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ani, glitter

'Jack Be Nimble,' Marilyn Be Quick!

In the spring of 1947, I was a 4th grade student at MacArthur School in Vanport, Oregon.

One day as I was walking home from school, a friend came running after me to tell me to come back to school, because this was the day for choosing the Rose Festival Princess from our school.

Marilyn -- 4th grade student
Marilyn in the 4th grade

After being weighed, measured and lined up, all of us who qualified were told we would have to recite a poem for the judges. Apparently I didn't know an appropriate poem so that my voice could be judged -- and it required some urging that I say something! Finally someone suggested that I repeat the nursery rhyme, "Jack be nimble, Jack be quick. Jack jump over the candlestick."

I did this, and it was enough for me to be named as the Princess!

However, "Jack be nimble" didn't carry me through the next competition -- the one that selected the Princess who would represent all three of the schools in Vanport!

Marilyn today
Marilyn today

But this experience did lead to a lifelong interest in the Rose Festival -- plus quite a collection of scrapbooks. The earliest scrapbook was saved by my mother -- who added it to a box of 'memories' as we were escaping the Vanport Flood just a year later.

~Marilyn (Nelson) Paulson (of Independence, Oregon)