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Louise and Michael are Grand Marshals

By DONNA MCLEAN,

Most visitors to next week’s Magee Christmas parade will easily recognize the two citizens chosen as Grand Marshals for the annual event.  Magee natives Louise Windham and her grandson Michael Dunn are familiar faces around town.

With her daughter Donna Dunn, Louise helps run Windham’s Restaurant, more commonly known as Zip’s, which was established by her late husband, Zip Windham, and has been in the family for years.  Donna says Louise is in the restaurant working most days from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m. and often there at other times.

Louise turned 90 on November 24 and celebrated her birthday with the group of friends who gather every Friday night at the restaurant to visit and have supper in “the back room.”

Michael, 34, comes to Zip’s three times a day to eat his meals, “but mostly to socialize with everybody who comes in,” says  his mom Donna, adding, “He’s a people person.”

The two are also familiar supporters of events at the Magee Sportsplex, where Michael’s dad, City Recreation Director David Dunn, runs the sports programs and Windham family members have been involved in city baseball programs for years.

“They are two characters,” Donna laughed.  “Michael loves Mama, and Mama loves Michael.  She does what he wants her to, and he does what she wants him to!”

 Louise says that she is excited about the parade.  “And Michael will love it!” said Donna.  “He has always ridden in the truck that pulls Santa’s sleigh, every year since I can remember.  He loves to wave at the people.  He doesn’t know they’re waving at Santa, he thinks they’re waving at him!”

Louise and Michael will dress to match the parade theme of Downtown Disney, but Donna says they are still trying to decide on costumes.  “We want to do something different,” she said.

The parade is sponsored by the Magee Chamber of Commerce, and its Board of Directors chooses the grand marshals every year from nominations for the honor.

Board member Diane McPhail said, “Louise and Michael have lived all their lives in Magee, representing and supporting Magee every day.  Everybody knows them.  Who better to represent our town in the parade?”

The Christmas parade will be held on Magee’s Main Avenue beginning at  6 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 14.