New Year's Day - Pasadena - Rose Parade 1966

New Year's Day in Pasadena - you missed a lot, including opportunities.

It’s New Year’s Day 1966 – You’re A Teenager – You Spent All Night In Pasadena – You And Half A Million Other People.

New Year's Day - Pasadena - Rose Parade 1966
New Year’s Day in Pasadena – you missed a lot, including opportunities.

KRLA – Dave Hull Program – January 1, 1966 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

So you and your friends decided it would be a great idea to camp out in Pasadena this New Year’s Eve and wait for the Rose Parade. You all brought sleeping bags. You got there early enough so you had choices. You staked out your spot and set up camp; a small patch of sidewalk, curb and a clear view of whatever was going to pass by. Your timing was perfect – five minutes later Colorado Boulevard turns into a sea of people carrying lawn chairs and camping equipment. Tourists; thousands of them – a sea of flashing Instamatics and off-key singing. Michigan State fans who don’t seem to be bothered by the cold and the continuous chorus of empty beer bottles clanking down the street are jamming the sidewalks and Bruins fans are howling back – the air fills with the smell of cigarettes, Sterno and hot dogs along with the sound of street vendors and transistor radios. A wall of happy smells and riotous noise. Half of L.A. seems to be camping out tonight.

No point in trying to sleep, you can’t even pretend. It’s one giant Slumber Party. And true to form, you are looking for love since this would be the perfect place to find it. Your eyes continuously scan up and down the street. They all seem to have boyfriends, but you keep scanning. One of your friends produces a thermos of hot coffee, laced with the contents of a bottle of Brandy liberated from his parents liquor cabinet. You all take swigs while the rosy glow sets up shop in your campsite.

Six o’clock rolls around and your eyes aren’t looking forward to daylight. When the sun hits your side of the street you remind yourself you didn’t think bringing sunglasses was all that important when you piled into the car last night – it is; because the parade is getting started and you are temporarily blind.

First thing you realize when the floats amble by – they are bigger than they are on TV and you can’t exactly tell what they are. The second thing you notice is that you are a lot closer to passing horses than you planned, because every three or four Palominos that trot by leave a surprise a couple feet in front of you. Lucky the City of Pasadena has plans for that.

The parade is finally over and the rush to get back into cars starts.

You all agree it was great, it was fun – but once in a lifetime is plenty. You’re disappointed that, with half a million people milling around, you didn’t run into one you could start the New Year with. Love just doesn’t have your number quite yet.

Or maybe it does and you didn’t notice. Somebody in the crowd was staring holes through you – you missed it. You miss lots of things – everybody does. That’s why they have fate – some things just aren’t meant to be missed – no matter what you do. Just like some things are missed no matter how hard you try not to miss them – no matter what you do.

Nobody said growing up was all fun. But you can all agree that listening to Dave Hull on your way home from Pasadena was a great way to start the new year.

Still is.

Here’s a half-hour slice of the Hullabalooer from January 1, 1966. Goes well with celebrating.

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