The 127th Rose Parade presented by Honda started with a Stealth bomber’s flyover and ended with skywriting messages about Donald Trump. The Stealth bomber’s presence hadn’t deterred the small skywriting aircraft. It should be remembered that only a few days earlier, Honda delivered its first HondaJet, so production is underway. For 2017, I suggest a squadron of HondaJets intercept any skywriting incursion.
On our way down Colorado Boulevard to the TV Corner grandstand, we saw bleary faces poking from sleeping bags. People who’d stayed overnight on the street told of 45-minute waits to use the portable toilets. The air smelled of woodsmoke from cooking fires. Storefronts were boarded up because, as one friend contributes, quoting Winnie-the-Pooh, “You never can tell with bees.” Yes, a good many were boarded up, but seeing the Tesla store like that caused a premonitory shiver, considering the reports of financial losses.
Our grandstand seats entitled us to complementary coffee and a Krispy Kreme donut. I eat about three donuts per year, but on New Year’s morning the urge was great enough to cause stampede mentality. My eyes bulged, my arms were ready to shove, hands ready to claw through the sawdust-covered pits beneath the stands. Located near the steps up to Aisle 3, the glazed perfection was going fast. My companion felt the same way; even though she professes gluten intolerance, she decided a donut wouldn’t hurt.
A pair of 2016 Acura NSX flower supercars led the parade. Underachieving at two miles per hour, they let spectators have a good long look. Honda’s floral float came next, with a bear and mountain lion and eagle poised near the flowing waterfall to initiate the “Find Your Adventure” theme. There followed the usual dazzlement of floral floats, Hollywood celebrities and characters, and whimsy. The grand marshal was Ken Burns. For those who don’t often get to see horses, the equestrian groups were a pleasure. I got a particular kick out of Stanford’s band, which played the Strokes. Was that “The End Has No End”? I missed Stanford’s Rose Bowl halftime insouciance but had to laugh upon hearing about it. The Iowa Hawkeyes, making a rare visit to Pasadena, went home injured and insulted.
Every parade entry showed innumerable merits–the Lakers and the City of Los Angeles being two examples–but Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration float clobbered them. It was stocked with everybody and everything. Even I recognized characters from Frozen. The front of this massive, articulated float featured the Fantasyland motif; Mouseketeers stood on the bridge connecting front and rear sections; and then I found myself talking aloud: “There’s Goofy and Pluto!” And all the Star Wars figures! “Hey, Chewbacca, what’s in your satchel? I had no idea you’re a marsupial.”
The parade ended on such a high note. What a wondrous occasion! Hold on–someone pulled the handle, and a Bernie Sanders rally flushed into the vacuum at the end. And no matter what you think of him, the skywriting about Donald Trump was distasteful. Losers, all, raining on the parade.