I’ve been doing it a number of years, and the number of onlookers stationing themselves in the shade there Sunday morning was about the usual. Some old faces are gone, but new ones seem to be taking up the slack.
Among the old-timers, Eva Rocha Wright was there for the first time in years, and Linda Cox, grandmother of the festa queen, Alex Leonardo, was eager to see the parade units come by.
There was even a delegate from the Free State of Banta — Jo Amaral Foley — among the watchers.
It was good to see Josie Costa — who lost her husband, Johnny, not long ago — at the parade. She was reunited with an old friend, Elaine Caton Connors, among a number of others at the park.
Before the parade, I walked around Lincoln Park for the first time since it had been reconstructed and reopened. The new lawn looks great, and the public areas, including the water-spray area, appear to be first-class.
The recently remade gazebo continues a tradition started in 1978, when Don Cose and his crew of volunteers constructed the first gazebo in the same place to help Tracyites celebrate the centennial of the founding of our town in 1878.
But that piece of artwork in the center of the park’s rose garden really, really struck me as one element of the park that detracts from the park’s appeal.
It is constructed of pieces of glass, plates and mirrors cemented to a round dome with a bench. The mostly white whatever-it-is just stands out like a sore thumb in an otherwise park-like setting.
The statue — I guess you would call it that — was an art-in-public-places project that never quite belonged in the rose garden from day one and looks more out of place as times goes by.
On a more positive note, it appears without a doubt the reconstructed park will be ready for the Fourth of July Day in the Park, which we will know is here when the hot-air balloons begin to rise into the early morning air and pancakes come popping off the Breakfast Lions grill.
A very real factor
The obituary that appeared in the Press for Catherine McGowan noted that she had a 45-year career in the health care field and that she served most recently as an administrator at the Tracy hospital.
All of those facts are certainly correct, but they don’t really relate the important role Catherine played at what was then Tracy Community Memorial Hospital.
Ruth Bolton was the hospital’s administrator from 1963 to 1984, and Catherine was assistant administrator during those 21 years and for several years beyond.
While Ruth set the general direction and policies and worked with the board on finances and plans for the hospital, it was Catherine who made things work on a day-to-day basis.
She had a direct, but also very pleasant, way of getting things done.
During her tenure, the hospital made a concerted effort to add physicians to its staff. On a regular basis, Catherine would call me and tell me a new doctor had come aboard. I interviewed a good number of them and in the process became acquainted with many of the docs who settled in Tracy during those years.
I know I wasn’t alone in enjoying my contact with Catherine and realizing how important she was to the successful operation of Tracy’s community hospital.
• Sam Matthews, Tracy Press publisher emeritus, can be reached at 830-4234 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.