Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle

Photo of the Week: Kim Angelis with her two +1 collies. Kim has two collies of her own and is "dog sitting" a third for a friend. What a fine time I had visiting with her and the dogs. There were four dogs in the house at one point because Ben, my dog, was with me. He stayed in the yard with her dogs while she and I visited in her house (Elenora Hillis') in Naselle. She has had the property for four years and done a great job continuing to restore it as the Tienhaara Family did before Kim.

She grew up in California and completed her college degree in music at UC Irvine. She has played the violin professionally almost all her life, and the piano as well. She and her husband traveled the world performing for many years. Her husband accompanied her with his guitar. He died not long ago, and I sense that her strength comes from the deep faith she lives out daily. She plays piano on Sunday mornings at the Warrenton Presbyterian Church.

Her love of dogs shows in the new pole building on her property where she plans to continue working with her two collies on herding and agility training. During the covid-19 months of isolation, she has been unable to work as a traveling musician, so she has spent that time composing her own music. She has four concert dates set for 2022 so far, including one in Naselle in February. She now plays with a pianist to accompany her. She's made several CD's that will be for sale at the concert. The concert is being offered by the Finnish American Folk Festival folks as a fundraiser for the 2022 FFAF Festival next July.

Kim is a reserved, quiet person with a rare grace we don't often see these days. She hopes one day to have concerts on her porch in the summers near one of her big cedar trees that she named Elenora. She loves her pioneer home and it shows. I know the Hillis family would be pleased with how the house is being loved. Elenora was a beloved Finn in the community who died at 90 after a very full and busy life. I hope Kim will stay with us for a long time, too. And I know she will take good care of the Hillis home.

Flooding thoughts: SR 401 is still closed. And SR 101 seems to have ongoing problems. In 1991 there was a 100 year flood that ruined the Gorley property up Fossil Creek Road. I called Gayle Gorley to find out the year of that flood. At that time, high water above the Gorge burst through a huge log jam in the gorge north of their place. It finally broke through the gorge and dike and wiped the whole place out below. The old Roy Gorley place was ruined, and the place where the Gorleys used to have community picnics as I remember the story. It was a disaster, and the area is now just gravel bars and lots of willows. The entire river bed was split and moved by the flood. Much has been done to try to put it back plus lots of money was spent putting in intentional log jams to try to put the river back but it's not working. Gorley Springs at the mouth of the west fork of the Grays comes in on the lower west side where, for centuries, chum salmon have spawned. It's the major chum spawning site for the Columbia.

The timber companies do very important work to keep the upper Grays healthy, such as culverts, landings placement, shoring up the riverbanks with rock and logs and keeping trees along creek banks to give the fish shade. The Gorley flood was instrumental, however, in teaching all of us that water is not to be taken for granted in this country, and controlling high water/flooding is only something we can try to work with. Rivers change on their own with or without us. We who own land here should always take time to determine how best to change anything. Come this time of year, we can't forecast how the rain will work with what we've done. Never assume is the motto, I guess.

Painting Class: Last Saturday, FAFF sponsored a painting class at the Naselle Community Center that was very successful. With 27 signed up, including some very young girls, it was a fun group. They enjoyed learning from their teacher, Audrey Mumley. When I stopped by the class, I was happy to see ladies and girls working on their paintings and having fun.


November 20 and December 18: Appelo Archives hosting Kantele Classes from 10 to noon. Call to register 360.484-7103.

November 20: Duck Inn sponsoring a Shop with a Cop All You Can Eat Barbecue Fundraiser for $30 per person. 10% of sales.

November 25: Thanksgiving. Two community meals will be offered in the Skamokawa area. Duck Inn from noon to 6 p.m. $25 with $5 of it to the Sheriff's Shop with a Cop program, or Skamokawa Grange Potluck at 2 p.m.

December 4: Art Show at the Grays River Grange featuring local artists Gail Wahlstrom, Kristo Novoselic, Noreen Fitts, Sandra Prucha and Carol Ervest from noon to 4 p.m. Art will be for sale. Oh, and it's my birthday! Also, an open garage sale will be held at Johnson Park 1-3 p.m.

December 5: Finnish American Folk Festival will host their Annual Christmas Concert at the Naselle Community Center (changed from Deep River Church) at 1:30 p.m., followed by Tour of Homes and Soup Supper at Naselle Community Center.

December 10: Skamokawa Fire Association will offer Sleigh Rides (Fire Truck perhaps?) for the west end of the county at 5 p.m. I don't know for sure where families are to meet the sleigh but will run that down for you for next week's paper.

December 11: Craft Day at Johnson Park from 1-3 p.m.

December 19: Tour of Lights in Naselle and broader areas to see Christmas lights.

Senior Lunches: Today's CAP box lunch will be roast turkey with gravy, stuffing, sweet potato blend, cranberry orange salad, pumpkin mousse. Pick it up at Rosburg Hall at noon. Call Denise at 360-762-3111 to reserve your box lunch. The next Senior Lunch Club Luncheon will be on Wednesday, December 1.

Word for the Week: Family.


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