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ani, glitter

He Has So Many Memories from the Past 63 Years

I have so many Rose Festival memories from the past 63 years that it's hard to know where to begin!

I was born and raised in Portland, and when I was a young child my mother or aunt always took us to see the Grand Floral Parade.

The first I remember was when my aunt's father (whom we were told was rich) took us kids to the parade. We were sitting in the center of downtown Portland and people kept throwing money out the windows of the highrises! We children quickly gathered up the loose change and I was counting it in the palm of my hand, when some mean boy knocked my hand from underneath and all my money was scattered! I started crying and my aunt's father consoled me with some one dollar bills. I thought I was rich!

As a kid I sold Oregonian newspapers along the street lining the parade route. I'd holler "Oregonian paper!" as loud as I could, and I ended up selling a lot because it was hot -- people were holding them to make shade after reading them!

Other times I would sell candy, peanuts and cotton candy, making a lot of money for back in the 1950's!

When I was old enough to take pictures, I remember some favorite parades, like the year that Heck Harper came. He was a favorite of all the kids because of his TV show. On his show he played the guitar and sang, but at the parade he was riding a real horse!

Then one of the biggest treats was the year the Mousketeers showed up -- Jimmie Dodd and all. We were really thrilled us when Bob Amsberry appeared as he was a local [born in Oregon] hero. But the frosting on the cake was seeing Karen and Cubby, Darlene and Lonnie -- and of course Doreen!

When I was older, Sally Field came to the parade. She was "Gidget," "The Flying Nun" and a movie star all rolled into one! I was especially excited because I'd just run into her while on a trip to Hollywood. I didn't get a chance for a picture in California, but the Grand Floral Parade gave me another chance.

One of the most memorable was 1964, the year our first daughter, Kristin, was born. My wife's water broke while we were walking around the Festival Center (which was then held at Lloyd Center park). I had to go to work, but that night our daughter was born. So the next day I went alone to the Junior Parade while my wife and baby girl slept.

~Gary Hagan (Vancouver, Washington)

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