Rose Parade

There is a ton of color in our yard these days. Most of it is coming from the rose bushes that are everywhere. They remind me…

When I was a little girl, my dad took the family to the Tournament of Roses Parade. It was a pretty big deal. However, in order to get a real spot on the curb to watch the whole thing we had to stake out a chunk of space on the sidewalk in down town Pasadena. It was so strange to be sleeping outside with a million other people—on the pavement. Uncomfortable and awkward–but exciting at the same time.

I remember there were some scary looking hippies—sorry, that’s what we called them back then—who were smoking something when we got there. They played guitars and sang nearly all night. My dad rigged up some kind of Bunsen Burner deal and made hot chocolate for us and shared some to them as well. The smoking stopped immediately because there were “little dudes around.”

My cute dad was always one for heading off any signs of trouble–at the pass–and making friend with everyone. Sometimes it scared my mom half to death–but he felt like being kind and friendly right up front, was the best way to keep us all safe.

As we kids started to fall asleep the singers’ music got softer and more lullaby-like. I vaguely remember a slow, sweet version of Puff the Magic Dragon as I drifted off to sleep.  While we slept, some other group of people set up chairs right in front of us, completely blocking our view of the street. We woke to the sound of the “hippies” physically escorting the curb poachers far, far away from our space.

I’m sure it was a wonderful parade–maybe it even had something to do with roses. Sincerely, I can’t remember one speck of it. What I do remember is my dad shaking hands and patting the backs of some new, very different  friends. Friends that didn’t look so scary any more.

Read about  The Rose Named Peace
Photos by Jillian

5 Replies to “Rose Parade”

  1. That’s a pretty special dad there! Who was it that said it’s not the things that people say that you will remember but the things they do or the way they made you feel? I remember hearing a quote like that at a funeral once and I have always remembered that.

    The roses are beautiful by the way. I have one rose bush in my yard that I planted last year. It’s growing beautifully. Do I have to fertilize it or prune it? I’m scared of it because of the diseases I hear they get.

  2. I love that story… camping out on the sidewalk, making friends with hippies, having them sing you to sleep… what an adventure!

    Nice pictures Jillian!

  3. What a sweet story! Wonder if it was the same parade we went to with the Clays in 1960? I remember the Hari Krishnas, sleeping on the street in sleeping bags, and ‘millions’ of people ‘dragging’ up and down the streets into the night, blowing horns and screaming their Happy New Years. Those were the days! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Marsha–It could have been the same parade–because I remember those obnoxious horns too. Laurie brought one home. Gak! Though I know it was later than 1960–more like 67′ for me.

  5. Oh I made a mistake! It wasn’t 1960.. I was only 3. ha It was 1970.. I remember it was the year I turned 13. And I remember that my lips swelled up from blowing those silly horns so much. ha! Oh, the memories 🙂

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