They’ll let anyone in a parade


Photo by Jill Carol via A.S. Ashley

Your humble servant and KPCC-FM’s Steve Julian shared a ride in a 1957 Chevy Bel-Air during the Pomona Christmas Parade on Saturday. Between David Allen and Steve Julian, that’s two men and four first names. We are first name hogs.

Steve is a Pomona native, as you may recall from my column on him in September.

“The last time I was in the parade was in the ’60s. I was with the Cub Scouts,” Steve told me before the parade began.

I wore my getup from my 2007 grand marshal turn, as well as my 2009 parade appearance: a fedora with a card reading “Press” in the band, a jacket and a skinny tie. It’s important to fulfill people’s idea of what a newspaperman is. Also, a hat comes in handy.

We balanced ourselves as best we could atop the convertible while its driver and owner, Elaine Francisco, pulled into the queue of parade entries. We waved to people on both sides of the street as the parade slowly made its way up Gibbs, along Second and down Park.

Children are the most enthusiastic. They have no clue who you are, but they’re excited to wave and be waved to. One little girl walked close to our car during a pause, read our names silently off the sign on our car and said, “Hi, David and Steve!”

The sign also said “News Media.” It might have been good PR for our profession to have two of its representatives smiling and waving in a feel-good event. See, we don’t bite! Come talk to us! Now tell us everything you know.

As our car passed the parade station, we were announced this way: “News media! Without them, no one would know it’s happening.” That was great. Moments later, those trailing “news media” were announced: “council members.”

“As it should be,” Steve joked.

There didn’t seem to be a lot of NPR listeners along the parade route (some were likely in the parade), but Steve saw a couple of people who remembered him from his Pomona days. He said he had a blast, as did I.

Few Daily Bulletin readers were along the route either. Some folks did shout a greeting, very much appreciated, and I saw some familiar faces.

Not everyone was a fan. “Hey, Allen,” one surly guy said. “Good thing I forgot my rotten fruit. Way to impersonate a newsman.”

Ho ho ho.

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Photo by me from the backseat

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  • Larry Egan

    Was I supposed to bring rotten fruit? Dang! Nobody told me.

    [The guy in charge of the parade is always the last to know. — DA]

  • Andy

    I’m a bit disappointed I didn’t find out about parade until a woman at the Pomona Walmart told me about it at 10am that morning. The parade has been going on since the 60s (Steve Julian’s cub scout participation). I’ve lived in Pomona for 20+ years, I’ve never known about it before last year when I read about it in a website, I later then saw a banner downtown while serving jury duty. After 13 years in Phillips Ranch and 8 years in North Pomona, last year was the first I ever saw a sign up or a flyer about the parade. The city needs to do better to inform its residents.

    [Perhaps Pomona could do a better job on that. But I’ll point out that my newspaper, and my column therein, mentioned the parade in advance several times this year and in recent years, and my blog this year also mentioned the parade several days in advance. You may have to meet Pomona halfway on this one, Andy. If you want information about your community, a newspaper (specifically, ours!) is the obvious place to look for it, isn’t it? — DA]

  • Andy

    Ok David.. you got me. I just subscribed to the paper. I’ve always been hesitant about local IE issues…. but as I move further and further east, I’m spending less time in LA and I actually do pay SBDO property taxes. I used to lament that in Pomona, we got the IE edition of the LA Times when I cared most about the LA issues and spent most of time west of the IE. I’ll be in downtown for lunch tomorrow, I’ll wave to the Herald Examiner building of a paper that “was.”

    [Glad to have you aboard, Andy. You’ll never miss a parade again, and I hope you find other news of interest. — DA]

  • Andy

    David.. I think the IVDB doesn’t want me. After wondering why I haven’t received any papers during the past week and a half, I checked my credit card and they haven’t charged me. It’s fate.. the IVDB really really doesn’t want me.

    [Even if we didn’t want you, we still should have taken your money. Seriously, contact me with your phone number, etc., and I’ll try to straighten this out for you. — DA]

  • Andy

    I resubscribed again on the website. We’ll see if they want my money this time. Keeping fingers crossed.

    [If they don’t want it, I’ll take it. — DA]

  • Andy

    It seems they goofed my subscription and ther’es no easy way to upgrade it without having to call in. They signed me up for e-Edition only and I’ve been on it for the past week. No wonder I haven’t received any papers.

    [Andy, email me with your last name and contact info and I’ll get this straightened out. — DA]

  • Andy

    I just spoke to cust service during lunch. According to them, I was supposed to start receiving papers Jan 1st! Ha!!!

  • Andy

    Update again… papers still have not arrived. Called customer service again. They are getting ready to bill me for the second month of non-delivery. Last chance….

  • Andy

    I gave up. After a month of non-delivery, 2 prior calls to customer service, I made a third call to custerm service to cancel my subscription and ask for a refund because 0 papers were delivered.

    [Sorry, Andy. But remember, I did offer twice to help you, and you never responded. — DA]

  • Andy

    Thank you for the offer, but the IVDB customer service ppl were supposed to sort it out. Why they couldn’t I have no idea. Next time i see an IVDB booth / table… I’ll try a subscription that way. Might work better =)

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