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ani, glitter

Memories of the Grand Floral Parade -- Riding on Horseback in 1998

As young boys Dad and Mom would take us to the Rose Festival parades -- from 1955 (when I was 5 years old and my brother Dale was 3) until 1960 when we moved to California.

Dad would sit us on his shoulders so we could see. He even told us that the bald spot on his head was from holding us on his shoulders for years -- and us hanging on to his hair! He had us snookered until we studied genetics in school...

Later, in 1998, I was part of the Portland Police Reserve Mounted Patrol.

We were just getting on our way with the parade when we were stopped on MLK for a float that had gotten stuck coming out of the driveway of the Coliseum. As we stood there (me and my horse), it started to drizzle.

There was a mom and a couple of children under a tarp right next to my horse and me. I was talking to the mom and we were laughing about the rain and the little girl said, "What will you do if it really starts raining?"

I was laughing and told her that the horse and I would simply duck under the tarp with them.

She looked at me with the most incredibly blue eyes and the smile went away from her face and she said, "There's not enough room."

Her mom lost it and was laughing so hard she had tears streaming down her face.

Right about then they got the float unstuck and down the street we went. Too bad politics got in the way of community policing. We were disbanded at the end of that year and I am now serving as a reserve in Hillsboro.

~Bruce Cuyler