Tag: Nancy O’Hearn

Memories of Marna

Amanda & MarnaMarna Hing (March 19, 1941 to August 8, 2010)

*~*~*~*

Some Love Is Like a Flower
(a song lyric)

Some love is like a flower
Grows so beautiful and strong
But, flowers grow in seasons
And those don’t last too long

Some love is like a windmill
On a gusty-windy day
But, then sometimes the wind will stop
And the purpose goes away

Some love is like a sweet, sweet song
So mellow to the ear
But most of us are deaf or mute
So we lose what’s close and dear

Some love is like a long-lost friend
Kept inside your heart
So, if a newfound friend is there
You both will have a start

Some love is good; some love is bad
Some love was meant to be
And now, I’d like to share with you
The love inside of me

My love is like an ocean
So wide, so deep ‘n strong
Unlike the flowered seasons
My love goes on and on

~ Gary “Spyder” Lewis
Groundwaters, Summer 2009

*~*~*~*

Memories

By Pat Edwards

How is it possible to sum up over 35 years of friendship in a short eulogy? Don’t get me wrong… Marna’s and my friendship wasn’t the kind of “buddies-pals-and-partners” arrangement where we hung out together and had coffee every day. In fact, I’m wondering how good a friend I was, for in the end, I wasn’t there much for her… But, I think that she knew that all she had to do was ask and I would come running. That was the problem. Marna was not a complainer. She bore all of the infirmities that descended upon her over the past 15 years with a strength and resiliency that I can only marvel at. She was a fighter and was fiercely loyal to her friends and family.

Marna

Marna Lee Helser Hing

Actually, my husband Jim knew Marna and Bob before I did. Before moving to Lorane in 1971, they frequently shopped at the Mayfair Market in Santa Clara where Jim was manager for several years. They came to have a nodding acquaintance and immediately recognized each other when they met again at one of the Lorane events. Like many in our generation, Marna and Jim shared a mutual liking for Elvis Presley and his music. Marna, especially, was a huge Elvis fan. The four of us – Marna, Bob, Jim and I – also shared a love for card games, pinochle, especially, and in the early years of our friendship, we spent some fun evenings playing the game.

I officially got to know Marna back in the mid-1970s when I took on the role of the Lorane 4-H coordinator. It was my mission to find leaders and kids to form various types of 4-H clubs in the area. I had already found leaders for the livestock clubs – beef, sheep, swine, rabbit, etc. – and cooking and sewing clubs, but I was still seeking leaders for groups that would allow kids to explore other kinds of interests. Marna approached me about forming a dog obedience club, as she was active in dog obedience groups at the time. She had a special way with dogs… she loved them – all animals, really – and they loved her in return. At the time, she had a couple of wonderful Doberman Pinschers, Bonnie and Zorro, who despite their breed’s reputation, were sweethearts. Marna’s 4-H club proved popular and her kids learned a lot about the patience and quiet determination that it takes to train an animal… areas that they were able to carry forward with them and apply to other aspects of their lives, thanks to Marna’s leadership.

Marna eventually came to work for us at the Lorane Family Store which we bought from the Mitchell family in 1977. I was running the store in those days with the help of Nancy O’Hearn in the old original building. It was dusty, rather dark and the old wooden floors creaked and slanted downhill from the door, but we loved greeting the customers and ringing up sales of mainly milk, bread, pop, beer and cigarettes. Pumping gas and sweeping floors were less popular activities… especially since a thick layer of dust would settle onto the shelves each time we swept and we waged a constant battle with the dust.
The three of us formed a close bond at that time. Nancy descended from several generations of Lorane pioneers and when she talked about them, she piqued Marna’s and my interest in our own family histories. Those were the days following the very popular “Roots” series on TV that had everyone trying to trace their family trees. We began actively going to the genealogy libraries together, staring for hours at those horrible little microfiche films of white-on-black census records, trying to locate our ancestors. As we talked about them, Marna and I became more and more interested in Nancy’s family and its connection to Lorane’s past. Nancy brought out old pictures of Lorane and the people who populated the area. She told stories that her grandparents had told her. She discovered that it was her ancestor, Lily Crow, who named the town “Lorane” after a favorite niece. Lily, Nancy’s great great grandmother, was married to William Crow who was the town’s first postmaster. Another thing we discovered was that the town became officially “Lorane” in 1887. We realized that in three years, Lorane would be having its 100th birthday as a town. From that realization was born a plan… we would turn our energies to researching Lorane’s history and compile our findings into a book. Knowing that I loved to write, Marna and Nancy asked me if I would be willing to write the book if they helped research it. When I agreed, we became the “Three Musketeers of Lorane”… pouring over documents, pictures, letters, newspaper articles, microfiche census records and recording every story and little bit of information we were able to uncover. We set up interviews with the “old timers” of that time… listening to and recording the stories that their grandparents had told them about early life in Lorane. Marna usually sat at one end of the table with a tape recorder and I would sit at the other end with a second one so that we could catch as much of the conversation as we could. Nancy took handwritten notes. We all asked questions and let the conversation flow in whatever direction it took. We picked up a lot of wonderful stories that way.

Marna was especially good at knowing what questions to ask that would put our subjects at ease and start the memories flowing. Several times, she and Nancy went out to interviews by themselves when I was unable to go. I transcribed the tapes and Nancy’s notes and entered them into my computer. Soon chapters began to form and our book took shape.

Our project began to pique the interest of others in the community. Soon we were involved with the planning of a major Centennial celebration to recognize Lorane’s 100th birthday. Those three years were labor-intensive for all of us, but we seemed to be in our elements. Our pictures and story appeared in all of the local newspapers and magazines and we were invited to be interviewed on TV. We felt like real celebrities!

A few weeks before the Centennial, Marna, Nancy and I headed over the Cascades to Bend where we joyfully picked up our first 500 copies of our newly printed book, Sawdust and Cider; A History of Lorane, Oregon and the Siuslaw Valley from our publisher, Maverick Publications. We notified those who pre-ordered copies that they were ready and scheduled a booksigning at the Lorane Grange where people were invited to join us for a party at which they could pick up their books. The grange rapidly filled with people who were anxious to read about their own families and the rest of the history of Lorane. We sat at a long table, greeting people and signing their copies of the book. It was a heady experience for three “country girls!”

Book signing

Marna, Pat and Nancy signing autographs in their new book, Sawdust and Cider, at the Lorane Centennial celebration

In August, 1987, there was a large turnout for the three days of activities, games and displays that the Lorane Centennial committee planned. People came from all over the country to touch their roots. One of Marna’s biggest contributions to the event was the video of the old homes and sites of interest in the area that she and Bob made. It was a taped tour of the area and Marna served as the tour guide with her commentary and bits of history of the area. I don’t know how many people bought the tapes, but I still have mine.

flapper

Kelly Edwards wearing Lucy’s Portland Rose Festival Queen dress for the Cottage Grove fashion show

During that time, Cottage Grove was celebrating its history, too. They planned a fashion show featuring vintage styles of dress over the past century. Its organizers approached Marna, Nancy and I, as authors of Sawdust and Cider, to participate as a mean of publicizing our book. While trying to figure out what type of costume we could include, Marna was inspired to suggest that her mother, Lucy, had been the 1923 Portland Rose Festival Queen and she had an exquisite flapper dress that we could use. The problem that it presented, however, was that none of us were small enough to fit into the delicate measurements made for Marna’s obviously slender mother. Our youngest teenaged daughter, Kelly, however, was the perfect size and had been doing some modeling, so we asked her if she would model the dress in the Cottage Grove show. She had her hair done in fingerwaves with a tiara and strode up the aisle in the beautiful dress, carrying a copy of our book. We were so proud!

In June 1973, Marna and Bob were part of a group who became charter members of the newly-formed Lorane Volunteer Fire Department. (Bob remembers the other charter members as Bruce and Berneda McDonald, Mike and Linda Jenks, Gary and Lil Thompson, Joe and Barbara Brewer and Jim Kotrc.) There weren’t too many fires to deal with, but Marna made frequent runs with the other volunteers to traffic accidents in the area. There was a need for experienced emergency technicians to aid the victims until medical help arrived. Always ready to lend her help wherever it was needed, Marna began the extensive program to earn her license as an EMT-2 responder. Bob served on the board for many years and, combined, they amassed over 46 years of service to the community with the Lorane Volunteer Fire Department.

Marna and Bob were also long-time Grange members, serving the community, once again, through Grange events and activities.

For a few years of our friendship, Marna and I joined with Phyl Narzisi for weekly horseback rides during the good weather months. I packed my lunch and trailered my Arabian gelding, Gharahas, to Lorane to meet Marna and Phyl, usually at Marna and Bob’s house. Marna’s favorite mount was Bob’s jet black gelding, Satan, although Marna’s own horse, Ginger, was usually available, too. We frequently turned the horses’ heads towards the hill across from the Hing place, riding on the trails through forested land belonging to George Damewood – with his permission, of course. Halfway through our ride, we stopped for lunch under the big fir trees or at an old homestead site. In the fall, we’d pick and eat apples, pears and prunes from the old orchards vacated decades ago. Other times, we’d meet at Phyl’s place on Siuslaw River Road and ride on the trails near Fawn Creek. Those were fun times, indeed!

Eventually, I went to work at the University of Oregon and our friendship became one of occasional email greetings. Marna took on the role of unofficial “community news” person. By then, many of us had email and she maintained an email list to which she sent news updates of things happening in the community.

In 1995, Marna was moving some hay in the barn when the unstable hay rolled out from under her. As she began to fall, she reached for one of the support posts in the barn to try to keep herself from falling. Her arm hit the post hard, causing the bone of her arm to snap, just under the shoulder joint. She had multiple surgeries and procedures performed on the break, but it refused to heal. Despite the pain she must have been in, Marna continued living her life as normally as possible, but her health, over the next 15 years continued to deteriorate.

She and Bob continued to enjoy friends and family; they traveled every winter to Arizona and lived their lives to the fullest under the circumstances. Bob and Marna always maintained a close relationship with their long-time classmates and friends in Tigard and kept in close touch with them through the years and, of course, they had made many many friends in Lorane.

Marna was a caring person in every way. She cared about her community, taking a special interest in doing what she could to make it that unique place that many of us call “home.” She became actively involved with any project or event where she felt her energies were needed.

She loved her friends. She was outgoing and was always there whenever one of us needed her help and support in any way.

… And, then there was her family, children and grandchildren, who meant so much to her – and Bob. He was her life’s companion and soulmate who was by her side every step of the way throughout their marriage… for better and, unfortunately, for worse. For all of her infirmities in the last 15 years, Bob was always there for her… sharing, as best he could, whatever came her way. His devotion is testimony to what a very strong and great lady Marna Helser Hing was. She will truly be missed by all of us who were fortunate enough to have known her.

May you at last rest in peace, Marna.

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Searching For Community Roots: A Novice’s Approach to Writing An Area History

By Pat Edwards

Living and working in a community for over 20 years helps when it comes to compiling a local history of that community, but it is not always necessary. I had never written anything other than school papers and letters to friends and editors before I decided to begin the writing of the history of our community of Lorane, Oregon. It was an undertaking casually begun when two friends, Nancy O’Hearn and Marna Hing, offered to help me research a book providing I would do the writing.

It helped that we were all interested in genealogy; in fact, the idea stemmed from that interest. Nancy’s family had lived in the community for three generations. It was Nancy who noted that Lorane would be 100 years old as a town in four years. It was their idea that we should write the history to celebrate that centennial.

Our first step down the road to commitment was to visit the county historical museum and the libraries in the area. We asked the museum curator to allow us to go through the Lorane files. There we found newspaper clippings, photographs, letters, diaries, and other memorabilia. The libraries supplied donation land claim maps, excerpts on Lorane’s history from the county history books, early business directories, and biographies of some its the earliest settlers. Nancy already had the area’s cemetery lists which she had obtained from her genealogical searches.

We began talking with the local “old timers” who had grown up in Lorane, and some whose parents had been born and raised there. The idea of putting together a history caught flame when they realized that we were seriously wanting to pursue our idea. We asked them to find someone in the family who would be willing to write up something about their families and their recollections of the early days there. They soon began to pull out the old picture albums from their attics. We began pouring through old, faded, and sometime cracked pictures trying to determine who the people were and where they were taken.

Each year in Lorane, there is a weekend set aside in August for the “Old Timers’ Picnic” which resembles a high school reunion encompassing several decades. Nancy suggested that we attend the picnic and talk with people about our project to find out how many would be interested in helping us with information on their families. Soon, letters began to arrive, telling of the early years.

Shortly after we made the decision to write the history, I bought a computer and printer even though I had never used one before. I had once had secretarial training in the days of manual typewriters, shorthand, and ditto machines, but computers were an enigma to me. I took the course on DOS that accompanied my purchase and took it home to begin delving into the mysterious world of the electronically written word. I began recording the bits and pieces of information we were getting on the book into separate computer files; files on families, schools, businesses, churches, organizations, others called “progress”, “transportation and travel”, “entertainment”, “trials and tribulations”, “growing up in Lorane”, “sports”, and “memories”. As information was gathered, I entered it into the appropriate file(s), reworking the wording as I went. As the files began to become longer and longer, I realized that I had stumbled onto a perfect way of organizing our book into chapters.

We began to conduct interviews of those who would agree to it. We took a tape recorder…one for each end of the table if there were more than three or four people talking. I also kept notes, not trusting the tape recorders to record the precious memories that were being related to us. We would ask questions about how long the family had lived in Lorane, when they came, where they lived, what they did for a living. Once the person being interviewed relaxed and began to forget about the tape recorders silently winding away through their narrative, they began to tell stories that had been told to them. We would ask each to point out where various families had lived on the maps that we brought with us, trying to trace the history of each home that was still in the area and those that were no longer there. Because Lorane was once a fast paced logging and lumber mill town we asked about the way logs were harvested and processed. We asked those whose family members were farmers how the farming was done. Many shared their pictures and letters with us, allowing us to copy them for use in the book. We heard funny stories, sad stories, warm remembrances, tales of childhood adventures, and forms of entertainment. We asked about the schools and businesses in the area. We showed school pictures taken in the early part of the century to everyone who might be able to identify a parent, aunt or uncle among the youthful faces. Frequently the interview/conversation would turn in new and sometimes surprising directions, revealing fresh and very interesting material for the book. Other times, we had to steer the conversation back on course.

Once the chapters began to take shape, I would have those involved read and reread them, correcting any mistakes and adding any information that they might have forgotten to mention in the original interview. The word about the book began to spread through families to members living in other states. Members of families who were no longer represented in the community somehow found out about the research and sent us written histories and pictures to be included. Many were active in the genealogy revolution following the popular Roots mini-series on T.V., and we were able to trace many of the families to the pioneers who originally settled in the valley.

As the book grew, we knew that we would have to look into ways of publishing it. We knew that it was not the type of book that would have widespread interest, so there was little chance that a publisher would buy it from us, so we began checking into those specializing in self-publishing. We compared costs and talked with others who had published books of their own. When we finally settled on the publisher we wanted, we began seeking ways to raise the money that we would have to have ahead of publication. It seemed like a great deal of cash for three unemployed housewives. We decided to see if we could pre-sell enough books to pay the advance fee. We asked the publisher for advice on how much to charge for the book. His advice was to set it for enough that the first third of the books that we were ordering would pay for the printing costs and the rest would be profit. It is necessary to figure it that way to cover for unsold, damaged, lost, or donated books. That year at the “Old Timers’ Picnic” we set up a table and began taking orders. We added a postage and handling charge for those who wanted their books mailed. The orders began pouring in and over the next few weeks we soon had enough to cover the advance publishing fee and were on our way to the rest of the cost that would be charged before we could pick up the books from the publisher.

Cover.jpgIt was soon time for finding a title for the book. No one seemed to be able to come up with a catchy title. It came to me all at once without any effort once I let my mind relax its struggle. Sawdust and Cider; A History of Lorane, Oregon and the Siuslaw Valley became a reality as soon as I suggested the names to Nancy and Marna. The name referred to the sawmills and the vast apple orchards that flourished in the area during the early and mid parts of the century.

During those days of getting the book ready for publication, I contacted a newspaper in a neighboring city. They sent out a reporter who did a feature article on the writing of the book. Soon other area newspapers were contacting us. A freelance writer asked to do an article for the magazine put out by our rural power utility.

By the time that the book went to press, we had sold enough copies to pay for the printing costs. We opened a savings account where we let the remaining money accumulate for the costs of a second printing that we knew we would need.

When we brought the book home from the publishers, it was like bringing a new baby home from the hospital. We were anxious to show it off to everyone. We scheduled a book party at the Grange Hall where we invited all of those who had ordered books to come and pick up their copies. We had refreshments and a signing table where we were actually asked for our autographs. It was a day of compliments and pictures, and we basked in our collective glory.

The Lorane Centennial took place shortly after the publication of the book; almost 4 years after Nancy and Marna approached me that day. We sold enough books to order a second printing. We had donated books to local libraries and museums and had placed them in many of the area book stores. One of the bookstores arranged to have two of the area T.V. stations interview me on the air about the book. We sent one of the books to a popular genealogy journal for review, and we took out an ad in that same journal. The sales of Sawdust have slowed down considerably over the years, but we only have about 200 of the 1,500 total books that were printed remaining.

Writing a history such as ours has been work…lots and lots of work. But, in the end the knowledge that you have contributed something to the history of the area compensates for all of that hard work. You’ll never get rich writing a history such as ours; in fact, you’ll never get monetarily compensated for all of the hours that you put into it. But you will never be able to spend the rewards you get. They will remain with you for the rest of your life.

(Published in The Genealogical Helper and The Housewife-Writer’s Forum, 1995)

Sweet Lorane Community News – January 12, 2017

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
January 12, 2017
By Pat Edwards

Fortunately, the predicted ice storm that I mentioned in last week’s column produced few power outages in our area… no more big limbs or trees came down at our place, but it did cause many of us to be homebound for several more days while we waited for the roads to clear of the ice-crusted snow that remained from the previous week. The roads were clear and even dry in most spots today (Thursday) when I made a 10:00 a.m. appointment in Eugene, but I still need to put my little Jeep Compass in 4WD just to get out of our driveway. Snow, snow, go away; Come again… next winter, please! I don’t know about

There’s some Lorane news to report, but not much. Most of us have been so intent on staying warm and staying on our feet when we venture outside that we’re not making many plans.

I missed getting the information on the David Doughty celebration of life into last week’s column. It will take place on Saturday, January 14 at the Deep Woods event center in Elmira, so it will already have passed by the time you read this. Knowing how much David was respected and loved by our community, I have no doubt that there will be a packed house for his funeral. He was a good man.

For those interested in becoming members, the Lorane Grange will meet on Thursday, January 19 at 7:00 p.m… a new time. Their next Spaghetti Dinner and Bingo night is scheduled for Saturday, January 28. Dinner will begin at 5:30 p.m. and bingo for the whole family starts at 6:30 p.m. It’s a fun, raucous time and I hope to see a big crowd there. Proceeds go towards maintenance of the hall. Contact Lil Thompson (541-942-5701) if you have any questions about grange membership and/or the upcoming events.

Many of you know that somehow, over the years, I have gotten involved in researching, writing and publishing local history information… first, Lorane’s and then the history of U.S. Highway 99 through Oregon. I never was a history scholar in school, so it’s surprising that I’ve grown to love it so much in my later years.

I’ve written an open letter to the people of Lorane and Crow to try to interest you in establishing a written and pictorial history of our area extending beyond the boundaries that were in place for our research on Lorane for the 1987 and 2006 editions of Sawdust and Cider; A History of Lorane, Oregon and the Siuslaw Valley. I’d like to concentrate on families living in the area lying between Lorane and Crow and Crow, itself… i.e. Gillespie Corners, Simonsen Road, Powell Road, Hadleyville (Briggs Hill Road), Doane Road and on into Crow.

When  Nancy O’Hearn, Marna Hing and I researched the Lorane history in the 1980s, we were able to conduct interviews of the people whose ancestors were some of its earliest settlers. We were told first-hand stories of the early part of the 1900s and were given access to vintage pictures from personal family albums. Most of those people we interviewed who had grown up in the early 1900s – my generation’s parents and grandparents – have passed on. In fact, those in my generation, born in the 1940s and 1950s, are now the “old timers.”

There is a lot of interest in the stories, pictures and information shared by those who lived in the early-to-mid 1900s. I’ve seen the interest first-hand and I worry that area histories that have not yet been documented might be lost.

I would like to set up a depository of stories, photos, letters, diaries and other documents so that they can be recorded and published and can be shared for generations. I can donate my time in organizing the information, editing, doing the layout and publishing everything as a book, but I no longer have the time or energy level to take on the info-gathering portion of such a project.

If this is something the community wants to do, then I would love to see it happen as a community project. Proceeds for book sales could go towards community needs and events.

If you’re interested in participating in this project, please read the full letter for more information. It’s posted on the Lorane, Oregon Facebook page. You can also contact me at edwards@groundwaterspublishing.com for a copy of the letter and/or for the guidelines for submitting photos and other material.

It’s up to you whether or not it happens.