Category: Newspaper Columns

Newspaper columns that I have written for the Fern Ridge Review in Veneta, Oregon and the Creswell Chronicle in Creswell, Oregon. I began writing them for the Fern Ridge Review on August 4, 2010; on December 6, 2012, the Creswell Chronicle began printing them, as well. I am still the Lorane columnist for both papers.

Sweet Lorane Community News, October 10, 2019

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
October 10, 2019
By Pat Edwards

Last Saturday, the communities of Lorane and Crow honored the life and memory of another of our lifetime residents who descended several generations of family who settled in the area. Shirley McDaniel (Vandecar) Doss passed away on August 25 of this year. I did not hear of her passing for several weeks and I had hoped to attend the recent Celebration of Life for her. Unfortunately, a major family event was held on the same day at the same time, so I wasn’t able to join Shirley’s family and friends after all.

I have known Shirley since the 1970s when we were livestock leaders of the 3-L’s 4-H Livestock Club. It was a community club which I had formed as the Lorane 4-H Coordinator. Shirley was one of our sheep leaders and then she also volunteered to lead a group of 4-H’ers in a vegetable gardening project.

Shirley was close to the land. I remember visiting her one time during the 1970s. She had bottle lambs in her kitchen in a box by the wood stove and she had just separated the milk and cream from the morning’s milking of the cows. She was quiet and unassuming, but a very strong and capable woman.

She used most of the ancestral property to raise sheep and wool. At her passing, she lived on the original ranch that her great-grandparents, Ludig Johannes and Louisa Rebstock Diess, had settled between Gillespie Corners and Hadleyville (Briggs Hill Road) in the late 1870s. I believe that Shirley’s grandfather, Benjamin Franklin “Frank” Diess, built the home west of Powell Road where he and his wife Dora Gates Diess raised their family and where their daughter, Clara Opal Diess (Shirley’s mother) and her husband, Robert McDaniel (her father), raised theirs. It’s where Shirley lived all of her life, and now, Shirley’s daughter, Rose Vandecar, is the 4th generation to live there.

There’s a lot of history surrounding Shirley, and now, Rose. The Diess, Gates and McDaniel families, all which they descended from, have left a huge mark on the Crow and Lorane history. The Gates are well-known in the Crow area, and have many descendants living there still. Opal’s brother, Lincoln Diess, and his wife May, were very active in the Lorane Grange and Lorane School Board for years. Their former home and property is located on the curves of Stony Point.

Many of the McDaniel family, especially, are buried in the McCulloch Cemetery on Briggs Hill Road. For years, Shirley was a board member for the cemetery, and I believe her ashes are there now. It sits on a hilltop surrounded by beautiful vineyards and was the “resting place” my mother chose to be buried.

Shirley and Rose embody a legacy that is disappearing in today’s world by living in and maintaining the home and property of their ancestors. Shirley will be missed by many and my condolences go out to Rose and her family.

Just a quick reminder that the Lorane Grange’s spaghetti family dinner and bingo night will resume Friday, October 18, beginning at 5:30 (dinner) and 6:30 p.m. (bingo).

Sweet Lorane Community News, October 3, 2019

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
October 3, 2019
By Pat Edwards

The Rural Arts Center has announced its 2019-2020 lineup of movies for the Lorane Movie Night series. Just one thing, though… Their new licensing agreement won’t let them advertise the movies to be shown by name. This presents a quandry… how can you get people to come if you can’t tell them what’s playing? The answer is to “keep them guessing.”

The first movie is scheduled for Saturday, October 12. The title, “Bbea” is scrambled, but most of you will be able to figure it out. The description is listed as “Coming to you on little hooves from Australia, this family film follows the growing bond between a pig and his farmer… featuring talking animals, singing mice and James Cromwell.”

The once-a-month event is held on the second Saturday between October and March and each is sponsored by a non-profit group in the area who benefit from the suggested donations paid for admission and dinner. These suggested donations are listed as $7 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Season tickets can be bought for $35. The October host organization is the Lorane Community Association which has asked that the donations to be waived that night.

A homemade soup and bread dinner accompanies the social hour beginning at 6:00 p.m. The group sponsor also provides a dessert. Antics and games, including the famous doorprize giveaway, will be held at 6:45 p.m. and the movie begins at about 7:30 p.m.

Just to give you a headstart on figuring out the upcoming movies, here are their scrambled titles: November – “Het Dogs Stum eb Zarcy” (PG, 1980); December – “Kynbloor” (PG13, 2015); January – “Vyereginth si Demaintulli” (PG13, 2005); February – “Clothaloc” (PG13, 2000); March – “Vincisut” (PG13, 2009).

Come out and enjoy the fun-filled evening.

I just heard that Crow High School is joining with Elmira High School in sponsoring an Oregon High School Equestrian Team. Interested 8th graders may join as groomers.

This is a first, that I know of, for Crow High School, and I hope it will attract a large group of young horse-lovers. How I would have loved to participate in something like that when I was at Lebanon Union High School where I graduated in 1960. My horse Rocket and I were best friends during that time and I spent almost all of my free time during summers and on weekends on his back. I always rode bareback and remember galloping full-throttle along the trails we rode. In those days, none of us thought to use helmets and it’s a wonder I lived through my teen years, although in those days, I could stick like a burr to Rocket’s back and only remember falling off one time. Fortunately, I landed on a spot much less sensitive than my head.

Rocket and me

Rocket and me overlooking the Santiam slough that ran through our bean and berry farm outside of Lebanon

I do remember one time when my sister and I rode Rocket and Rocky the several miles to town from our bean and berry ranch. A rodeo was in town and we heard they were going to have a horse-mounted serpentine as part of the opener and anyone could join in. We got in line outside the arena with dozens of others. The plan was to lope in line and follow the leader through the pattern that the “leader” designed before exiting the arena.

I should mention… and it should have occurred to us… that neither of our horses were used to crowds of people or other horses. We barely got started when both horse shied out of line and messed up the whole works before we were able—shame-faced—to take them out so the others could perform the serpentine as it was intended. That was the closest I ever got to being on an equestrian team, but I’ve loved horses all my life.

Go Falcon/Cougar Equestrian team! Have fun and make memories!

Tommy and me

My pal Tommy and me in later years

Sweet Lorane Community News, September 26, 2019

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
September 26, 2019
By Pat Edwards

This past week was the beginning of fall, and it certainly feels as though it’s earlier than usual, weather-wise. I’ve always enjoyed the cooler, sunny days of fall that we usually have through September and into October, but Mother Nature is keeping us guessing on what each of our tomorrows is to bring this year.

With fall comes the beginning of football, volleyball and cross-country seasons at the area schools. How I miss having a son, daughter or grandchildren in high school or middle school who participate in athletics. I’ve packed away Jim’s and my red and white Crow High School jackets with the names and uniform numbers of our grandkids on the sleeves. We cheered on so many of their games, both at home and away and I miss that. Our daughter, Michele Kau, and her daughter—our granddaughter—Stephanie Furlong, have gone on to coach volleyball. Michele stepped down as the head coach at Crow last year, but Stephanie has taken on the head coaching job for Glide High School east of Roseburg. We still try to make it to at least one of their games each season, although those bleachers are getting harder to sit on as well as climb. At least our one granddaughter, Natalie, who attends Creswell High School, participates in music and drama events that we can attend and so enjoy.

Along with school sports, fall brings harvest festivals and Halloween events. Trick or treating has morphed into the much safer “trunk or treating” where parent and community members park their cars In the Lorane Church parking lot and decorate their cars’ trunks with orange and black and provide treats for the ghosts and goblins who come to fill their jack-o-lanterns. The adults and children are also treated to hot chocolate, spiced cider, coffee and other goodies while standing around outdoor heaters (and under canopies, if it rains) while visiting.

How I remember when the Lorane Elementary School hosted its annual carnival in the gymnasium. It was so popular and usually filled to capacity while young and old alike would gather to watch the children run to the various booths to fish for prizes and do the ring toss and bean bag throw. Some tried shooting basketball free throws for tickets; others had their faces painted with unicorns and rainbows. And then there was the annual lollipop tree which sported hundreds of Dum-Dum suckers. One of the biggest events was the cake walk. Cakes and cupcakes of all flavors and sizes were won if you were on the magic number when the music stopped. Bingo, too, was a popular event for the adults, especially.

While the Lorane Carnival is no more, Crow’s Applegate Elementary is planning a Harvest Festival on October 25 from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. this year. They are advertising it as a fun evening of carnival games (some are from Lorane’s carnival), trick-or-treating, costume contests and a haunted house.

And did I mention bingo? Yes, our three local granges—Lorane, Crow and Creswell—will be offering cash prizes and lots of fun for all ages this fall as they sponsor dinners and bingo games as fundraisers.

The Lorane Grange will have their Spaghetti Dinner and Bingo nights beginning October 18—a Friday night—with dinner beginning at 5:30 and bingo at 6:30 p.m. They charge $5 for a “2-on” pack or $10 for a “4-on” pack plus $1 or $2 a sheet for the blackout game. The jackpot was won last spring, so it will be starting again with $100-plus for the featured blackout game.

The Crow Grange starts again with dinner and bingo on Saturday, October 5. They serve a delicious dinner, usually provided by Dan and Connie Suing or Ruth Teafatiller, beginning at 6:00 p.m. and bingo starts at 7:00. The cost is $17 for a buy-in. Their jackpot was not won last spring, so it has built to over $500.

The Creswell Grange sponsors a bingo night every third Wednesday of each month. The doors open at 6:00 p.m. and games start at 7:00. The cost is $15 for 14 regular games and a blackout game. Their blackout pot is up to $300. They don’t have dinner, but they provide free coffee, tea and popcorn.

Good times are ahead! So, let’s support our schools, granges and other community organizations in any way we can to maintain our strong communities.