Pasadena Party Season!


Merry Post-Christmas & Happy Pre-New Years, my friends!

Parties…it’s beginning to look A LOT like Christmas!  An increase in partying, and shopping, Christmas tree lightings, etc, are common signs we’re getting closer to Christmas: the day we should actually be celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.  And after Christmas we still have the biggest party night to look forward to: New Years Eve!

I’m no party animal but you can bet I’m gonna attend a few parties!  Just a few.  Three so far for Christmas with the last coming up tonite to welcome 2015.

The great majority of these party invites result from some affiliation with the party host, usually your employer or some association – you’re kinda expected to party with them! I’ll write about my 2015 party season in 2016.

What follows are just a few photos from one of my favorite Christmas parties, last years (hey, I’ll tell you about 2015 in 2016!) Pasadena Tournament of Roses (PTOR) member appreciation Christmas party.

You heard me correctly. Like everyone else in December, the PTOR holds it’s own Christmas party.  It kinda plays Santa Claus in appreciation of the hard work and sacrifice of its 935 members (white-suiters) and families.  It happens just days before Christmas and New Years. I consider it the last day off besides Christmas that the members will have before the Rose Parade.  Crunch time is definitely this period.


WELCOME to OUR HOME! The 2014 Chairman/President & the 1st Lady of the PTOR are the official hosts/greeters of their special guests at the front door of “their” home – The Wrigley House aka Tournament House.  I’ve met them on several occasions and I can say how fortunate Pasadena and the PTOR were to have them representing us for this 2014 year. It was the 125th anniversary of the parade, 100th Rose Bowl game, and (as I constantly had remind my friends) the 100th anniversary of the Wrigley House/Tournament House HQ of the PTOR since the late 1950s.




FOOD. A mark of a good party, and a requirement in my party book, is Food! Here we are in the Dining room, or as we could’ve called it that evening – the Bakery Café!  Along with me, one of the only two married  Rose Queens looks on approvingly.





MORE FOOD. The Rose Room, largest room in the house, was turned into something more akin to a Vegas buffet.  And outside in the park, more food met the guests, including a special guest from the North Pole! (upper right) The Wrigley House aka Tournament House was filled with people inside and out.




A major draw to get me to attend any event is the availability of Food & Drink.  But with this PTOR party I’ve always left hungry.  My fault. It’s just that I’m capturing memories (photography), chatting with the people I know, and greeting those who I don’t, while munching here & there in between.  Well, at the end of the evening, the people have left, the food is mostly gone, and I’m left…still hungry!  Like I said. I’m to blame.

What’s a major factor to get you to attend an event?


HONOR & ADMIRATION. Back inside the Wrigley House, I caught a couple of the Queen & Royal Court committee members admiring their selection of the beautiful Ana Acosta as Queen of the 2014, and 125th, Tournament of Roses.




The PT0R performs its operations through many committees.  “White-suiters” typically spend a couple of years on a committee and move on to another, and then another, and so on. A lucky, hard-working few get to be the Chairperson & President of the PTOR for a year. Major benefits to counter the supreme responsibilities of such a position is they get to wear the  symbolic “red jacket” of Presidential authority/responsibility, and chose the theme & Grand Marshall of the parade.

You recall Dodger Hall of Fame announcer Vin Scully was 2014 Grand Marshall! I remember congratulating the PTOR President on his GM by saying, “Congratulations on getting Vin Scully as Grand Marshall. Finally!. Darn it!, we finally found a President who could make it happen!!!” We both smiled & laughed. 


HOLIDAY SPIRIT!  Along with food aplenty, what’s a party in December without a Christmas Tree.  And Christmas carolers!   Trust me when I say they could’ve put even a Scrooge into the spirit of the season.




THANKS, HOSTS!  We should always thank the host of a party – the PTOR, in this case.  So, I think I’d give thanks 1st to the Queen & her Royal Court as represented below by Queen Ana & one of her princesses’, Elyssia. (A story detour on the photo below: Whenever I take photos of people I usually ask what kind of background do they want. Usually the subject will leave it up to me, of all people! So we started in the park, but too many around. Then, I thought of going inside. My mind was drawing blanks. Finally, I told the girls, we should just walk around for a minute until we see some “good background”.  When we got to the front of the house and saw the front entry, it became clear to all of us! So, this photo is to the side of the front door. A good position for a host and away from the “crowds.”)



Last but not least!, we also gotta thank, of course, the Chairman/President and his wonderful wife the First Lady of the 2014 PTOR.  R. Scott & wife Cindy Jenkins.          IMG_5160


As I mentioned in the beginning, the 2014 PTOR was a milestone year. The Chairman/President, the First Lady, and their Royal Court, were up to the challenge. That’s also one reason why they are my favorites of all Rose Parades I’ve witnessed.


The PTOR is always need of some new members, and a Royal Court, each year. Hopefully this will give you – YOU – a bit of motivation to consider getting involved with the PTOR by applying to be a member, or perhaps you meet the criteria for applying for Royal Court?  It’s work, but there are some benefits as you can see from this article. And one thing I can say if you’re associated with the PTOR: you’re good, giving, caring people!

Now, what about your parties, my readers: How many parties you attended? What makes a great party? Have you been a host?  Or, do you think you’re good “White-Suiter” material?



Taking Off the Rest of the Year! Stay Thirsty My Friends.

Red rose


Yesterday & Today: A Pasadena Christmas.


Merry Christmas my friends! I hope y’all have/will receive(d) the free gift of, and know the true reason for, the Christmas season: to commemorate & celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  Don’t be misled to think it’s another reason to shop until you drop, or go into debt, or reason to eat/drink, as much as we all love that. But it is a national holiday, and if you hate the materiality of holidays, as y’all celebrate and gather together, remember the real reason for our celebration.


Colorado Boulevard


A 1960-ish Pasadena Christmas. 


(I seem to recall the original source of the above was the Pasadena Star-News)


A December 25th 2012 Pasadena Christmas



A December 25th 2013 Pasadena Christmas




These photos were taken on the part of Colorado Boulevard located in the Pasadena Playhouse District just west of Lake Avenue.  Colorado boulevard is also known as the famous main drag for our Tournament of Roses Parade to welcome the New Year.  

Observations?  Besides the fact these were taken at different times of the day, just one is how obviously the Christmas spirit on the street appears to have suffered significantly in the past half-century.  The city seems less willing to show its Christmas spirit on its street as displayed by its ornaments.  One could also be led to believe that the use of mass transit in Pasadena (buses, train/rail) and bicycles has had a demonstrated effect on traffic! 


What are your observations – particularly if you were around when Target was called Robinson’s?


Gotta Be Productive!  Stay Thirsty My Friends & Merry Christmas

Univ of Colorado Blvd

EXTRA: with Santa & The Mayor

Do newspapers use “EXTRA” nowadays?  I know the Los Angeles Times doesn’t. Probably some humans of recent vintage don’t know what I’m talking about!


Chapter 2.  I very rarely take pictures of our honorable Mayor of Pasadena, or the retailers special delivery service – Santa Claus.

The reasons are as simple as 1,2,3:

  1. I’ve seen them countless times around town. So have y’all.  Overexposure.
  2. They’re photographed constantly.  Remember my motto: as long as public-figures/celebrities, famous or infamous, leave me alone – I’ll leave them alone!
  3. I’d rather take a shot of a beautiful girl, such as some of my blogger friends, than a couple of, cough,… I’m getting long winded here.  I have more reasons, but instead lettuce cut to the photos I DID take!


Attending last years city of Pasadena annual Christmas Tree Lighting was not in my plans.  However, a thought suddenly entered my brain (Believe It of Not!), which pulled me out of the comfy cafe & out into the dark, cold night toward Citihall.

The thought: I wonder who is gonna MC the Christmas Tree lighting with the Mayor now that Ann has retired as city Public Information Officer (PIO)??   Well, the new Pasadena PIO, William Boyer,  of course, but……

PIO Boyer as MC for the Santa Claus Christmas Tree lighting?  Of course not!  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met our new PIO several times during his first year in office.  He’s a great guy.  Likes to shoot his Nikon DSLR, even likes some of my photos, but,…for this event I kinda felt he would delegate the duty to someone from his large staff.

Furthermore, unlike other Christmas tree lightings, Saint Nick was making an appearance, which lured out the largest mass migration of children & parents I could remember.  Our new PIO wouldn’t be involved in something like this?

For sure I wasn’t gonna get stuck in that mass of Christmas cheer & children!  My experience and canine wisdom led me to get above all that mess of mass.  And what did I see…

P2070607                                    PIO Boyer, MCing! (Or was it singing?)  And Mayor Bogaard looking on in wonder.  I promptly did a quickie Christmas prayer.


Being up above all the Christmas revelry with Santa & his lovely female helpers lifted my spirits & brought me pleasure!  Santa waving to his friends, fans, & followers down below in the Citihall Rotunda.


But even Santa couldn’t stay above it all.  He had to get down with the kids and their parents. 

I went down simply to get out. I’d seen enough.  On the way out I congratulated new PIO Boyer on his first city Christmas Tree lighting and mentioned how I would understand if this also was his last!  On the contrary, “Oh no, I love it!”  I’ve known him just long enough now to think I actually believe him.


As I tried to leave, I exchanged Christmas greetings with a few others, including the Mayor.


This was the first time I decided to ask the Mayor to pose for a photo.  I certainly didn’t plan to: it was busy with people walking in front of my shot, noisy, people were looking for the Mayor such as PIO Emeritus Ann, it was dark, and though the lighting in Citihall can be fascinating, it can also be tricky. 

Nevertheless, Nikon DSLR devotee, and  PIO, Boyer liked my mayoral image enough to ask for a copy.  Well, what do I know about good photography!  I guess it only seemed right I should have at least one photo of the Mayor in the Archives of The Cafe Pasadena Photographic Collection.

And then this dog ran off into the cold, dark night again. Will the dog survive?   Yes, with the warmth of the light & spirit of Christmas fueled from my unexpected stopover at Citihall.

Have any of my readers ever been to a Christmas Tree lighting ceremony – this or another?

Y’all have yourselves a Merry Little Christmas!, and since we have yet another holiday on Monday…“Happy Holidays!”



Gotta Sleep!! Stay Thirsty My Friends