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May 2nd, 2007

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He Dressed Like a Girl to Perform for the 1949 Rose Festival

I was in the 1949 graduating class of Benson high school. Somehow our gym class of about 100 students was selected to dance during the crowning [Coronation] of the Queen at the old ball park [Multnomah Stadium] that's now PGE Park.

They had us do a square dance where we were all dressed up as Li'l Abner and Daisy Mae [of Li'l Abner comic fame].

We practiced during gym class for about a month or more and went to a place in Southwest Portland to have our clothing custom-fitted.

The park was overflowing with people and the dance went over really well.

I had to dress like a girl and I didn't like it -- until we got done and I saw how much the people watching liked the show!

~Frank Wagner
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Memories of Watching the Merrykhana Parade

In 1964 when I was ten years old, I watched the Merrykhana Parade with my parents on the westside. The Portland Buckaroos Hockey team had won the Lester Patrick Cup of the old western Hockey League, and they were in the parade on a float with the Cup in the center of it, decorated with greenery (ferns, laurels, arborvitae and camellias) up to their chests. Someone also got a keg of beer on the float, too, and they appeared to imbibe quite a bit of it along the parade route. I recall the temperature was about 75 degrees that evening as the Buckaroos proceeded to relieve themselves in the greenery of the float. By the time they passed by my family and me, they were all waving at the crowd with both hands while steam was pouring out of the greenery.

Portland was a lot more casual in those days...

In another Merrykahana Parade two or three years later, Canada Dry soda put a camel in the parade with their logo on it. The parade was over the Broadway Bridge that year, and when the camel saw the water it kicked its handler (who was walking with it) aside, ran back the whole length of the parade route and ended up in Emanuel Hospital's parking lot.

I was at the last Merrykhana Parade in 1972, which got it cancelled until 1976 [a new night parade -- the Starlight Parade -- started in 1976]. It was an open riot with beer bottles and firecrackers being thrown into the parade. I actually saw transom windows on office buildings being turned sideways and garbage cans full of water poured on the people watching the parade. A lot of letters to the editor in The Oregonian and Oregon Journal got the parade stopped.

~Doug Neville
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She Has Memories of Many Rose Festival Parades

My mother and I watched the Grand Floral Parade together in the 1940's, and she told me that I liked all the bands and their music.

Later, in the 1960's, the Queen's Coronation was held in the Multnomah Ball Park [Stadium] (now PGE Park). I remember that the princesses dragged their long dresses in the mud.

The Starlight Parade was fun and exciting, with the Blue Mountain boys shooting their cannons.

The Merrykhana Parade was fun. Water was squirted from the floats, and the crowd squirted water back.

In the 1960's my high school teacher, Mr. Michael Rumpakis, was a Royal Rosarian. I remember that when Neil Goldschmidt was mayor, he used to walk the parade route with his wife Margie.

The Children's Parade [Junior Parade] was meaningful, with all the Junior princesses. My neighbor Sherrie Bobsen was a Princess, and Mickey Mouse was Grand Marshal one year.

To celebrate the 100-year of the Rose Festival, I have tickets for my entire family.

~Janet C. Effinger
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The 1971 Court and Their 'Baggy' Nylons

I was on the 1971 Court. One night we returned late to the Sheraton Lloyd Center [Court headquarters]. We were all tired, and in a very "we don't care if we are inappropriate" mood. So all 13 of us pulled our pantyhose down around our ankles.

We then cried to our wardrobe chaperones, "You have to get rid of these ugly white nylons. They bag at the ankles!"

We got new nylons soon thereafter -- and in a better color!

~Melanie Perko (1971 Princess)
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She Was the Jefferson Princess in 1934

Back in 1934 there were eight Princesses on the Rose Festival Court. It was a great honor to be chosen and to meet the members from the various schools. We became good friends in a short time and were able to select our own Queen that year.

There were no judges then and we girls selected Beth Skinner from Franklin as our favorite.

Helen on float

We lived at the Portland Hotel which was then located at Sixth and Morrison [now Pioneer Courthouse Square], where we were fitted for our regal attire and instructed in the proper procedures for royalty. We needed all the help we could get!

Talisman roses
Talisman Roses

The Queen carried red roses every day, but all the Princesses carried Talisman roses, which was the rose of that year. Our gowns were made of taffeta to match the gorgeous shades of our rose, with hats to match. The large, pleated brim of the hat protected, as well as added color and 'pizzazz' to our appearance.

I mostly enjoyed our visitations to the Veterans Parade and Doernbecher Children's Hospital and the Shrine Children's Hospital. I was impressed by the way these little patients greeted us and liked to listen to their stories.

We were escorted by the Royal Rosarians almost daily as we attended philanthropic and service organizations at luncheons and dinners where we met members who contributed and supported many community programs.

Helen on float

It was a tremendous gift to me to be able to take part in this unforgetable experience in a fantasy of flowers and festivities -- with people who help to make the Rose Festival greater every year.

~Helen Betty Axelson Strudgeon
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She Went to her First Junior Parade in 1936

I have two very warm and exciting memories of the Junior Parade.

I was a very excited ten-year-old in June of 1936. Mother gave me permission to pick some of the lovely roses around our Rose City home. These roses were exactly what I needed to decorate my bicycle so I could ride down Sandy boulevard in the Junior Parade. Mother made me a red, white and blue dress, cape and hat out of bunting material, a perfect complement to my rose-studded bicycle.

The perfect end to that perfect parade was being awarded a green etched-glass serving dish!

Twenty-nine years later, in 1965, I was the proud mother of my ten-year-old son, who served as Junior Prince for the Eastport area. Along with my husband and wonderful volunteers, we constructed and decorated a most unique float for my son and his Junior Princess to ride on in the 1965 Junior Parade.

~Mrs. Eleanor Bittner
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She Was a Princess in 1958

The 1950's were a happy family-oriented time, still using many of the manners and social patterns of the first part of the century. The court was described as 'chick' and 'perky,' the 'fairest rose of their high school, a study of charm and beauty.' 'Crisp and pretty in youthful cotton frocks,' the court wore 'Skorts' for sporting occasions, 'glamorous white Arnel separates' and 'boy coats.'

'Charmer white straw Bretons' and white gloves were a must. "Court members made a historic move during Marine Day at Swan Island when they showed their legs," reported The Oregonian.

From mid-May until mid-June, the court was scheduled for costume fittings, interviewed on both radio and television and attended numerous luncheons and festival events -- as well as making hospital visits and dedications. The schedule began each morning when a Benson high student -- accompanied by a Rosarian escort -- arrived at the Princess's home in a white convertible to collect her for the day's activities. (Benson High, a boys' school, traditionally provided the drivers for the court.) During the festival week the day ended with the Princesses and their bouquets of red roses being driven home, often near midnight, in their official cars.

Beginning on Coronation evening, each princess wore a gold mouselline de soie ball gown interwoven with gold thread and designed by William Cahill of Beverly Hills. The skirt of the dress resembled Disney's Cinderella gown. (Disneyland had just recently opened.) The skirt was held in a large circle by a heavy hoop skirt. The challenge of doing the deep princess curtsy in silk high heels was compounded by the huge suction cup effect of the heavy hoop skirt, which fought to hold us in a permanent curtsy!

Coronation night was full of pomp, lavish presentations, and an emergency which didn't stop the show. Each princess rode into Multnomah Stadium on a golf cart, decorated like a slice of cake with pink frosting, which came together to form the birthday cake [for Rose Festival's 50th Anniversary]. Our waving gloves were like the candles. From there, we were driven backstage to enter our seven-foot roses which closed over us before being lifted on stage where the roses would all bloom, showing a princess inside. The emergency came when the waist hook holding one of the princess's heavy hoop skirt gave way. With a wave to the crowd, she was simply driven on her slice of cake to the entrance under the stand where the chaperone and assistant quickly secured the problem. The crowd must have wondered what had happened!

The parade was called the finest in Rose Festival history. June 14, 1958, more than 315,000 people lined the streets on a perfect sunny day. "My," said one of the princesses who had moved to Portland from a smaller Midwest town, "There must have been at least 30,000 people at the parade."

The excitement and cheers from the parade watchers made us unaware of the tiring gloved arms that waved nonstop and our smiles that came from thirsty, sunburned lips. We couldn't have been happier.

After the parade, the day continued with a Festival Center appearance, a stop at the Rose Garden, the nightly Multnomah Stadium show, a stop at a local Ball, and finally the Queen's Ball some ten hours later. Dancing and celebrating, it was a fairytale celebration, and guess what? I also celebrated my 18th birthday at the stroke of midnight!

~Linda (Sloan) Bronson (1958 Princess)
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Her Favorite Rose Festival Memories as a Junior Court Member

The following is a list of my favorite memories of serving as a Junior Court Member:
  • Visiting Doernbecher Hospital and being able to bring a smile to the children's faces.


  • Attempting to do our song and dance on ice skates at Lloyd Center.


  • Rides in the cars with our Aunties and the memories we shared and friendships we made during those times.
~Courtney Burmester
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She Was on the Junior Court in 1939

As close as I can figure, I must have been about nine years of age and in the third grade -- and it must have been the summer of 1939, just before the war years. All I remember about qualifying for the honor was they were looking for girls who were under three feet tall. I was blonde with naturally curly hair, which I wore in corkscrew curls halfway down my back.

Our gowns were a lovely sea or spring green, with flounces all the way down the skirt and black velvet ribbons for belt and streamers. We also wore a float pancake hat in matching green, with a black bow on top and black velvet streamers -- and we each carried a small straw basket filled with rose petals that were to be strewn along the route. (All of which had to be returned following the parade.)

As far as I can remember, we either started or ended up in the Grant High School bowl -- I honestly don't remember which.

I was attending Rigler Grammar School on 54th and Prescott, which was just on the edge of town at that time. My maiden name was Eve Ruth Jones. I moved to Alaska in 1963 and have been here ever since. But I still have a sister who lives in Molalla, and she keeps up to date on Festival happenings!

Thank you for your interest, and I wish the Rose Festival a bright and rosy future!

~Eve Ruth (Jones) Collais
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He Marched in the Grand Floral Parade in 1925 and '26

I was born September 19, 1908, in Walla Walla, Washington. I graduated from Jefferson high school on June 11, 1926. The graduation exercises were held in the public auditorium in Portland.

I played in the high school band, and the band marched in the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade in both 1925 and 1926. Our uniforms consisted of white starched duck pants, a white shirt and a blue and gold tie, which were the colors of the school.

Also the next day, June 12, five of us (four who were members of the graduating class) climbed Mt. Hood. This was done without any climbing clothes, a guide, or gear! I guess we just didn't realize the seriousness of the situation. That's youth for you!

~Louis J. Cowan
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She Was Queen in 1938

In June of 1937, my father announced that we were leaving the Dust Bowl of Wichita, Kansas and driving to Portland, Oregon. As we drove into town, our car was stopped by where the Grand Floral Parade was disbanding!

I entered Grant as a senior and became the 'Dust Bowl Queen' of 1938. On the parade route people would ask me for a rose, saying, "I'm from Kansas." I looked around my float at the end, and the roses were gone within arm's length -- only chicken wire remained. It made me so happy that so many of my fellow Kansans had found this dream of a city with roses could be found climbing up telephone poles and in many parking strips.

I'm so glad my father brought me and my two sisters kicking and screaming across the Rockies to Portland. Now I have a formal sunken rose garden and a Paul Scarlet rose climbing up my telephone pole. I'm a truly happy Oregonian of 69 years and have six sons who also love Portland.

~Frances Hulse Boly (1938 Queen)
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She Was Queen in 1971

I made lifelong friends as the Rose Festival Queen. I still see my court chaperone, Gwen Burns, often. Our 'Court' gets together about two times a year!

It was a wonderful time! I'll always be grateful for the year 1971 and representing the City of Roses.

~Kristi Lee Birkland (1971 Queen, Roosevelt)
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Born and Raised in Portland, She Has Tons of Rose Festival Memories

I'm 72 and was born and raised in Portland. I have tons of memories!

Yes, neighborhood kids all took decorated bikes to ride in the Junior Parade. We lived close by and attended Rose City Park School.

In the mid '40's, two neighborhood kids were Junior Queen Sharon Brady and Prime Minister Everett Stiles. Whee!

In high school I followed the whole Grand Floral Parade to watch my boyfriend play drums in the Grant high school marching band.

What a great idea to collect memories of 100 years. Thanks!

~Joanne (Stout) Magill
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She Was Queen in 1979 and Her Sister Was Queen in 1969

My Rose Festival memories began in 1969, when my sister Rhonda was chosen Queen. For the next ten years I was asked, "Are you gong to be Queen like your sister?"

I could never have hoped to fill such an accomplishment, but somehow I was bestowed the honor of being Marshall's second Queen. The theme in 1979 was 'World Records on Parade,' and my sister and I set a record by each having the opportunity to wear the Royal Crown! I got to knight Hank Aaron at the knighting ceremony that year. I was also the very lucky recipient of wonderful trips to Pasadena, Michigan, Alaska and Japan.

A great thrill was actually riding a horse in the Pendleton parade. (I was an equestrienne at the time and no queen had ever ridden a horse before in the parade!)

I could write a book of fabulous memories --- so thankfully, I'm running out of space. Being part of the Rose Festival -- that's a memory to cherish.

~Rochelle Teeny (1979 Queen)
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Roosevelt Princess of 1981 Remembers the Knighting Ceremony

One of my favorite memories is of the knighting ceremony at the Rose Garden.

Afterwards a photographer took pictures of each of us in a different outfit from our huge wardrobe. Every time I visit the Rose Garden, it takes me back to 1981.

~Lori Stanton-Sawyer (Roosevelt Princess, 1981)
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She Had 'Front Row Seats' for the Grand Floral Parade at Her Grandfather's Downtown Bakery

My Grandfather, William Rosumny, owned the Star Bakery, located in the Farmers Market (on Third and Yamhill), which was on the parade route each year. My aunt, Annette Levin, worked at the bakery, and early in the morning the day of the parade, she and my Grandfather would put out wooden bread boxes on the street in the front of the bakery for my sister, her children and me to sit on for the Grand Floral Parade.

We always had front row seats!

Of course Papa would bring us out treats from the bakery to help 'sustain' us through the parade.

When I was a teenager I'd still go the parade, but I'd take the bus downtown. Even then the boxes were waiting for us -- as were the cookies!

Once I'd moved to California I'd still try and come back with my kids to see the parade in June. Now I live here again and now I take my grandchildren to the parade.

However, we don't have the luxury of those 'front row seats' in front of the bakery and have to hunt for a nice place to sit!

I always think fondly of my Grandfather on Grand Floral Parade day...

~Trudi Schnitzer Stone (Tualatin, Oregon)
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Her Mother Was the 1938 Princess from Roosevelt

I live in Bend, Oregon and am the daughter of Virginia Vessey, who died a little over two years ago. She was the best friend I've ever had and a wonderful mother! I miss her terribly.

My mother was the Rose Festival Princess from Roosevelt high school in l938.

I have many beautiful large pictures of her, some articles from the newspaper the year she was princess, plus her annual luncheon she would go to with her court.

I love this opportunity to honor my mother by sharing her memory with others.

I'm also a Roosevelt gratuate. I never did try out for Rose Festival Princess, though I was hoping to do so -- and try to follow in my mother's shoes. Unfortunately I lost my dad (Harold Anderson, who was a police officer in St. Johns) to a massive heart attack a month before try-outs...

~Patti Samuel
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Chewing Gum As She Marched in the Starlight Parade

My first memory of Rose Festival was marching [in the color guard with the Reynolds high school band] in the Starlight Parade in high school. I was chewing gum (against what my coach advised us to do) and the camera zoomed in on me marching and chewing.

The next day I got in trouble for chewing gum because she saw it on TV. No argument there!

Actually, now that I think of it, I went as a child too -- but I don't recall a lot of it, just that it was a good time!

~Mandy Hamilton (PRFA Staff)
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She Was the Independent Princess in 1977

My festival memories focus on the wonderful friendships I made with both my fellow princesses and with the many Rose Festival adult representatives who took care of our court. Those friendships continue to thrive today.

I was challenged in ways that have been truly valuable to me, since I learned how to rise above any doubts or insecurities and represent myself and the City of Portland with grace and confidence.

~Barbara Schwab (1977 Independent Princess)
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Her Daughter Was a Junior Princess in 1980

It was a Thursday night in March of 1980, the night my daughter Heather was anxiously waiting for -- the night for try-outs for the District 5 Junior Princess selection!

There were 102 'little ladies' standing on the stage at Franklin high school that night. Each of these nine and ten-year-olds took their turn at the microphone, holding up their white paper plates with their number on them.

Heather had been working on her short speech for several weeks. It's still so very clear to me, even after 27 years! She was the shortest of all 102 girls. I was happy to hear that the Rose Festival had changed their method of selection, because when I was the right age you had to be a certain height or you didn't get to actually try out for the court. (I was always too short!)

Heather was #40. She took her turn at the microphone and here's what she said:

"I am a dancer. I take gymnastics, tap, jazz and ballet. I take gymnastics so I can spring back in any situation. Tap gives me sharp tones when moving from heal to toe and on the go. Jazz gives me a beat that puts rhythm in my hands and feet. And Ballet gives me grace, so I don't fall on my face."

The evening continued with each girls taking her turn -- then would come the announcement of the top six girls who would be given an additional interview.

I remember flying out of my chair when Heather's name was announced as one of the top six girls!

They soon went back behind the stage for their brief interviews. I later found out that one of the questions the judges asked my daughter was, "What is your favorite TV show?" Heather's answer was, "Benny Hill." She said she had watched it with Grandpa Tony! The Judges laughed.

The announcement of the 1980 Junior Princess from District 5 was upon us. The curtains opened and there sat my little girl in the Princess Chair! They announced, "Junior Rose Festival Princess, Heather Fralia!"

Tears started to well up in my eyes. She'd done it! She had that competitive spirit that is seen in all of our family -- and is seen in her daughter Reece today. In the many years that followed, so did other awards at the city, state and national level.

It was a wonderful and fun experience for our entire family that Rose Festival year of 1980. Even with Mt. Saint Helens blowing and the Junior Court being made to wear their white masks!

Heather and her court wearing masks in 1980

That was the year Danny Thomas was our Grand Marshal, and he rode on the Junior Court float in the Grand Floral Parade and we all got a chance to meet him.

Judy Fralia-Mantello and daughter Heather

That year all the Moms, Dads and siblings had red t-shirts made that told which Princess was special to them. Mine read, "I'm Princess Heather's Mom."

Judy Fralia-Mantello with Danny Thomas

We also made a banner that read, "Jr. Rose Festival -- Princess Heather -- We Love You."

~Judy Fralia-Mantello
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Jayne Mansfield Blew Him a Kiss in 1966 and Wife Penny Finally Gets to March in 2001

It was 1966 (I think), and I wanted to add to my collection of Rose Festival slides. Our girls were excited as their mother helped them dress for the occasion. This would be a day to remember! Driving from Southeast Portland, we were on the streets in time to get a good viewing spot, right near the Charles F. Berg's shop.

As the floats passed by I clicked away with my 35mm Argus, not thinking about saving film. This year's floats and celebrities would make a great addition to my slide collection! Up the street I heard whistles and cheers indicating a celebrity, but who was it?

As the float got closer, I peered above the crowd to see a platinum blonde in a glamorous outfit -- it was Jane Mansfield! I walked closer to her float and she posed for me. Among my buddies, I knew I would have a real collector's item -- a rare photograph of Jane Mansfield posing. I checked the shutter and speed and took the shot.

Oh, no -- I was out of film! I gestured to her that I was out of film. The crowd behind me laughed and Miss Mansfield blew me a kiss. Truly a Rose Festival to remember!

My wife Penny finally got her chance to march in a Grand Floral Festival Parade! As a majorette, she'd been scheduled to march in the parade during the 1951 Rose Festival, with the Sweet Home high school marching band. However the band director got sick so their participation was cancelled.

Fifty years later our granddaughter, Ashley St. Clair, was slated to appear in the 2001 Rose Festival with the Beaverton high school marching band -- but as a result of a birth defect, she was limited as to how far she could march. Two years earlier she'd marched with her school band at the Gator Bowl Parade, playing her father's trumpet (which he had played in Europe and at Carnegie Hall).

But the Grand Floral Parade route was longer. Could she endure the distance?

Her band director offered a solution -- Ashley could help carry the school banner, with Grandma and Grandpa trailing behind with her wheelchair, should she need it. As the band was marching up Broadway a TV cameraman and crew filmed both Ashley and her Grandma Penny! Ashley finished the parade -- and so did Grandma, fifty years late! As I glanced out the corner of my eye, I could see a vision of Penny high stepping in her white boots and twirling her baton -- if only in my mind! Another Rose Festival we'll all remember!

~Donald Alanen (Beaverton, Oregon)
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She Was a Princess on the 1959 Court

I was on the 1959 Court, and that was the year Oregon had her Centennial Celebration -- 100 years of Statehood!

That event provided us with more opportunities to greet several celebrities who came to Portland to participate, and more fun experiences as the whole city celebrated our 100th Birthday.

I believe this Centennial celebration will be on a par! Happy 100th to the Rose Festival!

~Jackie Bye (Roosevelt Princess, 1959)
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She Wore Out Her Boots Marching in the Grand Floral Parade

I'm a graduate from Franklin high school, class of 1946. What wonderful years those were, even though there was a war going on.

I wasn't lucky enough to be Princess, but I was a nominee from my school that year. Our Princess was Marilyn Anderson. Instead, I was a majorette with our Franklin high school band for a couple of years. I can remember wearing out a pair of boots in the parade each time I marched!

I absolutely loved high school. I was involved with anything I could find, including City Council, Pentathlon, A.G.S. Council and Rally Squad. These were the best years of my life, or as we senior citizens like to put it -- "The good old days." We had big bands, U.S.O.'s, saddle shoes and cashmere sweaters. Somehow I just turned 80 and I'd give anything if the children of today could have such a wonderful, care-free life as we had in those days...

Our Grand Floral Parade is one thing that never seems to change. It's like the Energizer battery, it just keeps going and going and going...

Thanks to all of you for keeping it going! Without you -- and your energy -- it would just fade away. I've worked on it myself a few times, so I know what a tremendous job it is.

~Marjorie 'Margie' (Wheeler) Charles (Beaverton, Oregon)
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She Was Junior Queen in 1982 and Princess from Parkrose in 1991

My Rose Festival memories and participation began back in 1982, when I was chosen as Junior Princess and then became the Junior Queen.

Because of the positive experience I had making so many new acquaintances and seeing more of Portland, I later wanted to try out for the Senior Court.

In 1991, I was chosen as Princess for Parkrose High School. It was an honor to represent my student body -- and I loved the experience with my fellow courtmates, chaperone Norma Manning and all Rose Festival directors that assisted.

My fondest memories are of visiting nursing and care centers, and especially the children at Doernbecher. This is something I continue to do.

~Beckie (Child) Ballard, 1991
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They View the Grand Floral Parade Every Year and the Moms Hold Down the Fort

Twenty years ago our new neighbors in West Linn -- Sally and Eric Egland -- asked if we wanted to join them at the Grand Floral Parade. They'd both grown up in Portland, but we'd just moved here from Chicago a few years previously and had never gone to the parade.

They assured us they had a great place to sit that was close to bathrooms for our kids, so several moms in our neighborhood packed our lawn chairs into the back of Sally's van and set out about 9:00 a.m. to wait for the parade.

Thus started a tradition that's still going strong today! Our neighborhood group sets our lawn chairs in the same spot where we started twenty years ago, although not without a certain amount of difficulty these days...

Since our kids ranged from four to 10 years old when we began this tradition, the dads brought them along just before the parade started, while the moms went early to hold the fort. The first year we had about eight families from the neighborhood, so we made big signs that read 'Skyline Ridge, West Linn' as well as our now famous signs of 'nice horse,' 'pretty costume' and many others that we still hold up as the parade goes by. We've been told that regulars look for our signs near the end of the parade route where we sit.

Peggy and friends at the GFP

As the kids began to play Saturday sports over the years, the dads took the kids to play and then brought them to the parade. Since that involved saving about ten chairs plus the curb area, some late comers weren't please to see the gang of dads and kids waltz up just before parade time to take their prime spots -- but we moms had been holding the space for at least five hours, fortified by lots of hot coffee, good talk and donuts, while latecomers were still in bed. So we truly earned that spot!

Through grade school street chalk drawings, middle school feigned embarrassment, dozing on the curb the day after staying up all night for high school graduation parties, coming home from college for the parade, and introducing the serious boyfriend/girlfriend to our annual festival group, our kids have seldom missed a parade. It's a favorite tradition, even when it occasionaly rains.

We used to haul coolers of nutritious lunches when the kids were small -- now we ask the dads to bring Subway or KFC for all. We used to stand watch to help the dads find us, now we use cell phones. Our kids used to sit on the curb, now we give the saved curb space to a family with small children -- while our kids sit in comfort in lawn chairs.

Our daughters had eyes only for the pretty horses when we first started going to the parade. Then it was the pretty rodeo queen costumes. Now they won't admit that their most interested gazes are for the Marines marching by -- but moms know better!

Peggy and friends at the GFP

We hope to still be coming to the parade when grandchildren start to appear. We'll still have our signs, our hats and mittens and sunscreen. The viewing area is getting more crowded and some people more hostile about 'saving spaces.' But you'll still find us there, cheering on the bands and kids and rodeo queens -- happy that kind neighbors have given our children the memories of a lifetime at the Rose Festival's Grand Floral Parade!

~Peggy Keonjian
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Her Daughter Rode Her Horse Jingles in the 1981 Grand Floral Parade

I remember the night before so well. We left the ranch at Mayville, Oregon, getting ready for our trip to the Portland Rose Festival.

My daughter, Dodi, was riding her quarter horse Jingles, in the Grand Floral Parade, representing Gilliam County as the 1981 Saddle Club Queen.

Queen Dodi with her quarterhorse Jingles

Dodi's ribbon from 1981

Dodi's favorite meal was my Grandma Perry's 'famous' macaroni and cheese. The recipe made enough for our dinner the night before we left -- plus we had enough left to bring along with us.

We had a camper on our pickup truck, pulling Jingles in the horse trailer. Jingles had never been to the city before and we were concerned how he'd behave crossing the bridge -- but he was a real gentleman!

Our destination was the Portland Race track where we were going to stay all night. The wind blew and the rain came down like we'd never seen before! We had a big bowl of macaroni and cheese before we went to sleep that night at the race track.

The next morning was the big Grand Floral Parade and the weather was just perfect!

Dodi, Jingles and June
Dodi, Jingles and June (inside red circle)

~June Waggoner
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A Princess in 1941, She Traveled to Both Victoria and Vancouver, B.C., Canada

My favorite Rose Festival memories include a trip to both Victoria and Vancouver, B.C., Canada during the summer of 1941.

The court and our court committee drove up in the Rose Festival convertibles, stopping at Fort Lewis and then heading to Seattle, where we boarded the Princess Louise Cruise ship overnight to Victoria.

We toured the beautiful gardens in Victoria and they had a big banquet at the Victoria Hotel where we stayed overnight. The next day we drove on to Vancouver, B.C., where we appeared in their "Victory Parade."

Fantastic!

~Dorene Luiten (Commerce Princess, 1941)
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Both She and Her Husband Were Portland Rose Society Presidents

As a 'native' of the City of Roses (born in SE Portland), the annual Rose Festival has always been a part of my life. My dad grew roses and shared blooms of "Cecile Brunner" with secretaries at his office. (This rose variety is a pink polyantha that has been around since 1881.)

Our family always tried to watch the Grand Floral Parade. In 1939 (I believe), I participated in the Junior Parade with a large group of the Junior Musicians of America, who marched while playing violins.

After marrying my late husband, Robert M. MacGavin, we had a house on SE 138th and Mill, that included a backyard garden full of roses. We entered the Royal Rosarians Garden Contest for several years and in 1966 were fortunate enough to win the Grand Sweepstakes Prime Minister's trophy. (The June 8, 1966 Oregon Journal article by Andy Rocchia has a special place in our scrapbook.) We also exhibited roses over the years and after joining the Portland Rose Society in 1957 were active as officers and held various jobs.

We were also instructors in the Pacific NW District of the American Rose Society, training rose horticulture judges. When the "Rose Bug" hits you, it grabs your entire family -- and our sons Dale and Donald also tended their own bushes and exhibited roses.

Bob was President of the Portland Rose Society in 1966 and we participated in many Rose Festival activities, and rode in the parades.

Bob and Marilyn

In 1978 I was President of the PRS, and we were involved in all the activities, including rose plantings. We were especially honored to have Wini Edmunds at the planting in our yard of the rose named after her, that was attended by Royal Rosarian Prime Minister, Joe Teresi and the Portland Rose Festival Association President, Wes Radford.

Bob and Marilyn with Prime Minister and wife and PRFA President and wife

Eva Heffner -- who was PRS Judging Chairman for many years -- decided to retire, and she asked Bob to take over the job, with me as his helper. In time I became more involved and ended up as co-chairman. The Portland Rose Society honored both of us with life memberships and a special plaque in October of 1985.

In 1986, Bob was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease -- and though he still enjoyed roses, as the dementia progressed he required day care. I'd drop him off at Lambert House and park my car there before taking a bus downtown to work at the law office where I was employed. While Bob was at Lambert House we often supplied them with rose bouquets, and in October of 1988, Mayor Bud Clark visited the facility -- and the caregivers gave me a photo of Bob and the Mayor admiring the roses.

After Bob's death in 1990, I have continued with various rose-related activities, such as rose pruning demonstrations and judging at rose shows. Although I now live 21 miles east of Portland, I still feel like a "Portlander" -- and I look forward to many special activities celebrating the 'Queen of Flowers' during this Centennial year of the Portland Rose Festival.

~Marilyn Peake MacGavin (Boring, Oregon)
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He Woke to the Grand Floral Parade Just Outside His Window

When I was 20, my (now) wife and I moved out of the house for the very first time. We moved into a Victorian studio apartment located on Ninth and Salmon.

The studio overlooked the streetcar line and Central library.

This was a great time, full of new experiences! We were both going to school and working, so somtimes our hours were unconventional at best.

One morning we'd slept in later than usual and we woke to the sound of bustling streets! I stood up and looked out the windows to see the streets lined with people. The trees were fully green with maybe a few clouds in an otherwise perfectly blue sky. Just then a giant alligator rounded the corner!

Portland is such a unique city, and its people stand out above the rest as some of the friendliest I've met. I missed getting a shot of the alligator, but I'll never forget the smiles on the faces of the children and adults alike.

This is a memory I hope to take with me forever.

~Chris Yoakum
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She Was in the Junior Parade in 1914

The first Rose Festival that I remember was in 1914 (or 1915) when I was eight (or nine) years old and I marched in the Junior Parade on Sandy boulevard. We wore white dresses with full tulle skirts -- the first fancy dress I had ever had -- and I felt like a princess in it. We all carried twigs or branches from which all the leaves had been removed and pink tissue or crepe paper bows were tied to resemble blossoms.

We practiced marching around the Rose City Park Elementary School, which I attended, and as we marched we did calisthenics with the branches. We were drilled by Robert Krohn, who was the Athletic Director of the Portland City Schools for many years.

In those times, the Rose Festival Queen was chosen from businesses or clubs in the city by selling votes on their candidate -- the one who received the most votes would be the one crowned. It began to be quite a political affair which wasn't changed until the late 20's or early 30's when the Queen and her Court were chosen from the high schools as it is now [courts were first selected from high schools in 1930].

I do recall that Frances Kanzler, a high school senior, was crowned June 26, 1932. She was one of the earliest high school queens.

~Janet Graue (born December 27, 1906)
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He Was a Benson 'Courtesy Driver' for the 1958 Rose Festival

In 1958, I was a senior at Benson High School and I had the privliege of being a 'Courtesy Driver' for the Rose Festival.

That was the 50th Anniversary year, and I got to drive a 1958 Oldsmobile convertible.

Wayne driving a 1958 Oldsmobile convertible

My job was to take celebrities and Rose Festival dignitaries to and from various engagements. David Rose [famed British-born American songwriter, composer, arranger and orchestra leader] was one of the celebrities for the Rose Festival that year, and I drove him from the Multnomah hotel to the [Multnomah] Stadium (now PGE Park).

I was 17 years old at that time and had started dating my wife Rose Marie when I was 16 and she was 15. We married in 1961, raised two sons and will celebrate our 46th wedding anniversary this July. Life goes by so quickly!

I also drove one of the 'cake slices' (golf carts decorated to look like slices of cake) that formed a giant birthday cake.

Wayne drove a 'cake slice' at Multnomah Stadium

It was such an exciting year.

~Wayne Corah