The excellent articles about the death of Will Rogers half a century ago brought back one of the most poignant memories of my life.
On New Year's Day, 1936, as a member of the San Fernando High School Marching Band, I recall marching in the Rose Parade in Pasadena. Our position in the parade was immediately behind the beautiful float entered in memory of Will Rogers. It was a simple float, a solitary white horse made of white roses, with an empty saddle, and boots carried upside down in the stirrups.
We marched about seven miles in those days and every step of those miles we watched the smiling happy faces of the parade watchers slowly turn from smiles to tears as they realized what the float commemorated. It was an experience I shall never forget, and one that still sends tingles up my spine when I think of it.