Sam Adrignola, an American hero, who fought to save our freedom
from the threat of
Hitler and Hirohito in WWII.
Click here to view photos.
Kensington, a community of San Diego, recently held its 25th Annual Memorial Day Parade. As parades go Kensington’s is not yet a serious rival to Pasadena’s famed Rose Bowl Parade, but it is, in its own unique fashion, quite lovely – and has become for its residents and those of neighboring communities, the place to be Memorial Day.
The parade has had its memorable moments. There was, for instance, the time after the Gulf War, when the California National Guard provided several M-60 tanks, which proceeded to put on a spectacular demonstration, roaring up Marlborough Drive (the street where the parade is held), emitting great drifts of black smoke (reminiscent, some thought, of Patton and Rommel facing off during WWII in the Libyan Desert). It was all very exciting, even if a considerable amount of rubber tore away from the M-60’s tracks, flying off in various directions and claiming, in the process, at least one large picture window (the City of San Diego was not pleased). There's also the memory of a police helicopter that did a very low and loud fly over, which startled parade watchers and frightened the neighborhood’s cats and dogs.
But the parade's true glory is found in the kids who march proudly behind the banners of their respective schools – Franklin Elementary St. Didacus, etc. – the antique car buffs with their prized ancient beauties, the Optimist Club's band, dancers of all ages, assorted clowns, and, of course, local politicians (parades and politicians go together like motherhood and apple pie).
Organizing the parade are members of the Kensington Social and Athletic Club (there’s a reason why “social” precedes “athletic”). Its president is Julie Braden. The parade’s director is John Kaheny, a retired United States Marine Corps Colonel. Milt Keller, who some call the “Mayor of Kensington”, serves as the parade’s mc. But putting on a parade takes more than Ms. Braden, Colonel Kaheny and Mayor Keller, able though they are. It’s a true community parade – and its success is one and inseparable from that fact.
For several years I have served as the “official” parade photographer. But until now no one – actually that would be me – had figured out what to do with the pictures taken. Some people churlishly suggested, not having ever seen the photos, that I forgot to put film in the camera, or, using a digital camera, forgot the compact flash card. Neither was true; but, hey, we all have our critics.
At last, it hit me. Why not create, as a public service on The City Club’s Web site, a page for the Kensington Memorial Day Parade. That we have now done (the “we” being me and DMX-Direct in Denver, Colorado).
Below you will find a selection of photographs from this year’s parade. As the “official” photographer I get to choose the pictures. If you or your group isn’t represented in this year’s selections, send me an e-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next year I promise to do better.
President – The City Club of San Diego