Feb 10 2014

Here's a story of a sweet little girl painted on a fermentation tank (a.k.a., a "Grundy tank"), which has moved across town from its original location at the Concordia Brewery at Kennedy School to the distillery at Cornelius Pass Roadhouse. According to distiller Bart Hance, "We sometimes call her Tank 5. Before we knew her real name we called her Brandy because she was full of brandy for several weeks."

Marian LummSay hello to Marian. In 1912, Marian Lumm's family built their house a few blocks from where Kennedy School would rise a year later. At the time, the neighborhood was a remote, sparsely settled, wooded area barely inside the city limits.

The serene character of the neighborhood during those early years is illustrated by Marian's recollection that from her front porch she could pick out the distinctive whistle of her father's riverboat as he piloted it into the Portland harbor and signaled for the city bridges to be raised.

On one memorable occasion, area residents became ecstatic when their calm was enlivened by the news of WWI's end. The Lumms learned of the peace from a young neighbor boy who barged into their kitchen while Marian and her mother were making pickles. The neighborhood came alive in celebration, she remembered, aided in no small part by the din from a 50-gallon oil drum that Mr. Lumm dragged around and around behind his Buick touring car.

Marian entered Kennedy School for first grade in 1915. Her classroom was housed in one of the several one-room portables that made up the original school. From her desk, she watched the new, permanent school building being constructed just outside the window. Midway through her first year, with the smell of fresh paint wafting through the halls, the new Kennedy Elementary opened to Marian and her fellow students.

The following summer, on a hot June day, the school's formal dedication was held. As part of the ceremonies, Marian signed her name to the list of Kennedy's first graders, and the list was placed in the building's cornerstone with other papers and mementos. Eight decades later, she saw her schoolgirl signature again when the cornerstone was opened as part of the kick-off ceremony for McMenamins' renovation of the school.

Towards the end of her years at Kennedy, Marian lost her heart to a new kid. Around 1920, Paul LeMay moved to Portland from Ohio. He entered Kennedy School and was assigned a desk near the front of Marian's sixth-grade class. One day, young Marian looked up from her desk, and to her delight, she saw a special message Paul had written just for her in chalk across the soles of his shoes: I Love You.

"And that was the most exciting thing," Marian said, the memory still eliciting a giggle all those decades later.

This write-up is one of many going up in the Kennedy School guest rooms, each of which commemorates a figure connected to the school's history.

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