Weather in the Foothills

“ Oscar and I have something in common. Oscar first came to Hollywood in
1928. So did I. We’re both a little weather-beaten, but we’re still here…”
– John Wayne, 1979 Academy Awards
Best Actor recipient for “True Grit”
NEW Weather in Foothills ART WEB

Last weekend was postcard perfect for Montrose’s Centennial Celebration and the Academy Awards. The earlier forecast of partly cloudy skies  dissipated. Winds were responsible for the change as high pressure built over the Great Basin. A high wind warning (40mph winds with potential 60 mph gusts) was issued Saturday night and continued into the week. Temperatures climb into the 80s as the possibility for much needed rain plummeted.

As the centennial approached, my attempt to gather information about our weather history led me to local historian and friend Mike Lawler. His exact words, “I’m just not into weather, Sue. I’m really sorry.” Thanks Mike; now time to search for another source. How about childhood memories?
As a little girl at Valley View Elementary School in the early 1960s, I have an exaggerated memory of rainy days. Facts and common sense tell me it really did not rain every day, even though it seemed like it then. Even so … I remember with excitement donning a rain coat and galoshes and, with umbrella in hand, walking to school. No rides to school, rain or shine, back in those days. Parents’ only words of caution were, “Be careful with your umbrella, don’t poke anyone with it!” Once all 30-plus pupils made it into their classrooms, teachers really had their hands full. The owners of 60-plus little feet needed help removing their boots. Not an easy job because they actually fit over the shoe – hard to put on, but even harder to remove. What an ordeal!

Another weather memory comes to mind. On Friday nights, my parents went to the Elks Lodge for dinner and dancing. For me? Slumber party on Waltonia Drive in Montrose with my grandma … yes! She was the best grandma in the world. I recall one particular evening in 1963, a week after the Academy Awards had been on TV, it was pouring down rain and grandma suggested we walk (she didn’t drive) down to Honolulu and “take in a picture show.” Off to the Montrose Theater we went. By the time we made it to the intersection where Verdugo and Montrose meets, the water was gushing up and over the curbs – no storm drains yet. We stopped at El Charro’s for our usual tacos, guacamole and root beers. Still raining, a quick stop at Shopping Bag for candy was next. Upon arriving at the theater, the marquee was lit up – “Lilies of The Field” best actor Sidney Poitier. A memorable time –being with Grandma, a movie starring the first black actor to win an Oscar and rain.

Looking ahead, there is a possibility of rain by next Wednesday. Until then expect breezy warm days with a cool down beginning Sunday. Hopefully, March brings a generous amount of rain.

Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at

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