-or-treat on local residential streets. Because it’s not safe.

Becky Clark