Sweet Lorane Community News, May 2, 2019

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
May 2, 2019
By Pat Edwards

May has arrived, my flower beds and boxes are taking shape, and the pace of life is obviously speeding up a bit for everyone. With the sunshine and warmer temperatures, there is suddenly the desire to get out and “do something.”

At its meeting this past week, the Lorane Grange discussed the annual booth at the Lane County Fair as well as its spring clean-up of the Grange Cemetery which sits on the hill next to King Estate. I know that they will welcome volunteers to help with the cemetery. Contact Gary or Lil Thompson or any other grange member if you would like to participate. I’ll try to include details in next week’s column.

For those of us who love and care for our “Lorane Warrior,” Michael Matchulat, he could use a few more of our thoughts and prayers at this time. Jim and I are sending ours.

Last Wednesday morning, there was a very interesting event taking place at Crow High/Middle School, but it was one I opted to find out more about after-the-fact. They held a pre-prom assembly that strangely held a bit more meaning to me than it normally would have. Outside the school, a real-life re-enactment of a horrific car crash took place. Two cars were involved in what was described as a car-full of teenagers who had been drinking, on their way home after the prom. The other car had adults in it who were unlucky enough to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. The scenario involved real-life paramedics, ambulances and life-flight crews who were on hand to remove and tend to the passenger casualties from the wreckages.

The roles of the passengers were played by school students and teachers… among them, our daughter, Michele Kau. Each one of the role-players were made up to show specific injuries and conditions. From the pictures I saw, there was lots of “blood” and makeup to show “wounds” and “broken bones.” I understand that it was very realistic and, according to Michele, “It impacted a lot of kids in a way that will hopefully make them think twice about making dangerous choices.”

I applaud the school for providing this wake-up call to its students. The reason I decided not to witness it was fairly obvious… it was gruesome… but what clinched the decision was the fact that I could not bear the thought of watching the “jaws of life” extricate my daughter’s supposedly “dead body” from a crumbled wreckage. That just hits too close to home.

On a sunnier note, I have been noticing, this spring, an unusual abundance of beautiful blue flowers in the pastures around Lorane, probably due to our recent flooding—they like to grow in moist meadows. These flowers are the blue camas, and they were a very popular and cultivated food source for the Native American tribes who lived in this area. After being harvested in the spring and early summer months, the bulbs were pit-roasted or boiled. According to Wikipedia, “A pit-cooked camas bulb looks and tastes something like baked sweet potato, but sweeter, and with more crystalline fibers due to the presence of inulin in the bulbs…”

Camas

Photo by Martin McClure of Lorane

Seeing these beautiful flowers in the fields provides a connection to the past for me.

A Bit of Lorane History

“The nearest tribes in the area were the Chelamela, the Yoncalla Kalapuyas, the Siuslaws, and the Lower Umpquas. All spoke Chinook jargon, made up of 500 words, which evolved from the various tribes. Primarily, they had the same type of life-style. Their chief food sources came from the abundant plant and animal life in the Siuslaw Valley. Their main staples were acorns, hazelnuts, camas, fish, roots, game and berries. The local tribes regularly practiced field burning to harvest dried wild wheat pods and to control the growth of vegetation. They took advantage each fall of the plentiful supply of salmon provided during the salmon runs in the Siuslaw and Smith Rivers and the connecting streams…

“…Each spring, the members of the tribes would often leave for their favorite hunting or gathering grounds, living in temporary shelters all throughout the spring and summer months. There were no strict territorial boundaries between the tribes and most seemed to agree that no man should own the land, and they respected the areas where their neighbors dwelled…” (From Sawdust & Cider, 1987, 2006)

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