Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's view of Yesteryears

Last year at this time Miriam at Ancestories 2 (http://ancestories2.blogspot.com/) proposed questions for bloggers about New Year's Traditions. By the time I wrote something out, it was long past the first of the year (2010).   I have surprisingly found what I was going to post - and will send it out for the 2011 New Year....  a little late but the memories of my traditions are the lasting.

Do you remember the first time you were allowed to stay up and see in the New Year? How old were you?  How did you and your typically spend New Year's Eve during your youth?
My brother was 4 years older than me, so whatever he did, I followed.  When we were very young my father strung an microphone from our bedroom to the neighbor's living room to hear any commotion when we were supposed to be asleep....I was too young to remember, but that might have been on New Year's Eve, as well as other neighborhood gatherings.  I mostly remember that New Year's was a neighborhood event, with my parents getting together with neighbors to play canasta or otherwise have a rollicking good time. The grown-ups would be in the living room (front room) and us kids would be in my brother's room.   On New Year's Eve we had lots of snacks like peanuts,pretzels and candies.  Sodas were generally not available, I got sick on them anyway - from the carbonation, I guess (memories of throwing up in the Alto Movie theater on Western Ave, Los Angeles, a couple times).  Iced tea or cocoa were popular.  My brother was the oldest of our "gang" in the neighborhood, and I was the youngest.  The others were boys.  So I usually got the brunt of any war or fight we were having.  But I held my own.  My brother knew how to play poker, so that's where I learned.  We mostly played a game called "Rummy Royal" or listened to records while the adults partied.   I remember we would jump on the bed bouncing around acting crazy to the song "Cocktails For Two" and anything Spike Jones did.  The zanier, the better.   Of course we blew little paper horns and whatever noise makers we had at midnight.  When older, my brother got a little roulette wheel and we all bet our chips like Las Vegas regulars. 

*How did you typically spend New Year's Day in your childhood and youth? Did you visit family and friends? Did your family host an Open House? Did you watch the Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl game or another favorite sport? Or did you go to your favorite ski resort?
We always, always watched the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena on television, and a couple times went to see it in person, leaving the house (near Century & Westerna Ave) early in the morning and wrapping ourselves in blankets.  I loved to see the parade, and still do.  Later, on 1 Jan 1988, my daughter was in the parade as a flag twirler in the color guard from Overland High School in Aurora, Colorado.  It  was wonderful to see her marching in the parade.  My parents had moved from Los Angeles to Hemet, Calif. by this time, so we drove Pasadena from there.  I recorded the parade on the television VCR and then took a photo of the television screen as we later replayed the video when she marched by - and I was able to uniquely capture that moment - or the three moments - that the camera caught her in action!  I've recently transferred that videotape footage to DVD, although there is some flickering going on in the old tape.  We often watched the Rose Bowl football game on TV, especially if any friends came over.  We never left Los Angeles during the Christmas/ New Years holidays. Our relatives came to our house.  We didn't have any big dinner or open house on New Year's day, unless someone came over to watch the Rose Bowl.  I do remember our friends from Ventura came down and there was a lot of hooting and hollering when USC and UCLA played. I was so amazed that even the teenage girl of that family knew all about football.  My father was always more interested in photography and electronics than football.  Although in high school he was a football player.

1 comment:

Miriam said...

Donna, thanks for the shout out about Ancestories2. I haven't listed any new writing prompts for over a year, but have left them up because I know they will be useful to others.

Happy New Year!