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(July 4, 2012)

Jim Helm introduces the program in the Heiser Auditorium with a request for applause for the various individuals and groups who helped to make the day a success.

A Tradition in Red, White, and Blue

By Dick Baznik

Kendal at Oberlin residents have celebrated Independence Day with a parade every year since the community opened, and 2012 is no exception. Headed by Jim and Anne Helm, the program included something for everyone, from the traditional elements of the event to a couple of new additions this year that are sure to please Peter, Paul & Mary fans: the Hammer of Justice and the Bell of Freedom.

Below are photographs from the events of the day, with brief captions describing the activities shown.

Before the parade starts, the Bell of Freedom – provided by George and Pete Andrews – is wheeled into position behind the flag bearers.

Ruth and George Bent get ready to join the parade (left), while Jim Helm addresses the marchers in Heiser Center.

Bill Rice (foreground) and Joe Palmieri lead Kendal’s team of AARP volunteer tax preparers as their segment of the parade takes its position.

Kendal’s legendary Precision Lawn Chair Drill Team heads out on the parade route. The team has become a highly popular component in Kendal and Oberlin celebrations.

Led by the fife and drum corps and the flag bearers, the parade rounds the bend in front of Heiser Center before a performance by the Lawn Chair Drill Team.

The Few, the Proud, the Kendal Precision Lawn Chair Drill Team (at left), with Donna Baznik, Ed Wardwell, and Joyce Parker. At right, Jim Hamilton carried the Gadsden flag, a historic symbol of colonial resistance to British rule bearing the legend “Don’t Tread on Me.”

Robert Taylor, who writes, directs, and performs in the Independence Day program in the Heiser Auditorium, offers opening remarks.

Featured performers during the Independence Day program in the auditorium include (left to right, top row) Donna Baznik as Abigail Adams, Dave Shall as Benjamin Franklin, Bob McClusky as Thurgood Marshall; (second row) Del Jenkins as Frederick Douglass, Marcia Deist as Carrie Chapman Catt, Jane Hannauer as Lucy Stone; (third row) Jerry Berner as Lyndon Johnson, George Hannauer (song leader), and Marian Lott (piano).

At the ice cream social during the afternoon of July 4, Budd Werner waits for his treat from scoopers Donna Baznik and Anne Helm.

Residents and guests gather to enjoy ice cream in the Whittier activities room, part of the recently opened assisted living space.

Lee and Bob Hefner relax with their dog at the ice cream social.