Skamokawa church has closed its doors
August 12, 2021
DAMPNESS/HEAT--As this new week begins, we are enjoying a mild, dry day after a pretty good soaking on Saturday. Here in West Valley, it was a nice steady mist which lasted most of the day and I was very thankful for that. However, temperatures are on the rise again and it could bring temperatures back up into those dangerous mid-90s or higher range, so I hope everyone has prepared themselves for that. Please keep yourself and all your critters hydrated and remember, the sun is not your friend if you're out in it very long, even with sunscreen, so spare yourself a bad burn, and possible skin cancer, by limiting your exposure to it.
As always, report any sightings of children or animals that have been left unattended in a vehicle, as apparently we still have people who "forget" they put them in there; grrr!
SPECIAL DAYS--Those celebrating birthdays from August 12-18 are Tim Schmitz, Kathleen Morgain, Shannon Britt, Ricky Montgomery Jr., Steve McClain, Macie Moonen, Samantha Christensen, Danny Tomlinson, Gary Cooper, Judy Fritizie, Rick Bryan, Heath Norris, Travis Wegdahl, Kassy Burdick, Cooper Grasseth, Deb Howie, Erica Keenan Torppa, Josh Grasseth, Toni Sue Ostling, Dale Heiner, Deanna Datchler, Tyna Zink, Judy Smith, Addy Hauff, Krista Blix McGuire, Denis Everest and Margie Wagner Pedersen. Happy Birthday to each and every one of you!
Those celebrating anniversaries this coming week are Mr. and Mrs. Kyle Gribskov, Tracy and Megan Elliott, Mr. and Mrs. Randy Hoven, Robert and Terina Davis, Gene and Karen Healy, Ty and Kendra Finkas and Kyle and Suzy Ekstrom Sechler. Here's hoping your anniversary celebrations are spectacular!
CONGRATS--We have another couple to add to our anniversary listing, as Miss Jordyn Wirkkala married Nathan Rogers on July 31. The newlyweds celebrated the happy occasion by taking a honeymoon trip to Honolulu, where they were seen basking in the sunshine in front of turquoise waters and vivid blue skies. Congratulations to the happy couple!
JUST DAYS AWAY--For those who plan to enter things into our county fair, the days to do that are coming up soon. If you're new here, I hope you'll enter something, as from what I've seen, we've got some very talented new folks in the area, so their entries would be more than welcome at our Wahkiakum County Fair on Aug. 19-21 from 9 to 9 each day! Most of the arts and crafts get entered on the Monday prior to the fair, with veggies and other baked good items entering in the next day or so but be sure to check out the fair handbook to make sure of the exact days and the exact times, as that's when the superintendent for each of those entries will be on site.
This year's fair is being dedicated to Martha Backman who passed away recently and only a short time after her husband, Gary died after being in a terrible automobile accident. Their combined memorial service will be held in the multi-purpose room at JA Wendt Elementary School Aug. 12 (today) at 11 a.m.
SPELLING BEE--Don't forget, on the last day of the fair, the annual Grays River Grange Spelling Bee will take place at the Skamokawa Grange Hall, adjacent to the fairgrounds at 1 p.m. This event is sponsored by both the Grays River and Skamokawa Granges, as well as Rayonier Timberlands. There are a couple of different grade levels/groups and there are cash rewards for the top three winners of both groups, so they hope to see you youngsters that afternoon. Grades 3, 4 & 5 in one group, and Grades 6, 7 & 8 in the other. With a little luck, your folks got the list of spelling words off the site that was provided and you'll be all set to do your best!
ORDER BERRIES SOON--According to the Wahkiakum Lions Club, their Frozen Berry Sale is still going on but you need to order by Aug. 23 in order to guarantee delivery by Aug. 28. In case you missed my last notice about them, they have 10 pound containers of either Strawberries ($30) or Blueberries ($27) available this year and they must be paid for in advance. There are three different locations to pick up your orders: WHS Parking lot, Skamokawa Grange or the Rosburg Store. These will not be held for you, so if you order them, be sure to be there by 10 a.m. at the spot that you have chosen on Aug. 28. You can fill out a form that has been in the paper or around town and mail that with your check, or for other options, contact them directly at 360-795-3337 or 360-849-4003.
CHURCH CLOSES--We were sorry to learn of the closure and ultimate sale of the Skamokawa United Methodist Church that has been here for as long as most of us can remember. Its last day of being open was this past Tuesday, and I'm sure it was a sad day for those who had been going there for so many years and had valiantly tried to keep the doors open. It had been the site of many a wedding, public meetings, funeral services, sing-a-longs and more over the years. We are all hoping that the building will be sold and put to good use by those that purchase it, as we think it has a lot of potential.
SAD NEWS/SERVICES--I learned that my former neighbor, Charles "Chuck" Parker passed away this past weekend. He was a WHS graduate and until not long ago, one of our long time county residents, having lived in Skamokawa for many years. We want to send our deepest regards to his wife, Sheran in Colorado, as well as their children and the many members of his family that live around here, which includes his sister, Bev Moonen and her family. Chuck had been a part of the Wahkiakum Lions Club for many years, as well as the Skamokawa Grange and a member of the Skamokawa United Methodist Church and he was also a veteran. Beings the church and Grange were unable to accomodate any services for Chuck, family and friends are gathering at the Dowling Funeral Home in Cathlamet this Saturday, Aug. 14 at 1 p.m., to pay their respects. Again, our condolences to all of Chuck's family and dear friends.
FOS HOURS--Since my last column, the hours for the Central School-Redmen Hall/River Life Interpretive Center have changed, so you now have a couple more days to enjoy visiting the hall. New hours are Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and then Friday through Sunday, they are open Noon to 4 p.m. If you haven't been up there in awhile, or you're new to the area, check it out while the weather is nice, as the view from there is fantastic! The historic hall is located on SR 4 at MP 29; you can't miss it. For more info, call 360-795-3007.
BIG OOPS--We want to give a shout out to a friend who is currently dealing with quite an issue at her home. Many of you may remember Philomena (Philly) Thomas, who has had connections to our area for many years but has lived in the Portland area for some time now. At any rate, this past weekend a huge water main broke on a hillside street where she now lives, and it was washing away the street, asphalt and all, for a couple hundred feet, and in the process, breaking more water lines as the force of the water cascaded down the street and into people's driveways and yards, which caused even more damage. Unfortunately, Philly's home was one of those that you may have seen on television, whose yard was flooded and her driveway was sporting a big sink hole underneath it! Considering the severity of the break and damages, everyone was just thankful that no people were injured as the event unfolded, so at least that part was good. We wish her and her neighbors a lot of luck and hopefully their homes, driveways and street will be repaired as quickly as possible.
LOCAL OOPSES--I think of all the "oopses" I've seen lately around here, the ones standing out the most are the "dips and dives" that are still present in parts of the "newly repaired" roadway on SR 4. Some of the work is great and is much nicer, but in a few spots where things were really quite rough and bumpy and dipped terribly, well, some of those areas were not greatly improved upon, so, that was a bit disappointing to say the least.
Then there were a lot of angry motorists who wound up with broken or chipped windshields from the abundance of flying rocks. Some families had multiple issues, which was certainly enough to dampen one's sunny disposition! To be fair, the public was told to slow down but there were some people who were still traveling at a good clip, and if they got into the looser rock, would send it flying into the oncoming cars or the ones behind them, so it's hard to point blame on the construction work itself. At any rate, I'm sure there will be a lot of unhappy folks out there while the work is ongoing but hopefully the worst will be over soon!
CELEBRATION--This past weekend a college graduation celebration (aka party and food fest) was held for Blake Sechler, who recently graduated from Washington State University. The crowd that attended enjoyed a slow smoked brisket made by Blake's little brother, Luke and BBQ ribs and chicken by his Dad, Pete, along with tons of other goodies made by his Mom, Katie. My grandson's goal was to work full time, attend college, plan a wedding and get his degree and graduate, all before his wedding date, so that was a pretty tall order and one which he accomplished in fine fashion, so the whole family is very proud of him. Next adventure: becoming the life-long partner to Michaela Jones; we can hardly wait for her to join the family!
OUT OF THE PAST--This week back in 1946, the week saw mild, nice weather with just a bit of mist on the morning of August 13. Marian Healy and Ralph Pedersen headed to Astoria that day where Ralph's Aunt Marian had a tooth pulled and he wound up getting eye glasses. The following day Ralph Everest and grandson, Ralph Pedersen rode in the afternoon along with the Longview Club, as they were all preparing for the big Centennial doings that were coming up Aug. 23, 24 and 25. They were calling it "Old Cathlamet Days" 1846-1946 Centennial. While the Everests were having lunch, their son-in-law, Krist Pedersen made a surprise entrance as he'd been in Alaska. Lots of folks headed to the ball fields to watch the horsemen practice for the upcoming parade, and Ralph P. was pretty excited as he got a new saddle and blanket for his horse to use in the parade. He also really enjoyed being able to ride alongside his Grandpa Everest and all the other grownups. This was a busy time for most in the area, as there were going to be vendors and games and many other things being set up for the Centennial doings, so there was little time to do much else. The Everests were still working in the telephone office on Main Street as well, and at 1 a.m., they were still working on the telephone board when the news of the death of Uncle Charles Warren came in on August 16. All this according to my Grandma Elsie Everest's diary.