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July 19, 2007 (Thursday)

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Her Mother Rode the Polish Community Float in 1930

My mother, Bernice Lukazewski, rode on the Polish community float in the 1930 Rose Festival. She was a pretty girl of about 21 years old.

Bernice Lukazewski represents the Polish community in 1930
Bernice Lukazewski represents the Polish community in 1930

Bernice Lukazewski

She won the ticket sales contest and got to ride on the float from the Polish community in North Portland, centered around St. Stanislaus Catholic Church.

Bernice Lukazewski riding float

The float picture shows a girl below her in native costume.

Mother was born in 1908 in a house on Skidmore Street in North Portland. She married in 1932 and died in 1979. Her husband, my father, was Harold Lindsay, a Portland small business owner (with partner, CJ Lindsay).

~Kathy Lindsay Fritz
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As City Commissioner He Rode in the Starlight Parade

I remember going to the river with my family when I was really small, maybe three or four, and there was kind of an electric light parade on the water. We were on the east bank, and I can remember my aunt saying that she could see the queen's ring from there.

Later, I was a police officer assigned to the Grand Floral Parade. That was good, because you could move around and everyone was having fun. We used to carry a little vial of ammonia, so if someone fainted we could give them a whiff and bring them around.

Then I was a reporter from Channel 2, and I interviewed people along the route -- talking to families and little kids with sticky fingers.

When I was a City Commissioner, I rode in the Starlight Parade in an antique firetruck. At the time I was also a Royal Rosarian, the only member of the City Council who was one.

Dick Bogle

[Dick Bogle is a local news and political celebrity, who is currently a music reviewer for The Skanner newspaper and a jazz DeeJay for KMHD-FM radio.]

~Dick Bogle
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She Was the Roosevelt High School Princess in 1962

I remember a special bond was generated between the Court members in such a short period of time. We were surrounded by wonderful people.

I have fond memories of our fun-filled trips, luncheons and the Grand Floral Parade.

I learned an enormous appreciation for the hundreds of behind-the-scenes people who made the Rose Festival a success.

~Mary Lee (Sievers) Nielsen (1962 Princess, Roosevelt high school)
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She Was Rose Festival Princess in 1951

What a thrill it was when the Royal Rosarians in their white suits would arrive at our Multnomah Hotel base to escort us to each new and exciting adventure! We were truly experiencing the royal treatment.

1951 Rose Festival Princess Jackie
1951 Rose Festival Princess Jackie

We never left the hotel without fresh roses. To this day, my memories of the 1951 Rose Festival are vivid. My grandchildren help keep these memories alive, as they look through my pictures and memorabilia.

~Jackie (Alfson) Hennessy (1951 Princess, Cleveland high school)
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He Rode in the Grand Floral Parade as President of the Buffalo Soldiers

The Buffalo Soldiers Moses Williams Chapter was one of those entries that African Americans and veterans looked to as their own. In 2005, there was a big to-do when the Rose Festival Association denied our entry because of what they called 'saftey concerns' from our last appearance (in 2003).

Thanks to media coverage and a lot of upset veterans and black folks, the association worked it out with us less than three days before the parade. It was somewhat tense, even on the day of the parade. They were watching us, big time. I pulled one of our three horses, because he was a little excited. I went on foot along side them.

The people in the crowd were just great. I saw more black folks than I've ever seen. Some of them said, "We don't come to the Rose Festival, but because of you I'm here."

Bruce Broussard in his Buffalo Soldier uniform
Bruce Broussard in his Buffalo Soldier uniform

I saw black folks in the crowd with their kids -- you should have seen their eyes, they were so big. It was the horses and the uniforms.

Some older vets shook my hand and said, "God bless you, young man."

~Bruce Broussard, 68 (President of the Buffalo Soldiers)
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Her Sorority Sister Was Born in June 1907 and Was a Rose Festival Fan

I'd like to share the story of Alida Hansen, a sweet lady who was born Alida Florence Swensson in Portland on June 7, 1907. She passed away in Portland on January 12, 2005, at the age of 97.

A homemaker, Alida moved to Los Angeles in 1921, and married Alvin Hansen in 1939. He passed away in 1976, and at the invitation of her niece, Beverly McCallister, Alida returned to Portland in 1981.

Alida's niece Beverly was a member of a business women's organization called Alpha Iota Sorority (www.alphaiota.org), and April 11, 1991, Alida became a member of the Portland Alumnae Chapter at the age of 83.

Alida attended the chapter's meetings and social events regularly. She served as Chaplain and Marshal of Portland Alumnae, and was on the telephone committee for many years. When asked why Alpha Iota was an important part of her life, Alida replied, "It is so important to exchange experiences and catch up on each other's daily life."

Alida was the most upbeat, positive person you would ever want to know -- and I think that was a big reason why she lived to be almost 98. She had a solid memory of the many things that happened in her life, including the 14 (or so) years she lived in Portland as a young girl.

Alida would talk about things like the influenza epidemic, the lighting of the street lamps and the fact she was rarely ever sick. She said that by putting Vaseline just inside her nose, she never got a cold. When she spoke about the old days, she mentioned her visits to the Oregon coast. She'd ride a boat to Astoria, and the stagecoach to Seaside.

Alida was very proud of the fact that she was born in the first month of the first ever Portland Festival. I've often thought it would have been so wonderful for Alida if she could have reached her 100th birthday and been honored by the Rose Festival Association during their centennial celebration -- maybe even have been asked to ride on a float.

You couldn't help but love Alida when you were around her. Up until she was about 90, she still drove her own car and was a member of a bowling league. A fall and broken shoulder put a crimp in her style, but she always kept a positive outlook on life and valued her friends and family.

Alida lived independently in a duplex next door to her niece Beverly in Southeast Portland just off Powell Boulevard until the last couple years of her life. Then she moved into a retirement community on Holgate Boulevard.

She was a very caring person. When four of us visited her the week after Christmas, she gave us one last precious gift from her heart -- and we knew it was very important for her to give it. She wished all her sorority friends -- and everyone -- a healthy and very Happy New Year! It was the last time many of us saw her.

Her niece Beverly McCallister passed away at the age of 70 on April 27, 2004. Beverly's two daughters Jeannine Lester and Connie Moore live in the Portland area (Alida's great nieces).

Alida with great niece Connie Moore

This is a picture of Alida taken May 15, 2004 -- at our sorority Mother-Daughter Luncheon held at Suzanne's at Beaumont Village. The woman beside Alida is her great niece Connie Moore, Jeannine's sister.

~Susie Horton (Advisor and Secretary, Portland Alumnae Chapter of Alpha Iota Sorority)

July 18, 2007 (Wednesday)

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She Met Her Royal Rosarian Husband at the Grand Floral Parade in 1971

My husband and I met on the day of the Grand Floral Parade in 1971.

L. Gary Ferlisi was the General Sales Manager of KATU, Channel 2.

Ms. Sheila Graham was invited to Portland to do the color for the broadcast of the Rose Parade. Following her broadcast, Ms. Graham was introduced to the Women Media Buyers of Portland at a cocktail party held at the Benson Hotel.

I was a Media Buyer for a local advertising agency, so I was invited to the party. It was a lovely party, and during it I met L. Gary Ferlisi, which turned out to be the beginning of a wonderful life. He asked me out on a date, and in May of 1972 we were married.

L. Gary was also a Royal Rosarian and became the Prime Minister in 1985. As one of his first duties as the new Prime Minister he took a group of 50 Rosarians and their wives to Guadalajara, Portland's new sister city.

Janis and L. Gary in 1985
Janis and L. Gary in 1985

While there he presided over the first knighting ceremony ever done outside North America.

Accordingly, the Rose Festival and the Royal Rosarians have a very special spot in my heart!

L. Gary Ferlisi died in August of 2001 after a very full and happy life. He was always proud to have served as Prime Minister of the Royal Roasrians.

~Janis A. Ferlisi (Royal Rosarians First Lady, 1985)
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The Day Music Company Has Always Been Tied to the Rose Festival

I work for my family at Day Music Company, and this past January I replaced my uncle as company President. This is a huge change in my life, considering I'm a guitar player -- and Day Music is an 84-year-old piano store! How thankful I am that my family believes in me!

I'm the fifth generation working for the company -- and my son will be the sixth if he chooses to follow me. But what troubled me at first was that I didn't really know my roots. I didn't know where this family -- and our family music store -- came from. My grandfather died when I was in high school, and it was his grandfather who started the company -- so I had my work cut out for me!

I started to dig -- literally -- right in the Day Music's basement. My digging paid off when I found a wealth of historical Day family pictures, newspaper clippings, and more.

I was amazed to find how involved the Day family has been with the Rose Festival organization. I discovered that in 1917 L. Carroll Day wrote the official Rose Festival song entitled, "Flower-Gowned, Forrest-Bound, Rose-Crowned Portland." Eight years later he wrote, "When You Come to Oregon" -- in 1925 this was one of the songs used in the 'learn a song a day' campaign, conducted in connection with the Rose Festival.

Here's a photo of Great Grandfather, L.Carrol Day with the Day Music float in 1925:

L.Carrol Day and Day Music float, 1925

These were just a few of the prizes I uncovered. There are still more that include learning that in 1959 my Grandfather -- Carroll 'Dick' Day -- had become a Royal Rosarian. I even found his Rosarian wicker hat, official acceptance letter of his appointment, and some priceless photos of him accepting this honor. Here's one of those:

Carroll "Dick" Day, Royal Rosarian

After organizing my findings, I went to my Aunt Dora Graham. She's Dick Day's sister -- and the eldest living Day. She was also a Rose Festival Princess representing Franklin high school back in 1939.

Princess Dora Day

It's been a real treat getting to know my Aunt Dora (Dora Mae Day) and her husband, my Uncle Larry. They've helped me find my past -- and are a constant source of optimism. When I showed her all I'd found, Aunt Dora was ecstatic! We currently have the entire collection on display in the lobby of our newly remodeled auditorium.

~Nathan Day (President, Day Music Company)

July 17, 2007 (Tuesday)

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In 1961 She Was a Finalist in a Contest for Girls Who Wished They Could Princesses

Back in 1961, there was a contest held by Farmers Insurance and "The Reporter" newspaper. That year the Rose Festival theme was "I wish I were..." The contest was for young girls who wished they could be Rose Festival Princesses.

There was over 1,100 entries -- and I was one of the twelve picked as a finalist.

We had a day of questions and the winners were chosen. I wasn't one of the winners, but I felt like a winner to get that far in the contest. We were given special seats for the parade, and since then the Rose Festival has always been a very special time in my life and the lives of my family.

We're among those who go and set up chairs along the curb -- then the night before one of my daughters goes and saves the spots for us.

Now I'm taking my grandchildren to the parades, no mater what their age.

~Barbara Killian (Salem, Oregon)
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She Met Her Husband During Rose Festival

A Dee Jay at the K103 Radio station gave me information on contacting Rose Festival with this memory.

My husband and I first met during the Rose Festival when he was serving on the U.S.S. Berkeley.

Come June 11, 2007, it will be 16 years since that first meeting -- and will also be our 14th wedding anniversary.

Here's the remarkable way we met...

I was working in an office on the eighth floor of a building in downtown Portland. I saw my future husband in the Marriot Hotel, which is across from the building I work in. We managed to catch each other's attention.

The next thing I knew I was writing my name and phone number on a piece of cardboard. The rest is history. Love stories do happen!

~Vina Carpenter

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