Originally ran in the June 17, 1971 edition of the Illinois Valley News
Newcomers to our Valley are Ernest and Marie Weber, Rockydale Road. They moved here from Wickenburg, Arizona, where they had lived for 12 months, but they are not newcomers to Oregon, having spent seven years in this state in the cities of The Dalles, Klamath Falls and Grants Pass. Ernest is retired from the Southern Pacific, Los Angeles Division. Their reason for choosing to live in Cave Junction is to be near their son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Woods, owners of the Arctic Circle here.
Phayo and I recently returned from a vacation trip, the first we have taken for some years. We encountered all kinds of weather, but mostly cold and stormy. We had to stop for the night, before reaching Flagstaff, Arizona, where our daughter Mrs. Frances Summers and four children live, because of a snow storm. The next morning it was still snowing and I was surprised to see a light plane, heading east, land on the west bound lanes of the freeway near Williams.
Frances, Kathy, Karen and Wayne greeted us upon our arrival, but ten year old Donald was on a two and a half day trip, to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, a 24 mile hike. We went to the Grand Canyon, Phayo’s first visit there, and picked up Donald and his friends up at the Bright Angel Camp. We also went to Sedona through the Oak Creek Canyon.
Having always been interested in rock formations, we were amazed at the size of the rocks and spires of the canyon walls, and the deep rose color of all of the rocks. Also being camera fans, we couldn’t resist taking many pictures. One day we took Wayne, the youngest of the Summer’s grandchildren, and the rock hound of the family, to the Painted Desert and the National Monument of the Petrified Forest. Before leaving our daughter’s home we attended a graduation party for Kathy, given by her mother.
After we left Flagstaff, we went to San Bernardino, California, where we visited Phayo’s cousin and his wife, Frank and Mamie Purvis. The two cousins had never met before. Having visited San Bernardino many times as a child, I could not believe all the changes in the city. Where a beautiful park had once been, there is a large shopping center. I did not recognize the Highland area because all of the many artisian wells have dried up. But Frank and Mamie made a lifelong wish come true for me. From where we lived in Riverside, all of the time I was growing up, I could look north and see the large rock, shaped like an arrowhead, in the side of the San Bernardino Mountains, but I never had the opportunity to go there, until Frank and Mamie took us to see it.
I told two or three of my relatives that I would like to have a family reunion at Fairmont Park in Riverside. And on very short notice, there were 42 relatives and a few lifelong friends who met Phayo and I there for a potluck supper and visit. They came from Hemet, Calimesa, Victorville, Riverside, Artesia, Whittier and Glendale. Among those present was the Reverend Beatrice Van Meter, missionary from Hong Kong, who was home for a few days. Mrs. Van Meter has spoken in several of the Cave Junction area churches and has many friends in the Valley. One cousin, Evelyn Erickson, was too ill to attend so we visited her in her home in San Bernardino. We had a smaller reunion in La Habra because our niece, Mrs. Blanch Sheez, daughter of Osmond Henry, Rockydale Road, was too ill to go to Fairmont Park. Several other relatives met us at her home.
And then back home, to blue skies and green trees, and no smog! But who in Oregon even wants to think of stinging eyes, headaches, and murky skies? Let’s be careful that we don’t let that smog reach into our Valley.