It’s that time of year again! Tournament of Roses President R. Scott Jenkins will soon announce the Grand Marshal for the 125th Rose Parade, the person who will toss the coin at the 100th Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2014. Who will it be? Who can best reflect the theme “Dreams Come True”?
When we spoke with him in February, he had told the Pasadena Star-News a few days earlier that he had no idea whom he would choose. When we asked, he responded, “That is a dilemma,” but admitted he has thought about it a great deal.
So now it’s hmmm time. There might be a hint in the tagline Jenkins always appends to the theme. “‘Dreams Come True’ feels passive,” he said. They can come true, “but only if you pursue them. Courageously.” Guessers might also consider that this president is insisting on more entertainment value from entries, cutting the equestrian groups from 21 to 16 and expecting more interaction with the crowds.
So the person can’t just be a dreamer who got lucky. It has to be someone who worked hard to achieve that dream. A perennial favorite guess, Oprah Winfrey, would certainly fill the bill as both dreamer and entertainer. Bill Gates, with wife Melinda, also comes to mind. Not only did Gates revolutionize the personal computer, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have helped the dreams of countless students come true.
It might be a person who worked courageously to overcome the odds. Gabrielle Giffords, who defied predictions and regained much of her speech and abilities after a horrendous shooting, might be a good choice, along with her husband, Mark Kelly. Kelly was the commander of the last flight of the space shuttle Endeavor, which is now on permanent display at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.
In the entertainment world, Michael J. Fox has kept acting despite debilitating Parkinson’s Disease, which has called attention to research. Popular with Angelenos, Magic Johnson redefined living with AIDS, and is part of the coalition that is revitalizing the Dodger organization.
The office of Grand Marshal is sometimes shared among several people: in 2003, Bill Cosby, Art Linkletter and Fred Rogers; in 1999, Buzz Aldrin, Jackie Robinson (posthumously), Shirley Temple Black and David L. Wolper; and in 1970, the Apollo 12 Astronauts Alan L. Bean, Charles Conrad Jr., Richard F. Gordon Jr.
So how about the team of scientists and engineers at Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory who landed the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity on the surface of the red planet? What a great ride that would be! Maybe they would even bring along the model of Curiosity they keep in the hills above JPL and use to troubleshoot problems on the planet.
One thing for sure. It won’t be a Supreme Court Justice, and not because of the current political climate. No, more because of the Rose Parade climate—it just seems to rain on the parade when a Supreme is the Grand Marshal.
The theme of the 125th Rose Parade and 100th Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2014 is “Dreams Come True” The Tournament of Roses is a celebration that lasts several weeks in the fall and winter, Keep following your Tournament of Roses Examiner for the latest news and for upcoming announcements.
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