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Burb¿s Eye View: Big city, small town

April 14, 2011|By Brian Mahoney

About halfway through her conversation with the woman next to her, I finally take notice of the logo emblazoned on the red wool of her jacket. For a sunny Saturday, she is sure dressed warm for the parade.

“Probably going to be the coldest one on record for sure,” someone tweeted Saturday morning.

Sometimes I forget where I am.

Ron Howard leads the parade not far from where I stood, and the woman shifts forward in her lawn chair to get a better view. She clutches a child and they point down Olive Avenue toward the procession — giant letters spelling B-U-R-B-A-N-K are pushed along by military service members who could be in a lot of other places this day, but smile at their fortune to brave a slight chill.

I took a picture of this mother and son, which you can see at I want to remember the yellow crown logo on her fiery red jacket. It proclaims her affiliation with The Road Kings, a hot-rod club that is more than 50 years old. Beneath the crown, in letters just as bright, “BURBANK.”


On Saturday, a day honoring 100 years of history in Burbank, hometown pride was easy to come by. But I was struck by the woman’s jacket, denoting a proud hot-rod tradition that has a history all its own — a pride that lives on the other days of the year.

I walked the parade route and watched two dogs greet each other in their custom, boundless way. Inevitably their owners struck up a conversation, maybe it was about the weather. A little farther down, two middle-age men who hadn’t seen each other in a while shared big smiles and a hearty handshake, while a team of middle-school dancers stomped along the roadway and kept pace with the parade.

Two different kinds of pride, two threads of connection that may look different but feel the same.

Again, I encountered the pride as I entered the candy brittle shop. The owner was disappointed when I told him I was only stopping in to grab a napkin. He gave me some free samples anyway.

After the parade, I tried out one of Burbank’s institutions, Frank’s Restaurant. The food was good, and more than fueled my wife and me for our next appointment: the Burbank Marriott for Monsterpalooza.

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