Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Member of the Rusty Zipper Club

When Bob Johnson found his way out to Corbett in 1960, he came from Boise, Idaho and brought along his wife Thola and their six children. Bob says they had all six children before the oldest was even six years old! Finding a beautiful and spacious home with a spectacular view, he and Thola made an offer. The seller said he needed more of a down payment. Heartbroken, Thola said it was the perfect home for their family, so the owner relented, and now Bob still lives in the same home! The kids are grown and gone and Thola has passed, but Bob says he stays because he has grown attached not only to the home, but to the folks of the community who are now some of his very dearest friends. Born in 1925, Bob grew up in Montana, and went to work for the Northern Pacific RR part-time when he was just 16 years old. He was following in his father's footsteps, but soon realized that it was "not for him." He then began college at the Univ. of Minnesota, studying to be an engineer. Soon after, he realized that this also was "not for him."  After meeting with a vocational guidance counselor, he was steered into getting educated for a career that had never even crossed his mind. Bob spent his entire working career as an editor for different newspapers, including 30 years at The Oregonian. He says that the decision was without any regret, as he had great success and truly loved what he was able to do for a living. Although he retired in 1990 and his poor eyesight has worsened over the years, he still continues to read on a daily basis. He says that he mostly reads magazines now so he can easily pick and choose the articles he wants to read. Once the president of the Boy Scouts for the area, son Jared became an Eagle Scout. Bob has been involved in various roles over the years in the community, and continues to be a Grange member, a member of the "Rusty Zipper" breakfast group that meets weekly, a member of the Springdale School Association and is currently in charge of making the "secret sauce" for the big fundraising spaghetti dinner being held next week for the Springdale School!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

One of the Baker Girls

Her journey into Corbett all started with summer camp. After meeting her husband Tim at Trout Creek Bible Camp, Debbie Baker married him a year later. Originally from Portland, Debbie had a relative who lived in Estacada, and she remembered as a child wanting to "some day live in the country" as well. Moving to Corbett to raise a family was literally a dream come true for Debbie. In 1982 she and Tim began their family with Josh. Timothy was born in 1983, living just a short time before passing in 1984. Carrie arrived in 1985, Allan in 1987, and then their "Christmas gift" arrived on Dec. 27, 1997. Daughter Laura was born. Recently, Carrie married Paul, so he is a part of the family as well! Before becoming a mother, Debbie worked at Copeland Lumber. On 1-1-89 Tim bought Baker and Son Logging from his dad and uncles, and Debbie became their bookkeeper. Currently both of their sons are logging with Tim, and Debbie remains the bookkeeper. Over the years Debbie has been heavily involved with raising the children, volunteering at Aims Community Church, working at Trout Creek Bible Camp and now is working at the Corbett Schools through MESD. Debbie is passionate about working with children and recently loved helping out as a costumer for the "Oliver" play that CCT performed. Living in Corbett was an adjustment at first because  Corbett is "soooo quiet and peaceful!" When growing up in Portland, there seemed to be lots of noise all the time. In fact, when she was 18 years old, a United DC-8 commercial airplane literally crashed in her backyard on SE 157th and Burnside! That was an experience that she will never forget. These days she is happy to be living in the quiet country home her husband built and that they raised all their children in.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Firmly Invested

Leroy was born in 1941 as the youngest of three sons to (George) Raymond and (Alice) Wilma Smith. Leroy's folks married in 1935 after both had grown up in the area. Leroy attended Springdale School for grades 1-8 and then Corbett High until he graduated. Being an athlete, Leroy excelled in both basketball and football. He was selected to play in the Shriner's All-Star game as a quarterback, then went to Portland State Univ. for a year and played basketball for the school. In 1908 the Columbia Phone Co. was started by the Evans and Ellis families. Leroy's Grandpa Lucas (his mom's father) took the company over but then died in 1945, leaving Leroy's father to take over. In 1957 they went to a dial system. After a year of college, Leroy came home to work for the phone company with his dad. In 1960, Leroy married a local gal named Sharon who was still attending Corbett High School. Sharon finished her education and was one month shy of delivering their first daughter when she graduated! Leroy and Sharon went on to have a total of three children together. In 1973 the Columbia Phone Co. merged with Estacada Phone Co. and became Cascade Utilities. The current phone company building was built in 1974 after moving out of the current Corbett Water Dept. office on the Scenic Hwy. Corbett's phone company is now known as Reliance Connects. Three years after the merger, Leroy decided to sell out of the business and purchase Pounder Oil from Albert Pounder who was looking to retire. After five years, Leroy sold the company to the current owners and moved to Eastern Oregon with new wife, Patti. Being a rancher and then a Fire Chief, who created a new fire department for the area,  Leroy and Patti headed back to Corbett after nine years away. Moving to Howard Canyon, Leroy and Patti then built their own home in 1996 near Leroy's son, Jeff. These days Leroy is logging and working at the family's rock quarry in Corbett. He says he never wants to retire. Being past class president at Corbett High, president of Corbett's Pioneer Assoc., Kiwanis, Booster Club and the Oregon Independent Telephone Association, he also kept time for Corbett's basketball and football teams for years on end. Not to mention, serving literally decades as a volunteer firefighter and board member for the Corbett Fire Dept. These days he is happy to let the next generation "take over" where he left off. Is Smith Road named after his family? "No, that is after Howard Smith, no relation." Does his family have a road named after them? "Yes! It is at the end of Brower Road and is named after my grandfather. It is called George H.W. Smith Road!"