Spring means going out more, and last Monday we went out to the McMenamin’s Kennedy School for one of their wonderful History Pubs!
We ate dinner at home, because two nights of McMenamin’s food seemed a bit of an indulgence. But Grandpa Nelson made sure we didn’t suffer too much.
We went to hear Marilyn Clint, a former Rose Queen and current CEO of the Rose Festival, talk about the history of the Rose Festival in Portland. She knows it from the inside out, and is a real history buff, too. She had a lot of interesting stories.
She told about Harry Lane, who was Mayor of Portland from 1905 to 1909. Harry was a man ahead of his time. He rode his bike from his house in the Eastside to work downtown. He was pro-women’s suffrage and pro-integration. He was the Mayor who got naval ships to come visit Portland for the Rose festival, by writing a letter to the Department of the Navy. Fleet week has been part of the Festival ever since.
Harry was also a pacifist, and as a Senator in 1917, he voted against American getting into World War I. His position was not popular and he was viciously attacked in the press. His health was not good and he suffered from stress, and he passed away the next year.
Marilyn told us about Silas Christofferson, who carried his biplane, piece by piece, up to the top of the newly built Multnomah Hotel in 1912. Then, during the Festival, he flew it off the building!
Other flight-related shenanigans involved a hydrogen balloon race that ended in two of the contestants making a crash landing in Bull Run Lake and having to walk themselves home.
Here’s a silly picture of Grandpa Nelson posing with the statue of a Royal Rosarian (yes, it is a real group) at the Rose Test Garden in Washington Park. I love this time of year, with Spring Fever hitting everyone and roses and activities blooming like crazy!