Monday, October 29, 2007

October Index AND The Argus Observes: Military perils on first Veterans Day

Oct. 29: The Argus Observes: Military perils on first Veteran’s Day.

Oct. 25: In 1952 Medford pheasant hunter collapses and dies.

Oct. 22: The Argus Observes: Don Lynch writes about hunting with his two sons.

Oct. 18: 1952 story that Ontario is told to quit dumping raw sewage in Snake River.

Oct. 15: 1952 story that prominent wrestler Don Sugai was killed in car accident.
The Argus Observes --- Learning is a matter of simplification.
Oct. 11: 1952 story that Malheur Home Telephone Company wants to raise four-party rate to $3.50 a month.

Oct. 8: 1952 story that deer hunters quickly bring in 350 kills.
2007 story that federal government is declaring a disaster for county rangeland.
The Argus Observes --- Local schools avoid softness of California-New York style education.

Oct. 4: 1952 story that Ontario plant processes 15 percent of nation’s frozen corn.
State suggests county form a mosquito abatement district.

Oct. 1: 1952 story that city jail gets a cleaning and new blankets.
2007 brief links to a story about Ontario woman waiting on news of son in Afghanistan.
The Argus-Observes --- U.S. would have trouble ruling the world.


From the Nov. 15, 1954 issue of the Argus-Observer

By Don Lynch

Ontario conducted an outstanding observance of its first Veterans Day.
Thursday’s parade and ceremony at the school field made the best recognition of a patriotic holiday that has been held here in many years….

The occasion justified a larger public attendance than it received even though there were some 500 persons at the ceremonies and a larger number watching the parade…

Col. D.P. Wood from Mountain Home AFB, who made the address at the school field, gave his listeners a strong reminder of the military perils of today’s world.

He told the standard public relations story of the Strategic Air Command --- that a Russian A-bomb attack could paralyze this nation in a matter of hours but that retaliation by the SAC would be swift and sure and even more devastating.

“If Russia struck now,” he said, “Thursday morning our bombers from Mountain Home would be out, deliver their bombs over critical Russian targets and be home before you get up tomorrow morning.”

In other attention to Veterans Day, Maj. Gen. John Walsh, adjutant general for Idaho, talked to the Ontario Kiwanis club.

He urged consideration be given to the idea of large scale military training for civilians.
“I know it sounds like militarism,” he said, “but we face either that alternative or the expense of supporting a large armed force which might be such a load that it could destroy our traditional way of life.”

Gen. Walsh explained that men can be given military training while they live at home and continue on their jobs and in school. By this method virtually all of the nation’s young men aged 19 to 26 (the prime military age) could be kept trained all of the time. As it is now, the nation’s reserve men are mostly over age and out of contact with their training.

All of these contacts with the new Veterans Day spoke well for Ontario. It is a good thing for a community to make some real observance of a patriotic holiday at least once a year and Ontario could be proud of its activity last week….(But) there may be a hue and cry against closing stores and schools for Veterans Day another year because some towns in the area (notably Boise) remained open this year….

Thursday, October 25, 2007

One pheasant hunter dies of heart attack, others charged with trespassing and shooting from the highway

The Oct. 27, 1952, issue of the Argus-Observer reported that a 46-year-old pheasant hunter from Medford, Oregon died of a heart attack during the opening hours of the season.

Harold H. Hise, an accountant, was felled by the heart attack while hunting on the Cecil Shane ranch about ten miles from Vale. His wife had accompanied him to Vale for the opening of the season but remained in town when he took to the fields. His remains were shipped to Medford for services.

Other hunters found themselves confronted by the usual charges of trespassing. Sheriff John Elfering told the paper that at least three property owners filed complaints with the district attorney's office on charges of trespassing.

Vale Justice of the Peace Mary Graham issued $25 in fines and $4.50 in court costs against each of four hunters --- two from Staten, Oregon and two from Vale --- for shooting from a highway.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Hunting pheasant with two sons and a dog -- four years apart

(RememberingTheArgus editor’s note: Today, in honor of this time of year, of pheasant hunting, and of my brother, I’m posting two of our father’s columns on hunting. At the top is one from the fall of 1956. In it, dad tells how proud he was of my brother’s hunting skill as a 14-year-old. But first he goes on at length about the great fall weather and his fondness for a loaner dog Buz who was all of 15 at the time. The second column is from four years earlier. As I remember well, my own untrained hunting skills at 14 were obviously improved by tramping after Buz, who was then going strong at 11.)

The Argus Observes from Oct. 22, 1956

By Don Lynch

Rarely in the post-war years has there been a better day for the opening day of pheasant season.

The weather was perfect. There had been a heavy rain the days earlier and a lighter rain just two or three days before. The ground was soft with a deep moisture, but neither slick enough to cause a walker to slide nor wet enough to ball on the soles of shoes. Dogs work best of all with this amount of moisture. Sopping wet foliage places them at a disadvantage and dry ground is far worse.

We have had years when the ground was bone dry and dust thick and deep for the first day of China season. Then a dog can hardly find a scent unless the bird is right there. The poor hound’s nose soon gets jammed with dust and many dogs develop a bad nasal condition something like hay fever.

Wind is the worst weather handicap to hunting. When the wind blows dogs can’t work well, hunters can’t shoot well and birds sit tight.

None of these disadvantages handicapped our hunting Saturday. Not only were ground conditions ideal but the weather was perfect for comfort and for shooting.
The temperature at sunrise was a nice, crisp 28. It warmed rapidly, and by mind-morning a light jacket was sufficient. Then light clouds moved in for an afternoon overcast and it never did get too warm to walk in comfort.

Even with perfect conditions this old man (Editor’s note: he was 41 at the time) spent himself too fast. I couldn’t keep from running in the beet fields to stay close to the dog during the first couple of hours. That did it. I’m still hobbling around.

We hunted the farm of Bill Moore on Foothill Drive with a party that had come over from Coquille with his uncle, John Moore, a native of Ontario. The party was large enough to drive the cornfields. The eight of us came within one bird of getting our limits, which is pretty good for a party that size hunting behind a single dog.

Poor old Buz. Or perhaps it would be better to say, “Magnificent old Buz.”

He is 15 or 16 years old, being born before World War II. Saturday morning he got as excited as a two-year-old hound but steadied down much faster. Sunday he was out at daylight raring to go after a full day of hard work. But he was too stiff to do much when he got into the field.
Never in his prime did he hold birds better nor find cripples faster. If his end comes in the field on the scent of a bird, he’ll die happy.

The most pleasant experience of the day for me was the shooting of my 24-year-old son, Dennis, on his first day with a shotgun. Two of his first three shots were dead-on kills shooting with a 20 gauge and a 7½ chill load. It will probably be a year or two before he does as well again.

Such an experience is almost as much thrill for the father as for the son. I can remember how each of his birds looked, how it flew, how he shot, how it fell; and I can’t specifically recall the details of a single hit that I made myself.

The Argus Observes from Nov. 10, 1952

Pheasant hunting companionship was provided for me this year by a boy and a dog.

My 14-year-old son bagged his first pheasant on the fly Saturday, at least the first time that he did not double with another hunter on the kill.

He really likes to hunt and will be a much better outdoor sportsman than I. Just now he is an ideal companion because he doesn’t wear out the old man. He is still willing to take it easy learning as he goes along.

He isn’t yet big and strong enough physically or a good enough shot at a moving target to outshine his father. That permits me to hunt the easy, lazy way that fits my limited abilities.
When I get out with good hunters and get to dubbing shots that should be sure and tire of the pace, I feel like so much excess baggage. So hunting with an adolescent son is really quite a treat.

The dog was a windfall and a wonderful companion too. He was Bill Moore’s hound, Buz. Son of a fine pointer, and an unknown father, he is just a hound, but I have never seen a dog work better on pheasants.

He has none of the temperament and little of the headstrong nature one ordinarily associates with good hunting dogs. He is friendly as any mongrel pup you ever saw, he minds well, and there never was a more tenacious and persistent hunter. He hates to quit, maneuvered very way he could to keep from returning to the house. He wanted to keep right on hunting after four hours of steady pounding.

It is quite a privilege for a man who doesn’t own a hunting dog to enjoy the service of such a friendly hound.

While we were out this week end, I got the impression that Malheur county is ending the pheasant season with a better than usual carry over of birds. Although they were wild, there were a good many roosters left and, of course, an abundance of hens. If the birds get a decent break on the weather this winter, next year should produce the best pheasant crop of its famous pheasants that this county has seen in several years.

‘52 Pheasant Population averages 40 birds per hundred acres, half roosters

Cecil Langdon, district game agent, said a pheasant survey in Malheur County indicated there were 40 birds per acre, about half roosters, The Argus-Observer reported on Oct. 23, 1952.

Langdon said that was “about average and slightly more than a year ago.”
When a count was taken in the spring there were five hens for every rooster, but hens have a higher mortality rate during the non-hunting months, Langdon explained.

Hens are more susceptible to dogs, cats and hawks and more are killed by hay mowers and other farming machinery, he said.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ontario told to prepare to quit dumping sewage in the Snake River

The Oct. 20, 1952 issue of The Argus-Observer makes it clear why no one voluntarily swam in the Snake River as it coursed alongside Malheur County in those years.

The newspaper reported that the State Sanitation Board had just given the city of Ontario 90 days to submit a plan, including financing, for building a sewage disposal plant.

At a hearing in Portland the authority claimed Ontario’s pumping of raw sewage into the river was causing a serious pollution problem.

Earlier in the year the authority had issued a similar order to Vale and Nyssa, the paper said. Those cities were also being required “to make plans for adequate precautions against polluting streams.”

Horace Beal, an Ontario city councilman, responded to the order by noting that the city was proceeding on a schedule that would permit construction of such a plant without increasing taxes. But the estimated cost of $150,000 would have to be spread out over time.

He noted that because of tax override votes, “taxes were already high in Ontario,” and suggested that the sewage treatment plant could not be built until “sometime in 1955.”

Monday, October 15, 2007

Prominent Ontario wrestler Don Sugai killed in an auto accident

The Argus-Observer for Oct. 16, 1952 reported that Don Sugai, 39, who gained famed across the nation participating in popular wrestling events, was killed when his car went out of control early in the morning near the Seven Mile Inn on Highway 20 in Ada County, Idaho. He was thrown from his car and crushed by the vehicle.

Born in Portland in 1913 and an all-state football player as high school student in Salem, Sugai began professional wrestling right out of high school. He and his wife, the former “Pil” Chin, opened the Oriental Café in Ontario in 1943 and then opened the East Side Café on Jan. 1, 1947.

The accident occurred on a Tuesday following his victory over Wally Tsutsumi of Honolulu in a Riverside area wrestling event the night before. He was booked for the main even in the Ontario arena the following Saturday. Promoter Ted Hager cancelled the Ontario card out of respect for Sugai.

His service were to be held at the United Presbyterian church in Ontario on a Monday afternoon with Rev. Norio Yasaki of the Community Methodist Church officiating.

(Editor’s note: Don Lynch, my father and the editor of The Argus-Observer at the time, marveled at the size of the attendance at Sugai’s funeral years later in recalling for me some of the highlights of his years at the paper. He recalled how the family had a difficult time finding a place for the service because of Sugai’s lifestyle and lack of a formal religious affiliation. When the service was finally held at the Presbyterian Church, Sugai’s friends and associates from the wrestling world flew in from across the country in order to attend.)

The Argus Observes -- Learning is a matter of simplification

By Don Lynch

From the Nov. 5, 1953 issue of The Argus-Observer

Mrs. Sylvia Osborn, a capable Ontario teacher, brought her charts and illustrative material and various teaching helps to the weekly Kiwanis luncheon (to demonstrate how) information taught is worked into the child’s everyday living.

Each morning Mrs. Osborn’s class starts with the day’s news. At this time each day, the learning of reading is related to the habit of reading about the news.

First graders, she says, are very observant about the weather. So they keep a record every day and at the end of the year they know how many sunny days, rainy days, windy days, etc., there have been during the school term.

A major teaching effort is directed at making the first graders number conscious. Over and over again they are taught that the same combinations will produce the same results whether they are dealing with blocks, or apples, or people, or animals, or any other units. The little ones have a hard time making the transfer of mathematical reasoning from one subject to another and this is a slow learning process.

Six year olds have a different adjustment problem in getting used to the closeness of school work. The rate that reading is learned is much affected by the youngster’s natural ability to focus his eyes.

Adults who in mid-years have to adjust to bifocal glasses get some idea of what a first grader goes through in learning to focus his eyes in order to read, the teacher said.

The children make up the first stories they read, writing them in simple terms to learn simple words, and then re-reading what they have written. They also illustrate their stories, drawing the characters and situations in a group effort.

One evidence of the relation of education to everyday living is that the children in this year’s first grade classes insist on equipping their houses with TV antennas (Editor’s note: TV broadcasts from Boise began to be viewable by homes equipped with antennas just the previous summer.)

During Mrs. Osborn’s talk I was struck by the similarity of the learning process at all levels.
People starting to do advertising layout work have some of the same problems a first grader has in starting to draw numbers and letters. They have difficulty making their letters uniform in size and shape and in gauging the working space so that they make a balanced use of it. Both first graders and advertising layout beginners are helped by lines that indicate where the top and bottom of the letter should go and where the top of the lower case letters should go.

The whole learning process is one of simplification, like a blowup illustration of the parts of a machine to show how it works and where each part goes….

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Try links to local photos at the Ontario Argus, Nyssa City and Vale business web sites

The current web page of the Argus Observer leads the way to a local photo gallery that includes multiple photos of local community college and high school soccer, football and volleyball. You can also see some shots of the Ontario Air Faire and the Big Nasty Motorcycle Hill Climb.

Readers may also notice we’ve put up a link to Nyssa photos, where a very sophisticated city web master keeps things interesting. And we posted links to pictures of Vale’s Sears and Roebuck bed and breakfast and the Wilcox Horse and Buggy business in Vale. A cynic might think they are advertisers, but a realist would know that this site is not going to make that pay. We just like the idea of those businesses.

By the way, if anyone has stayed at the B and B, we’d like to hear what you think of it. We may be trying it out before the summer’s over.

Malheur Home Telephone Co. wants to raise four-party rate 75 cents, to $3.50

The phone company serving Nyssa, Ontario and Vale asked the state Public Utilities Commission to raise rates as much as 47 percent for residences and businesses across the county, The Argus-Observer reported on Oct. 13, 1952.

The cheapest rate offered, for a four-party personal line, would go from $2.75 a month to $3.50 in the towns. A rural residence line would climb to $3.75 a month, from $3.00.

Single party residential lines would be $5.50 a month in Ontario, up from $4.25. In Nyssa and Vale the single party rate would be 25 cents cheaper, at $5.25 up from $4.00.

Business rates would climb to $9.75 a month in Ontario, from $6.75. In the rest of the county the individual business rate would be $7.75 up from $5.25.

H.F. “Hap” Logue, the executive officer of the local chamber, said his group had formed a committee to study the increases which it might decide to oppose at a PUC hearing in Ontario later in the month.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Malheur County deer hunters quickly bring home 350

The Argus Observer for Oct. 9, 1952 reported that Ontario Police Chief Walter Walker was the first Malheur County deer hunter to return home with a kill, bringing in a four-point buck at 9 a.m. on the October opening day of deer season.

The chief explained that he had just gotten out of the car and was scanning the hillside with his scope when a hunter shooting up the hill chased the buck right towards him, and he made the kill with two shots.

A man on horseback who appeared nearby helped him carry the deer to his car.
“Luck like that could never happen again,” Walker told the newspaper.

From the cynical distance of more than fifty years, one might imagine a host of other scenarios.

Overall the paper reported that hunters from Vale, Nyssa and Ontario brought in 350 to be butchered during the first week of the season.

The successful hunters included a 13-year-old Ontario boy, Chuck Lane, who also bagged a four point buck.

And then there was Larry McShane, the unlucky city engineer. He felled a buck that began crawling in the direction of his car so McShane simply followed along avoid doing the hauling himself. When the buck finally collapsed, the hunter was standing over the flattened animal thinking of his good fortune when the deer jumped up and raced away, never to be found again – at least by McShane.

Federal government declares a disaster for Eastern Oregon rangeland

The Argus Observer reported Oct. 8, 2007 that severe damage to area rangeland from wildfires and drought during the summer has resulted in a federal disaster declaration for five eastern Oregon counties.

Oregon congressman Greg Walden, R-Hood River, announced the US Department of Agriculture decision.

“Disaster declarations for these counties are an important piece of getting the federal assistance to those who need it most,” Walden said. “But there is still much work to be done for Eastern Oregon.”The U.S. Drought Monitor said conditions in Malheur County as severe. Rangeland grass losses ran as high as 50 percent in the county and pasture losses were up to 80 percent.

Other counties included in the declaration because of moderate to severe drought were Harney, Baker, Wallowa Walla and Union.

Follow our link to the newspaper web site for related details.

The Argus Observes ---Ontario avoids “softness of New York-California style of education”

By Don Lynch

From the Nov. 3, 1953 edition of The Argus-Observer

Ernie Hill, Foreign correspondent for the Chicago Daily News, has made an interesting report on the experiences of his son Jonathon in attending schools in New York, Tokyo and London.

The boy had lacked interest in school in the United States and Japan and had repeatedly been tardy, but has taken a real interest in his work in London.

Hill reports, “I once went this school in New York. When I put my head in the door, someone fired a book at me. All the kids were standing up and were screaming. The teacher was shouting and banging on the desk.

“They’re so spirited this morning,” she told me outside. “Their little personalities are expressing themselves. We do nothing to curb their ego.’ When she went back into the classroom, she was beaned by an orange.

“Then, at the American school in Tokyo six of them gave their egos a workout by pushing one boy through a window.”

Hill says that British schools don’t operate that way. Jonathon was never late for school in London. He started doing his homework conscientiously and even studying ahead. When asked what would happen if he didn’t get his homework done, the boy said:

“Well, the Head would send you down to his study. He wouldn’t talk or beg you to do your work. He would just give you six of the best . . . that’s wallops with his birch cane. And boy do they hurt.”

Asked what would happen if a student threw a book, Jonathon said, “That would be a Monday night detention of three to five hours plus six of the best, plus no more swimming or football for the rest of the term.”

Hill reported that under the British influence Jonathon said, “ ‘Yes, sir.’ ‘Yes, thank you,’ and ‘No thank you,’ just like a civilized human being.”

Hill said he wasn’t worrying about Jonathon’s personality or ego, but just “basking in the warm glow of an unbelievable transformation.”

Thank goodness the Ontario schools and other schools in this region are not so progressively minded that the kids are permitted to run wild. We have a healthy compromise here between the severity of the English system and the softness of the New York-California style of education.

My father, a lifelong school teacher now retired, made practical application of the birch-cane technique with good results. He didn’t abuse it, but he did require discipline and order in his school.

I remember very well one occasion when he marched all of his ninth grade boys around the room whacking each one across the back with his belt when they came by his desk. They had refused to leave the outside basketball court to return to class after the noon hour. They never did it again.

There was another time I remember better from personal experience. We kids were confined to a playroom in the schoolhouse basement because of severe weather. One boy used a wooden pointer teachers used for blackboard instruction, put it in the furnace until it was charred and then wiped it across the faces of some of the rest of us. I took it away from him and broke it over his head. About that time we got caught.

The next morning I watched the old man cut three good strong lilac branches, and then walked to school through the deep snow of that year with him and the lilac branches.

The three us of who were in that fight stood up before the room and one lilac branched was used on each of us. I was ashamed because I couldn’t keep from doing a little jig while the other boys were tough enough to stand and take it.

However, the old man wasn’t always so stern. He yielded to the idea of progressive education to the extent of spending considerable effort on directing the learning process along lines that appealed to the interests of individual youngsters. Students got a chance to work on projects they liked and to acquire their learning in terms they would understand.

With that background, it’s no wonder that discipline seem to me an essential prerequisite of education. Attention is essential to learning and discipline is necessary to get attention from most youngsters.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Sexual abuse and auto thefts attract interest this week of 2007

Use our link to visit the Argus Observer web site to check out the local bloggers debate about a story from last week of a Fruitland football player’s mother accused of sexual abuse.

Another item under “headlines” tells how police are getting together to try to solve a rash of auto thefts in Ontario.

Ontario plant processes 15 percent of nation’s frozen corn; state suggests area form a mosquito abatement district

Here are two stories from the Oct. 6, 1952 issue of The Argus-Observer.

Nephi Grigg, general manager of the Oregon Frozen Foods plant in Ontario, said his plant processed 15 percent of the frozen corn sent to market in 1952.

The plant started its run July 13 and through the previous Saturday employed 500 workers in two shifts to complete the run. Grigg estimated the payroll for the period was a quarter of a million dollars.

“We think---we always have thought and still do---corn has a great potential as a money crop in this area. It’s getting stronger every year,” he told the newspaper.
Following a survey in the Nyssa area by three members of the Oregon State Board of Health on Sept. 3 and 4, the state officials suggested “immediate consideration should be given by responsible officials in Nyssa and other towns in the vicinity, both Oregon and Idaho, to the formation of a mosquito abatement district.”

Malheur County’s health officer, Dr. L. A. Maulding, said he requested the state survey after a local polio case was listed as “symptomatically suggestive of equine encephalomvelitis.” The story said that is a virus carried by horses and “communicated to man by the Aedus mosquito.”

Monday, October 1, 2007

City Jail gets cleaning, new blankets

The Ontario city jail underwent a cleaning and was equipped with new blankets for its “guests,” Police Chief Walter S. Walker told The Argus-Observer for its Oct. 2, 1952 editions.

Walker said the jail’s mattresses were filthy and had to be tossed. Prisoners were to be provided only with blankets on their bunks.

“You can’t have the place too comfortable,” Walker said.

The clean-up came following two warnings that the jail was unfit for prisoners, both issued before Walker became police chief.

Janice Gates waits for word of her son in Afghanistan

An Ontario-area mother tells The Argus Observer what it’s like waiting for word about her son, who as an Airborne trouper has had his enlistment extended and been sent to Afghanistan for a second time.

The story in the Monday, Oct. 2, 2007 edition begins:

“It can be nerve-wracking, being at home and knowing your child is in a dangerous area, possibly in the line of fire. But having been in the Army herself, Janice Gates, Ontario, has a different perspective about what her son, Sgt. Joshua Brennan, who is in Afghanistan, has been going through than a lot of parents with children in the military. She admits, however, it was hard to accept when he his military service extended for another tour of duty.”

For the full story follow our link to the newspaper’s web site.

The Argus Observes --- U.S. would have trouble ruling the world

From the October 29, 1953 edition of The Argus-Observer

By Don Lynch

Major Malcolm Rosholt, former Air Force officer in the C-B-I theater in World War II and former Shanghi newspaper publisher, debunked the value of the United Nations in his talk to the Knife and Fork club here Tuesday evening.

He told the crowd he had been re-reading Herodotus and was impressed by how little man’s heart had changed in 2400 years.

“Unless man has a remarkably sudden change of heart we will never have peace of much duration during the next 2400 years,” he said.

I asked him if he thought that with the scientific advancement in weapons, man could survive another 2400 years in a world of conflict.

He expressed the opinion that even though millions of people would be killed quickly in an atomic war, the human race would probably survive.

Then he added, “But it would become necessary for one country to rule the world.”
Sometimes that does appear to be the alternative if the United Nations or its equivalent eventually proves entirely futile.

Who would that nation be?

We know the world would be a tragic place if it were run by Russia. But what of the United States?

Could we actually rule the world intelligently? I doubt it. We have trouble enough trying to harmonize the widely diversified interests of our own nation into enough of a common pattern to govern ourselves. We haven’t done that very well. How could we really rule the world except by brute force, even if it was moderated by some awareness of justice as a principle and the Golden Rule as a desirable ideal?

The Romans were just, according to their own standards, and they were intelligent, but they flubbed the job of world rulership when it was much more simple that it would be now. And although they were rugged where we are soft, they couldn’t maintain enough character to handle their responsibilities.

Things are far more complex, travel at a far faster pace in in our world today. If in the decades ahead, circumstances require us to assume the task of ruling the world, the speed of our physical and moral degeneration will probably make the Romans look slow indeed.

Let’s not kid ourselves that we are qualified to rule the world. Far better to keep talking in the United Nations in the hope, however slim, that the world can find solutions and compromises that are at least temporarily acceptable to the diverse interests of its diverse people.