The Glenwood Ketchum Kalf Rodeo is coming up on Father’s Day weekend, June 15 and 16. For the first time in the rodeo’s 85-year history, a grand marshal has been chosen to lead the rodeo parade on Sunday, the 16th and this year the honor goes to 91-year old Hazel Bertschi Parsons of White Salmon.
Hazel grew up in Glenwood, attending the old Lakeside School and, later, Glenwood Schools, graduating in 1946. She loved playing music with her dad, Biz Bertschi. They often played for local dances, with Hazel playing the fiddle and harmonica, as well as singing. She still has a great love of music and dancing.
Hazel married Ralph Parsons in 1950 and they had seven children. When the children were young, Hazel and Ralph moved their family to BZ Corners, but Hazel always maintained her close ties to the Glenwood community.
She was a member of the Ladies Aid until it ceased to exist and is a current and long-time member of Glenwood Grange and the Women’s Club. After her children were grown, Hazel went to work at the Forest Service in Trout Lake, retiring in 1999 at age 72. She is a beloved fixture at the senior lunches at the Pioneer Center and has a wide circle of friends in White Salmon, Glenwood, and around the county.
She has rarely missed attending the Glenwood Rodeo and parade and, in past years, enjoyed riding on floats, with Fred Steinbach in his classic convertible, and even, occasionally, on horseback. While willing to ride a horse this year, the Rodeo Association thought a safer means of travel would be best for this spunky lady.
Dan Better generously volunteered his horse drawn carriage so Hazel could ride in style and wave to all the parade watchers who have known and loved her for many years. Accompanying Hazel in the carriage will be her lifelong friend, another Glenwood kid, Buck Smith.
Hazel has touched many lives during her 91 years and this honor is much deserved. Please join the Glenwood Rodeo Association in honoring this beloved lady during the 85th annual rodeo and parade, beginning at 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 16.