I'm a native Oregonian from Portland and have loved the Portland Rose Festival all of my life.
When I was in first grade attending George Elementary School in North Portland, I was selected to be on the May Court. Mike Shrunk (who is now District Attorney in Portland) and I rode in the Junior Parade on a float hand drawn by Boy Scouts. Mike's father, Terry Shrunk, (then the Fire Chief and later Mayor of Portland) helped build the float, and all the parents donated flowers to decorate it.
Then in 1952, I had the honor to be a Junior Princess representing James John School. I went on to win the District 3 competition, and was on the Junior Court. My Prince was Melvin Nordberg from North Portland.
Sue and her Prince
My mother Gloria Clint had always loved the Rose Festival, and she and my father Charles Clint worked diligently with me on my speeches. I hadn't expected to win from the District, because I wasn't as beautiful as some of the girls. But I did my speech well, and spoke loudly enough to be heard all over the St. Johns movie theater (and I was a cute girl with red hair), so the judges selected me!
Sue with the 1952 Junior Court
There were so many wonderful things that the court did together. For example, we went to Doernbecher Hospital to visit the seriously ill children. Being in the Junior Parade was so much fun, and then the entire Junior Court had the privilege of appearing in the Grand Floral Parade. What a thrill to ride along doing the traditional wave for thousands of people along the parade route!
Last year I again appeared in the Junior Parade, after all these years. It was so exciting to be driving one of the dignitaries in a snappy black Ford Mustang Convertible!
I'm so fortunate the Rose Festival has always been so important to our family. My youngest sister, Marilyn Clint, has worked at the Rose Festival for over 30 years. She is the Associate Executive Director, and puts in long hours to be sure the festival is a success. Marilyn has done every possible job at Rose Festival, and for the last 20 years has been the Grand Floral Parade Manager. It's definitely a labor of love for her, and she continues to amaze me every day with her dedication to this wonderful festival. 2007 is so special, being the Centennial year, and Marilyn has been planning for this event for over two years!
My other sister, Charlie Clint, has been a dedicated volunteer for the Rose Festival for over 30 years. She provides a tremendous amount of unpaid work to the Rose Festival, and is very proud of her involvement.
Marilyn, Sue and Charlie in 2006
Over the years I've attended many events, including band Festivals, the Jazz Band Classic, various Queen's Coronations, rides at the Waterfront Village, touring the visiting ships and attending many parades. Some people choose not to take part in the various events, but thousands attend regardless of possible bad weather, finding many ways to enjoy our wonderful festival! Still others stay at home and watch the beautiful Grand Floral Parade on television.
However people choose to enjoy the Rose Festival, let's all support it -- and keep it going for another 100 years!~Susan (Clint) Pisha