Susan Pool had seen the blanket dozens of times.
“My mother used this to wrap around a giant ceramic Santa Claus that was in a cedar chest for years,” she said.
It wasn’t until Mom, and the cedar chest, moved in with Susan that the family discovered the blanket was something more.
On its front — the side always facing Santa — is a big collegiate letter P, 16 colored stars, the year 1923, and the name L.L. Hoar.
L.L. was Susan’s grandfather, Leslie, a standout athlete and later coach at Pacific University in the 1920s — and one of many historic Pacific connections for the family. It is likely that the blanket was a senior gift for athletes, not unlike those that today’s Boxers receive upon graduation.
Susan got in touch with Pacific through a friend and arranged to return the blanket to its origins. Her sister, Linda Ikeda, added to the gift, donating a tiny, but loud, silver coaching horn their grandfather had used.
“We had (the) coaching horn on top of the piano for 35 years,” Linda said. “My children have heard it at their athletic events.”
Both women recently visited the Forest Grove campus to reconnect the family with Pacific, deliver treasure from the past — and to learn more about their beloved grandparents.