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As the Rose Bowl Parade is underway at the moment, memories flood back of the time from 1975 through 1980, and then again in the mid to late 80s, when I participated in the parade as an organizer and PR person for the McDonald’s All-American High School Band, which participated annually in the Rose Bowl Parade. The band members were selected through an application process from each of the States and Washington, D.C., and assembled to march and play annually in this and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The talented Band also did live concerts and parades on the East coast and in Chicago, and in California and Arizona, entertaining thousands of young people and families, including a break-out jazz band which did additional performances, including the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon. We endured rain storms, earthquakes and every sort of technical and logistical challenges imaginable, yet always managed to have a fun and memorable time, by band members, staff and supporters. I once even had the chance to play the kazoo accompanying Lionel Hampton onstage at Carnegie Hall, in rehearsal there for the band’s concert with Hamp. And I married the never-tiring travel agent for the All-American Band, almost 33 years ago.

January 2011

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