Sunday, February 12, 2012
Pasadena brings to mind roses. The Rose Bowl and the Rose Parade.
It's a pleasure for me to think of both of them. I always watch both on television and once I was right out there on Colorado Boulevard watching the parade live and in color.
But for me, Pasadena means more than two roses---Bowl and Parade.
FULLER SEMINARY. I attended this splendid seminary when some of the greatest theologians, professors and preachers in the world were associated with it: Edward Carnell, Carl Henry, Harold John Ockenga. I was privileged to sit at the feet of Wilbur Smith, William LaSor and Geoffrey W. Bromiley. What a joy.
NAZARENE BOOK STORE. You say, "But Clif, you have been to book stores all over the world, why would you care so much about this one?" I'm just sentimental about things like this. It was one of the first book stores I started going to on a regular basis just after graduation. I was with my first church full-time. I was young, ignorant but eager to learn. The church members were kind and patient with me and called me their "little preacher." There was so much I needed and wanted to know---for them. This book store opened the door to me to a wonderful world of knowledge. And going there was a family affair. Our young family: my wife, son and daughter loved going there.
WALT'S BAG OF CHICKEN. Just a little stand. Barely room for Walt to move around in and do his "magic." It sat out on Pasadena Boulevard in front of a skating rink. Nothing fancy here. We ate in the car. Loved every minute of it. Even now, these many years later, my wife or daughter will occasionally say, "I would really like to have some of Walt's chicken."
Yes, Pasadena is a grand, old city. We went there often when we only lived 11 miles away in the town of El Monte. We now live 371 miles away. I could visit the seminary again---but not as a student. I don't think the book store is there anymore and even if it is I can't go there as a young preacher building a library. My library is already built. Walt's Bag of Chicken? It's gone too! Yes, of course they still sell chicken in Pasadena. But what is gone is Walt, his little stand, our young family, eating in the car. All gone.
What is left are memories. Memories of youth, happy days, days of pleasure---pleasure in Pasadena!