I have to admit this is going to be awkward. I’ve been invited to be the community grand marshal of Saturday’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King Day Parade in Gardena. Yes, you read that correctly. What’s awkward is that I’m always on the picture-taking side of events. Never a participant.
It’s quite an honor, no question. I follow a long line of community grand marshals who are chauffeured north along Van Ness Avenue, starting at Marine Avenue, in front of Serra High School. I look forward to riding in a nice car — for a change.
I have to go on record in thanking the Gardena Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Committee for this very special opportunity. Paulette Francis called me last summer and gave me the good news. I was stunned. The last time I was honored was at a local mud bowl game, when I was asked to be a sideline judge.
Not quite in the same league.
I hope I don’t screw up the parade. I’m going to try to sneak in some photography from the inside looking out. I hope I can get some nice shots of the good citizens of Gardena, who will be lining the streets during the parade.
On Friday night, I will attend the MLK Youth Night festivities at the Nakaoka Community Center. The presentation begins at 7 p.m. and winners of the MLK essay theme will be announced. One school has already called me to that its students “dominated” the essay contest. We shall see.