The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Grade school dedication was held August 19

Skamokawa News


August 24, 2017

Kay Chamberlain

Some Skamokawa Grade School alumni at the dedication ceremony of the historical marker that was erected at the site of the old school on Aug. 19.

NICE--This past weekend's weather was great, and other than a chance of sprinkles one day this week, we are still going to be basking in the sunshine they say, so I hope you're all enjoying this string of sunny weather. However, there are a few folks who aren't thrilled with all this drynes, as those running low on water or who are already out around here, are probably hoping for some rain! With fire danger extremely high, I'm guessing fire fighters are wishing for some as well. As always, be aware of the burn ban and be careful with those BBQ's. In the meantime, we're all trying to use this dry time to prepare ourselves for the next season, which, when it arrives, might keep us indoors for quite some time!

SPECIAL DAYS--Those celebrating birthdays from Aug. 24-30 are Greg Parker, Mike Vincent, Kathy Durrah, LouAnn Hedges, Kathy Perkins, Addy Helms, Linda Ougendal, Debbie Melton, Joe Turgeon, Judy Danielsen, Meredith Cothren, Dolly Hartley, Anita Blix Kangas, Darrell Trotter, Jim Robinson, Deb Pierce McCabe, Sean Pedersen and Wayne Bell. Happy Birthday to you all!

Happy Anniversary wishes go out to John and Nicole McKinley, Larry and Lesley Horman, Duncan and Heidi Heywood Cruickshank, Beryl and Randi Curtis, Mike and Sara Brown, Pete and Patti LaBerge, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Robinson and Mr. and Mrs. Steve Doumit. May all of you enjoy your special celebrations!

ECLIPSE--We woke up to thick cloud cover and cool temperatures in West Valley Monday morning, so it looked as if the big eclipse would be unseen. However, the skies cleared up and we did have a good view. It was weird how the temperatures dropped so rapidly but it was only by about 5 degrees for a brief time, but then we didn't go into total darkness like some others did, so it wasn't quite so dramatic. I was just happy that I wasn't stuck in traffic like many others were and was quite pleased watching the "total eclipse" at the various spots where that happened, on television.

BERRIES FOR SALE--The Lions Club is having their frozen berry sale once again, and there should be an order form here in the paper. There are various prices for the 10-lb. containers, depending on the kind of berries you want. These can be ordered until Sept. 11, with delivery on Sept. 16. You can also find order forms locally at the Duck Inn or the Skamokawa General Store, and if you're on the west end of the county, they are at Johnson's One Stop in Naselle, and in Cathlamet, they are in various businesses as well.

CLASSMATES MEET--The WA-KI-HI Class of 1957 got together at Parker's in Castle Rock for their 60th class reunion on August 16 and they had a good time visiting and catching up with one another. There were 12 classmates along with their spouses and friends and they included Bob Backman, Ron Baker and wife Jenny, David Cook and wife Sue, Billie Jo (Bain) Dunn and husband Gordy, Marilyn (Head) Gatens and friend Shirley (Ward) Mickle, Diana (Johnson) Gustafson-Barr and sister Evelyn Naimo, Carol (Severson) Hadley, Karen (Anderson) Healy and husband Gene, Jean (Olson) Horman and husband Ron, Lewis Valton Montgomery and wife, Joanne, Virginia (Danielsen) Ostling and husband, Fred and Frank Pedersen with his wife, Carolyn.

A few days earlier, Karen and Gene Healy along with Frank Pedersen met with Ron Ozment at the Duck Inn and had a good visit, He was only in the area at that time and couldn't join the rest of the group at Parker's four days later, but at least he got to chat with a couple of classmates.

DEDICATION--There was a nice group of folks who came to the dedication of the Skamokawa Grade School kiosk located in Skamokawa Vista Park, at the site of the former school. I failed to mention a couple of people that needed to be thanked in the making of this historical marker, and that was Keith Hoofnagle and Lisa Mooers, who were instrumental in the artwork and set up of the pictures and such, so my apologies to them for leaving them out of the list of people who were involved in this effort. Gary Emery led the dedication ceremony and others spoke as well. It was great to hear all the personal stories from those that went to school there. It appears there was some tough action taken upon those students who were disruptive and disobeying rules, as hacks and closet punishment seemed to put an end to the bad behavior real quick! The lower part of the school was a cafeteria, and also a great place to play on days that were too hot or too cold, but it seems it was also a place that some boys opted to bring a lot of snakes to, just for fun, and hear the girls scream! The lady telling the story thought one of those was Pete Peterson. Would "Skamokawa Pete" do that? Ha! Trying to hit a baseball over the gym seemed to be high on the kids' priority list and Ruth Durrah Doumit proudly said that she was able to do just that, while others admitted they had never managed it. There were all kinds of fun stories being told about teachers and various students.

As I listened to their stories, I couldn't help but think of things that my Grandma Elsie Everest jotted down in her journals. They are precious memories that no one would have known, had she not put ink to paper. So, I urged all the classmates that were there, to start writing these stories down before they were lost and forgotten, and bring them along next year. Hopefully they can put together a little booklet of Skamokawa Grade School memories, or share with me, so that I can share with you. It's really important to keep those memories alive, as if they aren't written down and shared, some of the great history and wonderful tales of life in Skamokawa, "back in the day," will be lost forever.

Here's a list of some of the "kids" that showed up for the dedication and that attended school here in Skamokawa: Gary Emery, Dennis Emery, Sherry Emery Ostling, Chris (Martin) Middleton, Enid (Martin) Fountain, Paul Martin, Danny Martin, Kent Martin, Vicki (Neely) Bergseng, Allen Neely, Alice (Neely) Seaberg, Curtis Cleveland, Ruth (Durrah) Doumit, Don Marsyla, Glenn Weist, Julie (Engleson) McKagan Taylor, Karen (Anderson) Healy, Hap Anderson, E.A. (Ron) Quigley, Mike Bain, Patsy Calvin, Chuck Carroll, Steve McClain and Susan (McClain) Kuhn. If I missed anybody, my apologies. If you were left out, please contact me to be included, but three of us worked on the list and that's what we came up with!

The Skamokawa Grade School alumni will hold a reunion next year, which will take place August 18, so all of you "kids" who went to school in Skamokawa at one time or another, please spread the word and hopefully you'll make plans to come to the reunion and the Wahkiakum County Fair at the same time! This reunion will be held at the upper picnic area by the yurts. You can contact Gary Emery for more information.

Again, a big thank-you to all who made this marker possible, as it's a wonderful addition to Vista Park!

Kay Chamberlain

Gary Emery speaks to the crowd about the Skamokawa Grade School at the original site of the former school, now Sk. Vista Park. Gary Emery and Gary Bergseng built the kiosk where it now stands. Others involved in putting the picture board and information together were Keith Hoofnagle, Lisa Mooers and Kent and Irene Martin.

FAIR WRAP UP--I don't think we could have had better weather for the fair, as it wasn't too hot, nor was it too cold, and it wasn't pouring down rain, so hey, that's a big deal all by itself! I was pleased to see the Youth Building nice and full of items, as we have some great kids coming up that can really make things, grow things, draw things, build things or take pictures of things, so that's always encouraging. The T-building had a nice array of flowers, photographs and arts and quilts and handmade things, but it seemed the fruit and vegetable section was a bit skimpy this year for some reason, but hopefully that will improve next year. Some wonderful hand-made kites were a bright spot in the craft area, as the two that were there were really bright and colorful and the workmanship was out-standing! All the musical acts I heard were all great I thought, so I hope you got to listen to some of them. Kudos to everyone who helped out to get the grounds and the buildings all spiffed up, as this is always a huge job, so those who take the time to be a part of the fair experience, well, "Good job!"

If you entered something in the fair this year and were awarded some ribbons, then you've got some money coming! I'm told that your fair premium check will be available around Sept. 9. Here's hoping we'll see you at the fair next year!


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