“My husband has owned a very successful business, for a number of years and I was a stay at home mom. In 2012, when the youngest of our three children, went off to college I had nothing to do. My husband always told me that I was a people person. So I needed to get into something where I interacted with the public. I first tried to get a job at a local Starbucks but, no experience, no job. I then started researching franchise ownerships and saw an opportunity with the Togo’s group. The next thing I know, I’m running my own business. All of my employees are like my children, my family and have been with me from the beginning of this new journey in my life. This has been a life changing experience. Going from a stay at home mom to owning a thriving business has shown me that you really can do anything in life when you truly set your mind to it. The personal growth that I have come away with is indescribable”
“I’m 25 years old and I’ll be moving out of my parent’s home with my boyfriend and 10-year-old stepdaughter next month. I have an incredible relationship with both my boyfriend and stepdaughter, but naturally I’m feeling a tremendous amount of anxiety and stress. For the first time in my life, I will be totally responsible for my rent, utilities, insurance, food, everything. However, I’m really looking forward to getting out on my own to discover what it will be like not to be dependent on my parents. I’m sure they will help me out here and there, but it won’t be anything like it is now. At the end of the day, this is a great learning and growing experience everyone needs to go through. I feel very fortunate that I have a good job, a great support system and the desire to live life to the fullest.”
“I’ll be turning 91 years old this August. I served in the army for to 22 years, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. I retired from the army as a Colonel, a Green Beret as well as a 32nd degree Mason. One of my favorite stories I like to share is the time I was stationed in Hawaii in the early 1950’s. My General informed me that there was going to be a movie filmed on the island and they needed my troop to participate in this film. A bus arrived to pick up me and my guys. Once we arrived on the set I was instructed to line my men up and was told one of the film’s actors would be out soon to begin the scene, one in which he would address the assembled troops. The actor comes out, walks up to one of my guys and asked, in a stern voice, “what is your name?” The solider replied, “Sam sir.” Again, now with a condescending and disrespectful tone, the actor asked, “what is your name?” and again he responded, “Sam sir.” He began to berate Sam and the rest of the troops. Well, at that point I had enough. I called my troops to attention and marched them back on the bus. No one was going to treat my men like that. Within the hour, I received a call from the General asking why I had marched my men off as the production company was furious. I explained what had happened and the General said “good for you”, I had done the right thing. The next morning, I received a visit, from the actor’s agent, begging me to come back with my guys and complete the scene. I said, “what are you going to do for me?” He asked, “what do you want?” I said, “I want pool tables, with cues and balls and I want steaks and beer for all my men.” He answered, “I can’t get all of that.” I said, “well I guess we’re done here.” Now of course, the film crew was on a strict timeline and this delay was not helping their cause. But I was not going to put my guys back in front of that asshole. A few days later, a truck full of pool tables, cues, balls, steaks and beer arrived to our compound. I was then asked, by the actor’s agent, “are you ready to come back to the set?” I replied, “no, there’s one more thing.” The agent said, “I’ve given you everything you asked for what else do you want?” I said, “I want that actor to apologize to that solider, to me and my men.” He replied, “oh no. I’ll never be able to get him to do that.” And again I said, “we’re done here.” As expected, I received word that the actor would comply to my request and report to the set in the morning. My men were lined up, ready to go and the actor comes out of his trailer, walks up to Sam and says, “I deeply apologize for mistreating you.” And then repeats the same sentiment to me and my men. The movie “From Here To Eternity” finished filming and garnered 8 Oscars, including one for the Best Supporting Actor who apologized to my men, Frank Sinatra.”
“I was a caddy through junior high and high school. After awhile, having observed my skills and how I could read the greens, some of the local golfers asked if I wanted to give the PGA tour a shot. There were some golfers that I knew who had connections with the PGA and I was able to be a caddy and go on tour. My first caddy experience was the 1970 Bing Crosby Pebble Beach Pro-Am where I was a caddy for the guy who finished 4th. Being a caddy in the southern states where discrimination really existed, African-American caddy’s had a very difficult time renting a room. This was between 1971-1975. When a black caddy wanted to stay at a motel or rent a room, they were told by the manager that there were no rooms available. But, when a white caddy wanted to stay at the same motel, of course there were plenty of rooms open for them. However, the white caddies would let the black caddies stay with them in their rooms. I have seen the confederate flag in southern states, I’ve been called “boy” and even the “n” word. But, I must say that the west coast and the midwest are night and day from the south. I saw a lot of things while I was a caddy that are, to this day, too difficult to share. I don’t have to know that there is hatred in someone’s heart to be aware that there is discrimination, I can tell by their body language. Even right here, where I work, I see it. I have worked here for nine years, but when I get into an elevator and there is a female resident inside, they say good morning Eddie and then turn and cover their handbag. While walking through the garage, performing my inspections, and residents see me they won’t get out of their car until I pass by. Interestingly enough though, these same people will come by my desk and give me a gift card or some baked goods. Probably because their conscience got the better of them. The truth is these folks have learned to feel this way. It’s better, but discrimination still exists.”
Welcome To Humans of PasadenaInspired by the photoblog and the New York Times #1 Best Selling Book, Humans of New York, I wanted to share stories of the interesting and diverse people of Pasadena, California. A native Californian who grew up in the area and then worked in Old Town Pasadena for eight years, I have been exposed to and had the pleasure of meeting many of the different people who worked, lived and visited the area. I’ve always been an observer of people and fascinated by the human spirit. I wanted to take the opportunity to share this love and appreciation of the people of this city with of all of you.
I sincerely hope you enjoy reading and possibly sharing these stories from Humans of Pasadena with others. It is my wish that the faces and stories will inspire you to better understand the gifts around us all.