Hey happy Pie Friday! Leftovers, anyone?
One year ago today, my pardners Bruce Murdock and Janine Wolf and I were snuggled up together on the back ledge of a ’75 Cadillac with Texas Longhorns on the grill, six-shooters for door handles, and a mooing cow for a horn, in the My Macy’s Parade. The murmur of the crowd was that it would be the last. It was.
Over the years, we rode in that parade many times. We’d show up at dawn in the North Park Blocks, and spend time shooting the chilly morning breeze with other parade participants, like Mayor Sam Adams…
That very night, by the way, has become famous in Portland history for the sting that thwarted a young man’s plot to blow up the tree lighting in Pioneer Courthouse Square. Of course, none of us knew a thing about it, including the Mayor, in spite of his rabbit ears.
One year our car didn’t show up. We stood forlornly in the chilly drizzle at our assigned spot in the lineup, peering down the block awaiting a ride, but it never came. So we made the best of it. We hoofed it in the rain.
But most years, we rode in whatever droptop jalopy would have us, hoping our magnetized logo didn’t ding the Turtlewaxed doors, waving to people all along the route from Mary’s Club to the Chinatown Gateway.
It was never a Rose Festival-sized crowd, but it was invariably merry, until we reached the last few blocks, where sleeping street citizens didn’t appreciate being awakened by a marching band in their doorway.
Alas, the parade is no more. Meier and Frank is gone, Macy’s took its spot but left, and now we see that one of the vacant floors will be occupied next year by Oregon State University. But it was a nice small-city parade, and it feels weird to be nestled all cuddled and warm at home rather than lurching along in a convertible in the rain and wishing I’d just said no to that third cup of coffee. I can get used to it. We’ll always have memories of warm moments on cold mornings.