The community of Patriot will show off its patriotism today (Thursday) as the only incorporated town in the country with the name “Patriot” will hold its annual 4th of July parade.
And this year, given the honor of leading the parade as its Grand Marshal will be long time resident Joe Brady.
Joe was born in 1938 in Boone County, Kentucky, and moved to the Patriot area in 1952 when Joe was a freshman in high school — and he’s been her ever since.
His dad was a farmer on the same land that Joe lives on and farms today. He attended Patriot High School, and hasn’t wandered too far from where his roots were planted.
“I lived there growing up, and then bought the place off my parents,” Joe said.
Along with farming, Brady worked for the Indiana Department of Transportation, retiring in 2000 after 26 years of service. When he went to work for INDOT, he worked out of the Madison subdistrict, and was then later transferred to the Aurora subdistrict.
Joe met his wife, the late Donna Brady, at a horse show. Donna grew up near Vevay, and the couple have four daughters: Patti Kappes who lives near dad; Linda Smith lives in the farmhouse on the family farm; Sue Van Sickle lives in Patriot; and Brenda Bethel lives in Kentucky. There’s also a ‘slew’ of grandkids and great grandkids, Joe says with a grin.
Along with his work on the farm, Joe also enjoyed many farm-related activities, including being involved in pony pulling.
“Me and Bobby Bovard together, we done a lot of winning,” Joe said. “We won 17 straight in a row one time. Me and Bobby were real close and we thought we’d give it a try, and we done pretty good at it.”
And Joe is also accomplished when it comes to his hunting dogs.
“I’ve done pretty good with my hunting dogs,” he says. “In 1980 I had the highest scoring female in the World Hunt; and turned around and I’ve got one qualified again this year.”
Brady says that his black and tan coon dogs are pretty special to him, and the one that has qualified for the Worlds in September in Iowa is currently living with and being trained and hunted by a woman in Missouri.
“You’ve got to qualify first for the worlds,” he says. “The lady in Missouri watches my dogs for me, and she got qualified. She hunts my dogs for me. It’s all over the United States and Canada. There’ll be over 100 dogs there.”
And as it’s the same month as his 81st birthday, Joe’s planning on making the trip to see the dogs in action.
“She’s one of the top handlers in the United States,” Joe says, “She’s really good. Right now she’s got two of my dogs.”
Even though he retired in 2000, Joe laughs when asked about his ‘leisure time’, pointing to still being a part of the family farm as what keeps him busy.
“We bale a lot of hay, and we’ve got beef cattle,” Joe says. “Me and my son-in-law, Ben Kappes — I couldn’t do it without Ben, you know. I’ve got to rake (hay) all day today, and then when he gets home from work, he’ll roll it up tonight. We’ve got about 100 acres all together in different places.”
And although he’s never one to draw attention to himself, Joe is a little excited about leading the Patriot Parade today
In fact, the longtime horse lover is going to lead the way on horseback.
“I rode my horse last night,” he said. “It’s the first time I’ve been on one in 10 years. I’m not going to ride him, but I am going to ride a friend of mine’s horse. I wanted to ride mine in the parade, but I’m not going to. Something might happen in the parade, so I’m not gonna take him.”