Originally ran in the July 1, 1971 edition of the Illinois Valley News
Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Higgins, Dick George Road, took their guests Mr. and Mrs. C.N. McDaniel and Bill Harmon for a Sunday afternoon drive to the Oregon Caves. They were enthusiastic over the many rhododendrons in bloom on the way to the Caves. Later they drove over the Waldo R
Mrs. Leta James called me Sunday morning, June 27, to wish me a happy birthday, before I could call to wish her a happy birthday. Her son Ray drove her to Gold Hill to visit her son and his wife, Earl and Emily, and her brother, Andrew Stevens. And while they were in Gold Hill her daughter and son-in-law, Flora and Myron Terpening and children Wanda and Glen, took a birthday cake for a surprise, then intended to take her up to the Caves. They waited for some time, but she did not return until quite late. So, the birthday cake was a day late, but appreciated, nevertheless.
And I had a happy, busy day on my birthday too. (But I am not going to tell you how old I am – just give you a little hint – I lined up with all the other school children to see President Taft when he went the length of Seventh Street in Riverside, Calif). I went to Sunday school and church in the morning and Phayo took me out for dinner. At 2 o’clock I participated in the dedication of the landscaping and fountain at the Illinois Valley Branch of the Josephine County Library and watched the unveiling of the plaque which honors the Charter Members of the Garden Club. After the dedication, we went to the Silver Tea given by the DAR at the museum.
Lucille Floyd introduced us to members of the DAR and told them that Phayo had recently received papers tracing his lineage to Henry Haller, born in 1720 and who was Wagon Master General in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. While viewing the doll collection and other interesting displays we met some friends, Mr. and Mrs. Willard Street, Cheney Creek Road, Wilderville. They reminded us that they had wanted to take us in their Jeep to Allentown Cemetery.
Phayo and his sister Iona had been there several years ago, but I had never been because I can’t walk that far on such rough ground. We decided that right then was as good a time as any, so up the hill and over the narrow, lumpy road we went, but our driver was very careful for which I was thankful. We found the cemetery fenced and an arch over the entrance with the name and date of the cemetery, some of the headstones which had fallen down had been cemented upright, and the big white cross was upright too.
“Curly” told us much of the history of the cemetery and the whole area where houses and mines had been located and stories of the miners and showed us maps and copies of early day papers. When we got home it was nearly dark and we found a note saying we had had visitors but they would be back in an hour. They came within a few minutes after we returned. We welcomed Bill and Esther Mepham, Turlock, Calif. They were on their way to Vancouver, Canada for a two weeks vacation and stopped overnight with us. They have visited us several times before. Bill is the other grandfather of our grandchildren. Kevin, Wendy and Michael Mepham.
This year I remembered another birthday party. That was 40 years ago in Grants Pass. I was Ruth Henry at the time and in command of the Salvation Army Soldiers and friends gave me a surprise party. Many things both good and bad have happened since that long ago party.
June 27 was the birthday of at least two others in our Valley. Lew Krauss of Selma and his granddaughter Margaret, daughter of Lewis N. Krauss, celebrate the same day. Their family had a party for them. I have found that there is always another way things can be done – sometimes a better way. Last week Agnes Oliver and I replaced the stones that had been chipped out of the fountain at the library. Agnes and I and others who helped build the fountain, put a lot of hard work and planning into it and we are proud of it. We hope no one else defaces it. If you admire the stones in the fountain, the better way to get ones just as pretty is to come to the Mineral and Hobbies Club, which meets every month except August. Watch the paper for the time and place. Anyone interested in rocks, minerals, geology or other hobbies, regardless of age, is welcome to come. Sometimes we have auctions and beautiful stones can be bought for a very nominal fee, other times the specimens are just on display. Always there is an interesting informative program.
Not long ago I reported that two of my cousins, Charlotte Smith and Chester Henry, stopped over on their way to Alaska. It took them ten days to get to Delta Junction in the car, pulling a trailer. I heard via the grapevine that Charlotte accompanied her daughter, Mrs. Madeline Sager, to church the next Sunday. During the service, Madeline suddenly whispered to her mother, “I have to go to the hospital.” So Charlotte drove her daughter 150 miles to the hospital (the highways in Alaska are not exactly in the same class as I-5 in Oregon) with that old bird, the stork, flying right along beside them, but lagging just a little. They beat the stork by about 15 minutes. But someone in that family was really excited about that baby! About a week ago I received an announcement, the cover said, “Yep, it’s a Boy!” The inside of the announcement – blank, all blank!
Just received a telephone call from Bill Bryan, formerly of Kerby and now living near Topeka, Kansas. He is a chemist for the State Board of Agriculture Laboratory and likes his work very much. He says that coming back to the Valley is like coming home. He and his family are visiting at the home of his daughter Rita and her husband Neal Fincher, and of course, enjoying their grandson, little Neal. The two week vacation is slipping by too fast.
Copies of “Just My Cup Of Tea” have been getting around California, Arizona, Montana, Washington, Alaska, Hong Kong and the Netherlands. In the USA I send the complete paper, but in the foreign countries the postage is too high so I just send the clippings. I thought Bob Grant might like this little paragraph from our daughter in the Netherlands, “So you are a correspondent, Mom.” We really enjoy your column of good news about nice things that happen to people such as travels, family visits, etc. Too much of the big newspapers are taken up by very bad news. It is nice that the small papers can be more personal and print the good news too.”