I REMEMBER NEW YEARS DAY
We lived just outside of Pasadena, and the Rose Parade was a big deal. We did not watch on TV, we watched and shivered in person early in the morning. We would park near the parade route in someone’s driveway or lawn for two bucks to a once-a-year entrepreneur. There were grandstands where you could watch the parade. They were expensive and required reservations months ahead of time. Some peopled watched from climbing up a light pole, some climbed on their dad’s shoulders. We watched from a dump truck.
Another once-a-year entrepreneur parked his dump truck strategically up to the avenue. The bed of the truck was at semi-dump position providing a makeshift mobile grandstand. I don’t remember how we sat, but it was rigged for sitting.
The floats were spectacular. As a six year old I most remember the horses, and I’m pretty sure Roy Rodgers and Hop-a-long Cassidy were among the many riders.
I remember marching bands and flowers…lots of flowers.
Back at home there was football. Four bowl games. Four games on an eleven inch black and white TV. During the regular season there was only one Saturday afternoon “Game of the week” on TV. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day there was no football at all. On New Year’s Day it was a football smorgasbord.
There was the Cotton Bowl first, which overlapped with the Sugar bowl. A six year old Cranky was stationed by the TV dial switching between channel two and seven on command so as to not miss a single play. There was no instant replay, so this was a very important kid brother job.
The Orange Bowl was next and last but clearly the best was the Grand-Daddy of all the bowls, the Rose Bowl. One year pops took my brothers to the actual “Rose Bowl” game. I forget who played, but someone parachuted unexpectedly onto the field and delayed the game. I never heard the end about how I missed that event.
When football was done dinner was take-out Chinese. Nothing else was open.
Viewing the world’s greatest parade in person; watching four football games in one day and ending with spare ribs and chicken almond-ding…Priceless!