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Sadies Tim Cabral to lead Christmas parade
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Sadies Beauty Salon owner Tim Cabral will lead this years Christmas parade with fond memories of his late mother who opened his salon 76 years ago in Manteca and was herself grand marshal of the yuletide parade in 1996. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Sadie’s Salon owner Tim Cabral has been named to be the grand marshal of Saturday’s Christmas Parade through downtown Manteca.  Humbled by his selection, Cabral was quick to say it’s not about him but about his late mother’s business that she first established in the 100 block of North Grant Avenue 76 years ago.

To prove his point about the “family” theme of the business with many longtime employees, he is not going to be heading up the line of march by himself but with four of his hair stylists in a Chrysler convertible with him representing 133 years of service to their Manteca area clients.

Carla Fredriks has been with Sadie’s for 42 years, Sharon Alton has been in the salon for 35 years, Connie Smith for 30 years, and Debbie Volk, 26 years.

“The five of us will just be representing Sadie’s,” he said.

With a degree in accounting, Tim has admittedly stayed in the background keeping the business afloat financially and providing a working schedule for his stylists to serve both men and women at the West Yosemite Avenue shop.

Tim cracked a big smile when he recalled his mother’s selection as grand marshal for the same parade. 

“She thought she was going to be in a car by herself,” he said.  “It was a surprise for her that she would be riding instead in a horse drawn carriage – she was very excited. It was threatening rain that evening,  but it didn’t,” he said, hoping for the same luck with the weather this weekend.

Cabral got a little nostalgic remembering that first Christmas parade 40 years ago in 1972 when he was 12 years old.  He and his mother and his Aunt Gussie and older brother Dennis walked the block down to Yosemite Avenue parade route from their home in the 100 block of North Lincoln Avenue.  He remembered many of the elementary schools had bands in the parade along with Manteca High.

Memories of watching that parade brought back a recollection of several downtown businesses nearby to where they were standing on the curbing.  On the corner was Buster and Curly Dowhower’s City Cash Market adjacent to Mel’s Billiards and the A&W Drive-In restaurant and the Ice House, Smitty’s Lunch Counter and the Greyhound Bus Depot – all on Yosemite Avenue just west of Lincoln.

He said that he and his siblings had been in many of the community’s Portuguese parades but never in the Christmas parade.

“Mom loved Christmas – she would decorate every room in the house,” he said.  “She had been  a child during the Depression and things were pretty austere.  When we were kids she made up for it,” he said smiling, “even making her own decorations.”

Tim said his mother would go so far as to make ceramic decorations like a large Santa that would hold candy canes, along with a cookie jar and cocoa mugs.

His Dad Tony took care of the Christmas dinner menu and his mom set the table in what was always a “highly festive” manor while his mother Sadie would visit the neighbors with her special Christmas greetings. 

It was an older neighborhood even 40 years ago and there were few children until a couple moved in across Lincoln Avenue.  They soon had several children that Sadie adored taking them treats and presents at Christmastime.

Saturday will be a night to remember for Tim – certainly a night of memories.