Tag: Sawdust and Cider

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)

Organization of the Lorane Centennial Celebration, August 7-9, 1987

Stell with Centennial shirt B&W

Estelle Mitchell… one of the main organizers and force behind the Lorane Centennial

CENTENNIAL ORGANIZATIONAL REPORT
By Pat Edwards
Activity Director and Co-Publicity Chairman

We actually began the work of organizing the Lorane Centennial in the summer of 1986.  (See the committee minutes for the exact date.)

The first meeting that I remember was just a discussion group to try to decide what we all had in mind for the celebration.  We tried to get representatives from each of the local organizations to sit on the committee.  I agreed to sit on the committee, but since I was still very much involved with writing and getting our book published, I made it clear that I could not get very deeply involved in the organization until after the book had gone to the publisher in January.

At the August, 1986 meeting, I decided to make up some suggestions as to how we should set up the committee (Definitions of Committee Responsibilities) and the areas where we needed leadership roles.  Everyone seemed to be in agreement of the outline.  Committee heads were chosen or volunteered and business began in an orderly manner.  I volunteered to be the activity chairman or director as that was a job I felt I could handle.  I also agreed to help Lou Dell Hayes with the publicity.

First on my list of priorities was to decide on a number of activities and entertainments that we would like to incorporate into the celebration, and to find individuals who would head up each.  Most on the committee agreed that we should have a country-western dance.  It was a while before I found someone who would begin the work on organizing it, but finally, Sharon Malcolm agreed to if she had some help.  Nancy O’Hearn said that she would help her.  At one of the later meetings, however, the consensus of the meeting was that maybe we shouldn’t sponsor the dance because of the problems of security in case of disorderly conduct.  Several on the committee felt that Mr. Beebe, superintendent of the school district, might object to the gym being used for a dance.  So, I finally agreed to ask Sue Pruitt if the Pruitt’s Equestrian Centre would sponsor the dance to be held in their barn.  She agreed that they would handle that on their own, apart from the Centennial committee’s sponsorship.  I did suggest, though, that they hire a live band to be consistent with the quality we wished to maintain for the Centennial.  Sharon and Nancy were then relieved of their commitments.

Another suggestion for an activity was a parade.  That was another area where no one seemed eager to organize as chairman.  After most of the other sub-committee heads were determined, Lou Dell and Walt Hayes agreed to take on the job of organizing a parade for fear that the idea would be dropped otherwise.

LouDell has always been the chief organizer of the Old Timers Picnic each year, so she also volunteered to once again be in charge of that activity.  We later found out from our insurance agent that the picnic could not rightfully be covered under our policy because of the potluck (home-cooked food) that would be served.  The picnic could be advertised in the Centennial brochure only if it was described as being held “in conjunction” with the Lorane Centennial.

The Crow-Applegate-Lorane School District’s music teacher, Sharon Boehringer, was the one who suggested that she write a pageant to be performed during the Centennial.  Her idea was to use mainly Lorane school children with a few adults in the pageant.  She asked us if we would give her permission to use material from Sawdust & Cider for the pageant.  Since she needed the material before the book was published, we supplied her with printouts of various parts of the book.

It wasn’t too difficult to find someone to head up the horseshoe pitch contest which we wished to have.  I was told that Stan Davis’ uncle, Lowell Davis, was an expert “pitcher”, so I asked Stan to find out if Lowell would be interested in organizing the contest.  He agreed to do it for us.

I approached Mike Counts about organizing a softball game for the Centennial as he plays on a softball team each summer and was a natural for it.  He said he would and also agreed to organize the tug-o-war.  As it turned out, about a month before the Centennial, Mike discovered that he would have to be away at his own tournament during the Centennial, so wouldn’t be able to do the organizing.

Since Mike Chaplin, our Lorane postmaster, had just begun organizing a softball team in Lorane just for the fun of playing, I asked him to line up an opponent for a Centennial game.  He was happy to do the organizing.

Jamie Annett eagerly took on the job of organizing the tug-o-war and arranged to have the Lorane Fire Dept. challenge the Crow Fire Dept. to a pull.

For the hog-calling contest, which we weren’t even sure we’d have contestants, Larry Wilson was happy to agree to be the organizer.  Michelle Doughty and Kathy Warden agreed to dress as Miss Piggy and come running out of the woods when someone called, but Kathy got involved with the children’s games, and Michelle moved from the area.  Larry also agreed to head up the greased pig contest for the children.

Mike Jenks was the one who suggested we have a beard-growing contest, and, in so doing, ended up being chosen to head it up.  Mike put a lot of thought into the contest, but, as it turned out, very few people signed up before the deadline, and only one or two actually reported in as clean-shaven when they were supposed to.  That meant a change in rules, and it was decided that there would be a category for beards that had already been started for those who didn’t want to shave off their established beards.

Suggested children’s games were sack races, hoop rolls, three-legged races, egg throwing, etc.  Kathy Warden agreed to head that up and Michelle Doughty agreed to help her.

Randy Joseph thought he could round up enough draft horse teams for us to sponsor either a contest or a demonstration.  The difference between the two was that a contest would require a pot of several hundred dollars.  A demonstration would cost the committee about $150 per team–with only two or three teams. Randy said that he would not charge the committee for his team.

It was also thought that Randy could provide a horse-drawn shuttle service for people who wanted to ride between the parking area on Lorane Orchard Road and the Lodge and Church area.  It was later determined to be an unfeasible plan because of the traffic that was expected to be using the roads and the bottleneck that would occur in Pruitt’s Equestrian Centre’s driveway where the team would have to turn around.

People were chosen to work on obtaining some of the planned entertainments for Saturday afternoon.  Jean Thompson agreed to try and get a square dance group to entertain for us.  As it turned out, she was not able to find a caller who was free to come that weekend.

Carroll Noel never was sure if he could get his folk dance group to the celebration.  At first it was thought that the celebration would be the same weekend as the Junction City Scandinavian Festival where the folk dance group was committed.  But it was determined that it was not the same weekend.  He thought that his group would be able to come on Sunday to perform so a slot was allotted the group at 1:30 p.m.  As it turned out, Mr. Carroll was in the process of making a career move which required that he move to California on our weekend, so we were not able to get folk dancers as we had hoped.

Debbie Davis offered to be the person in charge of getting her family, the Booher family, to perform as old-time fiddlers for whenever we needed them for the Centennial.  They are a well-known group who have played for years in the area and around the country.  They were first scheduled to play for the vaudeville show on Friday and on Saturday afternoon.  As it turned out, they had to cancel their Friday evening performance, but spent several hours as our only Saturday afternoon entertainment.

Later into the activity planning, Kathy Smith suggested that we have a 10-K or a Fun Run as part of the activities.  The committee gave her the go-ahead providing she organize it herself–which she did–admirably.

As activity chairman, I outlined a list of suggestions to be discussed at one of our earlier meetings.  At that time, we thought that we would like to have some type of folk dancing as our kick-off on Friday night that the audience could take part in, since that was a popular form of entertainment throughout Lorane’s history.  I later decided that a talent show or vaudeville night would be more feasible.  I decided on the vaudeville show, as it would not involve competition, and we could combine professional and amateur talent to make a quality program.

One of my first steps in organizing the vaudeville show was to ask Helen Gleason if she would be willing to head up the decorating of the gymnasium.  She had been recommended to me as a talented lady, and I found out that she was a very dedicated one, as well.

Mr. Beebe, the superintendent of schools, had assured us that the school district would cooperate in any way possible with our plans.  They agreed to fill our need for a stage, all the chairs we needed, backdrops, lighting, any sound equipment we needed, tables, and the use of colored paper and decoration supplies from the school.  (We kept a list of what we used and paid the school district back for it.)  The school district maintenance crew even hauled most of it over for us from Crow.  They painted the gymnasium, inside and out–even the basketball backboards, and had the school grounds immaculate for us.

When the stage was brought over from the high school, Helen Gleason, her son and daughter, Randy and Lil, and Lil’s boyfriend, Shawn Stanturf, all spent days decorating the stage, backdrops, and gymnasium.  In the beginning, they covered the stage with colored paper which we asked them to remove because of the hazard it would present when the dancers, especially, were on stage.  When they removed it, we could see why they had covered it.  The stage was stained, unpainted wood and could only be described as “ugly”.  It was later remedied, however, when Lloyd Counts saw it and offered to get permission from Mr. Beebe to paint it.  When he got that permission, Lloyd did the painting, himself.

During some of the rehearsals that were taking place the last two weeks before the celebration, the decorations would occasionally get torn or scuffed, and Helen and crew would fix them back up without complaint.  When pasting lettering on the large Centennial sign behind the stage, Randy accidentally pasted two “n’s” after the “Ce” instead of after the “te” in the word “Centennial”.  The mistake wasn’t discovered until after the sign was completed.  He spent one whole afternoon the next day cutting out the letters again and re-doing the whole sign rather than patch it.

Bob Adams relieved my first concern about the sound system, by offering to let us use his personal system which was an excellent one.  We discovered later, we couldn’t have done without him.  Each act needed a different type of microphone and set up which he took care of entirely for us not only for Friday’s show, but for Saturday and Sunday, as well.

Sharon Malcolm suggested that we use spotlights on Friday night, too, and it was she that arranged for the use of the school district’s light system and for Brad Hayes to do our lighting for us.

As for the entertainment, my original idea was to have a number of acts and end the show with an old fashioned sing-a-long, but as it turned out, there wasn’t enough time for more than one song at the end.  Our concern was that we didn’t want the show to end much later than 9:30 p.m. as the P.T.C. had scheduled a pie social afterwards and we didn’t want to spoil their plans by making our show too late for people to want to stay and have pie and coffee.

My first hope was to hire the McKenzie Touring Company–a comical barbershop quartet to perform that night.  Another hopeful was Rhys Thomas from Crow who is a professional juggler and comedian.  The McKenzie Touring Co. wasn’t able to make it and neither were the only other two quartets in the county.  So, that took care of our hopes for a barbershop quartet.  Rhys Thomas, it was determined, wasn’t able to come, either because he was planning to move to Washington that weekend.

Knowing what a good voice Tracy Drullinger has, I asked her if she would be willing to sing for us.  She accepted for a $25 fee.

Elda Lowman, a former teacher and principal at the Lorane Elementary School, also agreed to do a skit for the program, and Emma Belle Johnson said that she would do some readings for us.

At about that time, I decided that I needed some help with the vaudeville show–some ideas on who I could get to help make it a quality show.  I asked Sharon Malcolm and Linda Hughes.  Both were eager to help.  After some discussion, we decided to ask a senior citizen’s group in Coos Bay if they would be willing to put on their “revue”–a show that we understood was exceptionally good.  All of the acts were performed by senior citizens who did everything from song and dance to a fake striptease.

After three phone calls, I got in touch with a lady who said that she could probably get us enough acts to fill in an hour time slot–which would have been perfect.  But, after a couple of weeks of waiting to hear for sure, she notified us that they wouldn’t be able to do it that particular weekend after all.

Our spirits were really beginning to droop by then.  I then contacted a comedy-juggling-song and dance act which Rhys Thomas had recommended.  They said that they would perform for us for $110, but they did not have a videotape of their act which we could view.  For that amount of money, we were reluctant to hire them sight unseen, so we held off while we did some further looking.

In the meantime, I received a call from another lady in North Bend who was part of the Senior Revue that we lost out on.  She said that she was also a member of a clogging club, and that she could get some members of her group to perform for us if we wanted them.  They took donations of anywhere between $50 and $75.  We decided that that was the way to go, so we hired them.

We felt we still needed one more act.  I contacted a gentleman in Monroe who did whistling and bird calls, but he wasn’t available.  He had a lady call me who was a puppeteer.  She had just been on the Johnny Carson Show the week before and would perform for us for $100.

About the same time, I discovered that a Lorane resident, Ron Thomas, was a talent agent.  After talking to him, he suggested that we contact Chick Whitten, a ragtime pianist, who would probably work for us for $50 for as long as we needed him.

After some discussion, Sharon, Linda, and I decided that this was the way to go, and we arranged for Mr. Whitten to join the show.  That gave us a very full schedule, but one we felt would entertain the audience sufficiently that they wouldn’t mind if we went over the time allotment by ten or fifteen minutes.

The schedule allotted 15 minutes for the masters of ceremonies to open the show and to introduce the court.  Then we gave Emma Belle and Elda 10 minutes each.  They were to be followed by the Booher Family Band for 15 minutes, and Tracy Drullinger for 10 minutes.  We would then take a 10 minute intermission and proceed to the Ocean Pacific Cloggers for 15 minutes, followed by Chick Whitten for another 15.  We would then close out with the Gowings for 15 or 20 minutes, and the finale (which I thought of only a couple of weeks before the show) would be Vicki Adams singing “God Bless America” with the audience joining her in the last chorus.  There would then be a few short announcements to make people aware of the early morning activities on Saturday.

About a week before the Centennial, the Booher Family Band found it necessary to cancel out of the vaudeville show on Friday night.  They were very sorry, but it couldn’t be helped.  They did agree, however to stay for several hours on Saturday afternoon when it was discovered that we were having trouble finding entertainment then.  They had only been scheduled for one hour on Saturday.  This turned out to be less of a disaster than I first imagined.  It gave us a little more leeway on Friday night, as our schedule was not quite so packed, and, as it turned out, all my hopes for a variety of entertainments on Saturday were dashed.

My vision was to have square dancers, Indian dancers, old-time fiddlers, the school band, and possibly, the Elmira High School’s dance team doing their dances and music throughout Saturday afternoon in the gym.  As it turned out, Jean Thompson was not able to come up with a caller for square dancing.

After what seemed like hundreds of phone calls to as many different people, trying to find a group of local Native Americans to demonstrate some of their dances for us, we were told that there was to be a large pow-wow that particular weekend, and all of the drums would be at the pow-wow.  There could be no dancing without drums.

At the end of the school year, we had been assured by the band teacher, Terry Thompson, of Crow High School, that he could probably get enough school kids together to play for us on Saturday, although he didn’t want to try for marching in the parade as they had no experience or equipment for that.  We were to contact him at least a couple of weeks before the Centennial.  Many of the kids began coming to me a month before the celebration, asking if Mr. Thompson had contacted me, yet.  They were really looking forward to participating.  We all agreed that we would all try getting in touch with him, as none of us had had any luck.  No one answered the phone at the number listed in the book.  We figured that Mr. Thompson was on vacation.  After a week or more of calling, each of us managed to find out that the number we had been calling was the wrong Terry Thompson, and by the time we had the right number, the right Terry Thompson was on vacation.  When we finally did get in touch with him, it was only about a week before the Centennial, and he had already made other arrangements.  (He was also a minister and had scheduled two weddings for that day–Saturday, August 8th)  When we asked if he would be willing to work with the kids during the week before the celebration, he didn’t feel he would have the time.  There were some very disappointed kids.–Me, too.

Earlier, I had contacted the Elmira dance team who did a cute can-can routine, but discovered that they would be unable to come for that weekend.  Our own Crow High School dance team had not practiced for months, and would have been willing to work on it, but over half of their group had either moved away (two had been exchange students from Mexico) or were going to be away on vacation for the weekend.  So, my list of entertainments quickly dwindled down to the Booher Family Band who did a fine job.

I also wished to have a variety of crafts being demonstrated in the gym on Saturday afternoon.  I contacted Beth Booth who enthusiastically agreed to bring her spinning wheel.  She also brought a friend who also spun wool.

Charlotte Mitchell agreed to come in for awhile to work on her china painting, too.

Karen Pidgeon had planned to demonstrate her artwork, too, but our weekend coincided with an art show displaying Karen’s work at the Eugene Hilton Hotel, so she was unable to attend.  She did, however, agree to leave several of her wildlife paintings/pen & ink drawings with us to be displayed in the gym.    Also displayed were three paintings by Alix Mosieur, a Lorane artist, who specializes in American Indian art.  All three were portraits of regal Indian chiefs.  One was a watercolor and the other two were oil paintings.

Also displayed were three paintings done by another Lorane lady, Carolyn Mathiesen.  Her paintings were award-winning landscapes.

Doug Caudle had planned to come and demonstrate his whittling skills, but was not able to make it.

I had also talked to a man who did glass-blowing, but he never got back to me and evidently had prior commitments.

As it turned out, the spinning wheels and the china painting demonstrations were adequate and gave those who were interested a chance to watch and ask questions.

My weak point in the organization of the Centennial activities was in the communication with my contest and game chairmen.  All were people I knew could handle everything without my help, but the one foul-up during the activities that I regret is the mix-up in communications between Larry Wilson and myself.  I had scheduled the greased pig contest at 4:00 p.m. for Saturday, but apparently either did not get the information to Larry, or he forgot.  (Things were so hectic for both of us by that time that it could have been either way.)  So, the contest was held at 1:00 p.m. instead of 4:00 p.m., and there were a lot of disappointed kids who had signed up to participate.

By the time I had an idea of the type of activities we were planning, it was time to make up a schedule.  A temporary schedule was made up and inserted in all of the Sawdust & Cider books that were distributed in April.  By the first part of May, I designed a brochure listing the times and places of all the events and the activities planned by the various participating organizations.  Each organization paid a $10.00 “advertising” fee to be included in the brochure to help offset the printing.  We had 1000 brochures printed first.  They were distributed in stores and businesses in the area, and many were mailed out with Old-timers picnic mailings and reunion mailings by private parties.  By the time those were gone, there was still a demand for them, and a second printing of 500 was ordered.  We ran out of those before the Centennial, also, so revisions were made regarding a few of the times and we dropped the advertising of the horse-drawn shuttle service.  Just before the celebration, another 500 were printed and carefully rationed for those who would want them during the Centennial.

My job as the co-publicity chairman with Lou Dell was helped by the fact that we were getting a lot of publicity on the book about the same time, and we were able to combine the two whenever anything was mentioned in the newspapers or elsewhere.

A large article, written by Mike Thoele, appeared in the Eugene Register-Guard in September of 1986, on the writing of Sawdust & Cider, and mention was made of the coming Centennial.  The word was officially out.

In February, the Ruralite magazine published by the electric cooperatives in about five northwest states ran an article on the book, too.  We even made the cover with that one.  It, too, alerted several people who otherwise wouldn’t have heard about the upcoming Centennial.  It was distributed to people in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon.

The West Lane News in Veneta ran a two-page feature story on the book and the Centennial in May and again in August just before the Centennial.  They provided excellent coverage and pictures of the actual celebration as well.

Paul Ertelt of the Cottage Grove Sentinel wrote an article complete with pictures for the Nugget edition included in the Sentinel’s Bohemia Days paper in July, and wrote a shorter article before the Centennial in early August.  He also covered the actual festivities.

Ed Kenyon of the Register-Guard contacted me a month or two before the Centennial and wanted to do another article on the Centennial and the book.  At first he was going to write a book review, but decided, instead to write two separate articles–one on the book, and one on the celebration.  He gave us excellent coverage with his articles, including a schedule, in July, and ran one or two updates just before the celebration.

All three newspapers and all three local television stations attended the school’s birthday party held on May 27, 1987.  Carroll Noel asked Lou Dell and I to do the publicity on that, too, and we had a terrific turnout.  All three television newscasts were videotaped by various members of the community “for posterity”.

We didn’t concentrate on alerting the television stations for the actual celebration.  Our main goal was to get the word out to those who would be interested in coming, instead of reporting on it afterwards.  We knew, too, that we were competing with two other local celebrations on that weekend–one in Cottage Grove and one in Creswell–and the Junction City Scandinavian Festival was to be held the following weekend followed by the Lane County Fair.  So, the media was pretty well saturated by “events” and we didn’t expect as much actual coverage by the Register-Guard and the t.v. stations.

KUGN AM/FM Radio station gave us a lot of publicity, as they were actually involved.  When I called Bill Barrett, their morning “on-air personality” on May 27, 1987 to tell him that it was Lorane’s birthday, he conned me into singing “Happy Birthday” to Lorane with him on the air after a short interview.  As it turned out, the duet turned out to be my solo performance over the airwaves when he left the chore entirely to me, explaining later that his equipment wouldn’t allow for both of us to sing at the same time–it had to be either the phone or his microphone.  I’ve known Bill for quite some time, so I told him that I’d get even some day.  He was one of the people we had asked to be our vaudeville M.C., but he was unable to attend.  He gave us a good deal of publicity, however, in the days just before the celebration.

So did Bob Bosche, who was our M.C.  I have known him for several years, also.  Tim Fox, who was scheduled to come with Bob, wanted to interview me on the radio the day of the vaudeville show, but luckily I couldn’t be found.  It made it nice to have friends on the airwaves going to bat for us.  We couldn’t have asked for better publicity from them.

I have said this before and I will continue saying it.  I have been given a lot of credit for this celebration, but I guess maybe I was the most visible person involved.  In truth, the success of the event cannot be attributed to any one person.  Many, many people worked on every aspect imaginable to make this Centennial a memorable one.  Not all were even connected with our community, but most were.  Because so many people were willing to share the load, no one person had to carry more than he or she could bear.  And because of this, we were all able to enjoy the “fruits of our labors”.

My hope is that the people of Lorane in 2087 will have the success and cooperative effort that we have had in 1987.  And we hope that the pages contained herewith will help them to organize Lorane’s second Centennial celebration, and make it one of the best.  We wish to have the tradition carried on.