Diana Hottell reads her stories #5

Are righty then yep um hi again and um i'm going to continue peopling the old metal for you all with some of these stories today i'm going to be reading about wayne luft and winter predictions and dorothy thurlow's secret.

Marie risley 11 evelyn emery and earl jones so we'll see how far we get so wayne loft we're going to start with wayne luft and he did many different things in his life but this is mostly about his sheep being with the sheep herders in the hills.

And uh i wrote this for the metta valley news february 19 1981 this story is about sheep and one man who spent many of his years with the sheep bands trailing them along the grassy network of pastures and passes in the sawtooth mountains.

And the satan wilderness i missed some of the details because while we while we talked he was filling me up with sourdough blueberry pancakes from a recipe that he used during his packing years uh for cooking for the sheep herders wayne grew up hanging around the sheep camp surrounding ephrata in the 1930s.

The camps were more interesting than town he said the hired hands at the camps often let wayne help either hurting the sheep or hunting the coyotes which constantly harassed and killed the sheep once he was out of school wayne went to work for the big bend land company of.

Spokane which had sheep in that area he hauled water and hunted coyotes seven days a week daylight to dark except during lambing when the hours were a lot longer when lambing time was over for that season the sheep were loaded into a train.

Headed for springdale north of spokane and wayne followed with a truckload of horses after the regular packer quit wayne was hired to pack for the outfit moving the camps and cooking for the sheep herder as they grazed the band along.

Now a band is made up of about 1500 yews counting their lambs the number can soar to about three thousand five hundred we just had a heck of a time relates wayne of those months in the huckleberry mountain range between the columbia river and chihula.

Work didn't bother the teenager much because what he remembers best is how good the fishing was or how how the sheep heard her and the boss and he would play pitch plus the huckleberries you wouldn't believe the huckleberries up there we had them cobblers steady he says.

He also learned to cook sourdough bread in coffee cans and roast lamb in the fire pits when he left the huckleberry mountains that fall he had to register for the draft and soon enough found himself in the pacific ocean on an aircraft carrier which had more men on it.

Than there were people in grant county it was confining he understates right after the war he was back in the hills with a sheep this time working for albert tribor who grazed his animals in the hills and mountains ringing the metal valley from huge holding pens in pateras.

The sheep were herded up to alta lake and from there up the sawtooth range as the snow snow receded running for the high mountains about july when they opened up they would pasture the band in the grassy valleys for a week or so at a time then move them on to the next valley.

Until they had reached the satan from there they would circle around till they got back to brewster but instead of shipping them back to a freighter the long trailing continued over the old steel bridge at brewster and around to the stubble fields of mansfield.

Where the sheep could often graze until christmas time at which time they hoofed it on back to a freida on and off for years wayne and the sheep herder and the dogs made this huge circle with a band of sheep entirely on foot since horses can't maneuver the heavy brush.

Sheep would often get into now the sawtooth range was no easy spot to trail sheep wayne relates the hillsides are steep and the terrain generally difficult hunting strays had to be done solely on foot amazingly only one sheep herder.

Was all that was necessary to bring three thousand sheep that formidable distance it was not unusual to lose a hundred or more sheep seasonally to bear coyotes straying and locals drumheller owner of many of the bands of sheep that summered in these mountains.

Would offer four bits for any stray sheep found and held then the reward rose to a dollar then to five as the value of sheep climbed one rancher was known to have corralled about 400 of them in order to demand the reward for finding them drumheller.

Was not impressed over the years wayne got to know most of the sheep owners and sheep herders in the area he said old drumheller was ornery as hell but he got along with him as he gets along with just about everybody the sheep herders i knew were real.

Dandies wayne said admiral admiringly they have sheep scattered for miles and miles around and they knew where they were of course there were always three or four sheepdogs along they were unbelievably smart dogs wayne says real long rangers and usually.

Mongrel once a sheepdog named judy had just had a litter of pups wayne would pile the pups into a gunny sack and hook it to his saddle horn periodically he would rattle the pups out judy would nurse them then wayne would command go on back.

And back she'd go to herding as wayne sacked up her offspring basks spaniards from the northern part of spain were first brought into the country to be shepherds in the 1950s because as the old sheepherders died off.

There were no young ones to take their place wayne moved into the lower metal valley in 1946 he owned an orchard plowed snow at night for the highway department grafted trees and packed people into the mountains in the summertime his sheep hurting days tapered off as he.

Took other jobs but he continued to ride up into into the sheep camps to help out for a few days when he could you have a heck of a time getting it out of your system he says every time a band came through even even up to a couple of years ago.

I'd want to join it the bands of sheep aren't coming through the area anymore but starting in 1925 and for about 50 years there were often 30 bands in these mountains during a single season now the sheep pretty much stay in the basin region and a whole way of life will soon be.

Forgotten i could tell that each story wayne told had about 10 more behind it seven days and seven nights wouldn't give me enough time to tell all the stories i know he said come to think of it i could use some more of those blueberry pancakes.

Yay this uh story uh for the methow valley news november 27 1980 is called winter predictions every fall people living here in the metal valley start searching for signs that will tell them what kind of winter to expect.

Some signs which hinted temperatures and snow depth to come include how thick an animal's fur coat becomes and when or how high the yellow jackets build their nests in the trees and what color the woolly worms are and how thick are their stripes those who have braved the metal winters.

For 30 40 or 50 years like to brag how we certainly don't have weather like they used to how every time snow fell it fell three feet deep or it didn't snow at all how they had to climb out of their second story windows to get out of out of the house in order to flounder through head-high snow getting to the barn.

How the horses pulling the sleigh to a neighbor's house party fell down and froze to death stories like that but mostly predictions tell what a person really wants farmers want snow for their fields skiers and snowmobilers want snow and lots of it people with cozy.

Fireplaces don't mind the cold and besides they've spent a lot of time getting the wood in nearly everyone likes how it makes the valley a place of dazzling beauty i asked a few people to predict the winter for this story and here comes 11 different people i interviewed for this story.

Maggie feiler well i predicted that long beautiful indian summer and i now would like to predict a short warm winter it's not going to go 20 below this winter walt hannah we're going to have lots of snow a long winter yep i look for a long winter but not a cold.

One i've been here for 40 years ab monk i've been here too long to predict the winter you know what they say don't you only newcomers and damn fools predict the winter camille newbert only newcomers and fools predict the winter.

I must be a newcomer because i predicted an early winter and i'm already wrong i've been here for 30 years and still a newcomer florence sonickson i figured we might have a lot of snow i don't know maybe not but we might as well have a lot.

As a little right for the skiers i was just thinking the other day about when our house burned down just before christmas in 1946 there was three to four feet of snow on the ground pete sonickson i haven't been here long enough been here 50 some years every winter is.

Different i never saw two alike dick horn since the leaves are hanging onto the trees longer i'd predict a late fall but heavy snowfall for part of the winter and in early spring denny lintz we're gonna have a lot of.

Snow why because we're just due we're overdue for a lot of winter lois lynch there's gonna be maybe four or five feet of snow after christmas you can tell because the yellow jacket nests are 20 or 30 feet up in the trees barbara shaffer duffy.

Her father uh never mind what are you going to say my father used to say that once the snow stays on blue buck mountain behind stud horse it will be in the valley three weeks later you know in walla walla they say there are only two kinds of weather.

Fine weather and unusual weather that could be applied here as well actually i heard the other day that the almanac says we'll have a mild winter with heavy snow in february and march and then the last person may libby smith i know about this year it's going to be.

A mild winter i saw two woolly worms one in my backyard and one up south creek they each had two dark stripes about a quarter of an inch wide if they're all dark it will be a hard winter so if you go by the woolly worms we're.

In for a reasonably mild winter and who was right you know i was hoping no one would ask me that because i do not remember what that winter turned out to be like well i like the fine and unusual so dorothy's secret um she's a thurlow by the way.

I wrote this story uh she's a that she's a she was a never there she wrote it for i wrote it for the meta valley news august 14th 1980. more than 50 years ago now it's now nearer 100 right an 18 year old bellingham girl arrived in the metal valley to teach.

School in twisp dorothy seifried lucille thurlow's sister looks back on the experience of teaching third and fourth grades from 1926 to 1928 as being two of the best years of her life teaching in rural schools was a challenge then.

Because it tapped personal resourcefulness which young teachers didn't realize they had if you wanted extra things for your students dorothy explained you had to get inventive she remembers acquiring wooden orange crates and soliciting the help from high school.

Boys to fashion chairs for from them for her different reading groups community dinners and cultural programs were held to earn money to buy pictures for the classroom walls and materials for the costumes used in the many plays and performances put on by the school for every festive occasion.

From george washington's birthday to mayday parents of her students were wholeheartedly involved in everything from sewing the costumes to organizing the programs they festoon their children in colorful tissue paper to look like spring flowers or in wings.

Made out of sheets for christmas her job as teacher also required her to teach sunday school teach older students how to dance and to coach the girls basketball teams she laughed as she told the story of riding down the valley with the basketball team in a school bus the winter roads were icy and narrow and.

Dipped dangerously toward the frigid waters of the metal river below on a particularly harrowing curve she felt the vehicle slide because she was sitting right behind the driver she grabbed him suddenly around the around the neck in fear oh.

Honey he croaked don't do that or we'll really go into the river as an interesting aside in the spring of 1927 two doctors and two nurses came up from wenatchee at the request of the pta and they set up forest service cots upstairs in the school.

Lucille thurlow who taught first and second graders at the time she told them stories to keep them entertained while the doctors etherized them and proceeded to remove their tonsils dorothy stayed all night with the patients in the school.

About 80 percent of the students had this service performed because it was felt then that that the removal of their tonsils that with the removal of their tonsils many of the throat ailments would be alleviated dorothy admitted she had one indulgence in particular.

After teaching all day and after preparing for the next day's classes she would go down to the drugstore and treat herself to a caramel sundae i felt i deserved it but you know i got fatter and fatter said this light woman a picture from that time makes her look as wide as she was tall or so she claimed.

A list of some of her students reads like a who's who of the valley then june libby thelma scott jim lee master clyde holy scott lee siegel and edna barcelo also leonard cushin martin van buren his name was frank the la forge twins clara pidcock.

Clarissa heath and many others dorothy still comes back to visit the thurlows on their beaver creek ranch on the valley's oldest homestead every year or two her memories still draw her back what is it the the thurlow's is a valley's low uh oldest home state one of the old.

Yeah they if you ask the thurlows now they'll say that it is the oldest oh yeah bernardo you got here before he got here that's how long he's been here he really loves to tell you how long his family's been i know i know catch him at hank's grocery store and he'll start talking about it.

Okay this is about marie filer risley she was a filer married from the metal valley news june 11 1981 the flu the fire and the flood three dramatic episodes which took their toll in lives and property are now.

Milestones in the relatively short history of the metal valley there are only a few people left who experienced them all and one of them is marie filer risley who lost friends in the flu pandemic of 1918-1919 watched the fire raise the town of twisp to the ground in 1924.

And heard the flood waters of 1948 grind methau valley bridges into kindling as much as those events are a part of marie's own personal story so is maria part of the valley's larger story she played piano for the silent movies in twisp's fraternal hall she worked for years in the town's creamery when cream was twisp's main.

Source of income before the sawmill was erected and for the last 30 years marie has helped run the town as clerk treasurer and currently as councilwoman all except one of marie's 77 years has been spent in the meta valley so she's been privy to the valley when.

It was unfenced people with native peopled with native americans and beginning to be settled by homesteaders arriving by horse-drawn wagons marie was 15 when the flu epidemic swept the country the metal valley was so isolated in those days that it seemed.

As if maybe the flu wouldn't make its insidious way here but one night a soldier came into town and took part in a crowded festive christmas dance at the fraternal hall he had a fever marie remembers that that's when the flu hit the valley they didn't know what to do for it then.

There weren't medicines like there are now marie said the local doctor was run ragged at the time marie was good friends with the risley family and in due time the filers and rizzlies all contracted the flu two siblings of leonard whom she would.

Marry a couple of years later died in the flu leonard himself had the flu so badly his fingers turned black and no one thought he'd make it leonard took a job at the creamery and soon became the head butter maker one midnight in july of 1924 marie and leonard were awakened by the.

Loud insistent clanging of the town's fire bell at the time they lived just across the bridge to the north they kept leapt from their bed at the same moment leonard threw on his clothes and ran into town marie stayed at home with their baby.

Daughter faye and from the house she watched the fire glowing orange as it raged before morning 25 business buildings and one house would burn to the ground only pl filer's brick grocery and dry goods store would survive.

It was so hot and the fire was on both sides of the street that the fire hoses that were dragged out into the middle of the street just burned up like paper marie said she went on to say that no one knew exactly how the fire started but where it began was pinpointed to the house and office belonging to.

The quack doctor i don't know why he was called the quack doctor but that was the name he got marie confessed it was also said that he had moved some things out of his place before the fire started and that he wasn't seen in town afterwards.

The crisis rallied the town's people and businesses started back up as soon as they could wherever they could find a spare room by september much of the town was rebuilt not of wood but of cinder block for 16 years the creamery was their livelihood.

Creamery work was a man-killer marie said leonard lifted 10 gallon cans of cream and dumped them into a mammoth pasteurizer whose boilers had to be fed constantly from there the cream was siphoned off into churns surrounded by ice that had to be made in.

Huge fats marie wrapped about a thousand pounds of butter into one pound cubes every morning of course marie cooked with butter we all got fat on it she said well i did she amended but as the dairy herds dwindled the.

Standards of sanitation for butter became more stringent and the sawmill drew workers off the farms the creamery was phased out i understood why the sanitation standards were raised she said we found all sorts of things in the cream.

Mice rags you can't imagine never short of ideas leonard and marie built the freezer lockers in 1946 a hundred at first and then about 300 more they are still thriving in the middle of twisp this is 1980. we used them then came the heavy spring rains of 1948.

The rivers swelled to unheard of proportions every bridge from winthrop to pateras car caved into the into the river and electricity and phone service were cut off for days in the face of the power outage how were they to keep the freezer lockers from ruining the contents.

Belonging to hundreds of families they learned that there was a gas powered generator at the mill that they could use if they could get to it the only way to get from the town to the mill across the river was to fly so leonard took off in a little plane.

From the elementary school playing field landed somehow at the mill loaded up the generator flew back installed it and saved all that stored food the only thing marie said about her life that smacks of regret was seems like life has gone by so fast but she lived her experiences of.

This time and place deeply few people are so rich in memories nice how you doing okay want another one oh yeah oh yeah hey diana the first one uh that you read we got in late was that wayne luft.

That was wayne left huh yes okay that'll teach you to get here early wayne well we uh we had some trouble with uh an invitation it wasn't there oh okay all right then just so you know you can use the same link every week okay now you know.

Alrighty uh evelyn emery she outworked the men from the metal valley news december 25th 1980 and january 1st 1981. evelyn stokes lewis hammer emery got that because she was a stokes evelyn stokes lewis hammer emery led.

Such an astonishingly hard and varied life and yet remembers so many minute details to listen to her is like listening to war and peace i will choose only a paragraph here and there from her story which ran in two consecutive issues of the meta valley news.

So as to give you a hint of this remarkable woman's life when evelyn heard that i was coming to interview her she began to jot down long notes to herself on the backs of cardboard eight by tens from weyerhaeuser packing crates she had filled 38 of them before i got there.

Covering events up till her young teens she is 70. when i was about eight i began to hear you can't do that because you're a girl i got so tired of it that i decided the only thing for me to do was to learn to do everything the men could do and beat them at their own game a quick list of some of her jobs she uh.

Drove derek at the age of 12 hayed by horse cooked for the cruise carried 100 pound sacks of potatoes painted houses broke green horses and knew how to throw a temperamental one to the ground milked cows got our own wood with horse and cross cut.

Cut fence posts cut meat from any animal starting with the whole carcass and every job in the apple industry okay getting back to some of her notes my sister and i trained calves to drive and haul small loads we broke nearly every calf on the place.

To ride also she tells about the time there were several freight outfits hauling in the metal before the days of trucks each wagon had four horses a few had six and as they brought as they brought supplies from rooster to twist over the bald knob road.

One time a man named frank peters wanted to ride down and back with my father's wagons the second night out he decided to use a sack of oats for a pillow an old white horse smelled the grain in the night so he walked up a straddle frank peters.

And held him down with the covers while he tried to tear a hole in the grain sack he had a mouthful of frank's hair and each time the horse yanked up his head he was pulling hair out by the mouthful the men rolled out of their sacks in a hurry and rescued frank from the horse evelyn was born in 1911 eight miles east.

Of twisp on what is now the game department land off the loop loop highway her parents were jack and anna stokes she grew up on a homestead adjoined by homesteads of uncles aunts and grandparents on both sides of the family the stokes and the shrives.

When they came to the when they came in may of 1903 it must have been beautiful she says quote willows and aspens were in full leaf and hills were covered with green grass and wild flowers there were lots of sunflowers balsam.

Root and in the rockier places rock roses bitter root yellow bells bluebells spring beauty and bird beaks in the draws there were chokecherry and serviceberry in the damp spots thimbleberry and on the hills sagebrush and greasewood or buck brush.

The valley was in the shape of a large grain shovel where the where the folks built grandpa's place was on a series of benches his place had lots of springs at least the third of each place had rye grass on it indians would come to the house and mom.

And grandma would give them milk eggs bread and or sometimes meat and vegetables depending on when they came it was nearly always indian ladies who came in the spring they came to dig roots after the sunflower seeds were ripe they harvested sunflower seed.

They had woven willow baskets lined with white cloth they each had a basket and a cloth covered paddle about the size of a ping-pong paddle they would bend the seed heads over the basket and gently pack them into with the paddle every year for several years they.

Brought salmon they caught to trade with grandpa for pork he would give them a paper saying how much pork they could have when he was ready to butcher the hogs he sent them word some way and they would come for their pork at the right time usually around december 1st.

Evelyn's descriptions of each of her teachers at the fraser creek schoolhouse from first to eighth grade makes you glad you weren't one of them she had such a discerning eye for instance mrs heminger wore tight black dresses and a gold nugget chain and spanked the smith boy with his.

Own geography book after he had shot her with balls she had a bunch of sticks in the corner to hit the bigger boys with she was 5'4 weighed 200 pounds and had pushed an ore car in her father's mind in alaska miss dobbs was on her first assignment as a teacher and was far more interested.

In boys than in teaching her favorites among the pupils wore good clothes and were good-looking and as as evelyn says i wasn't so she was not a favorite you know i was always hoping terrible things would happen to her one day during recess she was on the.

Porch talking to a boy when a whirlwind came out of nowhere and lifted her skirts over her head after we we'd all had a good laugh margarite seldi filer went over and helped her pull her skirts back down evelyn's seventh grade teacher.

Was so inept at teaching agriculture that she didn't know the names of any of the tools or the machinery so evelyn took to bringing her father's monkey wrenches and other tools to school to show her what they were for the teacher also always carried a box of red pepper with her.

To throw into the eyes of any bull that might happen to charge her one last image from this woman's prodigious memory often during the winter the water in the irrigation ditches would freeze and therefore cut off the electricity which was generated by the ditch if the show at the opera house should.

Suddenly be pitched into darkness because of ice in the ditch out would come the candles and lanterns and the audience would throw an impromptu dance together with anna hannon on the piano sam hannon and charlie schmidt on fiddles.

Once the ditch was cleared and the electricity popped back on the dance would end and the show would resume while anna continued playing for the silent film oh that's great this is a shorter one it's just a page long.

Okay and it's uh it's an expert tinker earl jones who lived up the twist river she he was one of our neighbors metal valley news july 24 1980 on a clothesline strung taut between the apple trees his overalls shirts.

Don't leave the message yet okay i'll call you back i cannot totally mute my telephone sorry um okay i'm going to start the sentence over again on a clothesline strong taught between the apple trees his overalls shirts and sheets billowed in the breezes that blew through the orchard.

Earl jones sat on a stool in the shade of his dwelling fashioning a weasel trap his dog snoozed at his feet that weasel trap was my first clue that the man was a tinker an expert at putting anything together with the least amount of material at hand.

He knows how to take a little baling wire and a bit of pipe and cobble things together it's amazing but the junk really works explained a friend of his recently his place is tucked away off the road with a view of the sawtooth range i looked around and hardly saw anything.

That was not homemade cobbled together refashioned re-welded or created outright by this 70 year old man even his house it might not look like the palace of versailles but who'd be comfortable in versailles anyway the flooring is crating from a plastics factory in kirkland.

The two by fours are props from the apple trees the one window is a round glass door from an old washing machine he doesn't need windows because his fiberglass roof lets in light that roof and nails were the only things that cost him any money it's just throwed together he admits.

But if it's throwed together like everything else around it's just right even has a napping porch with an awning of plywood and deep shade from the apple trees on a little over five acres he's growing apple and cherry trees bush apricots rows of great northern beans that are so long they disappear in the shimmering.

Distances plots on different levels erupt in potatoes and corn chili beans and kidney beans and onions galore he sells and gives away to friends and daughters the prolific crops he's rigged a cultivator onto his modified.

Tractor to keep the rose free of weeds he built it himself he built himself a cider press to juice bruised apples and he's put together a bean holler for his dry beans he's made an emery grinder to sharpen his tools and he's taken old irrigation pipe and welded together an.

Orchard grass mower to attach to his tractor his sixth handmade fishing boat rides in the back of his old international truck propped on a self-devised roller system that backs and lowers the boat into the lakes in an old kentucky fried chicken bucket we enjoyed a mess of cherries while he.

Talked about his life his dog sport got a cherry thrown to him now and then too born smack dab in the center of kansas on a farm in 1910 he grew up harnessing and unharnessing 22 horses at wheat and alfalfa harvest time after a lifetime of farming and logging.

And hauling livestock marrying and having three daughters and working for boeing he eventually came to the metal valley in the early 70s because his daughter told him the mushrooms here were fine and plentiful he looked the valley over and found it just right up.

His alley getting back to that weasel trap he was making when i first met him it was a strong cage of board and mesh wire with an intriguingly well thought out system of hanger wire connected to the bait and trap door i asked him what he was going to do with the weasel.

Once he caught it haul it off he said up to your place earl's got a good sense of humor i hope that's it folks yay yeah wonderful wonderful because we're great thank you yeah i really like the one about the.

Teacher who beat the boy with his own geography book not arithmetic or history but beautifully written diana really just wonderful very good diana thanks i have fun i had fun marie richly pardon me well you used to play poker with maria.

Risley and ida nickel we did indeed i can't remember whether she was a good poker player i guess yeah breather from the christmas cards yeah nickel is a great name for a poker player of course i didn't her name actually auntie anti-nickel would have been even a.

Better name

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Diana Hottell reads her stories #5