By Neena Strichart/Publisher
Our entire office staff takes pride in publishing what we consider to be our weekly miracle. Between deciding which stories to assign to our reporters, dealing with press releases and handling advertisers, our plates are always quite full and, in some cases, seem to be spinning. Nevertheless, if an extra-special project comes our way, we usually jump at the opportunity to add a few extra plates, albeit temporarily.
Several months ago I spoke with Martha Thuente about helping to produce her committee’s Long Beach Veterans Day Parade program/booklet. The booklet is traditionally given to parade participants and attendees as a souvenir.
After she agreed to run my offer past the rest of the committee members, I stood by waiting for her signal to move ahead with the project. Before long, Miss Martha let me know that they were happy to turn the production of the publication over to us for this year’s parade. So wanting to impress her, I put together a team to assist with the program. Those involved have been Leighanna Nierle (our talented designer and graphics/layout artist), Cory Bilicko (our editor extraordinaire) and staff member Ashley Goodsell (who not only sells advertising in the paper but is quite a gifted journalist as well).
My main tasks for this undertaking were to come up with the basic layout design, choose the editorial content and sell all the ads. Although the venture may seem a bit daunting when added with the everyday tasks of running a newspaper, it was a labor of love. Martha was incredibly helpful with getting me the information I need for the basic part of the booklets. She sent us the list of parade participants, the bios and photos of the grand marshals, and she made arrangements to get us camera-ready ads for the sponsors (with the help of her fellow committee member Val Lerch– yes, that Val Lerch). Also, always available by phone and email, Martha and her hubby Al met with me several times for a bi-weekly, in-person walk-through of the project.
The program turned out just as beautiful as I had anticipated. Featuring not only details about the parade, information within the program also includes the history of each branch of the military and a beautiful centerfold depicting and telling the story of the veterans mural that is located in north Long Beach.
I want to thank not only our staff, but the sponsors of the parade and program advertisers. That list includes:
Bixby Knolls Car Wash & Detail Center, Southern California Edison, Congressmember Alan Lowenthal, Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe (sponsor), Long Beach Boy Scouts, Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal, Port of Long Beach (sponsor), The Salvation Army, Long Beach Councilmember Gerrie Schipske, Long Beach Water Department, Black Bear Diner, Emerson J. Fersch -Capital Investment Advisers, Vice Mayor of Signal Hill Ed Wilson, the City of Signal Hill, State Sen. Ricardo Lara, EDCO, Mercedes-Benz of Long Beach, California Mentor, Charter College, Bixby Knolls Towers, Kashiwa restaurant, House to Home Furniture, the Daughters of American Revolution, Marine Clerks Association, the Signal Hill Chamber of Commerce, The Undershirt, Long Beach Register, Signal Hill City Councilmember Larry Forester, Signal Hill City Councilmember Lori Woods, Terry Rogers, Big E Pizza, Friends of Long Beach Animals, Charter Business (sponsor), Long Beach Scottish Rite, Long Beach City College, Elks Lodge 888 Long Beach/Bellflower, U.S. VETS, The Flame Broiler, Bartlett Roofing, Sav-On-Signs (sponsor), Foremen’s Union Local 94, Joyful Care and Friedmans Appliance Center.
I have been attending, and in most cases, riding in the parade, since it first began 17 years ago. For years now, Steve has driven our vintage postal Jeep in the parade while I sat next to him waving at the crowd. The vehicle sports artsy graphic flames along with the Signal Tribune’s logo. This year, instead of the Jeep, we are honored to have the loan of a 1979 Rolls Royce Wraith to drive in the parade. The vehicle belongs to our friends Sheldon and Shell Grossman of the Bixby Knolls Car Wash and Detail Center.
I will still be riding up front next to Steve, while our dear friend Shell and my mother Marjorie ride in the back seat. Sheldon won’t be riding with us but will instead be found further up the parade route in his vintage Cadillac convertible. Sharing the ride with him will be our Congressmember Alan Lowenthal.
If you have never attended the Long Beach Veterans Day Parade, please plan to do so this year. The parade starts this Saturday at 10am at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Harding Street. And, for those who cannot attend, take a look online at our website to see a copy of the parade program. See us at signaltribune.com .