This impromptu parade is welcoming a new bride to Hood River. Alva Day took many great pictures of this parade as it worked its way through downtown in July of 1931. It looks like this was a welcome diversion from the daily trials of the Great Depression.
"Cleo" was Cleo Irene Gerrish of Odell, who had recently married Jake Benzel. She lived in this area most of her life, passing away in 2007 at 101 years of age. Perhaps some of you knew her.
Alva Day's composition of these parade pictures is unusual. He never shows Cleo's face, but every frame is full of great views of people reacting to the parade. From the kids watching to the people out on the balcony to the band in the pickup truck, this has a real Normal Rockwell feeling to me. These parades must have been a tradition, as we have photos of different parades with other brides and grooms.
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
I do not know if this would fall into the catagory of "chiveries", but I remember going to some when I was a little girl. Part of it was that the new groom had to push the bride up the street in a wheelbarrow.
charlott on 13th March 2013 @ 7:03am
When the truck wasn't hauling around wedding parties, I wonder what it was normally used for?
Boy, talk about being in the limelight! I wonder if they are on their way to the train station.
l.e. on 13th March 2013 @ 7:36am
I was kind of wondering the same thing, l.e., but further wonder, with the Alva Day connection, if it wasn't a Pacific Power truck and pole trailer?
spinsur on 13th March 2013 @ 7:47am
Who or what is the "OWENS" reference on the sign?
db on 13th March 2013 @ 8:10am
Spinsur.....This probably answers our question.
From the May 19, 1966 Mt Adams Sun:
JAKE BENZEL NOW RETIRED
Jake Benzel, pre-PUD resident of White Salmon and since then employed by Pacific Power & Light Company in Hood River, retired last week after working for PP&L for 41 years
Fellow employees gave Jake and his wife Cleo a farewell party at the Alpinee Hut. Jake's gift was a wrist watch to tell him when it is time to quit fishing.
l.e. on 13th March 2013 @ 8:37am
And...a great picture of the old Bartmess Building where I lived from 1952 to 1955.
Bill Seaton on 13th March 2013 @ 9:56am
If i dig through things, I could find the newspaper article about my grandfather - Albert Peters - and his marriage to Marguerite Millikin in 1912 (?) but I do know it says there was an 'impromptu parade for the bride and groom and friends through the streets of Hood River.' So it must have been a tradition for many years -- you hardly ever hear a bridal procession in cars, honking loudly, from the church to a reception any more but I think that was a hold-over from the early 'parades'. Love Cleo, sitting all alone in that little trailer, being taken to her future.
Jill Stanford on 13th March 2013 @ 11:22am
Jill....it will be so wonderful when the Hood River newspapers are finally digitized (I think that is the right word) and available online. Then you won't have to "dig through things" to find out information about your grandparents.
Just "google" their names.
There is quite a bit of online information in the Mt Adams Sun and the Goldendale Sentinel about Jake Benzel.
The problem is, you end up reading the entire paper.
l.e. on 13th March 2013 @ 1:30pm
One of the old customs around Hood River was a few weeks after a marriage, friends, families and neighbors would go to the home of the bride and goom with horns, beating on pots and pans and in some of those instances then they would take them to town and parade them up and down the streets.
Jake and Cleo's daughter still resides in Hood River.
charlott on 13th March 2013 @ 4:51pm
I spent a very happy day in the basement of the library maybe 1985 or so paging through old copies of the paper. Yellowed and dusty but I found all the things I was looking for -- including what I wrote above. I filled a notebook with what i found. My favorite was Truman Butler, stopping to greet my grandfather and his new wife, stepping backwards and plunging down a freight elevator that had just opened behind him. He was hurt but recovered -- there was a follow-up article about his recovery. Really, the image of him doffing his hat and then disappearing must have been something to witness.
Jill Stanford on 13th March 2013 @ 7:53pm
The papers are not in the "basement" anymore. They are bound by year almost next to Buzzy's office. But you are correct....it will be nice to have them digitalized. And like you, I end up reading the whole year's worth before I can leave.
Judy on 15th March 2013 @ 9:07am