December 17, 2014

W. G. Yates – CCC Honorable Discharge Alaska

Civilian Conservation Corp Experience, Wm YATES 1940

Recently, when going through some more of our Yates family documents, I found one that I hadn’t remembered seeing before. Or, at least I didn’t remember scanning it and putting it in the Yates documents folder until now.  My dad passed away in June of 1996 and in the four years previous, he had written for us some of his memories of events in his life.

(Click text for larger view)

One of our favorite stories he would tell would be of his trip to Alaska when he was twenty traveling there with  his Bordeaux, Washington friends. (Story above).  When my mom died in 2001 I went through all the valuable family documents and brought them home (with my brother’s blessing) for safe keeping.  And, little by little I’m going through them and writing a story or posting an image to share with family and anyone else who might be interested.

The previously mentioned document I spoke of at the beginning of this article was my dad’s Civilian Conversation Corps honorable discharge.  If you read his Alaska story version of it first, it kind of gives you an idea of just what kind of guy he was at that tender age.  Let’s just say he was practical, OK?

I’m not sure who took this picture of my dad and his friend from Missouri  after they caught these dog salmon near the CCC Camp. Dad had his own Leica camera and had learned to develop his own photos when he was in high school (I assume), but who knows if he actually had the camera with him on this trip or not?

On the back of the picture, in my dad’s handwriting, it says, “myself and a friend of mine and some fish we caught at twin creek camp. the friend is from Missouri. the fish are dog salmon that we caught in the creek just beyond.” Too bad he didn’t identify the guy by name, but maybe some descendant of his, looking for information about Twin Creek CCC Camp at Petersburg, Alaska will find this post and recognize him. :)

Last, but not least, here is the front and back of Dad’s 16 October 1940 honorable discharge document from the Civilian Conservation Corps:


(click on images to see them full-sized)

For more information about the Civilian Conservation Corps, please visit their homepage at Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Remember When?

1) Remember when you were 12 years old? On a summer day out of school? What memory do you have of fun activities?

2) Tell us about that memory (just one – you can do more later if you want to) in a blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a comment on Facebook.

Here’s my memory:

We lived out in the country, so when I would wake up on a summer morning the sunlight would be streaming in my window.  I could hear the sounds outside of birds like robins, crows and sometimes even a pheasant. If I heard a whistle blow in the distance, I’d know it was 8 AM because that was the starting time at the Olympia Brewery up on Capitol Boulevard some three or four miles away.

As I lay there I could hear my mom in the kitchen and I would visualize what she was doing just by listening: making coffee, turning on the radio,  running water in the sink, and then she’d sit down to have a cigarette and read the paper. Mom always liked to lay the paper out on the table. 

In the “good old days” I was always ready to get out of bed, set and ready for the day’s adventure, whatever it might be.  Some days in summer we would ride our bikes down to Palermo Valley to pick strawberries; other days we’d hang around the house and complain about how hot it was.  I think I probably ate more strawberries than I picked.  A big “no-no” if you got caught by the row boss!  No straddling the rows either. You might stomp on a good pickin’ berry.

My friend Mary and I might have the day planned to ride down to Falls Park by the old Olympia Brewery. We’d walk the whole trail, and I remember one time we got all daring and actually went out on the huge flat rocks in the middle of the Deshutes River.  It was like a whole other world sitting on the sun-warmed rock listening to the river roaring by and craning our necks to see if we could see any fish.

On our way home, if we had any money with us, we’d stop at Ted’s Grocery in Tumwater to get a Pepsi or some ice cream.  Our time was set by the brewery whistle:  the morning whistle I mentioned; the noon whistle so we knew to get our behinds home for lunch if we wanted any; and the 5 o’clock whistle that told us to get on our bikes and get home because Dad got off work at five and we needed to get home and cleaned up for dinner.

Thanks to Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings for this fun Saturday night post idea.  Why not click on the link and go see what he wrote about?

Wisdom Wednesday – Family Wit And Words

 

As I began making banana bread today using Mom’s recipe I retraced the steps I’ve always used to begin any baking project.  Mom taught me to look at the recipe, get out all the ingredients and utensils and get everything lined up before I began. Oh, and just for good measure, I read the recipe one more time.  In the “old days” we also used to turn on the oven to preheat and let it get warmed up. I have a gas stove and the oven takes very little time to heat now, and most likely saves money in the process.

As long as I had the oven going, I stirred up six of each,  blueberry and apple chunk muffins. As I combined all the ingredients for each baked item I put the canisters away, wiping them off as needed, or refilling them if they were low.  When everything was done baking and on the cooling racks I had to rest up a bit.  One batch of anything is usually enough for one day, but three different things…that did me in.  Mom always ran a sink full of hot soapy water so as we’d get done with a bowl or spoon, etc., we could just put it in to soak and it would be easier to clean later.

As I went along today I could ‘hear’ Mom reminding me to do all these things. I’m probably not a lot different than many other cooks in my age group. Some things have changed though. We didn’t have Pam in Mom’s day, so we’d have to butter the pans with Crisco or actual butter if we had it.  Mom always used margarine and I remember she would always keep the outer paper to butter pans or cookie sheets.  She grew up during the depression era and there wasn’t much that went to waste.

One of our family stories that Dad would tell on Mom was “remember the time you bought all that firewood…? It was all cedar and Mom was fairly new at buying things like wood.  She went to business college in Seattle, but they don’t teach you to buy a mixture of wood types like madrona, fir and some cedar for hot fires and kindling.  She was a whiz at shorthand and typing, but had a lot to learn about living in the boonies.  At least she never had to cook on a wood stove.  I know people swear by them, but she probably thought of herself as Donna Reed rather than Ma Kettle.

I didn’t learn everything about cooking from just my mom.  Almost everyone I have met along the way in my life has given me witty ideas and wisdom that was passed on down to them too.

My mother-in-law taught me that when you’re making homemade tomato soup that ‘red into white and you’ll always be right”.

My friend Debby showed me how to combine mustard, ketchup, pork and beans, brown sugar and onions and ham to make the most tasty baked beans ever.  Over the years I’ve tweaked the recipe, adding little smokies or putting in BBQ sauce with the ketchup.

Grandma Josie said that if you start a fire in the woodstove to bake bread to begin with cedar for a hot fire when you put the loaves in, then as the fire dies down, add a piece of madrona because it burns for a long time with an even heat. Adding just a little fir will round it out nicely.  When Grandma would back yeast rolls for dinner I remember she would always have a little shortening melted in the bottom of the pan and as she put each roll in she would flip it over so it would have some oil on the top to brown the rolls.

One last memory I remember I learned from my father-in-law.  He said, whenever you’re in a bar make sure you never have an empty beer bottle.  If you get into a bar fight you don’t want to grab an empty one because when you go to hit it on the edge of the bar to break off the end to use as a weapon it’ll just shatter.  Partially full ones break leaving some nasty jagged points on the end and are much more effective.  See what you can learn by just listening to your elders?  Luckily, I’ve not had to use that bit of wit so far in my life.

I’m participating in Wisdom Wednesday, daily blogging theme used by writers to add content to their sites.  Geneabloggers is one of those sites. Pay Thomas a visit and see what his offering is for today.

“To participate in Wisdom Wednesday simply create a post in which you share words of wisdom about any number of things including weddings, marriage, children, work, and so on.  A post  could include such things as favorite sayings of grannies, superstitions, that sort of thing.  Words of wisdom should have their origins in the past and have been passed on from generation to generation.

A special thanks to Jennifer Geraghty-Gorman of On a Flesh and Bone Foundation: An Irish History for suggesting Wisdom Wednesday as a daily blogging theme!”

Wishing you all a very safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend.

Questions For Interviewing Your Grandchildren

 

Clear and calm tropical dream beach (Hawaii)

 

In a couple months we’ll be going to California to visit our kids and grandkids. We haven’t seen them in person since 2007, but we do talk on the phone now and then.  One of the things I agonize about is we don’t really ‘know‘ our older grandkids as far as every day conversations are concerned.  As for the youngest, she is seventeen months old and we haven’t even met her yet.

I wonder about their hopes, dreams, values, etc., and today I found some questions that I might want to ask them.  I found them on The Legacy Project site so they’re not some I thought of personally.  Of course, anything would have to be age appropriate or applicable, but these can be modified or amended for my needs or yours.

I’ve saved them in a Word document so you can use them too. Enjoy!

Grandchild Interview

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