Anaheim High Class of ’51 graduate Jo An (Burdick) Gottlieb credits living a life she describes as a “dream come true” to being at the right place at the right time. In one instance, the right place and time happened to be sitting on a curb in 1939 at age 5 with her parents and sister in front of Anaheim’s old Chung King Cafe on Center Street (now Lincoln) waiting for the Halloween Parade to begin.
“Looking to the east I saw the band approach with girls out front holding these shiny things.” The objects that caught her attention were batons being tossed and twirled by the band’s majorettes. From that day forward, Jo said her dream was to be the “best darn baton twirler ever.”
But she never imagined that from her humble beginnings, practicing with a bamboo pole in the alley behind her homeat500 N. Vine Street, that she would one day lead the nation’s top parades as a majorette, appear on stage and screen with entertainers like Frank Sinatra and own her own baton, dance and music studio. In Jo words: “It’s been one fabulous ride.” [Read more…]