Article and Photography by JAMES MACPHERSON
4:04 pm | October 30, 2013
It was after the devastating 9-11 attacks 12 years ago that Pasadena realtor Rosey Bell felt compelled to reach out to local first responders to express her gratitude to them for taking risks, daily, to protect the public.
There was nothing we could do for those in New York during those dark days, Bell explains, so she decided to produce an appreciation barbeque for local police and fire department personnel here in Pasadena.
“Letâ€™s honor them and honor their brothers and sisters in New York,” Bell remembers thinking. She took the idea to her office, Coldwell Residential Brokerage in Pasadena on South Lake Avenue, and pitched her manager and fellow realtors.
“I know we all want to do something,” she said. “What do you guys think? Iâ€™ll cook the meat and you guys make all the side dishes.â€
The enthusiastic response led to what is now a highly-anticipated annual tradition which sees dozens of first responders pulling up to La Casita del Arroyo in fire engines, paramedic rescue ambulances, and police cars â€”Â marked and unmarked â€”Â to join together in camaraderie and enjoying tangy, tasty barbeque and Mexican food.
“The first year, we realized that police and the firemen donâ€™t really get together unless itâ€™s a catastrophic event,” Bell said. “So it turned out that they just hang around and visit and nobody was really in a hurry.”
The spirit of the event was just so pure and the atmosphere so lively that the tradition lives on.
Randy Fred, Coldwell Bankers’s Pasadena office branch manager, said his office plans to continue the much looked forward-to annual tradition.
“Itâ€™s one of our ways of giving tribute to those who helped us so much through all the years,” he said.