History Pub at the Kennedy School

Dear Liza,

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!


Grandma Judy

67 and Having Fun

Dear Liza,

Yesterday was my birthday, and my lovely people turned it into a two day celebration. Saturday was predicted to be the warmest, sunniest day of the year so far, so we went out and about. We drove about 20 minutes east to McMenamin’s Edgefield resort to enjoy their St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
It was so warm, I didn’t even wear a coat!!

Like most of the McMenamin’s properties, Edgefield has a history. Back in the early part of the last century, it was the Multnomah County Poor Farm, where folks with no resources would go to have food and a roof over their heads. After it closed, it was empty and vandalized for many years, until the McMenamin brothers found it and brought it back to life.

I love all the McMenamin’s places, but Edgefield is the largest and most creative. We started in the Black Rabbit Room, with murals, smiles and good food. In keeping with my healthier diet, I had a tofu tikka masala instead of a hamburger. I did enjoy a fine birthday stout, however. I’m only human.

Wandering around in the early spring sunshine, we enjoyed people watching and the art-y , country-ish nature of the place.

There was traditional Irish music on the lawns and corn-hole players. Barns, bars, and happy people were everywhere.

Outside the Distillery, we watched well-equipped golfers practice tipsy putting and joyful little girls following a St. Patrick’s Day pony.

And of course, Harold came along. We have really missed having our stuffed friend on our adventures. He always makes things more fun.

I think I’m going to like being 67. I have lots of adventures planned!


Grandma Judy