A short history of the Portland Skyliners Tall Club
The Portland Skyliners first formed in 1955 and incorporated in TCI in 1957. Each year female club members can compete for the title of Miss Tall Portland and go on to represent the Skyliners in the Miss Tall International® Pageant held at the annual TCI convention. Click to read more about our club's history.
Evidently the idea to start a club in Portland was spawned in 1955 by Dick Brown and Pat Richter, the proprietor of a woman's tall clothing store located on 6th Street in Portland. However, it was not until September 1957 that the club actually became incorporated.
From an article by Ken Woodside that was published in Tall Topix, June 1959, "We started as a handful in August 1957. Yours truly was asked to join as a charter member, but, unfortunately, I turned my back on them, thinking it would never get off the ground. Besides, I didn't like tall girls. However, due to supreme efforts of people like Gwen Roberts, Ardet Monk, Dick Brown, Jean Delsman, and many others who will clobber me for not mentioning them, the club prospered. About then I jumped on the ol' band wagon."
"...our club is ...combining our second anniversary party in August with the Northwest Convention. All this in one package should prove to be a really big show. We have to concede that the Northwest get-together is a Seattle brain child, a good idea that we hope to continue. Joining the AATC (TCI formerly known as AATC--American Affiliation of Tall Clubs--Ed.) is a way we hope to solve mutual problems, exchange ideas..."
As early as 1961, Skyliners began trekking to the annual TCI convention. In 1977, the Portland Skyliners welcomed their tall friends to the Pacific Northwest when they hosted convention at the Inn of the Seventh Mountain. Highlights included a parade in Bend, a hayride to a river site for a buffalo BBQ, square dancing with Slick Fox, log rolling, and a beaver hunt. In 1985, the Skyliners hosted the TCI convention "ExplOregon" at Rippling River Resort (now named Inn at the Mountain). Convention goers returned to Portland once more in 2007 when the Skyliners hosted "Tall Trails Lead to Oregon."
We support two non-profit organizations, TCI FOUNDATION and MARFAN FOUNDATION
Please see details about TCI Foundation and scholarships for tall teenagers under our SCHOLARSHIP tab.
Marfan Syndrome is a condition that affects connective tissue. Because connective tissue is found throughout the body, Marfan Syndrome can affect many body systems including the skeleton, eyes, heart and blood vessels, nervous system, skin, and lungs. Marfan Syndrome affects the long bones of the body, and thus is often found in taller people.
MISS TALL PORTLAND
Soon after the club formed, members selected a Miss Tall Portland to represent the club. However, it was not until 1962 that a local queen attended convention and competed in the Miss Tall International® Pageant. The first Portland contestant to win the title of Miss Tall International® was Susanne Baumann in 1965. Since then, more than two dozen women have held the title of Miss Tall Portland.
MR TALL PORTLAND
The Mr. Tall Portland tradition was first begun by Jeanne "Jan" Roeper Grohs who was chairman of the second annual Queen's Ball. (A charter member, Jan is still a member of the club.) It was held in the "Queen's Room" at the Imperial Hotel. The king selection was made with judging by audience participation using the following rules in making their selection:
SHAPE OF LEGS: Sturdiness, Muscle Appeal, Dimples
PERSONALITY: Amicable, Effervescent, Sexy
STRUCTURE: Tendon Tension, Curvacious Calves, Limb Flexibility
We do occasionally choose to elect a Mr. Tall Portland these days, though the criteria is much more flexible.
The Portland Skyliners enjoyed a long history of award-winning Starlight Parade floats. However, prior to the Starlight Parade, there was an event called the Merrykana Parade. The club's first entry followed the theme "Your Feets Too Big," from a song by the same name. Miss Tall Portland 1961, Jennie Shepley, and the second Mr. Tall Portland, Mike Scheckla, and their courts rode on that float. The theme was carried out by putting Mike in a bathtub with his "too big" feet hanging over the end of the tub.
The club continues to participate in Rose Festival events such as the 82nd Avenue and St. John's parades.