GETTING BETTER--As I began this column, the weather wasn't so great but by the evening hours, it dried up and it wasn't too bad. However, the forecasters are predicting some very nice weather for this week, with a real toasty day on Tuesday, but nice throughout the week, so by the time the Fourth of July rolls around it should be just right for barbecues, fireworks and all the holiday doings. Now we just hope they're right! Can you believe that half the year is over and we're into July already? Wow, where has this year gone?
RECAP--Last weekend saw many, many sales going on as not only did the Puget Island folks hold their garage and yard sales, but Redmen Hall here in Skamokawa held their reopening celebration and the Methodist Church held a bazaar and rummage sale and the Skamokawa Grange was the site of a Vendor's Market, so there were plenty of opportunities to shop. Like the many sales, there were many weather moments, some good and some not so good, as one minute it would be sunny and then the wind would come in like gangbusters and bring in those dark clouds that would just burst upon us and drench anything that wasn't under cover. Those of us holding sales inside were very happy to be in where it was warn and dry. Folks who stopped by the grange enjoyed the hot coffee while they looked around and like the cloudbursts, the crowds came and went in waves it seemed, as we'd go from quite a few to none and back up again.
The Skamokawa Grange appreciates those who showed up and bought tickets for our holiday basket, which is really a whole table full of things, including several smaller baskets and bags and more will likely be included by the time December rolls around. The items being given away will include all the items you'll need for a holiday dinner, which means a gift card for fresh ham or turkey, and a basket with all the trimmings, plus gifts for the whole family, which will total $300. We even had last year's winner, Lorna Backman there and she said that winning that big prize really made her holiday special. She is pretty special herself as she gave most of the things she won away to her church to distribute to those in need, so she certainly made a lot of people happy with her generosity. The grangers will have a booth in Cathlamet on Bald Eagle Day so you'll have a chance to buy some tickets then.
One winner already was Serene Snow, as anyone who bought a ticket for the holiday basket was also eligible to win a red, white and blue Fourth of July basket, and Serene jsut happened to have been that lucky person. Congrats to her! Another gift will be given away on Bald Eagle Day, so if you buy a ticket on July 19, you could also take home an extra prize that day!
SURVEYS--The postal surveys came out earlier this week and if you'd like to try and save our post office, I do hope you will not settle for one of their proposed options, and instead, mail them in with a "Keep the hours at the Skamokawa Post Office as they currently exist," or something to that effect. So, if you got mailed a survey, be sure to fill it out and mail it in, as we really need a majority of the postal users to respond to it or they will definitely see this inaction as a lack of interest in keeping this post office open as it currently is, or possibly, at all. I know that many of you have signed the petition that is at the Skamokawa General Store, and that was a great first step, but now we need to be sure that you make your signature count by filling that survey out and mailing it in, which is a very important second step. The third step will be to attend the meeting on July 29 at the Skamokawa Grange Hall at 6 p.m. I believe they are counting on summertime, dinner time and a Tuesday meeting date to thwart a large response to this petition but we need to show them that we mean business and we want to keep our post office, so please plan on attending and spread the word to all your friends and neighbors, groups and organizations. Please be there!
There are a lot of people who travel to work and if hours are cut, may find it almost impossible to use the post office if the hours are shortened, not to mention the elderly, who may have limited times to use the post office already, and of course, there are many businesses here who would be negatively impacted if the hours were changed or the post office eliminated. I don't think many people realize just how many things could be impacted by this, because many of the postal users do not have storefronts per se, like the Skamokawa Grange, the Wahkiakum County Fairgrounds, the Skamokawa Fire Department, Port 2's Vista Park, the Wahkiakum Lions Club, Gribskov's Glassblowing, Collupy Glass, Skamokawa Enterprises, and more, like the many musicians and artists that mail out their musical CD's, or jewelry and books, etc. With all of these businesses there also comes paperwork and/or advertising to mail out for these folks as well. There are multiple home businesses in our area and several B&B's and they all use the post office. I believe we need to continue to make noise about keeping our post office here and not settle for the options currently proposed which will only lead to less use, and in my opinion, could definitely cause it to close.
We have often heard that some things are "done deals" or it's a "moot point" to protest, but those people have been proved wrong before and I hope they will be again. Let's get together and dig in our country heels and put up a fight and not just sit idley by and let things get dumped on us. The least we can do is to try to save it, so spread the word and let's keep our post office here!
SPECIAL DAYS--Those celebrating birthdays from July 3-9 are Matt Helms III, Irene Martin, Patty Dursteler, Jaeden Mahitka, Justin Hoven, Debbie Kuller, Cameron Cothren, Christina Mendez, Lee Wages, Sandie York, Dean Takko and Brad Towery. George Exum and Nathan Chamberlain are Fourth of July babies, so an extra special birthday wish goes out to them!
Happy Anniversary wishes this week go out to Mr. and Mrs. Al McClain, Mr. and Mrs. Gary Emery, Carol Carver and George Exum, Hap and Dixie Anderson, Arvid and Barbara Blix, Lance and Heidi Souvenir, Rex and Veronica Gilbertsen, Mr. and Mrs. Dana McClain, Steve and Lori Smith, Paul and Mary Ann Ehrensberger and a classmate and fellow "slough rat" Greg Lloyd and his wife, Cindy. Happy days to one and all!
BALD EAGLE DAYS--Don't forget that Main Street in Cathlamet will be bustling with folks coming from all over to check out the one and only, Bald Eagle Day Parade and Festival on July 19, which is just a couple of weeks away. If you haven't already, get together a group and build a float or enter a car, and keep the theme, "Celebrating Old Ways" in mind when dressing up or putting together a display or float. There are lots of categories so check with the Wahkiakum Chamber of Commerce online or head down to their office on Main Street, or give them a call, 795-9996, as time is flying by and you'll need to get that entry in right away!
WOODEN BOAT SHOW--If you happen to be looking at an Events calendar that got sent out earlier this year, you will notice that the Wooden Boat Show is listed for July 20, right after the Bald Eagle Day festivities. However, I have been told that this event has been changed to coincide with the Buzzards Breath Chili Cookoff at the End of August, so check with the chamber about it, as it will be here before we know it. I'm told it's going to be a three day event, so if your group or organization would like to set up a booth down at the Elochoman Slough Marina during this time to raise some money, maybe it will give you a great opportunity to do so. Call Ashley at 795-9996 for all the information.
OUT OF THE PAST--Back in 1944 on June 28, which was a Wednesday, Lila Dow Garrison had a baby boy at 12:30 p.m. It was a very hot day. The rest of June was nice. July began nice but it turned cool and got wet for couple of days before turning into a gorgeous day for the Fourth of July. The Everests, along with grandson Frank Pedersen, went on a drive to Skamokawa with Ralph Eddy. Later that evening, Mrs. McCoy and some family members stopped by to visit. Grandsons Ralph B. and Frankie headed to their Aunt Bella (Pedersen) Ellison's to spend the night; their folks were in Alaska. In red ink in Grandma's diary, it says that there have been planes flying the last four or five days and Astoria was "rushed." Not good.
In 1964 the first two days of July were wet and not nice. The third day was very nice and on this day, which was a Friday, the Civil Rights Law was passed and was now the "law of the land." On the Fourth of July, a lovely day, there was a huge picnic at the home of Donna and Glenn Palmer of Longview. It included many of the Pedersen and Everest family members. Grandma Elsie said that all six of her grandkids were there. On July 5, it was a sad day for the family members of Helga Pedersen (Mrs. Jonas) of Puget Island, as she passed away. She was survived by five sons, Krist, Peder, Walter, Holger and Verner and five daughters, Bella Ellison, Margaret Peterson, Norma Hall, Grace Moore and Nancy Fuller. Eldest son Krist Pedersen came down from Alaska on Tuesday and a huge crowd gathered together at the First Lutheran Church on Wednesday, July 8, for her services. Mrs. Wika and Mrs. Svensen sang songs in Norwegian and Mrs. Kaste sang as well. All this according to Grandma Elsie Everest's diaries.