The sun is rising oh-slow-slowly on the far East side of Colorado Boulevard with the palm trees silhoutted against the pale blue sky with twiges of light orange. Behind me the sky is still dark blue and black. A fire crackles in a rusted-out half drum on the grass, and people are still sleeping on tarps and air mattresses nearby. Some enterprising company has erected stadium-style seats just across the street and the liquor store down the street is pedaling coffee and donuts. Surprisingly cars are driving up and down the street and carts are pushing horns, blow-up characters and stuffed toys.
The street is littered with silly string, marshmellows and tortillas.
Tortillas. You have to have cruised Colorado Boulevard (not at all related to the Rose parade) as a kid to understand the tortillas and marshmellows. As it has been explained tome, they were used as "weapons" against other cuisers who had the temerity to roll their car windows down. Go figure. It's Pasadena. Home of the newly wed and nearly dead.
A quiet plan flys overhead and suddenly the conversation turns to the Stealth figher flyby at 8:00 a.m., hours from now. The sun is up high enoughthat the neon signs are flickering off, but it's still so dark that it can't read the signs. Half the street lights are off, half still on. In case you've got your map browser handy, MIPTC is at the corner of Colorado Boulevard and San Marino.
Most of the plastic chairs are empty, still waiting for people. The nearby Volvo dealership has cleared out its inventory of cars and rented out its lot to big, rock-star recreational vehicles.
I've seen the after-effects of the parade before, but never the parade itself. For several days afer the parade, they display the floats on certain side streets in Pasadena, and it's really cool to see and touch them up close and personal. This time, there will be no toching, just looking. Plus there will be bands and dancers.
Maybe I'lleven be able to see Stephanie Edwards, the -on-the-street reporter for KTLA channel 5. The other co-host on the TV, Bob Eubanks, will be gushing over the horses in the parade. A stick of cotton candy just walked by with green and pink spun sugar in plastic bags. The American RedCross pickup truck drove by. Where's the disaster? Some 30,000 feet overhead, a jet leaves abright pink contrail in the sky. People are startingto wake up. Me? I've been up since 3:30 a.m. to get ready to drive here.
Parade time is getting closer. A young man in a white suit on a red scooter with a Rose parade sticker quietly scooted by, followed by a pickup truck towing a horse trailer.
The parade is waking up. A group of runners ran by, followed by my fiance's shouted question to them: "Why are you running? There's no one chasing you. After all, we have a bus system and cars." Humor this early in the morning is lost on me. I'm still not awake.
That's about it for the on-site report so far.
The rest you already know. You've seen it on TV.