"California Dreaming: Sunshine Blue Skies"

reprinted with minor changes from a 1/2/2011 post “Sunshine Blue Skies”


The 124th Tournament of Roses Parade

2013 Tournament of Roses Parade

Another super gorgeous New Year’s Day in Pasadena! The morning was a little on the cool side by California standards, but otherwise a very nice, bright and sunny day!  Nearly every year the weather gods seem to find favor with Southern California and grace Pasadena’s Rose Parade and Rose Bowl game with the most incredible 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.

RoseBowl576Meanwhile, as we geared up for our cool and wintry 61 degree day, back on the East Coast, where the weather gods appear to be pissed about something, families huddled round the TV, (strategically positioned near the fireplace or furnace) wrapped in their warm and woolen 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 had to contend with earlier that morning.  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 3a514ff458254f2cab925a5303e7d29b-0f5efe8e66b34798b656da1c5c5e103f-0breeze 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!  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!

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 slowed down 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 leaving California than move in. The latest data available shows that in 2011 we had 100,000 more people move out of California  than moved into our golden state. Of those who moved in approximately 9% were from 4 eastern states. I’m fairly positive most of them were parade watchers.

As the California Economy continues to improve I’m certain the exodus of Easterners will resume, but until that time 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,




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