Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, January 2, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page B:4



 Mountain Views News Saturday, January 2, 2021 




Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 



Stuart Tolchin 

Audrey Swanson

Mary Lou Caldwell

Kevin McGuire

Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Lori Ann Harris

Rev. James Snyder

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright

Hail Hamilton

Joan Schmidt

LaQuetta Shamblee



 I have been talking about writing a letter to my 17 month 
old granddaughter telling her a little about what all of our lives 
have been like during the first year of her life. Of course this first 
year has coincided with the first and, I hope only year of the Covid 
19 crisis; but who know? I had wanted her to read the letter in 
about 15 years when I probably would not be around to talk to 
her personally. Realistically, I am at that stage of life where going 
down a set of stairs not between hand rails is, already, a test of 
valor. It is hard for me to imagine what my granddaughter in 15 
years and I have little idea of what living circumstances will be like 
at that unimagined future time. Attached, I hope to this article, is 
a picture my wife happened to take which, for me at least captures 
a great deal of our present predicament. I hope the circumstances 
and interactions depicted will be of interest to a sixteen year old.

 The circumstances behind the picture were that a neighbor had driven up to deliver 
Christmas presents to my wife and me. The neighbor is an artist, a partly indigenous person 
from the coast of Brazil who had made a noble and quite successful attempt to live out her 
dreams. It is my wish that my granddaughter be able to do the same. This information is part 
of the background which is exactly where I am in the picture, reflected in the shadows along 
with my wife. The center of attention is the tiny person in the middle of the picture already 
coping creatively with her life by drawing on the driveway. In fifteen years she will notice that 
the neighbor is masked and perhaps will have heard of the Covid virus that mandated staying 
in place restrictions. She may notice that we are all outside of the house and perhaps will 
understand that because of the restrictions no non-family member was allowed in the house. 
Looking closely she will see Santa Claus reindeer ears on the car and note that wire female 
representation in the upper right hand corner of the picture is adorned with a Santa Claus hat 
and gloves and a poster thanking emergency care workers for their assistance and bravery. 
Perhaps the blue rubber gloves will be a reminder to her, as they are to me now, that it is now 
best to be careful about touching any possibly contaminated surfaces.

 I want her to see, that despite the extremely difficult circumstances we all managed to 
get on with our lives. She was the center of all attention as we watched her creatively adapt to 
her new existence. Similarly, our neighbor, the artist drawing on the driveway, has used her 
creativity to sustain, explore, and expand her own life. I want my granddaughter to know that 
it is this creativity in adapting to changing circumstances has played a big part in the evolution 
of our species survival. No matter what the world is like in 15 or in 50 years she will have the 
capacity to creatively adapt, enjoy, and live out her life. As she ages I hope she will keep in mind 
that part of the great joys of living and ageing is being around to enjoy the incredible miracle 
of life. In the picture, that is exactly what the grandparents in the shadow are privileged to 

 A note to you my 
imaginary reader. Prior 
to writing this article I 
presented the enclosed 
picture to close friends who 
have responded by saying 
“Don’t you know how to 
take a picture? What are 
those shadows doing in the 
picture? Why is that weird 
lady so close to the baby? 
The baby sure is getting 
big. What are you doing 
having her play in the 
driveway”. So, if you don’t 
find the picture interesting 
I will be disappointed but 
will perfectly understand. 
This article and all artistic 
attempts are an interaction 
between the artist(?) and 
the viewer and I have done 
my best to do my part.

Mountain Views News 
has been adjudicated as 
a newspaper of General 
Circulation for the County 
of Los Angeles in Court 
Case number GS004724: 
for the City of Sierra 
Madre; in Court Case 
GS005940 and for the 
City of Monrovia in Court 
Case No. GS006989 and 
is published every Saturday 
at 80 W. Sierra Madre 
Blvd., No. 327, Sierra 
Madre, California, 91024. 
All contents are copyrighted 
and may not be 
reproduced without the 
express written consent of 
the publisher. All rights 
reserved. All submissions 
to this newspaper become 
the property of the Mountain 
Views News and may 
be published in part or 

Opinions and views expressed 
by the writers 
printed in this paper do 
not necessarily express 
the views and opinions 
of the publisher or staff 
of the Mountain Views 

Mountain Views News is 
wholly owned by Grace 
Lorraine Publications, 
and reserves the right to 
refuse publication of advertisements 
and other 
materials submitted for 

Letters to the editor and 
correspondence should 
be sent to: 

Mountain Views News

80 W. Sierra Madre Bl. 

Sierra Madre, Ca. 

Phone: 626-355-2737

Fax: 626-609-3285


A member 
of the








As a kid growing 
up in post-World 
War II Los Angeles, 
the Rose Bowl was 
the year’s single 
most anticipated 

In sports, the 
Dodgers were still 
in Brooklyn, the Lakers in Minneapolis, 
and the Rams had only recently relocated 
from Cleveland. The thought 
that professional ice hockey might one 
day be played in sunny Southern California 
was too preposterous to take seriously. 
In some circles, the Academy 
Awards were Los Angeles’ annual highlight. 
Kids would have to be dragged 
kicking and screaming to Oscar winning 
films like “From Here to Eternity,” 
or “Around the World in 80 Days.”

When my parents announced on 
Christmas Day that one of my gifts was 
tickets to attend the January 1st 1955 
Rose Bowl game with my dad, my excitement 
couldn’t be contained. That 
year, the Rose Bowl matchup pitted the 
Number 1 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes 
against the #17 University of Southern 
California Trojans. While few gave the 
Trojans a chance, bowl games were always 
the perfect setting for major college 

Fans of the then-Pac 8 eagerly anticipated 
watching the Big-10 conference 
representatives, considered more powerful 
than their West Coast rivals. The 
undefeated 8-0 Buckeyes, led by Hall 
of Fame coach Woody Hayes and Heisman 
Trophy winning running back 
Howard “Hopalong” Cassidy, faced the 
6-3 Trojans who finished a dismal sixth
in the Pac-8. Under the Rose Bowl
era’s early rules, Pac-8 winner UCLA
couldn’t represent the conference in
back-to-back years.

Ask anyone who’s lived in Los Angeles 
to predict January 1 weather, and their 
replies will be the same. No matter how 
foul the weather is on the days leading 
up to the Rose Bowl or how awful during 
the following days, by kickoff, skies 
will be sunny, and the temperature 

But for the first time in more than three 
decades, January 1, 1955 was not only 
rainy, but a torrent. No sooner had 
my father’s eyes opened on Rose Bowl 
morning than, as sheets of rain fell outside, 
he tried to beg off. Dad pleaded 
with Mom to intercede on his behalf. 
No dice, Mom said, the Rose Bowl is 
your son’s Christmas present, and he’s 
looked forward to the game for a week.

Off to Pasadena my father and I set, he 
somber and me excited. With 90,000 
fans sitting shoulder-to-shoulder, umbrellas 
were useless. The temperature 
was no day at the beach, either, hovering 
in the mid-50s. As rain dripped 
down our cheeks, we sat through the 
entire lopsided game that from the beginning 
Ohio State dominated, 20-7.

Here’s how the Cleveland Plain Dealer 
described the game:

“Through mud, slime, murk and driving 
rain, Ohio State’s dauntless Buckeyes 
today reached the all-time zenith 
of the University’s football history. 
Ploughing through muck in the fog 
and semi-darkness, the Buckeyes vanquished 
Southern California, 20 to 
7, in the worst weather conditions of 
Rose Bowl history.”

As bad as the day had been for my father, 
it was about to worsen. Finally 
drying off post-game in the family 
Ford, dad turned the ignition key and 
we heard the awful grinding sound that 
dead batteries emit. Driving from our 
house to Pasadena with his headlights 
on, dad forgot to turn them off once 
we parked. Realizing that we would be 
stranded for at least a couple of hours, 
my father let out a string of profanities 
that turned the parking lot blue.

Stadium security summoned AAA, 
and eventually, redemption in tow 
truck form worked its way through the 
tens of thousands of vehicles trying to 
exit. Our long drive home was in stony 
silence. Years passed before my family 
could laugh about Rose Bowl 1955.

I left Los Angeles long ago, and on return 
visits I saw Rose Bowl games under 
Chamber of Commerce skies. But 
nothing will ever replace in my memory 
that rain-drenched January 1st.

As I look back on New Year’s Day more 
than 65 years ago, I realize that I’ve 
developed a deeper affection for my 
loving father who resisted going to the 
rain soaked-Rose Bowl, but in the end, 
took me anyway.

As he did in 1955, and continued to do 
until the day he died, dad always kept 
the promises he made to me.

–Joe Guzzardi is a Society for American
Baseball Research and Internet Baseball
Writers Association member. Contact
him at

Nobody deserves to die in a pandemic. But even now 
–after so much suffering, with so much more to come
–millions of Americans still don’t seem to understand
that brainless stupidity can put them six feet under.

Case in point: Earlier this month in Louisiana, House 
candidate Luke Letlow won his runoff race after parroting 
Trumpian ignorance about COVID-19 and mimicking his hero 
by staging a series of maskless rallies.

Less than two weeks ago, Letlow announced that he had COVID-19.

By Wednesday morning, Letlow was unable to provide further updates, 
because he’s dead. At age 41.

Letlow leaves a wife and two small children. I don’t mean to speak ill of 
the dead. I’ll simply point out that one’s odds of contracting and dying 
from COVID-19 are heightened if one dwells in a MAGA bubble and 
throws prudent caution to the winds.

Letlow’s big message – which clicked with Louisiana voters, naturally – 
was that Donald Trump showed “tremendous leadership and a remarkable 
ability to get things done,” and that thanks to Trump, “America is 
defeating COVID-19.” As recently as Nov. 19, after staging multiple 
maskless meet-and-greets, he warned about the economic damage of 
lockdowns and said, “We have to learn how to live in a COVID world.”

The chairman of the Louisiana Republican party had this reaction to 
Letlow’s death: “The world was his oyster. We’re all in disbelief.”

Believe it, buddy. The COVID world is no oyster if you treat masks as a 
threat to freedom.

Naturally, the freedom lovers still refuse to believe. Social media today 
is infested with deniers who insist that because Letlow was only 
41, surely he must’ve died for a different reason – or because he had 
underlying health problems. But nope, his hospital doctor said he was 
healthy as a horse before he was stricken, and that all the factors were 

Bottom line: A young politician in the prime of health has left his wife 
a widow, and his children fatherless, after setting a bad example for the 
citizens he aspired to serve. COVID feasts on blithe stupidity. Letlow’s 
media feeds featured numerous photos of him greeting the common 
folk, sans mask. How many people did he potentially infect and put at 
dire risk? We’ll never know their names.

Joe Biden – the president whom Letlow would’ve staunchly opposed 
in 2021, had he lived to take his House seat – offered this self-evident 
observation Tuesday, during his remarks about how Trump has predictably 
screwed up vaccine distribution:

“Wearing a mask is not a political statement. It is a patriotic duty. COVID 
is a killer in red states as well as blue states, so I would encourage 
you all to wear a mask…I’m asking you to make these sacrifices (for) 
your lives and your livelihood and your kids and your families.”

Letlow didn’t do that. After 330,000 deaths, how many more cautionary 
tales do people need to hear?

Dick Polman, a veteran national political columnist based in Philadelphia and a Writer 
in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, writes at Email him at

Mountain Views News

Mission Statement

The traditions of 
community news-
papers and the 
concerns of our readers 
are this newspaper’s 
top priorities. We 
support a prosperous 
community of well-
informed citizens. We 
hold in high regard the 
values of the exceptional 
quality of life in our 
community, including 
the magnificence of 
our natural resources. 
Integrity will be our guide. 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: