DOMINATING WEATHER--Once again the weather has been the dominant source of conversation as the snow began to melt, the lowland areas began to flood and the wind began to howl, which meant trees were coming down, slides were happening here and there and power outages also happened. By the time our neighbors to the south got hammered with most of the rain, and our neighbors to the north were dealing with a batch of snow and freezing rain, we were actually sitting in a pretty good spot by comparison. I have to admit, I'm ready for winter to be over and they say we may have seen the last of any snow, but quite frankly, I'm not going to believe that, although I hope it's so!
These storms and outages have given us an insight as to how ready we are for an emergency. I was flabbergasted to see how many people were still so unprepared when their power went out. With these storms being forecast so far ahead of time, there wasn't much excuse for not having a back-up plan of sorts.
Flooding is another matter that many need to be aware of and requires a different list of things to do in order to prepare for it. With a lot of rain due this week, we hope everyone will be mindful and take extra care when dealing with water over the roadways and call authorities if they see any flooding activity going on in their area.
SPECIAL DAYS--Those celebrating birthdays from January 26-February 1 are Kaylynn Kaattari, Linnette Hoven, Brandon McClain, Becky Thacker, Sam Tarabochia, Emma R. Lindsey, Angela McNally, Gary York, Deanna Simpkins, Sherry Ostling, Margie Moore, Nicholas Kubacki, Cindi Pedersen, Pamela Priestly and grandson, Luke Sechler.
Celebrating their anniversaries this week are Mr. and Mrs. Hoby Thacker and Mr. and Mrs. Mel Dominique. Happy days to one and all! We're also sending belated anniversary wishes to Louis and Kelly (Nettles) Recupero in Australia who celebrated their special day on January 22!
GET WELL--We'd like to send get well wishes to Susan McClain Kuhn who has been in the hospital, and we wish her a speedy recovery. There seems to be a multitude of folks who are under the weather with colds and other problems, so we hope you'll all be feeling better soon.
SYMPATHIES--Our deepest sympathies are extended to the family of Marvin Holland, who passed away at the age of 89 on January 17. He is survived by his daughter Linda Toste and son Larry Holland, as well as a sister Cora Irving, four grandsons, a great grandson and many other members of the Holland family. I have memories of Marv from early childhood as he was part of the fisherman family which was my world, and later on, I talked with him often when he came up to the Hotel Cathlamet to visit with wife Ruth while she was there, as was my mom, and often at the Duck Inn where he'd come to visit and share stories with others. Again, our sincere condolences to all his friends and family members for their loss.
NEW BOOK--We want to offer our congratulations to Mike Rees, as he has just published a new book, The Remarkable Voyage of H.M.S. Racoon 1813-14 and will be available at Redmen Hall when it reopens next week, as well as the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria. You may recognize Mike's name from some of his photography work that is displayed in the Tsuga Gallery in Cathlamet, so he is a multi-talented man. Again, congratulations on your latest endeavor, Mike!
BUSY TIMES--The Skamokawa Grangers met last Monday night, and we enjoyed a wonderful potluck dinner with new member, Donna Moody, who is one of three new members that have joined our group this year; Clayton Easley and Vickie Allenback are our other two new members, so we are happy to have them with us.
The grange will be a busy place this year. Coming right up will be the Valentine Diamond Dinner on February 11 and once again, it will be a wonderful dinner served up by members of the Wahkiakum Fair Board, as well as other volunteers and supporters of the fair. If you'd like to help out, call Becky Ledtke at 795-3434 or leave a message at the fairgrounds, 795-3480. You can buy tickets for the dinner at the Bank of the Pacific and if you're the lucky ticket holder, you could also be the winner of the diamond necklace being given away!
On February 25, the group Detour will be playing at the grange hall, and we hope you'll come down to hear them. Last year they had to cancel their performance when their van with all their equipment broke down. Needless to say, we hope they make it here safe and sound this time. I'll be talking more about that at a later date.
On March 3, we expect to have the Celtic festival back at the grange hall. Last year they were here in August, but they're making plans to come early this year, so when I get a complete list of their activities, I'll let you know.
In April, we'll have wilderness training at the end of the month, which will be put on by the members of Columbia River Kayaking/Skamokawa Paddle Center, so anyone interested in that should contact Mark Whittaker.
Our grange will be participating in the Pomona Grange contests in May and everyone is invited to enter, not just grange members. Just about anything you would enter into the fair, you can enter into this contest, so whether you're a terrific baker, seamstress, photographer, wood worker, etc., we hope you'll enter some items into this contest. If your item is among the best, it will continue on to the state level and you could win a few bucks. You can go online and check out the grange's handbook and read the requirements for your particular class.
June 2 will be the date of the big car show and sturgeon derby put on by the Wahkiakum Dollars for Scholars group; this is a huge fund raiser and a whole load of fun so we hope you'll plan on attending, if not particpating in it. Feel free to call me or Lee Tischer as we'd love to have you on board.
Our biggest grange event is going to be taking place on June 29 and 30 and July 1 with the Smoky Water Follies. Plans are being set in motion already and if you'd like to take part in this next show, contact Sunrise Fletcher at 795-8770 or Adele Swift.
That's the first half of the year and as you can see, the grange hall will see plenty of action, and we hope you'll come and support these events and help keep our grange hall doors open. We appreciate all of you who have been behind our efforts.
MORE GAS STATION NEWS--Once again I open this continuing story with a correction. The name "Niemi" should have been "Nimmo" when speaking of owners of the former Chevron station here in Skamokawa. My hearing must be going bad, sorry! The Nimmo family had a daughter, Sharon and a son, Dick/Richard Jr. I got a call from Tom Bond and it was a relative of his that once had that station and his name was Dwight Reeves; his kids were Sandra and Larry. Not too long ago, I met up with Sandra after all these years, as she was in town with cousin, Kathy (Bond) Peek and we all had lunch. Deb Moonen called and said her dad, Jack Moonen also ran that station for awhile. Ralph Keyser believes it was Bill Garrison who was the last owner, but I've had folks tell me that Don Lloyd had it after that, so I'm in a quandary as to exactly the order and times of ownership. According to Juanita Parsley Shelton, it was Don that filled up her gas tank as she was headed out of town to get married, so she says she remembers him vividly and that would be 1960. They also had the burger stand. Once again, we have multiple people remembering it as the "In and Out" and others who said it was "Dot and Don's" after Dorothy and Don Lloyd so, again, not positive about that. We know that folks often call things by a pet name rather than the real name. For example, we called the Skamokawa Store Hoby's long after it was no longer owned by Hoby Thacker.
I am anxious to read the new book being written about Skamokawa businesses "back in the day" and other interesting Skamokawa folks and facts when Teresa McNally and Sandra Gibson have their work published and maybe they will be able to shed some light on some ownership issues as they've done a lot of research on this. When it comes out, I'll let you know where to buy a copy!
Also, only the Enco/Exxon station had bulk fuel. According to Ralph Keyser, it was Howard Madden that ran the station and it was Harold that managed and delivered the bulk fuel to most of the loggers in the area. I've also found someone who actually has the old Enco sign!
Another spot that had gas pumps was brought up by Ralph, that I haven't heard about, was that of a couple out at Crown Zellerbach's Family Camp in the Elochoman. It seems there was a little store with a confection counter and they sold lunch making items and things. Ralph didn't know the name of the first owners but it was the Weber family who were the second owners in the 1940s and then some folks by the name of Wonser bought the property and removed the gas pumps and the confections and just ran it as a little grocery store for a few years. Very interesting! Anybody able to expand on this store, station or owners?
It also seems that in the 1940s, Abernathy Park was a hopping place to be on weekends and someone actually had a station at the intersection of Abernathy Creek and SR 4. According to Ralph K. However it was only there for a couple of years. And yes, even Stella had a gas station and garage at one time!
Several people had given me information on the station which was in the curve east of Oak Point and just west of Cameron Creek. While I remember a store there, it seems they also had one gas pump. Owners were Gid and Peggy Hedrick. Gay Richards has a lot of information on that store and station and their owners and I'll expand on that one next week after sifting through more information that is said to be coming my way.