Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Our Grandpa


I wrote this the day after my grandpa passed away last year.  I wanted to read it at his funeral but to be honest; I don’t think I would have been able to deliver it all the way through.  It’s not a long story but the details impact my life every day. I have been very blessed to have such a great and caring family and I feel my Grandpa helped spearhead this caring quality. 

My Grandpa was born on February 12th, 1927 and died January 7th, 2013 in his house in Oakland Tacoma, Washington. This area of Tacoma has changed a lot since my Grandpa’s adolescent years. Many things look different now. As a child and later as an adult I asked my grandparents a lot of questions about their history. I remember when I was around 8 years old I talked to my Grandpa about what Tacoma looked like when he was a kid. He painted a picture of forests with many trees, deer, and many things that I could no longer see in the city now completely filled with concrete. He talked of stories, in which he and his friends would play in the hills of Oakland and how they turned their world into the Old Wild West when they played Cowboys and Indians. 

He also talked about areas of what is nowadays a city where he and some childhood friends caught frogs, captured bugs and got into little trouble. As I became an adult, he elaborated on his stories and let me hear of more details about the trouble, he managed to get himself into. As he grew older his rowdy behaviour wasn’t only confined to the local Tacoma area. On one occasion, He made his way all the way to the Bald Hills near an unfamiliar town called “Yelm”. He also talked about far off places like San Francisco, California and the faraway lands of the Philippines. I was always surprised to hear some of the stories my grandpa told me. For the first time in my life, I realized my Grandpa was a human in the full sense of the word. I spent the greater part of my youth with this crazy misconception thinking my Grandpa never sinned or even had the ability to sin. After returning home from WWII, my grandpa was invited to church, and it was there in his early twenties that he asked the Lord Jesus Christ to enter his heart. Although his life took its turns after receiving the Lord, he emulated how a Husband/Father/Grandfather/Friend should act. He could have never done this on his own. John 5:30 says: “I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will”. My Grandfather was able to accomplish this by being faithful to the Lord and attending church to account for and to grow with the help of the scriptures in order to fulfil God’s will.
Two things I admired most about my Grandpa were how he treated all of his grandchildren. He somehow had the ability to make each of us feel special. The other was his generosity: I can’t recall any of his children or grandchildren that didn’t spend at least a week or even a whole year living in his house for one reason, or another. John 14:2 “In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you”.
Well Grandpa, you were a faithful son and are now enjoying our heavenly father’s house in a new body without pain and serving the Lord for eternity. Although we miss you, we know we’ll be together very soon.

The following things remind me of my grandparents and I know many members of our family share the same memories:

Snow white hair              
Norwegian wool sweaters
Black buffed shoes
Cuffed rolled shirts
Old black TV remote with rubber bands
Old spice canister on a war-room shelf
Multiplying nutcrackers rising up a flight of stairs
Corgi dogs with short-man syndrome (Thore + Rosie)
Dog bones in car trunk
Peppermint Altoids
Junior mints
Shrinking Mailbox
Coo Coo Clocks
Peanut bridle “Not quite right”
Fudge “Not quite right”
Fruit cake
Berry butter nuts
Buffalo cow patties aka (Grandpas Salisbury Steak)
Butter milk in a glass, a small glass for me
Christmas music in May
Leif Erikson Day
Leisure time resort
“Chinese made garbage”
Coffee or milk with old fashion donuts
Fred Meyer croissants
Basement workout gym
TBS bench seat cushions
Work days with Grandpa
Ab roller wheel
Black coal for fireplace
Basement cupboards filled with Board Games
Personal Snake Lake tour guide, Superman Tree.
Arm muscle made by blowing into a thumb
Survivalist spirit with a nettle throbbing tong
Green Cowboy boots
Empty egg cartons
Tickle back after big family dinner with egg cracks on our head
Cotton balls filled with fragrant oil.
Little army of trolls
Cinnamon rolls
and so much more...

Thank you, Grandpa and Grandma, for always being there and for all the memories we shared. I am looking forward to passing your traditions down to our children and pray that we can use some of your examples with prayer to keep our family relationships strong.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

The good Apple…

There were three salesmen who had finished a busy week of work and were hurrying through an airport to catch their flight home. They looked forward to being back with their respective families for the evening meal. As they hurried along, one of the salesmen inadvertently bumped a table where a young woman was selling apples. His carelessness overturned one of the baskets and spilled the contents all over the floor. The men never stopped, but hurried on hoping to catch their flights, which they did except for one of the salesmen. One of the men was a Christian, and his conscience bothered him greatly about the problems they caused for the apple girl. He told the other men to go on without him and that he would call his wife and tell her he was catching a later flight. Then the man went back to the table where he found the sixteen-year-old, totally blind girl sobbing softly as she fumble along the floor trying to retrieve her apples. The man told her he was sorry for the problems he and his friends had caused. He picked up all the apples and put them back in the basket. In the process, he discovered that some of the apples had been damaged in the disaster so he set them aside in another basket. After he had cleaned up the mess, and put things back in order, the man reached into his wallet and pulled out $20. “Here” he said handing it to the girl, “I hope this will pay for the damage we have done.” Then the man turned to go and arrange for a new flight home. When he turned to go the girl said, “Sir, are you Jesus?” For a long time afterward that question bounced around in the man’s soul.

“Are you Jesus?” Isn’t that our goal in life? Not to be Jesus but to be like Jesus. When it’s all said and done, isn’t our desire to reflect the character of Jesus that people would not be able to tell us apart? I have decided not to let the minor “human” defects of man bring me to dwell on trying to understand why peoples hearts caulis. Life on earth is short, shorter for some then others; I’d rather spend time on earth with friends and family enjoying their company and battling satins opposition. With the Lords aid, our common goal/duty should be to help in the rescue of as many souls as possible.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


This is amazing History. Early Americans used to put quarters into a machine to receive day old information. The product was made of paper and was known to leave your hands black after handling. Many Rural Americans relied on this daily read as a way to start fires in their wood stove.

Below is a documentary on a business that was referred to as the “Video Rental Store” History is great.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Tale of Gelert – The perfect lesson of judging to quickly.

Prince Llywelyn once received a greyhound from King John, and the hound soon became his favourite. Faithful as any hound had ever been, and gentle as a lamb, the hound was also a lion at the chase. One day, Llywelyn prepared to leave on the hunt, he gave call to his noble hound with his hunting horn. All his other hounds came at the call, but not his faithful Gelert. Llywelyn could wait no longer, and so left on his hunt.

When Llywelyn returned to his castle, who should be waiting to greet him but Gelert! As the hound bounded closer to greet him, Llywelyn was startled to notice that Gelert's lips and fangs were covered with blood. Now Price Llywelyn had a son, barely a year old, and as Llywelyn recalled how Gelert and his young son used to play together, a terrible thought came to his mind. He rushed to his son's nursery, only to find the cradle overturned and the sheets covered in blood. Llywelyn looked frantically for his son, but couldn't find him anywhere, only the evidence of much blood and a struggle within the nursery. Turning to Gelert, whose muzzle was still wet with blood, Llywelyn came into a great rage and cried, "Thou hast killed my only son!", and drew his sword and drove it into the side of the hound. Gelert yelped once and with a sorrowful look into Llywelyn's eyes, died at his master's feet.

At the sound of Gelert's last yelp, there was a small cry from beneath the overturned cradle. When Llywelyn righted it, who should he find beneath it but his small son, safe and unharmed, and as well the torn and bloodied body of a huge wolf. Too late Llywelyn discovered what had really happened while he was away. Gelert had stayed behind to guard the child, and had fought and slain the wolf that had crept into the nursery.

In vain was Llywelyn's grief, for he could not revive his faithful hound. He erected a tomb in the valley in honour of his friend, calling it 'Bedd Gelert' or the 'Grave of Gelert', the namesake of the town Beddgelert, in northern Wales.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Beers of Martin Luther

-Luther's Favorite

Because he traveled, Luther could have had many of favorite beers, but there is only one with claims to the effect that it was his favorite. Frederick Salem, in his Beer, Its History and Its Economic Value as a National Beverage (1880) notes, "Luther's fondness for beer is well known, and on the evening of that eventful day at Worms, April 18, 1521, the Duke Erich von Braunschweig sent him a pot of Eimbecker (Einbecker) beer, to which he was specially fond of."
Also, Michael Jackson, in his New World Guide to Beer (1988), notes that Luther received a gift of Einbeck beer on the occasion of his wedding. Luther scholar Luther Peterson recalls a visit to a restaurant in Einbeck where he found a beer coaster with portraits of Martin and Katie on one side and a tale about their receiving a barrel of Einbeck beer as a wedding present. Although he adds, "How authoritative a beer coaster can be is another question."
Einbeck beer was known as early as 1325 and in One Hundred Years of Brewing (1903) is said to be the most famous beer of the Middle Ages, available everywhere in Germany and shipped as far as Jerusalem. It began with two thirds barley malt, one third wheat malt. Kiln-dried malt was not used as the beer was to be "yellow in color and clear." It was a top fermentation beer. The author noted that it was vastly different from the present (i.e. 1903) top fermentation beers, nor to be compared to either the normal beer (probably lager), or the weiss beer, or the double-brew (probably doppelbock) beer. It was brewed only in winter, from about St. Martin's day at the end of September until the first of May. As the beer kept its quality very long, enabling it to be shipped far away, it stands to reason that it was not only rich in malt, hence in alcohol, but also strongly hopped.
Von Bergzabern's Herbal, the 1613 edition, is also quoted in One Hundred Years of Brewing, and describes Einbeck beer as "thin, subtle, clear, of bitter taste, has a pleasant acidity on the tongue, and many other good qualities."
Einbecker evolved into the Bock style that flourishes to this day -- an extra strong beer, malty with a smooth hop finish. We can be sure, however, that the Einbecker beers enjoyed by Martin Luther tasted nothing like the Einbecker Ur-Bocks of today. In Luther's day, Einbecker was a top-fermented beer made with a large portion of wheat and fermented with multiple yeast strains, each vying to impart its own flavor to the beer. The thin, acidic quality noted in 1613 was probably a product of bacterial infection at the start and the multiple yeast strains, plus wild yeast from the air, all working together to ferment every last bit of sugar.
With today's pure yeast cultures, only 75% or so of the sugars are consumed in fermentation, leaving some sweetness and body. And because today's Bocks are bottom-fermented with a single yeast strain, they are far cleaner and simpler in taste. In spite of the evolution from Einbecker to Bock beer, the Luther identification has remained strong. In the 20th century, an Einbeck brewery even used a portrait of Luther on its label when its beer was first imported into the U.S.
If you do wish to drink beers similar to the beers Luther drank, the closest you will come are probably today's Belgian Abbey Ales. Their top fermentation, complex flavors, full attenuation, and highly individual character are all in keeping with the beers of the monasteries that Luther knew as a young man, and with many more of the beers of Luther's time.

-Luther on Commercial Brewers

As much as Luther loved beer, he did not love commercial brewers. One evening over dinner he noted, "Whoever it was who invented the brewing of beer has been a curse for Germany... Horses devour the greatest part of the grain, for we grow more oats than rye. The good peasants and the townspeople drink up almost as much of the grain in the form of beer." And on another occasion at the table, he said, "No doubt (Adam) was a very sensible man and well practiced in a variety of trials. He lived most temperately and drank neither wine nor beer. I wish brewing had never been invented, for a great deal of grain is consumed to make it, and nothing good is brewed."

-Luther on Homebrew

Luther much preferred homebrew. After Luther married, his wife Katie brewed beer as the lay brothers had brewed it in days gone by. Luther Peterson notes that Martin often began his written invitations to friends with the note that Katie had made him another barrel of beer. Once in 1535, while away from home, he wrote to her about some bad beer he had drunk 'which did not agree with me... I said to myself what good wine and beer I have at home, and also what a pretty lady, or lord.' Here's an endorsement of homebrew, and very diplomatically put as well.
We know that Luther drank at home. One biographer notes, "The German prophet became a patriarch, and the living room was dominated by his presence. He enjoyed his beer and had a great mug with three rings on it, one 'the Ten Commandments', the next 'the Creed' and third 'the Lord's Prayer'. He boasted that he could encompass all three with ease."
Luther also drank the local beer with friends, noting in one sermon delivered at Wittenberg in 1522, "I opposed indulgences and all the papists, but never with force. I simply taught, preached and wrote God's Word; otherwise I did nothing. And while I slept [cf. Mark 4:26-29], or drank Wittenberg beer with my friends Philip and Amsdorf, the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that no prince or emperor ever inflicted such losses upon it."
Beer had other virtues for Luther. All his life, he was troubled with constipation and insomnia, but in a letter to Katie while he was traveling, he mentioned the excellent local beer with its laxative qualities, "three bowel movements in three hours." On another occasion, he wrote to say how well he was sleeping because of the local beer, but that he was as "sober as in Wittenberg."

-Luther on Moderation

Above all, Luther was a champion of moderation. In his Sermon on Soberness and Moderation, delivered on May 18, 1539, he noted:
"It is possible to tolerate a little elevation, when a man takes a drink or two too much after working hard and when he is feeling low. This must be called a frolic. But to sit day and night, pouring it in and pouring it out again, is piggish... all food is a matter of freedom, even a modest drink for one's pleasure. If you do not wish to conduct yourself this way, if you are going to go beyond this and be a born pig and guzzle beer and wine, then, if this cannot be stopped by the rulers, you must know that you cannot be saved. For God will not admit such piggish drinkers into the kingdom of heaven [cf. Gal. 5:19-21]... If you are tired and downhearted, take a drink; but this does not mean being a pig and doing nothing but gorging and swilling... You should be moderate and sober; this means that we should not be drunken, though we may be exhilarated."

These notes were written for a speech on "The Beers of Luther's Germany," given to the Men's Breakfast at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Fayetteville, New York, in April 1997.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Little Known Facts

Coca-Cola was originally green.

It is possible to lead a cow upstairs but not downstairs.

Hawaiian alphabet has 12 letters.

Amount American Airlines saved in 1987 by eliminating one olive from each salad served first class: $40,000.

City with the most Rolls Royce's per capita: Hong Kong.

State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska

Percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28% Percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%

Average number of days a West German goes without washing his underwear: 7 (I wonder how they discovered THIS?
This wasn't original research on my part.)

Cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $6,400

Average number of people airborne over the US at any given hour: 61,000

Percentage of Americans who have visited Disneyland/Disney World: 70%

Average life span of a major league baseball: 7 pitches

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

The youngest pope was 11 years old.

Iceland consumes more Coca-Cola per capita than any other nation.

First novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.

A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why.

In the 1940s, the FCC assigned television's Channel 1 to mobileservices (two-way radios in taxicabs, for instance) but did notre-number the other channel assignments. That is why your TV set has channels 2 and up, but no channel 1.

The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.

The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.

Did you know that there are coffee flavored PEZ?

The reason firehouses have circular stairways is from the days of old when the engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on the ground floor and figured out how to walk up straight staircases.

When opossums are playing 'possum, they are not "playing." They actually pass out from sheer terror.

Janet Reno used to be female.

The Main Library at Indiana University sinks over an inch every year because when it was built, engineers failed to take into account the weight of all the books that would occupy the building.

Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history. Spades - King David, Clubs - Alexander the Great, Hearts - Charlemagne, and Diamonds - Julius Caesar.

Clans of long ago that wanted to get rid of their unwanted people without killing them would burn their houses down - hence the expression "to get fired."

Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2nd, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.

"I am." is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.

The term "the whole 9 yards" came from W.W.II fighter pilots in the South Pacific. When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet, before being loaded into the fuselage. If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it got "the whole 9 yards."

Hershey's Kisses are called that because the machine that makes them looks like it's kissing the conveyor belt.

The phrase "rule of thumb" is derived from and old English law which stated that you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb.

An ostrich's eye is bigger that it's brain.

The longest recorded flight of a chicken is thirteen seconds.

The Eisenhower interstate system requires that one mile in every five must be straight. These straight sections are usable as airstrips in times of war or other emergencies.

David Prowse was the guy in the Darth Vader suit in Star Wars. He spoke all of Vader's lines, and didn't know that he was going to be dubbed over by James Earl Jones until he saw the screening of the movie.

In every episode of Seinfeld there is a Superman somewhere.

The name Jeep came from the abbreviation used in the army for the "General Purpose" vehicle, G.P.

The Pentagon, in Arlington, Virginia, has twice as many bathrooms as is necessary. When it was built in the 1940s, the state of Virginia still had segregation laws requiring separate toilet facilities for blacks and whites.

The cruise liner, Queen Elizabeth II, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.

Cat's urine glows under a blacklight.

The highest point in Pennsylvania is lower than the lowest point in Colorado.

Nutmeg is extremely poisonous if injected intravenously.

If you have three quarters, four dimes, and four pennies, you have 1.19. You also have the largest amount of money in coins without being able to make change for a dollar.

No NFL team which plays its home games in a domed stadium has ever won a Superbowl.

The first toilet ever seen on television was on "Leave It To Beaver".

The only two days of the year in which there are no professional sports games (MLB, NBA, NHL, or NFL) are the day before and the day after the Major League all-stars Game.

The name Wendy was made up for the book "Peter Pan."

One pail of water can produce enough fog to cover 100 square miles to a depth of fifty feet.

Thomas Edison was a judge at the first “Miss America” beauty contest in 1880.

At least fifteen million people are having a birthday today.

Which state was the 39th to be admitted into the Union? No one knows. North and South Dakota, the 39th and 40th states, were admitted on the same day. President Benjamin Harrison never revealed which of the two proclamations he signed first.

In 1906, the horse-drawn traffic in New York City moved of 11.5 miles per hour. In 1978, a survey showed automobile traffic in New York City averaged only 7.9 miles per hour.

What kind of animal did the three wise men ride on their journey to Bethlehem? The Bible doesn’t say they rode anything. According to Scriptures, it is entirely possible that they walked.

Felix Wankel, automotive engineer and inventor of the rotary engine, never had a driver’s license.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was written by Ian Fleming, creator of the James Bond adventure novels.

The elephant is the only animal that cannot jump.

A cheetah can jump from a standstill to 45 miles per hour in two seconds — an acceleration rate that cannot be matched by even the fastest dragsters.

The five interlocking Olympic Rings are colored black, blue, red, white, and yellow because at least one of those colors appears in every national flag in the world.

Almost 50% of bank robberies take place on Friday.

By law, citizens of Vermont must take at least one bath a week.

In Oklahoma, dogs need a permit signed by the mayor in order to congregate on private property in groups of three or more.

In Roanoke, VA, it’s illegal to advertise on tombstones.

It’s illegal to put coins in your ears in Hawaii.

Little known doesn't mean not useful. There are many things most people don't know that can be extremely useful. A few of these follow.

If an item can't be removed from your credit report, you have the right to add a 100-word explanation to it, permanently. Anyone who receives the report will see your explanation. If, for example, you had an argument with a doctor over a charge, you can explain the details.

It's possible to get free x-rays. Some dental schools will x-ray your mouth for free, if you have the patience to sit there while the instructor coaches the student through the process. You then get your x-rays to take to the dentist.

You can still find towns with nice houses you can buy for less than $30,000.

As of 2009, these include Altoona, Pennsylvania, Hot Springs, Arkansas, and Independence, Kansas. Many more are listed on the web site: Houses Under Fifty Thousand .com.

You can buy two separate plane tickets to save hundreds. It cost $1750 to fly round trip from Traverse City, Michigan to Quito, Ecuador. That was the cheapest fare we found on any website. However, it was only $299 round-trip to Miami, and $405 round-trip from Miami to Quito. $704 total! Save over $1000 by buying two separate tickets.

It's impossible to fold a dollar bill in half eight times, doubling it each time. In fact, try it even with a large piece of paper. It can't be done. You can win a bar bet with this fact, so I'll classify this one among the interesting, funny AND useful little known facts.

Every time you lick a stamp, you're consuming 1/10 of a calorie.

A fetus acquires fingerprints at the age of three months.

Every person has a unique tongue print.

It takes 17 muscles to smile and 43 to frown.

Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.

The word "Checkmate" in chess comes from the Persian phrase "Shah Mat," which means, "the king is dead".

Pinocchio is Italian for "pine head."

The United States has never lost a war in which mules were used.

All porcupines float in water.

The only nation whose name begins with an "A", but doesn't end in an "A" is Afghanistan.

If you toss a penny 10,000 times, it will not be heads 5,000 times, but more like 4,950. The heads picture weighs more, so it ends up on the bottom.

Wilma Flintstone's maiden name was Wilma Slaghoopal, and Betty Rubble's Maiden name was Betty Jean Mcbricker.

Dueling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.

The characters Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra's "Its A Wonderful Life."

The phrase "sleep tight" derives from the fact that early mattresses were filled with straw and held up with rope stretched across the bedframe. A tight sleep was a comfortable sleep.

If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes. (note: if the rider's head is up the horse's rear, the rider died a politician.)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Squirrel Meat – “It’s what’s for diner”

-From the field to the diner table-

I got this off Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Squirrel meat is considered a favored meat in certain regions of the United States where it can be listed as wild game. This is evidenced by extensive recipes for its preparation found in cookbooks, including older copies of The Joy of Cooking. Squirrel meat can be exchanged for rabbit or chicken in recipes, though it can have a gamey taste. Unlike the healthfulness of most game meat, the American Heart Association has found squirrels to be high in cholesterol.

-In the U.S.

In many areas of the U.S., particularly areas of the American South, squirrels are hunted for food. Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee mentioned his experiences eating squirrel during the South Carolina primary, saying that "When I was in college, we used to take a popcorn popper, because that was the only thing they would let us use in the dorm, and we would fry squirrels in a popcorn popper in the dorm room." He later told Meet the Press anchor Tim Russert that squirrel constitutes "a Southern delicacy". The Ramapough Mountain Indian Tribe of New Jesery considered squirrel as an inherent tradition.

-In the U.K.

For most of the history of the United Kingdom, squirrel has been a meat not commonly eaten, and even scorned by many.
But in the early 21st century, wild squirrel has become a more popular meat to cook with, showing up in restaurants and shops more often in Britain as a fashionable alternative meat. Specifically, U.K. citizens are cooking with the invasive gray squirrel, which is being praised for its low fat content and the fact that it comes from free range sources. Additionally, the novelty of a meat considered unusual or special has added to the spread of squirrel consumption. Due to the difficulty of a clean kill and other factors, the majority of squirrel eaten in the U.K. is acquired from professional hunters, trappers, and gamekeepers.
Some British are eating the gray squirrel as a direct attempt to help the native red squirrel, which has been dwindling since the introduction of the gray squirrel in the 19th century. This factor was marketed by a national "Save Our Squirrels campaign that used the slogan, “Save a red, eat a gray!”

**“Not for children or the weaker stomach”. Highly-Educational.

**“Not for children or the weaker stomach”. Highly-Educational.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Answer to the September quiz is!


The following are actual laws in different states. Which is one from Washington State?

*A. No person may walk about in public if he or she has the common cold.
RCW 70.54.050
Exposing contagious disease -- Penalty.

B. Persons may not live in a trailer as it is being hauled across the city.
C. It is illegal to wear a fake moustache that causes laughter in church.
D. Citizens may not greet each other by “putting one’s thumb to the nose and wiggling the fingers.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

Bill Dance

Bill Dance Outdoors is a fishing television series hosted by retired professional tournament angler Bill Dance. I’ve been watching his show over the years and man does this guy have the worst luck. Here’s a few bloopers from some of his shows.

I just ran into this website called It is an internet television channel that provides streaming TV shows and product demonstrations to a variety of outdoor folks. I foreseeing this being my new outlet to the outdoors once it gets 10-20 deg below here this Winter.

Saturday, August 22, 2009



We hope that there will be additional opportunities to visit these Cascade families and learn more about their lives. As we have indicated, though, they may be a dying subculture, because the influx of new families from Appalachia has dried to a trickle and the timber industry is in the tenth year of a depression. The children of these families have also been much more willing to use education as a ticket to the world outside. It was a point of pride to our informants that their children had all completed high school. Many had gone to college. In the process they learned the skills that made them employable in the thriving communities along Puget Sound. The land as homeplace has not seemed to exert as strong a pull on these Western Appalachians -- perhaps because their ancestors had already broken roots in going to Washington in the first place, partly because the outdoors is in the heritage of everyone in the state and is not lost just because one moves to the city. At any rate, the towns we visited were no longer prosperous, if indeed they ever had been, and they could no longer keep their younger residents from looking longingly elsewhere. Fifty years after Clevinger's first studies, we could still find these Cascade Appalachians, but someone looking for them in another fifty years may very well find that they have disappeared into the general population. Before they do disappear, however, we think there is much more they may be able to tell us, not only about their present lives in Washington, but about the Appalachia they left behind.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


You probably already knew these topics were coming up – “Critter Stew and White Lighting”

The Themes of the Interviews

After conducting interviews in all of these communities, we think we have discovered a number of themes -- themes relating to the needs to create a decent life for one's family, to test one's limits in a land of huge forests and abundant wildlife, to maintain spiritual wholeness and personal identity thousands of miles from one's place of birth. Here, briefly, are some of them.
Most of our informants had stories to tell of their trip west and seemed to regard it as one of the great adventures of their lives. The migration story Frankie Nations told us was probably typical. "We came here," she told us,
in 1937. All us kids were born during the Depression, so my dad, it was hard for him to get work there, so we started on out on September 1, 1937. There was ten of us in the car, a little '31 Chevrolet, and we had a little utility trailer pulling in the back with all our belongings in it. And those kids ranged from one year to seven -- there were four of us, four children -- Mom, Dad, and two uncles and an aunt, and a guy who came with us to help drive. So we all got in this car and we started out and it took us ten days to get from North Carolina to Darrington. My sister and I, we had to sit on a can on the floor between one of our uncles' legs, because there wasn't enough room to sit in the car, and every time I moved my uncle would say, "Sit still." Well, being five years old, you can't see out the window or anything. I had a ring on my bottom for a long time for sitting ten days on that can, and so did my sister.
Frankie remembered there was so little room in the car that most family belongings had to be left at home. Her family did bring their feather beds with them, however. When night came on the trip west, her mother took out these feather comforters and the family slept on them by the side of the road. Other Appalachians came west with even less; Corbett Hale told newcomers traveling with him that they were restricted to one suitcase. Time and again we asked people what they possessed from their family's first trip to Washington. Only Mabel Hale Compton could tell us the story of material possessions with an Appalachian origin -- some quilts brought by her family from Wolf Pen Creek, Kentucky.
When they arrived here, some families were set up in already furnished houses. Others were not so fortunate and either had no close relatives who could assist them or else somehow missed connections. About their own arrival in Washington state, recounts Ethel Toler,
We come by train to Chehalis. We were a day earlier than what the people were looking for us, and here we got off the train we didn't know where we was at, we didn't know where Riffe was and we had twenty dollars in our pocket. So the taxi was just across the street from the railroad station. So Homer went over there and we got a taxi which cost us sixteen dollars to go to Riffe. He didn't know where Riffe was, the taxi driver didn't. He knew what vicinity it was in. He'd seen somebody had had a trip to Riffe and what they had charged for going. Well, he said, it's sixteen dollars and we'll find it.
And find Riffe the Tolers eventually did, though they arrived in town with only four dollars between t hem. Nevertheless, they considered themselves fortunate to be in their new community, as evidenced by the stories of privation they told us about their previous life in West Virginia. Typical meals back home, said Ethel, were "biscuits watered gravy for breakfast and corned bread and beans for dinner. One month we had a little money left over, so we went down to Krogers and they had this beautiful curly kale, so we had enough to get that and we had enough to get a little package of yeast. We went home, we cooked that kale and I made hot rolls and we really eat that. That was treat." The Toler home near Welch, West Virginia, was also remembered as a sign of their former poverty. "The last house we lived in before we left West Virginia," Homer Toler told us,
was built in January out of green hemlock: two little rooms. The front door was a barn door. It was made out of green lumber. They put up two corner boards here and two over there and two over there and the roof was sloped one way and no studding in it, and we swept four inches of snow off the floor part of it and put a roof on it of lightweight tarpaper, and we moved in. And they just nailed the green hemlock up and down and then one by four over the cracks. And one place in front of the front door where it was kind of cut cross grain, why she woke up one night and pow, scared to death. And she wanted to know what it was. I said that's just a board seasoning and cracking. And her dad had given us a big old wool rug. And she woke me up one morning, she said what's that cat doing? And it was laying right up close to where the stove was. It had come up under the house, raised the rug up, the cat was laying there asleep. In front of the front door there was a piece busted out in one of the floor boards about that big, it was kind of wedge shaped, and the cat went in and out of that hole.

The Toler memories of grinding poverty are similar to other memories our informants shared with us. What Barbara Ann Austin remembers most about her first trip to Kentucky, for example, was their lack of indoor plumbing. Other Cascade families remember their former homes with more affection. The Darrington Tarheels seem convinced that conditions back east have improved so much that there is no longer an economic incentive to cause people to move to Washington. Still other families keep alive a nostalgic picture of life in the East. In the home of Mabel Hale Compton there is an oil painting of a modest Kentucky log house owned by her family. It would be instantly recognizable to many people interested in Appalachian studies because it is the Amburgey cabin once lived in by James Still.
To a greater or lesser degree Cascade Appalachians also retain memories of family food traditions. When we ate lunch at her home, Frankie Nations served us leather britches beans and corn bread. Stack cake seemed to be remembered fondly by all our informants, and Sis Dolleyheide is still supposed to bring it regularly to church dinners (Toler tape). The Jones family reported a family tradition, now ended, of raising bears for meat. Frankie Nations remembers with amusement a story about her mother who, in Frankie's words, would "try anything":
One morning there was a porcupine under the house. When Dad went to work he saw this porcupine. That evening he came home from work and there was a real nice plate of chicken on the table. During the day Mom had got the twenty-two. She'd gone under the house, she'd shot the porcupine and she'd skinned it.

Somebody had told her that was real good to eat, and all, so Mom's a real good cook, so she cooked up this porcupine, but she made the mistake of one of my sisters' still being at home. She was sick and she didn't go to school. Well, we were all eating this chicken. That night this one that had stayed at home from school and my Dad, you know, he used language that wasn't too good at times, and he looked across and the younger wasn't eating any chicken. "Well, what's your problem that you're not eating any chicken?" He looked at Mom and he said, "You're feeding us that porcupine." That was the end of the chicken. Nobody ate chicken after that.
Within some families another food tradition, of course, is moonshine. For a number of Cascade families, this was an important Depression-era business. Mabel Hale Compton recalls a relative just tin from Kentucky. Her father put him up for a few months until he could get on his feet. Finally, her brother noticed the relative spending a lot of time down in the woods by the creek. When she and her brother investigated, they found the relative's new still. It was certainly not the only still operating in eastern Lewis County during those years. As Woodrow Clevinger reported to the Lewis County Historical Society,
I don't want to mention names, but there was one merchant in this town who didn't make his money selling groceries to loggers and lumberjacks who wanted credit. He really made his money from bringing in corn, ground corn, and wholesaling it to X number of Kentuckians and West Virginians and Virginians. Unfortunately they couldn't grow corn in this climate, and God knows they couldn't grow sugar. But they was brought in over the Tacoma Eastern Railway by the carload and unloaded here and distributed out through the hills here, [and] converted into good white whiskey. It was ten dollars a gallon, and two dollars and a half for a small pint. And this money did not go in the State Bank of Morton either. These mountain knew better than to build up a bank account, because the revenue people like to audit bank accounts and so it was in cash, hard cash carried around. I hate to say, I laughingly say, that the only pin money I made in 1926, '28, '29, and '30 was picking up moonshine bottles behind the dance halls in this town and along the road to Davis Lake road, bringing t hem down, getting five cents a bottle. And every Monday I'd come in, I go to my buyer, who I won't mention, my relative. Five cents a bottle, and I'd always come through with at least ten. Fifty cents -- that's a lot of money for a kid in 1928, '29, '31. (Clevinger tape)

The moonshine tradition continued until well after the Second World War. Charlie Jones remembers working with Stogie Parker for the Morison Lumber Company. Stogie used to quit work early every Friday "to get his saw fixed." Everybody knew, says Charlie, that Stogie needed the time to tend to his moonshine business. Stogie had high standards. When he arrived in Washington state, he once told another interviewer, he and his brother "went up there on the hill and got a half gallon from an old guy. I wouldn't drink it. Didn't have no bead on it like Carolina whiskey" (Strickland 41). Stogie's high standards were adopted by other moonshiners. When I asked David Buchanan about moonshine, he said, "Oh, you must have been reading about my cousin." His relative had been arrested in1989 for distilling a product which the federal agents said was the best they had ever tasted.
Still another theme in our interviews is the bigness and openness found in their adopted state. When they go back east, the Cascade Appalachians say, everything seems smaller. The Tolers now consider the river they once lived along in West Virginia to be just "a little bitty branch." When Laura asked them what had caused the change, Homer Toler said, "Just being here in the open spaces. There was no difference in the size of it-- only in your mind." The Cascade Appalachians told us that people in the East could not accept the scale of things in the state of Washington. "So when we went back and told people about what big timber there was," says Willie Madden, "they'd laugh and make fun of us, you know. It just couldn't be that way, you know. It's just not true." All the loggers we talked to had saved photographs of logging crews standing by logs measuring twelve feet or more "at the butt." It was a measure of their manliness that they had felled some of the largest trees on earth. And it was a measure of eastern provincialism that relatives in Kentucky or West Virginia had thought these pictures had been faked.
A final theme in the interviews is the relationship these Cascade Appalachians had with their church. Willis Weatherford and Earl D.C. Brewer have repeated the observation that Appalachians may be the most religious and the least churched people in America (161). To an extent that was also true of our informants. Some of them were regular church attenders; others were not. But religion still seemed important to them. Partly this was because church was indexed to so much of life as they knew it back in the Southern mountains. The dinners on the grounds, the hymns, the emotional services, the familiar accents-- all of these things could be found on Sunday mornings when, for a time at least, people could imagine themselves back home. They could fall back into familiar gender roles, sing the beloved hymns, and in general feel the comfort of "the good old-fashioned way." For people who had been born and raised in West Virginia or Southeastern Kentucky, the church was a cultural institution through which they could maintain and take pride in their distinctive heritage. And it was about the only such institution: surrounded by a larger culture with a completely different tradition, cut off from their relatives back east, working in a "democracy of the woods" which accepted any man, so long as he was a hard worker, watching their children bussed off to receive a secular education none of them had been given, the Cascade Appalachians viewed their faith as a bulwark against a larger and more sinful world. Old Regular Baptists in Washington state continued the unique lifestyle and worship practices they had known in Appalachia.
When the first generation began to die out, however, something began to happen to Old Regular membership in the Cascades. It appears to be what other migrant churches have experienced in this country (and the Old Regulars are very much a migrant religious group once they leave the Appalachians). H. Richard Niebuhr has said the following about migrant churches:
During the first period of competition and of economic conflict between immigrants and natives the churches of the immigrants tend to differentiate themselves as cultural organizations, which maintain and emphasize their separate individuality not on doctrinal but on cultural grounds. But after accommodation has set in, after the old language and the old ways have been irretrievably lost, after contacts with native churches have increased, the battle ground of competition changes. Ecclesiastical and doctrinal issues replace the cultural lines of division, and the loyalty of an English-speaking, second generation is fostered by appeal to different motives than were found effective among the immigrants themselves. The need for continued differentiation and for the self-justification of an organism which is strongly desirous of continuing its existence, are responsible now for a new emphasis. Denominational separateness in a competitive situation finds its justification under these circumstances in the accentuation of the theological or liturgical peculiarities of the group. (229-30)
Niebuhr says two things here: that first generation migrant churches concern themselves with cultural values, and that the second generation churches, seeing themselves dissolving in America's melting pot, feel compelled to re-emphasize their doctrinal differences. That observation seems to apply to the Cascade Appalachians.

In the 1930s, there were eight Old Regular churches in eastern Lewis County, Washington. By the fifties there were still six of them. Now only two Old Regular churches exist in the whole state. Some of this attrition is due to the fact that there is no longer a significant Appalachian migration to the Pacific Northwest. In the first forty years of this century, people like Corbett Hale could practically guarantee work for all who came. In the days when whole families arrived, and then sent back for their relatives, the Old Regulars could always maintain some kind of "critical mass" with which they could maintain their cultural integrity. But the influx of new families from Appalachia has dried off to a trickle, and the timber industry is in t he tenth year of a depression. The children of Cascade Appalachian families have also been much more willing to use education as a ticket to the thriving communities along Puget Sound. At any rate, the towns we visited were no longer prosperous, if indeed they ever had been, and they could no longer keep their younger residents from looking longingly elsewhere.
I shall claim here, then, that the Old Regulars have gone through a transition like that which Niebuhr predicted for other immigrant churches when the first generation gives way to the second. Without their children, without the replenishment of adults from back home, the Old Regular churches found their memberships dwindling. A natural tendency when something like this happens is to seek converts. But the Old Regulars were not used to doing this and had not developed the naturalization processes that would make the assimilation of new converts from other traditions easier. Outsiders brought disturbing ways with them -- singing out of noted songbooks, for example, or bringing womenfolk with bobbed hair (Hale tape). In the absence of a culture no longer shared in common, what Niebuhr predicted would happen in the immigrant church, an emphasis upon religious peculiarities, happened to the Old Regulars as they fought to retain their distinctive identity.
Whether or not to bob one's hair, for example, was an explosive issue which swept through the Washington churches during the 1950s and 1960s. This shows how, after the passing of the first generation, an immigrant church retreats to doctrine in order to differentiate itself from the outside world. When he joined a little over forty years ago, Corbett Hale found himself in the middle of this transition. "They was a lot of older people," he told us, "and all of them passed on, and it got down to me. I moderated the church for I guess twenty some years after the older ones went out. We had six churches at one time, and before they all died we began losing them. People coming in from other denominations and overpowering the majority of the vote, and just pulling them out of the Association." Hale referred here to the New Salem Association, a large group of Old Regular churches, headquartered in Kentucky, to which the Washington churches belonged. In 1955, the New Salem Association passed a resolution restricting the admission of women with bobbed hair. In 1968, the Western Union Old Regular church in the state of Washington asked for a reconsideration of this rule. When the resolution was softened some churches in the East protested, and newcomers found themselves arrayed against the Old Guard.
Other issues arose to exacerbate the difference between the two church factions. In Washington state the intramural fights over faith and decorum brought the Old Regulars to almost total disarray: the church at Mossyrock left the Old Regulars altogether, Morton locked its doors, the Mt. Olive and Western Union churches switched to the more liberal Friendship association, individual congregants also switched their affiliations or stopped attending altogether ( Hale and Toler tapes). The bitterness is still there after more than twenty years. "It's a shame what they done up there," Dovie Hale told us. "They'll have to stand before God for it." Of the breakaway churches, her husband says, "They call themselves Baptists and they lying when they do."
Mt. Olive and Western Union are the last of the Old Regular churches in Washington state. When we attended a service at Western Union two summers ago, a combined service for the two congregations, we sat among forty members. Only one younger couple was there. Despite their obvious devotion, the congregants could quite accurately be described as a "faithful remnant."
Fifty years after Clevinger's first studies, therefore, we could still find worshipping Cascade Appalachians whose mountain religion had bonded them together in a new home for a hundred years. Of course, very little else exists that can take the place of their old-time mountain faith in giving a sense of social cohesion and a feeling of distinctiveness. Little of an Appalachian material culture got transplanted to the West because these families arrived with so little. Once they began work in their new homes, they found themselves scattered throughout a heterogeneous workforce which included, besides Americans from a dozen or more logged-out states, a number of other nationalities. Then, as has happened with so many other immigrant groups, they found their educated offspring learning new skills and different values. Finally, the small communities in which they clustered found themselves subjected to a decade-long recession. Why stay among one's fellow "Tarheels" when the prosperous towns along the nearby I-5 corridor can offer so much more?

Friday, August 7, 2009


-The Setting for the Interviews-

Considering the role environment plays in the lives of our informants, it is important that we begin by giving some sense of where these Cascade Appalachians live. The families we talked to had certainly moved from one mountainous region to another, but while there are similarities between the two areas, there are also differences. As Willie Madden, one of our informants, put it, "One thing, you go back there and they talk about the hills, don't you know. And they got hills back there, but here you got a hill it's fourteen thousand feet. You take any of our hills around here, they hills." Mr. Madden's point is well taken: from his front window in Eatonville, one can see the top two miles of Mt. Rainier rising from its surrounding countryside. Not only is Mt. Rainier (at 14,410 ft.) the tallest volcanic peak in the continental United States, but its flanks are large enough to hold a permanent glacier comprising fifty square miles. Just south of Rainier lies Mt. St. Helens, still twice the height of the Appalachians even after its top fifteen hundred feet have blown off. Above Rainier are the North Cascades, clusters of snow capped mountains which march in an unbroken line to the Canadian border.
The western Cascades where most of the Appalachians settled featured lush vegetation, predominantly cloudy skies, and mild temperatures. When the migrants first arrived, some of them, including Iva Forrister's mother, thought it would never stop raining (as recounted on Forrister tape). Nevertheless, they became accustomed to the climate, so much so that when couples like Frankie and Regal Nations returned to the Southeast to visit, they found it difficult to sleep because of the combination of heat and humidity.
The Washington Cascades are pierced by four mountain passes which rank among the most spectacular in the United States. During the winter these passes may be closed by snowfalls as heavy as any recorded in our country. Nevertheless, for most of the year, communities in the Cascades are relatively accessible from the lowlands of Western Washington. Good roads would take most of our informants to major population centers like Tacoma and Seattle in less time, say, than it takes to get from Perry County, Kentucky, to Corbin, or from Cherokee to Gatlinburg. Thus it would be true to say that the communities we studied are more physically isolated from other parts of the Cascades than they are from the lowlands to the east and west. This east-west orientation extends to the political structure of the region: Cascade towns are part of large counties which stretch all the way to Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean.
The first predominantly Appalachian community in which we conducted interviews was Darrington, northeast of Seattle. Darrington is most associated in the minds of other Washingtonians with the "Tarheels" -- a term, by the way, which is often used to describe any Southern mountaineer now living in the state. Willie Madden, for example, was born in Knott County, Kentucky, but he calls himself "just a Tarheel." The word has even become a verb: "when people go back east to visit, they are said to be "tarheeling." In any event, a newcomer to Darrington quickly makes the connection to Appalachia. The town is the site of a long-running Bluegrass festival. Its Southern Baptist church publishes a cookbook with a recipe for stackcake, a traditional Southern mountain delicacy, and it still takes part in a singing convention every fifth Sunday. As recently as 1947, writes Elizabeth Poehlman, a good five hundred of Darrington's 850 residents were from the area immediately surrounding Silva, North Carolina (119).
When we pulled in to register at Darrington's Stagecoach Inn, we were greeted at the front desk by Dave Buchanan, a relative newcomer to Washington. In our interviews with him and with Regal Nations and Charlie Jones, we got the sense that many Darrington residents had moved there because they or their parents felt they had lost the freedom of the frontier back in North Carolina. Washington state seemed to be bigger, wilder, freer. Yet civilization had reached here too. The immigrants who had come to Washington to hunt without limits and be free from federal timber policy now found themselves in the thick of the fight over the last stands of old-growth forest in the Pacific Northwest. The anger Darrington loggers felt toward environmentalists was almost palpable; it was in Darrington, for example, that we were told our first spotted owl joke. 3

The towns of Mineral and Morton, Washington, lie south of Darrington. These communities were largely settled by Kentuckians. Woodrow Clevinger's father had come from Pike County, Kentucky, along with over one hundred others, and Clevinger was later to estimate that over two thousand families in the immediate area of Mineral and Morton had a Kentucky ancestry (Clevinger tape). Corbett Hale, one of our informants, was responsible for a number of those migrants all by himself. For over forty years he attended Old Regular Baptist church association meetings back east, and every return trip he brought some more former neighbors back with him.
Just down the slope from Morton are Riffe (now under water because of a new reservoir) and Mossyrock. These were West Virginian communities. The first immigrants from the Mountain State may have been Anthony and Laura Bown, who arrived with their five children in 1889 (Nix and Nix 91). They were soon joined by others, including the sixty families who chartered a train from hawk's Nest, West Virginia, in 1893. We were privileged to join the descendants of these families in worship when we attended the annual communion ceremony at Western Union Old Regular Baptist Church in Silver Creek, Washington, a couple miles down the road from Mossyrock. The West Virginian families were joined at worship by Kentuckians who had previously attended a Morton Old Regular church now disbanded because of disputes over governance, use of church funds, and bobbed hair ( Hale and Toler tapes). The more liberal Western Union congregation (along with another small congregation near Raymond, Washington) still "corresponds" with sister churches in the Friendship Association of Old Regular Baptists, a loosely affiliated denominational group otherwise located along the West Virginia-Virginia border. The lined a capella singing, the rhapsodic preaching, and the emotional intensity felt during the footwashing ceremony powerfully demonstrated that a vital part of Appalachian culture could be transplanted and take root in the West.