Pasadena doesn't do things halfway. I think maybe having the Tournament of Roses parade every New Year's Day made them get a little carried away with the Pasadena Centennial Parade, which is launched Saturday at 11 a.m. from the City Hall. There are so many entries of Pasadena and near- or faux-Pasadena people that I don't know who's going to be left to watch the parade. Everyone wanted to get in the act--they turned away more than 50 entries and there are still 107 slated to march or trot or dance or walk or patter along. (The Pasadena Humane Society is entering a cart, children and pets--some, I hope, hopping.)
Betsy Houlihan, the decade chairman (the whole parade is divided into decades from 1886 on), said: "I had no idea what goes into a parade until I got into this."
Neither did Peg Palmer, who, according to Houlihan, is "overlooking all the decades chairmen, overseeing the paradability" (another new word!), "watching the whole flow of how it works." Peg got charmed into this job by her friend Sofia Adamson, who is co-chairman of the whole affair with the Rev. George Van Alstine of the Altadena Baptist Church. Adamson and Palmer have worked separately and together in innumerable civic causes, particularly the Pacific Asia Museum. "I would like to do nothing for a change," Peg said, so she and Sofia will ride together in a white swan--"I hope they get the idea."
People already scheduled to be in the parade are excited. I met Harold Hubbard, 87 and still star reporter for the Star News, at the Southwest Museum the other night. "We're riding in a red car for the energetic '80s," he said; his wife, 82, nodded enthusiastically, "and then we're off to China again," she said. "There are some spots we haven't hit in our other trips," Harold added.
Father Tibian English of St. Andrew's Church was excited about portraying a Franciscan--"not my order really" for the first recorded wedding around 1886. Happens he'll really marry the bride and bridegroom sitting in the horse-drawn carriage the next day.
Terribly efficient Shirley Manning, with director Pat Bond, has compiled an official list of entries--the notations are enough to give one pause, if not paralysis. NO BANNER/NEEDS BANNER/BANNER? is typed after some entries. The Wells Fargo stagecoach that will carry KABC's Ken and Bob is marked PAID 100 ft 4 people 5 horses NEEDS BANNER. On the other hand, the YMCA (also PAID and 100 ft) has 48 people and NO BANNER NEED TO BE. The City of Monrovia HAS BANNER along with a streetcar, horses and "two live mules"; I hope this doesn't mean the horses are dead.
There are marchers and bands and horses to beat the band, all of which calls for more organization than you would think possible. Fortunately, Neil Nickle jumped in to take charge of logistics and enlisted hordes of the Tournament of Roses pros to take charge of routes, barricades, ribbons and radio communications.
All this and there'll be a 1938 plane, Pasadena-built, flying overhead.
Peg Palmer asked me to ride in the Pacific Electric big red car--"You're a celebrity or a notable, I don't know which; a lot of people see Pasadena through your eyes."
I've wondered about that ever since. I see from the parade entry list that if you're a PERSONALITY such as Tom Hatton, Robert Reed and Jess Marlow, you ride in an open car, waving.
Entry 63 states: "Weedy station wagon with children walking alongside." I think they mean woody, but if it's weedy that's where I want to be. Or I wouldn't mind riding a swan song myself. It's clear I'm not a Personality but still don't know if I'm a Celebrity or a Notable. I think I'd rather be a Notable. Wait a minute--if I sat on top of the big red car I could see much better and then I'd be an Outable.