Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle


Karen Bertroch

Becky Erickson's Pre-school class was visited by Randy Weigardt from Pacific County's Sheriff's Office and his K-9 Police Dog, Cico.

June is just around the corner which means graduation, Memorial Day traffic, vacations, classic cars at the fairgrounds, July 4 holiday, fireworks, and the Finnish American Folk Festival on the last weekend in July. Summer goes by too quickly. Then kids are off to college and we're exhausted trying to keep up with life. Oh wait, it's dry by end of summer so I just water plants at that point. And then it's fall. But as a cancer survivor, I will not fret or complain. I will be grateful for every day God gives me. For our small area, much is happening. At the school board meeting it was fun to hear about graduation and then to interview the top two graduating seniors, Grace Hunt and Josh Chadwick. They are both impressive and successful already. Talking with them was inspiring and joyful.

Photo of the Week: At the other end of the education spectrum, I visited Becky Erickson's pre-school class when Sergeant Randy Wiegardt came to the class at Valley Bible Church to talk about safety and show the children his eight year old K-9 dog, Cico (kee-coh). Randy's daughter is part of the class. Others might have bragged and claimed Cico as hers, but she was very respectful of her father's instructions. Since Cico lives with Randy's family, she knows Cico well, but she behaved with fine manners. Some brothers and sisters came to see Sergeant Wiegardt and Cico, so the photo is full. I did not get all the names, but Teacher Becky, as she is called, is third from the left, counting the baby. Becky has a dozen or so children in the class. She has been teaching pre-school for over 40 years. She estimates she has had 800 children over that time. Her influence on the children and their parents is meaningful and lifelong in some cases. She deals expertly with the hyperactive, the shy, the scared, the sad, and makes sure every child is recognized and honored. She thanks them for their manners, kindness and courteous behavior. What fun to watch her as she laughs and smiles, touches and loves those children. Some people are called to work and invest their lives in various professions. Becky is clearly answering the call in her life. She is a jewel the parents can trust and a person to be thanked year after year for the guidance she provides for the young ones. May she continue for many more years.

With all the rain, the grass in my yard has taken over but out of the blue, Andrea and Bill Vincent from Hull Creek, came over on Sunday and worked hard on getting the yard into a place so I can now handle it. Bill cut the bottom limbs on some of my trees and Andrea cut grass and together they whipped the yard into place. I learned that Andrea has a degree in environmental science and that lengthens my list of things to admire about her. If you often get lattes at Valley Cup in Naselle, Andrea may have served you. I am so grateful for neighbors like them.

At the end of Hull Creek Road, there is a house for sale where the historic Hull Creek waterfall is located. I drove there to check out the house and the waterfall. It looks like the historic photos I've seen at the Archives Center in the past. It is at high water at this time. If you drive to the end of the road, the house that's for sale is on the left and the waterfall is at the far end of the house. We have more houses coming on the market now that it's spring, many in Naselle. With the Youth Camp closure, I hope that doesn't mean employees are leaving, but I'm sure that must be the case for some families. Mike Swanson sold a house on Knappton Road, so he is a good contact for information on what's coming up on the market.

Rumors say construction on the slide damage on highway 401 will begin this summer. If that is true, we will again have some disruption during the summer months. If anyone has reliable information on that, please let me know at:

The Finnish American Folk Festival (FAFF) committee members are busy as summer is almost on us and the festival is coming up quickly on the last weekend in July. The area's housing fills up quickly. If you have folks coming for that weekend, be sure to get reservations, especially at Vista Park in Skamokawa if you want a good camping spot right on the Columbia River. They are booked well in advance. If you have never been to the festival, please come to Naselle and enjoy all the activities, costumes, dancing, music and lectures. If you have questions about the festival, contact Jennifer Boggs at (360) 484-3679.


May 28: Bingo at Johnson Park.

May 30: Memorial Day.

June 1: Naselle/GRV School's Evening of Excellence will be at 7:00 p.m. in the HS Commons.

June 4: Cruizin' to the Fair Car Show at the Fairgrounds.

June 9: Grays River Habitat Enhancement Meeting at 5:15 p.m. at Johnson Park.

June 11: Graduation will be at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday in the school gymnasium.

June 21: Naselle GRV School Board meeting at 6:30 p.m.

Senior Lunches: The Senior Lunch Club meets on two dates each month, the first and third Wednesdays at noon at Rosburg Hall. In June the two lunches will be on June 1 and 15. CAP's box lunches can be picked up every Thursday at noon at Rosburg Hall. Contact Denise at (360) 762-3111 to reserve yours.

Word for the Week: Laughter.


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