California Tour (final)

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On January 1, 1927 Grandad wrote “Well, we have seen the great Tournament of Roses at Pasadena.  Most beautiful.  88 floats with millions of roses and flowers decorating them . . 28 bands . . horsemen and foot marchers galore.  They said 750,000 people were there and the parade was miles long.  Took one hour, twenty minutes, to pass.  Saw Hoot Gibson in the parade.  Never saw such a crowd in my life, and the traffic jam was fierce.”

Friends who lived in Beverly Hills took them for a personal tour in their Buick.  Grandad wrote “This is the most beautiful district we’ve seen.  Saw most of the movie folks’ estates, which were on a lavish scale . . Harold Lloyd ,Chaplin, Valentino, Fairbanks, Mix,, Theda Bara, Norma Talmidge, Gloria Swanson, Mary Pickord, Poli Negri, and others.”

On February 26 they went to the famous annual Iowa picnic, and he wrote “Big crowd.  Not much going on but visiting.  Met old friends, some not seen for 25 years.”

They visited many churches but were most impressed at the Angelus Temple where they heard Aimee Semple McPherson, the popular evangelist of that day.  Grandad wrote “The Temple is a fine edifice seating 5000 people and it was filled.  Mrs. McPherson is a remarkable woman.  She preached and baptized 108 people, many claiming to have been healed by prayer of diseases called almost incurable.

There is no question but what that winter was the most remarkable winter of their lives, and yet on March 17 Grandad wrote  “I’m getting tired of California and am ready to go home.”  Another day, in a cynical moment, he wrote “The ravens brought us half a blueberry pie, so the day was not completely wasted.”

They left March 31, as planned, and their return route took them through a petrified forest, a painted desert, Albequerque, Las Vegas, and Colorado Springs.  Like its master, the Hudson had tired.  On April 6 Grandad wrote “We left Fort Morgan at 7:00 a.m.  Satan left about the same time, as we had 3 down tires and got nine miles off the road.”  And on the last two days, they had a blow-out and two more flat tires . . in the rain.

They arrived home, live and well, on April 8, 1927.  Grandad wrote on the last page of his journal, “And so ends our trip.  Wonderful in so many ways and never to be forgotten.  Old friends look best and home the best.  The entire trip cost about $565.00.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lesterland
    Nov 23, 2013 @ 22:51:19

    Thanks for your descriptions of your grandparents’ trip. As a native Californian, much of that rings true in my memory, even though I was only a child twenty years later. And it certainly fits with my mother’s stories of growing up there in that time. I hope the diaries end up with someone who will treasure them and ultimately leave them to a library or historical society.

    Reply

  2. Jeanie Sellars
    Nov 26, 2013 @ 16:35:37

    This made me think of my mothers account of a journey she and dad made from Ne. to Washington…..going over the mountains etc….so interesting to read all about it and think of how times have changed….they had to be brave in those days to make those trips, but grateful to be part of their memories.

    Reply

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