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The Suburbanite
  • Hall of Fame Memories:1973: Glen and Lassie stood out in parade

  • Both of the stars of the 1973 Hall of Fame Festival were known for their hair.

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  • Both of the stars of the 1973 Hall of Fame Festival were known for their hair. The thick locks of country music singer Glen Campbell, the parade marshal for the festival’s Grand Parade, were familiar to fans when they saw his always-combed hair on album covers. And Lassie, one of the favorite celebrities in the parade that year, was well-known for her flowing, blonde, coiffure of a pop-culture collie.
    The Hall of Fame enshrinees were the real celebrities in the parade that year, of course. But it was a small class. Only a trio of football greats — Raymond Berry, Jim Parker, and Joe Schmidt — were enshrined in the hall on July 28, 1973.
    They rode in the parade and were applauded loudly and enthusiastically. Still, a large amount of commotion also was caused by the passing on the parade route of the popular country singer and the famous canine.
    Many other celebrities came to Canton for the festivities, selected ultimately by members of that year’s Celebrity Committee made up of Larry Pitts, chairman of the Hall of Fame Parade Committee; Janice Meyer of the Greater Canton Chamber of Commerce; and Edward V. Ferry, chairman of the Celebrity Committee.
    Among the noted who rode in the parade in 1973 were stage actor Noel Harrison, who starred in “Camelot;” television actor Jud Strunk, who appeared on “Laugh-In;” Jack Kemp, the quarterback-turned-congressman who served as guest speaker for the Enshrinees Civic Dinner; Cheryl Yourkvitch, Ohio’s entry in the Miss America contest; and Jacqueline Urbanek, the state’s entrant in the Miss Universe contest.
    “The parade lineup has been completed and promises to be the best ever,” Pitts told The Repository on the Friday that the festival started. “We have a grand list of celebrities, hoping to please everyone.”
    People on the parade route who saw Glen and Lassie in the parade sure seemed excited.
    The newspaper called the latter “the dog that used to pack more pathos than any human could in a half-hour TV program” when it announced that Lassie — real name “Pal” — would be riding in the parade with trainer Rudd Weatherwax of California.
    The newspaper also noted that “she” was a “he.”
    Male collies don’t shed as much as female collies, it was explained in the newspaper, so their coats look better on TV.
    It didn’t matter to the parade crowd.
    “Beautiful television star Lassie was a hit with young and old,” said the caption to a picture appearing the next day in The Repository, showing Lassie standing on the back of a convertible.
    The singer, sort of a heartthrob in a clean-cut and well-kept sense, had a predictable appeal.
    “Glen Campbell ... and Noel Harrison,” reported The Repository, “brought squeals of delight from many of the women along the route.”