July Fourth

If you read the About screed, you know one of the best-kept secrets of Mission Terrace is that we host the city’s only Fourth of July parade. It’s so well-kept the owner of the house next door, who came by today to do some maintenance work, didn’t even know about it  – and she raised her son here.

The parade is just a neighborhood affair, but the SFFD sends a hook and ladder truck and the Ingleside Police Department contributes a couple of cars with officers. The local car club sends a contingent of rods for display, and the Roxie Market contributes burgers, dogs and associated fixings including a birthday cake for the old U.S. Our association secretary bungees an ancient boom box to a hand truck, cues up a patriotic march on a cassette,  tapes some American flags to the handles and leads the parade, followed by the police, the hook and ladder, and all the kids in the neighborhood towing wagons, riding trikes or just walking.

As in years past, I worked the grill line for the affair, but I had time to take a few pics.


From left to right: Ron, who has done this before; Juan, who works at the Roxie and is a cook by trade, and Paul, who has lived in the neighborhood for ten years and is just fine with the idea that people don’t know where in San Francisco Mission Terrace is.


We always feed the first responders first. That gives them time to go and show their stuff.


This qualifies as “stuff.”


Everyone is a volunteer here, even the tweeners who are drafted by their parents. The tables and canopies are pulled out of people’s garages. I brought my own spatulas and Juan drove me back home to get a grill brush and fireplace poker.  The grill is borrowed from a church across the street from the Roxie.

A line of hungry people. The gent in the wheelchair is 94 years old, and used to work at the Roxie. Before that he worked in the laundry for the Fairmont Hotel. Before that he was in WWII. Before that…well, it doesn’t matter what anyone who’s 94 did before that.

Change is coming to Balboa Park. Some of the trees in the background are due to come down as part of a park renovation. The building to the left houses an indoor pool. The park also has a soccer field, two baseball diamonds, tennis courts, a children’s play park, a dog run and will soon feature a skateboard park – necessitating the removal of trees on the other side of the park. All of this and more will be upgraded as part of the renovation.

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