Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle


April 13, 2023

Karen Bertroch

Stephanie Sotka of Eden Valley, is the newest member of the Grays River Habitat Enhancement Board.

My friends, it was bound to happen. I got Lois Burkhalter's dates mixed up, so I'll try again. She was born in 1940, not married in 1940. Yes, I'm embarrassed, but there's more. They came to Naselle in 1964, not 1966, and she had their four children in the years 1960-1970, not 1950-1960. May I simply say it was an "Off Day" when I wrote that? Lois, I am very sorry. I really should have caught at least one of those. I sincerely hope all the information this week is correct, lots of dates and details.

Maki follow-up. I have left messages for two Maki families and had no call back. Bonnie LaDoe, one of the best historians I know, sent me an email saying she doesn't think there are any Maki's living here now who are descended from the Herman Maki's. Those folks spread out all over the world. Here is another family story from the Herman Maki farm: "Grandfathers horses were very large. They were so strong that if they couldn't pull an object, they would rear back and then lunge on the traces. Grandfather Maki couldn't keep leather traces on them because they would break them, so he had two-inch rope placed on the collars and fastened to the tugs. The horses couldn't break the rope but on occasion would snap the steel links that connected the rope to the double tree. He never did buy a tractor, but always used horses." If you have ever seen large draft horses lunge to get a "pull" started, it's a huge image of power.

May is Museum Month, so on Tuesday, May 2, from 3-6, the Ilwaco Museum will host a hospitality reception featuring guests from all the museums in Pacific County, including our very own Appelo Archives Center. Food will be available, and you can visit with representatives of all the museums, ask questions and chat with other history lovers. Please note: Appelo Archives is looking for volunteers to serve on their Board. A good opportunity to learn more about our area.

Next free film at the Naselle Library will be on Wednesday, April 19 at 4 pm. "Wings of Life" PG

Don't forget the 4-H Great White Tail Run on May 20 with registration at 8:30 and the run is at 10. Registration is at Skamokawa Vista Park. For more information, call (360) 465-2275 or (360) 795-3278.

Henry Aalto, Finland's top lead guitarist, will be performing at the Naselle Community Center on Sunday, April 23 at 3 pm. Donations at the door. This performance is yet another example of the invaluable gift the former Congregational Church made of their building to the Finnish American Folk Festival. It provides a venue for Finnish concerts, lectures and classes to help our local community learn more about the Finnish culture that founded the Naselle area. Finns came to Naselle to continue working in the jobs they had in their homeland, fishing, farming and forestry. One way their music was kept alive was by Wilho Saari, a beloved musician whose family is still actively musical. We non-Finns are blessed to have had a chance to hear Wilho and his family play the Kantele, a Finnish instrument. Not only was Wilho a fine musician and teacher, he was an extraordinary family man, kind and gentle in spirit. We all miss him. Hearing Henry Aalto gives us another opportunity to hear music from Finland. Let's support it and thank FAFF for offering it.

Photo of the Week: Stephanie Sotka is the newest member of the Grays River Enhancement District. She has been married to Darrell Sotka of Eden Valley for over a year now. She is from the Peninsula and has kept her house there so they have the option of staying on the beach, or coming back to the Eden Valley farm. She told me she decided to put her name forward for the GRVED so she could meet new folks. She has already stepped up to work on a much-needed project, developing an accurate map of the area showing all the pieces of land in the district, who owns them and who signed up to be in the district years ago. This work could take many months, if not a year. There have been so many changes in ownership since the last time a map was developed that it is a big project, but she's very interested in it and is invested in making it happen. Their farm has a stream that is changing because the creek bed is filling with mud and silt, thus raising and allowing flood water to flow into the land further than usual. Stephanie has retired from the Pacific County Sheriff's Department where she ran the communications programs such as the 911 calls and complaint calls. She enjoys gardening and told me she will have two knee replacements completed soon, so gardening will be easier. Her hope is to work to develop reasonable goals to help the Grays River landowners, but she also realizes she has a lot to learn.


Mondays: First Monday of the month, Naselle Library has a men's coffee gathering 10-11:30.

Tuesdays: Naselle Lutheran Church sponsors quilters in mornings and knitters in afternoons.

Third Tuesday, April 18, NGRV School Board meets at 6:30 in school library.

Second Wednesday of the month, Grays River Habitat Enhancement District meets at Grays River Fire Hall across from Duffy's at 5:15.

Wednesdays: AA meeting at the Grays River Grange at noon.

Wednesday, April 5-May 31: Young Children's Play Group at Naselle Library from 10-11:30.

First Thursday of the month: Grays River/Rosburg Gardening group meets at Johnson Park at 6.

First Thursday of the month: Caregiver Support Group at Naselle Library with OBH staff 1-2.

First Fridays of month: Legos Group April – May 31, 10:30-11:30 at Naselle Library.

April 15: Painting party/class at the Naselle Community Center at 1 p.m.

April 19: Senior Lunch Club meets at Rosburg Hall at noon and "Wings of Life" free movie at Naselle Library at 4 p.m.

April 23: Henry Aalto performing at the Naselle Community Center at 3 p.m.

May 20: 4-H Great White Tail Run in Skamokawa.

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


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