The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Retirement move from Virginia to Deep River

 

November 3, 2022

Karen Bertroch

Victor and Wendy Liguori who moved from Virginia to Deep River almost two years ago.

Retirement move from Virginia to Deep River

Victor and Wendy Liguori made a major move when they both retired from good jobs in Virginia, she as a medical assistant and Victor in medical security. Knowing they wanted to move, they looked through the real estate offerings on Zoom. They saw a property in Deep River, Washington, that appealed to them, so they checked on it and thinking it might be just what they were looking for: property on a river with fishing; a good climate for a garden; and as little snow as possible. In 2020, after coming to inspect it, the couple told me that, "When we looked at it, the whole place was a mess with major cleaning and repairs needed. We had made an offer so we could hold the property till we saw it, then we made the trip to see if we liked it well enough to go ahead with the purchase. After the actual walk through the house, we drove around just thinking about it. We both had serious hesitations, but then decided let's do it and bring it back to its glory." It was built in 1941 by Charles Wirkkala, whose name was even left on the original window frame discovered when they replaced the front window. It was clearly a house built with the best lumber of the day, and it had been changed and added to over the years.

The house is located across from the former American Legion Hall in "downtown" Deep River. They also bought the legion property and use it for all sorts of activities, such as canning since it has a kitchen. The house is called the "Deep River Yacht Club" and it's easy to see why. Water seems to always surround the house, but especially at high tide and during flood times. They clearly are enjoying the renovation work. The house is beautifully decorated with a big kitchen, large covered back porch and sunroom upstairs overlooking the river view.

I so enjoyed talking with them because it's clear these two are a great match for the area. As for the high-water times, they feel they are "part of the river during the winter months when there is a "nuisance flood" circling the house. They travel and shop, "in between the tides." They have a small garden that grows vegetables well and Wendy has flowers everywhere. They are active in the Grays River Grange and have found good friends in Nick and Dee Nikkala, and Rod and Darlene Ammer, as well as Eva Malerich, who gave them the complete history of Deep River. Knowing Eva, it was about as complete as it gets. She is one of the few remaining residents who remember the days when Deep River was busy and bustling. They have a paddle boat for wandering up and down the river and they love crawdads so they are busy both in the river and on the river. They have beehives and have planted some trees, although the beavers are constantly trying to take down their trees. They also have a blended family with 15 grown children. I can only imagine the number of grandchildren, but they clearly love them all.

This couple is about as tough and ready as any I've met who have lived here all their lives. They now have lived through a winter and have had water up to the top of the steps that lead toward the front door. They are happy people and generous with their hospitality. Both have a curiosity about Deep River's history. It's sad we've lost so many of our older folks because those elders who aren't around anymore would have loved teaching things to these "newcomers" who will be elders in their own time. I so liked this couple that I gave them a Carlton Appelo/Wahkiakum West telephone book from 1978 with Deep River's history and photos throughout. I first met them at a Senior Lunch gathering at Rosburg Hall and I asked for an interview right away. Folks from Virginia who feel comfortable with high tides in their yard right away, are people to value and know. They are friendly, open and curious. I suspect the Liguoris will stay as long as they can get their hip waders on at high tide and laugh about it. We are lucky to have them in our Deep River neighborhood.

 

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