Our friend and neighbor Slim Bronson died at 92 last week. He was born in Montana and his father was an U.S. Marshall. Slim was in the Special Forces in World War II, and spent an interesting life as bronc rider, forest ranger and many years in law enforcement as Chief of Police and Deputy Sheriff.
He was a long tall drink of water and cowboy through and through, from tip of his boots to the top of his cowboy hat and he was very talented silversmith and leather worker, making beautiful bridles, saddles, holsters etc. He led a colorful life and had many wonderful stories to tell. He has told of bringing horses and mules up from Dug Bar and by the time he got to College Creek, they would be belly deep in snow. The people along the way, such as the Marks and Warnocks would give him hot coffee. Walter Brennan used to ride around with him when he was Sheriff, and he met Charlie Russell and Gary Cooper and danced with Reba McEntyre once. He called all of us ladies "Sis" and some of the men "Kid".
One time he pulled his horse trailer over to Leon Lee's to have him work on it. Lee parked it for him and put the emergency brake on in the car. Slim drove halfway home with the brake on, chugging and jerking along. He came back and said to Lee, "Kid, the emergency brake is just for emergencies!"
He was a character, always interesting, and fun to talk to. We will miss him!
Bonnie Marks, our local postmaster, won the beautiful quilt raffled off by the Wallowa County FFA Alumni chapter. Cass Botts of Enterprise put together a colorful and patriotic quilt in red, white and blue bordered with an exciting flag print, and Hope McLaughlin of Enterprise quilted it. The winning ticket was drawn during the livestock auction at the County Fair last week, and Bonnie was the lucky winner much to Linda Banks' chagrin. She was hankering after the quilt herself. I told Bonnie she needed to talk Alice Blankenship out of the beautiful flag pillow and afghan that she made. They would look really nice with the quilt!
There are several people in the canyon who work with the 4-H kids year after year. Randi Guthrie teaches Photography; Charlie, Tammy, and Joe Warnock teach Livestock; Brinda Stanley teaches Horse, Shari Warnock works with K through 3 in the Adventures group; and Vicki Marks teaches Fiber Arts, which in this area means braiding and leather articles.
Bonnie Marks has been working with 4-H for close to 25 years and she leads the Community Club, which is kind of the glue that holds everything together. They do fund raising, record books, parliamentary procedure, and community service. The leaders put a lot of time and effort into working with the kids, and with good results, considering all the ribbons that were won at County Fair.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: Remember Imnaha Canyon Day is only a month away on Sept. 21st. We are hoping to get a lot of parade entries. If you need costumes, call me at 577-3190. Also everyone needs to be planning their Tug-Of-War Teams. There are men and women contests, five to a team. We have a lot of Imnaha Canyon Day T-shirts on hand at my house and there are order sheets at the store. It will soon be time to put in our second order, so get yours ordered!
TO AND FRO: Lyman Goucher's family had a big reunion this week. His son, Craig and Pon Goucher, his daughter Judy Goucher and husband Tim Wickel all from California, his brother from Tri-Cities, and his three sisters from Salem, Coeur d'Alene, and Missouri were all there, plus other relatives from other places including Alaska. There were about 70 in all, camping in tents, motor homes, and campers and enjoying the rustic life in the canyon.
Lee Knobel of Ketchikan, Alaska (our old stomping grounds), is here visiting Bob and Doreen Zollman. Lee has sculpted a memorial piece to go on Doreen's brother-in-law's grave out at Prairie Creek, and the finishing patina is being put on it at a local foundry.
Jim and Janet Fields went to Vernonia to attend Janet's 50th class reunion. She said 18 classmates showed up. They visited with Auntie Jennie Siedelman, Auntie Irene Siedelman and Rosie Ruehmann. They also attended the Old-Timers Picnic on Sunday. Bob and Doreen Zollman didn't have to travel far to go to Doreen's class reunion. It was held at Joseph City Park for the years 1949 to 1955. She said they had a good time.
Jerry Witherrite is pretty much recovered from his rattlesnake bite. He still has some residual stiffness which he may have the rest of his life. Those little critters are nasty! Jerry and Myrna went on a camping trip up at Cloverdale with their daughters and their families, Allen, Cindy, Tyrell Serena and Ethan Simpson, and Paul and Judy Norberg of Boise. Allen Simpson's parents, Jerry and Barb of Enterprise went also.
Jerry and Myrna then made a trip to Boise and spent a few days with their daughters, and Jerry had some medical tests. They brought grandson, Ethan, home with them so he could spend some time with Jerry and Barb and go to the County Fair.
Grant Warnock's cousin, Cheryl Thornton and Jim Johnson from Portland came for a visit with Grant and Barb. They went up to Hat Point and thought it was awesome! Grant, Charley, Dan and Cynthia Warnock attended the Stockgrowers breakfast meeting in Enterprise. Joe, Shari, Tammy and Barb Warnock joined them that night for the dinner and dance.
Charley was made President of Stockgrowers for a two-year term and Grant and Barb were chosen to be 2002 Honorary Members of the Year. Jenny Moore spent the night at the Warnock place and kept all those little Warnock grandchildren.
I always forget to put my company in the news. Last week, my cousins Ray and Carolee Norris from Dayton came for a visit. My brother, Hal and Zelda Crane, came down for a picnic lunch and we had a great time figuring out our family tree. I think we got everyone hung on the right branches but with our family it's very difficult as there are so many double cousins. I guess there weren't that many available people around to marry so our families got connected in several spots!
LOCAL GOSSIP: The Imnaha Rodeo Club August Playday was Sunday evening. There was a very small group attending but they had a lot of fun. Charlie Warnock provided them with a little "real" rodeo when his horse decided to buck his way through the barrel race. This news reporter should have been there with her camera! Following the Playday, there was an IRC meeting. Plans were finalized for most of the Imnaha Canyon Day activities, which will be held on September 21st. Help is needed so if your are available to volunteer, call Shari Warnock or Bonnie Marks.
I forgot to mention last week that at the monthly birthday party, the Mayor was presented with a beautiful pair of suspenders. He's been wearing them and I must say it has improved the scenery immensely.
THIS AND THAT: I have received several emails on head lice and I have learned that some times they just won't go away with the standard treatments. If this happens, you need to call a doctor and get a prescription. I will share one more head lice story. My niece, Rynda Hahn, of Aberdeen, Wash., tells me that several years ago when their three kids were small, they became foster parents to five children. The kids all got head lice and, adding herself to the equation, she ended up with nine heads that she had to treat. She says they spent hours watching movies and combing heads of hair. The laundry room was so full of bedding and clothes that had to be washed, the floor was covered clear to the top of her washing machine.
And speaking of laundry, Carleen Johnson Small was down the other day and was telling how she used to do her laundry in her bathrobe and when she put the last load of laundry in, she would throw in the bathrobe and go take a bath. She said she read a story in the Reader's Digest many years ago about a lady that was in the same habit of doing her laundry in her bathrobe. As she put the last load of laundry in the machine, she tossed her bathrobe in and started up the stairs naked. On the way up, she grabbed her son's football helmet, which she put on her head, and picked up his shoulder pads. As she passed through the kitchen, a strange man (a meter reader or something) was standing in her open door and he said, "Ma'am, I don't know what team you play on, but I sure hope you win!"
And that's the news from Imnaha Canyon, where we ladies do laundry but we don't play a lot of football!