Story & Photos – Joseph Boyle
Back in about 1925 there was big trouble on the Puyallup Valley hop farms. That’s right, hops for beer. That is the kind of trouble that can strike fear in the hearts of any dedicated beverage imbiber.
Disease struck the crops that Pioneer Ezra Meeker had promoted as a reason to settle the Puyallup Valley. The economy was headed for disaster.
The valley soil was still rich and productive. The question was what should they do with the farmland now that the hop industry was dying?
Someone said, “I have an idea. Daffodils should be the replacement crop.”
A year later in 1926 Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Orton hosted a huge garden party at their farm estate, featuring the opportunity for their guests to view and enjoy the various varieties of daffodils.
79 years later we are still celebrating the annual garden party, which is known as the Daffodil Festival.
On Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. I had the great pleasure of being invited to the Curtis High School Theater, as sort of an honorary Uncle Joe. I watched with great pride, as my young friend, Ms. Chelsea Miller competed for the honor of becoming the Curtis High School Daffodil Princess. I was a proud uncle too, I tell “ya”.
The competition was fierce, friendly and inspiring.
Each woman dolled up to look her very best. Great energy was spent making each woman’s hairstyle, makeup and formal dress, look ever so lovely. After all, this was an important evening.
The evening events included a series of activities during which each candidate was judged for her performance.
All four women had a private interview with a Daffodil Festival judge.
Each woman stood before a microphone and presented her short prepared speech to the large audience assembled in the theater.
The last activity required each candidate to make a short impromptu response to the surprise question drawn from a decorative wicker basket.
The theme for this year’s festival is “Don’t Stop Believing”.
The four lovely candidates were as follows:
Ms. Natalie Johnson escorted by Mr. Robbie Griffin.
Ms. Chelsea Miller escorted by Mr. Joe Ton. (Chelsea was my favorite, of course, since I am her honorary Uncle Joe).
Ms. Eunice Kim escorted by Mr. Brett Redding.
Ms. Natasha Sioda escorted by Mr. Connor Wool.
If we strip me of my Uncle status, I have to tell you that all four are terrific women. You can just tell. All of the candidates could easily represent Curtis High School, very nicely.
I have to comment on the escorts too. Each of them was very impressive standing tall in his black tuxedo. For the night, each one of them was a true gentleman. Keep it up boys. You can go far in life conducting yourself in such a gentlemanly fashion.
Win, lose or draw, all four princess candidates are better for having competed for the judges’ nod.
The hard part is the judges can only select one of the applicants to represent Curtis High School in the Daffodil Festival.
“And the winner is, Ms. Eunice Kim.” She lit up when her name was called. What a great life experience.
While it has to be a crushing disappointment to have tried and not have been selected, candidates Natalie, Chelsea and Natasha were all so very gracious to Princess Kim.
Why is that? I can tell you why. All four candidates are terrific young women. While all four could not be selected last night, all four will be selected for other honors and accomplishments as they move forward in their respective lives.
If you want to have some fun in 2012, check out the Daffodil Festival website at www.daffodilfestival.net.
Congratulations Natalie, Chelsea, Eunice and Natasha for your wonderful efforts and accomplishments last night. Everyone in the packed audience is so very proud of you.