Come on, weatherman, cooperate!
Bok Eye, the water deity, has been diligently protecting us during the annual Bok Kai parade. The accepted truth is that it might rain on the Saturday of the parade right up until the start of the parade, then Bok Eye makes it stop.
Well ... it sort of seems that’s so. Still, the weather hasn’t been exactly pleasant the last couple years – rainy, breezy, too cool for our liking. It doesn’t stop the parade or festivities, but the crowds don’t show up and don’t stick around like they would if it was blue skies, warm and calm.
Whatever the weather, folks, get out there and support our local culture.
It’s no secret that we’re big Bok Kai parade enthusiasts. There’s nothing like it. It’s a typical American celebratory parade – people driving old cars, people riding horses, people driving hot-rods, people marching, a couple marching bands, groups with decorated trailers and even a couple actual floats ... and it’s all pumped up several degrees with a gong master, tons of firecrackers, lion dancers, and the wonderful dragon.
There are only remnants of the Chinese community of 50 years or more ago. But it’s still a vital part of our history. And in the last few years, there’s been a lot of effort put into shoring up the imprint of the Chinese community by fixing up the old school, making sure important historical pieces are on display, cleaning up and revitalizing that area around the Temple.
We’re urging everyone to give it a go. Put on a sweater and a windbreaker or a raincoat, take along an umbrella and a folding chair and show up to cheer on our community – in Chinese mode. These are the things that help pull us together.
The parade starts at 11 a.m. at Sixth and D streets and proceeds through old downtown Marysville. There are vendors and children’s games planned for downtown, and lion dancers will perform in the afternoon. Definitely worth chancing the the weather.
Thumbs up: Also on this Bok Kai weekend, welcome to those from outside the area who are traveling to Marysville to join in the festivities and to meet about preserving the culture. A handful of historians, scholars and civil rights leaders have started a committee that will be meeting here this weekend.
“I don’t think much of the younger generation knows that Marysville was once the second largest Chinatown in the United States. If it wasn’t for the Chinese Exclusion Act, it might still be the second largest,” said Jean Quan, former mayor of Oakland.
Meetings are taking place at the Yuba County Library. Organized by members of the museum and Chinese Historical Society of San Francisco, they are planning panel discussions and tours, plans for educating people about the culture and heritage, and the possibility of an annual pilgrimage.
Thumbs down: We’re sorry the Marysville Charter Academy for the Arts is lacking space to work, rehearse and perform. What’s a school that specializes in performance arts to do without a stage?
What’s really sad is that the fantastic looking Marysville Community Auditorium is now unusable – it doesn’t conform to earthquake standards and can’t be worked on without addressing that issue. To bring the building into compliance would cost more than the building is worth – we’re talking upwards of $20 million.
Any interest from the community in raising the money to upgrade and preserve the historic auditorium? Something will have to give sooner or later.
Thumbs down: By the way, what’s the status of the as-good-as-derelict buildings dominating the drive-by scenery in old Marysville? The State Theater and the Marysville Hotel? The city, a couple years ago, did some pushing on the buildings’ owners, who pushed back a little.
How many decades must go by, city leaders, before the long-vacant buildings, allowed to deteriorate, are dealt with?
Ugh. Here are some things we call, “Tonyisms”:
Chickens: The only animal you eat before they are born and after they are dead.
Egotist: Someone me-deep in conversation.
Mosquito: An insect that makes you like flies better.
Secret: A story you tell to one person at a time.
Definition of Old: I quietly confided to my friend that I was having an affair. He turned to me and asked, “Are you having it catered?”