The most royal Royal Rosarian of all
Peter Glazer is going to be a towering figure for the parade season of 2007-2008.
That's not just because he is 6-7 and could pass for a retired NFL defensive end. It is because the Lake Oswego man will be inducted as the prime minister of the Royal Rosarians at a gala ball Saturday in Portland.
The spotlight will be on Glazer, along with his wife Cyndie as first lady, as he steps to the front of the Royal Rosarian parade. Which is appropriate, because parades are what Royal Rosarians do better than anybody.
'I'm a little nervous about all of the details,' admitted Glazer. 'There's going to be 350 people there and it's going to be held at the ballroom at the Portland Art Museum.'
But it's fair to assume that Glazer will be basking, not shaking, when the cream-colored cape of the Rosarian prime minister is placed around his shoulders on Saturday night. He seems to have been born to take part in grand occasions.
'I love volunteering and civic activities,' Glazer said, 'and when the Rosarians came along 10 years ago I wanted to join. The Royal Rosarians are about goodwill, good humor and frivolity.'
It is impossible to miss the Rosarians in a parade because they look like something straight out of 'The Music Man' with their double-breasted white suits, white gloves and straw hats. Their top officers also wear capes.
'Rosarians look the same as when they began 95 years ago,' Glazer said. 'Back then their fashion wasn't too imaginative, but today it really stands out. We're very visible in those uniforms.'
If Rosarians love parades, parade-goers love Rosarians.
'People watching parades love Rosarians,' Glazer said. 'I was awestruck by our reception at the first parade I was in. When we march by, people applaud, scream and whoop it up.'
Oddly enough, with all of the adulation going on, Glazer keeps an eye out for the little people who may not be having such a great time.
'I'm struck by the opportunity to make a child smile,' Glazer said. 'What I love to do is find a kid who looks unhappy, like maybe mom wouldn't get them the ice cream cone he wanted. I love to make them smile and I'm almost always successful.'
Glazer will have endless opportunities to make children smile this coming year. He and his fellow Rosarians are set to participate in an incredible 20 fabulous and exotic parades, including some really big ones, such as the Portland Rose Festival Parade, the Fiesta Parade in San Antonio, the Starlite Parade, plus parades in Tillamook, Astoria, Beaverton and St. John's.
There will be so much more, too. Just about any great occasion in Portland would be incomplete without the Rosarians. For example, they were the official greeters of the Chinese ambassador at his recent visit to Portland at the Vincent Hotel.
But the area where Glazer hopes to have special impact in his reign as prime minister is the Knighting Ceremony in June. In the past, the Royal Rosarians have bestowed knighthood on such luminaries as Lawrence Welk, Ed Sullivan and Hopalong Cassidy, as well as George Washington (as portrayed by a man in a George Washington suit) and Mickey Mouse (as portrayed by a man in a Mickey Mouse suit).
Glazer's list of potential honorees is more expansive.
'I certainly intend to be creative,' Glazer said. 'As a lawyer, I would like to see some judges knighted. Also athletes, children's authors, university presidents, musicians, charitable leaders, rock n' roll stars.'
Rock n' roll stars? You bet, starting with Portland's greatest rockers, The Kingsmen, whose classic hit 'Louie Louie' is perhaps America's favorite song after 'The Star Spangled Banner.'
'That would be so cool,' enthused Glazer. 'Couldn't you see a band up there playing the first notes of 'Louie Louie' - duh-duh-duh, duh-duh.''
It is amazing that Glazer could have so much time for marching, greeting, handshaking, honoring and generally filling the world with goodwill. After all, he has a highly successful legal practice and he is a dedicated member of the Lake Oswego Rotary Club.
Yet being in the Royal Rosarians makes his life complete.
'I wouldn't be fulfilled if I didn't have volunteer activities,' Glazer said. 'I have always loved Rotary. It's very near and dear to me. The value of the Royal Rosarians is different but it's just as good.'
Glazer is already feeling his oats as the future prime minister.
'I guarantee the Rose Parade will have good weather (next) year!' he said.
So look for Peter Glazer at your parade next year. You can't miss him. He'll be the great big guy with the great big smile, wearing a flashy white suit and marching out in front of everybody.