THE MONTHLY ADVANCE
9362 W. Overland Rd., Boise, Idaho 83709 January 2018
the National Championship — we’d attend the parade instead.
The tradition is so special to me that I wanted to pass it on to my son Scott. When we decided we were going to move to Idaho, I knew the clock was ticking to get him to a game. I resolved to make that happen before it was too late. The first game we went to wasn’t actually the Rose Bowl but rather a USC home game. We went to Murray’s Ticket Agency to buy some secondhand tickets. In line, we noticed the man in front of us was wearing a Cardinals jacket. I figured he was probably a superfan until I heard the attendant call him “Coach.” Turns out, he was a USC baseball coach. I told him that I was taking Scott to his first game, which would also probably be his last. In a gesture of kindness I’ll never forget, the coach told the attendant to sell us his tickets at the price he paid for them. At that time, Scott didn’t know a Trojan from a Bruin. But as we walked to our seats, we could hardly believe our eyes. We were at the 50 yard line in the USC alumni section! Scott was 10 then and adjusting to medication that had been prescribed for his Tourette’s. Everyone in the section was friendly and understanding of Scott’s situation. By halftime, he wasn’t feeling well and was ready to go home. Before we left, though, we took the time to thank everyone in the section for being so great to Scott. If that was the only game Scott ever saw in the Coliseum, it would’ve been enough. Luckily, we were able to attend the Rose Bowl that same year. It was a perfect capstone to our time in Pasadena, and whenever I think of those years, I think of sitting in the stands with loved ones. It’s not a bad memory to start the year off with.
EVERYTHING’S COMING UP ROSES Memories From Pasadena
If there’s one word that comes to mind when I think about New Year’s, it’s nostalgia. Growing up in Pasadena, New Year’s Day was one of the most eventful days of the year. The Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl captured the imagination of everyone in town, including me. To this day, it doesn’t feel like New Year’s until I sit down to watch the Rose Bowl. I owe my family a huge thanks for that. My Uncle Charlie was the clubhouse manager at a swanky, exclusive country club in Pasadena. Among the members there were a number of USC alumni. Given that the L.A. Coliseum, where the USC Trojans play, is home to the Rose Bowl, these alumni often had spare tickets. They’d give them to Charlie, who would in turn gift them to my older brother, Pat.
Pat was a role model for me in many ways, and one of them was getting me interested in sports. He took me to my first Rose Bowl when I was 8. I remember it being magical. The pageantry and spectacle of the game was like nothing I’d ever experienced in my life. I’m willing to bet that many people watching the game at home while it snowed outside were inspired to move to California by the sunny San Gabriel Mountains in the background of the Coliseum. And in the 50-plus years I’ve been watching the Rose Bowl, I can only remember it raining a couple of times. From that first game grew a family tradition. Pat and I would always go to the game when we had the chance. When tickets were hard to come by — the years when USC was playing or it was
Happy 2018, everyone!
Al Jones , PT, OCS, Cert. MDT
Advance: To move forward; to make progress; to move ahead.
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