“Sunshine, Blue Sky”

2011 Rose Parade

And so it goes, another gorgeous New Year’s Day in Pasadena, a little on the cool side, but otherwise a bright and sunny day! It seems like every year the weather gods find favor with Pasadena’s Rose Parade and Bowl game, gracing them both with fair weather. In it’s 121 year history the parade has only been rained on 10 times. Those rainy years were 1895, 1899, 1906, 1910, 1916, 1922, 1934, 1937 and 1955. A major run of good fortune followed from 1956 through 2005, not a drop of rain! The last time it dared to rain on our parade, was 2006. Even ten rainy days can’t stop  the parade. It has never had to be cancelled.

Meanwhile, as we geared up for our cool and wintry 61degree day, on the East Coast, where the weather gods appear to be pissed about something, families huddled round the TV, (which was strategically positioned near the fireplace or furnace) wrapped in their warm and wooly blankets watching the Rose Parade and later the Rose Bowl Game, laughing their heads off each time the announcer commented on the chilly 40 degree temperature parade-goers were having to contend with.  40 degrees! I can hear them now, having a deservedly good chuckle about what a bunch of wimpy, pantywaists West Coasters are!                                                                                                                                         Hey! I think 40 degrees is fricken cold, and you probably do too, but it’s only that cool in the morning , by the afternoon it warms up to a bearable 58-65 degrees, and if there is no breeze the sunshine actually feels warm. That my friends is not so bad, when you consider that our recent over-night low temperatures  have been moderately higher than the daily highs in most cities on the East Coast!  And their over-night lows would probably kill us! No, we have nothing to bitch about when it comes to cold weather. And yes, guilty as charged! I’m a California, sun loving, pantywaist!

Rose bowl Game 2011

In decades past, this television imagery of rich, blue skies, sunshine and palm trees, (as seen in the photos) was more than enough to entice families to make a made dash ,west to sunny California, the land of sun, fun and opportunity! I use to imagine that in early spring, following one of the gloriously, sunny Rose Parades, there was a mass exodus of East Coasters, caravanning along Route 66 like a wagon train of old or like the Joad Family leaving the dust bowl back in the ‘dirty thirties’ as told by John Steinbeck in “The Grapes of Wrath,” California bound.

But California’s economic crunch has put an end to most westerly migration. We may still have the sunshine, but jobs and opportunity are few and hard to find. In fact we have more people moving out of California than those moving in. The latest data available shows that in 2008 we had 388,000 people move into California  and more than 500,000 move out.  Of those moving in approximately 8500 were from 4 eastern states. I’m almost positive they were all parade watchers.

As the California Economy improves, hopefully sooner than later, I’m certain the exodus of Easterners will resume. For now they’ll have to content themselves with the howls of laughter that the images on the nightly news of the California pantywaists coping with our insufferably, cold weather, bring to their chilly bones.

warm thoughts,

J S

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