For the 46th time, the members of the Audubon Road Social Society proudly drove their annual July 4 float down Longcommon Road as part of Riverside’s Independence Day celebration. With three generations taking part, it is truly a picture of small town togetherness.
The group begins their “design” discussion most often at the Chamber of Commerce’s Steak Fry, where they feel is an appropriate place since many of them are together. The group tries to follow the theme of the parade and adds something they feel is pertinent to Audubon Road.
This year they added a “Welcome Back, Jon and Deb” (Jansky) sign to celebrate the return of Jon and Deb Jansky to Jon’s boyhood home on Audubon. Jansky will be neighbors again with his boyhood friend, Jack Wilk, who also lives in his boyhood home.
Nancy Dvorak states that the real “builders” and architects of the float are Jon Jansky and Jack Wilk; she and many of the others are the napkin folders and stuffers. This year the water tower dominated the central part of the float, which also included a jungle gym that later found its way to the backyard of Christine (Dvorak) Long.
The Fourth of July is a daylong event for the residents of Audubon, beginning with doughnuts for breakfast, hot dogs for lunch and a catered dinner — no work just fun for all.
The popularity of the get together brings back many former residents and relatives of those who lived there, like the granddaughter of the Art Mravic (who lived in the home of Bill and Paulette Kernan).
She stopped by to see for herself what her grandparents had always talked about when they lived in Riverside. Dan Hunt, a resident of the street introduced neighbors to his fiancée, Kelly, to whom he recently became engaged. Another future float builder perhaps. Joe Dvorak IV missed being part of this year’s float since, as the new president of the Lions Club, he marched with that group.
Although I live on Selborne Road, I look forward every year to seeing what the Audubon Road folks come up with and watching Jack Wilk drive the truck pulling the float, with his boyhood friend along for the ride, down Longcommon. That and seeing the RBHS band (especially a certain drummer), good weather, and people having a good time makes my day.
Thank you to Sheila Gentile who took the time to put flags on the front lawns of the homes on Selborne, Uvedale and Northgate Court. A nice surprise! And may it proudly wave!