Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Years Grandma Liesch!!

By Allen Bacon, Editor, The Daily Bosco

Happy New Year! No bullets went through the roof of my home last night. So I'm happy about that.

I'm waiting in the dark anxiously awaiting the start of the Rose Parade....You know the parade where Southern California shows off how beautiful and gorgeous it is and everybody gets the idea to move over here.

Until 1984 New Years Day was a special time of year for me. This was the day I always spent with my Grandma Elva Rose Liesch Hughes at her home in Buena Park, CA (over by Knotts Berry Farm)...My brother Steve and I would go over on New Years Eve and she would let us stay up late and watch Johnny Carson and Guy Lombardo's show.

We would get up early and grab the LA Times and get the list of the floats in the Rose Parade and turn on Channel 5 KTLA and watch the Parade while Grandma made breakfast....then after the Parade it was out for a walk over to George's Diner around the block for a burger. On the way back we would stop at the corner market and pick up some stuff for lunch and dinner and a little toy for Steve and I.

Tommy, a wonderful Chinese gentleman who was part owner of the store and worked in the meat market would always give Steve and I a quarter each but on New Years he gave us two!... While Grandma started preparing the big dinner for the evening when all the relatives would come over, she gave Steve and I a turkey sandwich while the Cotton Bowl, announced by Lindsey Nelson on CBS was on which led to the Rose Bowl on NBC announced by Kurt Gowdy. Steve and I would play with our little toys, usually balsa wood gliders while the games ran into each other. Before you knew it it was time for the Orange Bowl on NBC and all the relatives were starting to come over. Next to Thanksgiving, it was Grandma Liesch at her finest....And she always made us eat the black eye peas on New Years for good luck....God, I miss Grandma.

They say you can't go home. But, a while back I stopped over by my Grandma's old house on Indiana Street in Buena Park and went to George's diner for breakfast. It's run by a wonderful Mexican family now and features Huevos Rancheros for breakfast and wonderful Mexican coffee. The seats in the little diner are the same....It was like walking into a time warp...I got into a conversation with two of the locals and we reminisced about old Buena Park, Grandma Liesch, Fullerton, and Knott's Berry Farm. I then walked over to the old market which is run by another Mexican family and I loved it so much I will by my Carne Asada next time from them. I wanted Tommy to come out and give me a quarter but he was long gone... I bought a little inexpensive toy for old times sake.... My Grandma's old house didn't look the same but it looked better than ever. With the additions I didn't even recognize the old place....

I wonder if the lady of the house is having her grandkids and relatives over for black eyed peas and everything else today.

Now, on New Years Day, I have developed my own new traditions. Last night I took the five mile walk from my house to Downtown Fullerton, CA and saw old friends and a Beatles Tribute band at the Fullerton First Night Celebration. Then I watched an old movie. This year it was Annie Hall. This morning I will have some relatives over for breakfast and watch the Rose Parade...(this time I can look up the parade lineup). We also break out the chess board and my brother in law, my son and I will engage in a friendly round robin tournament of chess. Then it will be time for the NHL Winter Classic on TV which has replaced the Bowl games as my sport event of choice on New Years followed by lunch and a nice walk with the dogs in the afternoon.

But it will never replace those special days when I was a kid with my Grandma. Maybe I'll make up a batch of some black eyed peas for old times sake.


sagehopper said...

Elva Liesch was my my mother's (Edna Chism) older sister! She was a classy lady at all times, and I still remember Auntie Elva fondly, and wish I had been able to see her more often over the years of my childhood..We had to settle for once a year..

Allen said...

Is this Jeannie? I am Lois's son, Allen. Email me at