Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle


Marvin Todacheenie, left, and Kathi Huhtaluta will perform at the Juhannus (Midsummer) festival June 24 at the Naselle Community Center. Courtesy photos.

Exciting Summer News: I learned at the Chamber of Commerce office last week that our two award winning robotics teams from both high schools, Wahkiakum and Naselle/Grays River, will be the Grand Marshals for the Bald Eagle Days Parade in Cathlamet this summer. Isn't that just the best idea ever? I was told the teams are thinking of floats, too. I am excited for this. Not so happy is the news that the Rosburg Store is now permanently closed. Can't say more yet.

Photo of the Week: We are all so excited about the coming Finnish American Folk Festival (FAFF) at the end of the month that we're sharing both information and photos to keep reminding you that it's coming in just a few weeks. Join FAFF and the Appelo Archives to celebrate Juhannus (Midsummer) at the Naselle Community Center on June 24. FAFF, together with Appelo Archives, will host a salmon or cheeseburger dinner with roasted potatoes, macaroni salad, beetroot salad, coffee and lemonade; beer and wine available for purchase separately, and a concert (by donation) by Kathi Huhtaluta and Marvin Todacheenie. Dinner and beer garden start at 5 p.m., the concert begins at 6:30 p.m. You can pre-purchase dinner online at: Salmon is $20 prepurchase, $25 at the door /cheeseburger is $10 prepurchase or $15 at the door.

The Appelo Archives Center will also host an Afternoon Midsummer Tea on the following day, June 25, at 2 p.m. It will feature traditional tea goodies. Last year's tea was delightful. Tickets are available at the Archives Center or online at

Reminder: The Julia Butler Hansen Swimming Pool in Cathlamet opened on June 13 for students, youth, adults. It's an open-air pool so it's only open in the summer months. There is a schedule that usually includes aerobics early, then lap swimming, swimming lessons, and open swims. For exact times call the pool at (360) 795-6515. The pool is open in the summer and great for kids. Many folks don't even realize the pool exists. It is behind the school to the left. Lifeguards are always present.

Food pantry: If you are finding the high prices of food causing stress on your budget and family, don't forget that our West End Food Pantry at Johnson Park is open on Thursdays from 1-5 p.m., offering produce, canned food and pet food. Meat and milk are usually available as well. Food is available for everyone. All of us are being careful with our food spending, so do not hesitate to drop by the pantry located through the back doors. There are shelves full of food items, just like a grocery store. If you are not able to get to Johnson Park, call and let them know. A volunteer will bring food right to your door if needed. Many deliveries are made each week. Give them a call at (360) 465-2344.

Farrier: Last week, I met a young woman who has moved to Naselle to work as a farrier for horses. She can set up a regular schedule with you at (541) 460-1592. I was very impressed with her. We talked quite a bit and I think you'll be pleased. She has done farrier work in Oregon for a significant time. She can at least come by, see your horses and you can decide for yourself. I assured her there are plenty of horses in the county and beyond! She is staying in Deep River as she gets started. She has all her equipment in a trailer and she's happy to come to you.

A prayer: Years ago, I was a consultant to churches and non-profits in western Washington. I received numerous bulletins each week. In one I have kept for many years was this one with the explanation for it, too. It's called "A Swedish and Finn Prayer." Comments by Gunnar Damstrom. He says, "I admit matters of religion do not play a big role in my life, with one exception, the old Swedish Evening Prayer:

Gud som haver barnen kär, Se till mig som liten är.

Vart jag mig i världen vänder, Stär min lycka i Guds händer.

Lyckan kommer, lyckan gär, Du förbliver, Fader vår.

English translation:

God, you haveth children dear, look after me who is so small.

Wherever I go in the world, my fortune remains in God's hands.

Fortune comes, fortune goes, You remain our Father.

"My mother used to read me this evening prayer at my bedside," Damstrom said. "I have every reason to believe that her mother did the same. The prayer was etched into my memory where it remains to this day. I know I didn't understand the meaning of the words at that time. However, the amazing thing is that still today, if I have had a rough day and I read the evening prayer when I go to rest, I will sleep like a child. Maybe this is an example of a Swedish-Finn tradition and culture that would be good to maintain?"


I will be lunching on Tuesdays around noon every week at the Archives Center. Let's talk history or whatever topic you'd like. Come and join me and the lunch bunch, then spend time at the museum upstairs, or check out the library there, too.

June 15: Senior Lunch at Rosburg Hall at noon.

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

June 24: FAFF and Archive Center Salmon and Hamburger dinners with concert (see beginning of this article). June 25: The annual Finnish Midsummer Tea at the Appelo Archives Center at 2 p.m.

June 26: Second FAFF meeting of the month, 3 p.m. at Naselle Community Center.

Senior lunches: The Senior Lunch Club meets on two dates each month, the first and third Wednesdays at noon at Rosburg Hall. The next club lunch will be on July 6. 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: Children.


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