IT'S SNOW TIME!--The big news since Saturday night has been the snow! It began falling around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and as I begin writing this column, the snow is still coming down in West Valley. The white-out conditions on this Martin Luther King Day have made for some very pretty photos as everything is now under a nice, new blanket of white. With temperatures in the 20s on Sunday night, the new flakes gave us white roads again, and then the several hours of new snowfall began to add up quickly. The birds were not too impressed and thoroughly enjoyed the bird seed and bread crumbs I put out for them. This makes for great bird watching as a multitude of varieties of birds come soaring in to grab a beak full!
Vehicles going off the road were fairly common on Monday; one was flipped just across the highway from my house, so those folks did not have a good day. After five hours, two tow trucks and a lot of irritated drivers, they got it cleared up. With ice underneath the snow, it only takes a minute in the wrong spot and off the road you go. So, if you really don't have to go somewhere, by all means, stay home.
By the time you read this, the snow should have been replaced by rain and with king tides and melting snow, we could be in for some flooding. Being well stocked with supplies makes being isolated a little easier, so hopefully you are well prepared.
OUTAGE--We had a power outage last Monday night and once again our readiness was tested. We did just fine, but I am glad it wasn't any colder and I didn't have to be all panicky about my water line freezing up, as that would have been a lot more hassle for sure. One of those fun things about living in the country!
SPECIAL DAYS--Those celebrating birthdays from January 19-25 are Teresa Carroll Kuljis, Bruce McClain, Ann Brown, Sharon Buennagel, Sharon Schmitz, Laura Bennett, LeeAnn Bonds, Todd Davis, Tim Hanigan, Verena Nepsund, Wayne Cochran, Inez Danielsen, Carol Cothren, Linda Seaberg, Elizabeth Frink, Jolene Wright, Trinity Thompson, Leslie Sullivan, Shirley Mae Toney, Bernice Tover, Brenda Bonny Faber, R. Marshall Everest Jr., and 67'er Don Marsyla. Here's hoping you have a wonderful birthday celebration somewhere. Left off of last week's birthday list was Criss Luthi and Kortnee Vivian. Sorry! Belated wishes to you!
RESCHEDULED--The Pioneer Community Association is happy to announce that the concert that was cancelled last weekend has been rescheduled as promised and will take place on January 28 at the Pioneer Church. Andrew Emlen, Jeffrey Reynolds and Ronald Thompson will be playing the cello, violin and piano respectively, at 7:30 p.m.
NEW SIGN--The Friends of Skamokawa are extremely grateful to all those who helped donate to the new sign that will go up sometime within the next two weeks in front of Redmen Hall. When the hall opens up once again in February, Pam Emery hopes you'll make a trip down to see the latest new exhibit and the new sign. Currently, the sign emphasizes the River Life Intepretive Center and many people think that is the building's name, so I'm guessing that this new sign will definitely be stressing Redmen Hall as it's name and the RLIC is an entity located within the hall, which will lessen the current confusion by some folks.
LOST COAT?--Ladies, did one of you happen to go to Dr. Tack's office recently and forget your coat? You might just want to scan your coat closet and see if you are shy one. I don't want to give away what this coat looks like, but if you realize you're missing one, give Dr. Tack's office a call at 795-3223 and describe it.
DOING GREAT--I have to do a little bragging here, as my only granddaughter, Tessa Sechler of Seattle, had a great picture of her published in the Ballard Neighborhood paper last weekend taken by Alan Russon of Ballard Athletics. She is just a freshmen but is on the Varsity team for the Lady Beavers for Ballard and had a great game with eight points and several rebounds, which helped with their win over the Roosevelt Roughriders 65 to 46 after being tied earlier in the game. Needless to say, the team and the family are quite happy with this win and Tessa's performance.
Tessa was also recently awarded a silver medal in the DECA contests held there. Out of over 1000 girls, she was the only freshmen to medal, so her parents, Pete and Katie, were very proud of her and so is this grandma! This is an international association of students and teachers that deals with marketing, management and entrepreneurship in business, finance and hospitality and marketing sales and service. It prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in these fields to those who are interested in those fields, in high schools and colleges around the globe. The US Department of Education has listed this organization as one of 10 in the their list of Career and Technical Student Organizations.
NOT FAR OFF--I hope you're making plans to come to the Valentine Diamond dinner being put on by the Wahkiakum County Fair board on February 11 at the Skamokawa Grange Hall. This is always a fun evening and who knows, you could be the lucky winner of this year's diamond heart-shaped necklace or another of their wonderful prizes. It's a great filet mignon dinner with potato, salad and dessert and a glass of wine or other beverage if you so choose and a ticket to win the necklace, with more tickets on sale at the dinner to up your odds! Hope to see you there. Buy your tickets today at the Bank of the Pacific for $25.
HAVE PHOTOS?--Do you happen to have any photos of the Cathlamet area taken around the 50s stuck away somewhere that you'd like to share? David Hansen would like to see them and maybe pick out a few for a book he is writing so if you've got some good clear pictures of the downtown area or some of the "flats" down where the marina area is now, he'd sure like to see them. Give me a call and I'll direct you to David or go by the Julia Butler Hansen house and let them know you'd be willing to share your photos.
MORE GAS STATION INFO--My apologies for last week's switcheroo, which happened when the stations in Skamokawa were mixed up. Yes, it was the Exxon station that was near the Duck Inn and the Chevron was near the foot bridge that is there now. I am getting a lot of calls about what various folks remember about the gas stations and other info, and so that makes me feel good as I know you are reading my column and obviously paying attention to details. Good job everybody! Now, I did hear that the Exxon station had been an Enco station at one time, so that was new to me, and I also heard that we not only had two stations down here but three! Vickie Anderson Reid said that her grandfather, Ivan Anderson, had a Shell station over on the Oasis side of the slough back in the day. Dennis Reid had worked at the station at one time, as did Fred Willett and Larry Longtain. The general consensus was that only they delivered bulk fuel, rather than both of them as someone had thought before.
Nova McNally wanted to let me know that at one time, the Chevron station was owned by Ken McNally and that was when Nova met him. He later went on to own and operate his own trucking company. Later the station was run by Bill Garrison and Mr. Neimi. Who else? Surprisingly, Ken also owned Redmen Hall for a very short time, so that was certainly new to me as well, and Nova said he bought it for just $300, what a deal!
Dennis Emery says he remembers there being an owner named Reeves at that Chevron station. Does anybody have any more information on that owner? Dennis believes the daughter's name was Sharon and someone by the name of Dwight was one of the family members. Now here's a new memory from Dennis and that was that this station had a fantastic hamburger stand by it that was open just a couple of months during the summer and they served "killer burgers and shakes." He wasn't sure on the name, but possibly the "In 'N' Out." Anybody remember that? Owners' names? Dennis says that he remembers getting raw honey from Howard and Babe Peterson as he had honey bees, so there's one more memory to add to the Howard Peterson story. Thanks, Dennis.
When it came to the Abe Creek Station, who better to give me information about it but Roger Davis, as it was his mother Maxine Robinson and his stepfather Ray Robinson, who owned and operated the Texaco station there. I was also told it was a Union 76 station but no one else thought so. According to Roger, Ray built the entire place himself. It opened in the early 1950s, however they had problems with robberies and one time, Roger's Mom was tied up and held at gunpoint, and that was the last straw for the couple, so they closed the place up, which was in either 1969 or 1970 Roger said. Ray Robinson worked with my Uncle Leon Healy and it seems they helped build the road across from the station for Calvin Brothers Logging.
The station (Snyder's) that was located where the doctors' office is now not only was a station, a garage and a place to buy presto logs, but teenagers like Gene Healy and the Krist Pedersen boys, used to sell Cascara Bark there back in the day. The Tibb station was a place where one could sell blackberries and those same boys could make a few bucks that way when they turned in those plentiful Evergreen berries and that was at the corner of Jacobson Road and Columbia Street near the sub-station. Later on I'm told, Walter Tibbs operated the Chevron where it is located today. I remember owners Ray Nelson and Marv Davenport and of course the current owners, Greg and Barb Bains. Others?
There was also a station at Oak Point I'm told, although I only remember a store being there myself. As I go through that winding area of SR 4 between Mill Creek and Cameron Creek, it's hard to believe that a store and station used to be in that small turn out area! This was owned by the Hedrick family. Anyone know anymore about them? They had a son named Steve that went to school during the same period as Gene Healy up in Longview, so maybe someone can expand on that.
Another name I hadn't heard of before was that of Ivar Klingberg, who evidently sold the service station at the end of Cathlamet to Howard Carriker. Ivar was one of those who was famous for being in the 82nd airborne division that parachuted into enemy territory during the war.
Most everyone I talked to said that the station up at Bunker Hill actually never got to open as a gas station, as they had problems with the water coming off the hill, but it did operate as a repair shop/garage for awhile I'm told, so I'm thinking they are probably right. Owners of the place? So far, no one seems to know.
My thanks to Mike Lawrence, Dennis and Vickie Reid, Dennis Emery, Roger Davis, Nova McNally, Sandra Gibson, Gene Healy, David Hansen, Ralph Keyser and everyone else that called to share their stories this past week about the gas station story and other memories.
Remember, these are other people's memories and so I'm not trying to present them as facts; all information shared is therefore subject to some scrutiny by others! So, my hint to everyone who would like to preserve their memories and to be able to prove them as well, is to go out and take pictures, write the dates on them, and start your own book of memories. Trust me, future generations will love you for it!