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The Observer Paper 12/17/14

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Home arrow Opinion arrow DORY'S DIARY: One story leads to another


DORY'S DIARY: One story leads to another

It’s funny how life goes along.  So much of it seems like coincidence...or is it some great plan.

What I’m referring to is the column I wrote for the La Grande Observer/Baker City Herald for Jan. 20 about George’s and my sons in their building an igloo in our yard many years ago.

I’m not sure what brought it to mind to write about it. It may have been the snow (or lack of) or just letting my mind go memory-shopping through the scenes of winter on the hill.

The shutter snapped on watching our sons build a large igloo, their amazing plan, agility, and strength to carry it out, just their knowing how to build such a structure of snow that wouldn’t collapse on them while they were inside.

Going through my annual photo notebooks, I located pictures of the event and set about putting the story to paper.

I realize now that some of my memory could be a bit faulty and I’m trusting that each of my boys, now grown men with families of their own, will research that time in 1971 to put things to rights.

I am aware that the oldest and youngest were still living at home for yet another few months, the middle son already married.  That’s why Craig Paul and Randy had appeared in most of my photos, but which one decided to build the igloo, I cannot say.  It may have been a collusion of ideas.

In the meantime, for now, I was mentioning how seemingly coincidence can play a part in one’s life.

Recently I needed to do some research concerning an entirely different subject matter but had settled on the year of 1971 as its possible occurrence. Desiring a full account of the story, I looked page by page through the old fragile sheets of that presumed year without success.

What I did find was a story and two photos with my own bi-line, the subject matter being — of course — igloo-building on the hill.

I was excited to find the story 42 years after it had been published in The Observer and I was 45 years old when I wrote it with a different approach than the more recent one.

It is interesting to note that in 1971 The Observer was an independent newspaper published by Richard F. Anderson with Jack Turner as general manager and Gary Eisler, managing editor.  June McManus was the women’s editor and Bob Baum sports editor.

Bringing up the production side was Lane Jorgenson, production mgr., and Don Powell advertising mgr.  R. D. Woodford was listed as the assoc. rec. editor.

I couldn’t help but notice one of the ads for Roy’s Chuck Wagon, 1306 Adams Ave., as holding an ‘all you can eat’ crab feed for $1.95.

But, staying on track, was it coincidence or providential that I should find my first version of the Friday, Dec. 24, 1971, story just after having published the same subject on Monday, Jan. 20, 2014? I must have been really impressed on that winter’s day.

At the moment, I figured it would be necessary to come back to the office another day in order to copy the story longhand without the photos, but here again providence stepped in to spare me the old way of doing things.

It just so happened that Publisher Kari Borgen, here from Baker City, and La Grande Managing Editor Andrew Cutler were in the room and observed my dilemma.  Andrew picked up his little phone and called downstairs.  In a few moments photo/design editor Phil Bullock had made the flight of stairs with camera in hand.

Phil took pictures of my story and accompanying photos and returned downstairs.

I finished, without success on my prior story search, through the last few pages of the book that reporter Dick Mason had made available to me, and left the room to Kari, Andrew, and reporter Katy Nesbitt, over from Wallowa County and whom I had just met, to their meeting.

By the time I reached home, Phil had sent the photo results so that I could receive them on my very slow dial-up computer where I could print them into hard copy and put them away into my notebook, tying the 42 years together.

 A young man, 1971 Observer staff writer Glenn Davis, had taken the photo of our eldest son standing at the very top of the igloo and our youngest on the next tier down, so now I have that image as well to add to our family event of 1971.

One of our old wooden ladders lies against the side of the igloo, so tall was the igloo for access to its top.  During the construction of the igloo, one photo shows Randy carrying a big ‘bundle’ of snow up the hill slope. In another Craig Paul is carrying an equally large snow-round while in a short-sleeved cotton shirt and no jacket, so labor intensive was the work.

The dog Kris and cat Myrtle kept the two young men company as they tracked them to and from the growing structure and the snowfield environs.

At last son Terry came from town to witness the accomplishment of his brothers, smiling broadly at their endeavors.

Now the story was more complete of the memory days we spent with our boys as I shipped it off to Baker City Herald Editor Jayson Jacoby for inclusion in today’s paper.

All about...My boys! 


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