What a Great Day for a Parade!
We may not have been the largest group marching down Western Avenue in the annual South Side Irish Parade on St. Patrick’s Day, but the Leo High School contingent may well have been the most spirited.
With the incomparable Leo Drum Line working non-stop over the 1½-mile parade route, close to 30 alums joined Leo faculty, parents and staff on a breezy jaunt that reminded this South Side community that Leo still beats with the heart of a Lion a few miles to the northeast.
For the third straight year, 90-year-old Barney Janecki from the Class of ’46 was the acknowledged Grand Marshall of the Leo group. This year we provided a float decked out in orange and black so Barney and his fellow senior alums could ride in style. The float was also a perfect setting for lovely Samira Rawls, 8-year-old daughter of principal Shaka Rawls, to hold forth as Parade Princess, after she’d spent much of Saturday picking out the perfect green wardrobe. Shaka himself caught a red-eye return flight from a work trip to California to make sure he was there for the revelry.
As prideful shouts of “My (grandfather, dad, brother, uncle, etc.) went to Leo!” greeted us, the Drum Line got the crowd to moving with its infectious high-energy rhythms. No one who saw the Leo contingent in action would dispute that Leo High School is alive and well.