Winter Warmth drive continues through Jan
January 6, 2022
MELTING--As I begin this column, we still have plenty of snow on the ground in West Valley, with a layer of ice on top, but we are also seeing some raindrops, so the hope is that we see green grass soon. Of course, we are also hoping for some rather slow thawing conditions so we don't wind up in a flooding situation, which we have seen happen before. Let's just hope it doesn't turn into a disaster as currently there is a flood watch issued!
MONDAY'S SLIDE--As we all had feared, SR 4 was once again the site of a mud and rock slide around MP 44 Monday morning. The people in the white Toyota that was seen on top of the big rock and log pile were so very fortunate to have escaped unharmed! By afternoon, the road had been cleared enough for emergency vehicles to pass through but was otherwise closed for regular traffic. Many folks opted to take the ferry across to the Oregon side, which meant some long lines but the ferry did run continuously, so at least folks were being moved as quickly as possible.
Those who knew about the Beaver Creek Road as an alternative route wound up going that way and depending on when you went, you could have run into snowy and very icy conditions and traveling was quite treacherous. Others were lucky enough to go after the plows and it wasn't so bad. However, there is one thing all of us who live on these smaller county roads have in common; we beg you to slow down! Those on Beaver Creek kept seeing cars slide into snow banks and people on other roadways saw spinouts and many close calls, and it's just so much easier on everybody if those on the road would let up on the gas pedal!
The old adage, "The hurrier you go, the behinder you get" definitely rings true if you wind up in a ditch or hitting another rig because you're going too fast for conditions.
NEW YEARS 2022--I noticed a lot of folks staying in on New Year's Eve this year, and beings this was a very cold, icy evening with potentially hazardous conditions in many areas, I believe it was the wise thing to do. We did manage to venture out to an early dinner at the Duck Inn however, but we were back home early and missed out on any big NYE celebrations, as our eyelids were already closed by then!
I did raise an early celebratory toast to my grandparents, Ralph and Elise Everest, along with my Mom and step-Dad, Carol and Don Smith, as that was the special anniversary day for both couples.
SPECIAL DAYS--Those celebrating birthdays from Jan. 6-12 are Jason Rainey, Josh Moonen, Kelly McClain, Criss Luthi, Becky Elliott, Renee Zacher, Don P. Wages, Kari Noonan, Larry Rose, Marlena Silva, Shelby Elfers, Stephanie Leitz, Kristin Robinson, David Smith, Mike Smith, Jamie Smith, Lisa Hoven, Ryan Burdick, Ellie Leitz, Laurie Noonan, Gary Havens, Holly Lindsey, Caroline Jennings, Ryan Torpa, Miichael A. Quigley, Erla Crouse, Kyler Sause, Cindy Lloyd, Susan Schillios, Matt Blain, Mike Moore, Ty Finkas and 67'er Ed Bussone. Here's a wish for wonderful birthday celebrations for all of you. Belated birthday wishes go out to Carol Hadley who celebrated her special day at the beginning of this week.
BINGO THIS SATURDAY--Just a quick reminder that this Saturday at the Norse Hall on Puget Island, there will be bingo! The members of the Sons of Norway are happy to invite you back for their monthly bingo games, which take place on the second Saturday of each month, with the doors to the lower level opening at 5:30 and games beginning at 6 p.m. Cards will be $5 each and there will be cash prizes. If you're new here, the Norse Hall is located on the main highway crossing Puget Island, and is on the west side of the road after you cross the Birnie Slough Bridge. You can't miss it!
WINTER WARMTH DRIVE--Please remember that the "Give the Gift of Warmth" drive is still going on by the Puget Island FD Auxillary so your gift of hats, gloves, socks or a nice heavy scarf, would be greatly appreciated. During all this cold weather, who wouldn't want these additions to a nice warm coat? Naturally, adult and children items are being requested. You can drop off your items in the barrel that is located at the fire hall on Puget Island. However, if you have questions or are unable to get there, you could call Sherrill at 360-951-3985 or Liz at 360-200-2247 and they might be able to help you out. This event is being run all month long, so please spread the word to all your friends.
STAR PASSES--Most of the time I don't mention the passing of celebrities but I'm going to make an exception when it comes to Betty White; what a woman she was! Not only was she a great actress who was super funny and entertaining, but she was also a good, kind woman, especially when it came to animals. On what would have been her 100th birthday, January 17, a movement has arisen that asks that everyone donate some money to their local animal shelter on her behalf. Some of you reading this are in other towns so it would be great to donate to whatever animal sanctuary or shelter that is near you, but locally, we have a great group called WAAG, or Wahkiakum Animal Advocates Group, and they have done some outstanding work here since they were formed. If you'd like to honor Betty White's legacy, why not make a donation to them at P.O. Box 231, Cathlamet, WA 98612. Even if you aren't a fan of Betty White, it's winter time and there are a lot of hungry and neglected animals out there!
PRAYERS ASKED--Susan McClain Kuhn was asked by the grand-daughter of Dave and Ramona Halfmoon to ask for prayers on their behalf. Currently they are both in the hospital and while it looks like Ramona will be able to get out of the hospital in a couple of weeks, Dave is fighting for his life while being in a coma. He is battling pneumonia and Covid, so please keep them both in your thoughts and prayers.
Just in case you didn't know, the Halfmoon family used to live here years ago and went to school in this area, so a lot of people here know of them and their family members. Dave reached out to me last year and we had a great chat as we caught up on some of my family members that he knew, as well as the "good ole days" and shared our "mixed" heritages, etc. Dave was just hunting in his "home" of the Blue Mountains at the beginning of December, so his health crisis really caught me by surprise. My sincere get well wishes go out to Dave and Ramona.
GOOD-BYE & HELLO--I forgot to say goodbye to Kathi Howell last week as she has retired from this newspaper at the end of 2021 and I'll miss getting her friendly emails and reminders about various events coming up, but I truly wish her all the best. We also want to say hello to Ian Brandon who is taking over her job and we welcome him to The Eagle crew! You'll be able to contact him like you did Kathi by either calling The Eagle office, or just emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org for all your advertising needs.
OUT OF THE PAST--This week back in 1942, the week began with heavy fog that lasted all day long and it was really cold. How cold was it? Elsie Everest washed clothes and hung them up to dry; they froze! Rose Doumit Helons (sp?) had a baby girl that day. The following day the town of Cathlamet and surrounding areas had a Silver Thaw and everything was super icy! The Skamokawa phone circuit was out. On Jan. 7, the U.S. War was one month old. It was all a big worry. On Jan. 8, it was still miserable weather, with Jan. 9 bringing a really hard rainfall and Grandma Elsie feeling as miserable as the weather as she was coming down with a bad cold. "Coonie" left with the Draft and Eli Doumit and Alan J. went to enlist as well. They left the following day for the Army Air Corp. On Jan. 12, they were cutting in the Puget Island dial system. This was a big deal telephone wise!
In 1952 the weather early on in the year was bitter cold in various places, with Craig, Colorado coming in at 36 degrees below zero; Vernal, Utah at 35 below and Susanville, CA at 3 below, and in the local area, it was snowing and bitter cold as well. By Jan. 6, there was some snow and some hail mixed in with the rain but it warmed up by the end of the week. However, it was still gray and gloomy until the very last day. Finally a beautiful day! On Jan. 10, the S.S. Pennsylvania was abandoned by her crew west of the northern tip of Vancouver Island. It had been en route to Japan from Seattle with army supplies and a load of barley when a crack appeared in the main plates and was taking in water. It also appeared the steering went out. On that day, Grandma Elsie began to work on dressing her old doll, called a "Jenny June" doll. Granddaughter Kay still has her to this day!
The local Rebekahs lodge held their meeting and they had their yearly installation of officers. Bertha Shuster was Nobel Grand and Elva Mast was Vice Grand; as usual, the group had a nice time and enjoyed sharing in some good food as well. All this according to my Grandma Elsie Everest's diaries.