Saturday, January 28, 2012

Following in Dad's Footsteps

Clint Davis was born in 1966 to Judy and Woody Davis. Clint came home to Corbett from the Portland hospital, and he has never left, at least not permanently. After attending Corbett schools K-11, Clint signed up for the Army and went to boot camp the summer before his senior year. After graduating from Corbett High, Clint then completed AIT, Advanced Individual Training for MOS, Military Occupational Specialty. Although Clint lived a "civilian life" while serving in the Army Reserves for 12 years, he did indeed travel on tours outside of the U.S. at times. Clint retired from the Army in 1995. Back in 1987, Clint met the love of his life, Kathlene Berry at Corbett Community Church. Originally from Gresham, Kathlene married Clint and moved to Corbett. They now have four children, Shylo, Whitney, Spencer and Shelby. Shylo is a student at Warner Pacific College and her siblings are attending the Corbett schools. The family lives in a home that Clint's dad, Woody literally moved to their current property from the corner of 365th and the Scenic Hwy.! Clint worked as a maintenance supervisor at the Corbett schools for seven years, and  he "officially" joined his father at Davis Excavation in 1992. The business became incorporated in 1994 and and they specialize in excavation work and on site sanitation. Davis Excavation does just about every type of dirt and aggregate work imaginable. Although sister Cori has helped with the business, it will be Clint who will be taking over his dad's spot as the head operator. Woody says his son is far better than he ever was at running the equipment with precision. Over the years, when not working, Clint's hobbies have included motorcycle riding, target practice and ultra light flying, "the poor man's airplane." He says that Kathlene is a great companion, as she also loves to ride motorcycles and target practice. What are Clint's thoughts about the future without his father? "Bill Gates could not purchase what we have. The relationships we have within our community and with the legacy my father has left me, I am filthy rich- not measured in dollars, but by the quality of life due to friends and family who truly DO care."

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Leaving a Legacy

Being the oldest of six kids, Sherwood "Woody" Davis was named after his grandfather. He was born in 1942 in Los Angeles while his father was working for Douglas Aircraft as a foreman. His father oversaw the women who were assembling parts for WWII planes. When the war was over, Woody's family moved back to Corbett. They moved into the "stone house" his grandfather had built on Gordon Creek Road. Woody's father then acquired the 10.5 acres next door from the county after the previous owner (now a widow) could no longer keep up with the taxes. Woody's father built a home on the land and raised his family there. After attending Corbett schools from first through twelfth grade, Woody married Judy Holt, age 15. Judy moved in with Woody's folks and finished high school while Woody spent six months of active duty with the National Guard in CA., then came home to work at a sheet metal factory. Eventually he got laid off and found work at Marckx Bakery for 10 years. Starting custom tractor work as a teen, Woody never left tractor work, even when he was employed elsewhere. What began as tiling gardens and mowing hay, later evolved into a custom haying operation. In 1963 he purchased his first bulldozer. Judy and Woody had three children together, Corinna, Shelly and Clint. Shelly died as an infant. They raised their children in Corbett and Clint always helped his dad when he was working outside, watching how carefully and how hard he worked. After 15 years together, Woody and Judy divorced, and Woody married Renee. Although they had no children together, Woody helped raise her three sons. In 1992, Woody and Clint officially began working together at Davis Excavation. It was dream come true for both of them. Many Corbett home sites have been cleared by the Davis men, as well as roads and driveways both built and cleared. Recently Woody found out he is suffering with ALS, and has limited days left. His body has changed as he is no longer able to eat solids and has lost 50 pounds. His speech has changed a bit and he says his hand muscles are not what they once were. Why the smile? He says he is touched by the outpouring of love from the community in which he raised his family. Married the last five years to Dori, a friend he attended school with in Corbett all twelve years, he is at peace. Woody says he loves the family land he lives on and feels wonderful leaving the family business in his son's capable hands, saying Clint is "better than I ever was" with the equipment. As for dying? "No fear- I know I am headed to Heaven because I have Jesus in my heart."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Changed Life

Tony Jacobs was dating his current wife, Pamela when they made the move to Corbett from Aloha in 1985. They had both decided to move in with Pamela's mother to help her out with managing the large acreage after her husband had passed. Pamela's father had built the home many years earlier and her grandfather had built the stone home next door. Moving in, Tony and Pamela decided to marry in 1986 and purchase their own place in Corbett. They both had been married previously, with Tony having three children, and Pamela having two from their first marriages. After nine months of marriage, both Tony and Pamela were sitting out on the back lawn at "Mom's house" trying to figure out a way to purchase the home and property from Pamela's mother. It just did not seem financially possible. The very next day, Tony was driving home on I-84 and was rear ended. The pile-up of cars was so horrendous that Tony's car crumpled and caught on fire. He managed to get himself out of the car while his body was literally in flames. He was burned on over 80% of his body and had a broken neck. Doctors gave his family notice that he had just 24 hours of life left. Tony was put into an induced coma for several weeks, went through 13 surgeries in 6 months, and fought the odds to not just survive, but thrive. As recent as three weeks ago, he has had 35 surgeries on his body. Tony says his whole life has changed...for the better! He used the money from his accident settlement to purchase the family home and acreage, he stopped smoking pot (now "getting high on life!") and he has recommitted himself to living out his Christian faith.Visiting a counselor to deal with his very different lifestyle, Tony was worried that with the loss of most of his fingers, he would never get to use his hands again. Being an avid fisherman, white water rafter, machine operator and a sheet metal worker previously, the counselor said his power was not in his hands as much as in his mind. With this thought, Tony began to use the limited fingers he had left to BEGIN a new wood working hobby! Recently his brother in-law, Woody Davis was diagnosed with ALS. Many years ago when Tony began his woodworking, Woody had joked that he wanted Tony to make his pine box when it came his time. Tony remembered this and has done just that, with a great deal of input from Woody on the design. Now Tony is taking it a step further by having the Corbett community sign the casket that will be used for Woody's burial. Tony and Woody are able to joke freely about "end times" as they both have the faith and confidence that they are both heaven bound. Tony says he loves the community so much, he wants to "give back" the way Woody has over the years. When he is not fishing on the Sandy River for steel head, he is soon going to be volunteering at the Corbett grange as he has at Corbett Community Church over the years. He also plans to continue giving encouraging talks at burn center support groups as well as meeting with folks one on one who just need a word of encouragement.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Firmly Grounded

It all started with the Gresham Outlook newspaper. Barry Smith's wife, Michelle pointed out a real estate ad for a " home and shop in the country." At the time, they were living with their four and six year old sons in Troutdale. Being in construction his entire life, Barry was more than ready to find a larger space to accommodate his growing number of tools. Half of the small garage they had was feeling a little too cozy! One look at the Corbett home and property, and Barry was convinced it was a "great fit," convincing Michelle that with a little bit of hard work, they could make the "rough looking" house and shop a real jewel. Getting involved in the community was an easy transition. Barry began coaching both soccer and baseball for his son's teams through Corbett Youth Sports. He was also a founding member of the newly re-started Corbett Booster Club, helping to build the new concession area inside of the high school gym. Once Scott and Spencer started Boy Scouts, Barry became a very involved Assistant Scout Leader, going on week long 50 mile hikes with the boys, all throughout Oregon. Barry also was involved for many years with the Corbett July 4th Parade, driving floats, trucks and helping kids be involved. Now that both his sons are away at out of state colleges, Barry is involved with teaching two leadership classes at the local community church and also at his place of employment, Konell Construction. Having 30 years of construction experience, Barry is now passionate about helping others grow and learn more about leadership in the work place, church and in the community. He is actually looking forward to putting a pen to paper about it after he finishes his John Maxwell training in February in Florida. Living in Corbett has allowed Barry a quiet and beautiful place to re-charge his batteries, raise his family, have the "dream shop" he always yearned for and make life long friends. Having attended the Univ. of Idaho, Barry says he loves nature and appreciates being able to breathe fresh air and see all the stars at night!

Sunday, January 8, 2012


It was back in 1991 that Shari Graff and her family made the move to Corbett from the nearby Reynolds School District. Shari was in the 6th grade when she started school in Corbett, and ended up graduating from the high school in 1999. Shari has one older brother, Brandon who also attended Corbett schools. After graduation, Shari went on to Southern Oregon Univ. for two years to study journalism. She then came home to work at the Gresham Outlook newspaper for six years. During this time she also owned and operated "Beyond Events." When Shari decided to take her last drink in 2003, her life began to change. She realized that it was too difficult to be in a "party scene" with her business of event planning. She decided to go back to college and do it "right" with a clear mind, focused on her goals. In 2008 Shari was at a friend's wedding and ran into someone from Corbett she had met only once before. Once again, Shari's life was in a transition period. Shari and Dan Graff dated six months, got engaged and then married Sept.19, 2008. College completion slowed down a bit as Shari became a stepmom to Dan's children, age six and ten. Both kids came to live with them full-time. Deciding to add to the family, Dan and Shari now also have a two year old son together. Although motherhood is a full-time job and one that Shari loves, she just recently completed her college degree, finishing with a 4.0 GPA and a degree in business administration. With no desire to work a 9-5 job, Shari is now a business consultant, wanting to help others learn and know how to grow their own business. Shari says her biggest passions are in raising a strong family. Having a blended family has stretched her in ways she never knew, and she loves the fact all their kids are now living in and growing up in the same home where she was raised in Corbett. It is a joy for her to watch them climb the same trees she has and play in the same yard. Although she had the opportunity to visit Australia as an exchange student when she was a 15 years old and loved it, she says her heart is in Corbett, and she cannot imagine a better place to raise her family.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Solid Country Roots

Jim Rhodes was born in Bridal Veil and lived there with his family until he turned 16. His father was a mill worker, and Jim grew up knowing all about logging. Jim's uncle had purchased 20 acres in Corbett and had built a home on the land, later selling to Jim's grandparents. When Jim turned 16, his family moved to the Corbett property. Jim attended Corbett High, and enrolled in the Oregon Air National Guard with fellow classmate Clarence Mershon before graduating in 1949. Getting a job at the store across the road from the high school, delivering heating oil to local folks, Jim also worked at Montgomery Ward and for a Buick dealership before he was sent to Chicago for the Air National Guard. Having fallen in love with a beautiful local girl nearly four years younger than him, Jim married Jean Kerslake in 1951 before leaving for Chicago. Together Jim and Jean were gone to the Midwest for a year. Upon their return, Jim worked again for Buick, selling auto parts until 1960. In 1960 Jim got a job as a truck driver, later becoming a road supervisor for Multnomah County. The family Jim and Jean created together included two boys and a girl, and they were all raised in Corbett. Their daughter has since passed away. Now there are three grandsons to enjoy! Jim retired in 1991, and now one of their grandsons lives across the road from them in Jim's childhood home that his uncle built! Many years ago Jim and Jean divided their land and built their own home across the road from the original home. During their retirement years, Jim and Jean have traveled to 44 states by car, fifth wheel and airplane. These days they stay close to home, as Jean has been ill the last few years. Having served on the school board for seven years and on the fire department board for 25 years, Jim now enjoys having breakfast with his friends at the Corbett Market each Wednesday morning. The new owners make the entire crew homemade biscuits and gravy to enjoy while they talk about all about past and current happenings. Jim says Corbett folks are probably some of the friendliest folks ever!