- Loran Smith DawgNation
LOS ANGELES – Downtown LA is about as vibrant as any place you will find in the Golden State, which is about as diverse as any place you set foot. It would be hard for the United Nations plaza to top the City of Angels when it comes to a conglomeration of cultures. Fascinating.
The square miles of Los Angeles County total 4,084, which makes it about four times the size of the King Ranch, which has less cattle (several hundred thousand) than LA County has people — more than 18 million. There are 88 cities in the county, which means you almost have to book a room for a night if you travel from northernmost point in the county to the southernmost on one journey.
A Coca-Cola at your hotel might cost $8, but a nearby Starbucks has a more reasonable rate for a mid-sized cup of coffee which is $2.45, which would compare favorably at a Starbucks on a corner on Peachtree Street in Atlanta. Near downtown, the atmosphere and ambience of the Pacific Dining Car gives you a sense of regal dining with the atmosphere alone, and the Applewood bacon has no downside. Dine there and you step back in time.
This establishment began with a railroad dining eight decades ago, the perfect setting to interview Chuck White, who is the house announcer for the Rose Bowl and UCLA games at Pauley Pavilion. His knowledge of the Rose Bowl and UCLA are encyclopedic.
He played golf for the Bruins and then briefly on the PGA Tour. He notes that while UCLA has won more national championships than any college, it is agitated by its lack of success in football, and the UCLA administration aims to do something about that immediately. You may have noted they recently hired Chip Kelly who made it big at Oregon and didn’t make it in the NFL.
In a couple of years Chuck will be coming up on two decades at the microphone for the incomparable Rose Bowl in his hometown of Pasadena where the day after the most famous parade in the world ends, planning begins for the next year’s event. Even Kirby Smart takes a break after the final game of the season is played.
Chuck plays golf frequently with an accomplished TV script writer, Joel Surnow, who has spent time in Athens where teaching at a summer seminar, hosted by Grady College on the UGA campus is accompanied by afternoons on the Donald Ross designed Athens Country Club course. Joel spends the winter in the desert in Palm Springs. The only thing that would keep him off a golf course would be an earthquake. Based on history, there a chance that could come about.
At Lawry’s, the famous roast beef place, last week there was a demonstration by PETA, the animal rights group, protesting the eating of beef. Makes one think of that old cartoon which reflects that “…when you are up to your belt in alligators, you forget your objective was to drain the swamp.” No telling what one would eat if he were hungry enough. He might even consider a demonstrator. If you want roast beef, I would say you can’t do better than Lawry’s.
Those who come here for the Rose Bowl and don’t cruise the neighborhoods of Pasadena have shortchanged themselves. What a lovely community which started a parade and a football game to showcase real estate opportunity Southern California over a century ago.
Now there are a boat load of Georgians and Bulldogs aficionados who have checked off bucket list items by becoming spectators of both the parade and the oldest bowl game of all, Southern California is getting high marks. Georgia’s winning the game allowed for extraordinary fulfillment. Many were overserved and budgets were over extended but a good time was enjoyed by all.
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