Saturday, December 03, 2005

San Pedro Christmas Boat Parade

When I lived in Houston I was resident of the Heights - an old part of town near downtown that was resplendent (word?) with bungalow type houses. We had an event in our neighborhood called "Lights in the Heights" where the streets were all lighted with luminaria and people went from house to house to extend good cheer. It was a real neat deal.

And something that I knew I would miss dearly when I moved to LA eight years ago. But we have discovered something else that sort of compares - in a unique sort of way.

We live near the LA harbor (and I can't tell you how much we love it) and Deborah worked for one of the refineries there. They really got into volunteering - so much that I was spending alot of time planting trees, giving breakfast to kids and all sorts of other stuff - and I didn't even work for the place - I was the 'dragged along significant other'. I wish I could get these guys over to my house to cut my ivy down but....

One of their deals is to sponsor a boat for one of the Christmas lighted boat parades that occur all up and down the coast. So for the past four years we have helped in decorating a 50-foot boat with lights and all to go on the parade which occurs at night usually in a frosty misty San Pedro fog that winds up being alot of fun. We coast by several different places in the harbor where we are judged (with peopole waving and all of that) - and one thing that is peculiar to our boat is that we always have music blaring from the huge speakers we have mounted on the front of the boat.

So alot of work is done to the outside lighting effects to the boat beforehand - lighted jumping reindeer for example with Santa in his sleigh - really good stuff. And even though alot of work is done to mount the speakers everybody forgets what the music should be.

I didn't get the nickname "Rock" by accident (another post to explain that) but it always winds up that I have to dredge up holiday music for this event. And what I mean by that is people show up with the generic holiday crap sampler CD and what you need as you are approaching a judging stand is something more dramatic.

So the first year I had the Boss' "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" (live version - is there any other?) - and intitially of course everybody n the boat is "what?" - but when you see a boat coming and its blaring out Clarence's "ho-ho's" out - it is golden.

Another year I just had Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" beating the shores - the common man loved it. Oh-uh, Oh-uh, uh-uh-uh.

The next year I went with the Transiberian Orchestra - I can't remember what tune it is but man it is something and fairly regal. I felt like we were Magellen (and yes we were gellin').

I have to come up with something different this year - and I only have 12 hours to figure out what. I'll let you know.

But when you are on that water and its cold and foggy and its Christmas and you are in the busiest port outside Hong Kong - well that's something special.

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