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

Grand Floral Parade

Dear Liza,

This past weekend, we had another step back to post-Covid life when we got to attend the Grand Floral Parade. The parade was shorter this year, only running two miles instead of four, and stayed in the east side of the river, where we live.

Rather than deal with parking and traffic, we caught the Number 75 bus to the the Hollywood train station and caught the Trimet train to Lloyd Center. The whole trip took about 15 minutes and I got to chat with a nice fellow along the way.

We found a comfortable wall to sit on and enjoyed the people parade and the actual parade. One of the things I love about Portland’s Rose Parade is that there are floats and marching groups from so many local associations. The floats aren’t as fancy as in Pasadena’s Rose Parade. That’s okay.

The Electrical Workers Union marched a group of thirty Rosie the Riveters doing a cool routine.

There were Aztec dancers, Rabbis blowing shofars, Chinese dragons, Rose Queens, Japanese Taiko drummers, and clowns.

The dozen or so marching bands played wonderful music, with snappy cadences in between songs. I wish I could insert the video into this blog!

When the parade was all done and the street sweepers came by, we stretched our legs and walked up to McMinamen’s on Broadway for lunch. Tuna sandwiches and cider filled us up.

Rather than take the simple return trip home, however, we caught the train across the river. It’s nice, when you’re really tired, to just sit and watch the world go by. We rested and then caught the Magic Number 15 home. The rain, which had held off all day, poured within half an hour of getting home. Hooray!

After all the music, drumming, and walking, I was worn out and took a long nap. Some dinner and watching the Giants beat the Dodgers rounded out a pretty perfect day.


Grandma Judy

Not Done With the Rain Yet

Dear Liza,

We have had a record-setting wet spring, and it’s not done yet!

After a few days of sun last week, when we went for walks and saw lots of flowers, we had a weekend of rain, wind, and even thunderstorms.

The Rose Festival -opening-Starlight Parade went on as scheduled after three years of being canceled for Covid, but it went on without us. We just couldn’t muster the energy to bundle up and take a bus downtown to stand in the rain for a few hours. The Parade was televised so we didn’t miss it, but it would have been more fun to be THERE. Darn old rain, anyway.

My garden seems to be enjoying the rain. The Dahlias are up and blooming, and the radishes are getting tall and peppery. No squash or carrots yet, but they aren’t as quick as radishes.

We are promised sun this week, and even really warm temperatures. Keep your fingers crossed, but keep your boots handy.


Grandma Judy