Sometimes my plans for a column go awry which is what happened to this week’s column plans. I had hoped to tell you all about Silvia Michl who will be celebrating her 100 birthday on July 4th but I was not able to get in touch with all of my sources to get a good story.

So, as oft happens, I will give you some tidbits with the promise of Silvia’s story for next week. What I do know, and it isn’t much, she is still a member of the Junior Woman’s Club (which is a good sign for the rest of us), still attends some of the functions and, hopefully, there will be a car celebrating Silvia in Riverside’s July 4 parade, so if she is there give her a wave, wish her a happy birthday and wait for next week to learn more about the lady.

Since the Riverside July 4th celebration has been consuming a lot of my time lately, I thought I would let you in on a few trade secrets. In case you didn’t know, this year’s theme is “Saluting the People of Riverside” and it is meant as a tribute to the residents from the Friends of the Fourth steering committee for making it possible to have the celebration through their financial donations, time and talent.

At one time the theme was chosen by a committee, and it was always patriotic in nature. Many times it was a phrase from a patriotic song. It soon evolved into a contest for school-age children and run by the Junior Woman’s Club, with a chance to win some type of prize. The best part was that the winner rode in the parade with a sign stating the occupant was the “Theme Contest Winner.”

Normally, the Riverside parade has a car for the grand marshal, someone selected by a committee (of whom I’m not sure) to ride in a designated car strategically placed toward the front of the parade.

The position of grand marshal is one of honor and requires being able to do a good parade wave. This year there will be no one person riding in the grand marshal’s car. As another tribute to the residents, they are all considered the grand marshal, because this is, indeed, their celebration.

So Riverside, enjoy your party because you made it happen. Remember also why we celebrate the day – whether you call it Independence Day, the Fourth of July or simply The Fourth. There are many people who will never know the freedoms we have.

Joe B., Andy, Danny, Rey and Ben, thank you for helping to make my hopes for July 4 a reality.