More than 40 themes were submitted to PAPA (Palisades Americanism Parade Association), by the May 7 deadline, and at a May 10 meeting, PAPA volunteers voted on their favorite. This year’s Fourth of July parade theme “Diamond Jubilee in 2023” was submitted by Judy and Wayne Marcus.
“I was absolutely shocked,” Judy said about the call she received from Matthew Rodman, the president for PAPA telling the couple that their theme had been selected. “The theme just seemed obvious to me, so I figured at least 10 people had submitted that one already, but I also figured, why not?”
Judy said, “I wrote it and pressed ‘send.’”
Maybe it was beginner’s luck, because this was the first time the couple has entered the contest.
Judy was born in Memphis but has been in L.A. since she was a baby. Her spouse, born in San Francisco, has lived in L.A. since he was a teenager.
The couple met on a singles beach walk for the Sierra Club. The friend Judy had gone with had left, and she was speaking with another guy, who went into use the El Segundo public toilets.
While he was inside, “Wayne came up and started talking with me,” Judy said, laughing about the couple meeting at such a “romantic location.”
Here’s where Wayne, who received his engineering degree from UCLA stepped up his game. “Do you like sushi?” he asked and took Judy to Hama Sushi in Venice.
Another man sitting on the other side of Judy challenged Wayne and, “he then engaged in a contest of eating tempura fried shrimp heads,” she said.
Chalk up another romantic moment and maybe kismet, because Wayne and Judy have been married for 34 years.
Since they moved to Pacific Palisades 25 years ago, Wayne has been active in MKPOA (Marquez Knolls Property Owners Association). He has done legal research to aid people in the neighborhood in supporting the local CC&Rs and view rights.
Judy, who graduated from Stanford with a degree in history and her law degree from UCLA, initially worked as deputy district attorney, before joining a family practice Gelfand & Gelfand. For the past several years, she has been a docent at the Getty Villa.
The couple are enthusiastic about the Palisades and their neighborhood. “We love the view; the quiet; and the fresh air,” they said. “We have two wonderful music programs in our backyard: St. Matthew’s Music Guild and Chamber Music Palisades.”
And the worst thing about living in Pacific Palisades? “The difficulty of getting anywhere east of the 405 during the afternoon and evening,” they said.
The winners generally have a choice of riding on the fire truck in the parade or sitting in the grandstand, but Judy said, “I am shy, so I would be more comfortable in the grandstand.”