These special colors don’t fade

Maria Schleppenbach and “Smiley the Clown” (Dennis Moore) share a common connection that few people know about. Photo / Per Peterson

The Box Car Day Grand Parade has been rained out just once in 96 summers. It was the unforgettable year of 2018 — a year everyone in Tracy deserved something to celebrate after cleaning up after the July 3 flood.

The rain was relentless and sent everyone scurrying for any semblance of shelter. One of those people was Dennis Moore, aka “Smiley the Clown,” who has been entertaining parade goers of all ages for decades. As any clown would be, Moore was disappointed the parade was washed out. But what really turned him into the sad clown was the fact that the colorful garb he had donned that day was brand-new.