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Philomath Frolic & Rodeo Parade 2017 (copy)

Paul and Lola Skirvin were the Philomath Frolic & Rodeo's grand marshals in 2017.

ROSE (roz) n. One of the most beautiful of all flowers, a symbol of fragrance and loveliness. Often given as a sign of appreciation.

RASPBERRY (raz’ber’e) n. A sharp, scornful comment, criticism or rebuke; a derisive, splatting noise, often called the Bronx cheer.

We hereby deliver:

• ROSES to the return of one of the mid-valley's signature summertime festivals. The 60th Philomath Frolic & Rodeo is in full swing this weekend.

When an event like the festival achieves that kind of longevity, it's a tribute to literally generations of volunteers who have pitched in for decades to keep it running. It also suggests that organizers have worked hard to try to keep the festival fresh, and it can be tricky to strike a balance between tradition and innovation.

This year's Frolic features a number of new events and activities, including a 5-kilometer family fun run, a home run derby and a cornhole tournament. But perhaps the most intriguing twist involves the decision to replace a commercial carnival with a more homegrown lineup of activities; it will be interesting to see how that plays out this year, but it's certainly worth a shot.

We also thought it was a nice touch to designate the Confederate Tribes of Siletz Indians as the grand marshal of the grand parade on Saturday.

The centerpiece of the Frolic, of course, remains its rodeo, which continues to grow.

It all should add up to another memorable weekend in Philomath. Thanks to everyone who lends a hand to keep the Frolic a going concern.

Speaking of the Frolic:

• ROSES to the family and friends of Paul Skirvin, who died July 1 at the age of 89. The Skirvin name always will be associated with the Frolic; Paul and his brothers Carl and Walt offered the land to get the rodeo going in the first place. And Paul volunteered at the event for more than three decades. In recent years, Skirvin and the family donated the rodeo grounds to the city of Philomath with the important stipulation that a long-term lease be maintained with the Frolic. 

Paul's wife, Lola, died in August of last year. During each rodeo performance this year, the couple will be remembered with the riderless horse tradition. It's a fitting tribute.

• RASPBERRIES to news that ripped at the hearts of many a baby boomer male who grew up reading MAD magazine: The satirical magazine, whose comic DNA can be found in cultural icons such as "Saturday Night Live," "The Simpsons" and The Onion, apparently is on death's door: Its owners announced recently that the magazine's usual gang of idiots would stop producing new material (with the exception of some year-end specials).

Al Jaffee, the artist who created the magazine's intricate "fold-in" feature on its back cover, captured the magazine's appeal well in a recent interview: What distinguished the magazine, he said, was that it so often punched above its weight: “It was satirizing institutions, like advertising — specific advertisements that were misleading, such as the tobacco companies’ advertising cigarettes as soothing for your throat,” he said.

But the magazine, like many print magazines, hit tough times and had difficulty connecting with younger generations — people who didn't necessarily understand how the magazine had shaped the world view of a show like, say, "South Park." 

• ROSES to a pair of veterans at the Corvallis Fire Department who are leaving: Chief Roy Emery is retiring after a 37-year career. And Jim Patton is retiring from the department after serving 25 years as its fire prevention officer. Patton is taking a new part-time job as the fire marshal for Oregon State University — an extension, in some ways, of the work he had done with OSU fraternities and sororities while still with the Fire Department. Both men have served Corvallis residents well over the years, and we wish them the best.

• ROSES to the U.S. women's soccer team, which claimed its second straight World Cup title last weekend with a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands. And we also were impressed with the words spoken by team leader Megan Rapinoe during a ticker-tape parade Wednesday in New York City: "We have to be better. We have to love more, hate less. We got to listen more and talk less. We got to know that this is everybody's responsibility. ... It's our responsibility to make this a better place." (mm)

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