Monday, May 25, 2015

Remembering Veterans

24 July 1943 was the date of the wedding of my parents, Dorothy Lorraine Allen and Theodore George Baughn. Dad was already in the Army; 11th Airborne, Paratroops. Mom kept this photo album all during those years and it's a history of our family during the time.


Mom and Dad during the war years. Dad was slightly wounded in the war and returned home, safe, to his family, unlike so many others. Korea reared its ugly head, next, but Dad was not called. I remember how happy we all were that we would be able to keep him home with us. Mom died in 2001 and Dad, in 1988.  

This album still exists, in spite of the pulpy paper and the years. Here's a Valentine Dad gave to Mom; a snap of Dad (right) on the steps at Lewis and Clark High School (Spokane, WA); and another at Guard camp.

The next page in the album and details (below). Those were the days when the news included lovely things like descriptions of dresses and decorations.

Helen was the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Harry Baughn. Mae Rankin was the niece of Mrs. Baughn. All the guests were relatives, school chums and neighbors of the family.

Dad was to be stationed in the south for the first year of their marriage. 

Westminster Congregational Church in Spokane, where they were married; snaps of Mom and Dad, engaged. Mom gave me that sweater, years later, when I was about 12.  Dad's unit was transferred to the Phillipines and New Guinea, later in the war.

Leaving on their honeymoon. Mom said they had many flat tires between Washington and North Carolina. The house in the background belonged to Mom's folks, Mr. and Mrs. George Allen, on East 19th Street, in Spokane.

Mom's album page of the above news articles.

For a very short time, Dad (left) and his half-brother, Delmar Beamis, were stationed in the same camps.They had different surnames, so the army didn't know they were related. They quickly remedied the problem and moved Delmar out. 

Mom's album page of snaps from Dad.

After North Carolina, Mom and Dad went to Louisiana for Dad's advanced training. Mom was pregnant with my brother, Russ. She was living above a restaurant in Shreveport during the early stages of her term and suffered the usual morning sickness. The heat and the wafting restaurant fragrance of Cajun and Creole cooking, were a lasting memory to her. 

Mom's album page of the "Angels". Dad was not on that jump as he had been lightly wounded a few weeks before and was in hospital. 

So many millions of prayers must have ascended during that hard time...... can you imagine what fears the following telegram would bring to your heart? 

Naturally, those at home eagerly searched the news for information about the war where their loved ones were stationed.

Mom's album page and details, below......

Main events! First pictures of Russ, snaps from camp and a pinup of Mom for Dad to keep with him. My grandfather Allen, an itinerant shutterbug, posed Mom for this pic. I have another copy of it that Dad carried, always, in his wallet, through the war and all. I wasn't born until the following year, 1946. Below, Russ and I when we were 5 and 7 years old.

I think these might have been two of the men liberated by the "Angels" (11th Air Borne).

Another album page, and details, below.....

Getting ready for the invasion of Japan. Dad was still recovering and did not get to go. I think he was very disappointed.

Dad had two half-brothers in the war; Delmar and Glen Beamis, details below.....

The 11th Airborne insignia, below.

Another soldier, Dad's father, George Albert Haines, World War I.....

....and another, a sailor, Dad's uncle, Harry E. Baughn, US Navy, World War I....

And a very early soldier, Dad's grandfather, Thomas Heller, who came west with McClellan in the 1850's from Ottumwa, Iowa; married an Indian girl and settled a homestead south of Colville, Washington.

Thank you, all veterans and your families for keeping us free.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Journey Northward...... Beaver Lodge about 200 miles from our house....

.....because we needed some raspberry plants....because the deer ate ours. So we thought, "It's time for a little vacation." and off we went. We looked for a place to stay on our journey and, at first, went for the sterile environs of the nearest big town, Colville, or the next nearest, Kettle Falls. But, then, we saw this....on Lake Gillette, 3200 ft. elevation...and thought...."Hmmmm, rustic."  And in the backs of our minds, "Hmmmmm, rough." And in neon lights, "Probably bad beds."  So, I checked. The mattresses are new but bring your own bedding. So, I thought, "Back to rustic." This is the cafe and store and bait shop and boat rental, etc. The cafe had prime rib on the menu, and very reasonable, it was. And one of the best meals I've had in a long, long time. Prime rib done just the way I like it with a humungous baker (I couldn't eat but about 1/4 of that), salad bar (yum) and other veggies, hot.

We got there in late afternoon and moved into our rustic cabin (the only one of several with indoor plumbing; there are detached bathrooms for the other cabins and campers and rv'ers). Isn't it cute? There's a place to hang your dear, or elk, or whatever, there, in the shed. Didn't you guess? Beaver Lodge is open year around for lake people in summer; snowmobilers, hunters and fishermen, other times.

Inside, this trusty Fisher Stove kept us warm and cozy. It's only JUST spring up at Beaver Lodge. The nights are still frosty and it snowed the week before we went up! Nothing like a pine-fired stove with the sounds of crackling wood. No, I didn't have to chop. Everything was right there.

Decor was woodsy......

curtains were....WILD! How about this for a quilt, friends? Beautiful, I thought.

But even in the wilderness, quilt design goes on. When we got back from dinner, Erin settled in to do a little quilt art. She and her pet tiger. Not much light, so she put on her handy "head" light. See her darling little mouse that goes with her notebook? Glad it was the only mouse we saw on our trip. I'd rather see a bear than a mouse.....anywhere. What am I saying? Did you ever see the movie, "The Edge (?)" (Was that the title, with Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin?). Jeepers. A mouse, any mouse, would be better than the Kodiak in that movie.

There is a chain of lakes up there (WA state hwy 20): Thomas, Sherry and Gillette. Lots of different varieties of trees: Douglas Fir, Cedar, White Pine, Tamarack (just getting their needles). Lots of black moss on the bigger trees which the Salish Indians ate in the spring during, as they called it, "The Starving Time." Spokane Indian ladies say they still make black moss soup in the spring, a reminder of olden times. 

Wild strawberries!

Across the lake, an eagle's nest. We saw him, too, during dinner, over the water. We also saw an osprey get a fish. The eagle was the first of three we would see on our trip. Wherever there is still water, the eagle hunts. The second, we saw at Gifford Ferry. The third, at Old Fort Spokane, where the Spokane river meets the Columbia.

Getting late......

This is my very first attempt at a video on my blog. Hope it's as restful and lovely as our little journey.

After Kettle Falls, we turned south, for home, on highway 25. A few miles on, we crossed the mouth of the Colville River, where it flows into Lake Roosevelt (Columbia River, actually). The water is very low right now, with the spring run off just over.

The balsam are in bloom along with camas, syringa, mock orange and rock flowers. These are balsam.

The river.....

as it flows out to the lake...

with lots of Canada Geese along the edge....

and some trout, maybe.....


Very lovely.

Further on, man's work and nature's ever-present beauty.....

Looking to the west, over the lake....

Great skies....

And toward the south and home.

Remnants of an early try at farming....or, maybe the old homestead. Last year's mullein in the foreground (good for bronchitis if picked when small and leafy, before blooming).

Then, the ferry, across the Columbia to Inchelium, on the Colville Indian Reservation. "Columbia Princess"

Mostly Indian crew....

....we hopped on board among fishermen and others......and away we went.....

see how low the water is. It'll be up to the third marker, soon, though, when they close the dams.

A clearer view of the landing on the Inchelium side.

The view to the north, on our return trip. 

We stopped at the day use area at Two Rivers Casino to picnic. You can see it where the pale green trees are. The land you see is across the mouth of the Spokane River. We're standing on the grounds at Fort Spokane campground on the south side of the river here. The casino land was where my ancestor, Joseph Gangros (Gingras) and his wife, Marianne (Bastien), were allotted land in the early 1900's. They were mixed blood people, children of early French fur traders of the Hudson's Bay Company, and Okanogan, Shasta and Rogue River Indian tribes.  

An old photo of Fort Spokane taken in early times. We wandered around the old fort for a little bit and then headed for home, about 60 miles away. We couldn't have had better weather, better food or better traveling. Sure was nice!