Thursday, November 29, 2007

November Index AND Three duck hunters from Boise spend two hours in icy Snake River; football all stars named


Nov. 26: The Argus Observes -- State supervision of bridge projects seems inadequate
Nov. 26: Nephi Grigg says processing of frozen fried potatoes means year around payroll
Nov. 21: Class of ‘56 members celebrate Ore-Ida when the company was king
Nov. 21: New street signs confuse long-time residents
Nov. 19: The Argus Observes -- Carving the turkey and pleasing the ‘little woman’
Nov. 15: Bridge collapse kills two Nyssa brothers
Nov. 12: 2007 Argus Observer readers debate impact of area residents living in Idaho, working and shopping in Ontario
Nov. 12: Former mayor, father of Garth Cates, dies at 96
Nov. 12: The Argus Observes --- Near perfect fall weather
Nov. 8: Senior play, Mother is a Freshmen, set for new auditorium
Nov. 8: Two photos of students in 1952
Nov. 5: The Argus Observes -- An election night party with KSRV
Nov. 1: Photo of Oregon Street in Ontario circa 1952
Nov. 1: Narcotics agent reports a big haul in Nyssa bust


The Argus-Observer reported Nov. 24, 1952 that three duck hunters whose boat overturned spent two hours in the Snake River between Nyssa and Ontario before they could paddle the swamped boat to shore.

Drs. Max Gundmundson and Quinton Mack along with attorney Willis Sullivan, all of Boise, were warming themselves in the Idaho side home of Beul Clement when authorities caught up with them.

An observer who saw the men’s struggle alerted Oregon State Police about 7 a.m., and the police sent a power boat to the scene but by then the men were already ashore.

Police told the newspaper that the men suffered nothing more serious than exposure and the loss of seven shotguns and other hunting gear.

Three Ontario football players joined Payette’s Harmon Killebrew as league all-stars:

The Nov. 20 1952 Argus-Observer reported that Snake River Valley league coaches had named Ontario senior tackle Jess Jackson, Junior back Wayne Anderson, and senior end Sam Taylor to the league all-star teams along with Harmon Killebrew, a junior from Payette. Jackson, Anderson and Killebrew were named to first team, Taylor to the second team.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Argus Observes --- State supervision of bridge projects seems inadequate

By Don Lynch
From the Nov. 20, 1952 issue of The Argus-Observer

What happens now in the Owyhee bridge tragedy that caused the death of the Corfield brothers, Chester and Joe?

The coroner’s jury said that lack of engineering supervision was the direct cause of the accident. It censured the state industrial accident commission for failure to inspect the job. But the jury couldn’t find evidence of criminal negligence on the part of any specific person.

State highway engineer R.H. Baldock disagreed with the jury’s verdict. He declared that, “it appears there was ample engineering supervision given to the job,” and further, “one of the men now says that just a few minutes before the crash he noted one of the jacks was out of plumb.”

By implication Baldock blames the accident on the jack being out of plumb.

The jury verdict and the Baldock report constitute official action and I suppose the matter will end, but somehow I can’t forget it. And neither can members of the coroner’s jury.

There are some things that don’t ring true in this case and it seems a shame to just let them go.

The highway department’s official explanation of the accident is in complete disagreement with the sworn testimony that workmen gave to the coroner’s jury.

Workmen who appeared before the coroner’s jury failed to report any jack out of plumb and did so under repeated questioning. They insisted they never noticed anything wrong prior to the accident.

Yet the highway department used a jack out of plumb as its official explanation of the accident.
The coroner’s jurymen were unanimous in a feeling that witnesses were withholding information, that they were not given the full story.

The highway department’s explanation of the accident suggests that the jurymen were right in their feeling that information was being withheld.

If this assumption is true, it raises serious questions. Why would the men refuse to give such vital information? How much more information may have been withheld? Does the implication of information withheld provide a basis for further investigation?

Perhaps these questions can be answered in a reasonable manner. On the other hand they pose some serious implications.

Baldock’s statement pointed out that an engineer visited the job October 29, more than a week before the accident and this date agrees with the testimony at the inquest.

The state highway engineer evidently considers this adequate supervision, but the coroner’s jury disagreed. They thought such a dangerous job should have been closely supervised and the death of the two men indicates that the coroner’s jury was right in its opinion.

The state of Oregon is extremely careful in maintaining safety standards in private industry and on private construction work through its industrial accident commission. But the commission had never even inspected this dangerous job.

Every citizen of Oregon has a right to be concerned with this situation. If the state departments are careless of human life on state jobs, it is a matter of genuine concern, and it should be remedied to avoid needless and shameful waste of life.

Nephi Grigg says processing frozen fried potatoes will mean year-round payroll

On Nov. 10, 1952, the Argus-Observer led with a story quoting Nephi Grigg, general manager of Oregon Frozen Foods in Ontario, announcing that beginning in January the plant would process potatoes year around.

“Potatoes will be French Fried and frozen ready for the market,” the story noted. Grigg said he expected to employ at least one hundred persons 12 months of the year in the new processing operation. The new process would provide a market for the entire area potato crop, the general manager added.

At the time of the announcement, Grigg said the plant mainly produced a frozen vegetable mix of corn, string beans, lima beans and peas for a Safeway stores label.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ontario class of '56 members celebrate Ore-Ida when Ore-Ida was king

Street signs confuse old residents

By Hugh Gale, news editor
From the Argus-Observer issue of November 13, 1952

Some of the old timers were a little mixed up by the new street signs the city put up in Ontario.

One lady telephone street superintendent Herb Derrick and said that his men were putting up the wrong sign.

“I’ve lived here for years,” she said, “and I know I live on 8th street. Your men are putting up a sign calling it 9th. You better get out here and do something about it.”

Derrick did. The poor lady had been wrong for the 30 years she’d spent in Ontario.
The street department recently completed putting up street signs in most of the important intersections in the city. It is Derrick’s plan to have all streets designated with signs by next year.

One Ontario resident came out of his house one morning and saw the new sign at his corner. He exclaimed: “Egad, is there where I live?”

Fire Chief Bob Prahl said the new signs would be a great help to his department. He hoped that people calling in fires would now use the street address.

“Many times in the past they have said the fire was over there close to Zilch’s house, but couldn’t give the address,” Prahl said.

Derrick is proud of the substantial material the signs are made of and the easy to read four inch letters on them.

The only complaint about the signs came from an old timer who said it was a waste of taxpayers’ money: “Everybody knows where everybody lives in this here town.”

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Argus Observes: Carving the turkey and pleasing the “little woman”

By Don Lynch
From the November 24, 1952 Argus Observer

One way or another you can get the meat off the carcass so bolster up your nerve and carve your turkey at the table Thursday.

Nothing else you do will so endear you to your wife on Thanksgiving day. Put on your good suit accompanied by your best shirt and favorite tie with the tie closely clipped to your shirt front. Be appropriately brushed and manicured. You’ll cut quite a figure and the little woman will be just bubbling with pride.

The carving job is not so tough. The first essential is a sharp knife. Get it out now and hone it to a keen edge. Then if you are distracted just before dinner putting an extra leaf in the table, running out after whipping cream and welcoming guests at the last minute, you won’t have to sharpen the blade while the dinner cools. You’ll be all ready to go.

Did I hear you ask in a panic, “But how do I carve the crow?”

You just do it the obvious way. You cut off the leg, cut off the wing and there’s the turkey ready to slice. There are two schools on dealing with the leg. The precisely correct way is to slice the meat from the leg providing slices of dark meat to accompany slices of breast on the platter. But it’s quite satisfactory, especially if the bird is not overly large, to just cut the leg in two at the joint making two ample servings of dark meat.

Don’t worry and fret about getting the appendages removed from the bird. It will probably be so well done they will almost fall off, and in any event they are easy to cut free and remove with a simple twist. Clear the working area of tall glasses and goblets so you have room to maneuver freely. You’ll have no trouble at all and your home life will be bolstered for days to come by this special service on your part.

You can be helpful to your wife in another way on Thanksgiving, if you have a frozen turkey. You can remind her to allow ample time for the bird to thaw.

A frozen turkey needs a full day at room temperature to become completely thawed out, although its surface may appear to be thawed in less time. Then it should be stored in the refrigerator or other cold place over night until it is cooked the next day.

If it becomes necessary to cook the bird before thawing is completed, remember that it takes one and a half times as long as usual to cook a frozen bird and longer still if it is stuffed.

This care in the preparation of a frozen bird will pay off for the husband, because few things so upset the home atmosphere as having the turkey come to the table not quite done.

I do hope you have a pleasant Thanksgiving day dinner.

(Editor’s note: The chauvinism exhibited in this column makes me cringe when I read it 55 years after it was written. As I remember my father, he never referred to my mother as “the little woman” to her face. I think she would have had something to say about that. And he wasn’t so pompous as the writing makes him seem. Of course, there is also a good chance that his intent here was to warn others against mistakes he‘d made in previous years. I do remember an occasional Thanksgiving Day debate about whether the turkey was actually cooked through or not.)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

1952 Bridge collapse killed two Nyssa brothers

The Nov. 10, 1952 Argus-Observer reported that two workmen from Nyssa died the previous Friday while trying to raise a damaged bridge that crossed the Owyhee River nine miles south of Nyssa.

(A coroner’s jury would blame the collapse on a lack of engineering supervision, a conclusion that would be disputed by State Highway Engineer R.H. Baldock.)

Dead were brothers Chet and Joe Corfield. Both Chet, 35, and Joe, 28, were World War II veterans who left behind wives and parents as well as six brothers and sisters and a total of seven children.

At the time the accident occurred, the brothers were operating jacks beneath the bridge, attempting to raise it in an effort to repair damage caused by high waters the previous spring.

One of the three workman who escaped injury, Ralph Boyd of Union, described the collapse. He said that he and one of the others working at the far end from where the structural failure began were able to save themselves by jumping into the river and swimming to shore in overalls laden with heavy tools.

The bridge reportedly began to go down in a twisting motion, slipping sideways and sliding off supporting blocks in the area where the brothers were working.

Monday, November 12, 2007

2007 Argus-Observer readers debate impact of area residents living in Idaho, working and shopping in Ontario

A November 2, 2007 story in the Argus Observer about an unnamed “big company” exploring a move into Ontario kicked off a lengthy debate among readers about the apparent problems caused when people who work and shop in Ontario decide to live just across the river in Idaho. A major contributor to that debate is Ray Dickerson of the Ontario High class of 1956. To read the full debate follow our link to the Argus Observer home page and, scroll down to the blogs and click on the “Big company” entry.

On November 10 Ray wrote:

In a free market society some businesses succeed and others do not. Wal-Mart’s strategy is to locate in small communities and suck the life out of them all the way back to Wall Street and Arkansas. They sucked the life out of the Ontario Mall and most of the main streets within 25 miles. Home Depot is doing the same thing to the hardware and building supply houses. These companies and many more like them do market research and will locate here when it looks like they may get a suitable return on investments for their stock holders. You can’t just call them up and say locate here in Ontario because I don’t like driving 45 miles to shop or having to pay the six cent sales tax. If you and 10,000 others were to do so, you might get some action. If you check around the state of Oregon, you will see a number of border towns just like Ontario. They are commercial hubs for the residents of the neighboring states that have sales taxes, like we are for Western Idaho. But that is not the only reason: Oregon’s land-use regulations have made it extremely difficult to develop residential property since they were passed in 1973, and generally has made housing more expensive and difficult to build in Oregon than in the neighboring states. This not living where you work and the associated travel back and forth through these border communities impacts the infrastructure negatively. It also causes increased police work associated with traffic, accidents, crime, and the list could go on and on. Certainly another area that is impacted is the schools. Without new residential development there is little interest or support for improving schools, when the majority of those families wanting modestly priced housing elect to live across the border. The Oregon Legislature knows what they’re doing and the impact their decisions have on the border communities but they don’t care, because we’re not their power-base. They also fail to provide funding to the affected communities to offset the imbalance. Therefore, when Mike Allen, and many others say they don’t want more commercial growth they do so with a complete understanding of the situation, not that they are wanting to deny anybody a place to shop. I don’t know what kind of business is shopping to locate in Ontario and it really does not matter, because most of the employees will choose to live in Idaho, shop in Ontario, travel through the community, have no vested interest in Ontario, and the cycle that happened when SRCI came to town will be repeated. That is the way it is and the way it will stay.

Former mayor, father of Garth Cates, dies at 96

The November 11, 2007 Argus Observer reported the death of former Ontario mayor Leonard L. Cates, 96, Ontario, who passed away Thursday, Nov. 8, 2007.

Born in Island City, near LaGrande, on April 17, 1911, he came to Ontario from Baker in 1947 to be a full-time agent for the State Farm Insurance Company. He served on the City Council from 1959 until 1972. After the passing of the late former mayor Morgan Beck, Cates was mayor from 1972 until 1977.

He is survived by four children, Dr. Gerald (Charmaine) Cates, Cottage Grove, Ore., Roger (Lisa) Cates, Boise, Meredith (Dr. John) Stiger, Milwaukie, Ore., Joyce Rankin, Portland; a daughter-in-law, Evelyn Cates, Boise; 13 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Leonard Cates’ wife Edna died in 2002.

His son Garth Cates, a leader and athlete in the Ontario High School class of 1957, died in 1997.

(For the full obituary follow our link to today’s Argus Observer home page and search the archives for Leonard Cates.)

The Argus Observes: Near perfect fall weather

By Don Lynch

From the November 25, 1954 Argus-Observer

Fog this morning halted the beauty of a long autumn.

We always have continuous weeks of near perfect weather in the fall months. Sometimes it seems more like a late summer with the settled warmth running on and on into October. It was that way two years ago when summer never seemed to end until late October. If this tendency is too extreme, it slows beet harvesting, for the beets heat in the big piles unless it frosts at night. That October warmth of two years ago was followed by an unusually cool November with lower average minimum temperature than the mild December and January that followed it.

Sometimes autumn’s show is interspersed with rain so that the year’s most pleasant season finds it days tempered with moisture. Then autumn’s flaming color is intermittently subdued to dampened tones. That was the pattern of three yers ago, so wet indeed that some of the beets were never harvested.

This year autumn came early in the cool temperatures. And there it settled to stay almost the same for more than two solid months. When it started to frost late in September it continued at about the same pace through October and far into November. Just steady autumn temperatures slightly below freezing at night and just right for a light coat or jacket in mid-day. Ideal for harvest, perfect for living.

The dates of pheasant season marked the only noticeable breaks in this steady weather. There was one spell of wind and cold at the start of the pheasant season late in October. It was just enough to clearly handicap the hunting of the opening days and to discourage the gust hunters from out-of-Malheur. Soon the weather settled back to normal.

Rain came the last week at the end of the bird season in conditions of moisture that made it more pleasant to be in the fields.

These hours of hunting, at dawn and sunset, were the high moments of this fall’s beauty for me.
Earlier, my son, Larry, and I had hunted without much luck. Too much wind, too many conflicting activities, not enough roosters.

Then the hen season brought us out again into the tempered beauty of the fields softened by rain. We slipped out early before work and school hours began.

A few days earlier, on a dry day, we had seen the most birds in the willows and scrubby softwood trees in the draws high under the big ditch. That’s where we started, expecting it to be soaking wet in the brush. We were wrong both ways. No birds but not wet either. Although it had rained the evening before, there had been a light early morning breeze drying the branches and brush above shoe top level.

The country-side was filled with the stimulating but comfortable sensations of the season. Foft, good-feeling dirt under foot, the staid straw and red brown colors of the clover and willow stalks covering, in some places, a rich green of protected grass underneath.

We quickly hunted out the two draws at hand and moved into the fields. Our pint-sized dog, with whom hunting is strictly an avocation, found the scent on the moist ground easier than he had on the dry ground of earlier days. And then the birds were in the fields better than they had been earlier. Pretty soon we got some thoroughly satisfactory shooting.

All week the ground stayed moist for pleasant hunting conditions. As the season closed we were looking into the west at just the right angle to see a lace cloth of spider webs covering the green alfalfa stubble with all of the red and goldspendor of a November sunset for a centerpiece. I had forgotten how spiders blow in the autumn fields and spin their acres of covering webs.

Now the fog is here on schedule as it nearly always comes curing the holiday season. It, too, is beautiful for a time --- effecting in the mist distant shapes and forms unseen at other times; but let’s hope to avoid the temperature inversion that makes fog persist for days on end.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Scroll Down for some new 1952 photos

Editor's note: Don't miss these pictures of the freshman class officers at Ontario High School for 1952, and just how one of them promoted the Sadie Hawkins Day dance. Scroll down to see them.

Senior play “Mother is a Freshmen” set for new high school auditorium

The new 780-seat high school auditorium was used this month for the first time and drama coach A.B. Spears said the senior play, “Mother is a Freshmen” would be performed there “sometime in December,” the Argus-Observer reported in its Nov. 6 edition.

Cast and crew for the performance were to include Renae Lee, Edith Fitzsimmons, Holly Quigley, Loren Sevey, Arlene Keller, Skip Thayer, Curt Gilchrist, Jerry Cates, Jean Palmer, Donna Keegan, Shane O’Neil, Billie Ripley, David O’Neil, Joan de Bruin and Louise Atniip with Keller and Palmer in the leading parts.

The newspaper story announced that acoustics in the new facility pronounced the acoustics “excellent (because) you can hear equally well from all parts of the auditorium.”

Superintendent Art Kiesz said that the school board had established a fee program for public use after studying what other schools charge in the way of auditorium fees.

1952 Freshmen Class Officers: Treasurer Norman Olson, Vice President Salley Christensen, President Stanley Olson, Secretary Ariel Christiansen

Stanley Olson promotes November 1952 Sadie Hawkins dance

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Argus Observes --- An election night party with KSRV

By Don Lynch
From the November 6, 1952 issue of The Argus-Observer

(Editor’s note: Don Lynch had explained in a previous column that the Argus-Observer office would be the center of an election night reporting effort, with the public invited to watch the tallies go up on a huge blackboard pieced together by news editor Hugh Gale and posted along the back wall of the office. In this column he shows his pleasure with how well the effort worked. )

Our big election night party is over. For the first time (radio station) KSRV and the three Malheur County newspapers combined resources to work as a team in reporting the election returns, and with marked success.

The various parts of the team functioned smoothly. Returns were gathered as fast as the precincts counted them, tabulated rapidly and broadcast to listeners immediately. The organization permitted the newspapers to place their resources at the disposal of the radio station so it could concentrate on the technical effort of keeping the broadcast right on top of the fast changing returns.

It was a pleasure for we news reporters to watch the radio people work. We moved rapidly ourselves in compiling returns, but we write our report rather deliberately. By contrast the radio crew works at top speed.

I don’t see how they hit the terrific pace when they’re on the air. They become razor sharp when they take the microphone. And the man at the mike on election night has to have a solid dependable team behind him. The radio people see to it that these requirements are met in order to insure a good performance for the listener.

Visitors seemed to enjoy being guests of KSRV and the Argus-Observer, watching the broadcast and the tabulating. They enjoyed the cider, coffee and doughnuts, too.

The (Vale-based) Malheur Enterprise and the (Nyssa) Gate City Journal have expressed gratification at the way our joint effort worked out. KSRV has expressed its satisfaction too. We feel just the same way and we certainly enjoyed joining with KSRV in giving an election party which was well received by the public.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Oregon Street in Ontario circa 1952

Narcotics agent reports a big haul in bust near Nyssa

Jack Merrill, head of the Portland office of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, said he took two pounds of marijuana off a Nyssa man during his arrest at a secluded spot near that city, the Argus-Observer reported on Nov. 3, 1952.

An undercover officer arranged to buy the marijuana from Antonio Enriquez, 27, who had been living in the Nyssa area for six years. Enriquez was charged with felony sale and possession of marijuana. The prisoner was then taken to Pendleton for arraignment before a U.S. Commissioner.

In searching the Enriquez home after his arrest, officers said they found another two tobacco cans full of marijuana ready to be rolled and a cigarette package filled with hand-made “reefers.”
Merrill called the quantity a “big haul” valued at about $300. He said that most of Eniquez’s customers were migrant workers.

Oregon State Police and local district attorney Charles Swan developed the case before calling in the federal agent from Portland, the paper reported.

Merrill told the newspaper that the marijuana was of better quality than could be grown around Nyssa and may have been brought in from California.