City’s keeper

2013 July 4th Parade Grand Marshal Pat Reed looks out onto Forest Park from The Lodge (Photo by Robert Herrington)

2013 July 4th Parade Grand Marshal Pat Reed looks out onto Forest Park from The Lodge (Photo by Robert Herrington)

This year’s parade marshal Pat Reed is passionate about all things Noblesville

On a humid, sunny afternoon day, Pat Reed, the 2013 Noblesville July 4th Parade and Fireworks Festival Grand Marshal, stands in the parking lot of The Lodge at Forest Park. To the longtime Noblesville Parks Board member’s south, golfers are enjoying their round at Forest Park and summer camp children are running around playing games. To his west, a family enjoys a picnic at a shelter and others can be seen on the playground. And to the north, the sounds of splashing and laughter can be heard from the aquatic center.

“It makes my heart glad,” Reed said with a smile.

CINSeeing youth enjoy the amenities of Forest Park reminds the 85-year-old of when he was a child living in Noblesville.

“When I was a kid, we sledded down the hill at the park, but we didn’t have cars to drive us,” Reed said. “We walked there and sledded all day and walked home. We had some long, cold days.”

During the 1930s, 40s and 50s, the Forest Park Inn was a restaurant and residents spent Sundays out dining and enjoying the park, log cabin, swimming pool and ballpark.

“Almost everybody was at the park at some time during the summer,” Reed recalled. “We’d pack a lunch, go to the park and play on the playground, have lunch and then go swimming in the pool. We wrapped our sandwiches with wax bread paper so we could sit on it and go down the slide quicker.”

As an adult, Reed can still be spotted at Forest Park.

“I’ve loved Forest Park all my life, and I still love it,” he said. “I’m out there every day. If we have a heavy snow, I’ll see if we’re cleaning the walk off.”

Reed was appointed by Mayor Pat Logan to the park board in 1989 and is now in his 26th year. Public service was instilled in Reed from his parents, Helen and Frank Reed, who were also lifelong residents of Noblesville. In addition to working for Hare Chevrolet for 61 years, Reed’s father served the city as a council member for two decades.

“My dad was on the city council four or five times. He was elected or appointed in the ’30s and ’40s,” Reed said. “When I was a kid, dad was on the council and when I became of age, I ran for council.”

DSC_0337Reed served on the Noblesville City Council from 1976 to 1979. During that time he also served on the plan commission, which he has now done for 30 years. He also was mayor pro tem for Robert Wical – occasionally.

“He wasn’t out of town too much,” Reed joked.

During his life, he’s worked at Firestone from 1950 to 1990, was a Noblesville realtor for 60 years, was married to his high school sweetheart (Jane Alice Martz Reed) for 61 years before her death in November, and has lived in the same house for 62 years.

“His passion and knowledge of Noblesville make him an invaluable asset to the city and a mentor to me,” Noblesville Parks Director Don Seal said.

“Pat has given back to this community so much through the years. We appreciate all he has done for the city, especially through his longtime service on the parks board and plan commission,” said Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear.

When Reed was 10, he began working as a newspaper delivery boy and during the summers before and after his senior year, he was the “ice man.”

“I delivered ice to ice boxes for 25, 50 or 75 cents depending on size. I was about in everybody’s kitchen because refrigerators weren’t very popular in that day,” he said.

It was the experience in and out of people’s homes that inspired Reed to become a realtor. In 1950, Reed earned his license after seeing an ad about a home for sale.

“I knew every house that was for sale, and I had been in every one of them,” he said, adding he wished he kept track of exactly how many during his 60 years as a realtor. “I’ve sold an awful lot of homes in Noblesville to and for people.”

Robert Herrington

Managing editor of Current in Noblesville. A 1999 graduate of Noblesville High School, Herrington has been covering Noblesville and Hamilton County as a journalist since 2004. The military brat lived all over the east coast before calling Noblesville home since 1994. He and his wife, Maggie, live in the community with their baby daughter (and youngest Boston Red Sox fan), Caroline. From school board to common council meetings, First Friday events and summer concerts in the city parks, Herrington loves to attend and cover all that Noblesville has to offer.

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