Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Names are Revealing!

She was born in her parent's Corbett home during a snow blizzard on February 4, 1925. Her mother declared "I will be glad when June is here!" after looking out the window and seeing the all white storm. Bethel June Bates Law Kirby DID indeed arrive! Because of the storm, Dr. Hughes from Gresham actually spent the night at the Bate's home after delivering June. One of five children, her only sister passed at age six due to pneumonia. When June was ready to start grade school, she was the first class of first graders to attend the "new" Springdale School in 1931! June has lived in Corbett her ENTIRE 86 years of life, except for one short three month period after getting married. After graduating high school, June took a bus into Portland and got a job at WP Fuller Paint Company. It was there that June met Ridgely "Ridge" Law and her life took a turn. Ridge was nearly ten years older, a single father with a young son (Gary Law) and was 6'6" tall with very handsome features. After meeting Ridge and falling in love, he moved away to become a Merchant Marine. Staying in touch, they married two years later. For a short three month period, June went with Ridge to CA. for his schooling. Moving back to Corbett, Ridge and June raised Gary together and also added two daughters to their family. Gary now lives in Springdale, Lynn resides in Springfield, and Becky is in Myrtle Creek, Oregon. June has nine grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren! Ridge and June were married for 52 blissful years before he passed. June swore she would never again marry when Ridge passed. After being single for three years, Floyd Kirby "came calling." Floyd was a friend who had lost his wife and he and June had known each other for 40 years. Soon they both realized there was a strong "connection" and married in 1999. They continue to live in the Corbett community, and June loves the home she has been in since 1962. Ridge was a carpenter and built the home. She says the location is close to everything. Over the years June was very involved with the Corbett Community Church and played the organ for 25 years as well as taught sunday school. She loved supporting her kids with Gary being an athlete and her girls both being cheerleaders. June says she has always felt "safe and connected" in the Corbett community. At one time she was a part of the "Merrymakers Club." There was a total of twelve women who became very close friends as they raised their families together. She says there are only three of them left, and she feels blessed to have had the life she has had, bumps and all!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

ONE YEAR Anniversary for the "Corbett Connector" blog!!

Just WHO IS the "Corbett Connector?!" As the middle child of five, I have moved literally ALL OVER the United States with my family. Both my folks married young (17 and 21) and college was not a reality for either given their economic background. Working hard, having a strong faith in God and sharing with others were the most important "lessons" my parents raised us with. My name is Michelle Carter Smith and I have moved 14 times since birth. I learned quickly to speak up and reach out in order to have friends in all our different locations. Playing sports nearly all my growing up years, I never excelled like my brothers, but always tried really hard and had a good time. I was voted "most inspirational" instead of bringing home any blue ribbons! After working hard to get through four years of college, I became a nanny on the east coast while my husband (and the only boyfriend I ever had!) finished his degree. After we married in 1987, we saved for a down payment for our first home in Troutdale. Giving birth to two sons, I was a busy/active mom. Nine years after moving to Troutdale, we landed in paradise, I mean...Corbett! Being a stay at home mom like my own, I also waited tables two nights a week in the summers at Tad's Chicken 'N Dumplins Restaurant on the Sandy River. Volunteering extensively in the Corbett schools and community, I wanted our two sons to understand the importance of "giving back." Just before our oldest son, Scott left for college, I began a new chapter in my life. After much thought and prayer, I became a Realtor. NO regrets! I have had an opportunity to meet some of the most wonderful people ever, which is why I began my blog.  THANK YOU to everyone that has given me their time and "story." I am just getting started! We have had OVER 18,000 "hits" on the website this past year. I will continue interviewing and blogging. Recently I also began collecting names for starting a no-cost "Corbett Connector Directory" that will include any business, club or organization that is Corbett based. Just let me know if you wish to be included!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Change of Heart

It was back in 1977 when Dave Mysinger made the move to Corbett. Getting married to Twila, they both moved into a lovely Cape Cod style home on Hurlburt Road. Adding on a master bed and bath, they stayed for 20 years! In the summer of 1997 they designed and built their dream home further north in Corbett. With a magnificent view of the Columbia River Gorge, they appreciate how little traffic they get on their road. With a Montana river rock fireplace and vaulted cedar ceilings, they are both quite content! Twila is retired and Dave is "mostly" retired from his 40 year career with Baxter Auto Parts, still working on occasion. After 12 years in Corbett, Dave had a change of heart. Not being involved in the community, he did a 180 degree turn! Currently the treasurer for NEMCCA (Northeast Multnomah County Community Association), he is concerned about keeping Corbett's voice alive in the county and sheriff's office. Dave also was the head of the Volunteers in the Gorge that started in 2000. They are now disbanded, but an offshoot is the current Corbett Citizen's Patrol. Dave was on the Corbett Water Dept. budget committee for 15 years, ten as chairperson, and stepped down in 2010. Currently he is a volunteer with the U.S. Forest Service, with a time commitment of 8-10 days per month. When Dave is not working for Baxter or volunteering, he can be seen around his home either woodworking or restoring cars. He and Twila also love to travel in their motor home. Last year they went to Alaska for six weeks, but they usually never stay much longer than that anywhere. Dave says he is a real "home body" and usually has a yearning to get back to Corbett!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Second Time Around

This is the second time Mildred "Midge" Davis has lived in Corbett. Born in 1927, Midge came home from the hospital and then spent until first grade living in the area. Her folks separated, then she and her mom moved to Portland. Many years later, Midge met the "man of her dreams" on a "set-up" by a mutual friend. It was love at first sight for both her and Bud. Getting married in 1949, Midge was marrying a man  from Texas who was two years older than her, and formerly in the Navy. Once married, Bud and Midge moved around a bit for work and had four children together, including twin boys. At one point, Midge describes living in a two room house with all four kids and a puppy! Once the kids were grown and gone, her and Bud were asked to come and stay/care for Midge's second cousins, who lived in Corbett. Midge was especially ready to go back "home." She and Bud purchased a mobile home and lived on the property while caring for the two relatives. After they passed, Bud and Midge purchased a mobile classroom at an auction from Corbett High School. Bringing it to the property, their church helped them build a home around the classroom! Midge's family has owned the property since 1905, and she said they have been approached over the years to sell out to timber companies. "Never" is their answer! Midge and Bud have been involved at Corbett Community Church for numerous years, with Bud being both an elder and a fill-in preacher. The couple has also been involved with the weekly lunches available at the Grange on Mondays. Just a week ago, Bud spoke at the Veteran's Breakfast up at the Corbett school's MPB. Midge has always loved to both sing and sew. She said she made all of the kid's clothes for years. The boys grew tired of it, but her daughter always appreciated the pretty dresses! These days, Midge enjoys the quiet beauty of the acreage she and Bud share in a place they call home.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Making it the Best

As a young child, Dave MacFadden and his brother were placed in a Quaker orphanage in Philadelphia, PA. for eight years. Dave's father had departed and his mother was unable to care for her young sons. Dave says those years with his brother were during the Depression, and he felt blessed to be well fed, clothed and cared for. He especially was thankful to be with his brother. When Dave was 10, his mother had remarried and came to get the boys. Hoping it would be a great situation, it was not. His new stepfather was very harsh and abusive. Dave left home at age 17 and wanted to make his life the best it could be. Meeting and falling in love with Darlene, they were married for 61 years and had five children together before she passed last year. Dave has had a very full and blessed life, becoming a doctor and volunteering heavily throughout his now 83 years. Only three years ago did Dave retire from being a chiropractor. It was only due to his age and health that he walked away from a career he loved. Boy Scouts was another passion- he served 60 years with the organization, 35 years with the Kiwanis and another 35 years as a search and rescue pilot for the Civil Air Patrol. Dave and Darlene had moved from Montana to the Gresham area in 1975. They were looking for another place that was also "open and inviting." Living in a trailer home in Gresham and waiting for the "right place" to become available, Dave was not happy. One day at the athletic club, a Realtor approached him and asked if he was content where he was living. "No!" was the immediate answer. The next thing he knew, he and Darlene were purchasing acreage in Corbett! With ten grandchildren and five great grand children, Dave is still hanging out on his farm, but travels often to visit those he loves most. What about his beloved brother? He became a minister and lives back east. They are still very close and stay in contact regularly. Dave really did make his life "the best."

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Windy Woman!

When Penny Rossman arrived in Corbett in 1975, she was married to David but they did not yet have children. Being an Oregon State University graduate, she and David had become friends with Lee and Diana Tracy while all were in college together. The married couples both longed to live rurally. John Leamy's parents had large acreage in Corbett that they were selling, and so the Rossman's and the Tracy's each decided to purchase 40 acre parcels from them. David, a retired mechanical engineer, worked along side his business partner and wife Penny to build their dream home. Eventually, the couple added both a son and daughter to their family. Jake is now 30 and lives locally. Kate is 27 and lives in San Francisco with her husband. Still living in the same home they built 36 years ago, Penny recently got a remodeled bathroom. Living on very private acreage, she says she loves the huge window within the all tile, walk-in shower. Being an active gal, she loves walking around the area and appreciates there is little to no wind in their area. She is a member of the Portland to Coast walking team "Second Wind". Penny is also a member of "Windy Women" Readers. Twelve years ago, she and six other local women organized a book club because they all loved to read. They gave themselves their name. Penny said the women are all very unique and different, and that is what she loves most. Each gal gets a chance to pick a book, everyone reads and then they discuss. Their latest book involves Seattle, so they will be making a trip there to further discuss, investigate and enjoy the city and each other. Over the years, Penny has volunteered on many levels. Actively volunteering at the Corbett schools over many years, she was also a den mother for Jake's Cub Scout troop for four years. Penny is a founding member of the Corbett Education Foundation and a member of the Springdale School Community Association, acting as treasurer. She is also involved with the Kiwanis Club of the Columbia River Gorge. A memorable moment for her outside of Corbett? Meeting and shaking hands with Robert Kennedy in Portland two days before he was shot down and killed in California. She was a high school student at the time and remembers the bells next door to Jefferson High ringing the entire day.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Taking Care of Others

Patti McCarthy has always been a "country girl," growing up on the John Day River, between Spray and Kimberly, Oregon. Not one who likes to be idle, Patti grew up playing outdoors and riding horses. Working in the summers for her dad who was divorced and owned the "Tippy Canoe" restaurant in Troutdale, Patti says she worked hard. She was the "Chief cook and bottle washer" as well as the busser, waitress and any other needed position! At a young age, Patti married for a very brief time. Her son Jeremy was a product of the union, and Patti says she is still very close to her 38 year old son. Jeremy also grew up in John Day and is now married and has five children. Patti says she loves to visit the family in Prineville whenever she gets an opportunity. After working at a mill in Heppner for several years, Patti decided to move back out to the Troutdale area that she was familiar with as a child. In 2007 she moved in with an old family friend who lived in Corbett. Patti started to become involved with the community as a volunteer and eventually met the Corbett gentleman that she is now living with as his caregiver. Having plenty to keep her busy, she is a caregiver for the older man as well as the one who cares for his home and property as well. Patti says it has been a wonderful situation for both of them to help each other out. Patti also has side jobs as a home cleaner for other Corbett folks as well. When Patti has free time, she loves to volunteer at the Corbett Grange, often putting in as many as 20 hours per week! Living in Corbett has been a huge blessing on many levels. Only one topic brings more of a sparkle to her eye- her wonderful grandchildren! Patti says it is absolute JOY for her to spend time with them, either playing outside like she did as a child or reading to them. When they get to visit her in Corbett, life does not get any better!