Today is The Day of the Dead, Dia de los Muertos, All Souls / All Saints Day. The day we celebrate family members who have left this world for the next.
History is full of stories about cities that sequestered themselves during times of plague. In recent history, one of those cities was Gunnison, Colorado, which “declared a quarantine against all the world” during the Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918.
There were 208 students in her graduating class. Wilma kept her tassel, foregoing the 25 cent refund for its return.
When I first entered high school, the principal had us write down what we would like to do when we graduated. I said “be a teacher.” Three weeks later I was in charge of the study hall…
I spent the summer of 1947 at Grandmother Purdy’s house at Ocean Park. What a wonderful summer it was, filled with fun and romance…
The war was still going on and things were hard to get. Dad bought land on Cascade Way in Longview to build a house on… Building supplies were scarce, but many things were found because Dad being in the grocery business…
For me, the War Years were the most exciting time. Sure, sacrifices had to be made on the home front, but people pulled together.
I joined the Girl Scouts when I was nine years old. My troop leader was a Cowlitz Indian woman named Maude Waunassay Snyder. She was a short, round lady and lived in a river house at the Cowlitz River in West Kelso.
Sometimes on Saturdays we would put on a variety act; she would dance and I would sing, and we would charge the neighborhood kids two cents admission. Carol and I would divide up the money and buy penny candy at the little store up the street.
I used to wash dishes at Gram’s hotel [the Sportsman’s Hotel] for a nickel, and then spent it for a Hershey candy bar, so Gram got her dishes done pretty cheap.
I was born at noon on September 25, 1908, and arrived before the doctor did. I think my mother was angry at me all of her life for that…
My next memory was of us living in a tiny house with a dirt floor… with kerosene lamps, and baths in a washtub placed near the wood-fueled cookstove.
“My earliest childhood memory was when I must have been two or three years of age. It was when my family lived in Colorado.”
Wilma descended from immigrants who landed in America in the late 1600’s, and whose heritage included German, Dutch, Russian, and Welsh ethnicities; gold prospectors, ranchers, loggers, bootleggers, rail-riders, homesteaders, and a US Supreme Court Chief Justice. On her father’s maternal side, her family (the Risings) has been traced back to 1225 A.D.