Rose Festival Stories (rose_festival) wrote,
Rose Festival Stories

She Saw Heck Harper Riding in the Grand Floral Parade

Back in the 1950's, my grandparents -- Jay and Rhoda Tice -- managed the Bridgeport Hotel (long since torn down), on the east end of the Burnside Bridge. My grandfather had his real estate office on the ground floor, with a big picture window that looked out over the Willamette River.

At Rose Festival time our dad would take my brother John (around eight years old) and me (around ten years old) over to the hotel, so we could watch the Grand Floral Parade from a third floor window that looked right out over the route on Burnside street. From this vantage point we got a great view of all the action!

I particularly remember the year we saw Heck Harper ride by on his horse, wearing a turquoise and yellow cowboy shirt, neckerchief and matching cowboy boots -- pretty fancy duds! In those days he had an afternoon TV show on Channel 12 that all the kids -- including us -- wanted to be on. My brother's cub scout den finally got an invitation after waiting for many months, and I was lucky enough to be included. (Harper was famous for his snazzy outfits, and had an unrivaled collection of cowboy boots to match.)

~Nancy Tice
Tags: grand floral parade
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