Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Card's Rock Cafe Queen

It all started when Eric Stevens and Tom Young approached Carla Jones in 2006. The Corbett Booster Club was in need of a vibrant concession stand. Previously the Junior Class ran the stand making an average of $40/night at the high school sporting events. Carla Jones took on the challenge. Now, on a good night, the Cafe can bring in over $1,000! Recently "retired," the Cafe has FOUR volunteers to replace Carla. Back in 1996, Carla moved to Corbett with her two daughters (each adopted at birth) and her parents. A single parent working long hours for the Forest Service in Portland, Carla purchased a home on Stevens Road and her parents moved into the basement, creating an apartment. After two years, Carla wanted a little more space. A home with 15 acres on Lucas Road became available and she bought it, taking her folks with her once again. It was later that Carla found out her doctor, friend and neighbor, Dr. Greg Knopf had helped a previous owner remodel her home! Losing her first son at just a month old due to a heart defect, Carla poured her heart into raising her two daughters Jeannette and Catherine. Carla was at the school as often as possible to attend both of her daughter's sporting events, and these are some of her fondest Corbett memories. Diagnosed with cancer this year in April, she is happy to report that she is currently cancer free as of this month! Retired  from the Cafe, many years in the Navy and Forest Service, Carla now has more free time to enjoy her only grand child, Kaiden who is just over 2 years old. Loving her views of both Mt. Hood and Jefferson from her bedroom, Carla especially loves her over sized master bathroom and over sized bathtub. Although the home and property require a great deal of effort to keep up, she is not ready to leave her view or master bath!

Corbett's View Point Inn: Groupon!

Corbett's View Point Inn: HALF OFF!!

The View Point Inn was originally built as a private home by Lorens Lund in 1925. There were many owners over the next few decades. The creation of both the Historic Columbia River Highway and then Interstate 84 gave the Inn great opportunity with the many traveling families. The Inn became a hot spot on the map! It is currently owned by Angelo Simione and Geoff Thompson who are both devoted to the preservation and restoration of their property.

Corbett Turns Out Three More Eagle Scouts!

Gresham Outlook Corbett Eagle Scouts.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Keeper of the Menucha Keys

Not many know as much about Menucha Retreat and Conference Center in Corbett as Ernie Yoder. Ernie has been the maintenance person of the entire grounds and buildings since 1979! Did you know the home used to be the summer home of Julius Meier, co founder of the Meier and Frank department stores? The land was purchased by Meier in 1914 and a European hunting lodge was built on the grounds. In 1926 it was torn down and by 1927 the present Menucha was built. The Presbyterian Church Assoc. of Portland purchased the home and property in 1950 and turned it into the current retreat and conference center. The secret "speakeasy" in the basement is quite the site as the home was built during the Prohibition. In 2011, Menucha has plans to turn the secret bar into a not-so-secret espresso bar for guests! Ernie and his family started in a 400 sq. ft. home called the "Hide Away" on the property in 1979 and later moved into a basement apartment with the administrator living upstairs. In 1987, Judy and Gordon Remsburg sold their 1970's home on the back exit of Menucha to Menucha. It was then Ernie, Jeri and their two kids moved into the "new" staff housing and have been there ever since! Ernie was active as a School Board Member in 1990-1994 and said that it was this Board that passed the levy for a new grade school to be built! Today wife Jeri spends countless hours as a volunteer at the Corbett Grange, helping feed our community. Ernie says he has loved living in Corbett, enjoying the gorgeous views from his home and the wonderful people. He thankfully has no plans on taking off anytime soon!

Home on Corbett Hill Road once $849K now $379K!! Short Sale

This custom built home on just over an acre has incredible Gorge views and boasts a 3 car garage, 3 bedrooms, 2.1 baths, a living room, family room and bonus room. Owner is now upside down and MUST sell asap. Please call me (#971-221-9655) if you know anyone that may be interested in being in the Corbett School District! This home has been professionally cleaned and is in wonderful condition. Several outdoor decks, fenced backyard, hot tub and two fireplaces. Home is 3,108 sq. ft. and has some of the best views Corbett offers!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Did you know #4 Corbett Elevations

Top of Larch Mountain   4055 ft.

Larch Mountain Gate      2589 ft.

Women's Forum               865 ft.

Grange Hall                      781 ft.

Crown Point                     744 ft.

Corbett High School         668 ft.

Springdale Tavern            302 ft.

Big Bear's Market             265 ft.

Best Days of her Life

Lillian West tells me she is currently living out some of the best days of her life. Currently married to Gerald and living 4 miles up Larch Mountain on 40 acres, Lillian is at peace. Many, many years ago Lillian met and married a Marine. Together they had 6 children, losing a daughter at age 2. Lillian speaks slowly as she tells me of the horrible abuse she endured for years. The man has passed, and Lillian recounted for me the day she told him to leave and never come back again. Yes, rough times that has made her appreciate the life she has today. Lillian met Gerald five years after divorcing her husband and four years after meeting, she and Gerald married. Together they have 11 children, 13 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren! Lillian just loves to have everyone visit, but of course, not all at once! The home they currently live in was half finished in 1985 when they married, but now is fully finished and even has a sawmill out back. Gerald both started and finished the home and built the sawmill as well. He barters with folks to cut their lumber and trades services with them. Lillian and Gerald love to dance at the Gresham Senior Center as well as volunteer together at the Corbett Grange. Lillian has been a part of the Corbett Gardening Club for 25 years, the same length of time she has been a member of Corbett Community Church. Her favorite thing about living in Corbett is the people. She laughs when she tells me never to speak poorly of anyone because they are probably related in some way to the person you are talking to!

The Youngest of Five

At the tender age of 2 and the youngest of five children, Dean Grey moved with his family to Corbett. After growing up in the area, Dean graduated from Corbett High and then moved to Canby with his parents when he was 18. Dean may have moved, but his heart was still back in Corbett with Vonny, a gal he had met in 5th grade and dated off and on through his high school years. Attending Clackamas Community College, Dean continued to see Vonny and they married in 1988. Married life started by living with Dean's folks. After 6 months, Vonny said "It's time" and the newlyweds purchased their first home for $18K in Portland, putting down just $1800.00! After 8 years and two moves, the Grey's made their way back to Corbett. They purchased bare land and put a manufactured home on it. In the midst of all the moving, three children were born. Alex is now a senior at Williamette Univ., Kyle is a freshman at Univ. of Oregon and Hannah is 14 and at Corbett. Dean is now joining his boys with college classes. Having owned a video store for years with Vonny and also working construction off and on with his brother Dave, Dean is at Mount Hood C.C. going for his Associate's degree in Business Administration. Dean is looking for a career in accounting and/or management after graduating in June 2011. Looking back on fond Corbett memories, Dean was the high school district champion as a wrestler his his freshman year. When his boys came along, Dean gave back by coaching baseball for Alex K-8 and Kyle in soccer K-2. Dean says he has fond memories as a child of DEEP snow and harsh winters in Corbett. He is a bit disappointed that his own kids have not been able to experience the same. Regardless, he has no major plans of moving anytime soon!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What is the Corbett "Can Do" attitude?

It all started at the Jantzen Knitting Mill more than 45 years ago. Jan Aho and her husband Dave fell in love. After getting married, just 9 months later, Indepak was born. No, not their first child. Indepak is the name of the business they created after Dave had worked on the machine at Jantzen that created the bra cups for the women's swim suits. The machine gave him an idea, and the rest is history. Today the plastic packaging company is still going strong as is Dave and Jan! Beginning their family, the Aho's decided to sell their Gresham home in 1980 and move to the country. The home sold sooner than expected, so they were without a home or one to move to! A fellow church friend from Corbett, Annie Benfield Zeek invited the young family to move in with her. Annie was 96 years old at the time and shared numerous Corbett stories with the Aho's. Jan and Dave purchased 20 acres of bare land and began to build. Unfortunately, Annie had a stroke and had to move out of her home. The Aho's then moved into a 21 foot travel trailer on their new Corbett property with all FOUR sons. In the midst of all that, the builder had not payed any of their subs and walked out on the Aho's while the home was barely started! Jan told me she had the Corbett "CAN DO" attitude during those very challenging years. They moved into their basement that was "just a shell" and burned scraps of wood from the property to say warm while they used the travel trailer kitchen to cook. The family home is now finished and even remodeled! A favorite spot in their home is the overly large kitchen table that seats most all of her extended family that now includes 6 grand kids. Family meals have always and continue to be of utmost importance for Jan. Raising her boys in the Corbett school system, Jan was extremely involved as a volunteer throughout the years. Now her son Jeff is on the Corbett School Board, giving back like his mom did all those years. Jan says she most appreciates the willingness of Corbett folks to get involved and HELP each other out in times of need. Jan recalled the Bridal Veil fire from over 20 years ago and told me how everyone banded together for the greatest good of taking care of their neighbor. THAT is why her and Dave are firmly planted with no plans to try and find greener pastures!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Did You Know #3 Corbett Post Office

The Corbett Post Office is located just east of the Corbett schools down the Scenic Highway. Our post office was established Dec. 20, 1895. Happy 115th Birthday!! The first location of the Corbett Post Office was on Northway Road near the Springdale School. The first Postmaster was William H.H. Reed. The current Postmaster is Linda Novak. Although mail is delivered six days a week, the post office is only open for business Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. The post office closes each day at 11:30 am for a one hour lunch. The small building is a great place to see and greet fellow community members as post office boxes are available for rent and the office offers all the services of post offices in town.

Teaching Our Youth

Ever heard of Dayville, Oregon? Most haven't. It is a small (less than 200!) town where Lisa Kelly grew up. Meeting Adali, her husband of 26 years on a blind date, Lisa wanted to one day raise her own family in a small community as well. Living in Troutdale for the first five years of marriage, Lisa felt it was not rural or small enough, so the search for a home in Corbett began. Not able to find a home to meet their needs, Adali and Lisa purchased almost 20 acres of bare land instead. Living in a "cozy" trailer before their current home was ready, they eventually raised three daughters and Lisa has two step-daughters. Lisa is now the grandmother of seven! Being active has kept her young and healthy. Lisa was a Corbett 4-H leader for years and her family has had cows, turkeys, guinea pigs, sheep, goats, cats and dogs. In addition to raising her family, Lisa also was an educational assistant at the Corbett schools for several years. Being well liked and appreciated by many, students and teachers encouraged her to pursue her own education to become a teacher. After working hard, Lisa is now a licensed Charter School teacher at Corbett with a master's degree! Lisa appreciates living in Corbett with the privacy it offers as well as the beautiful views she has from her home. With all her daughters grown and out of the house, she greatly enjoys having them visit. A favorite memory is when the snow caused power to go out for a week, several years back. Those were the days before having a generator and yet she remembers it as being a wonderful adventure!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

From Corbett to Hawaii

As a young six year old, Scott and his family made the move from Troutdale to Corbett. His mom saw an ad in the Gresham Outlook and thought the home and property sounded promising. Upon visiting, it was a different story! The "fabulous acreage, home and barn" needed a GREAT deal of LOVE. Scott's dad, Barry had been in construction for many years and was quite handy, so decided to take on the "challenge." Scott and his 4 year old brother Spencer were happy to have a larger home and plenty of space to run around. Scott recalls that one of his happiest memories was having his animals that he would not have been able to keep in the city or suburbs. The pasture has always had goats and sheep as well as a cow. Add to that a few rabbits, cats and dogs. Growing up in the small school district, Scott says he greatly appreciates the deep friendships he has built over the years with classmates that he played music and sports with as well as Boy Scouts and church. Although he is now a Junior at the Univ. of Hawaii, he still looks forward to coming home on breaks to reconnect with friends. Double majoring in both International Business and Marketing with a minor in Speech in the Honors Program, Scott says Corbett prepared him for the challenging course work. It was teachers as well as coaches who encouraged and made an impact on Scott. Mr. Derek Jacques was the one who helped guide Scott to the Univ. his senior year at Corbett. Scott says he loves the sunshine of Hawaii but loves the incredible scenery and different seasons of Corbett. Upon graduation, Scott is looking to stay on the west coast, but is willing to take a good paying job wherever possible as he says he is pretty tired of being a cash strapped college kid!

FREE Corbett Phone # Magnets

What are the most often called phone numbers for the Corbett area? I polled numerous folks in the community and the above list is what they came up with for me. If you are interested in having one of these handy magnets for YOUR fridge, you can pick one up at NO cost at Big Bear's Market or the Grange. I also have plenty in my car when you see me out and about! Pounder Oil, Big Bear's Market, the Grange and Perfect Climate all made a donation to help me purchase 600 of these high quality and attractive magnets. We currently have about 150 still left. Get yours today!

Our next Rocky?

Rocky Graziano is Corbett's favorite Multnomah County deputy sheriff. When he retires, we may have just the replacement. Christian Holden graduated from Corbett High last year and is already on his way to having a career in law. Currently attending Mt. Hood Community College, Christian wants to one day attend ITT Tech in Portland to study criminal justice. Currently, Christian is a part of the Portland Cadet Police Program as well as a member of the Corbett Fire Dept. as a brand new volunteer firefighter. Add to that working at the Fairview Target store! Knowing his busy, busy schedule, I felt privileged to get an interview with this young man. Moving to Corbett as a youngster back in 2000, Christian's parent's had a dream of one day owning land and building their dream home for their family of five. Purchasing land with a manufactured home, his parents were able to build their dream home in 2006 where they currently reside. Several years ago, locals Jim Dittemore and Cheryl Lawwill invited Christian to join their riding club. These adults have had a profound impact on his life, and helped foster his love of horses and riding. Currently Christian is giving back by helping coach the Corbett High Equestrian Team. Jim passed away suddenly in 2004 and Christian will be forever grateful for the impact he made on his life. Cheryl currently lets Christian ride her horses as Christian is currently without a horse of his own since he had to sell his in order to cover school expenses. Christian said that he is not embarrassed to say he never wants to leave Corbett and plans to make this his lifelong home. With a heart as big and generous as his, we are ALL blessed to hear that he will not be going anywhere.

Did you Know #2 Columbia Grange #267

The main mission of the Grange is to help others who need it. It was originally established in 1893 to help educate and lobby for family farms. Members of our community volunteer to care for the Grange to keep it going for the future. Our current Grange provides for the community with student scholarships at Corbett High School, a food distribution program for community members, a senior lunch program and a meeting hall for the Boy Scouts Troop 272 and our local 4-H group. The Grange also sponsors free dances once a month on Friday evenings, holiday bazaars, and many other events such as the 8th grade graduation dance. The Grange's impact within the community branches throughout, connecting the people because of the goal to help those in need and draw our community closer. There is a Grange Board and membership is available for $35 per year. The upstairs hall is also for rent and has been used for weddings, church meetings and family reunions. One may look at our local Grange Hall as a great representation of just who we are as a community.

From Corbett to Vogue??

Born in 1989 and living here since, Ashleigh Westmoreland has attended Corbett schools K-12. Now a senior at the Univ. of Oregon, Ashleigh has big dreams for her future. Currently a writer for "Ethos" magazine on campus, she was recently promoted from copy editor to journalist. Not only is Ashleigh a gifted writer, but is interested in fashion as well. Combine the two and that explains the big dream of one day living in a major city such as L.A. or New York and writing fashion articles and doing layout and design for Vogue magazine. In talking with Ashleigh, it is apparent she has a very creative spirit. In her youth, this may have been heavily nurtured by her involvement with Corbett Children's Theatre. Recalling many happy memories of her childhood, one that stands out is when her older brother Josh and friend Tim Kurkinen played war games on the acreage next door and Ashleigh would always tag along. The big spaces and small community have always been appealing, and the fact when she has jogged over they ears and people actually wave back describes the small community feel she still appreciates. Oddly enough, Ashleigh actually LOVES the strong and chilly east wind that blows through Corbett many months of the year! Another another favorite about the area is the July 4th gathering of everyone. It is the strong patriotic spirit that is so appealing, as Ashleigh believes one does not always appreciate this wonderful country that we are privileged to live in. When asked about a special place or item on her family's home and property, I was told it was the giant willow tree in the yard.  The rope swing is gone and the tree is half dead, but the tree is full of character and represents many, many happy memories fore Ashleigh. A happy childhood can help launch anyone to success- even if it is as far away as New York!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Family Ties

Laken Alexjhandrea Higee is a unique name, and Laken is a unique young woman. Creative, imaginative and kind, Laken's first name actually came from an actor from the soap opera, "Days of our Lives." Maybe it was the name that set her destiny. Laken is currently studying to be an actor herself! Graduating from Corbett High just last year, Laken is currently studying at Mount Hood Community College and is looking for any local plays she can be a part of. I was able to talk with Laken just after her performance in the "Nutcracker" at the Troutdale House. Acting as both the Sugar Plum Fairy and the mother, Laken has 7 CCT plays under her belt already. Moving to Corbett from Gresham at age 10, Laken's parents and sister moved in with relatives for two years before purchasing their own home in the community. Currently living with her family, she told me that some of her best Corbett memories were the summer nights. "Playing in the backyard pool, eating from our huge garden, hanging out with friends, having a BBQ, and just relaxing!" In 2006, Laken's cousin, Paige Struckman came to live with them until February of 2010. Laken recalls that the time with Paige in their home really brought their entire family closer in many ways. Paige is currently attending Mt. Hood as well as Laken's mom, Heather. After finishing up at Mt. Hood, Laken has dreams of heading south. Southern Oregon that is, to attend school and be in Ashland where all the Shakespearean plays take place. Laken tells me that finding CCT was the best thing that ever happened to her while living in Corbett. Who could ever thank Susan Scott, Katherine Zieman, Angel Williams and others enough? THIS is what Corbett is ALL about.... investing in the lives of others around us.

Is there a doctor in the house??

Dr. Katherine Zieman starring in the "Nutcracker"
Dr. Katherine Zieman arrived at her Corbett house by accident...or was it fate?! Before getting married, she and David lived in Portland and were headed to the Gorge one day for a hike. They never made it. Seeing an "Open House" sign on the way, they stopped in to take a look. Driving down the driveway, Katherine said she was reminded of her grandmother's farm in upstate New York. Knowing that one day she and David had wanted to purchase a farm to raise animals and crops, they got out and walked the property for a long time, making that their hike of the day! The property was spectacular with it's fruit trees, timber, barn and setting. The home itself was not a "peach." Well, there was the pine paneling that caught Katherine's eye, but that was about it! Turns out that the Realtor who was selling the home also offered to sell their Portland home so that the move could be made. In the midst of the process, Katherine and David would visit "their" property on a regular basis. On one memorable visit to the farm, David proposed to Katherine! In May 1995 they moved into Corbett and in Sept. they were married on the property! After settling in, daughter Clara was adopted from China at 8 months of age and then Leila was adopted locally at birth. Now a family that was active and busy, Katherine continued working as a naturopathic family doctor and midwife as well as teaching at the Naturopathic Medical School in Portland. Add to that, living the dream of having a garden of healthy produce and tending to their lambs, turkeys, pigs and chickens! Not one to sit still, Katherine has used her background as a New York professional actor, mime and dancer to help others in our community. Back in 2000 when daughter Clara was 4.5 years old, Katherine volunteered for the CCT production of "The Sound of Music" as a choreographer. The last ten years since then, she has devoted countless hours to the children of Corbett who love to act and perform on stage. Favorite thing about her home? Running out the door over the years for "alerts." Full moon alert. Deer alert. Snowflake alert. Sunset alert. I am thankful we have been "alerted" that Katherine IS "in the house" and always ready to help when needed most!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Corbett High's Gate Keeper

"That will be $5 unless you are a Corbett Booster!" Pat Lucas has been the faithful gate keeper at nearly all of the Corbett High School sporting events. Always ready with a smile and a kind word, rain or shine, Pat is there to collect the money for the Corbett sports programs. Pat's grandparents, Louie and Clara (Kerslake) Baker purchased nearly 40 acres in Aims after WWI. The going price at the time? $11 an acre!! The Baker's went on to have and raise four children of their own as well as foster kids over the years in Aims. Pat's parents, Jim and Ardis (Mershon) Baker had Pat in 1947 and her sister Linda in 1951. Pat remembers that after WWII all the women in her extended family milked the cows while also raising the kids and the men were all loggers. Pat married Rick Lucas after they met at Eastern Oregon College. Rick decided to join the Army rather than be drafted, and went to Fort Lewis for basic training. Landing in Germany, Pat and Rick had sons Jeff in 1971 and Jaimie in 1973 while in Stuttgart. Moving back to Aims in 1976, Pat and Rick divorced in 1987. Pat has since moved into the home of her parents where she grew up, and son Jaimie is living in his childhood home, just next door! Sister Linda lives at the end of the road. Jeff  married and was in the Navy Seals 17 years after graduating from Corbett High as a stand out athlete. Pat spent spring break in Florida at Disneyworld with Jeff, wife Rhonda and grandson Seth just over five years ago. Pat remembers that week fondly. Just after arriving back home to Aims, Pat found out Jeff was being shipped out to Afghanistan. On June 28th at 5 am Pat received a call from Rhonda. There had been a terrible accident and Jeff had been killed, fighting for our country. Today we have a beautiful stadium at the high school to honor the amazing son that Pat raised. Today she finds comfort living near Jaimie who is a Hoodland paramedic and firefighter and also appreciates living in her "house of treasures." Pat says she is often finding "treasures" of her youth in storage and  in closets such as a doll she received at age 9. Living a full life, Pat is happy to be amongst both blood and community family here in Corbett.

Swapping Houses with Grammy

When AJ Pomante was just a youngster, he asked to be called AJ, not his given name of Adam. He laughs as he tells how he thought his birth name was "Ad-dumb" and he did NOT like that! At just four years of age, AJ's folks, Kathy and Jeff felt that they needed a little more space than their current home in Gresham offered. So! they asked Jeff's mom if she would consider swapping houses with them. Grammy Pomante was all well with the idea since her husband had passed and she would do well in a smaller home. The "deal" was done, and AJ and his family transplanted out to Stevens Road in Corbett and have been there about 15 years! Yes, Grammy is still in her Gresham home as well. AJ tells me that growing up in Corbett has been the best ever because he has felt "free." He said he feels that the open space and little traffic is relaxing and free of stress. Playing sports his entire youth, AJ was a standout athlete at Corbett High, graduating last spring. He now helps give back by having helped coach this year's football team and also supporting his younger friend's by attending most all of their games at the school. Recently AJ got a job at Providence Hospital with the help of Corbett local, Brian Davis. AJ is hoping to one day work as a x-ray technician at the hospital, but right now is just glad to have his foot "in the door." Also involved at the Corbett Church with the youth group, AJ spoke of how his relationship with his Creator has made a huge impact on his life. AJ has two sisters, Jenni and Crystal. Crystal passed away at age 11 as the result of a car accident that impacted the family as well as our community. There is currently a scholarship in Crystal's name as well as a video, "No need for Speed" created as a result of her accident. While interviewing AJ, several local students stopped to say "hello" to him. It is obvious that he is well liked in our community, and after talking with him for several minutes, it was obvious to me just why. Corbett raises great kids!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Corbett Real Estate

When you think of Corbett Real Estate, think of the Corbett Connector.

SECOND ones down the aisle!

Corbett Community Church on Mershon Road was built in 1987. James Hocking told me he and wife Sharon Vaughan were the SECOND ones to walk the aisle of the new building. Moving to Corbett from Rockwood in 1968, James was a young 7 year old. His only sibling, a sister 16 years older, was already married when the family made the move to the country. Their first home on Hurlburt was a rental while their new home on Gordon Creek Road was being built. James smiled broadly as he recalled his youth in Corbett. His daughters laughed as they encouraged him to tell me all about his escapades as a "rascal."  James would only say that he loved sneaking out of the house at night to ride his motorcycle with "friends." Upon graduating from Corbett High, James said he went to Mt. Hood Community College for 2 weeks and realized it was not going to pan out. He worked a short while at the Corbett schools doing maintainence before bumping over to Menucha to do groundskeeping. This makes perfect sense to me now because I often run past his home and see him keeping his acreage looking manicured. (I didn't even think that was possible in Corbett!) Currently James and Sharon live on Loudon Road with their three daughters. Their home was built  in 1991 by Sharon's father before he passed. It was recently remodeled and is spectacular with its views and decorating/design by Sharon, an interior designer. Both are very involved with their local church, and also contribute a great deal of time to school activities that their daughters have been involved with over the years. Sharon is currently the President of CHAMPS at the High School. James says that the July 4th event is the best gathering Corbett has, and he really enjoys seeing everyone that he may not see at any other event. When asked if he would ever leave the area, "Maybe. I want somewhere a little warmer."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Did You Know #1

Did you know that 2011 marks the 25th anniversary of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act? What is this? Go to to find out! There will be celebratory events, contests and legacy projects to engage in. YES, I did take this photo. :) Can you believe we get to call this HOME?!

Coffee? What about tea?!

For nearly three years now, the women of Corbett, young and old, have been gathering for tea. Once a month, Polly Malby invites the local women to meet for a time of sharing, laughter, learning and ...tea! It all started when Polly retired after 18 years, working as a midwife and in faculty practice on "Pill Hill" which is also known as OHSU. Greg and Polly Malby moved to Corbett back in 1998. Greg had once again been volunteering as a cook at Camp Angelos, located at the end of Stevens Road. He was taking a break from his "HIGH stress" (according to Polly) career of selling real estate and working construction. Her prayer for Greg was to find meaningful work that he enjoyed. During his week of volunteering at the camp, Polly received a call from Greg. He said that the camp was looking to hire a facility manager/ranger. The job would include a home, so they could move  from their spacious home in Milwaukie to the "cabin" at the camp. A little stunned at first, Polly remembered her prayer and tried to have a positive attitude about moving to a cabin in the country! Her fears of "being alone in the woods" quickly dissolved when she came to look things over and ended up rescuing 15 teenagers on the Sandy River from two overturned rafts. Polly laughs now that her and Greg are "never lonely" living on the Sandy.  MANY folks have needed their assistance over the years! Having raised four daughters over the years, it was the youngest who actually got the opportunity to live at the camp and graduate from Corbett High. Three of the four daughters have been married at the camp, and recently one grandson was actually born there! Polly has come to love living out of the wind and having the opportunity to meet so many folks that come to experience and use the facility. The camp was built from the generosity of a man named "Doc" Angelos and is currently owned by a subsidiary of the Greek Orthodox Church. So, getting back to the Corbett Women's Tea... Polly retired 3 years ago and wanted to get to know the community women a little better. Her idea of having a gathering of women grew into over 90 local women now being on the mailing list! One of her favorite Corbett memories is the year Greg gave Big Bear some "mole jerky" at the July 4th gathering! Was it real? Well, REALly funny is all. It was chili flavored dried mango, dipped in chocolate. Yum?

Need a place to sleep?

Company coming for the holidays and you have no extra spot for them to rest their weary heads? Send them up the road. Literally. Brickhaven Bed and Breakfast in Corbett offers one of the best views we have, overlooking the Columbia River. Locals Phyllis and Ed Thiemann own the unique and charming 5,000 sq. ft. home that boasts two guest rooms as well as an apartment. One can stay no longer than 14 days in the guest rooms, but can camp out for months or longer in the apartment suite. The private living quarters for Phyllis and Ed allow for them to have guests in their home all year long while maintaining a normal routine. The home was purchased in 1996 and took a year to "touch up" before opening as a B&B. There are many wonderful stories to tell about the place as well as fabulous features, such as the DRAGON bathtub! Ed has owned an auto service center for 43 years on 24th and Powell, while Phyllis has sold real estate, modeled, sold playground equipment, and even drove a UPS truck! Currently she is running the B&B while also pursuing her love of singing with her sister Carnetta and brother in law, Sonny. The "Timeless Trilogy" group have been together for many years and have donated their talents to numerous Corbett events such as July 4th, Veteran's Breakfast, and the Santa Breakfast to name a few. "We actually do hire ourselves out" laughs Phyllis, "but we also just love supporting our community!" Asked what she loves most about her home, she told me it was the fact her home and business are her ministry. Many, many folks have come from all over the world and she has been able to offer them a place to gather their thoughts, rest and talk with her and Ed while enjoying God's beauty. What a beautiful gift to be able to share with someone.

Heating Up and Cooling Down Corbett Homes

Many of the homes in Corbett are thankful to have Sherri and her husband Lonny around. The owners of Perfect Climate Heating and Cooling are here to help us enjoy our investment to the best degree (ha ha) possible! Did you know they also do plumbing?? The local business that is located in Springdale has an interesting background story. After dissolving the partnership of another heating and cooling business in 1996, Sherri and Lonny started up Perfect Climate out in Oregon City. By 1998, they were Corbett folk. Sherri said they loved the "Small community, big feel" Corbett had to offer. Purchasing the home that Dale Burkholder grew up in on Salzman Road, they fully remodeled it while running their business out of the shop on the property. After the business grew, they transplanted to Gresham. It took only a short time for them to realize that was not where they wanted to be. Heading back to Corbett, they purchased 35 acres on Lucas Road. Purchasing additional land and a house across the road from their farm, they built their beautiful new shop. When the wind storm two years ago crushed the home on the shop's property, they rebuilt the replacement home on the back acreage. Now the smaller, newer home beckons them to sell off the 4800 sq. ft. home and 35 acres they currently reside in while running the business. Sherri says the farm and Perfect Climate are both full time jobs and she finds it hard to balance both, "especially when the cows get out!" Both of the Hutchison kids attend Corbett, but daughter Kylie also attends CAL in Gresham to study nursing. Sherri tells me that she so appreciates that the community has accepted their family and business. She enjoys "giving back" by being involved as the Treasurer on the July 4th Board. Hearing her talk about Corbett, I don't think we need to worry about finding a new plumber anytime soon!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Next month makes 40 years

Marilyn and Herb Sorensen will celebrate 40 years of "Corbett living" next month. When Herb was relocated to Portland from Colorado, there were three young kids and a 6 week old baby to bring along. The Sorensen's rented a farmhouse on Loudon Road (that I sold last month!) and went on to have a fifth child. Herb was a chemist and Marilyn not only raised the babies but helped out Herb as well when he decided to go "solo" and start his own business. The chicken coop (still there) on the Loudon property served as his lab! When employees were hired, they moved the business into the basement of the home, then the barn. The next move was to Pepper Mountain, just two miles down Brower Road. Living in a travel trailer (all seven)before Herb built their home, Marilyn recalls many fun memories. Playing in the snow, sledding and neighbors taking care of each other when the weather snowed them in. They also hiked often on Larch Mountain while raising the five kids. All of the Sorensen children were active, but Marilyn recalls son James as being extremely "gung ho" for anything Corbett. Jeff Lucas was the best friend of James, and it was James and Randy Lee that had the dream of the Corbett stadium to be built in Jeff's honor after he was killed fighting for our country. Just this year on Sept. 4th, the stadium was dedicated. Since 1994 Marilyn and Herb have lived on Northway Road in a home they have grown to love, with its barn, creek and beautiful acreage. For nearly twenty years Marilyn has been a part of a women's bible study that meets in her living room each week. Over the years the home has been remodeled and made a place where all the grand kids gather and create memories. Marilyn has been the "strength behind the scenes" as Herb and the kids have lived active, busy lives, leaving many permanent marks on our community that will be appreciated for years to come.

Founding families name Corbett roads

Ashley and her husband are both a part of Corbett royalty. I quickly learned that upon moving here, people were not impressed by your car, house or paycheck. It was ALL about the NAME. If you have a road named after your family, you are "big stuff" out here. Ashley is actually DOUBLE "big stuff" because she was born into the Kerslake family and married into the Mershon family. I haven't seen her wear any royal robe, but who knows?! Ashley grew up in Corbett, moving in with her grandparents, Rich and Dorthy when she turned 13. An only child, Ashley tells me she has been on a horse as far back as she can remember. Mom Susan still rides with Ashley, and now Ashley's 2 year old daughter Karrington has a pony of her own that she rides. Only one year has Ashley not riden a horse in the July 4th Corbett parade, that was the year she was the Molalla Buckaroo Rodeo Princess, riding in their parade. Married to Travis, they are currently living in a home that was built in 1939 by Travis' great grandfather. The wooden floors are original, straight from the Bridal Veil Dance Hall. Transportation of the wood was atop great grandad's Cadillac, down the Scenic Highway! The home has been bought and sold many times over the years, and just happened to land back into the lap of Travis and Ashley. Just two weeks ago, a new family member was brought home to join the Mershon family, baby Lane. Wonder if he knows he is already considered Corbett royalty?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Grange Groceries

His brother sold groceries to the community for years before retiring from Big Bear's Market. Arnold Dufresne is dealing groceries in a different way. When Arnold and Joan Dufresne's son and daughter had grown, they were looking to relocate from the Parkrose area of Portland. Both loved riding horses, and wanted to be near brother "Big Bear" Phil and his wife, Judy. Moving to Corbett in 1989, both Arnold and Joan became involved with helping out at the Grange Hall in Corbett. Al Kimbley was running a food program for the community and was working with volunteers to help feed families in the area. After Al passed, Arnold decided to take on the leadership of the "Helping Hands" program. The rest is history. In 2010 alone, the Grange program has literally served hundreds of Corbett families. The fresh produce, dairy, meat and breads are helping many to put nutritious meals on their tables. Son Mike passed in 2008 and Joan passed this year. Arnold said that his favorite part of Corbett is the "family" that has stood by his side and been a friend and support throughout his difficult times. He said he gets a kick out of how many folks "hang out" at the Grange. Having been in the Navy and traveled all over in his early years, Arnold says that it is not money or things that bring him peace and joy, but rather deep friendships and being at his home with the horses he and Joan spent so many years riding all over the NW.

Friday, December 10, 2010

An Open Door for the Community.

Ilicumna, Alaska. Rural, beautiful and peaceful. This is the land our superintendent came from and it looks like he landed in the same type of location, just a different zip code! Randy Trani was born in Colorado, but as a toddler moved to Alaska with his family, living there until he departed for college in Bellingham, WA. While working on his degree, Randy met and fell in love with Diane. Today they are the parents of both Zach 12, and Aurora, 9. Having a passion for education, teaching and kids, Randy went on to get a Master's degree in Education Administration and just got his doctorate last year in Education. After landing in Sherwood, Or. with Diane and the kids, Randy got a call from his fellow Alaskan friend, Bob Dunton. There was going to be an opening at the Corbett High School/Middle School for a principle. Randy applied and interviewed for the position, and the rest is history! After commuting literally hours each week from Sherwood to Corbett, Randy and Diane knew they wanted their kids to have a great Corbett education, and they also wanted to be a part of the great community that Randy had come to fall in love with. After looking at numerous homes over several months, I had an epiphany. My Corbett pastor had built a beautiful home a few years earlier on his very private acreage and someday wanted to relocate and build on a different piece of land his family owned. I approached my pastor, and the next thing I knew, the Mueller's were moving out and the Trani's were moving in! Randy said the seclusion and beauty of the land are spectacular and it has been a great fit for his family. Randy has already built a half mile road with his tractor around the backside of his land, and the goal is to eventually build a road around the entire perimeter! Randy's favorite activities in Corbett include the basketball and volleyball games up at the schools. He said that the kids have become like his own, and he loves graduation each year because he is seeing "his kids" close one chapter and look forward to opening yet another.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

All because the convent wasn't appealing enough!

The year was 1962. Charles James had grown up in Corbett and graduated from Corbett High. Charles spent his high school years working for "Uncle Bob" Scott at the Springdale gas station that his uncle owned. Along the way, Charles met a beautiful young gal named Margaret Pike at a dance. It had been Margaret's intent to go into a convent upon graduation, but after meeting Charles, there was no turning back! Married and happy, the young couple traveled all over the country for work. Son Brian was born in 1966. Not having lived in Corbett prior to 1999, Brian wanted to be with extended family. At age 33, Brian and wife Laurie moved to Corbett with their own children. Over the years there has been a total of four foster kids (all graduated from Corbett High), three adopted children (all are blood relatives through Laurie's father) and three biological children. A BUSY home indeed! Brian has served one year on the Budget Committee for Corbett Schools and has also served a total of eight years on the School Board. Brian has also served four years as Committee Chair for local Boy Scouts Troop #272, and is currently the VP of the Corbett Grange. The favorite Corbett activity for Brian is the sporting events that take place up at the schools. With his kids involved in many of the team sports, Brian is loving the new stadium and all that it adds to our community. There is also great pride in the fact it was his Oregon Air National Guard Civil Engineers that had a huge hand in building the stadium. Brian has been an employee of the Guard for 21 years. Being such a service oriented person, it is no surprise that Brian loves the fact there are so many others in the community that share his passion for giving back. He said it is awesome for folks to come together despite differences for the good of the matter. When asked for a favorite memory, he mentioned the first time he and family attended the July 4th celebration. Brian said his whole family was blown away at the size and quality of the entire day's events. The entire James family are now regular attenders of the event, and we are thankful to call them "locals."

The current KING of Corbett

A king on his throne!
During a very cold fall evening in Corbett a few weeks back, a new king was named. Jack Collin Tymoshuk was named Corbett High School's homecoming king. On Dec. 2, 1992 Jack was born into a family that was already living just across the road from Big Bear's Market. Still living in the same home 18 years later, Jack recounted for me his love of growing up in the rural setting of Corbett. Having mud fights down by the creek with his brother Oliver as well as getting the backyard hill wet and then sliding down a newly muddy hill are highlights of his youth. Chickens, pigs, sheep, ducks, rabbits, cats and dogs were all a part of the Tymoshuk family as his parents raised two sons and two daughters. Jack's mom Chris had the opportunity to have her art studio just down the road at the Springdale Community Center for several years. Jack loved and appreciated his parent's involvement over the years in all his sports activities that included baseball, basketball and soccer. He has also really appreciated the many adults in the community who have been so open and friendly, sharing lots of Corbett history with him over the years. Neighbor Steve Kenney once sat down for a 15 min. interview for Jack's 3rd grade project. Jack laughed as he told me he ended up talking to him for 3 hours!! Next fall with plans to attend the Univ. of Portland and become a nurse, Jack will get to put to use his friendly personality and strong sense of caring that he has for others. In the future, we all hope Jack has plans to stay close enough to enjoy his favorite Corbett activity, the yearly Christmas tree lighting.