It’s official! The 13th Order of the Thorny Rose has spoken. This year’s recipient is Pasadena Star News editor Frank Girardot. The honor is bestowed annually by a secret panel of judges to a local personality who has generated significant controversy in the greater Pasadena community.
Girardot, who also has a regular column, has used the newspaper as a platform to take aim at iconic personalities and institutions, which have included Paul McCartney, President Barack Obama, Pasadena City Hall and the Roman Catholic Church. It can be said that political correctness and sitting on the fence are not among Frank Girardot’s top priorities. “If the day comes that those traits define him, it will be time for a huge reality check,” said parade organizers. “Frank is definitely a throwback to the days when reporters dug in to get their story. In so doing, he has ruffled plenty of feathers along the way.”
As is the tradition for Thorny Rose winners, Frank will be invited to receive his award in public and be driven along the route of the 36th Pasadena Doo Dah Parade. The unique “Other Parade” takes place on Saturday, April 27th, stepping off at 11:00am at its new Colorado Boulevard location in East Pasadena. The only Thorny Rose awardee to pass up the invitation was local gadfly Wayne Lasvardi and development watchers Pasadenans for a Liveable City. They were consequently replaced by a man in a chicken suit who rode on their behalf.
The prickly honor, bestowed once a year on a Pasadena citizen, or group of citizens, and has been euphemistically called the city’s “biggest pain-in-the-ass award.” Previous recipients have been Charles Cherniss, Roy Begley, the entire PUSD School Board, school critic Mary Dee Romney, West Pasadena Residents Association, Wayne Lasvardi, Ann Lau and the Falun Gong, Friends of Hahamongna, Pasadenans for a Liveable City, and last year’s Thorny Rose, All Saints Reverend Ed Bacon. Paul Little, former city councilperson, received the honor two years in a row!