Oldtimers parade hits streets of Melrose

The Clovis Capital Cowbells mounted group took part in Saturday’s Melrose Oldtimers Day parade. (Staff photo: Andy DeLisle)

By Eric Butler: CNJ correspondent

Lillian Perkins cruised the Melrose Oldtimers’ Day parade route just ahead of the Melrose cheerleaders in her motorized wheelchair for a second straight year — this time dressed in a Raggedy Ann-style red yarn wig and with a sign reading: “Sakes alive, I’m only 95,” hanging from the back.

Perkins, who has lived primarily in Melrose since 1913 — when she was 2 years old — had some difficulty when her chair slowed to almost a crawl.

“It just got to where it went slower and slower. All of a sudden it just quit,” Perkins said.

Another parade entry carried members of the Melrose High Class of 1956. The 50-year reunion, by the time Old Timers’ Day was over, included participation from 18 of the original 25 class graduates.

Fana Miles, 68, of Roswell said she always comes back to her hometown for the annual summer event. But, as a member of the Class of 1956, Miles noted that this was the first time in 50 years she would be seeing some of her classmates.

“It was nice. I hadn’t seem some since when we graduated,” she said.
After the parade, the bulk of participants and spectators alike repaired to the city park for food, visiting and kids activities — like a turtle race.

Not all of the onlookers were residents of Melrose, necessarily.
Chris Sandoval of Clovis said he first came to Old Timers Day four years ago.

“I like the cars and barbecue; those are probably my favorites. And the girls aren’t bad to look at either,” said Sandoval, 61. “I like it because it’s close enough to Clovis that, if it gets too hot, you can go on back home.”