After the Wind Comes … a Parade!
I think I’m finally defrosted from last Saturday night’s Christmas parade – but despite the cold I wouldn’t have missed the night for anything! Thanks to Steve Pierce who did a stellar job of pulling together an event that right up to the first banner marching down Honolulu Avenue was in question as to whether or not it would take place. The wind was absolutely brutal and in fact our house didn’t have power restored until Friday night just before midnight. We were only dark for 36 or so hours whereas Mary O’Keefe didn’t have power restored until Sunday morning – it was cold and dark in the O’Keefe household for 73 hours! Ugh!
The wind decimated not only landscaping and lawn furniture, but also did substantial damage to some buildings in addition to interrupting power. I understand that Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy up in the hills above La Cañada had windows practically ripped from their casings and fallen trees blocked the road to the school. They were shut down for a number of days. Thankfully, their maintenance crew had things back up and running in a manageable amount of time.
Questions remain, however, as to the reasons why we were without power for so long. And more disturbing is how quickly the situation could have gone from bad to worse – much worse – if the “perfect storm” scenario played out when a sizeable earthquake also struck during this time. It is a reminder of why we should be taking part in emergency training such as offered by C.E.R.T. Even if we are not interested in taking part in community emergency response, we should be prepared to respond to an emergency within our own homes. C.E.R.T. teaches folks how to be prepared on every level – from personal safety to reaching out to the community. Paul Dutton of Paul’s Professional Window Washing is a C.E.R.T. coordinator in the foothills and offers training. Call him or send him an email at email@example.com to find out when the next training is planned and I urge you to go. I went and learned a lot.
But back to the parade.
When you work at something passionately – like we do here at the paper – it is so gratifying to be reminded that the community also relishes what you feel passionately about.
Such was the case on Saturday night when members of the CV Weekly team climbed aboard Crosstown Towing’s flatbed truck, sat on bales on hay and made our way down Honolulu Avenue. We were enthusiastically welcomed by our foothills neighbors and friends who waved and shouted out greetings.
I’ve had the chance to travel down Honolulu Avenue in the last three Christmas parades and always have my spirit renewed by the kindness directed my way. It is also fun to see those with whom I work experience the Montrose Christmas Parade from the perspective of the Crescenta Valley Weekly float for the first time. I sat next to Jim Chase and his wife Dianna and they were grinning from ear to ear, waving and shouting, “Merry Christmas!” to the crowd. There were about 20 people on our float and everyone had a blast. Thanks to everyone who braved the cold and came out to celebrate the evening.
Oh, and in case you were among those who wondered if Crescenta Valley Weekly “double dipped” by traveling down the parade route twice, let me take a moment to clarify. The Prom Plus float broke down and so Crosstown Towing was asked to pick up the crew and take them down Honolulu Avenue. Unfortunately, only one of the two CV Weekly banners was replaced with Prom Plus banners, so as Crosstown made its second trip down Honolulu, one side of the truck read Prom Plus and the other still read Crescenta Valley Weekly.