Daffodils came to the Puyallup Valley around 1925 to replace the area’s dying hop industry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommended bulb growing because of the Valley’s excellent soil and ideal climate. About 200 varieties of Daffodils are grown, with the King Alfred being best known and most locally grown. Interest in Daffodils grew as did the beauty of the fields of the Puyallup Valley.
1934 was to become “Parade Year.” A well-known Tacoma photographer suggested that the daffodil blooms, which at that time were thrown away or used as fertilizer, be used instead as decorations for a Festival Parade. Automobiles were decorated with daffodils, bicycles followed in like-fashion and together they all paraded through the neighboring valley towns. A mounted contingent of the finest riding horses in the area appeared each year. The idea grew, and presently, the Grand Floral Street Parade travels through four Pierce County communities on Parade Day – Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner and Orting. I personally marched in the parade my three years at Clover Park playing my baritone saxophone. We marched in Tacoma, Puyallup, and Sumner.
I remember the Daffodil Festival Court being presented to Tacoma Rotary ever since I joined in 1990. Fellow Past President Jim Henderson of The Rotary Club of Tacoma #8 volunteered to host a princess at our annual Community Service Award meeting. The award is a nice way to recognize people who have helped our community and it's nice to see the up and coming high school students who are learning to help others as well. As we waited for the royal court to arrive, we bet each other that none of the princesses would announce they would be attending the University Puget Sound. Jim and I and Peggy are all Loggers.
Jim was assigned Queen Emily from Spanaway Lake High School. Unless you are sitting right at the same table, it's difficult to chat with all the people you would like to at our Rotary luncheons. At my table were Princess Shannon and Princess Kelty. I introduced myself to Shannon and presented her with a Rotary coin, which has The Four Way Test (the essence of Rotary) on the back. I gave one to Kelty as well.
Once I saw that members of the Daffodil Court start to come into the lobby I hustled up the ramp looking for Kelty Pierce, the Daffodil Princess from Puyallup High School. She was the first person I asked, "I'm looking for Princess Kelty." It was her.
I bought her lunch, gave her a plate and showed her buffet line and then I saved seats for the two to of us. The lunch featured spaghetti squash and baron of beef. The beef was tender and the gravy was excellent. Kelty and I became fast friends. I told her that my granddaughter Bailee Doman was a junior at Puyallup HS, and Kelty knew her. Bailee had interviewed Kelty twice for the high school newsletter. Kelty promised to say, hello to Bailee for me.
Kelty will be attending the University of Washington. She is interested in leadership and community service. She would love to work with Jostens, the suppliers of caps, gowns, and rings for high schools across the country.
My high school ring didn't make it to graduation. It disappeared from my gym locker.
Kelty likes Jostens because of what they do around the world and their own leadership programs, in which she has already participated. She is a third generation Puyallup Viking. She still lives in the same house she grew up in. This summer she is visiting Ireland and England and hoping to see Macbeth at the Globe. Kelty was interesting and bubbly.
As part of the program each princess and Queen Emily had a chance to share their dreams and tell everyone what college or university they would be attending. None of course had chosen the University of Puget Sound.
I love to hear dreams of the future. We heard lots of career paths beginning at Pacific Lutheran University, U of W, and Washington State but strangely missing were Central and Western Washington. Too bad.
Daffodil Princesses are very outgoing. They don't hold back. I wasn't held back, but I went to UPS because I had two friends attending school there. An August afternoon at Ocean Shores they encouraged me to join them, so I did. By the next quarter they had flunked out, but a few months later I met the love of my life. Dreams change.
In the early 1990s I sat on the committee to choose the Community Service Award. That's the last time I recall a couple winning the award. In 1971, David and Connie Hellyer donated their vacation property near Eatonville to Metro Parks Tacoma to be set aside as a wildlife preserve. The park became Northwest Trek which opened in 1975. At our meeting Wednesday, Past President Ray Schuler presented the 2016 Community Service Award to Karl and Christine Anderson. I love the way they held hands during the presentation.
Karl and Christine Anderson have touched the lives of thousands of Pierce County residents through their lifetime of activities. Dedicated volunteers, they do the work because they love this community. Working diligently to make a difference, Karl and Christine have served on boards and committees including the Tacoma Waterfront, Tacoma Art Museum, The Zoo, Tacoma Actors Guild, and LeMay Car Museum. Karl received, and Christine was recognized, for the 2010 City of Destiny Award under the Adult Sustained Service category.
It was nice seeing people you admire win awards and it was also nice seeing old friends at the event. Past Tacoma Rotary members Donn Irwin (now with Lakewood Rotary) and Peter Stanley (now with Gig Harbor Morning) were at the meeting to recognize Karl.
I've worked with Karl on several projects from celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Concrete Tech to leading the way with the LeMay Car Museum.
The only failing project I know of that Karl backed was saving the ferry Kalakala. But, every time I drive past the LeMay Car Museum its shape reminds me of the Kalakala. So, maybe he didn't fail.
Peg and I worked with Christine and Karl on the Pt. Defiance Flower and Garden Show. We brought in gardening super-stars to share their thoughts and answer questions.
The Andersons do so many things in our community its hard to find someone who hasn't been involved with them. Writer CR Roberts came as a guest to the Rotary event and he and Past President Steve Smith were thrilled to see Christine and Karl win. Accolades sometimes just aren't enough, but it's nice when they can be shared.
As we left the Rotary meeting Donn Irwin and I were already planning a joint-proposal for next year's winning Community Service Award. The last time I submitted a proposal, our friend Jan Runbeck won. She won for her many community service projects including the Rotacare Free Clinic at Pacific Lutheran University. The clinic saved lives of people who were working hard for their families, but who couldn't afford health insurance for themselve. I know how to pick them
The Rotaory meeting was fun and it was invigorating listening to people share their plans for the future. It was also enjoyable seeing virtue rewarded.