Christmas in 1958 was a very good one because I was able to buy gifts for everyone in my family. 1958 was the first year that I really learned the joy of giving. I bought everyone an individual gift and still had money left over for myself. I bought nice gifts, usually from the Broadway, where I received a staff discount.
For some reason, Christmas was always a time of loss for our family, and that Christmas our thoughts were with our Grandma Cora, who lost her mother.
On New Year's Day, I went to the Rose Parade with a group of friends. There was Darla, her mother and twin brothers and another girl, Marilyn, and her parents. We drove up to Pasadena early on New Year's morning and settled in at the end of the parade route. There was plenty of hot chocolate and coffee to keep us warm while we waited for the sun to rise. We always talked to the people in the crowd when we attended the parade; it was fun learning where the different people were from, as so many people traveled from afar. I had an eight millimeter movie camera that I'd bought in Hawaii with my babysitting money. I took it with me to the parade that day and recorded all the celebrities as they passed. One of Darla's twin brothers called out to me to take a picture of the star of television's Have Gun, Will Travel, Richard Boone. The parade had stalled and Richard Boone, in full Paladin costume, was right in front of me on his horse. Darla's brother repeated: "Take a picture of Paladin". "Who's Paladin?" was my response. I'm sure Richard Boone heard me and I was embarrassed, but I took his picture.
After the parade, we all went home very tired. It was my custom to watch the Rose Bowl game after seeing the parade, and that year Iowa beat the California Bears in a rout. In our household, the Rose Bowl was never a good game unless USC or UCLA was playing, though.