SNOHOMISH — He made every day a parade.
Mike Carver’s red 1967 Ford pickup truck was a rootin’-tootin’ tribute to town pride and his Snohomish Class of ‘72.
Music blared from the truck’s 18 speakers, lights flashed and bubbles blasted from the tailgate as the man with the bushy white beard made the rounds around town on Saturdays.
People stood at attention to smile and wave.
The streets will be duller now.
Carver died unexpectedly Feb. 3. He was 69.
His son, Aaron, said services will be held within a month in Snohomish.
“He was a loving papa to all three of his grandkids (Caleb, Andrew and Savanah) and many other kids that he met,” Aaron Carver said. “I think the one important thing about my dad was that he always showed respect for everybody, no matter what their status, he always treated them like he would want to be treated. He wasn’t rich financially, but he was rich with sharing and caring, which he showed every time he drove through the streets of town playing music and blowing the bubbles.”
During the pandemic, the rides were his mission to “try to keep people in good spirits, despite all the challenges that were going on,” his son said.
Carver, who lived in Gold Bar, drove the red truck at parades and events, along with the Saturday rides.
“He’d just make his loop, drive around three or four times playing his music, with bubbles blowing out of his truck,” said Nicolette Sigler, owner of Home Inspirations on First Street. “He brought joy every week. How many people out there are like that?”
After serving in the Army, Carver milked cows for 20 years in Snohomish. He later did landscaping.
The red ’67 Ford was just his lawn-care rig until he went to his 40th class reunion in 2012. That’s what started it.
“I think everybody should be proud of the town and the school that hands them a diploma,” Carver told The Daily Herald for a 2018 story. “I transferred my senior year from Darrington. I was in foster homes. I ran away from up there. My brother in Snohomish decided to give me a try. It worked out good. That’s why I graduated.”
He wasn’t a sports star or scholar. In the 1972 yearbook by his name is “FFA,” for the agriculture club. That’s it.
In his truck, along with four boxes of music CDs, he kept a briefcase with a copy of the yearbook.
“We were No. 1 in my day. I’m trying to keep it going,” he told the Herald.
In 2019, Snohomish High School presented him with a 1972 letterman jacket that he often wore.
The school’s Facebook post this week read: “Mike had a tremendous amount of pride in his Panthers. We will miss seeing and hearing the famous red and white ’67 Ford around town and campus. Thanks for everything, Mike. Once a Panther, always a Panther.”
Tributes poured in over social media.
“We’re never going to see a Snohomie quite like this again,” one said.
“We should all start driving around with bubble makers on our cars, in his memory,” said another.
Many asked what will happen to the truck.
“His truck went to my sister, Aimee, so it will continue to stay in our family,” Aaron Carver said. “She will try to get it down to Snohomish as much as possible.”
Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @reporterbrown.
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