BY SUSAN SCHELL, Pilot Staff Writer
Frenchy Arrell's wrists will get a good workout this Saturday ? he will do a lot of waving, riding as the Grand Marshal in the 63rd Azalea Festival Parade on May 23. His wife Maxine will ride with him.
Arrell pondered his upcoming parade duties, "I don't know what I'm supposed to do," he said with a quirky sense of humor that's hard to translate into print.
"I guess I'm supposed to sit there and wave at people when I go by. I guess I'll judge pictures and flower arrangements."
When asked what type of vehicle he will be riding in during the parade, he answered, "I don't know. I hope I don't have to walk."
Arrell is a long-time Brookings resident who was instrumental in implementing an ambulance service and blood bank in the town's early days. He moved to Brookings on May 1, 1951.
Arrell bought a drug store at the end of the Gardner Building, now Kerr's Ace Hardware. While working as a pharmacist, Arrell began keeping a list of his patients' blood types. This list eventually became the town's first blood bank.
"When the need (for a blood donor) arose, I would be contacted," he said.
"I would look up the person that had the type of blood needed and make arrangements with them to be at the hospital at the appointed time.
"This ?walking blood bank' went on until the roads were improved and blood could be brought in from an outside source."
Arrell was aware of the need for an ambulance service. He helped form an ambulance association to raise money to purchase one.
The organization still operates to this day as Cal-Ore Lifeflight Air and Ground Ambulance.
Arrell is still an active world traveler, but will make a point to be in town for the parade.
"It is an honor to serve as grand marshall," he said.