The weather was fine, the crowds were large and Bill Rudow was in good humor at the Mayor's Christmas Parade in Hampden on Sunday.
Specifically, Rudow, a 52-year-old lawyer in Mount Washington, was riding in a 1967 Good Humor truck that sat in his father's garage in Roland Park for three decades before the younger Rudow began restoring it last summer.
"I really questioned whether Bill could get it running again," said his father, David Rudow.
Yet there it was, Good Humor truck #142, a Ford F-250, parked on Falls Road at the Poly-Western high school complex, awaiting the start of the 40th annual parade.
Rudow, of Pikesville, proudly showed off the classic ice cream truck while Kendall Truscello, 8, daughter of a family friend, rang the bell.
"This is a fun truck," Rudow said.
The Friends School graduate, a former Good Humor driver in college, said he bought the no-longer-used truck for $500 in 1980 as the company was thinking about junking it, but he didn't start restoring it until this past summer.
Now, after an extensive overhaul, including new fuel and electrical systems and new brakes, the truck with indeterminate mileage goes as fast 75 miles per hour. Its refrigeration system isn't working yet, but it has a lot of fun features, including fluorescent lighting and a sign that flashes the word "backing," while a siren sounds, when the driver puts the vehicle in reverse.
With his own children grown, "I'm the right age to have some fun with it," Rudow said.
The Good Humor truck was only one of the unique, sometimes wacky entries in this year's parade of 161 performers. Nearby, Scott Frias' dog Buddy, a Jack Russell terrier, was skateboarding as a representative of the Skatepark of Baltimore, a group that is raising money to build a skateboarding park in Hampden.
"I skateboard all the time," said Frias, 46, of Sowebo, who manages a data center.
About 20 Friends School baseball players in uniform tried to control a giant balloon of Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but Rudolph fell down on the job at first, listing on its right side until the students righted it with their ropes.
"Teamwork is important," said Will Marbury, a math teacher and a baseball coach at Friends.
Talking through hand-help puppets during the parade were congregants of Christian Love Baptist Church, in Medfield, who have started a puppet ministry.
Driving a 176 El Dorado convertible with a sign that said Herb Gampel Glass of Owings Mills was the 70-year-old Gampel himself, wearing a pale blue sports coat, gray slacks and gray shoes.
For Gampel, it was a chance to show off the car "and maybe get a few jobs. And it's a good day for it."