©John H. Beaumont 2007-2022 All Rights Reserved
Clifford’s Corner
December 28, 2021
As we inch toward the end of 2021, I think about things ending and the start of 2022, January 1st, the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl. I’ve never lived in Pasadena, but former in-laws did, near the Rose Bowl. My uncle, aunt and cousins lived there for years. First memories are of my uncle Mox. Before I was born, he was in the lamp business. He sold lamps to the Pasadena Playhouse, live theatre that exists today. Marian Birdsall, who he sold lamps to, eventually became his wife. They had three sons, Bill, Jon and Steve. Next, I remember many years of watching the Rose Parade while sitting on boards uncle Mox set up bleacher- style in the back of his big truck. Mox backed the truck up, facing Colorado Blvd. on Johnny Bigger’s Furniture site parking lot. He invited all the Lightfoot’s over to watch the parade, and after, to a big lunch at his house on Monte Vista, east of Hill St. From about 1948 on, family members sat around the T.V. watching the Rose Bowl game. In1950, the Ohio State Buckeyes played the California Bears, and a friend’s daughter came from Columbus, as a cheerleader. My dad, from the time he was a boy in Penn. and Ohio, enjoyed ice skating. For many years, during the 40s and 50s, he took my cousin Jon and me to the Pasadena Winter Gardens, on the Arroyo, for a few hours of skating. The neat thing about that rink, was the fire pits around the outside of the ice, where you could put on and take off your skates. I was not a good skater. After the lamp business, uncle Mox was in the furniture manufacturing business in a plant on Raymond Ave. Lightfoot Studios first made wrought iron furniture that buyers would put on patios or in their kitchens. Very popular, that furniture sold through Barker Bros., Bullocks, and Robinsons department stores. My uncle always appeared in the furniture marts in Chicago and San Francisco. The marts generated regional chain interest. By the mid-50s, Lightfoot Studios moved into bar stools for residential use. During summers in those years, I worked with my cousin Jon in the plant. One memory I have is painting the metal parts in the paint bath behind the plant, located next to the railroad track, that parallels Arroyo Blvd. There was no protection between where I stood and the track. So much for employee protection in those days. After college and Army duty, I lived for a year in Manhattan Beach. While living there, I met Gloria DeLallo, whose parents lived on Linda Vista, near the Rose Bowl. Gloria and I enjoyed dancing, and often went to the Huntington Sheraton Hotel, for dinner and dancing. The menu was good, prices reasonable, atmosphere great. Waltah, the orchestra leader was really super; while couples danced, he would announce the scores of football or baseball games. My first job was with the chief Administrative officer, city of Los Angeles. While there, I made friends with several assistants to the Mayor. Over the years, those connections helped, as regularly I was offered Rose Bowl tickets. No matter the teams playing, tickets awaited. After Gloria and I married, we always had free parking at their house on Linda vista. And, dinner was waiting after the game. Building Rose Parade floats is a unique experience. After Gloria and I divorced, I dated a woman who was a member of Las Floristas, the annual head dress ball group. Karen knew many florists, and many floral companies build the Rose Parade floats. For several years in the late 80s, Karen and I worked in warehouses in Pasadena, cutting flowers to be mounted on molded chicken wire to make the floats. The regulars worked all through the night to get floats parade ready. Viewing the start of the Rose Parade is also unique. Only invited once, you must get up about 4 am, and be in the bleachers on Orange Grove Ave. by 7am. The reason, the T.V. cameras start rolling before 8am, the start of the Parade, Pacific Time. Suggestion: warm clothes. With something like 100 entries, you’re sitting there for two to three hours. Enjoy this year’s Parade. The Valley Hunt Club has long history in Pasadena. Located on Orange Grove, south of where the parade starts, this old building would be a teardown any place else. This social club has old creaky stairs, and probably has no new members join in years. Dinners and parties are regularly scheduled by members. Mind their rules. Restaurants: Pasadena has had a long list of eateries, some long gone, others hanging around a long time. 1. Maldinado’s: Great Italian food with light opera, Green St. Gone 2. Twin Palms: Kevin Costner’s dinner and dancing, Old Town Gone 3. Monty’s Steakhouse: One store in a chain. Fair Oaks Gone 4. Café Bizou: French, with one store in Old Town. Gone 5. The Parkway Grill: On the Arroyo Parkway. Take your wallet. 7. Smitty’s Grill: A Lake Ave. standard. Indoors and patio. Two WWII generals are long associated with Pasadena. They are: General George S. Patton Lt. General Jimmy Doolittle Their stories are well documented in U.S. history. Patton’s went to film. CalTech: Only two institutions have the high academic ranking of The Massachusetts institute of Technology (MIT), and California Institute of Technology (CIT). Both very selective in admissions, only two from my Dorsey class were admitted, Richard Hitt and Alan Ladderman. Only Ladderman finished, and joined JPL to send rockets into space. Happy New Year 2022
Pasadena – Past and Present