Monday, August 3, 2009

Weekend Update

An interesting weekend in SoCal.


A smiling Rick Torres

Rick Torres celebrated his 51st birthday on Friday at in interesting wine bar in Ventura called "The Cave".

The usual suspects showed up and a great time was had by all.

Laurie working off some of her court ordered
community service time.

Koreen broke a bone in her wrist during an unfortunate bowling accident.

Always style conscious, her new cast is black so as to match her dress for Mike and Vanessa's wedding this Saturday.

Tom FitzGerald wonders,
"Is that a new haiku I feel or just more gas?"


Mike and I had tickets to the big Los Angeles Galaxy vs. FC Barcelona match in the Rose Bowl.

For those of you not versed in the subtle nuiances of European soccer, Barça won everything possible last season including the Champions League made up of only the best teams from each European country.

We got there early to enjoy a little bit of Old Town Pasadena before the match.

Old Town was the super rundown area of properous Pasadena back in the 1960's when I was in high school, definitely an area to avoid if possible.

Today, due to years of urban renewal, it is a great place to visit, eat, have a date or just people watch.

This 89˚F weather, 32˚Celsius for my friends in Sicily, made a perfect backdrop to our outing.

Ever wonder what happened to Chewbacca?

Boots? It's 89˚ for goodness sakes!

The corner of Fair Oaks and Colorado

This intersection is the heart of lively, upscale Old Town Pasadena.

Bright and cheery today, it was a hell hole in 1961 and 1962 when I was a Freshman and Sophomore at St. Francis H.S. The problem for me was that if I didn't catch a ride home with an older Golden Knight with a driver's license, I would have to take two city busses to get home.

The needed transfer point was this ultra-seedy intersection and the wait always felt like the longest 30 minutes of my life. Fortunately, one of my class mates was with me on most of these occasions.

Freddie's 35er

Located about 40 feet from the Fair Oaks-Colorado intersection, this was THE quintissential dive bar of Pasadena 50 years ago.

I was always under the impression that only the best serial killers frequented this fine establishment.

Sharing a pitcher at Freddie's 35er!

Today Freddie's is just another trendy bar, GO FIGURE!

Intergallactic Aliens now frequent
Freddie's 35er!!!

There's really a Clipper Nation?

Only at Freddie's 35er as far as I can tell.

Time for our pre-game meal

Jakes is indeed a Pasadena institution!

Their burgers are just the right size and delicious!

Soccer Jerseys Everywhere!

Obviously, Barça and Galaxy jerseys dominated but there were others.

Mike was proud to report that, as far as we saw, his was the only Calcio Catania jersey in attendance.

The Barça team bus arriving excited the multitudes.

Two Gunners fans excited to be at the
Rose Bowl

We come in all sizes.

Memories of the Good Old Days of
Husky football

Three straight Rose Bowl bids including the 1992 game that concluded a perfect 12-0, National Championship season.

Were we really 0-12 last season?

Coach Owens Class of 1992 Rose Bowl
Hall of Fame plaque

The Rose Bowl offers first rate BBQ but at highly inflated prices.

This is why we ate at Jakes before we got to the Rose Bowl.

David P. Lassen was in the house!

David is, of course, sporting a Barça kit. A Galaxy hat? Make up your mind!

This is just one of his 70+, yes, SEVENTY PLUS, soccer jerseys! A fetish that would make Imelda Marcos proud!!!

Between David and Mike, could there possibly be anything more to know about the European futbol scene?

Fireworks during the National Anthem

Note the crowd in the background.

The Rose Bowl was packed as 93,137 fans came out to watch. This was the biggest crowd to see a soccer game in the United States since the 1994 World Cup.

Barça's Leonardo Messi

I know he is Barcelona's best player, but five on one just might be a bit of overkill!

We had a great time as Barça won 2-1.

The Galaxy's David Beckham is of interest. One of the biggest names in the futbol world, he is not well liked by the home crowd. He was roundly booed when his name was announced in the starting lineup and every time he touches the ball the crowd boos yet again.

That is until he scored the Galaxy's only goal on an awesome curving penalty kick to knot up the score at one all. From then on, the crowd loved him.

Sitting in the end zone, we had great views of Beckham's incredible passing skills. I now understand the meaning of the movie title "Bend it Like Beckham".


The annual Pacific Youth Football League clinic at Newbury Park H.S.

There were over 100 Pop Warner coaches in attendance.

Verne Merrill is the Athletic Director of the PYFL that has nearly 20 chapters playing Pop Warner football in the area.

I look forward to speaking at his clinic every August. I got to speak for two hours on the 3-5-3 defense and the coaches assembled seemed to like what I had to offer.

Good times indeed!

1 comment:



Be assured that Barca´s 2-1 victory over the Galaxy received big headlines over here in Spain... at least what I could make out. You should also know that next season the best team in the world will be MADRID... as they´ve now grabbed the best players from each of the other two best country´s best teams: Christiano Ronaldo (Man U), Kaka (AC Milan)... should be interesting.

Everything is great on the Camino... haven´t died yet! Ciao man!!!


ps biggest things I miss from America: 1) Ice, 2) gold bond medicated powder