Posted by: notsofancynancy | July 1, 2014

My Grandma was The Little Old Lady from Pasadena

I am having a heck of a time with my internet connection. When you live rural you don’t have many choices when it comes to internet providers. We had one service for years, and years but all of a sudden it was going offline every day, so I was without internet. The provider could not fix it so we looked for another. We found one and scheduled a day for installation.  When the service guy got here he checked the signal and sure enough it was not strong enough for him to even attempt installing it. So then I was really offline. My hubby has a hot spot on his phone so it came down to him leaving his phone at home so I could have internet access. I don’t know why but my computer will not connect with my WordPress site while connected to his phone.  It would go to the site but does not show anything there. I could not even click on the icon to get or see my comments. So my site has been in limbo. We did find another provider but the wait is a month. I can’t believe in this day and age we have no internet! I slipped out this morning to visit a friend and am using their connection to get this post done.  So here is a repost of one I did on my Grandma Susie. Enjoy!


The Little Old Lady from Pasadena

“It’s the little old lady from Pasadena
Go granny, go granny, go granny go
Got a pretty little flower bed of white gardenias
Go granny, go granny, go granny go
But parked in her rickety old garage
Is a brand new shiny red super-stock dodge

And everybody’s saying there’s nobody meaner
Than the little old lady from Pasadena
She drives real fast and she drives real hard
She’s a terror out on Colorado boulevard

Its the little old lady from Pasadena”

First recorded by Jan and Dean in 1960, Then the Beach Boys 1964

Grandma “Susie” about 1930, Kansas

My grandmother affectionately known to us grand kids as Grandma “Susie” moved to Pasadena, California back in 1942. She had driven tractors and such on the farm in Kansas but when they moved here she did not get her drivers license. Grandpop drove her everywhere.

My grandpop passed away in 1972. Grandma “Susie” lived about an hour away from us or at least it seemed that long when we were kids. She was an independent lady and decided it was time to buck up and get her license. At this point she was 69 years old and she had not driven since leaving the farm in the 40’s. That is 30 years! I cannot imagine what it was like for her to learn to drive on the streets of Pasadena. The traffic in Pasadena was already busy back in the 1970’s. But that did not stop her, she was far from a good driver though. She downright scared me, and never drove with my father around.

She drove a Dodge Valiant. It was not red, and it did not go fast, but she did become “The Terror out on Colorado Blvd.” She must have been her mid eighty’s when she took a wrong turn off of Colorado Blvd on to a one way street. All fine and dandy until you know she was driving the wrong way. Yep, the cops called my mom personally as they felt she did not understand she was going the wrong way.

Then there was the time that Grandma’s neighbor called my mom because “Susie” was stuck on the grass in front of the house. For anyone who had been to her house there in Pasadena you know that the hedges surrounding her yard made it near impossible to make the turn to get onto the grass. Mom was baffled. I was scared to be on the streets while she was driving. It was not soon after these two incidents that mom and dad took the keys away from her. But for about 12 years my grandma was “The little old lady from Pasadena.”

The Little Old Lady from Pasadena, no really!

When I think of the Beach Boys song I will always think of my Grandma “Susie” “The Little Old Lady from Pasadena,” who was the “Terror out on Colorado Boulevard.” It makes me laugh even now.


© 2012 Copyright notsofancynancy


  1. That’s funny! Our great Aunt Selma would drive in LA (at age 90+!) while holding her crepe paper-like eyelids up so she could see. Made my sister VERY nervous. 🙂

    • hahaha A good thing we were taught to respect our elders! I am just saying!

  2. You’ve got me humming that tune in my head. I remember it well. What a lovely tribute to your grandmother. She must have been an interesting lady!

    • Thank you! She could keep a room in stitches! I do miss her!

  3. I am a lady born in Pasadena as well. The hospital at which I was born, St. Luke’s Hospital, no longer exists. And I’m only 61 years old!

    • Well there you have it! You are no where near being old! lol

  4. Don’t you just love the high tech world we live in!

    • I am surprised and confused with the technology. I just can’t figure out why there are only two providers where I live. Not even cable out here??? I just don’t get it. lol

  5. Hi Nancy, I wondered where you’ve been. Good to see you posting again. So sorry to hear of you internet access issues. I wish you success with your new provider. Technology was very slow getting here in this very rural part of NY’s Adirondack Mountains as well. High speed internet through cable TV has been available for less than 7-8 years. Cell service can still be hit and miss, never more than 2 bars worth.

    Thanks so much for sharing your story of your Grandma and her driving. She certainly was one gutsy, independent lady to get in a car and drive at her age after so many years. I would love to have known her. I bet she was fun to spend time with and had some great stories to tell.

    My mom learned to drive in her late 60’s after my dad passed and, like your grandma, motorists were wise to stay out of her way. Fortunately, she never had to navigate city streets, only country roads here in NoNY. Still a worry though. She could not or would not ever explain those mysterious scrapes of different colors of paint or small dents that were on her car. My husband and I were thankful that one day, she just willingly stopped driving.

    • Still having internet problems. I was surprised I was able to answer your comment. Thanks for stopping by. Grandma Susie was a hoot. I will always remember her having a beer (Pabst Blue Ribbon) with dad. If she had two watch out. It was always funny to see this proper lady with a beer. I think I even remember her pinky sticking up. hahaha I do miss her.

  6. I’ve been in limbo, too, Nancy… 😦

    I assume you’ve tried satellite option, too, like Dish? And please know that your grandma was not alone! My aunt is 88…and still drives. Egads.

    • Hi Mustang Koji! Great to hear from you. There is absolutely no cable out here so we can only get satellite. We are still waiting….. Hubby’s phone only gets 3G and most of the time we only have two bars of cell service. I am hoping something will break soon and not my nerves! I got a box of pictures that has some of dad’s stuff in it., War bonds and news clippings….. interesting stuff and that was only the top of the box!

      • Move to the city….not!

  7. I’m from southern California and drove around Pasadena many times. Never “ran in to” your Grandma Susie, lol. I wonder if she ever sat on Colorado Blvd. on January 1st to see the Rose Parade in person. I think many Kansans moved west after seeing that parade to the “land of fruits and nuts” 😉

    • Oh yes we sat at the parade many years. Especially when Mom’s family came from Kansas to visit! The parade has always been a big part of our life and wonderful memories for me.

  8. Hi Nancy! The picture of you grandmother looks very familiar. I wonder if I saw her as she may have visited you when you lived in Azusa across the street from my family? When did your parents move to Azusa. I know you all were there when we move in around 1957.

    • Oh yes “Dudy,” Grandma Susie was at our house in Azusa quite often. I am sure you have seen her many times. It is great to hear from you. What great memories I have of you and your family! Blessing to you and your family.

      • Nancy, your dad seemed like such a quiet man. He helped me get my first regular part time jobs @ KFC. It was on his route. When he found out they were looking for someone, he came by the house to pick me up in his truck to interview. I can sort of relate to his military service, having served in the Army myself for a total of 24 years. I’m happy you remember my nickname. I’m also happy to have found you via your blog. I also found Julie & Loren. All God’s blessings to you and your family as well!

      • First and foremost thank you for your service. With working with Dad’s letters I came to know a whole new side of my dad that I did not know. His life as a Soldier. I did not come along until 15 years after he came home in 1945. It was great to see how much he loved my mom and how her love and letters got him through the war. I am so proud to be his daughter and so glad I took the journey through his letters.

        Right now I am in Washington at a Woodside family reunion and when I told the family about your note everyone remembers you and your family dearly. You all were such a big part of our youth. I was told, once again, how when I finally started to talk I spoke two languages, Spanish and twin. I guess they had a hard time understanding me because I did not speak English. haha Your brother’s were my best friends and the family has related a time when I was in their closet and the boys were standing in front of the closet doors saying “Nancy’s not here.” Oh what fond memories I have of them.

        Thank you for following my blog and if you are on Facebook look me up. I still have the same last name. I will be posting reunion pictures soon.

        Take care my friend and know your family is always in my heart.

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