I want to thank the Wallowa County “Black Lives Matter” protesters for adding their voices to the national outrage against police violence. My roots are in Wallowa County. My Black family lived there from 1939 to 1958, first in Maxville and then Wallowa. My dad, Amos Marsh, Sr., was a log cutter. My brothers, Amos, Jr. and Frank Wayne Marsh both graduated from Wallowa High School. My grandparents, “Ma Pat” and “Pa Pat” Patterson are buried in the Wallowa Cemetery.
While there were and still are racists in the county, there were, and still are, many white friends to whom our lives mattered. I find hope in seeing demonstrations that Black Lives Matter to everyone whether Black or White. And, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for keeping the friendship and goodwill alive, though the old African American families are long gone.
I look forward to resuming my annual visit to Tamkaliks next year.
Pearl Alice Marsh