Sunday, May 3, 2009

Trip up Dos Rios Road, otherwise known as memory lane!

Photo by Melissa Carr

Photo by misterkeene

The book that I am currently reading is a book written a relative of mine that was raised just up hill from where I was raised in Laytonville. When I say “related” it always requires an explanation if you are talking to a generational native of Laytonville. So, Vera Snider Teague was related to me through her Snider side, she was the 2G Granddaughter of my 4G Grandfather, who was our last common reative. She was of the same generation of my grandparents. She was born around the turn of the 18-19th century.

While reading her book, I was stuck by how little of the Laytonville culture had changed from the time that she was a child growing up on the Snider homestead, and the time that I was raised in Laytonville. Her whole book is steeped with the culture that I was raised in, and reading her stories is like attending a family get-together in my younger years. Her playmate, as a youth, was her brother Ernest Snider, who I had the privilege of having known when he was an old guy, like me now. The following is an excerpt from Vera’s book. The quote was taken from Chapter 12”

Life With The Old-Timers” By Vera Snider Teague.

“BUSY HAPPY DAYS IN THE HILLS”
Suddenly, it was spring. Each springtime seemed a time of adventure and magic to me. First, one day the fuzzy, soft gray pussy willows were out. Then we would notice the blue and white wild lilac. Each magic day would bring more happy discoveries. Baby-blue-eyes, spring beauties, popcorn flowers, lady slippers, snow drops, star of Bethleham, shooting stars, which we called johnny-jump-ups, wild pansies ands violets, cream cups and butter cups, bluebells, redbells, columbines, (We called these five legged tables), blue stickweed, blue, white and yellow lupine, monkey flowers, larkspur, easter lilies, redwood lilies, and Shasta lilies, Indian paintbrush, sweet William mock orange, dogwood, and the manzanita with it’s clusters of tiny pink lanterns, just to name a few of the wild flowers that makes Mendocino County like a paradise during spring and early summer.

Ernest and I loved all of the flowers, but I think our favorites were the easter lilies. There were beds of these nestled here and there in sunny little spots throughout the woods. We loved the golden poppies too. We believed all the flowers belonged to us by right of discovery; and what joyous competition there was between us! Upon each new discovery with what pride we called the other to view our treasure! We seldom picked any. Our joy was rather in going to behold them from day to day in all their glorious natural beauty.

What glee when one of us found the first firecracker, wild rose or any variety we had not yet found. We did not tire of this game throughout the season.
As spring progressed we extended our game to include the wild strawberries, black cap and red cap raspberries, blackberries, wild currants, gooseberries, plums, salmonberries and thimble berries and later both red black huckleberries and wild grapes. The family often accompanied us to pick many of the above mentioned for use at home”.


I want you to know that I take great joy in knowing about the plants that she named. If you have just recently arrived, you probably have no idea what plants she is talking about. Even if you recognized some of the names that she used, you probably wouldn’t call the plant by that name.

Does anybody know what a bluebell or a redbell is?

“Old-timer” is not necessarily a designation of old age. “Old-Timer” in Laytonville is more of a designation of venerability. It’s like calling a teacher “professor”, or a physician “Doctor”. It is an acknowledgment of ones experience. To be an “Old-Timer” in Laytonville, it is generally accepted that you would have to have lived there for at least 20 years before you opinions would be acknowledged with any great degree of acceptance.

I have often wondered what has happened to my “Old-Timer” status in Laytonville. I haven’t lived there since 1955, but my mother still owns property there, and we visit relatives often that do live there.

My Old-Timer status of the South-Fork of the Eel River goes back to 1858, and 6 generations. The thing that I have noticed is that, my opinions are still questioned… What’s up with that???

© Br. Alfred Brousseau, Saint Mary's College.

22 comments:

kymk said...

That was wonderful. I felt like I got to wander the hills, too. I don't know the all the same names for the flowers. I don't even know what that lilly is at the top. It kind of looks like mission bells but it is slightly different.

ross sherburn said...

there was an old fellow by the name of AL TEAGUE,he did carpentry work for my dad.he lived just south of laytonville downtown,on the east side of 101.

Ernie Branscomb said...

I am relegated to bloging from my cellphone, because my home computer is still down. It gives a whole new meaning to the term hunt-and-peck. The red flower is what we called a "redbell". The blue one is what was known as "bluebell". They are now known as a Red Fritillary and a Hounds Tongue.

I'll give you more info tomorrow when I am at a real computer!

Indie said...

Good post, Ernie, and even more admirable when I know how hard you had to work to type it in on a cellphone. I don't think I could write that way. It has to be an entirely different creative process...

Ernie Branscomb said...

I just added a photo near the bottom of the post. It is a photo of what the "Old-Timers" called an "Easter Lily" Others know it as a California Fawn Lily.

We called it an Easter Lily because it bloomed at Easter. That and because that's what we called it.

We were quite shocked to find the commercial variety of an Easter Lily. It looked nothing like our Easter Lily. the commercial variety of lily just seem to cheapen Our little wild flower by taking it's good name.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Indie, thank-you for the encouragement. I know that all of my typos, mispunctuations, misspellings and mistakes must be distracting for you, being a literary person and all. Thank-you for being so tolerant.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Ross, I knew a Cliff Teague. I don't know if he is any relation.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Ernie, I love your posts about the past.
SHB

ross sherburn said...

ERNIE,i screwed up again,it was clifford teague,you are correct,think he worked in the woods???the old carpenter from laytonville was named Tarpy or something like that???? been toooo long for me to remember some of these names!!!but i try!!!

Anonymous said...

Cliff Teague worked for Benbow Sawmill before I started there in 1963. He then worked for Pacific Lumber Company in Scotia till his death at the same mill. I don't recall him ever saying he worked in the woods but if he did it was way back.

Oregon

ROSS SHERBURN said...

OREGON,did clifford teague live on the old mill property by the briceland bridge??? FORD&SHERBURN owned the property for a number of years.after the mill shut down,my dad rented the cabins and the shop out!

Anonymous said...

Ross, I don't know but my brother said he will call Oma, Cliff's wife and ask her if they ever lived at the old mill site. I do know they came from Arkansas but not the year.

Oregon

Ben said...

Ernie... I have seen carpets of Fawn Lillies under the pines up around Kettenpom in the late spring. Unforgettable. I posted on Kym's blog about the gorgeous Camass fields off Reynolds Highway just this side of Willits. Don't miss it if you are down that way.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Yes Ben, the fawn lilies in Kettenpom are worth the trip. They grow under the Manzanita also.

Carol said...

I will have to ad Dos Rios Rd to the list of places I want to see like Branscomb Rd.

ross sherburn said...

thanks oregon!!

ross sherburn said...

i like the road from DOS RIOS to LAYTONVILLE,but some of the family doesn't!!!!

Ben said...

Just heard that the Willits area Camass fields are now a lake! Too bad, we were going back this weekend.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Ben, that's the reason that it is called "little Lake Valley"

spyrock said...

we took the dos rios road from laytonville on our way to covelo back in 2005. real winedy and rough in some places but we made it. sort of looks like the road to spyrock back in the day in some places. my nephew t bone married a teague girl. the old man roy is just like grandpa walton. a great guy. the great grandpa is over 100 years old and has a girl friend. he never says anything. he just smiles a lot. but he will talk to you if you ask him something. he wears one of those back supporters. he would go to t bone jr's baseball games even up to yountville. the teagues are great people. a great close family. they pronounce it like tighe or thigh.

Anonymous said...

Ross Shurburn; May 4th 6:59

Ross, My brother finally called back. He is working 13 hours a day between Hayfork and Hyampon and has no cell service here. Anyway he got a hold of Oma Teague.
According to Oma, her and Cliff were headed to Oregon from Arkansas in 1951 to work for Cliff's uncle. They stopped in Phillipsville, CA for gas and was told they needed to go back to Garberville to get gas. They ran into this guy at the Mobil station named Shine Sherburn and he offered Cliff a job at the mill by the Briceland Bridge and so that is where Cliff and Oma lived and worked.
I do have Oma's phone number if you are interested in talking to her. She remembers everything and likes to talk about the old days.

Oregon

ROSS SHERBURN said...

thanks OREGON! yeah!the name CLIFFORD TEAGUE was pretty fresh in my head,but i just couldn't remember the connection.