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About Vernonia's voice. (Vernonia, OR) 2007-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 5, 2010)
Senior Stars: Pauline King
Pauline King was born March 7,
1919, to Earl and Gladys Dial. The fam-
ily home at that time was a homestead
fifteen miles north of Cut Bank, Mon-
tana, but they had been called to Rent-
on, Washington, because of the death
of her grandmother, a victim of the flu
epidemic of 1918. Pauline was born in
Renton, but the family returned to Mon-
tana when she was an infant. She had an
older brother, Robert.
Homesteading in Montana was
a hard life. The house built of railroad
ties was very small with none of the
conveniences we know today. The win-
ter weather was very severe, with deep
snow and strong winds. Cut Bank has
often been recorded as the coldest spot
in the lower forty-eight states.
The family left the homestead,
and Pauline’s earliest memories are of
living in The Dalles, Oregon, the sum-
mer she was three years old. She re-
members being taken down to watch
the Indians catching salmon at Celilo
Falls and going out hunting arrowheads
with her parents. When they left The
Dalles they went down the river on a
sternwheeler to Rainier. From Rainier,
her father worked in a camp where they
were cutting out poles for telephone and
lights. They lived for a while in a box-
About this time, word was out
about a large sawmill being built in Ver-
nonia, and the family moved over the
hill to Vernonia. Her father worked on
building the mill and remained as fore-
man of the stacker shed until he retired
and moved to Washington.
Houses in Vernonia were scarce
and they lived in a tar-paper covered
shack that stood where Anderson Park
is now, while her father built their home
in Riverview. Sidewalks on some streets
consisted of large planks laid length-
wise on which you walked very carefully
because if you slipped off you could be
over your ankles in mud. Pauline started
school in the old grade-school. It was
a two-story frame building that stood
about where Washington Grade School
is now. If you were on the top floor and
On The Shelf:
the fire alarm sounded, you went up on a
platform by a window, went out the win-
dow and down a slide to the ground.
When she was in the fourth
grade, her parents were divorced and she
went back to Montana with her mother--
but not to the homestead. Shortly after
they moved back, oil was discovered and
the Cut Bank Oil Field was very large.
Ironically, some of the largest wells were
on the homestead land her parents had
given up a few years earlier.
Pauline went to school in Cut
Bank through her junior year of high
school. Twice during that time in the
sumer months she made the trip by train
back to Vernonia to visit her father. One
summer she spent on her grandfather’s
wheat farm in Washington. There she
learned what hard work was, particularly
during harvest. In those days, harvesting
was done with a threshing machine and
a large crew was hired to handle it. She
acquired great respect for her aunt and
all the other farm women for the work
that had to be done, still without any
In 1935, Pauline came back to
Vernonia to visit and spend a year with
her father. That year stretched out to be
most of the rest of her life. She graduat-
ed from Vernonia High School in 1936.
After graduation, she worked in the Ver-
nonia Bakery for some time. Her mother
came back to Vernonia and took over
a small (very small) restaurant called
the “Squeeze Inn,” and she helped her
mother there for three years. In 1941,
she married Earl King and worked in
King’s Grocery for several years-- Earl
was the meat-cutter. Later, he worked
for Crown Zellerbach for thirty-two
years. Their children are: Christine,
born in 1947; Marilyn, born in 1950; and
Donald, born in 1952. A daughter, Bon-
nie, born in 1944, died in infancy. Her
extended family today consists of seven
grandchildren and sixteen great-grand-
While her children were at
home, they enjoyed camping and other
trips to visit family and friends. Her fa-
ther retired to Jacksonville, Oregon, and
The library staff would like to wish a Hap-
py New Year and thank you to all who “adopted”
books during December. All of the twenty books
were adopted (purchased) and are being added to
the library’s collection. This selection includes
picture books, books for young adults and both
fiction and non-fiction for adults. Included are
have a little faith by Mitch Albom, Fat of the Land
by Langdon Cook, Stones into Schools by Greg
Mortenson, War Dance by Sherman Alexie, The
Fires of Edgarville by Craig Joseph Danner, and
the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead.
Author, John Irving, has caught me in
the web of his latest novel, Last Night in Twisted
River. To tell the truth, I don’t know exactly why
I continue to read this when each page seems to
throw another outlandish situation or character
into the mix—except I’m sure Irving has some
stupendous surprise ending. The eccentricity be-
gins with the reason widower Dominic Baciaga-
lupo and his twelve-year-old son Danny leave the
logging New Hampshire logging camp overlook-
ing the Twisted River. Just imagine this—Danny
hits and kills the local constable’s girl friend with
a fry pan when he mistakes her for a bear that he
that was a very interesting place to visit. they spent many happy hours at the golf
One time they got to pan for gold on his course.
claim, and each ended up with little nug-
Pauline’s house has a story of
gets of gold in their bottles.
its own. It was first built as a church in
Pauline is a member of the the 1930’s. When the time came that it
Christian Church and was very involved was no longer used as a church, it was
in it for many years, holding many po- bought and made into a duplex. Howard
sitions. One unusual experience came Reeher owned it when Pauline and Earl
about during the filming of the movie, were married; that was their first home.
“Ring of Fire.” The ladies of the church They were told that some of the lumber
were known to put on many dinners to from the old grade-school was used in
raise money for the church, so they were the building. When Reehers moved to
contacted to feed the stars and crew their California, he wanted to sell the duplex,
noon meal while they were in Vernonia. and Pauline bought it-- Earl was over-
The church accepted and Pauline and Ja- seas at the time. When Earl returned
net Bridgers co-chaired the project. All from the service, they tore out partitions
the ladies of the church pitched in and and started the renovations that made it
that film crew ate very well-- family into a comfortable home where Pauline
style-- for over two weeks. The money lived for sixty-six years.
earned was put to good use in the church.
Earl died in 1984. The 1996
When the children were older, Flood did considerable damage to Pau-
Pauline was employed by the School line’s home, but repairs were made
District 47J, first as an aide in the class- quickly and she went on living there.
rooms, then she became secretary for But the Flood of 2007 was another story.
the elementary schools until her retire- The damage was quite extensive and
ment. Her other activities included PTA, she had to leave. Pauline is happy that
Vernonia Study Club, VFW Auxiliary, the house has been raised, is being re-
PEO member (50+ years), 4H leader, ten paired, and will be made livable again.
years on the Cemetery Beautification, She knows that she will never be able to
and working with her flowers.
live there again; it is being sold. She is
When she was younger, Pauline now living in a lovely home in Florence,
loved to dance and always looked for- Oregon, with her daughter, Marilyn, and
ward to the Saturday night dances that friend, Lucene.
were part of community life. They were
Pauline looks back with fond
usually held in the Odd Fellows Hall and memories of the years she lived in Ver-
always had a live band.
nonia. Her home, close family, friends
After she and Earl retired, they and activities-- including later years at
enjoyed the trips they made-- back to the Senior Center (especially when the
Montana, up to Canada, and exploring Golden Oldies played)-- made for a
interesting places in Oregon. Sports good life.
were always a
big part of Earl’s
life. He was an
er and, though
got much past
Vernonia Cares Donations: A Christmas collection box
the duffer stage
is available. Drop off your canned goods during business
(she had trou-
ble keeping her
Connie’s Fabulous Breakfasts: Fabulous breakfasts are
head down), he
available to the public on Fridays for a cost of only $3.50.
The event happens at the Senior Center (446 Bridge Street)
was very patient
from 7:00 to 9:00 AM each Friday. Meal price includes
with her and
a beverage, too. Enter through the side, parking lot door.
What a deal!
Week Day Lunches: The Vernonia Senior Center offers
nutritious and tasty lunches each weekday for only $3.
These are available to the public, not just Senior Citizens.
thinks is attacking his fa-
(Mealtime is noon; late arrivals may not be served.) You
ther. With the strong prob-
can reserve your lunch by calling by 11:15 AM, or further
ability that the constable
in advance if possible, to assist the cooks as they prepare
will blame them, they flee
the day’s meals.
Twisted River for Boston
Maple Bars available locally! Connie King, the cook
where more freak-of-nature
at the Senior Center, is making maple bars each day. The
occurrences and amazing in-
maple bars are available to the public, too, and only cost $1
cidents follow them. Danny
each. Availability is subject to quantity on hand. You can
eventually becomes a suc-
assure yourself of a good supply by pre-ordering them di-
rectly from Connie by calling the Senior Center (503-429-
cessful author who incorporates and embellishes
3912) any week day, from 7:00 AM-3:00 PM. Please allow
these bizarre happenings into his novels while the
one day lead time for larger orders. The Center’s front door
constable continues his search for the father and
opens at 9:00, but the side parking lot door opens at 7:00.
son. As with his other novels, Irving has thorough-
Ah, sweet treats!
ly researched details such as the logging practices
Thrift Store: Bargain prices can be found in Vernonia’s
of the 1950s, pizza making, and Chinese cooking
Senior Center in their Thrift Store. The retail store is open
while he has incorporated some of his trademark
Monday through Friday, from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM. The
symbols such as severed limbs, bears, and freak
Thrift Store provides funds for he Senior Center’s facility
accidents. Half-way through this novel, I am sure
and its many activities. Donations can also be dropped off
that I will finish, and must say that I am completely
during those same hours, and donated clothes need to be
intrigued by Irving’s writing.
clean and in good condition so they are “sales ready”. Buy
Dates to remember for January include:
locally and support your local Senior Center.
Friends of the Library—January 5 at 6:30 PM;
Drop-offs only during store hours, please.
Martin Luther King Day—January 18, holiday, li-
brary closed; Movie Matinee—Up, January 23 at
Membership Dues: Another way to support Vernonia’s
2:00 PM; Book Discussion—January 25 at 5:30
Senior Center is to pay the $15 annual membership dues.
PM, works by Mitch Albom; Movie Night—The
Checks may be mailed or dropped off at the Senior Center.
Proposal with Sandra Bullock, January 28 at 6:30
Anyone 50 and older may join.
What’s Happening at the Vernonia Library
by Nancy Burch
Senior Center Activities
For January 2010