• Publisher’s Blog: Good Old Day 2010

    Another year of Pacific Grove’s Good Old Days celebration has come and gone, and though this year it was Good Old Day, it pointed out all that is quintessentially Pacific Grove.

    My mother, wrapped in a borrowed jacket, perched in a lawn chair in front of the police station and waving her American flag donated by Sahin Gunsel at Union Bank, commented that the parade was better this year than ever – and not just because I was in it with our restored muscle car. Horses and clowns, Snick in his lobster suit, crowds of children, floats, flags and bagpipes, politicos and military. . .it was all that a small town parade ought to be, and the Rotary are to be commended for the clockwork efficiency and near-perfect mix.

    I was pleased to run into an old friend, Phil Laidlaw, wearing his clan regalia and sporting a bagpipe. He was admiring my car and then realized he knew the driver. I remember when the tall, teen-aged boy with him was a newborn.

    Downtown the blocks and blocks of booths were waiting for parade-goers to troop down the hill and bring cash. In years past, I’ve dropped as much as $500 on art (one more stunning photo of a sunset at Asilomar), crafts (I love my giraffe-shaped coffee mug), jewelry (who doesn’t covet my cufflinks made from old typewriter keys?) and clothing (OK, so that came from Marita’s, but it was bought during Good Old Days). Those things may be GOOD, depending on one’s outlook and whether one had to close a business for the duration of the event, but what was OLD (and good) was the plethora of non-profits and booths supporting causes. I signed up to be a blood marrow donor at a booth that was a Senior Project of Emily Riso, a Pacific Grove High School student. A few more years and they won’t want me, but for now my DNA is on record someplace besides the police station. Mom and I shared a tri-tip sandwich where the fire fighters were selling them in support of the library (total take amount to follow).

    I lugged around some books I bought from the Middle School book sale and brochures for a free in-home estimate for something or another – windows? A bath tub? A new garage door? No sooner had I listened to their spiel than I ran into Jeff Kirkpatrick – I’ll see him again next week when SCRAMP orientation begins. I tried to dunk mayor Carmelita Garcia at the LaCrosse team’s dunk tank and then later spent some hours in a booth with her pushing a petition, across the aisle from the Sue Renz and Kristi Portwood at the Feast of Lanterns booth and someone giving out samples of garlic-stuffed olives. School board members Mike Niccum (fresh from a stint flipping pancakes for Kiwanis) and Tony Sollecito stopped by.

    The music and entertainment ran the gamut from groups that made up for what they lacked in talent by pumping up the volume to good old acts of practiced musicians. I missed seeing my friend Katie Shain in the Tap Bananas because I was trying to find a safe place to park my classic car, but she tells me she had a good time and that they were well-received. I was especially taken by a group of young rockers called August Moon; or was it Autumn Sky? They were very good, even judged against older musicians, and are going places, I’ll bet.

    When the wind came up and the sky threatened, we began to think about packing it in and eventually loaded up at 4:30. The Chamber of Commerce, organizers of the event, passed around a notice saying that, because of the dire weather forecast, we would be excused if we didn’t come back on Sunday. We didn’t. Kudos to those who braved it, and better luck next year to those who didn’t.

    I had the feeling, as I wandered Lighthouse Avenue avoiding the regiments of little dogs on leashes that seem to be the hallmark of Pacific Grove, that people are finally coming out of the winter doldrums and perhaps even out of the fearsome recession. Money seemed to be flowing, there were long lines at the food booths, and vendors appeared happy even if we were all cold and windblown.

    But my favorite part of the whole event was a moment while I was sitting at the petition table, talking with friends and neighbors and one old curmudgeon from Calaveras. The band at the Bank of America parking lot hit the unmistakable bass intro to “My Girl,” the anthem of my own personal Good Old Days. And as I looked around the crowd, there were people slowing and stopped, clapping their hands, swaying to the music and singing along:

    “I’ve got sunshine
    On a cloudy day.
    When it’s cold outside,
    I’ve got the month of May.

    Well, I guess you’ll say
    What can make me feel this way? My girl.”


    Four pages of brilliant pictures of the 2010 Good Old Days event can be found in our street edition, on the stands and in 101 other locations around town until Thursday, April 22. You can always find the current edition as well as archives of old editions online at this website. The blog is not in the print edition. Publisher’s Blog will be posted as the Publisher thinks of things to say that won’t fit in the print edition. Our motto: All the news that fits, we print.


    posted to Cedar Street Times on April 17, 2010

    Topics: Current Edition, Front PG News

    One Response to “Publisher’s Blog: Good Old Day 2010”

    1. handy Says:
      May 8th, 2010 at 10:57 am

      Sweet. However bear in mind that the chamber receives a high five figure amount of $$ from this event. Yet, provides no tables & chairs for people, nor does it provide ADA access, other than being on a level surface. These things certainly can be changed & added to such a wonderful event.

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