?

Log in

No account? Create an account
ani, glitter

She Was Junior Queen in 1947 & Later Worked for the Portland Rose Festival Association for 15 Years

One day in April back when I was a third-grader at Glencoe Elementary school, the teachers and staff started lining up third and fourth grade girls and boys to measure our height. If we were within the 'correct height' (and most were), we were sent to the auditorium where we walked across the stage and gave our names in front of a group of teachers and staff. They were judges -- but I didn't know that! I did this several times, and at the conclusion two of us -- Bruce Stinnett and I -- were selected. That done, we were sent back to class.

I went home from school that day and told my mother I'd been selected for something involving the Rose Festival, but I wasn't sure what. I told her she'd be getting a letter explaining it all, then hurried off to a piano lesson.

And that's how at eight years old I began my path to become the 1947 Junior Queen!

The letter I'd mentioned arrived on April 18 and outlined the rehearsal and selection program that would be held at the Bagdad Theatre for the Junior Prince and Princesses from District #7. (At the time Portland schools were divided into ten districts, with one girl and boy competing from each.)

At this selection we all gave a little speech, which were memorized nursery rhymes that we'd drawn from a hat -- mine was "Humpty Dumpty." After these speeches the judges came backstage where we waited. I was tapped on the head, as was Bruce. The curtains opened and they announced that we were now Prince and Princess, from Glencoe. Then off we went to The Oregonian to have our photos taken.

From that moment life seemed much like a fairy tale! We met the other 18 members of the Junior Court and attended rehearsals, outings, photograph sessions, dress fittings and more rehearsals!

Finally, on May 22, another selection process took place before a packed audience at the Civic Auditorium. The fire department even ordered the doors closed half an hour before the program began to prevent overcrowding. Loud speakers were mounted outside for those who didn't make it inside! It was an unforgettable hour of pageantry, speeches and suspense.

When the winners were announced backstage, I have a memorable photo of me in shocked surprise -- with my eyes closed and the hem of my dress in my hands covering my mouth!

Queen Sharon

For the next few weeks life was a whirl! There were luncheons, speeches, Rose Shows, attending the Senior Court Queen Selection (at Civic Stadium), appearing in parades and much more.

Bruce and I were always together as Junior Queen and Prime Minister. It was a very special time for an eight-year-old and gave me memories to last a lifetime.

Times were simpler in those days. Our parents were responsible for getting us to each event, so all the court parents had the opportunity to share in the fun! My dear mother was six months pregnant and would wear a heavy coat even on hot days as she was shy and a just a little embarrassed by her "condition." (How times change!)

It was a magical and happy time in an era where children were simply children and able to enjoy such a grand experience. We all had lots of fun! I still have my photos and memories, Princess and Queen's gown -- and even my crown -- to bring back that bit of magic.

Sharon, years later, working for the PRFA
Sharon, years later, working for the PRFA

How could I have known when I was eight-year-old Queen Sharon II that I would later join the staff at the Portland Rose Festival Association in 1970, and spend 15 years helping guide the festival through years of great growth?

For me, "For You a Rose in Portland Grows" will always have deep memories and meaning.

Sharon today
Sharon today

I'd like to offer my very special thanks to the Portland Rose Festival Association for making it all possible!

~Sharon (Barnes) Tracy (1947 Junior Queen, Sharon II)

Comments