YESTERYEARS: Bill Walton surprises Cross Channel Swim organizers in 1977

September 8, 1977 — Portland Trail Blazer basketball player Bill Walton came unheralded, but soon attracted autograph seekers, at the annual Labor Day swim.

Hood River News archives
September 8, 1977 — Portland Trail Blazer basketball player Bill Walton came unheralded, but soon attracted autograph seekers, at the annual Labor Day swim.

1917 — 100 years ago

Next Monday, Sept. 10, the Columbia River Highway between Hood River and Cascade Locks will be closed and remained closed probably for the remainder of the present season. This is done at the request of the State Highway Commission, in order that contractors may be unhampered in constructing the new grade.

1927 — 90 years ago

It is expected that, sometime shortly after noon on Wednesday of the coming week, Colonel Lindbergh, the hero of the solo flight from the United States to Europe, will pass over Hood River in a plane while on his way to Portland. At this writing, nothing is definitely known as to the exact time of passing, but it is proposed that, if the city council can learn when the plane passes over The Dalles, the fire siren here be sounded to notify residents that Lindberg’s plane is arriving here.

VERBATIM: HRVHS flag pole moved in time for Friday grid opener


News editor

The flagpole is the same, but the flag will fly higher than ever before for kickoff Friday night at Henderson Stadium.

Look south, not north, during the singing of the national anthem. The flagpole will have been moved.

Gary Fisher, a Hood River parent and concrete contractor, organized a community project to move the flagpole from its longtime post between the track and school building, to the south end of the field, next to the scoreboard. Boy Scouts and American Legionnaires will combine efforts for a flag ceremony scheduled to start at about 6:45 p.m., according to Steve Fisk, Hood River Valley High School principal.

Fisher, who coordinated construction of a plaza and restroom at the stadium, known as Eagle 2003 project, four years ago, said the flagpole change is an outgrowth of that effort, and helps fulfill the wish of stadium benefactor Allen Henderson that the flag receive a higher profile.

In less than two weeks’ time, local contractors and businesses brought together materials and labor to move the flagpole and construct a new plaza and keystone wall.

Friday is the opening game for the new-look HRVHS Eagle football team. Tracy Jackson’s squad takes on Forest Grove in the season opener. The HRVHS Booster Club will be on hand with season passes to sell ($75) and Eagle gear. Fisk added that fireworks are planned as part of the evening’s events. Tradition has it that the Lions fire off a few rounds with every Eagle score.

— Hood River News, September 5, 2007

1937 — 80 years ago

The city fathers of Hood River will include in the upcoming budget an allotment to provide for thorough spraying of all cherry trees within the city limits next year, in an effort to exterminate the fruit fly, which again made its appearance in town this year and was detected as soon as the trees were harvested. As on previous occasions when this fly was found in town, the infestation did not extend into the commercial cherry sections of the valley, which are located several miles from town.

1947 — 70 years ago

An electrical storm of more than usual intensity, on Friday, hit Parkdale, Trout Creek and Dee Flat areas at about 11 a.m., causing 48 sets of transformer fuses and five sets of line cutouts to blow, interrupting service to at least 190 customers in the Upper Valley of Pacific Power and Light Company. In less than one hour, the fuses had been replaced and service restored.

While opening day enrollment at the city’s senior high school fell short of opening day enrollment one year ago, all other schools showed an increase, reports Superintendent J.L. Breckenridge, who stated that the overall increase will be added to in the coming days. There are 278 at the senior high school, 288 at the junior high school, 259 at Park Street School, and 161 at Coe Primary School.

1957 — 60 years ago

The new aluminum reduction plant of Harvey Aluminum, now under construction at The Dalles, is scheduled to be in partial operation by early 1958. Hundreds of people will be employed to operate the Harvey plant on a multi-million-dollar annual payroll. The new facility will have a planned capacity fate of 108 million pounds annually. It will use more than 100,000 tons a year of alumina (chemically refined bauxite) brought from Japan. Located on a scenic setting on the Columbia River, the plant is two miles west of The Dalles and 78 miles east of Portland.

1967 — 50 years ago

Early enrollment figures for Hood River County Schools pointed to “a slight increase — about the level of past years,” Assistant Superintendent Jack Jensen said Wednesday morning. With about half the schools reporting in, none had listed any decreases in pupil enrollment. Most of the were reporting some moderate increases. “For example,” cited Jensen, “Barrett school had 174 on the first day this year. There were 170 last year.” Oak Grove, another school serving the Hood River Valley’s west side, registered 96 on Wednesday, compared with 88 last year. Coe Primary went from 210 to 214, Cascade Locks Elementary from 120 to 125, and Cascade Locks High School was up from 73 to 85 students.

1977 — 40 years ago

Just under 140 swimmers paddled across the Columbia River Monday during Hood River’s annual Labor Day swim, but most of the attention focused on just one surprise entrant. Nobody was more surprised than Chamber of Commerce Manager Tina O’Banion when Portland Trail Blazer basketball star Bill Walton checked in for the crossing. “Really,” she said, “I didn’t know.” She said he had sent his application in more than a month early. “He signed as William Walton, Portland, and we just didn’t connect the name to the person. I truly believe this young man didn’t want the publicity.”

1987 — 30 years ago

“No problems, we didn’t lose even one kid,” said Jim Carnes, superintendent of Hood River County Schools, to describe the first week after school started Aug. 31. That was his good-humored way to describe a smooth start that saw busses run and meals served from the first day on. While there may not have been problems, there were some surprises, and some adjustments to be made. The walls at some levels — especially kindergarten — were building to overflowing, even more than had been expected. “We have 146 more kids today than we had at the same time last year,” Carnes said, describing total enrolment. The count was 3,102 this year, compared with 2,956 at the same point last year.

1997 — 20 years ago

Hood River County’s harvest will hit fill tilt this week as Anjou pears and several apple varieties ripen. With all crops looking healthy, the major growers’ concern is making sure there are enough pickers to collect the fruit. It’s too early to determine if there is a worker shortage, said Thom Nelson, Hood River Grower-Shipper Association manager. There have been plenty of hands for the Bartlett crop, which is wrapping up, he noted. The labor problem occurs when Anjous become harvest-ready. This variety reflects about two-thirds of the pear production. As the three- to four-week Anjou harvest moves from the lower to higher evaluations, it puts a strain on worker supply. During the same stretch, many apples are ready for picking too.

2007 — 10 years ago

The months of waiting are over with the opening of the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum this weekend in Hood River. Private collector Terry Brandt turned a lifelong passion for antique airplanes and automobiles into the museum, which broke ground in February near Ken Jernstedt Airfield in Hood River. The 50,000-square-foot facility houses one of the largest collections of antique airplanes in the world.

— Compiled by Trisha Walker, news staff writer

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