Thursday, January 01, 2015

A cold Tournament of Roses, and an outdoor NHL game dominate New Year's Day

Network programming was dominated by two events New Year’s Day.
ABC and NBC both covered the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA, from 8-10 AM PST, but at least in Washington DC, ABC started on time and covered the entire event.  The temperature was in the middle 30s, and there was snow on some of the hills around LA, and the eucalyptus trees along Colorado Blvd looked withered, despite recent monsoons.   
Different marching bands played some classical music, including a Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody, and the last movement of Ippolatov-Ivanov’s “Caucasian Sketches”, a favorite of a friend of mine in high school.  It brings back memories of early 1961, when we played our records on vinyl and had to watch worn styli and heavy tracking.  (“A chipped stylus could ruin your entire collection” – I still remember that scary sentence in a High Fidelity magazine.)
There was a Rose Queen, who had to be female, and was actually just 17, and had been selected out of 700 girls.  It sounded like the “Miss America” pageants of the past (with Bert Parks). 
There was a float for the City of Hope hospital, and there was mention of a 7-month old with leukemia, who was cured by a stem-cell transplant at age 5.  St. Jude’s in Memphis comes to mind. There was also some discussion of the culture of transplantation, and openness to it is starting to become a cultural expectation.  There was also attention to the Special Olympics.
I had a friend at William and Mary (in 1961) from Pasadena, a classical musician who liked “the culture of the East”.  I went out and visited him in Pasadena over Thanksgiving break in 1967, by Trailways bus from Lawrence, Kansas, where I was then in graduate school.  I remember a reception at his parents’ home, and the mother was so impressed that I might some day try for a Ph D in math.  (I didn’t.)  I remember talking to John about the Vietnam war as he drove me through the 2nd Street Tunnel in LA, and he said, “We should be there”.  Later, in December 1969, as I was getting out of the Army, I would have a job interview with Rand in Santa Monica, and then with Blue Cross in Woodland Hills in 1978 (where I had a good friend through the organization “Understanding”).  So a few times, I’ve had scrapes with almost living there.  Don’t believe the song “It never rains in southern California”.  I still remember how the area looked in “Dragnet” and in the “I Love Lucy” shows.

The other big event New Year’s Day was the NHL hockey game in Nationals Park in Washington DC (at the other end of the US) between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Washington Capitals.  Washington won, 3-2, with a last second goal, which was like winning by that score in the bottom of the ninth in baseball.  It was carried on NBC.
Wikipedia attribution link for LA tunnel here

No comments: