John Parsons long took pride in the fact that he had not missed a City Council meeting since the 1980s, first as concerned citizen, later as a city commissioner, and then as two-term councilman.
Parsons was at Tuesday night’s meeting, at his station as one of the most civically engaged citizens in Redondo Beach history. He spoke glowingly about new public art projects and, as was his habit, was among the last to leave council chambers, conversing with folks after the meeting’s end.
But then Parsons, 60, currently a director with the RB Chamber of Commerce and a city planning commissioner, grew disoriented and “a bit wobbly,” as Mayor Steve Aspel described it, before suffering what appeared to be a full-blown stroke. Paramedics were on scene within five minutes and transported Parsons to Little Company of Mary Hospital.
“He was lucky in that five minutes later he would have been driving home,” Aspel said.
Aspel, who has known Parsons since childhood, said that doctors confirmed that Parsons had suffered a stroke. As of press time Wednesday afternoon, Parsons was fighting for his life. Blood was found in his brain, but it was not an operable condition.
“He’s a really, really good guy,” Aspel said. “Let’s hope he gets through this.”