Thursday, March 31, 2011

Gratefulness Shown By Participation

Before the age of four, Reed Mueller lived in Moscow, Idaho. It is in Corbett, Oregon that he spent the rest of his childhood years. His family lived on Trout Creek Rd. where he spent many, many hours exploring and playing in the woods and fishing in the streams. Today Reed is married to his college sweetheart and is raising his own family in a heavily wooded area on Larch Mtn. to enjoy the same cedar, hemlock, and doug fir trees of his youth. Reed says he loves the fact they get no ice and plenty of snow up on the mountain. He also appreciates the crisp, cool air of the forest. Graduating in 1988 from Corbett High School, Reed went on to  Pacific Christian College in CA. to get his bachelor's degree. From there Reed went on to BYU and met Erin Primus from Iowa. Both were in the clinical psychology doctoral program at the school. Falling in love, they both moved to Oregon for post doctoral work at OHSU in 1995. Married in 1997, Reed made a huge decision. Offered a position as a part of OHSU faculty, Reed felt called instead to ministry. Today he not only is a pastor of a small local church in Troutdale (Columbia Ridge Community Church) but he also is an owner of Pacific Research and Evaluation, evaluating the effectiveness of social and educational programs and initiatives. Erin went on to be a full time professor of pyschology at Concordia Univ. in Portland. BUSY lives, and yet community is a HUGE priority for the Mueller's. Reed feels strongly that "coming back home" is indeed a gift, not to be taken for granted. He is involved with coaching both baseball and basketball for his two children, Jackson and Abigail. Reed appreciates the fact that his own kindergarten teacher in Corbett, Susan Benitendi, was a substitute teacher for his own son! Reeds says he realizes just how important it is for folks to not only know others, but be known as well. Corbett offers that on a high level and he appreciates it!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Our Resident Entomologist

John LOVES insects. He grew up in southern California and graduated from college with a degree in Agricultural Biology. After working for the local county's Dept. of  Agriculture for nearly 9 years, he left for Oregon. John Ekberg was thrilled to relocate to Oregon in Nov. 1980 and begin work with the Oregon State Dept. of Agriculture as a nursery inspector. Settling in Sandy with his first wife and daughter, he worked 30 years for the state, truly enjoying his work. Along the way he met many folks who became friends, including Frank and Jeanie Driver who had a Corbett daffodil farm. Realizing how "fresh and clean" the air was compared to other surrounding rural areas, John moved to Corbett in 1995. In 2004 John married Irene and today they enjoy yoga classes at the grange, and John attends senior lunch on Mondays at the grange as well. Since Irene is still working, John usually picks up Jeanie Driver and they go together! John says he has QUITE the horticultural heaven on his acreage. He has created over the years a fish pond, raised bed gardens, botannical gardens and numerous unique plants. The upkeep has become pretty challenging, so the goal is move within the next few years to a smaller space in Hawaii. In his free time John loves to play music. He has been a blue grass musician since age 15, playing both the banjo and the dobro (slide guitar) in his band called the "Why Nots." His favorite music is western swing and Hawaiian. Looks like he will fit in nicely when he makes the move west!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

An Officer

Dad was a police officer and mom was a nurse. Both moved Bruce and his older brother Eric from Portland to Corbett when Bruce was just a toddler. Currently Bruce Reiter and his wife Kathleen are living in that same Corbett home! The 1920's era home used to be a boarding house for the Corbett Grade School teachers, and once boasted six bedrooms, just upstairs. The home is "about" 5K sq. ft. and has a magnificent fireplace that is still well used today. After attending grades 1-12 in Corbett, Bruce went to Lewis and Clark College and met his wife. Kathleen says that Bruce always loved school with a passion, beginning in Corbett when he was a child. Bruce agrees, stating that many of the Corbett teachers have made a huge impact on his life. After graduating from college, Bruce worked as a security officer for the Port of Portland from 1972-1975. Bruce and Kathleen then moved to New Mexico where he got his master's degree in Latin American Studies. At age 27, Bruce went into the U.S. Army, attending Officer Canidate School. The entire time, Kathleen was a strong support, even attending officer's wive's school. Living everywhere from Germany to Texas to Bolivia, both became fluent in at least four different languages! All total, Bruce served in the Army for a total of 19 years. Retiring in 1995, both came back to Corbett to move in and care for Bruce's parents. Bruce went on to get another master's degree in 1997 and became a teacher. Teaching at Barlow High School for over 10 years, he recenly retired last year. Loving school as much as he does, Bruce is still on the sub list at Barlow! Retirement has not slowed either Bruce or Kathleen. Both continue to give generous amounts of time to the Corbett Fire Dept., Grange Hall, NERT, and the Citizen's Patrol! It is folks like the Reiter's that continue to keep the community as strong as it is today.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Back Home On Spring Break

Eighteen years ago, Lily Carey began her childhood in Corbett. Over time she helped her moms build the home that the three of them currently live in. This fall, Lily went away for an extended period from her beloved home and acreage. Lily is a freshman in college at Western Wash. Univ. in Bellingham, Wash. She is looking to major in biology, with a specific interest in research. Lily is interested in biodiversity and animal behavior. During her childhood years in Corbett, Lily was actively involved in both volleyball and softball. She says that both Angela Davis and Bill Wilson have made a big impact on her life. Both coaches helped instill within her a strong work ethic and they both made her feel comfortable enough to visit them at their Corbett homes if she ever needed or wanted to talk. Lily loves the strong sense of community that Corbett has given her over the years. Although college life is fun and exciting, she misses the deep relationships that she has developed over the years back home. Lily loves the quiet of Corbett, and has always slept with her window open, even during the rain and wind. Fondly Lily remembers a time in high school when she spent a marvelous day "in town" with friends. They came back to Corbett and parked at the Women's Forum parking lot. Sitting on the ledge and overlooking the Gorge, she felt a strong sense of contentment to live in such a magnificent and amazing location. Looking at her friends that she had spent the day with, she also KNEW how blessed she was to have the deep childhood friendships she had.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Servant's Heart

Living across the street from Laurelhurst Park in Portland, Sis Child's family purchased 10 acres in Corbett and decided to move just after Sis graduated from high school. While in Portland, her family had helped start New Hope Community Church. The church actually began in her family's living room when Sis was 12 years old. Early on, Sis was able to learn the selfless act of serving others.When the family moved to Corbett, "Big Bear" Phil DuFresne, became her local youth pastor. Big Bear introduced Sis to his nephew Mark and they married when Sis was 20 years old. Just two years later, she gave birth to twin boys, Karl and Kevin. Raising their boys in Corbett, she had a daycare in her home with several Corbett kids. When her boys started school, she started a very successful career in advertising that lasted 17 years. Mark and Sis parted ways and Sis began school at Mt. Hood to get her Associates Degree. The next step was her B.A. in Elementary Education from Concordia University. Along the way she was working at an after school program at Cotrell Elementary, actually starting the program and growing it. Sis did her student teaching at both Naas and Cotrell Elementary. She became an educational assistant at Naas, and is currently both a teacher and a co-principal at a charter school in Beaverton. It is her passion to serve students, and feels her mom has been a strong role model, beginning when her mom served others at the church she helped start so many years ago. Sis has been on the Corbett School Board for 12 years, serving endless hours to ensure students the best education possible. It is her strong desire to keep going, running for re-election this May. Sis has been married to Stuart Childs for five years and is happily going to be a grandmother of two this summer!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Matter of Perspective....

Carrie Church is an Alaskan transplant. Growing up in the northern state, she met her husband Kynan and they were transferred to Michigan for employment. Kynan is an engineer and was later transferred to Italy, and then back to Michigan. Wanting to be near family, they eventually headed back west. In 2007 they settled in Corbett, and plan to be here for the long haul. Carrie has been a teacher for 16 years and appreciates getting to teach in the same district that she lives in. All three of her own children attend school in Corbett and are also involved with Scouts and Corbett Children's Theatre. A son and two daughters range in age from 7-12 years. Carrie said that teaching at the middle school is amazing with the synergy that they have going, and loves the fact that all of the staff for all of the schools get along so well. Having taught in two countries and five different buildings, Carrie has seen how Corbett compares to other schools. She says Corbett is unique in how they approach the students and work with them. When thinking of the best way to describe the education given and received here, she says "top quality." Living on a somewhat quiet road with her family, she is amazed at the different views she has from different locations of their porch. In hearing her describe the sights, it is obvious, she feels quite settled.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Yes, 47 years is a very long time! Roy Altman first moved to Corbett nearly 50 years ago as a 5th grader. His family moved out of the Centennial School District. After graduating from Corbett High, Roy joined the Air Force, traveling to Wyoming, Guam, and Hawaii over a period of four years. Having met his wife Janet in the 5th grade, they only dated the last half of his senior year. Janet Weck"s grandfather had built the Trout Creek Bible Camp and she and Roy knew once they started dating that it was something special. They married while Roy was stationed in Hawaii in June, 1969. Their son Brian was born in Hawaii in 1970 and daughter Jennifer came along in 1972, after they had moved back. Roy and Janet built the current home they share with Jennifer, husband David and their two grandkids back in 1974. Roy worked for ESD for 30 years before retiring in 2004. He sold school supplies all over the state of Oregon. In 1981, a friend who played pick up basketball games with Roy called. Dave Tisler asked if Roy could step in as the JV baseball coach starting the next day at 4 pm. Roy said "yes" and the rest is history! Over the years, Roy has coached baseball, football and both boy's and girl's basketball in Corbett. In 2010 he retired. It is now time to say "goodbye" to one chapter, and "hello" to another. Roy and Janet will be moving to Redmond, Oregon at the end of the month. For health reasons, they are making the move, but plan on lots of return visits! Roy gets a kick out of the fact that adults in their 40's still call him "Mr. Altman" or "Coach" despite the fact he gives permission to simply call him "Roy." He said he has enjoyed getting to know so many families over the years, and hopefully he has made a positive mark on a few kids. NO doubt.

School Lunches

Erika Pace has never left the Corbett schools. Literally! Once she got started in kindergarten, she has either been a student or an employee. Living here in Corbett since birth, she is now married and has two children of her own. She lives at the end of a long gravel road where she loves the peace and quiet after a busy day of serving hundreds of students both breakfast and lunch. Erika graduated from Corbett High in 1995, and the very next year was an employee in the kitchen. Currently, Erika is the Food Service Manager and has seen cafeteria meals go from homemade meals made with a recipe, to fast food meals that were either frozen or boxed, back to meals made from scratch. Erika says the most popular lunch item on the menu continues to be pizza, while the least favorite is the stir fry because of all the green and healthy veggies that are included! Having also cooked at Menucha Conference and Retreat Center, this is where she met her husband, Allen. Their daughter is 11 years old and their son, 9. Erika loves the fact that the entire community feels like one big family to her. She said it feels good to have her children have the same teachers she herself had as a child! Currently Erika is also in school herself. She attends school online in the evenings, working on earning her bachelor's degree in Social Science. Not sure where or what she may do with her degree once earned, one thing she is sure of- she loves her family, current job and community!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Trout Creek Bible Camp

It all started with Trout Creek Bible Camp. Living in the Hawthorne District of Portland, Nancy Wilson and her husband Bill decided to send their kids to the camp out in Corbett. Nancy asked Trout Creek if they would exchange her cooking at the camp for her kid's camp fees. They agreed. Nancy fell so in love with the area that she wanted to move. In 1991, Bill and their four kids made the journey out to Corbett and she and Bill are still in the same home today. Nancy loved raising her two sons and two daughters in Corbett and still volunteers. Nancy is partially responsible for the wonderful lasagna that will be served at the Red and Black dinner/auction. Bill has coached the Corbett girl's softball team for the past 16 years. Nancy loves the many animals that roam around the area, but at one time was not so sure. She saw some droppings that she thought for sure belonged to a bear. Thankfully, she learned from a neighbor that the droppings were from something much more tame and common! Speaking of neighbors, some of Nancy's fondest memories come from Claudia Becker's routine visits to her driveway in her red pickup truck. Many laughs and conversations have been had between the two over the years. It's been said, things come and go, but it is friends that last a lifetime, right? :)

A NEW Corbett Coffee Shop!!

It has taken nearly two years, but Liz Conner is diligent. Her husband Kit is a business partner with Lonny Hutchison at Perfect Climate in Springdale. The new coffee shop will soon be set up in the parking lot of the business and will be called "Liz's Coffee Cabin." Liz has 14 years of management experience at McDonald's and is currently working at Perfect Climate. She is the mother of three boys, each one at a different Corbett school (grade, middle and high). Having high energy and being quite friendly, Liz is excited to have a local coffee spot to draw the community together. Not only will she serve specialty coffees, but also Italian Sodas, tea, hot chocolate, and this summer, real strawberry lemonade, made from scratch. Living in Corbett since 2007, Liz and Kit wanted to leave the busy Gresham area for a more peaceful enviroment. She most appreciates that the acreage they live on boasts a spring, creek and waterfalls. Liz also has an appreciation for volunteer work. All of her sons play Corbett sports, and she is often found helping out with one thing or another. It was when Liz was volunteering to chop olives for the upcoming Red and Black dinner/auction that I actually was able to catch up with her!

Monday, March 7, 2011

National Night Out in Corbett

This year the National Night Out is being held Tuesday, August 2, 2011. The informational website is
What exactly IS the National Night Out? This is the 28th year of celebrating a national fight against crime in your own local community. Local events are set up to bring neighbors and community members together to have a BBQ or some type of fun gathering to introduce folks to one another and talk about ways to effectively fight crime in their communities.
The past two years I have organized this Corbett event with the help of our local deputy, Rocky Graziano and Big Bear store owner, Bullet and his wife Karen. Is there someone who is interested in taking over and working with these folks to celebrate an evening of fun and festivity?
Please let me know sooner rather than later! #971-221-9655.
Thank you!

Living on top of the Tippy Canoe

In 1961, Brad McCarty began spending summers only with his dad, Earl. As the owner, Earl lived above the Tippy Canoe restaurant and bar in the three bedroom apartment. Brad and his four siblings spent the school year with their mom in Prairie City and then came out to Troutdale for 16 summers to be with their dad. Brad laughs as he tells how he saw and heard all kinds of colorful things during those summers, living above the local community bar. He said there are some stories that should not and will not be repeated! After graduating from high school, Brad moved to Wood Village on his own and began working at Eagle Foundry in Estacada, helping to make parts for rock crushers. After four years, he then went to work for Corbett couple, Phil and Judy Meacher at their Columbia 4X4 Repair business in Troutdale. Brad performed a variety of jobs for the company, even helping to run the business the last two years before it was sold in 1992. Working as a driver, he delivered U-Haul trucks from 1992-2006. Brad says he is a "jack of all trades and a master of none!" He is currently available for employment. Brad has moved onto the Meacher property in Corbett and just loves being in the country, calling himself a "country boy at heart." At this time, he volunteers nearly seven days a week at the Grange, helping out with the "Helping Hands" food assistance program. Brad's strong work ethic and friendly smile are a welcome to all that cross paths with him!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Parenting with Love and Logic

Driving down Jennifer Prince's Corbett driveway is quite an adventure with all the twists, turns and forest features along the way. WELL WORTH the journey. At the end of the seemingly endless road, a warm and inviting home reaches out to welcome all. Jennifer and her husband Dan are raising two boys in the beautifully remodeled home they have lived in the last several years. Moving to Bull Run Road in 2003 to escape their loud and busy Portland neighborhood, they soon realized that the small specialty school they were planning on for their family was going to CLOSE!  Dan was heavily involved with Outdoor School and KNEW the kids from Corbett were a well educated bunch, so they decided to leave the Sandy School District and move into Corbett. NO regrets for the Prince family as they have all settled in well. Jennifer loves the peaceful serenity of her family's very private acreage, saying it feels like a "spa retreat" to live amongst such quiet beauty. Having been a public school teacher for 10 years, she feels blessed to be at home full time with her boys. On occassion, she actually teaches parenting classes with the "Love and Logic" principles of Dr. Foster Cline and Jim Fay, and it is her desire to offer/hold classes right here in the Corbett community. Jennifer volunteers  in the classrooms at the Corbett Grade School and also collects both Box Tops for Education and Campbell's soup labels. In December, she was able to turn in enough box tops to earn the school a hefty $700 check! Jennifer also appreciates and enjoys the monthly Women's Tea at the grange. Being physically spread out on acreage here in Corbett, Jennifer says it is important to gather and physically see and spend time with neighbors and community members. She said she loves to connect with the various women on many different levels, learning and sharing from and with them. I believe she described the true meaning of community.