WHEN THE SWALLOWS COME BACK JUNE 29, 2015
It turned out that I told Rita, the Fiesta Association President, that
I would be honored to serve as the Grand Marshal before we even left
the Mixer. Thought I’d better grab it because the powers that be might
just decide to grab some other hapless soul while I vacillate around on
giving Rita and Directors my answer. This is one time I didn’t let any
grass grow under my size 6’s. Since this was June 2008, we made a
date in late September for Rita to come out to La Quinta to give me a
rundown about all the arrangements that would have to be made at the
end of the year.
In August I was out in yard surveying my Mexican Lime tree, and
managed to pull one of my Humpty Dumptys, while traversing the
landscaped dry river bed by the tree to get a better look at my crop
which gives the Don Julio a nice little tang — I slipped, landing on the
rocks, Ouch! Ended up with gash on right lower shin, which ended up
with a MRSA infection. It’s a good thing I was almost recovered, or Rita
might’ve thought it wasn’t too late to replace me. Horrors!!
When Rita arrived in September, I was still sporting the bandage, I
was feeling good, and we didn’t waste any time going over all the details.
There would be a Photo Opp in December, publicity stories, interviews
with the Orange County Register and also photos with The Desert Sun.
The Association had a Publicity woman, Barbara Kimler, who would be
taking care of most of this. Barbara has since become a dear friend to
Alba and me, and she visits the Desert to play golf with the Warden.
Barbara also has a friend, Molly, who comes over from Cypress to join in
on the golf and partying.
The first thing we had to do was the Photo Opp, and that came up
in December. Alba and I went over to spend several days, not only for
the photos, but to visit Family and friends. For the photos I wore a white
shirt with large collar under a red velvet jacket, with black slacks. The
Photographer had picked a wonderful backdrop area down on Rios St.
where the City has been busy for years refurbishing and rebuilding the
old houses – some adobe, some board and batten – all very old. Many
adobes are from the early Mission days, which was founded in 1776.
Rios Street has become a big tourist attraction.
Before we fled back to Coachella Valley, we took Rita’s advice on
where to find Western garb, and turned into Fred’s Ortega Tack & Feed
Store where we had a grand time shopping. I ended up with two jackets,
one a light tan suede, turquoise-color beaded; the other a black leather
with brass studs. These were expensive. Then 3 fancy Western shirts, a
maroon, a blue, and a green. Expensive. A pair of dressy tan riding pants
– expensive; and I already had Western Levy’s at home. So there’re my
get-ups. Oops, the boots there were not to my liking, so the minute we
arrived home I was on Zappo’s web site, and found a deal: a black pair
on close-out for $68 — couldn’t click fast enough to snag those; the tan
ones were not on close-out but plenty inexpensive and I had to have a
tan pair. Two ensembles: one for the Grand Marshal-ing, and one for La
An Aside: One time, the President of Zappo’s sent me a bouquet! I
had to call the Company because they didn’t have a certain shoe, and by
the time I had talked to everybody in the whole place with all my stories,
and how old I was, the President’s Secretary probably gave him the word
that he’d better send me a birthday bouquet to soothe me — and get
busy and order a pair of the Trotter white shoes for me, while he was at
it. It was in April, with my birthday coming up.
So, now where are we? Oh, yes, it’s about the Grand Marshal
chapter of my life, so get going, Melitas — stop horsing around.
Next, all those interviews and publicity items were taking place.
That meant the time was getting close. I was getting antsy, and I knew
the natives in San Juan were working themselves into a fever pitch.
The Parade would go on, rain or shine, on Saturday March 21,
2009. However, remember I mentioned the La Presidenta Ball, and this
goes on the Saturday prior to Parade weekend, the 14th. The Warden was
committed to an 80th birthday party so had to forego all the whooping and
hollering over in San Juan. My 2nd niece, Roberta Forster, a very dutiful
niece, drove from Huntington Beach to La Quinta, on Friday, then to San
Juan, where the 2 of us camped at the Best Western for the weekend.
Off we went on Saturday night to join other Family members at El
Adobe. We had our own reserved table amongst the notables, and I had
been scheduled to say a “few” words. The party-goers were mostly in
“period” costumes, circa 1850’s Western – women in colorful long, loose
skirts, fellas in dark long jackets, boots. There was dancing to a live
band. The speakers took over for a little while, and when my turn came, I
managed to keep it short. I figured if I went on and on, as usual, they
still had time to replace me. I related a comical little story about my
Great – Great Uncle, Andrés Pico, whose brother was Pío Pico, Mexican
Governor of California, and Andrés was the General of the Mexican Army.
Someday I will tell the story if I can write it in my Mexican-Anglo dialect.
I wanted to write more about the Gala, but need to get on with the
Parade, but here I am at bottom of Page 3 with no Parade in sight. This
story may continue as my life work. Next week, Part III, will be all about
the Friday night before the Parade with a huge Forster, and others, party
at El Adobe.
THEN the PARADE. Please hang in there, Gang.
MELITAS FORSTER MONDAYS WITH MELITAS