The Long & Winding Road


And so for the 94th time another year begins anew…



That’s 1 small step for a girl, one long walk toward womanhood…




Each year girls representing Pasadena area schools can apply to be in the Tournament of Roses (ToR) Queen & her Royal Court.  Hundreds & hundreds, at the very least, of students apply.   Next, they attend the Rose court tryouts in September.  This is the first of several screening processes which will ultimately lead to the selection of the only 7 remaining: the new Rose Queen & her Royal Court. 

Applicants usually come with other girlfriends who’ve also applied, and with family or friends for support.  Some, like the strong young lady above, caught my eye & admiration since she chose to travel this long road on her own.  My intuition is she’s definitely Royal material – but what do I know or matter right! 



Prior to meeting the selection committee the Rose Queen & her Princess(es) will welcome, answer questions, & give a brief informational talk, to each group of girls. Above is reigning 2011 Queen Evanne Friedmann and it looks to me, I think, Princess Kinsey Stuart from the 2010 Royal Court. If I’m wrong well I hope to correct it promptly!


Then the ToR Queen & Court committee is given their very brief “5 seconds” to greet & meet each lovely girl.  (There are many committees needed to get the Rose Parade off on the right path on January 2nd.)  The total process on this first day takes up about an hour or two, however each girl is only actually in front of the review panel for seconds!  And only a fraction of this first grand group will move further on up the road. Then a smaller group still to the next to last stage of Finalists from which the Royal Court will be determined.  And from the Royal Court – the new Rose Queen.

But at this entry point on the road the selection committee basically want to know just one important thing form each girl: why are you here? and/or why do you want this opportunity to represent the Pasadena Tournament of Roses before zillions of people around the world? 

Their answer, both via their nonverbal communication as well as verbal, are noted closely. Yes, first, and maybe only, impressions, definitely do count here!





After this initial tryout the girls leave with a special memory and the hope they will be asked to come back for the next stage in the selection process.  Plus a few tokens of appreciation such as an invite to the Royal coronation ball, a tour, and ToR mementos like the above theme poster carried by a applicant.  Here is a closer look from my copy:



And, No, I didn’t get a poster because I tried out for the Royal Court!  I’ve had this all year.  Anyways, I’ve written more here already than I planned; maybe I should’ve been a story teller. I envy people who can tell good stories – true or not.


I would not be a good selection committee member. Of all the girls I happened to see and talk with, every one would make my Queen & Court!  In early October seven girls will be named as the young women of the 2012 Royal Court. A week later the new Rose Queen will be announced.  I hope & pray at least one of the girls I met makes it. 

These local young ladies will do us proud to the world. As always. Another piece of Pasadena History.



Gotta Go – I Almost Forgot to Eat! Stay Thirsty My Friends


8 responses to “The Long & Winding Road

    • PA, I know your Dad was a member. I’d like to see you blog about old fotos & his experience!

      I know a few white suiters (white suits is actually the attire they wear the least) & the only thing they’ve been able to convince me is they are much better at this than I could ever be. However, I will be making the white suiters aware of some good people (bloggers, docents, foodies, etc) who would be candidates for dependability, commitment, selfless work, and love of people.