Love where you live!
Of Reviewing Stands and Tiny Edco Trucks
LA MESA -- I was sitting directly across the street from the reviewing stand at the Flag Day Parade on Saturday.
It looked like a swell place to sit and watch the assorted parade marchers. Horses and twirling children and rescued pugs, esteemed veterans and elected officials and beauty queens. Fire trucks and Soap Box Derby boys. Bands and librarians. Pure small town parade and the perfect place to watch it from.
I waited for the chairs to fill up on the Reviewing stand. I was sitting with about 6 people, and I thought how neat it would be to sit up there and watch the parade go by from elevated chairs in the shade. But the stand was never, ever filled: Most of the seats remained empty.
While not normally keen on being critical of public officials or major donors or VIPs, I found the Reviewing Stand issue one worth commenting on because it made me kind of sad. I think the whole point of the reviewing stand is to have people sit on it and wave to the paraders. All of them. It strikes me as kind of rude to watch some of the parade and not all the parade: if your child or grandfather or neighbor draws the second to last slot in the parade, why should they have to walk past an empty reviewing stand. Don't they matter as much as the first half of the parade?
Now of course I've never sat up on that stand. And I've not been invited to either. Also, I'm not an elected official, and maybe other things come up and you can't sit up there. But I'm thinking it would be good to block out the morning of the parade and be there in support of all the time and money and costumes and spangles and candy that this parade is comprised of, this gift for the community. So maybe it's not fun sitting up there and I don't know what I'm talking about. But I think if I were elected by the citizens of La Mesa, I think I would have been sitting there cheering the entries on.
Maybe next year it might be better to omit the reviewing stand and let ordinary people put their chairs there, because from where I sat, all the ordinary parade goers didn't leave the parade until the Tiny Edco Truck drove by...