Saturday, November 14, 2009

The way it used to be.

Welcome to my blog, drag up a chair and make yourself comfortable.


A lady that I knew, once upon a time, found my blog while she was looking for some other information. I guess that you could call that serendipity. At least I call it serendipity. It gave me the good fortune to remember many people, places, and things that I haven't thought of in years. I haven't seen her in many years. (that I know of)


She emailed me, and the way she introduced herself seriously reminded me of the days of my youth. Back then, when you met somebody, you would give them your complete genealogy. Usually you found out that you had a common friend or ancestor somewhere. Back before about 1968, people didn't move around that much. Most of the people here had families that easily went back to the 1800's. If you had shown up later than that, chances are that your family had married in to some of the local families, so you always gave your pedigree. It really was like a big family around here.


As kids we hiked and played on the hills and canyons around town. If we got tired of hiking or digging fossils, we would go to the river and go swimming. Nobody worried to much about trespassing, we just went where we wanted to. If a rancher ran into us, we just told him who we were, or reminded him that we had asked for permission to be on his ranch. As kids we were even allowed to pack guns and kill squirrels. It was pretty normal for a kid to have a 22-caliber rifle. The ranchers liked getting rid of the squirrels, so it was a symbiotic relationship.


Like I said, it was a lot like one big family. That must be really hard for the people that live here now to understand or relate to. Now, you don't dare step foot off of your own property. The hills are guarded by land owners that are totally paranoid. The canyons are filled with society's low income tourists. They crap anywhere, and there are needles laying around. The river has so much fertilizer in it from the "medicine grows" that the Blue-Green Algae blooms in early summer. Dogs can't drink the water anymore, and kids can't swim in it.



So, it was fun for me to take a trip back in time with her introduction of herself. I included it below for your perusal. She gave me her permission:
I was doing research "Larry Brown" and ended up on your blog. I remember Larry having a racoon.. Larry had a friend named Bud Miller, a Calif. Highway Patrolmen. He was my uncle. My father's name was Keith Wymer. He married Marian, Uncle Bud's sister. (Bud is a step uncle). Dad's mother, my grandmother was Ruby Blank. Ruby Valley, outside of Redway, was named for her. My step grandfather , Charlie Blank, worked at the "mill" near Briceland and lost his fingers to it. I have Grampa's 22 rifle that we used to go squirrel plinking with. Grampa Charlie taught me how to fish in that little stream under the bridge there in Ruby Valley and he would build a raft for us kids every year to play on and every winter, it would end up lost to a flood. Picked many a blackberry with Grama along that creek and picked huckleberries in the hills. Grama would make a little pot pie for each of us kids with our initial on the crust and we would pig out with a big scoop of ice cream!! Grama Ruby died in a car accident on the bridge just west of Redway. She drove off the bridge when it was under reconstruction from the floods. The Redwood Record, was of course, owned by my grandparents, Pappy and Francis Miller. Great memories in the print shop. Had to pass it on the way home from school and we were always welcome to help Grama out... Do you remember a Melvin Green? (she later remembered that it was Sid Green) He was a pilot in those days. He was a relative on Grama's side. Also, Ruth Burgess was my Great aunt as Fred Burgess was my uncle. My step sister is Mary Hurlbutt, daughter to Fred, who owned the water system supplying Garberville. So hence, I know Jim Johnson and Marie. That Marie is still a go getter!!! An absolutely adorable woman. And then there were the floods of 1955... OMG. How Garberville was landlocked. Marian would bake bread and Dad and us kids ate it before it was even cool!!! Can't justify any savings there!! And then we would be out till our alloted ration came up again when they dropped food into town by plane or something.... In the winter season, after my Dad got on with the CalTrans, he would sneak me into his truck and I would go with him to patrol for slides during the night hours... The first time, I about jumped out the window when he dropped the front blade to scrape gravel from the road at 35 mph... Dad just laughed.... I had a friend named Diana French. Her folks had a sheep ranch somewhere out that direction and I would go with her on weekends to help capture and shear the sheep.... Just thought I would say hello to you... I vaguely remember your name.... I went to South Fork High School about 1963 to 66. Known as Kay Wymer at that time... Feel free to use any of this if you wish... thanks for the memories!!! Always, Kay


She followed her first post with this:
I have just been browsing.. I used to live at Benbow ..about 1962 or so.. maybe earlier. Our house was along Highway 101, north of Benbow, going up the hill toward Garberville on the right side. It burned down one summer, I think in 1962 or 63. Used to take a school bus to South Fork High School. I had a step grandfather named Bob Welch that drove the school bus and on stormy days, he would pick us two kids up at the house instead of the designated bus stop (rules were made to break!) down the rode so we wouldn't have to brave the weather. We were spoiled by him. I used to walk down Hiway 101 (wouldn't dare do that today!) to Benbow Lake and watch the ski boats in the summer to pass the time.


Followed by this:
I was thinking... the pilot was Sid Green, not Melvin..... I remember the Brass Rail..... my Dad and stepmother, Marian, would go to dinner there sometimes. Was nothing for Marian to sew a dress in one day and wear it that night. She would inevitably be invited to sing a song at the Rail.. she had an awesome voice!!

Followed by this after she read my post on “Vehicle over the Bank” About the two kids that went over the Garberville bluff:
Wow, does that jangle some memory banks! Those guys were so lucky.. I have memory of my mother and I sitting at a stop sign on Locust St waiting to enter the main drag. We hear this funny noise, which we learned later, to be an air horn out of air. People were waving us not to go!! A few seconds later, a big crane went whizzing by us and headed straight for that bluff on the north side of town. He went over!!! I was so shook up about it, I started to cry (I think I was about 10 or 12 years old). A big mushroom cloud rose from the bluff like a hydrogen bomb.We learned later that the man's brakes had gone out on the South side of town, he rode the crane all the way through town in hopes of keeping it from killing someone and at the end, he jumped before it went over and survived with a broken leg. This was about 1961 or 62... Thanks for posting your information. That bluff will always have a bad memory for me... And those two young men, I am sure.

I know that I'm going to be boring a bunch of you, but those that want to follow all of the comments are going to learn a lot of Garberville history back in the 50's and 60's.

I replied:
Kay
Thank-you for your permission to post this stuff. Please join in in the comments box. I think that you are going to find many people that remember you.
Ernie

51 comments:

Ernie Branscomb said...

Kay
I knew your Grama Ruby. The Town of Ruby Valley was named after her when they opened a new post office there. A man by the name of Frank Sousa (Whom I'm sure you knew)owned the Country Store. He sold gas, groceries and had the post office in his store. Before the post office, Ruby Valley was known as Whitmore Valley. There was already a Whitmore California so they had to come up with a new name to get a post office. The town of Thorn was changed to Whitethorn at the same time, and for the same reasons.

Ruby Valley was named shortly after your Grama was killed in the accident. Doris VanMeter, the Redway Post Mistress suggested it. The rest is history.

The highly unsafe, and temporary, bridge that she ran off of was built out of logs that spanned log cribbing filled with gravel to hold them in place. It was a crude but ingenious bridge. The bridge was built to access the Briceland road after the '64 flood. The old road that led to the temporary bridge is still there. It is just north of the approach to the existing bridge.

Rose said...

This is so awesome! There are so many stories that are such an important part of the history! Not just the big stuff, but the little stuff.

Anonymous said...

Nice post by Kay.
Ernie,
Are you a South Fork High grad? If so, what year did you graduate? I'm trying to find someone who can recall the starting five on the Cubs' 1961 basketball team. (I only recall Jack Albee and John Flaherty.)
Thanks.

Anonymous said...

SFHS 1961

Jack Albee, John Ball, Tom Beat, Rodger Cartwright, Don DeSomery,
John Flaherty, Ron Maher, Jack Monschke, Mike Starks and Allen Weber.

I don't remeber the starters.

Oregon

Ernie Branscomb said...

I graduated South Fork High School in '63.

Robin brooks lettered all four years in basketball, so he must have been around pretty close. He was a skinny kid in high school, so with the low number exponents, he was probably on the Junior Varsity team.

I had to laugh when I described him as a "skinny kid" he has filled out conciderably. I wouldn't call him obese, but large.

Kay Lodahl said...

Thanks for posting my notes, Ernie. What fun the comments have been to read..
I remember Don deSomery.. The school jock! What a handsome boy and I had a freshman crush on him. I was in class with his brother, Gene, whom I adored as a friend. It was so tragic that Don passed away from cancer at such a early age. He had so much potential for the future.

My grampa Charlie used to walk us kids up to VanMeter's little country store to trade in our pop bottles for candy. Who does that now!!?? Maybe street people..

Ernie, you got the story straight on the bridge. My grandmother was returning from an evening dinner at our house. It was my Uncle Bud (the CHP) that was first on the scene and it hurt him so much to have to call his brother-in-law, my Dad, to tell him the bad news. This is how I was told anyway.

Ernie Branscomb said...

I know Bud Miller fairly well. He gave me my first ticket for running a stop sign in 1961. He was wrong, I was right. I followed a car that was stalled on the far side of the intersection. He was so far away that it looked to him like I just drove through it. Anyway the next day I did run the stop sign just to make an "honest man” out of him.

In all fairness, Bud's a great guy, and we are pretty good friends. I could listen to his Highway Patrol stories all day, and as you know he likes to tell stories.

One of my favorite stories was about his first CHP patrol car. He said that at night you had your choice of what you could do, because the car only had a six-volt battery. If you had your headlights and red light on at night, using the radio or the siren would turn the headlights off. If it was raining the windshield wipers would quit if you were trying to catch up with somebody. They were vacuum operated off of the engine. When an engine is at full throttle the Vacuum goes away, along with a clean windshield. One of my friends said that he had “ditched” Bud one night by out-running him. We used to be able to do that when there was only one CHP on duty! My friend said that he was busy congratulating himself when he went home, and across the street in the neighbors driveway, parked with his lights out, sat BUD MILLER! Paybacks a bitch.

Of course I can't tell all of Bud's stories, because of small-town confidentiality privilege. That extends past Lawyer/client, or Doctor/client privilege.

Anonymous said...

Bud gave me 2 undeserved tickets. We're still friends though.
That story you told, Ernie, reminded me of a time that Paul Pancoast gave me a ride in his new Corvette. We were headed towards Garberville and just past the Yellow Dragon Machine Shop at 122 MPH and Tom Hielmen was on duty and going North as we past him. Paul and I did a couple quick calculations and turned around on the flats ans headed back towards Redway. Guess what? Tom was headed towards Garberville at about 120 MPH with his red lights flashing. LOL
Paul and I decided we should go to his house which was behind the machine shop and we stayed there for about an hour. When we went back to my house with the ice we went after in the first place, Tom was waiting for us. I was driving and I never seen Tom so mad. No ticket or jail either.

Oregon

Ernie Branscomb said...

Tom was probably not mad, but jealous. He always had an eye for fancy things.

Remember when Ben Doane flipped his S.O. Car upside-down in the ditch in front of the C.H.P. Office? With full red lights and siren on? It kinda' takes the scare factor out of the car when it's upside down. But we didn't openly laugh. The lights and siren went away shortly, and nobody was hurt.

Or, do you remember the deputies that would park on Church Street, across from the theater, while the kids would be leaving the theater at night? The Deputies that decided to test the new shotgun mount? They got into a bored conversation about whether or not the gun mount blocked the trigger pull.

They got into a “Does Too”/ “Does Not” argument over the mount. The “Does too” guy reached over and pulled the trigger on the gun to prove that he was right, that it would NOT go off... He was dramatically wrong. They blew a neat little 1” diameter hole in the cab behind the windshield. Both deputies bailed out of the car and rolled on the ground. All the kids coming out out the theater saw it. After they got through ducking, and figured out what happened, they told everybody in Garberville before morning. Del Frame was the Lieutenant then. I imagine that he was real proud of them. We laughed about them just getting just one bullet, that they had to carry in their back pocket after that.

At least "The Law" kept the kids out of trouble back then.

Anonymous said...

"He always had an eye for fancy things".

You are a silver tongued devil Ernie.

Oregon

Ekovox said...

Ernie, to think the history being made today in Southern Humboldt will have a totally different perspective as to when you were growing up. Kym Kemp has touched on this very subject. What an era the fifty years between 1975 to 2025 will be for the history books. After the legalization, Garberville will change once again. To what? Who knows? Will there be Branscombs in Humboldt County after 2025? It will most likely be the end of the Rowley line living in Humboldt County, a family once proud of their pioneer roots after their arrival in 1881.
Will there be an historically related social organization like the Native Sons of the Golden West or The Humboldt Pioneer Society for descendents of the Humboldt Cannibis Culture? Or, will it just fade away?

-Ross Rowley

Ernie Branscomb said...

Eko
"After the legalization, Garberville will change once again. To what?"

That is a tough question. There are few businesses in Garberville that will survive legalization. Most businesses are already marginal, and without the marijuana money around it will most likely press businesses into the red and they will fold. The more closely related that the businesses are to the MJ trade, the more likely the business failure.

In years past I fought to keep Garberville in the “status quo”. I advocated for legitimate businesses to remain, and I honestly thought that the law would drive the marijuana grower off. I failed to realize how popular MJ is. Then after watching it for awhile, I finally figured out that the cops had no real interest in getting rid of the grower. It was a new and exciting game for them, they made good money and it provided them with a fairly safe adrenalin rush. You know when they don't arrest anybody that they aren't really trying to get rid of it. They have to stop the planting to stop the growing. The original attempt of The Campaign Against Marijuana PLANTING, proved to be a farce. It was just more cops and robbers. Periodically they would bust a big time grower with lots of money on the table. They would take the four-wheelers pick-up trucks and money, pull the plants and leave. The grower would not miss a beat. My new philosophy Became; “I'll believe that they really want to get rid of marijuana when I see an honest attempt.” It is provable and documented that we had many cops on the take. That is not to besmirch the honest cops that were just trying to do their jobs. But, what happens, is what happened to me and others. You soon find that many of your friends will shamefacedly admit that they are growing “ a little bit in the back yard, to keep their families together”.

Then legalization came along for “medicinal purposes”. All of a sudden what used to be dope growers became “pharmacists”. I don't know one single 215 grower that doesn't sell just a little bit on the side to “cover expenses”.

My philosophy became the three monkey thing. There was no advantage to me to become a grower. I was to paranoid to boldly defy the law. I don't use the stuff, and the smell of it makes me sick. So, I just isolate myself from the whole thing. See no evil, hear no evil, say no evil. I don't rat anybody out, so when somebody gets caught, I don't have to care. But, I admit that when some of my friends, that have been busted, I sometimes feel pretty bad for them. Other times I say; “GOOD!” But for the most part, I just stay out of it, and let the tail go with the hide.

I will have to admit that it still grates on me when I see somebody “go legit” and they open a business downtown. They use marijuana money to unfairly compete with honest people just trying to make a living. I've seen a lot of that all over.

But, will I still be here? Yes. If the river doesn't rise and drown me. Most of the people in Garberville are my friends, and I don't judge them. Some of the more interesting of my friends, I suspect might have some involvement in the trade, but C'est la vie.

The cops have made a game out of eradication, and the growers have made a game out of growing it. I don't play those kind of games, so I just stay out of it, all the way around. I don't know what that says about me, but I'm happy.

Jim Baker said...

Ernie, now that I have hit 65 and am officially a recipient of "socialized health insurance' in the form of medicare and "welfare" in the form of social security, I try to keep my eyes on the road ahead of me rather than looking in the rear view mirror, but you have tickled my nostalgia bone. My sister Sue was in the South Fork class of '64 with Tim Abena, Ron Hartman, Win Benbow, etc. and my brother Bob graduated in '67. I was in the Arcata High class of '62 before my parents moved to Redway in '63 and played on the "lightweight" basketball team in '60 and '61 (there were varsity lightweight and varsity heavyweight teams at the time, not JVs) and I seem to remember playing against Jack Albee, Jack Monschke and Curt Wood at the lightweight level. We beat the pants off them, but I won't rub that in since I'm now on school board in SoHum and my allegiances have changed. I high jumped against Don Desomery and knew him slightly, and agree that he was one of the nicest people I ever met. Those were the days when deeds spoke louder than a big mouth (a la heavyweight champ Floyd Patterson), and Don fit that description to a tee. If there is a God, it's pretty obvious to me that he/she doesn't make decisions about who lives or dies based on whether or not one deserves to live or die. Just an observation, reinforced every day, from an old man. Another reason not to spend too much time looking in the rear view mirror.

I won't get into the old pro or anti marijuana arguments except to say that a helluva lot of people, including me and you, are still here making a living without having to grow it ourselves because of the money floating around the local economy derived from its production. When's the last time you or anyone else you know put on a pair of cork boots to go out and make a living. I'm not defending or condemning it, just stating the obvious. As I'm sure you would agree, there are a still a lot of good people living in the hills here (and in the urban centers like Garberville and Redway as well), who may or may not be growing marijuana. We come together for the common good when we have to. As a Rotarian and first responder, you know that better than most. And thanks for the volunteer time you and many others (who may or may not be growing marijuana) spend in keeping things afloat.

Aunt Janet said...

I had to look up "cork boots" Of course I guessed they were for logging, but wondered about the cork part. Wiki:"Caulk boots or cork boots (pronounced "cork" and usually called "corks") are leather nail-soled boots[1] worn by lumberjacks in the timber-producing regions of the Pacific Northwest and Canada.[2] They are worn for traction in the woods and especially in timber rafting, and were part of a lumberman's basic equipment along with axe and crosscut saw. Loggers and others who work in the woods still wear corks today." You all probably already knew that stuff.

Anonymous said...

More for Aunt Jamet.

In Southeast Alaska some of the loggers wear Extratuff (sp) caulk rubber boots also called corks. Everybody else wears plain Extratuff's and I mean everybody.

Oregon

Anonymous said...

Aunt Janet*

Ernie Branscomb said...

Congratulations Jim!
I'm just another year or two behind you, I just hope that Obama doesn't piss away all of that money that I paid in for all of those years, and be “out of funding” when I get there. Like you, I spend 99% of my time looking forward, but I find that some people like hearing about the past, and it is something that I have more experience in than most.

Aunt Janet,
“Cork boots” is one of the few words that loggers used that can be repeated aroun' wimen folk. There was no such thing as cussin' in the woods. It was all just plain talk. The language that they used was pretty descriptive. Most of the talk included body functions, body parts, and various descriptions of the road to hell and damnation. Tin lid, widdermaker, and Catskinner are the other “clean words”, the rest can't be repeated. Some loggers could hardly even talk around women. Most women made the mistake of thinking that they were shy or men of few words.

Oregon
get some sleep and you won't make those *typos *.

Anonymous said...

I made a typing mistake with the Janet one. The others I wake up thinking about. It seems I am going brain dead. When I was writing about the Tom Hielman incident I think I wrote "past" a couple times when it should have typed "passed". I knew it wasn't right but the correct spelling was a total blank. I knew you would understand what I was trying to say as always. I get up between 3 and 3:30 AM so I am well rested in the mornings. Like I said I am just going brain dead.

Oregon

Anonymous said...

I wish I could add to the local memory palaver, but forty years ago I was in the Midwest. There seems to be a little "Barney Fife" in many small town police departments.
One of our town's finest had the misfortune to be asleep in his car across the street from the only bank robbery in town history.

When he retired he had the nickname "Bullets" because of his response to a call to take care of a still alive, but twitching, electrocuted squirrel. To the horror of the crowd of mothers and children he pulled out his revolver and put the squirrel down with two shots... hence "Bullets".

Anonymous said...

anon 2:48
Good story, meaning I liked it.
I know some of the squirrels in Humboldt and Southern Trinty Counties were tough too. I have seen some that took more than one shot but was with a 22 at a running digger over a 100 yards. That was back in the day when there was still a sawmill South of New Harris. I remember cause my father-in-law was the foreman there. I figure you can't shoot a gun off the road there anymore because a bunch of folks have built houses in that country that was graze land in the good days.

Oregon

Ernie Branscomb said...

As Oregon knows, a kid back in the '50's and '60's never left the house without taking his 22-CAL rifle with him. When I lived at Eel Rock, a kid that also lived there and I used to walk up the railroad tracks, and plink at things down on the river bar. Fish ducks were numerous and despised by the fishermen. So, fish ducks were fair game to shoot. We were walking along the tracks and a group of ducks came flying up the river below us. Toto (My friend) said the lead ducker is a dead... (well, I won't go there, but kids talked a lot like loggers.)

Anyway, he pulled the trigger, and about enough time had past that I was just saying; “Ha! You missed”, when the duck did a barrel roll and splatted into the river. We were about a mile from home, and we were headed back, so I got to listen to him, all the way back, say exactly how he did it, like he was loaded with skill or something. He went on about how he gave the duck about 10 feet of “country boy windage”. (that is were a person shoots ahead of the actual moving target, so the bullet and target arrive at the same time.) He was going on like he was some kind of a scientist or something. He was saying; “Yeah, I gave the duck about ten feet, maybe ten feet two inches lead. The ducks were about four hundred feet away. The real wind was blowing with them, so I led them a little less than I ordinarily would have. All in all, it turned out that I was right on”. Billy the kid would have lost patients with him and just shoot him, but I was discrete and valorous.

About the time we were getting home, he was saying; “I'm sure glad that I have a witness, nobody would believe what a good shot I made, if you hadn't been there.”

Never, never, plant ideas in the head of a person with a sick mind... As we rounded the last bend coming home, his older brother, Pat, came up to meet us. Toto casually said to him, “You should have seen the good shot I just made. Yep, these here ducks was flyin' up th river about four-hundred, maybe four hundred and ten feet away, not any less. I aimed my rifle, and I told Ernie, the lead ducker is a dead... (expletive deleted). And as sure as rain, the duck hit the water like a sack of potatoes, deader un a doornail. Tell him Ern.” (This is the good part) I kept my face just as straight as I've ever kept my face in my life and said; “I told you that I wasn't going to go along with your tall tale. Nobody would be dumb enough to believe that you made that good of a shot. You should have made up a story about shooting a tweety bird off of a power line or something that somebody might believe. The duck at three hundred feet is just too unbelievable.”

He said, “it was four-hundred and ten feet! You saw it! I just kept my face real straight and said, “I told you that, you would be on your own on this story. Then I said, “hey look, here come some more ducks, shoot the lead one and show Pat how you did it.” In his frustration he stepped over to the bank and aimed his gun at the lead duck and said, “The lead ducker is a dead.... (I wish that he had use a different word) He pulled the trigger and he watched the lead duck. I said, “Ha! You missed”. He said “Wait a second” I said “Ha! You missed” He said, again, “Wait a second”. We watched the ducks fly around the corner. I said “maybe you should run up there and see if the duck flew around the corner to die” Meanwhile I had winked at Pat, and he caught on that he had really hit the duck, but I was just having a little fun with Toto. He started lecturing him about not bragging about things that he couldn't do, and so on for about an hour. Just when Toto was about to cry I fessed up.

Anonymous said...

Wow Ernie, that brings back memories. I will try not to mis-spell here. I met and became friends with the the folks in Eel Rock because of you, Toto and I slayed many lizards on the railroal tracks but was with a sling shot. Dang those were fun days. The big thing y'all had to be careful of was the railroad tunnels. Me and Toto went all over on a cart we built with 2x6's with roller bearings to ride on the tracks with. I am sure this was a contraption that a 15 year old engineer (water truck driver )came up with. Actually, I think this kid could have made something of himself but went into refridgeration.
Anyway, back to the railroad tunnels. It was HOT in the river valley during the summer and for some reason there were lots (tons) of rattle snakes and during the day time they (the snakes) would hole up in the tunnels. So when Toto and I would come up on a tunnel we sat and talked. Hell we said, go for it! we did and never got bit. That's a snake bite in case I missspelled something.

Oregon

ROSS SHERBURN said...

i did quite a bit of 22 shooting myself back in those days.mostly on HURLBUTT land,a little southeast of town.

you guys remember the TURKEY SHOOTS? some were held down by the briceland bridge!

spyrock said...

speaking of the old days in garberville. in 1936 frank asbill was living with hattie maude maher at the del rey hotel on redwood drive. r. w. wells owned the hotel operated by maude. on june 4, 1936 mrs maher died at the hands of frank asbill. frank was arrested by marshal t m burnside. dr carl t wallace performed the autopsy. jurors were mrs.ariene m. showers, mrs. lee melendy, mrs. mary dillon, mrs. mabel neville, mrs genevieve lovfald, mrs. lou hunter, charles davis, frank dinsmore, oscar lord, bruce morton and ed worthington.
dr. e l morse testified that maude's room was covered in blood. ada baker, horace washburn and joe barret testified about threats that frank had made against maude in their presence. school bus driver lloyd davis of the south fork union high school said that asbill flagged him down all bloody and wanted a ride to fortuna.
the jury took 24 hours to find him guilty and frank was sentenced to 5 years to life in san quentin. there he wrote "the last of the west"
ethel simmerly, daughter of maude maher, wife of fred simmerely jr, my grandma's cousin, was appointed executrix of her estate. r. w. wells took over management of the hotel and renamed it the stop inn.
frank asbill was released from prison in 1944 and returned to garberville. his dream of publishing his book was never realized and he died of acute coronary occlusion in 1951 in morro bay.
this is all courtesy of old man river and genocide and vendetta.
river found all the details.
anyone know any of these people.
does anyone remember this happening in garberville that is still alive today.
frank asbill, son of pierce asbill, boarded with milo patton and sarah kauble patton, my great grandma's oldest sister, milo ran one of george white's ranches near alderpoint and frank was going to school nearby. so frank and pierce were friends of the family from long ago. and maude was frank's common law wife. so technically,and very indirectly, i'm related to the asbills. i have another indirect relative who died at the hands of wylackie john, but that's another story.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to "Oregon" (and his yearbook) for posting the names of the South Fork Cubs 1961 basketball team that I'd requested. My way older sis was a cheerleader that year so I went to all the games but I preferred the Cubs' so-called "dream team" of '65 or '66, (led by Tom & Larry Woods) who did so well against the other teams in the Little Four and Big Five. However, when they traveled to Arcata, the hometown refs were quite blatant in their favoritism toward the Tigers, as evidenced by the fouls they called. The new SF coach, Billy Joe Dashner, finally got fed up and pulled his team off the court and forfeited the game! Cubs players were cussing out the refs as they went to the locker room. It got tense in the stands, as well. I was used to the taunts and antagonistic tendencies from Hoopa's racist crowd against visiting white teams but I was surprised by Arcata's crowd (not the players) calling the Cubs "quitters" and "crybabies". I never knew if Dashner got fired or reprimanded for what he did but the team sure played hard for him.

Ekovox said...

"I was used to the taunts and antagonistic tendencies from Hoopa's racist crowd against visiting white teams..."

Hey Now! My alma mater's home crowd would never stoop that low as to yell racial slurs or invoke taunting antagonism at visiting sports teams or their family members. Nor, would we slash the tires of the visiting St. Bernard's bus during a snowy December basketball game in 1972.
That wouldn't be good sportsmanship, now would it?

Oh, and don't expect to receive an apology for such actions, either.

Carol said...

What a nice post! I love reading these stories of Humboldt County.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Spyrock,
I knew Dr. E. L. Morse. He built a house over by the hospital in Garberville. I believe it was before the hospital was there. I went to school with his Grandson, Doug Staples. Doug's mother, Marta (Morse) Staples was Dr. Morse's daughter. He had his office in a front room of the house. I've heard many humorous stories about Dr. Morse. Apparently, he was rather unsympathetic to the human condition. One story that I heard was that he performed a hemorrhoid operation while the patient was bent over his desk. His grandson used to bring a bag of marshmallows to school sprinkled with quinine powder. What a surprise to bite into something so bitter that it made you shudder all over.

I've heard many stories about the Asbill murder. He apparently beat her to death with a frying pan for cooking a bad dinner. (Not verified, but hey, you brought it up!)

Ekovox
You Hoopa people are my kind of people. I've always said that “a life without passion is a life not worth living”. Hoopa knows how to live life to the fullest! What's a few tires after a great game?

JoJo Snodgrass said...

I have to say Ernie, as a young adult, only 23 I really enjoyed reading the post "The way it used to be."

I enjoy learning about how it used to be and somedays wish I lived then instead of now.

Thanks for sharing these stories Ernie!

Anonymous said...

"Hoopa knows how to live life to the fullest! What's a few tires after a great game?" -EB

Great game?? Was Hoopa ever competitive .... in anything?

When I think of Hoopa, all I can say is, "God bless John Wayne!"

Ekovox must be having an abysmal life if a standout memory for him is slashing tires 37 years ago. I hear he was pissed because the tires only went flat on the bottom.

Kay Lodahl said...

I love this stirring of memories!! One of my favorite was the Rodeo Days in Garberville. The whole town went crazy. But being a kid then was a lot of fun. Do they still have this in Garberville? Or is it the "gardeners" have no clue about such fun....

Ernie Branscomb said...

Yes Kay, Garberville still has the Rodeo Parade. (Saturday, Father's Day weekend) It brings more people to town than any other event or day. The kids like it, because most of the entries toss candy to the crowd, and the kids scramble for it. Dan Healy sets up an announcer stand and does great commentary on the parade. We don't have the great floats that the sawmills used to put together, because.... well we don't have any sawmills. People don't dress up in cowboy outfits and grow beards anymore. The Bank of America doesn't win the contest for best float, because we don't have the bank of America anymore. We have two banks in town, and a Credit Union (don't call it a bank!) that does most of the banking. (But, don't call it a bank)

The morning of the parade they have a pancake breakfast on Redwood Drive. They still have a complete rodeo at Greycliff Acres Fri, Saturday, and Sunday. They have a steak barbecue with all of the trimmings, and other food and vendor booths at the rodeo grounds. The parade has changed dramatically from what you remember, but the people now don't know, so they are just as happy. Mostly the parade is for the kids, which I think is great. It is a perfect family event. The theme should be “ I beg you pardon, I never promised you a rose parade”.

We don't have any of the larger businesses like we used to have that built elaborate floats. But all of the small businesses pull a trailer with huckleberry brush nailed to the sides, with some original thought-up theme, and toss candy to the kids. It's simple but fulfilling.

Anonymous said...

It was very interesting for me to read the article. Thanx for it. I like such themes and everything that is connected to them. I would like to read a bit more on that blog soon.

Anonymous said...

I drive through Ruby Valley often so it is good to know of your Grama Ruby and her history. Thanks for sharing Kay and others.

Anonymous said...

I have some vintage 35mm slides of the G-ville rodeo parade, including the Shriners, logging trucks, etc., with Stockman Motors in the background circa 1962. I was standing in front of Higley's Jewelers across the street with my new camera. Wish I could figure out how to have them transferred onto media I could share without paying through the derriere.

Anonymous said...

I heard about Heider starting a 5-acre grass fire at the rodeo grounds bbq one year. Decades earlier, I recall the previous owner of the Union 76 being "apprehended" and thrown into a makeshift jail for lack of a beard during rodeo days. I was a bewildered 7-year-old at the time.

Anonymous said...

It is very interesting for me to read this blog. Thanx for it. I like such themes and anything connected to this matter. I definitely want to read a bit more on that blog soon.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Anon 11:32,

Any number of people would be willing to "pay through the derriere" to have those slides transfered to digital format for you. Including myself. It's easy and painless. Once you have them transfered you can send them to anybody. Slides are one of the best mediums to transfere.

If you want to remain anomymous you can email me personally.

Pamela said...

I love this thread! I moved here in 1968 11 years old. My father was a chp he worked with Bud, My family moved away in 1975 and I stayed. I remember so many of the stories told. The parades, we used to stay up all night making tissue flowers and sewing dresses for floats for chick's bar. My brother and I would grab our 22 rifles and walk just out side of Redway and target practice. Try walking any where with a rifle now!! The rodeo dances were fun and wild. Thank you for a graet blog site.

Ekovox said...

"Great game?? Was Hoopa ever competitive .... in anything?"

Au Contraire...Hoopa Basketball under coach Doug Oliveria taking it all the way to the state championships at Sacramento's Arco Arena.

Dear Anonymous, if you saw my post as ironic, then you read it correctly. If you saw my post as anything else, you have a bitter streak with my alma mater.

Each local high school has it's pluses and minuses...All I know is that we at Hoopa High, while feared before we even walked on to the playing field, we're just as fearful of the other area schools. Especially, The McKinleyville Panthers. Those people were not only nuts, they were crazy! Like the time someone through an M-80 explosive device out onto the basketball court mid-game. Crazy, I tell you, Crazy!

Ekovox said...

Sorry Ernie for defending my alma mater on your blog. The travel time between Miranda and Hoopa was a killer in those days. We had to take the day off from school just to make the trip on the team bus.

Does anyone remember riding the bus from Miranda to Hoopa to play sports?

Ernie Branscomb said...

Thank-you Ekovox.
I was hoping somebody would clear up a few Anon’s misconceptions. My eyes were snagging on Anon’s comments each time that I scanned past them, and they were making me feel uncomfortable. Thanks for diving in with the diplomacy!

ROSS SHERBURN said...

i'd like to see those slide pictures also,we still lived there up thru 1963.

that trek from miranda to hoopa is still no picnic!!!not like its I-5 all the way!!!

Ben said...

Spyrock... A couple of additions to the Asbill murder story. He and Ms. Maher were running the hotel. I always thought Asbill wrote Last of the West in prison but I have heard that he wrote it while living with his sister in Oakland after his prison stint.
Lyman Jewett knew Frank and told me he liked to talk tough and keep his hand on his gun. Lyman said he was a the butt of much hilarity among the ranchers. I guess he had a "drinking problem" but , if so, he had a lot of company back then. Also, Frank went to school while living with the Patton's out at Peanut. There are still plenty of Pattons out there and they are members of the Nor El Muk Wintu group at Hayfork. Working for tribal recognition.
Garberville has plenty of "outlaws" today but they do seem a lot better behaved. The animals are another story. I had a civet cat get in the house through the attic last night and it went off in the bathroom. Talk about a rude awakening! Spent some time fixing the hole today and I sure hope I get some sleep tonight.
Fols interested in local Indian culture will want to read "Medicine Trails" by Mavis McCovey and John Salter. The best book on North Coast Native medicine and spiritual life I have ever read. Buy it!

Ben said...

I meant "folks" not fols.

spyrock said...

thanks, ernie. however, an autopsy performed by dr carl t. wallace concluded that "death occurred from the effects of a fatal beating, specifically a severe concussion and lacerations of the brain caused by a severe blow on the top of the skull. also found were multiple bruises and contusions about the head, legs, and chest. addtionally, maude had received a puncture wound over her right ear. frank spent 8 years in prison for murder. i guess a woman's life wasn't worth much in those male dominated eras of american history. but still about 8 years more than an indians life was worth.
when frank took her to the doctor, he said that "she says that i beat her with a cane, but i didn't"
as far as being killed for cooking a bad meal, that is a bit far fetched. cooking is all most women did in those days and i don't remember ever having a poorly cooked meal from the women of that side of the family.

spyrock said...

thanks, ben
drinking does seem to be the reason why maude was murdered. it sounds like the pattons married into the indians somewhere. is peanut the name of that area? i've had an indian from round valley tell me that i looked just like someone he knew on the reservation. he really thought i was that person. so i've sort of suspected for some time that i have some indirect indian relatives up there.
i did buy the book medicine trails and i am reading it. great so far. i agree with what you say about it and so does dove.
thanks for recommending it.

Anonymous said...

Ross, I remember two kids that were on the wresling team the first year it started at SFHS. When they went home down towards Eel Rock they had a rubber boat stashed to cross the river to get home,,,, in the dark. I bet the ride to Hoopa was a piece of cake to them. I know that was a long trip but I would rather drive that now days, Garberville to Hoopa, Willow Creek, Weaverville and Redding than drive on I-5. I used to drive from Hayfork or Peanut to Garberville every weekend back when the East side of South Fork Mountain was still dirt and then through Mad River, Zenia and alderpoint and Garberville. I would still like that better than I-5. I am talking about North of Medford, OR. though. Dang, where did all those folks come from anyway?

Oregon

spyrock said...

ben,
i was reading medicine trails about her family and found out that belle starr was her great aunt. then she said that belle came to california to see her two sons who were living in merced. in the 70's between marriages, i had an affair with this girl who claimed to be the grand daughter of belle starr. i think she said she was part indian too. i remember really liking her but i can't remember why i didn't keep seeing her. small world isn't it.

Kay Lodahl said...

Thanks, Ernie, for the updates on the Rodeo Days. I thought the beard thing was fun. Had forgotten about that part.
So nice to hear someone remembers my Grama Ruby. I have such good memories there. Grampa taught me to fish under that little bridge and one time it took me a week but I caught a big sucker but it was so ugly, I had to take it up to Grampa Charlie to unhook it.. I wouldn't touch it! He laughed as he took it off the hook. I loved exploring along that stream...
Pam, do I know you?? Bud and Evie just moved a few months ago to be near the grandkids in Fortuna. I can't imagine living in the same house for overmost 50 years!! But the move was good for them.

janis in Scaramento said...

I'm not a Garberville-ite -- Found this blog googling Bud and Evie.

You may already know this -- but Evie passed away on Saturday in Fortuna. She was a wonderful lady and Bud must be heartbroken.

I don't have any details - they are cybor-friends of mine and I was lucky to meet them several times over the years.