Stacey Norman from Grand Rapids told me there was snow back home and the high wasn't much more than 14 degrees. She smiled as she said that basking in the LA sun as she took in the sights of Hollywood Boulevard with her family here for the Rose Bowl game.
Stacey went to MSU. So did her dad and brother Greg. Their dad, Jim, did too. Jim Norman graduated from Michigan State in 1966. He went to the Rose Bowl that year when his Spartans were in the big game. He went in 1988 when the Spartans were invited back. And, now 25 years later, he's back again.
In 1966 there were four Normans who came to town for the Rose Bowl. Now, Grandpa Jim was surrounded by 10 other family members including a grandson currently attending Michigan State.
Packed into a white stretch limo they headed down Hollywood Boulevard like Tinseltown royalty. They sang songs like "If I had a Million Dollars" in the limo and they cranked out the Spartan fight song as they walked down the boulevard stepping on famous stars on the Walk of Fame. While in Hollywood they walked by famous landmarks and saw lots of costumed characters who make their living getting tips in exchange for picture-posing. At one point Uncle Scotty challenged a costumed Superman to a chest-bump. The super hero wouldn't play along. A few minutes later "Batman" did! Success!!!
There were lots of fans here for the Rose Bowl walking through Hollywood. I met some like MSU student Anne Conely, her sister and lots of alums -- all die-hard fans! All looking forward to the New Year's Day Michigan State - Stanford match up in Pasadena. But, like so many others wearing green Spartan tees we saw sightseeing, this trip wasn't just about the big game, but also family togetherness. That's what grandpa Jim Norman told me sounding just a bit emotional. Nice family. Chest-bumps Uncle Scotty!!! :)