I pitched my easel, as I have done previously on New Years Eve, at a Tournament of Roses Parade site. My first stop was Wrigley Mansion, the headquarters of the Tournament of Roses.
I arrived before 10:00 am, so shadows raked across the lush green lawn. Although there was a slight chill in the air, the sun was out. The warmth felt good on my back. It was a perfect way to start my mission after taking my wife out to breakfast.
There was a lot of activity around me. A tent was set up under some palm trees. It appeared that that was where Tournament officials were making final preparations for tomorrow’s parade. Film crews were also buzzing about me laying cable and setting up lights plus other equipment. There were also plenty of security personel onsite, including the man on the porch who seemed to be keeping a close eye on me.
Insite on Wrigley Mansion
Soon after I had begun to paint, I was approached by an elderly gentleman dressed in a blue blazer with the Tournament of Roses emblem sewn on the pocket. He seemed hesitant to come too near, so I smiled and invited him over. I asked him if he worked at the mansion. He said that he has been volunteering with the Tournament of Roses for 50 years. He also said that his father worked in the mansion while the Wrigley family still occupied it. His father was a furnace repairman. Whenever he was called on to service the furnaces, he would join his dad. He said the Wrigley family was always very friendly towards them. We chatted a bit longer. As he was about to return to join his group, I handed him a Talent Search tract. I had others visitors who also received the tract.
A Rare Tournament of Roses Opportunity
I knew this was a rare opportunity to stand on Orange Grove Blvd. to do this painting. Nevertheless, I worked quickly.
Any other time of the year I possibly would have raised such suspicion in this up-scale neighborhood that I might have been visited by one of Pasadena’s defenders of the peace. I walked from here to Colorado Blvd. to do my next painting.