Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle


September 22, 2022

Howard and Joyce Kimball Magnuson were married in 1945 after Howard had been a prisoner of war. He was given a silk parachute and Joyce's wedding dress was made from that parachute. Photo courtesy of Appelo Archives.

"God save the King." I heard that for the first time this morning (Monday) as Britain laid Elizabeth II to rest at Windsor Castle. And the new King cried. And I cried. She's been in my world every day of my life. My maternal Grandmother instilled in me that I am of British descent. Ancestry may say I am part Scandinavian, but she would never accept that, I'm sure. As for the Queen, I think the whole world mourns her loss. She was known by people from five years old to 95 years old for so long that I think we are all mourning her loss somehow. It's amazing to think that Britain has had a monarch for one thousand years, give or take a few hundred. A country with that wealth of history is almost beyond our understanding. She brought consistency, wisdom, knowledge, history, perspective and graciousness. Her smile was so unique that it made her more than beautiful. She truly was The World's Queen. Rest in peace, your majesty. We will miss you.

Photo of the week: While going through some old files from the Archives Center, I found this photo and thought I'd share it with you this week. The photo shows Howard and Joyce Magnuson on their wedding day. The dress and story are from the files at the center. It takes time to look at all the resources there, so as we move into quiet days with rain, please think of the center as a good place to spend time just looking in the drawers. You never know what you'll find in them. Joyce's wedding dress is hanging in the wedding dress display upstairs. I remember what that little room looked like before the dresses were set up in there. Such a fun project.

Joyce Magnuson's Wedding Dress Story: I was born in 1928 close to a town called Badora, Minnesota in my Grandma Kimball's house. She delivered me to my Dad and Mom, Harry and Laura Kimball. Grandma Della was my Dad's mom. His Dad was Bill or William Kimball. My Dad had sawmills. At one time he had four. We lived in sawmill camps most of my young life. Sometimes Mom and us kids lived in town for school, then out to the camp in the summer. It was like camping all summer. When I was 14, I was cooking for my Dad's crew of men. I made my own bread in an old wood kitchen stove, pumped my water from an old hand pump and got up early at five to make hotcakes, bacon and eggs for the men. One guy would eat 26 hot cakes every morning and they weren't small either. I only went to the eighth grade in school. When I was 18, I came out here to Washington after my Grandma moved to Grays River.

My cousin and I came out here and then I met Howard. My Aunt Leone was married to Howard's brother, Art. Howard was just getting out of the Air Force then and the prisoner of war prison camp in Germany. He was then in Fort Lewis. We started going together and he got discharged in October of 1945. Soon we got married on November 17. He got a parachute given to him when he was discharged from the service. My grandmother, Della Kimball, lived in the old Meserve house at that time, near the old garage and telephone office. Dick Meserve owned the garage then and Johnson had the phone office. Anyhow, Grandma was well known as a good cook at the Valley Tavern Café. I also worked there.

Well, to get back to the wedding dress. She laid the parachute out on the big front room floor and began to cut with no pattern. I couldn't look so I took off. Four hours later I came back and behold there was the dress! I put it on, and it fit like a charm. She could do so much with a pair of scissors, and a needle and thread. Howard and I were married 59 years. He had his 80th birthday September 25, 2005 then he died on October 3, just one week after his birthday. He was a wonderful person. I am sure many will remember him. I have a hard time talking about it.

By the way, I went to night school and got a high school diploma. Also went over to the college in Astoria, just to let you know I went past the eighth grade! I also went to Beauty School and had a shop for 38 years.

Appelo Archives: Stories like Joyce's are fun and interesting. The silk material in her dress is lovely. It is soft and flows beautifully. The dress looks like a fancy, expensive one. It's beautiful. The Archives Center is sponsoring the Loggers' Reunion happening on October 1. It's a wonderful chance for past and recent loggers and their families to come together for stories. There will be logging displays, books, a wood carver, live music with Carl Wirkkala, barbecue and beer garden. Come support your local logging museum with your presence and your donations.

Calendar of Events:

October 1: 4-H Covered Bridge Dinner at 4:30 - Tickets are all gone.

October 1: Loggers Reunion at Appelo Archives Center at 1 p.m.

October 5: Wednesday Senior Lunch at Rosburg Hall at noon.

October 29: Rosburg Christmas Bazaar at Rosburg Hall.

November 12: Holiday Bazaar at Naselle Lutheran (Saturday) from 10-2.

November 12: Appelo Archives annual Harvest Dinner and Auction at Rosburg Hall.

 Senior Lunches: CAP/Thursday Senior Lunches are now located inside Rosburg Hall at noon.

Wednesday Senior Lunches will be on October 5 and 19 at Rosburg Hall at noon.

 Word for the week: Believe.


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