Earlier this year Edna Leppell announced that she was no longer going to be clowning around on the Fourth. A staple in the 4th of July parade for many years Edna has retired, so the Forks Old Fashioned 4th of July decided to thank her for her years in the parade and send her out with a bang!
In her clown suit aboard a decorated golf cart, with her dog, Edna has delighted in making families laugh in West End parades for so long she doesn’t remember how long!
Edna hasn’t just clowned around she has spent decades helping out wherever she can.
Bouquets and a greenhouse for Forks Long Term Care residents, founding what is today the West End Youth Baseball League, establishing 9/11 and Vietnam veterans’ memorials, and making yellow signs to remind passers-by “This family is supported by timber dollars” are only a sampling of her accomplishments.
Edna has done so many things in our community that they cannot even begin to be listed! So thank you, Edna, have a great time in the parade, just being yourself. Edna’s son Jerry has a special ride planned for her in the parade.
Adria Fuhrman has been selected by the membership of the West End Historical Society as the West End Pioneer for the Forks Old Fashioned 4th of July Parade. Adria’s West End roots go way back to 1914 when her grandmother and mother, who was just a baby, arrived in Forks. Recently widowed her grandmother followed brothers who had come to Forks in 1912. Once here she met Iver Iverson and they were married.
Adria said she is proud of her West End heritage and proud to say her mother was in the first class to graduate from the 1925 High School. She credits Florence Ninke for getting her interested in preserving vintage clothing, of which she has a large collection, many items once owned by West End pioneers.
Adria’s late husband Walt also had pioneer roots from the Hoh area.
Adria is in charge of programs for the West End Historical Society, she said, “It is a club notorious for members not wanting to be elected to anything, but I think people still like to sit around and talk about the old times.”
Watch for Adria in the parade she said she will be riding in a race car!
Paul Ruddell will be the honored veteran on the Forks Old Fashioned 4th of July Float in the Grand Parade on Wednesday the 4th.
As a child, Paul Ruddell attended 28 different schools, when he got out of school he joined the Marine Corp and served four years in Vietnam as a jet engine mechanic on F-4 Phantoms. He then became a long haul trucker still moving around from place to place.
Then about 20 years ago he helped his sister and brother-in-law move to Forks. When he saw Forks he knew this was the place he wanted to live.
After a few years, he finally made it here but after some health challenges found he needed help. As a veteran Sarge’s Place came to his aid, he actually credits them with saving his life! Paul said, “I love it here, I am not moving!”
“I have never been in a parade before, actually I have hardly ever seen one before!” Paul said.