It was last Thursday when I first heard the news about Bob Young’s untimely death at age 63.
I, along with countless others in the community he loved so dearly, had a difficult time grasping the information that Bob had, in fact, passed away.
Perhaps the reason we all had such a difficult time was due to his infectious sense of humor which often brought me to tears. Was it those silly glasses he’d wear, his leadership and enthusiasm for all things Sierra Madre or just another really bad joke? Whatever it was, Bob had it all…in spades!
The smile and seemingly boundless energy that could launch a thousand volunteers into action at the Float Barn at the Eleventh hour to make sure the Sierra Made would put out yet another awarding winning float. This was Bob’s passion, keeping Sierra Madre a great, fun small town with an International flair. Because of Bob’s seemingly inexhaustible volunteering efforts, Sierra Madre Rose Float Association garnered a huge number of awards and trophies during his 16 years as President.
Over the years, the Sierra Madre Rose Float Association has won major Tournament of Roses Trophy Awards, with four of those awards coming consecutively in the four years between 2005 and 2009.The 2006 entry “Wonder of Reading” won the Founders Award for most beautiful entry built and decorated by volunteers from the sponsoring community or organization. The 2007 “Our Wonderful Wistaria” won the Lathrop K. Leishman Trophy for most beautiful entry, and the 2008 “Valentine’s Day” won the Princess Award for most beautiful entry under 35 feet in length. Sierra Madre won its fourth trophy in as many years, again winning the Lathrop K. Leishman Trophy for most beautiful entry with “Bollywood Dreams”.
Another of Bob’s passion was fundraising via the ‘Legendary Bingo’ event he created to help raise funds for the SMRFA. This was no ordinary Bingo! But then, Bon was no ordinary guy.
Come on, who else would have two giant Pink Flamencos illuminated frolicking in his front yard on Sierra Madre Blvd.? Who also would actually wear pink flamenco glasses, or Angel Wings for that matter? Bob did.
The Sierra Madre Rose float animated spectacle 2 years ago, sported a flapping tail fish and a really cool rocking boat. The total length of the float was49 feet long and 25 feet high and did accumulate yet another in a long history of awards for the independent float builder.
Sierra Madre Rose Float Association President Robert Young always emphasized the importance of volunteers who helped with the construction effort each year and rarely, if ever took any accolades himself. The Isabella Coleman Trophy, which awards the best presentation of color and harmony, was presented to the SMRFA last year.
Robert Young’s humble, sometimes-biting humor will be sorely missed.
Bob is survived by mother Mary and son Robert Reid; a sister and brother and long-time friend and travel companion Ilona Linden.