Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle


Karen Bertroch

Becky Erickson and Arlene Nelson at the pony rides at Valley Bible's Preschool where Becky is teacher and Arlene is a volunteer Grandmother.

My friends, words help, but don't fully illustrate feelings. Even when looking at someone, it takes the eyes to fully reveal what's going on in a person's head and heart. When I saw Rick's opening words in last week's article about having days to live, I was in the commons room at the Naselle GRV High School. I had picked up the Eagle from my mailbox as I left to drive to Naselle. I didn't look at the front page till I was waiting for Kolten Lindstrom, valedictorian, to join me. I know my face must have shown my shock, but my head was recognizing the ever present transparency Rick carried as a priority. Journalism to him was about finding the truth in the news, not the fake or made up or exaggerated news, but the transparent news in all its vulnerability and honesty. I was struck that afternoon with the cycle of life, from Rick's raw and transparent honesty about his coming death to Kolten's future and excitement. Rick made the Eagle what it was and is, an honest and transparent small county newspaper giving us news on the national, state and local levels in 10 pages. He has commitment from us at the Eagle, that we will keep it honest and transparent and inclusive for as long as we can. Geri Florek will, I hope, stay with us as long as she can because she carries the institutional history. And I hope and pray all our readers will stay and support future transitions. I will miss you, Rick, my friend, more than words can say. God bless you as you journey Onward. And may God be with all your family at this time, too. So good to see you going through town as you headed home.

Photo of the Week: Last week I went to Valley Bible Church to watch the kids ride small horses that were old, quiet and happy to be with kids. They belong to Ashley Martin. She and her daughter, Faith, handled the horses, and each preschooler got to ride at least once. I took photos of the kids, but I wanted to share a photo of two women who were there who should be honored over and over for their devotion to the pre-school. "Teacher Becky" Erickson has been running the program for many years and knows them and their families well. Arlene Nelson, known as "GG" since she's the great grandmother of quite a few young ones, drove her grandson, Robbie Parker, to pre-school for several years, and stayed many times to volunteer. Her great-granddaughter, Addie, is now driven by her Grandma Marlys from Oregon, who stays during the class herself. Arlene still comes regularly because she loves all the children. Now at 87, she visits with children who aren't related, but who still call her "GG" and go to her as soon as they arrive. She has always been devoted to all the children in her family, as well as the preschool kids. The photo shows how Becky cares for Arlene making sure she has a chair and bringing her an afghan in case she gets chilly. The circle of care is there, easily seen. The children have a fantastic role model in Becky. She is not only caring, but she also cares. They are not always the same thing. Many of us care but aren't sure how to show it. Watching Teacher Becky care for not only the children, but the parents and entire families is a blessing. The preschool is sponsored by Valley Bible Church and it's clear Becky's goal is to simply teach them that Jesus loves them, and all the children of the world. She is skilled at complimenting the children and parents and she role models Jesus' love in every way she can.

Grays River Methodist will host a going away celebration in honor of Mickey Bates. The event will be on Sunday, May 7, at 5 p.m. No gifts, please, and bring a potluck dish if you feel inclined. Mickey is moving, so she will be leaving us, and will be missed by so many. We all wish her well in her new home.

I need to correct shop days for Jen Penttila's Flower Shop: It is open Tuesday – Friday 11-4 and by appointment Saturdays and Mondays. I got those days mixed up.


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

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

Third Tuesday: Naselle Grays River School Board meets at 6:30 in school library.

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

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

Wednesdays through May: 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 through May, 10:30-11:30 at Naselle Library.

May: Next Wednesday Senior Lunch will be on May 17 at Rosburg Hall at noon.

May 4: Wake for Joe Barnes at Hunter's Inn from 4-6.

May 5-6: Murder Mystery Dinner Party at Naselle/GRV School. Tickets at school, $20.

May 6: Saturday: Naselle Lutheran Church: Spring Festival from 10 am until 2.

May 7: Sunday, Rosburg Hall Annual Chicken Dinner 11:30 to1:30.

May 7: Going away party for Mickey Bates at 5 at Grays River Methodist Church.

May 12: Bingo at Johnson Park from 6-8.

May 13: Memorial for Ellen Badger at Rosburg Hall.

May 13: Mother's Day crafts at Johnson Park from 12-2, (360) 355-0472 for info.

May 13: American Legion's pancake breakfast from 8-11 at Rosburg Hall.

May 15: Friends of the Library will meet at Naselle Library from 3-4.

May 13th--Mother's Day Tea/Luncheon-12-2:30 at Naselle Community Center.

May 20 – Concert with Kim Angelis and Jennifer Goodenberger at 3 at Naselle Comm Ctr.

May 20: 4-H Great White Tail Run in Skamokawa beginning at Vista Park. Register at 8:30.

May 20: Archives Center Book launch party at

June 3: Spring Sale at Naselle Lutheran 10-4 Get signed up. Sherrill Hartline (360) 484-7258.

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


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