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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Silence is Golden

     The silence I'm talking about in the title is in reference to the silent movie era. Before "talkies" took over, movies were accompanied with live music, frequently with an organ. On our recent visit to California we had an opportunity to experience a trip back in time. Our daughter's mother-in-law, Olga, discovered a jewel near by. The Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo, California.

      The Music Hall was opened in 1968 by two musicians, Bill Field and Bill Coffman, after they bought a 1925 Wurlitzer Theater Pipe Organ.  To this day the Music Hall continues to entertain with vintage silent and sound movies as well as ragtime, jazz and pipe organ live concerts.

     Since we had never been before and didn't know what to expect, we gasped with delight after entering the theater through the velvet curtained entry. Besides the lovely interior we were serenaded by a player piano. 

     Bill Field, although now in a wheelchair, continues to play the organ at the theater. There is something going on every weekend. We had the opportunity to see the All Star Comedy Festival. It was a selection of silent and early black & white sound comedies. We were first treated to a ragtime selection on the above piano by a talented musician. Then Bill came out and played a medley on this beautiful Wurlitzer organ. There was a sing along also. The theater is small so it made for an intimate gathering with everyone joining the fun. 

     The silent movie shorts came next with Bill accompanying on the organ. I was surprised by how much laughter was evoked by these old movies. Where the majority of the humor is physical. After a short intermission the fun continued with the black & white sound movies. Laurel & Hardy, Our Gang and W.C. Fields were featured. We all left the theater with smiles on our faces. Olga was made aware of the Old Time Music Hall by a friend who doesn't even live in California, isn't that always the way. We are just grateful to have had the opportunity to experience this wonderful slice of history. Maybe next time we visit we'll see one of the live concerts.

A thought to ponder: "Always find a reason to laugh. It may not add years to your life, but will surely add life to your years."

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Coming Up Roses

     Well I have returned from our trip to So. California. We had a wonderful visit with family and I have some fun things to share. The first is the Pasadena Rose Parade. I don't have any statistics but I would think this is one of the better known parades. It's in it's 127th year. It all started with the Pasadena Valley Hunt Club. For more information about it's history check out this link:Tournament of Roses.  
     When I was in high school (many, many years ago) my two best friends and I would spend New Years Eve camped out on Colorado Boulevard. It would get pretty cold and there was a lot of noise with the number of people and the cars driving up and down the street. Needless to say we didn't sleep much, but we did have good seats for the parade. Even if we were almost too tired to watch. 
     I have fond memories of those times. You can buy bleacher seats, but when you're a teenager staying up all night on the street seems like more fun, plus it's free. We even had the opportunity one year to help decorate a float. I haven't seen a Rose Parade since those high school days. Since we were going to be in California at New Years I decided it would be fun to at least see the floats.

     We decided to go to the after viewing which goes from the afternoon of Jan 1st and all day the 2nd & 3rd. It only costs $10 dollars per person and you really get an up close view of the floats.

Look at all the masses of beautiful flowers

     If we ever do this again we will go earlier in the day. We went the afternoon of the 2nd and it was very crowded. I later read it is better first thing in the morning. But in spite of that we enjoyed seeing all the wonderful floats. Here are a few of the photos I took.

     Every inch of a float must be covered with some form of organic material. Besides flowers they use seeds, grasses, bark, spices, etc. 

Look at this bee hive, they used peanuts to represent bees.

When you're a Downton Abbey fan how could I not have my picture taken in front of this float.

     These are just a few of the photos I took. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Pasadena this is something you should definitely put on your bucket list.

A thought to ponder: "When it rains on your parade, look up rather than down.                                             Without the rain there would be no rainbow."
                                                                              Gilbert K. Chesterson