Chester The Donkey Made The Grade

January 18, 1993|By Phyllis Brill

Chester, a 5-year-old donkey from Potomac, is among the Marylanders chosen to march in the 1993 Inaugural Parade.

So how did he do it?

"Chester is very unique -- for a donkey," said Sally Aman, parade spokeswoman. "He has black and white fur, you know."

Ms. Aman said more than 500 parade hopefuls applied for the chance to march down Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day. A committee of experts pared the list to 125.

Chester wasn't the only donkey to make the final cut. No fewer than four burros, including a female named Irene from Alabama and a pair of Catalonian donkeys from New Mexico, will be there, too.

"After all," Ms. Aman said, "the donkey is the symbol of the Democratic Party."

In Chester's case, there was some political jockeying at work as well.

"Chester is a donkey for change," said his owner, artist Susan Margolis, who admits the video she made of her donkey promoting the popular Democratic icon might have had something to do with his selection.

"It was only a minute and a half, but it was set to music," she said.

Ms. Margolis also wrote the parade committee several letters about her donkey, who, besides being her pet is a companion for her horse, Rocket, a former polo pony.

"She was very persistent," Ms. Aman said, "and Chester seemed truly interested in being in the parade. I guess you could say he really caught our eye."

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