Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Local family lost everything to fire

Skamokawa News

NICE START--As this week begins, it's actually a pretty decent day after a somewhat cloudy and dampish beginning but the sun popped out this Sunday and gave us a very nice break. Last week, I turned in my column prior to all wind and rain that crashed down upon us and boy, it was really something! From mudslides to high water closing multiple roadways, it was quite the sight. Once again, we got a chance to see how prepared we were as some couldn't leave their houses until the waters receded and others found themselves "trapped" in places they didn't want to be, which can happen suddenly around here during those torrential rains and high tide events. Luckily, it was a good time to stay home as we're all supposed to be doing that as much as possible anyway, so having West Valley Road under water pretty much put the exclamation point on that message!

Here's hoping that the colder temperatures and the small chance of snow at the end of this week fades away, as I've had enough fun already, but as always, be prepared, just in case.

SPECIAL DAYS--Those celebrating birthdays from Jan. 21-27 are Sharon Buennagel, Sharon Schmitz, Shirley Mae Toney, Jody Baccellieri, Leslie Sullivan, Kaylyn Kaattari, Sherry Ostling, Pearl Blackburn, Annelise Vik, Cameron Linsdey, Garry York, Teagan Miller, Bailey Danker, Linda Seaberg, Annie Watters, Jessie F. Collins, Kasey Tomlinson, Koda Clark, Francis Boldt, Trinity Thompson, Wayne Cochran, Kyle Prestegard, Elizabeth Frink, Jolene Wright, Susanna Cooper, Cindy Elmore, Lori Wika and Cindi Pedersen.

Those celebrating anniversaries this week are Michael and Nikki Danker and Jai and Martin Snow. May you all have wonderful celebrations this coming week.

QUICK REMINDER--Just in case you forgot to write it on your calendar, the pet food (pet anything) fundraiser being put on by WAAG (Wahkkiakum Animal Advocates Group) will be held next Saturday, Jan. 30, at the Puget Island Fire Station. Their poster says they will be there from 10 to 4 p.m., so now is the time to add an extra bag of pet food or other pet item to your cart so that you can donate it next week. All the critters that are being helped will truly appreciate your support! Check out my column from last week that included all the extra details or check out the group's Facebook page.

VISIT CANCELED--I was sorry to hear the latest travel news from my cousin, Pamela (Everest) Priestly in Australia, as it seems all international travel to and from that country has been canceled for the entire year. I was shocked to hear that, and saddened to hear it too, as I was looking forward to a visit from her later on this year, so that's truly a disappointment for her and all of her family in the States. One can only hope something miraculous happens and they change their minds on this restriction, but as current virus rates rise, one isn't too hopeful.

It seems lots of folks have had to cancel their travel plans and those who still have them, are anxiously waiting to hear if they really will be able to take that "great trip to the land of sunshine" afterall, fingers crossed!

SAD TIMES--If you're reading this on Thursday, Jan. 21, then you have made it through the first three weeks of this new year already and I do hope you're doing alright, as a lot of folks have not been so lucky. We have lost several people we've known for ages just recently, like Betty Brons, Mary Nettles and Freddie Cothren so I truly feel for all those family members who are not only dealing with this pandemic but these family losses as well. To all of you who have lost their moms, grandmas, aunts, sisters and good friends, you have my deepest sympathies!

NOT A GREAT START--One of our local boys, Josh Moonen, and his wife, Cristina and two little boys, three months and five years old, escaped with only their lives when their home burned down this past week and they lost everything. A plea for help was put out on Facebook by Ginger Moonen and Deb Moonen Holland for clothes for them and folks really stepped up right away. Josh and his family are living with their folks, the Stewart Moonens in East Valley for now and Stewart said he was so pleased how fast our caring community came together to help the young family out.

This is just my thought, but at this time, beings they have no place else to go or no dry storage area to hold big household items that folks are willing to donate, maybe a cash donation would be the most helpful so they can buy what hasn't already been provided for them that they truly need right away. It's amazing how many things we need in our lives on a daily basis, but then in a flash, are suddenly all gone. From toothbrushes to flashlights to pens, papers, envelopes and stamps to well, you name it, they lost it. There is a fundraiser on Facebook if you're into doing things on the computer. However, you can contact the Stewarts and double check as to just what items they still need or are willing to take in, at 360-795-0565 or you can just mail a check or prepaid Visa/MC or other gift cards to 411 East Valley Road, Skamokawa, WA 98647. Your help is appreciated more than you can ever imagine!

VALENTINE BINGO?--According to fair manager, Patty Dursteler, there is hope that they will be allowed to hold their annual Valentine Bingo this year on Feb. 6, but this event is still up in the air so keep watching/reading for more updates. Our changing rules and regulations due to Covid make it hard to plan anything this year, but we hope some of these events can happen and we'll try to keep you posted as soon as we know one way or the other. If they do have it, it's always nice to have folks donate items for it, so if you found some good bargains after Christmas and have a few nice things tucked away, maybe you'd be willing to donate a couple for Valentine Bingo.

Last year the Wahkiakum County Fair went "virtual" but we're sure hoping we can have the real deal this year. Regardless, the fair will have their "fair royalty court" so if you'd like to take part in that, you can call and find out all about it, or just wait until more information comes out in The Eagle. But, if you'd like to get a jump on things, please email the fair at or leave a message on the phone at the fairgrounds 360-795-3480. If you have an idea for this year's fair theme, you could probably leave your suggestion on the phone or in an email as well.

OUT OF THE PAST--This week back in 1946, the week started with pouring rain but the following day was very nice and it was like Spring. However, the very next day it was back to cold and windy and miserable rain and it stayed nasty until Jan. 26, when two days of "lovely" weather prevailed once again.

The Wallula Council No. 45, Degree of Pocahontas, held their meeting at the Red Men hall that week with the main discussion being how to raise money for the hall. The group decided on holding a big card party in hopes to help with the fixing and decorating of the interior of the hall. The group thanked Mrs. Elsie Everest for the donation of the blinds to cover the windows. After their business meeting was over, the ladies gathered for their social hour to honor Mrs. Marie Larsen's birthday, where she received many nice gifts and the group enjoyed refreshments.

Stopping by the telephone office that week were Florence West, who came by while her husband Jim was working, and Tommy Irving stopped by for a visit as well.

The big basketball game that week between Castle Rock and Cathlamet was very exciting, even though we lost the first game but won the main game. It was off to Jim's (Cafe) afterwards for hamburgers and Ralph and Frank Pedersen spent the night at their grandparents' house.

Sadly, there was a terrible accident in Astoria that kept the Cathlamet switchboard operators busy all night, as a car was stolen in Naselle and it went off the dock in Astoria where three people drowned.

For the fishermen, it was a good week as the smelt were running good in the Cowlitz.

For Ralph and Elsie Everest, it was a big week, as they had two sons celebrating birthdays, with George Everest in the military and turning 31 on Jan. 23 and youngest son, R. Marshall Everest Jr. turning 20. All this according to my Grandma Everest's 1946 diary.

A very fitting quote was taped to one of the pages of her diary this week: "Anger is a wind that blows out the lamp of the mind."


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