Yesteryears: Hood River airport prospects brighter in 1945

1915 — 100 years ago

If you’ve got something you don’t want that you’d like to swap off for something you do, bring it to town Saturday, March 20 and take your chances with the crowd that is expected to congregate on the big exchange day. The date was set at a meeting of the Commercial Club Monday, when a former resident of the Middle West said that such an annual clearing house for farmers is a time honored institution “back home” and suggested it be introduced here. Not even horse graders will be barred and bargains are expected to be found in inexhaustible array.

1925 — 90 years ago

A school bus, driven by E.C. Mooney, will make its first trip next Sunday morning bringing children from the Oak Grove and neighboring districts to Sunday school in Hood River. While the bus is hired by St. Mark’s church, children attending any Sunday school may ride to Hood River on the bus. Cost is 15 cents each or two tickets for the round trip for 25 cents. Children attending St. Marks will be given free tickets.

Last Saturday night the Hood River High School basketball team did themselves and this city proud when they won the Mid-Columbia and Central Oregon Championships and qualified to represent this section of the state in the big league events at Salem. The game which put them in the lead of all others was that played against Bend.

1935 — 80 years ago

Nearly 200 Grangers and other residents of the valley met at Odell Grange Hall Monday night to discuss forming a Grange co-operative to distribute gasoline, oils and accessories to members under the Grange plan now operating in three Northwestern states. At the conclusion of the meeting it was announced that prospective members had already signed up to take approximately 75,000 gallons of gasoline per year. Officers of the new co-operative elected were: J.R. Forden, president; Chester Shute, Odell; W. Bruce, Parkdale, W.J. Wilcox, Mosier and J.M. Taylor, secretary-treasurer.

1945 — 70 years ago

Prospects for an airport for Hood River were much brighter this week, following the signing of a lease on the Eugene Wright property on Orchard Road by Bill Perry, unit commander of the Civil Air Patrol. The tract covers ten acres and, when ready, will provide a 1,300 foot runway, with plenty of space for the approach of light planes. The property is part of the old Newton Clark homestead and lies just north of the King Benton orchards.

At a meeting of the board of directors of School District No. 3 (city schools), held on Wednesday, a new teachers’ salary schedule was approved, the basic figures being raised by $100, to enable all teachers to meet war-time conditions.

1955 — 60 years ago

Roy Webster and Kenneth Brisbane were honored as the outstanding senior and junior citizens of Hood River County during the past year at the annual chamber of commerce banquet Monday at Wy’east. Approximately 130 persons were present as Webster received the senior community distinguished award and the first honorary membership in the local junior chamber of commerce chapter, and as Brisbane received the junior community distinguished service award and the Jaycee “key man” honor.

Channel 12 television reception is “spotty” throughout Hood River Valley and it will be June before city co-axial cable customers can expect to receive the signal, local dealers report. The new station went on the air Monday and programming started Wednesday at 3 p.m. Channel 12 is operating on 2/3 power but sends a much shorter wave length than channel 6. Increased power is not expected to affect the reception appreciably.

1965 — 50 years ago

Major renovation of The Paris Fair department store, scheduled to be completed by mid-summer, may be the first in a series of face-lifting efforts for Hood River business houses. Paris Fair’s Dick Lance said a “completely new” front will be put on the store, a longtime local fixture on the local business scene. New windows, a single double door, and convertible backdrops for the windows will be features of the front.

A student pilot from The Dalles left his plane uninjured after a crash Saturday afternoon. Flying a Piper Cherokee rented from The Dallesport airport, he tried a landing at the Hanel Mill strip between Hood River and Mt. Hood. “He apparently misjudged the depth of the field, and started to level off too late,” observed Sheriff R.L. Gillmouthe. The plane’s prop gouged the ground where it hit first, then it ran off the end of the runway and plowed through shrubs and small trees.

1975 — 40 years ago

While unemployment worries fill the minds of many, Hood River County juvenile director Rod Vickers’ thinking is geared in the opposite direction. He has plenty of openings for what he calls “unpaid employees of our system here.” These unpaid employees — or volunteers as they are more commonly termed — are needed to counsel, befriend or simply talk with youngsters in the community. “We can use as many people as possible,” Vickers says.

A “mini mall” under construction on Oak Street will have a restaurant, beauty shop and travel agency, according to information provided by owners as the project grew closer to completion this week. There will be seven spaces available in the unique project. Besides the three already listed, several other businesses have expressed interest in shop space. One has been a gift boutique, but this has not entered the contract stage.

VERBATIM: Communist Scare Ends In Fiasco

Orthodox Americans Sit In At Odell Meeting And Speaker Governs Himself Accordingly

Circulation of handbills advertising a meeting at an Odell farm home at which a speaker, alleged to be a communist, was on the program Saturday of last week, aroused no small amount of interest and, within hours, leaders of Grangers and other organizations which believe in the more orthodox type of Americanism, had met and named delegates to sit in at the meeting and get a line on the views of the visiting speaker.

At the meeting, however, the talk given by the visiting speaker was entirely innocuous and the communist scare was at an end.

— Hood River News, March 15, 1935

1985 — 30 years ago

Two major city-related projects planned for this year have faced setbacks — at least temporarily. The city’s swimming pool will not have a renovated bathhouse for the 1985 swim season, and road work on phase one of the city’s “Cannery Square” project near the old Diamond Fruit facility will not begin until the fall at the earliest. City Administrator Pete Harris had hopes that both projects would still be accomplished in the near future, but noted that both are now in a holding phase.

It was basketball of a different sort at Hood River Valley High Sunday night when Bob Crosby’s Donkey Basketball Show took the floor. It wasn’t the players in the spotlight this time; it was eight stubborn, unpredictable donkeys. Scoring was minimal in all cases as the donkeys pretty much had their way with even the sharpest of shooters.

1995 — 20 years ago

Some members of the Waterfront Advisory Committee expressed displeasure Monday at having port consultants present possibilities for the waterfront before the committee had completed its list of objectives for the area. While committee members said some of the uses posted by consultants were intriguing, some worried about the prospect of too many large buildings, too much paved parking land and too many people descending on Hood River.

Honored at last Thursday’s Upper Valley Lions recognition dinner, held to celebrate 24 years of activities, were Harold Dykstra, Jim McClain and Ron Phillips. District Gov. Mits Tamiyasu presented the awards. Al three received Melvin Jones Fellowships, the highest Lions award. Since its charter, the group has contributed over $47,000 to Oregon Sight and Hearing Foundation.

2005 — 10 years ago

Hoping to recapture the momentum of three seasons ago, the next generation of Hood River Valley High School girls soccer players is putting in some serious overtime this offseason. After missing the state playoffs for the past two seasons, the Eagles are raising the bar this winter and spring, playing a full slate of indoor games in Vancouver and joining a Portland-area outdoor league this spring. “The most important thing of these girls right now is to keep playing on the same field together,” said interim coach Tom Lichty, whose daughter Dani was one of three freshman on the 2004 varsity roster.

Beneath a budding pear tree in an orchard along Highway 35, Wendell Walton applies his weight to a soil probe — a long, thin metal stick with an open canal at the end. The Stadelman field rep. twists the probe, then slides it from the ground and gathers its dark, rich soil in his left hand. The soil is moist enough for Walton to ball it up, but not moist enough for March 9. The soil, he says, feels more like it should feel in May — 52 days away. If the trees don’t get enough water, they’ll suck it out of the fruit and with it, the fruit’s luster in an effort to survive what could be one of the driest farming seasons on record.

— Compiled by Trisha Walker, news staff writer

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