We Pagrovians are justly proud of our local traditions. Sure, they may seem quirky and quaint to outsiders, but to us, they’re all part of what makes our town so special, and why we wouldn’t even think of living anywhere else. In the 12-9-2016 issue of the Cedar Street Times, “Keepers of Our Culture,” guest columnist Jeanne Olin shares a story about the Butterfly Parade that she wrote for one of our free memoir classes. Jeanne’s story will be included in the upcoming “Life in Pacific Grove,” a 444 page book to be published by Park Place Publications and professionally edited by Joyce Krieg to benefit the Pacific Grove Public Library. Find out how your story can be included at the end of this column.
Sparkling Skies, Scarecrows and Butterfly Flags
Jim and I moved to the beautiful seaside town of Pacific Grove in June of 2010 upon our retirements. We settled into our small home with its peek of the ocean and Pacific Grove welcomed us with its warmth, beauty, and fascinating history.
“I’ll see you in about an hour and a half, honey. I’m going to watch the Butterfly Parade.” It was October 1, 2016, and the tradition in Pacific Grove is to welcome the return of the Monarch butterflies with a parade on the first Saturday of October.
I walked along Lighthouse Avenue towards Juice and Java. I was to meet friends before the parade. The morning was sparkling. The fog and smoke had cleared and the sun was doing its best to add to the festivities. I passed by many a scarecrow peeking out from behind storefronts under the butterfly flags hanging from lampposts.
Pat and LaVerne were already at a table in front of Juice and Java and had pulled over chairs for Joan, Mary and me. “Shall we watch out here or should we watch from the coffee bar inside?” I asked.
“We can see better from here,” Pat answered. “Hurry, get your coffee. It’s almost 10:30 and the parade will be here any minute.”
Amber is Obviously a True Pagrovian
The first class of kindergarteners started to walk by. We all left our seats to get an even better view. The butterflies were followed by children dressed as other insects and even otters and clowns. The real star of the parade, however, was the Monarch butterfly. Pacific Grove takes the butterfly seriously. The first parade took place in 1939. The same year Pacific Grove passed an ordinance making it a misdemeanor to molest a butterfly.
The parade was over all too fast. I returned home to find my six pound terrier, Amber, fighting with a squirrel that had taken up residence in our oak tree. The squirrel was throwing down acorns upon Amber and Amber was barking in a threatening manner. I noticed a monarch butterfly resting on the windbreak above Amber. Amber surveyed the butterfly with interest and respect. Amber would never threaten a butterfly. After all, Amber is a Pagrovian!
Don’t miss out on the fun!
The next FREE “PG Writes!” memoir session will be this coming Thursday, December 15, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Little House in Jewell Park. The theme is “Finding Food in PG: Markets, Restaurants, Gardening and Preserving, and the Farmer’s Market.” Spend an afternoon devoted to your writing in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere. We want to include your story in “Life in Pacific Grove”, a 444 page book filled with stories by and for PG residents and visitors, to be published in fall of 2017. All proceeds will benefit the Pacific Grove Public Library. Patricia Hamilton is available to give a presentation to your group, book club, service organization, friends and family, and lead a writing session to gather stories, beginning January 15, 2017. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a date and time.