Piece of Mind: Hats off to our chamber

LA Canada

Clear skies and warm days made for solid turnouts at the weekend's Fiesta Days events. A few people who were in the parade this year commented to me that they'd never seen so many people lined up on both sides of the boulevard for the main event — and I believe it. On our little stretch of the sidewalk we gave away many gallons of lemonade and countless cups of coffee, to onlookers as well as thirsty parade participants who had finished the route at its Gould Avenue terminus and had to walk back up Foothill several blocks to retrieve their cars.

What fun it was to see neighbors and friends over the long holiday weekend, brought together courtesy of the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce and Community Assn. The committee, headed this year by Barbara Marshall after a long run by Greg Boyer, did a splendid job.

They chose "Hats off to Our Heroes!" as the theme of the parade, thanking the public safety agencies that saved our collective bacon during the Station fire and resulting mudslides the city endured in recent months.

I missed the Community Breakfast and Vintage Car Show on Saturday, having been invited to something I simply could not pass up — a visit with renowned adventurer John Goddard, surely one of the most fascinating residents of our city who each year organizes a tour of his and his wife Carol's "museum," followed by a hike in the San Gabriels. As Gil and I sat in the Goddards' living room with several other guests, listening to John speak of his many travels, I kept thinking how fortunate we are to have this man in our midst. He is quite an inspirational character who does not know the meaning of "can't." If you are not acquainted with him, check out his website: www.johngoddard.info.

On Sunday I spent about 90 minutes manning the refreshments table during the Lanterman House open house, and later, from our front yard, enjoyed the incredible fireworks show that was gifted to the city by the Allen Lund Co. We drove past the park at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday and saw it was packed with empty beach chairs set up well in advance of the 8:40 p.m. show by people who didn't want to be left without a comfortable viewing spot.

Kim Beattie at the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA reported there was a significant boost in participation in Monday morning's Fiesta Fun Run, sponsored by the Y. In fact, 50% more people signed up this year than in 2009.

Youths, directed by Joe Puglia, took the lead in the Memorial Service that preceded the parade. Read Joe's column today to learn more about their involvement. And, if you couldn't be there Monday, stop by the park gazebo one day soon and reflect on the names on the plaques mounted there that are dedicated to La Cañada's fallen members of the armed forces. Several new names, recently discovered, were added to the memorial plaques this year.

All in all, it was a perfect weekend. Hats off to our chamber!

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