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ani, glitter

Serving as Prince Sammy on the 1962 Junior Court

Back in 1962, I came on stage at Lincoln Park Elementary school wearing my patched-at-the-knees jeans, and ended up being picked to represent our grade school at David Douglas High School for the District 7 Junior Court.

I gave my memorized speech about a conversation between a son and his father and I got selected -- along with 'my' princess, Lori Jeans. (She was selected from the Madison school district on that same stage.) We were then rushed into the Royalty of the Junior Court and now called Princess Lori and Prince Sammy.

We spent lots of time together, going from event to event. We gave more speeches, learned to walk upright, bow and curtsy -- of course we boys learned to tip our straw hats and wear white gloves.

I even played the piano and the saxophone on a local radio station at one luncheon. We rode in white convertibles -- often with the top down since that spring was an unusually sunny one -- and waved from our float in the Junior Parade and again in the Grand Floral Parade with Queen Marcia and her Prime Minister Tommy from District 6.

There were 8 districts in all, so we rode second to last. It was always in order, except for the Queen and Prime Minister, who were always first. Our chauffeurs were all women -- ours was 'Auntie Evelyn,' and we just loved her! She'd pick me up at my house and my four sisters would wave me off with Mom's hugs and reminders to be good -- and Daddy taking movies. Then we'd talk on the way to Princess Lori's house, where I learned to go to the door, ask for her and visit with her large family, then escort her back to the car and open the door for her on her side of the back seat. Then I'd get in on 'my side' and we'd be taken all over Portland to so many activities.

I got to see so much of Portland that I'd never seen before and just loved it all. We even got to plant a rose in the Portland Rose Garden!

Lori and I carried autograph books, and over the spring and summer we got to meet the Mayor of Portland, Terry Shrunk, and the major guests brought in for this year's festival, including Television's Sky King and Jay North as the Grand Marshal -- better known as child-star 'Dennis the Menace.' Jay rode with us on the Junior Court float in the Grand Floral Parade.

Our year was also the year of the 100 Year celebration of Oregon's statehood, so we had events out in Damascus where they reenacted Oregon's pioneer beginnings.

I was 10 years old that year, so after that I put it mostly behind me to concentrate on school, piano, swimming and family. I had great teachers through elementary and junior high school -- and later in high school at David Douglas. I pushed myself and they pushed me. I've learned to love the piano, and took lessons from Bud Young, a Portland jazz pianist for my four high school years. I got to be a part of two state championship swim teams at David Douglas, and got to go on to college at Stanford University, following my older sister Susan there. My dream to come back to Portland came true and

I studied medicine for four years at OHSU and married my incredible wife Nancy one month before graduation in 1978.

Our first date in 1977 included riding the ferris wheel set up along the waterfront for Rose Festival. We were arm-in-arm as we admired the float of the Grand Marshal for '77, Trailblazer Coach Jack Ramsey. We said "Hi" to the Junior Princesses while they patiently waited for their turn in the Grand Floral Parade. (I did notice the absence of their escort Princes, though. [The Junior Princes were dropped in the late '60's.])

Thanks so much, Rose Festival, for how generously and graciously you treated all of us on the Junior Court -- and for getting me off on my own start into adulthood. My family has great memories from that special summer and they encouraged me to write and share!

~Sam A. Booth, M.D.