by Laura Berthold Monteros
J. Keith White, AIFD CFD takes a photo opp in the 1919 Dodge Brothers car while waiting for Grand Marshal Gary Sinise to arrive.
The Tournament of Roses Parade brings to mind huge floral floats with costumed riders gliding along Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena. But the best way to ride in the 2018 Rose Parade may well have been in a vintage Packard with a bullet hole in the side. Or at least, it might be the most evocative! The vintage vehicles that the Tournament Entries Committee picks out for the president, grand marshal, mayor, and Hall of Fame inductees often have colorful histories, and sometimes mysterious ones. It’s a mystery how that bullet hole got there, but it’s fun to think about.
J. Keith White, AIFD CFD and Peter Samek, AIFD are tasked with decorating the cars every year. We enjoy stopping by to chat with the always-welcoming gentlemen and to get a look at the creative adornments. The floral designers carefully choose the colors to complement both the cars and the riders.
Fall colors for the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame inductees in a
1933 Lincoln and 1909 Pope-Hartford brought to mind crisp autumn fields and cheering crowds. Florals in white on the 1929 Packard spoke to the dignity of Pres. Lance Tibbet. The 1919 Dodge Brothers. that carried Grand Marshal Gary Sinise got several shades of purple that complemented the Pantone color of 2018, ultraviolet; read more about it here. Mayor Terry Tornek rode in 1924 Model TT jitney, decorated with baskets of florals and produce that recalled the bus’ first use as a produce truck.
The gallery with this article has photos of the vehicles in Rosemont Pavilion during deco week. Be sure to check out the captions for more on the flowering of the cars and some interesting facts. To see them in the parade, follow the links in the paragraphs above.
All photos are copyright 2017 by LB Monteros
Floral designer J. Keith White, AIFD CFD holds a stem of integrifolia at Rosemont Pavilion a few days before the 2018 Rose Parade. To his right are buckets of florals for the 1929 Packard.
Peter Samek, AIFD arranges floral material that includes Honey Bracelet greenery, garden roses, and decorative cabbages on the Packard, which carried by Pres. Lance Tibbet and family.
Mountings filled with floral foam are used to hold sprays of flowers. They are attached in a manner that doesn’t damage the cars.
Floral Designer White holds sprays of eucalyptus, which add interest and texture to arrangements. Choices for the vehicles, as for floats, are often unusual and surprising materials.
A day before the Rose Parade, the 1929 Packard is almost ready to roll. The car has a Standard Eight engine and right-hand drive to accommodate laws in Australia.
The back of the Packard is filled with sprays and garlands of white, green, and tan. A separate cowl and windshield to protect passengers in the rear seat from wind were part of the package.
With the Packard, solid steel disc wheels became standard, replacing spoked wheels.
Peter Samek pointed out a mysterious bullet hole just above the running board on the right side has been left unrepaired, perhaps to add interest and intrigue to the vintage Packard.
1919 Dodge Brothers car, owned by Keith and Marilyn Smith of Johnstown, Colo. Pods filled with floral foam are carefully strapped on to avoid scratches.
Floral designer J. Keith White chose ultraviolet, the 2018 Pantone color, and complementary shades of violet and pink for the Grand Marshal’s car. Here, hydrangeas, calla lilies, roses, and cabbage.
Flowers waiting to take a Rose Parade ride on the 1919 Dodge Brothers car.
Protea are hardy and add interest to arrangements. They are an ancient genus and have been around since the Cretaceous period.
An explosion of brilliant flowers in the vehicle area during Deco Week. Rose Parade floats use a lot of flower parts to cover the sculptures; the cars display full flowers in all their glory.
Bedecked with bouquets worthy of a movie star, this 1919 Dodge Brothers car carried Grand Marshal Gary Sinise down the 2018 Rose Parade route. It was driven by Jimmy Stewart in the 1947 movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Yellow ribbons on the rear and sides of the 1919 Dodge Brothers honor the veterans that Gary Sinise advocates for, and the work the owners do to raise fund for vets.
For more about this 1919 Dodge Brothers car, read “Grand Marshal Gary Sinise tries out his Rose Parade ride” on TheRoseExaminer.com
The variety of flowers and other floral material in hues from the entire spectrum bring liveliness to the vintage automobiles that carry Rose Parade personalities down Colorado Blvd. on New Year’s Day.
Hydrangeas, gerbera, carnations, and greens in all shapes and shades are some of the many varieties of botanicals chosen for the Rose Parade vehicles.
Green ball dianthus has such an otherworldly quality, it could be out of a “Star Trek” landscape.
FTD icons are attached to all the vehicles, and like everything in the Rose Parade, they are covered with botanicals—onion seed and strawflower in this case.
Like the FTD icons, the signs that attach to the doors of the car use onion seed and strawflower. This 1933 KA Lincoln V12 Dual Cowl carried Rose Bowl Hall of Fame inductees.
This 1933 Lincoln, owned by Howard Henkels, has been in Pasadena since it was sold by Millers Ford Lincoln Agency on Colorado and Orange Grove at the very intersection where TV cameras and media photographers and reporters bring the Rose Parade to you.
Far from being an eyesore, Howard Henkels boyhood home was a place where he and his siblings learned a valuable trade repairing and reselling Lincolns. This article chronicles his mother’s court case.
1909 Pope-Hartford Model S Toy Tonneau, also owned by Howard Henkels, in the beginning stages of flowering during Deco Week.
The 1909 Pope-Hartford carried Rose Bowl Hall of Fame inductees. The Tournament of Roses decided to use two cars instead of one to accommodate the football players.
The display on the front of the Pope-Hartford shows the beautiful fall colors chosen by designer J. Keith White for the Hall of Fame riders.
The Mayor of Pasadena, Terry Tornek, rode in a 1924 Model TT truck with his family and friends. It has served as a produce truck and a bus.
The jitney was decorated with baskets full of produce and flowers, a nod to its history. Owner Frank Dupuy transformed the produce truck into a bus when he bought it in 1949. He lived in Altadena with his wife Jo and a collection of antique trucks.
A key element in the Rose Parade is fun. The decorations on the 1924 Model TT combine florals and fruits in playful arrangements.
Marti Boone did a good portion of the decorating on the 1924 Model TT that carried Mayor Terry Tornek and his family. She said her brother, a lieutenant colonel, knew a vet who got a house through GM Gary Sinise.
All decked out for the Rose Parade with flowers and flags. A jitney was a privately owned conveyance, so called because the fare was a jitney, slang for a nickel.
Lemons hang from a basket on the 1928 Model TT jitney.
Limes strung on wire bring a note of fancy to the 1924 Model TT.