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A Trip to the Rose Bowl Parade
It’s 1990 and my first grandson is graduating from High School. Chris Brinkmeyer is his name. Chris has helped me quite a bit on the farm and I am anxious to give him a special graduation gift. So, I ask him how would you like to go to Pasadena and see the Rose bowl parade in person. So, we board the Santa Fe train at LaPlata and enjoy a great trip through the great Southwest.
We arrive in Pasadena a day or two before the parade and while eating breakfast at McDonald’s a busload of high schoolers come in for breakfast. We find out they are going to Pasadena to decorate a float. Chris, who never knew a stranger is back there chatting with this group and they ask him if he would like to help. Oh sure, well just follow our bus. So here we are at this huge, huge, building where a dozen floats are being decorated. Well after about 3 hours we move on to our motel.
We luck out and buy seats on an elevated truck bed right on the route. Talk about ring side – this was it. It’s all different there in person, you see a lot more up close which you do not see on TV. For instance, the crowd booing Zsa Zsa Gabor, (remember she had just slapped a policeman a few days before.) Another thing we did not always agree with was the judge’s selection of winners.
Every now and then the parade pauses. It would happen that at one of the pauses a visiting band from Switzerland stopped right in front of us, turned to face us, and played “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,” very beautifully. They then kneeled, bowed, and then continued.
It is almost mind boggling to see so many thousands of roses on the floats. Our hotel was on high ground and we could see the Orange Bowl below. The really big show is the assembly area where the floats gather after the parade.
If ever there was a one-of-a-kind show, the Rose Bowl Parade will top all commers.
Never seen it in person? Try it – you will like it. How big was the Swiss band? Probably 125.
Contributed by Bill Lewis