Last week’s Fourth of July parade again had no band to add the sound of music to the patriotic procession. This was pointed out again by Don Ridolfi, who marched in the parade as part of the veterans’ honor guard.
Don remembers when bands did play in patriotic parades in Tracy. Those would be the Loyalty Day parades staged in the 1960s and ’70s on May 1 each year. Clarence Griffin of the Veterans of Foreign Wars post rounded up participants, including several school bands.
But, as Don and I discussed, the May 1 date made it possible for school bands to participate, as classes were still in session. Not so on the Fourth
I agree that some kind of music would add a lot to the parade. The only hope I could offer Don, though, would be the formation of a musical group that wouldn’t necessarily have to march. Riding — and playing — on the back of a truck would do the job.
Maybe that’s something Shawn Kelley could organize for next year’s parade. Shawn filled a flatbed truck with a group of merry friends — some in patriotic garb — for this year’s parade, and that provided a new, and lively, addition. Add a few musicians to the group, and music returns to the Fourth of July parade.
I say returns to the parade, because the Tracy Community Band was originally organized to march in the first Fourth of July parade in 1991, when veterans of Operation Desert Storm were honored.
Meanwhile, at the park
And, of course, after last week’s parade, there was the Fourth celebration in Lincoln Park. It appears that it has been increasingly difficult in recent years to generate much of a crowd during the day at the park. I made a walk-through at about 2 p.m., and besides the entertainment, there wasn’t much happening. The Tracy Breakfast Lions Club drew a good number of hungry folks early for their annual pancake breakfast, but the crowds thinned out by mid-day.
A suggestion I first made a couple of years ago could help: Have only local nonprofit organizations operate food and game booths. It would take some recruiting and lowering of booth fees, but it would build local flavor and bring in supporters of the organizations. Some games for children, and perhaps adults as well, could also beef up the mid-day action.
Whether these ideas would boost attendance is an open question, but there have to be more reasons for more people to be at the park on the Fourth.
60 years of perfection
It’s amazing, but Jim Glotfelty, the retired florist, received a pin at the recent "kickout night" for the Tracy Rotary Club for having 60 years of perfect club attendance.
That record was obtained by attending weekly Tuesday meetings of the Tracy Club — or, if the meeting was missed,
"making up" within a week before or after the home club meeting at one of another club.
Jim joined the Tracy Rotary Club in 1947, soon after opening Glotfelty’s Flowers on West 10th St., and had his first year of perfect attendance in time to be honored at the 1948 kickout.
He told me that, on several occasions over those six decades, he had to schedule medical procedures carefully to keep his record intact. One year, friends had to carry him out of Tracy Community Hospital to a makeup meeting in Brentwood. After the meeting, they returned him to the hospital.
That’s what you call determination.
• Sam Matthews, Tracy Press publisher emeritus, can be reached at 830-4234 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.