World War II veteran Joe Bell will be the grand marshal of this week's July 4 Rose White & Blue Parade, which will travel through San Jose's Shasta-Hanchett and Rose Garden neighborhoods starting at 10 a.m. Friday.
Bell became a viral video star this year when my colleague Julia Prodis Sulek recorded him greeting people in uniform as they hoofed it through his neighborhood for the 408k run in March.
His appearance in Friday's parade should be pretty cool, too, surrounded by the motorcycle-riding Patriot Guard Riders and an honor guard of cadets with flags. He'll be in uniform riding in the sidecar of a motorcycle driven by his son and followed by the Spirit of '45 group celebrating World War II veterans.
Other notables scheduled to be in the seventh annual parade include Olympic figure skater Polina Edmunds and a wine-harvester riding Jerry Lohr, whose J. Lohr winery is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
And, as usual, the parade will end with a picnic -- complete with live entertainment, cars and floats on display and food from neighborhood eateries -- from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information on the parade and picnic, go to www.rosewhiteblueparade.com.
HOME COOKING: I had lunch last week in Los Gatos at Spinello's East Coast Eatery, a cozy little Italian restaurant that took over the former home of Nick's on Main. Owner Michael Spinello, who you may remember as the early general manager at Opa!, based his recipes on the home-cooked meals of his youth and thought it would be a good idea to let others do the same.
So for the month of July, he's holding a recipe contest, and people can bring in their original dishes on Thursdays from 2 to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Michael and other judges will narrow the contest down to two finalists. Those dishes will be featured in a prix fixe dinner on Sept. 8, after which patrons can vote for their favorites (and a portion of the proceeds that night will go to the Los Gatos Police Foundation).
The winner gets a $500 gift certificate to the restaurant and will have their dish featured on the menu. The runner-up gets a $250 gift certificate, and everyone who enters gets a coupon for a free dessert. If you need more details, stop by the restaurant at 35 E. Main St. or call 408-402-5965.
THEN AND NOW: I ran into developer Barry Swenson the other day and got the chance to ask him about a story that I'd heard. It seems Swenson recently marked the 60th anniversary of getting his first building permit with the city of San Jose. At age 15, he was tasked with riding his bike to the city office to buy the permit for a building long forgotten in his memory. But he does remember the cost: $10. I asked him what the permits totaled on his latest project, and he told me $2 million. Times have certainly changed.
GOOD TIMING: Property owners started receiving their assessment notices in the mail late last week, but Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone assured me Saturday that it's purely coincidence that he's gone this week on a European vacation with his wife, Carmen. During the long-planned trip, Stone expects to cross off two more events on his sports bucket list: Wimbledon and the British Open. Of course, with assessments going back up thanks to the recovering market, I think I'd rather give everyone a couple weeks to cool off, too.