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July 18th, 2007

ani, glitter

The Day Music Company Has Always Been Tied to the Rose Festival

I work for my family at Day Music Company, and this past January I replaced my uncle as company President. This is a huge change in my life, considering I'm a guitar player -- and Day Music is an 84-year-old piano store! How thankful I am that my family believes in me!

I'm the fifth generation working for the company -- and my son will be the sixth if he chooses to follow me. But what troubled me at first was that I didn't really know my roots. I didn't know where this family -- and our family music store -- came from. My grandfather died when I was in high school, and it was his grandfather who started the company -- so I had my work cut out for me!

I started to dig -- literally -- right in the Day Music's basement. My digging paid off when I found a wealth of historical Day family pictures, newspaper clippings, and more.

I was amazed to find how involved the Day family has been with the Rose Festival organization. I discovered that in 1917 L. Carroll Day wrote the official Rose Festival song entitled, "Flower-Gowned, Forrest-Bound, Rose-Crowned Portland." Eight years later he wrote, "When You Come to Oregon" -- in 1925 this was one of the songs used in the 'learn a song a day' campaign, conducted in connection with the Rose Festival.

Here's a photo of Great Grandfather, L.Carrol Day with the Day Music float in 1925:

L.Carrol Day and Day Music float, 1925

These were just a few of the prizes I uncovered. There are still more that include learning that in 1959 my Grandfather -- Carroll 'Dick' Day -- had become a Royal Rosarian. I even found his Rosarian wicker hat, official acceptance letter of his appointment, and some priceless photos of him accepting this honor. Here's one of those:

Carroll 'Dick' Day, Royal Rosarian

After organizing my findings, I went to my Aunt Dora Graham. She's Dick Day's sister -- and the eldest living Day. She was also a Rose Festival Princess representing Franklin high school back in 1939.

Princess Dora Day

It's been a real treat getting to know my Aunt Dora (Dora Mae Day) and her husband, my Uncle Larry. They've helped me find my past -- and are a constant source of optimism. When I showed her all I'd found, Aunt Dora was ecstatic! We currently have the entire collection on display in the lobby of our newly remodeled auditorium.

~Nathan Day (President, Day Music Company)
ani, glitter

She Met Her Royal Rosarian Husband at the Grand Floral Parade in 1971

My husband and I met on the day of the Grand Floral Parade in 1971.

L. Gary Ferlisi was the General Sales Manager of KATU, Channel 2.

Ms. Sheila Graham was invited to Portland to do the color for the broadcast of the Rose Parade. Following her broadcast, Ms. Graham was introduced to the Women Media Buyers of Portland at a cocktail party held at the Benson Hotel.

I was a Media Buyer for a local advertising agency, so I was invited to the party. It was a lovely party, and during it I met L. Gary Ferlisi, which turned out to be the beginning of a wonderful life. He asked me out on a date, and in May of 1972 we were married.

L. Gary was also a Royal Rosarian and became the Prime Minister in 1985. As one of his first duties as the new Prime Minister he took a group of 50 Rosarians and their wives to Guadalajara, Portland's new sister city.

Janis and L. Gary in 1985
Janis and L. Gary in 1985

While there he presided over the first knighting ceremony ever done outside North America.

Accordingly, the Rose Festival and the Royal Rosarians have a very special spot in my heart!

L. Gary Ferlisi died in August of 2001 after a very full and happy life. He was always proud to have served as Prime Minister of the Royal Roasrians.

~Janis A. Ferlisi (Royal Rosarians First Lady, 1985)