It’s been my belief that learning how to do something in your hometown is the most important thing.
– Pete Seeger, American folk singer and social activist
My town of El Cerrito, Calif., where I’ve lived since 1996, is celebrating its centennial this year. One of the major events for the celebration was the Showcase Parade, which featured 59 groups or distinguished individuals. I was invited to participate as a local award-winning writer. But the biggest honor was sharing the red convertible with Gail Tsukiyama, award-winning writer of eight novels and resident of El Cerrito.
Pictures say it all, so I will let them do the talking.
Everyone is getting ready for the start of the parade at the staging grounds. Lots of convertibles and jeeps.
Ruth, our driver and owner of the red convertible, took a picture of Gail and me before the parade started.
And we’re off! That’s Nathan the Magician behind us, who unicycled and juggled all the way to the end of the parade – and wearing a dress shirt and tie! Nathan is an El Cerrito High School grad who, after college, became a full-time magician.
The parade in front of us. We turned right onto Richmond Street, which is a major street in El Cerrito. The ECHS marching band was in front of us, too.
We’ve got our signs up!
Looking behind us. Keeping Nathan honest.
My sad attempt at a selfie with Gail as we enjoy the 70s music that the El Cerrito High School dance group was dancing to.
The energetic ECHS dance troupe entertaining us all.
Residents waved from their picture windows of their homes on residential Richmond Street, and many pulled up their chairs and waved from the curbside.
I recognized a number of families from our schools, and was pleasantly surprised to see our long-time friends Yoko and Bruce at one of the street corners.
Coming up Moeser Street and getting closer to Cerrito Vista Park, our destination.
More crowd shots.
We have an active El Cerrito Arts and Culture Committee, thanks to parent and San Francisco State professor Chris Sterba. Marching in the parade is Maw Shein Win, El Cerrito’s Poet Laureate, in the red with the hat.
David, my husband, was near the park entrance and took this picture of Gail and me. And that’s Chris Sterba on the left, handing out leaflets on the Arts and Culture Committee.
A close-up as we drove by.
And I had to include this photo of Ernie Broglio, who is an ECHS alum who also pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs. Best known as the player who was traded to the Cubs from the Cardinals in exchange for Lou Brock. Yep, you know which team made out big. But the other big thing is that our house is Ernie’s childhood home. His family was the first owners of our current house. We are the second owners. After the parade, David went up to tell him we own his house. What a pleasant surprise that was for him!
The end of the road for us, while more townspeople gather at Cerrito Vista Park. What a great event.