We always began the New Year by getting up and watching the Rose Parade on TV. 1955 was no different. We would all get up and gather in front of our small TV screen to watch the parade. What made 1955 different was the weather. It rained, a rare event for New Year's Day in Pasadena. So we all sat in front of our little screen, commenting on: "How terrible it must be to have to go through the parade in the rain"; "And look at how drenched the poor Rose Queen looks". Little did we realize that it would be 51 years before it would rain upon a Rose Parade again.
We always watched the parade on the local TV station, KTLA. In 1955, out in the rain, Dick Lane and Los Angeles journalist Stan Chambers broadcast the parade in both color and black and white. It was the first color television broadcast. Like most families, we only had black and white television, which never did the parade justice.
After the parade, my Mother would always make a pot of beans. We were told we had to eat at least a bite of the beans because if we didn't, it meant we would have a lousy year ahead. I hated beans and sometimes I would force myself to eat them anyway, just so I could have a good year. But there were a few years when I defied the superstition and refused to eat the beans. It didn't seem to matter if I ate the beans or not. There was no pattern that proved the superstition to be right or wrong, so every year on New Year's Day, it would be a struggle to decide if I would eat the beans or not.