Sunday, December 25, 2011

Living a Busy Life in the "Hidden Gem"

Living on 40 acres is hard physical work, and when that is combined with working at the Corbett Post Office, Kristy Mayes lives a busy life with her boyfriend Jimmy and their three large dogs. Kristy says Corbett is a "hidden gem" of a community and she loves getting to greet and talk with the local folks that stop by for their mail as well as those on her route. Moving to Corbett in 1987 with her father, she chose to attend Gresham High School to stay in touch with her friends from her previous neighborhood. Later, her sister joined them in Corbett.  Kristy went on to attend Mt. Hood Community College and live on her own. When her father became ill with cancer and then passed in 1992, Kristy moved back into their Corbett home and continues to live there today with her many horses, cows and goats. Her sister went on to become a professional nanny and lives in San Francisco. Kristy's property is remote and private- just what she loves after a busy and social day working at the post office. Kristy got the job in 2003 as a temporary sub, and then applied for a permanent position when one became available. Looking out for those in need is one benefit of her job. Babysitting for a single mom or caring for the elderly is a passion she finds joy in following through on. Kristy also helps keep the books for Jimmy's heating company, Port-Air Mechanical. The company deals with both residential and commerical heating, cooling and refrigeration systems. When there is a rare opportunity to relax, Kristy loves to watch Korean movies. The problem is, not all come with subtitles, so she is currently listening to tapes and learning the language!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

An Ethnic German

Hugo Lueck describes himself as an "Ethnic German" born in Romania. Hugo met wife Christine in 1946, and she also was German. Moving to the U.S. in 1957, Hugo and Christine married in 1959 when Hugo was just 20 years old. The home that Hugo currently lives in was built by he and Christine many years ago. Hugo says they made a "great team" before she passed in 1997 from illness. Married for 45 years, the two of them built their Corbett area home to accommodate her severe rheumatoid arthritis. Now that Hugo is older, he says he has a great appreciation for the special features they included in their home, such as lots of support bars to grab onto around the home as well as easy access to both the up and downstairs from the outside of the home. They also built the home to be easy to maintain. Hugo doesn't care much for the wind, but says his wonderful neighbors make up for that! The scenery around his home and property remind him of Germany, and that brings him comfort. Having served as a deliverer for Meals on Wheels for ten years, Hugo now enjoys several meals of his own with senior friends at the Corbett Grange each Monday and also enjoys meals at the nearby Big Bear's Deli. He recently had a local gal come to live with him as a caregiver, and she reminds him the doctor says he needs to cut back on salt, so he luckily has been enjoying several of her home cooked meals lately! Always a great cabinet maker over the years, Hugo actually designed the Portland Area exam that cabinet makers need to pass in order to get licensed!! Recently Hugo shared some of his most precious tools with a special nephew. He says he wanted to make sure they would be both used and appreciated.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Mother of Many and a Maker of Soap!

Kathy Johnson is the mother of seven children, ages 21 months to 21 years, and just a month ago became a grandmother! After Kathy's brother died at age seven, Kathy was an only child from age five on. Her family moved to the Springdale area of Corbett when she was just 13 months old, and after her brother Kenny passed of Cystic Fibrosis, her family moved up to the Aims area of Corbett. Kathy then lived in Aims until leaving for college. Attending Clackamas Community College, it was at this time she met her husband Jay, through some mutual friends. Getting married in 1988, Kathy got her hairdressing license and cut hair for many years. She later worked in advertising with Nickel Ads and also a sign company. Jay has worked as both a cabinet maker and also for the Portland Rescue Mission. Things changed for them a few years back when they purchased some goats to eat the blackberries on their property. Kathy researched 1.5 years the process of making soap from the goat's milk. After many attempts, everything "came together" and a successful recipe was created. Going full-time into soap making in Sept. 2009, now both Jay and Kathy are employed full-time with Farm Maid Soap, LLC. Kathy just got back in Sept. from a 16 day journey to China to teach Tibetans how to make soap for themselves! She and Corbett friend, Sheron Freuhauf went together and were at an elevation of 11,800 at their project site! Recently a a cargo shipment of soap has been sent to Korea of the Farm Maid soap. "Never put God in a box" laughs Kathy! Living in Corbett on the land she grew up on has been the ultimate joy for Kathy and her family. Her mom and step dad live in her original childhood home, while she and Jay live with their kids in their own home, and her daughter, son-in-law and baby live just next door! Over the years, her entire family has been heavily involved in the Corbett Children's Theatre. Jay is the current president, while Kathy is the musical director and does the "hard hair" for the casts. Her children and now granddaughter Evangeline have quite the Corbett foundation!

First Lady of Trout Creek Bible Camp

It all started back in 1990. Angela was a teenager and was working on crew at Trout Creek Bible Camp in Corbett. Joe Fahlman was a Program Assistant. They both got along well and shared laughs together. After dating for a few years, Angela enrolled in college. Attending NW Nazerene College for two years, she followed her heart back to the camp and Joe. They married and moved into housing at the camp to work and live. Eventually their family grew, and they now have three children. Taylor is 17 and a senior at Corbett High, Alyssa is 14 and Jordan is 10. Angela works full-time in the summer at the camp in Food Service, and weekends only during the school year. Joe is now the Head Director for the camp. They feel thankful to have their own home just across from the camp. Angela says she loves the big picture windows, original wood floors and lots of space for the family and visiting friends. They attend Aims Community Church just down the road, and Angela is involved as a volunteer AWANA leader at the church as well as at the Corbett Grade School as the treasurer for the PTA. Angela also volunteers heavily in her children's classrooms at the school and loves being involved with a variety of community functions. She says she appreciates the strong family values that are supported in the community and that folks really do care about others. When she has a rare "down moment," Angela says she loves to work on handmade and stamped greeting cards. She has sold them in the past but mostly likes to create and then give away the beautiful creations.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Because of a Bridge

Many years ago, because there were plans to build a bridge right over their Park Rose home, Connie Renner's family of origin was forced to move! The family had over 200 cows on their property and the entire road they lived on was occupied by family members. Connie's own family had beef cattle and her grandfather had dairy cattle. Knowing Raymond Smith, the family was offered a chance to purchase land from him in Corbett. The rest is history. Connie's family settled in the Corbett area and has been here since 1970. Connie met her husband Paul Renner at a rodeo dance at Memorial Coliseum and they eventually moved into a mobile home on her parent's property. Her parents moved to Bend and she ended up staying behind and marrying the man of her dreams. Twenty five years later they are still on the same Corbett property. Their daughter and son are now 21 and 19 years of age. Although Connie worked in management at  Fred Meyer the first few years, she now works at the Corbett Schools as a Instructional Assistant. She has been heavily involved with 4H over the years with her kids, as they have raised and shown cattle. They each have won numerous awards on both county and state level. Connie has also been to both Wash. DC and Italy with the Corbett Middle School as a chaperon. Living in Corbett and raising her family here has been marvelous on several levels for Connie. She has a sincere appreciation for her family's land and the ability to have taught her children how to raise cattle as she did as a youngster, and she also feels very blessed with the neighbors she shares fences with. She says her neighbors are "the best ever."

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Texan with a Passion for Boating

This former Texan did not land in Corbett until 1998. Having been born and raised in Gunner, Texas, Ray Davenport joined the Coast Guard after high school. After traveling all over the Gulf Coast, he ended up  moving to Portland, Oregon to work for Schick Electric. Not wanting to be transferred to San Francisco with the company, Ray took another job that moved him to Boise, Idaho. Eventually, he landed back in the Portland area, settling in Gresham for 20 years before coming out to Corbett. Ray is married to wife Karen, and they have two grown sons, who both live locally. Ray also cheerfully states that they have two granddaughters. Having worked in the auto parts industry as a salesman for 35 years of his life, Ray is happy to now be retired. One of the benefits of retirement is spending time each Wednesday morning at the Corbett Market with his friends. Eating biscuits and gravy, the "Rusty Zipper Club" talk about everything and anything. Ray states that some of the kindest people ever live here in Corbett. He really appreciates the history of the area as well as the beauty. When he and Karen moved out to Corbett, he wanted a nice community as well as a view. He is pleased to have found both! Enjoying crossword puzzles and and reading, he enjoys spending time in his living room at home. He says the spot is peaceful and he loves all the many windows that their home has. Ray is an active member of the Citizen's Board Action Committee for the Sheriff's Budget Advisory and is also is a member of the Corbett Historical Society. With a past history of being in the Coast Guard, he has also been a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. He has many fond memories of days spent  boating in the San Juan Islands with family and friends as well as being part of an assistance for the Coast Guard with the Auxiliary. I guess one could say boating is in his blood!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Life of a Fisherman

Being a twin, Alan (Al) Abramson grew up with just his one brother and his parents in Canada. They lived just 67 miles from the Canada/U.S. border, and even today he retains his Canadian citizenship. Al's brother Jan and father did not share the same strong mechanical skills as Al, so his mother was constantly having him do all the "fixing" needed around the home. Not only repairing appliances, Al also created and built numerous "projects" in his youth, including a hot rod that he raced. After high school, Al attended junior college. Al met his wife Michelle when she was attending college in Bellingham, Wash., but it was not until 10 years later that they "reunited" and married. Michelle had left for Germany to teach for five years and had plans to marry. When that did not work out, Al caught wind of it and wrote her a letter. They decided to meet up in Boston where Michelle was coming back to get her Master's degree at Boston University. One month after reuniting, they married! Right from the beginning Al took Michelle commercial fishing in Alaska during the summers that she had off from teaching. Their first trip together, they caught a total of five fish all summer! Eventually moving to Portland, they continued to commercial fish each summer in Alaska. After a decade of marriage, they welcomed their son Gunner into their family. He also went with them to Alaska each summer to fish. In 1989, they decided to leave Portland and move to a more rural area. Corbett seemed to be the best spot for them as they loved the rural living with the "Home Depot" just miles away! After purchasing their home, they immediately went to work on remodeling it. With Al doing much of the work himself, they lived in their basement for three winters while extensive work was done, including a brand new kitchen. Al says he loves the quiet peacefulness of his home as well as the well lit and spacious living room that holds all of their momentos from their days of fishing in Alaska. Being the Grange Master for three years, both he and Michelle have put in numerous volunteer hours to make the grange a stronger presence in our modern times. Al is currently the secretary for the Helping Hands food program at the grange. He says the folks in Corbett are some of the best- kind, helpful and friendly.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Lots of Choices!

Sarah Brandt is a beautiful teenager, both in and out! Because of her drive to keep good grades, she will have many choices for college next fall. Brought home from the hospital to Corbett, she has lived in the same home her entire life, attending Corbett schools from kindergarten through her present senior year in high school. Sarah's father Bill has a Polish background, while her mother Becky has a Native American heritage. This actually will be a benefit to her when she begins applying to different colleges. Her "dream choice" is Stanford, but she is also applying to USC, Rice and the Univ. of Oregon. Sarah describes herself as being an "active" gal who has tried numerous activities, clubs and sports over the years. She has played the flute in the school band for five years, been in Girl Scouts, involved with the Corbett Children's Theatre for seven years and has played sports most of her youth. In high school she was able to go to State in track, and also played on the girl's varsity soccer team. Over the years, her 6th grade math teacher and past superintendent, Mr. Bob Dunton has played an important role as a mentor and one that has strongly encouraged her academically. Growing up in a small community and school has been special for Sarah as she feels the teachers really "know" the students and care about them and their futures. Sarah's folks have been married over 20 years and she has an older brother, Aaron who is currently a student at Linfield College. Having a warm and friendly smile, Sarah says she loves having lots of trees on her family's property. As a youngster she has climbed many of them! Growing up in the country has been ideal, being able to play outside all year round. Looking to a future outside of Corbett is not scary for her as she describes herself as a "people person" who is always up for a new adventure!