How do’ folks, and Happy VietNamese New Year!
Little Saigon, in Westminster California, comprises the largest population of VietNamese ex-patriots of anywhere in the world. The community was founded by those who escaped the communist invasion that followed the fall of Saigon in 1975.
[More photos after the break.]
Most made it here after abandoning all their material possessions. Doctors, lawyers, accountants, other professionals as well as tradesmen escaped the onslaught with virtually nothing, in order to save themselves and their families from the brutality of the communists. Many did not escape and many of those left behind did not survive.
What those survivors did with little more than integrity, a great work ethic, conservative values and a lot of patience transformed what might have been a crime-ridden slum into a prosperous community. I’ve got a lot of respect for the VietNamese.
I don’t live far from Little Saigon, so I decided to attend the local Tet parade for the heck of it. There were two things that compelled me to go:
1. See the V Hogs;
2. Look for moonbattery and report my findings on behalf of Blogmocracy.
As for No. 1, I saw and heard the V Hogs, a VietNamese Harley-Davidson afficionado group.
As for No. 2, there were rumors of attendance by a VietNamese pro-gay marriage group from San Jose with protests promised.
I was pleased that there was no blatant moonbattery to be found, and the counter protest was negligible, but on the other hand I was kinda hoping for photo-ops in Zombiestyle. It was just a nice quiet parade.
View looking west. I figured this was the place to be, until I found out that the parade was gonna be driving the wrong way on Bolsa Avenue. In a bizarre sarcastic twist, it was kind of appropriate.
I’m not a photographer, and my camera is, um, lame. I couldn’t see the viewfinder due to sunlight, so I just kinda aimed and clicked. My POS camera also likes to shut itself off, so I missed some good shots. Enough whining.
Veterans Color Guard. These guys got a lot of applause, for good reason.
Lee’s Sandwiches owes me bigtime for free advertising.
The V Hogs were cool and loud, but I thought that they’d at least spin the intersection. Instead they slowly rumbled through. This photo doesn’t do them justice.
This Marine held his ramrod straight salute while the jeep weaved.
That’s Dem Congresswoman Loretta Brixy Sanchez, squealing and bouncing and, well, being herself. She wouldn’t stop waving her arms enough for me to get a good shot. I’m not exaggerating when I say she was squealing, and she’s got no business participating in a parade with ANY military personnel, in my opinion.
There were A LOT of politicians coming down the way, mostly locals.
I spotted Dana Rorabacher, gave him a thumbs up and a shout out. Stevie Poizner, CA gubernatorial candidate, was around because I saw his name on a lowrider, but he didn’t see me. Otherwise I was quiet, like everyone else. The whole parade was strangely quiet.
The Dragons were fun. (This looked like a Tienanmen Square moment to me.)
There were Dragon Tamers with fans and papier-mâché buddah heads.
Like this guy.
Gathering from the comments around me, she’s famous in the VietNamese community. She was handing out sticky things on sticks.
I don’t know who she is, but she was very popular as well.
There were a few floats, but most of them puzzled me. VNCH-35 appears to refer to a VietNam War era bomber. Google it and let me know.
These folks were very popular. The guy on the left carried two boxes on a staff; then there’s monkeyperson and pig lady, next to the queen of something. A lot of people wanted to have their pictures taken with them, so I guess they’re important. The guy in the middle in the back is important, too, because people were getting photos with him alone. (I didn’t adjust the colors, pig lady really WAS fluorescent, as well as white and busty.)
Oh yeah. I forgot. It’s the Year of the Tiger. All Your Parade Are Belong To Us.
This group wanted me to “Rethink Your Drink,” so I did. Corn liquor and Tobasco from now on.
Don’t forget Green Dragon and the Orange Scow of the Asphalt.
Here’s the big fuss. A handful of gay-rights activists from San Jose. BFD. A few people clapped, but more booed them, and that was it. A big non-event…
…exept for this guy who stood in prayer. The other side of the cross had the words, “Are You Ready?” Again, BFD.
But at the end of the parade, I realized that peace had been kept thanks to the Blues Brothers’ Next Generation…
… complete with a photobomber.
Happy Year of the Tiger everyone!
Your Pal Bunk