When my dad gave me his parent’s old photo albums, I didn’t expect to find snapshots taken in Pasadena, California where I now live. My grandparents lived in San Juan Capistrano and Santa Ana, towns south of Pasadena in Orange County, California. Pasadena was a bit of a drive, even in 1923. So, it was a nice surprise to find several pages featuring photos from the Tournament of Roses Parade, January 1, 1923.
I tried to find the church tower pictured in background of this photo, but I think either the route was different in 1923, or the tower has been torn down. I’m going to have to do a bit of research at the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Headquarters Library or at the Pasadena Museum of History to locate that building.
The street scene is very different today from nearly one hundred years ago. The businesses have mostly changed hands or closed and tall buildings shut out some of the best views of the San Gabriel Mountains.
A few years ago I learned that local hot rod clubs meet every year in East Pasadena on New Year’s Eve morning and cruise the parade route — east to west, then west to east following the route taken on January 1st by the official Tournament of Roses floats and marching bands. My dad brought his 1951 Ford pickup to town to take a ride along Colorado Blvd., but I missed catching his photo along the route. Too fast! Instead, I snapped these classics
When I saw Dad turning the corner, we caught up with them for a great photo-op in front of Pasadena City Hall.
Ed and Polly May with their 1951 Ford
in front of Pasadena City Hall
Dad’s parents would’t have been driving a pickup truck from Orange County to Pasadena back in 1923. It’s more likely they cruised along in Grandpa’s sedan. I can only imagine the shine on his car!
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