Handyman's pack rat habit leads to new Rose Festival scepter - KPTV - FOX 12

Handyman's pack rat habit leads to new Rose Festival scepter


Along the St. Johns Parade route, the Clown Prince holds a piece of Portland history.

The story starts at the Pittock Mansion, in a chapter of the landmark's lore - the Columbus Day storm of 1962.

Evergreen trees crashed onto the house, while rain came in through the leaking roof and broken windows, damaging plaster walls and ceilings and the wooden floors.

“As each one of these boards got wet, they get thicker, and it was tending to push this out and it was going to break all this cornice up,” Merlyn Lewis, who repaired Pittock Mansion after the storm, recalled. “At the time it seemed like it was just another job but I was proud to get to work on it.”

Lewis helped repair the mess, working on the wood floors and servant's staircase. The self-described packrat came away with some pieces of wood that he said were, “still in pretty fair shape.”

They sat in his workshop, until his son had a great idea. Wood saved from the butler's pantry became part of a new scepter for the rose festival's clown prince.

I think it was part of a cutting board,” he said.

His son is not the only family connection, though. Merlyn's grandson Robert created the gold part of the scepter with a 3 D printer. Rose City works put it all together.

Merlyn thought the team did “a neat job” when he saw it for the first time, but believes it won't be the last time he'll lay eyes on the scepter.

“I'm sure it'll become a fixture of the Rose Festival.”

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