Sunday, October 14, 2018

From Florida to Corbett

Lorraine Newell's arrival into this world was expedited by a motorcycle ride. Her father was drafted into the Army and her mom wanted her to arrive prior to his departure for Germany. The answer? A bumpy motorcycle ride to start labor. It worked! Lorraine arrived before her father left and then she and mother eventually joined her father in Germany for a two year period. The family later moved to Florida where her only sibling was born. Her brother and parents lived with her in many locations within Florida until Lorraine was 15 years old. Her father was a pastor and was interested in attending Multnomah Bible College in Portland, so they decided to move across the country! Lorraine began as a sophomore at Park Rose High School and it was not easy for her. Quiet and compliant as a child, she was also artistic and played the piano. The move to Portland rocked her world and she didn't start off on a good foot. She literally BROKE her foot just before school started and had to hobble around her new high school! The following year she transferred to Portland Christian High School and met a friend there who lived in Corbett. That was the first time she was aware of the Corbett community. After high school graduation, Lorraine was in a bad car accident and needed time to recoup. She began college in 1989 at Azusa Pacific University in CA. After two years, she moved back to Portland and met her husband Gene. Her parents had moved back to Florida, so Lorraine lived in an apartment and began dating Gene. After eight months, they became engaged and then got married in 1992. Lorraine was working for Multnomah County and today is still employed with the county but has a different position, working as an analyst in Human Resources. Over the years she was able to take time off when her daughters were born and still at home. In 1995, Gene and Lorraine purchased their first home and then the babies started arriving! Together they have three daughters. Madeline is 21 and attending college in Seattle, Katie is 18 and Emma is 15, both attending school in Corbett. In 2003 the family moved to Gresham and then relocated to another Gresham home before finding a forever place to live in Corbett in 2018. Lorraine's parents are back in Portland now and they will eventually live with her family, so Lorraine and Gene wanted to find "the perfect spot" for multi-generational living when it comes time to join them on the property. Lorraine says the family loves to laugh a lot and vacation together. They make several trips to Seattle to see their oldest in college and are also big Seahawk fans. They have been to Mexico, Disneyland, and Hawaii. Currently, Lorraine is the president of CHAMPS, involved with the Site Council at the school and is a member of the Corbett Ladies Who Read book group.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Retired Teacher

Michelle Abramson was born in Redlands, CA and is the oldest of five children born to her parents. Her mom passed at age 90 and her father is still alive at 98 years of age! Michelle's father was a pilot in the Air Force, flying in WWII, the Korean War and in Vietnam. Michelle and her siblings lived internationally as a result of her father's position with the USAF. When she was five, Michelle's family moved to Japan for three years. They then moved stateside to Tacoma, Wash., then to Germany. Later it was off to Michigan and then back to Tacoma. As a child, Michelle said she was very quiet and yet confident. She loved being in the outdoors and was mischievous. Michelle attended all four years of college at Western Washington Univ. in Bellingham, WA., earning her Bachelor's degree in English and minoring in Art. College was a positive experience for her  and she made lifelong friends. Upon graduation, Michelle began teaching on an Indian Reservation near Yakima, WA. After teaching for a year, she then taught Art and English on the high school level in Oregon for two years. The next stop was teaching for four years in Germany for the Dept. of Defense at a high school where she again taught both English and Art. Michelle and Al Abramson had been platonic friends for ten years and when Michelle moved back to the states from Germany, love blossomed in Boston! Michelle went back to school at Boston Univ. to get Master's degree in English and her and Al married in Boston in 1972. Together they moved to Mississippi for a year where Al was a ship fitter and Michelle taught Art. After Mississippi, they moved to Portland where Michelle again taught Art and English at Roosevelt High School. Each and every summer they commercial fished in Alaska. When son Gunnar was born, he was born three months premature. He was well loved and cared for! Gunnar was a quiet child who started writing at age seven and would read whenever possible. He also loved target shooting, cars and military history. He is currently in Japan, looking to teach English. During his growing up years, he also went to Alaska with his folks each summer. When Gunnar was 13, they sold their fishing business. Al and Michelle not only went to Alaska with Gunnar, but also to Australia, India, Europe and all over the Western U.S.. In 1990, they moved to Corbett, wanting to get out of an increasingly busy Portland. Michelle taught nine years at Mt. Hood Community College after moving to Corbett, then suffered a bout with cancer. As she was recovering, both she and Al became involved at the Corbett Grange and the Helping Hands program. They also became involved with the Corbett Historical Society and the Columbian Garden Club. Michelle has always loved the rural aspect of Corbett, living just "close enough" to town! Al passed on his birthday in 2017 at the age of 74. Michelle continues to live in Corbett and has no plans to move anywhere else. Having lived and traveled the world, this is HOME.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

I am BAAAAAAACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Beginning this blog in 2010, I have personally interviewed nearly 400 folks that live in Corbett or work for the Corbett School District. I have a PASSION for this little community that helped raise my children. After volunteering extensively in many facets of the community, I came to realize that the people of Corbett are beyond amazing. My friend Clarence Mershon (author of numerous Corbett history books) encouraged me to start writing down some of the conversations I had with the people of Corbett. The Corbett Connector Blog was born!
Since the blog, I have also birthed the Corbett Business Directory to support LOCAL shopping for everything from needing an attorney to purchasing firewood! All folks in my directory must be a Corbett resident. Copies are updated every year and are FREE in both Corbett markets, Liz's Coffee Cabin and at the Grange. They are also available online.
This summer was busy for my real estate business, so it has taken me a bit longer to get started again with my interviews. Get ready to read about older residents that have lots of interesting thoughts to share about their lives!
Two years ago I moved out of the community during a very sad period of my life. I am SO HAPPY to announce that I am moving back in October. Corbett truly is my HOME. I cannot wait to start running the roads of Corbett again! ;)
(The Portlandia Marathon is next weekend and I am ready).
Please let me know if you have any particular friend or relative you wish for me to interview! #971-221-9655.

Monday, June 18, 2018

From Corbett to England's Oxford University

Born in Portland and raised in Corbett since birth, Kendal Hocking attended Corbett schools K-12. She is the middle of three daughters born to Corbett High sweethearts, James and Sharon Hocking. Considering herself to be very quiet and shy as a child, Kendal said she had a speech impediment that led to four years of speech therapy. Interested in art and music, she also played volleyball and soccer for many years of her childhood. Kendal played the clarinet in the school band from 5th to 11th grade. She began playing the piano at age five and still plays today. Kendal loved art classes in school, but also did a great deal of drawing on her own at home. The family did a lot of camping every summer and were close with other neighbor families, spending a great deal of time with them. Kendal graduated in 2011 from Corbett High and then attended Capernwray Hall in England for a year. This was her first time away from home and she grew a lot, saying that she learned just how much she did not know! This was a time of great spiritual growth for her as she went alone, not knowing anyone. When Kendal returned to Corbett after a year, she worked as a nanny and also at Multnomah Falls Lodge to save for college. Kendal began classes at Seattle Pacific University in 2013 and graduated in 2017 with a major in General Music. She originally went to get her degree in Music Therapy, and that was why she originally chose SPU. Her time in Seattle was life-changing for her as she left with a strong sense of community. She says being with like-minded peers had a profound impact on her and she made lifelong friends. Seattle is now considered her second home. Corbett will always be her first love! After graduation, Kendal came home to work once again to save for college. She has worked in the food industry, working as many hours as possible to save for a master's degree program at Oxford University in England! She was accepted into their Musicology Master's Program that begins in October. There is no aide or scholarships available, so she is thankful for her neighbors that she grew up with. Chris Spanjer is hosting a dinner at the Corbett Grange for all who want to attend and support Kendal. Sunday, July 15th from 6:00-8:00 pm will be an evening of English Fare. Tickets are $50 and will include a British feast, live music, Oxford readings and trivia. Call 971-678-7663 or email cspanjer@lcmcs.org. All proceeds will go to Kendal's 2018 Oxford expenses. Kendal's desire is to come back and teach locally at a high school level. Maybe even at a university someday! She is clearly passionate about learning and passing education on through teaching.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Coming Soon! Sugarpine Drive-In

Corbett residents Ryan and Emily Domingo first met at a July 4th BBQ in Brooklyn, NY despite both having Oregon roots. Together they share a passion for food, hospitality and connecting with people. Emily's mom was an avid gardener and Emily grew up being exposed to numerous vegetables and home grown meats. She worked in several restaurants as a teen, and later attended culinary school in Portland. She continued working in a variety of restaurants after school and was even on the Iron Chef! Ryan has a college background in Marketing and Advertising. He transitioned to a career in restaurants in 2006, managing numerous restaurants in several different states including Ned Ludd in Portland. Both Emily and Ryan have a deep love for nature and the outdoors, so having their first brick and mortar building located just off the Scenic Highway is a dream come true! Next month they are bringing their delicious comfort foods with a seasonal spin to the banks of the Sandy River. The Sugarpine Drive-In will be the new commercial kitchen for their upscale Larch Provisions catering business. Located at milepost 0 on the Scenic Highway, they are located in the snack shack that is over 100 years old and rich with history. Their plan is to offer high quality organic soft serve ice cream, sandwiches, refreshing beverages, soups, salads and more. One can drive through or walk up to the window to order. Multiple picnic benches will be available on their spacious deck to sit and enjoy either a snack or meal. They will be open year round, as they will still offer catering services as well. Hours at the Drive-In will be 11 am to 6 pm Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday and 11 am to 9 pm Friday and Saturday. They will be closed on Monday and Tuesday. More information can be found at www.sugarpinedrivein.com. Currently Ryan and Emily are looking to raise needed funds to get started and you can be a part of that by making a donation via their website or at kickstarter.com


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Living Life to the Fullest!

Clair Klock was born in Portland, OR. His sister Carol was born one year and 10 days after Clair. When just seven years old, his mom passed. When Clair was twelve, his father passed. At this point, Clair and his sister went to live with their father's brother and his wife. Orval and Dorothy Klock had already raised their children and were grandparents, yet they welcomed Clair and Carol into their Corbett home. Both kids experienced a huge change in lifestyle, going from the city to the country. They each enrolled in the Corbett schools and Clair became involved with 4-H gardening and forestry and the Service Club. Clair also played football, baseball and  basketball all through high school. In the summers, Clair worked for a Corbett couple who had a major impact on his life. Elmer and Donna Larson owned Larson Blueberry Farm in Corbett and Clair worked summers for them as a field hand, doing everything needed around the farm. This is where Clair began to understand and love farming. Clair attended Mt. Hood Community College for two years just after high school, studying biology. He finished at Oregon State, earning his degree in in General Science and Biology. All during college, Clair continued working at the Larson Farm on Christenson Road in Corbett, whenever time and school allowed.  After college graduation, Clair got a job with MESD-Multnomah Education Service District, working for their Outdoor School programs. Clair worked as a counselor and field instructor. He did this for nearly six years. During the summers, he worked for MESD Youth Conservation Corp. as a residential work camp counselor. He did projects in the Umatilla National Forest in NE Oregon. During this time at Outdoor School, Clair met his future wife, Beverly. She was his supervisor! In 1976 they married at a 4-H camp near Salem. In 1979, they leased the Larson Blueberry Farm and then operated that for 10 years, turning it into a large u-pick operation. They sold 250K lbs. of blueberries each year! During this time in 1982, they had the opportunity to purchase a home and acreage on Salzman Road in Corbett. They turned two acres of hay field into a blueberry field that still operates today as a u-pick farm. At the end of their 10 years at the Larson Farm, they only focused on the Salzman Road farm. During this time, Clair worked a variety of wildlife and GIS mapping jobs. In 1998, Clair got a job at Clackamas Soil and and Water Conservation  District as a small farms and urban conservation specialist. He currently still works there and it has been 20 years! Clair and Beverly have two children that are now grown and they live locally. They have six grandchildren and one great grandchild. Three years ago, Clair and Beverly retired from farming, having their Salzman Road farm run by a family member. They still operate as a u-pick and sell delicious blueberries each year from mid-July to mid- Sept. Both he and Beverly are life-long conservationists, supporting conservation education, as seen through the goals of their farm. 1. Produce a good product 2. Give urban people a farm experience 3. Provide jobs for local kids 4. Teach conservation farming. Both Clair and Beverly love traveling. Clair worked 20 years during his "free time" for Linblad Expeditions in Baja, Alaska and the Columbia River. He has traveled the world!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Bringing Cheer to the Classroom

Bekah Tucker was a cheerleader for all four years at Barlow High School. She absolutely loved the experience and has continued to be a cheerleader in her Corbett classroom. She is passionate about teaching her students. Bekah was born in Portland and grew up in Gresham, OR. She is the second of four daughters born to her parents. Her folks are still married and continue to live in the same home Bekah grew up in. Bekah was quiet as a child and says she always wanted to be a teacher, like Laura Ingalls Wilder. Bekah was a compliant child at school and yet a bit more rambunctious at home. She attended Good Shepard School for K-8 and her family attended church at Good Shepard. Bekah played volleyball and basketball both in middle school and high school. All of Bekah's sisters attended Barlow, and all were cheerleaders at the school, just like her! Bekah also sang in the school choir all four years, traveling out-of-state for numerous competitions. During her high school years, Bekah worked at Izzy's Pizza, across the street from Gresham High School. After graduation, she attended Warner Pacific College in Portland and graduated with a degree in Human Development. She minored in Christian Education. During her senior year, she studied at the University of Oxford in England for a semester. She absolutely loved the experience. During her college years, she dated a man and yet the relationship ended after graduation. She worked at her church after graduation as an administrative assistant for five years. She had thought it would only be a one year position! After her five years, she decided to move to Prague, The Czech Republic to teach in a pre-school for one year. While there, Bekah traveled all over the area on weekends and holidays. She said she made a lot of friends and created many wonderful memories. When she came home to Oregon, she had a renewed passion for teaching. She met for coffee with Desiree Chiu and got a job at Troutdale Elementary as a Special Education Asst. for three years. She was attending Concordia University in the evenings to to earn her Master of Arts in Teaching. Bekah did her student teaching at Corbett with Susan Handy and Dee Dee Hanes. The following year after graduation, she covered three different maternity leaves for Corbett teachers! Then, the following year a full-time position opened up for K-2 teaching. She has been at Corbett Grade School ever since. Bekah now teaches K-1 and really appreciates the encouraging and supportive staff that she is able to work with. She says the kids benefit from the collaboration that goes on between the teachers and aides that work so well together. Bekah lives in SE Portland and enjoys being able to walk to nearby restaurants and shops. She enjoys exploring the City of Portland, trying out the best spots for food, beer and coffee. She also loves to explore the world and is always planning her next trip!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

A Passion for Both Learning and Teaching

Yianna Belesiotis was born in Portland as the middle of three children. Her parents immigrated from Greece and had to learn English once they arrived. They ended up opening a restaurant and found support with other Greek families through the local Greek Orthodox Church.  Yianna began kindergarten barely knowing English, so began watching Sesame Street on TV to better learn the language. She then attended a second year of kindergarten to reinforce what she had learned. Yianna had two brothers and lived in the family home from birth until the time she left for college. Every summer her family went back to Greece to visit family. Her dad worked hard at the restaurant with his brother and would end up joining the family later in the summers. Yianna was shy as a young child and but later became a very curious, outgoing and energetic child. In her childhood she played the flute, guitar and also sang. She danced and had private dance lessons. She loved to read and later gravitated towards philosophy. Friday nights Yianna attended Greek Language School to be able to read and write Greek as well as speak it. When Yianna was just 12 years old, her father passed away from cancer. Her mother was devoted to the children and refused to marry again until her youngest child had grown up and left the house. At age 16 to 21, Yianna was a barista at Coffee People at the PDX Airport. She graduated from David Douglas High School then attended PSU and studied Classical Language and Literature. She finished with a degree in Liberal Arts. The year Yianna graduated from PSU was the same year she met her husband through a mutual friend. They have now been together for twelve years, marrying Dec. 29, 2014. Yianna married Justin Votos at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood. Both Yianna and Justin are climbers and literally travel the globe to find mountains and big rocks to climb. Justin is a wildlife biologist and a member of Portland Mountain Rescue, conducting rescue searches. In 2009, Yianna decided to continue her education and went to Concordia Univ. in Portland to earn her Master's in Teaching. She then took a year off and moved to Colorado with Justin to focus on climbing and becoming better at the craft. She then returned to Oregon and began subbing at Corbett and was hired in the Corbett Grade School the following year. She currently teaches K-1 and really enjoys her classroom, calling it her dream job. Her passion is environmental education and appreciates being able to create and implement Columbia Gorge Studies. Yianna and Justin currently live in Portland.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Perfect Fill-In

Kathleen Shelman has lived for 30 years in an original Corbett schoolhouse (The Hurlburt School) that was built in 1923. She and her husband Dave have been married for 41 years and they raised both of their children in the schoolhouse that was converted to a single family home in 1935.
Born in Portland, Or., Kathleen went home with her parents to  Seaside, Or. When Kathleen was just six months old, her mom was hospitalized with TB. Kathleen moved in with her grandparents and did not see her mom for three years. Kathleen was very loved and cared for by both sets of grandparents as they lived so close to one another. When her mom healed, she and her mom joined her dad in Elsie, Or. Two brothers eventually joined the family and then the family moved to Vernonia when Kathleen was in the third grade. The family lived there until Kathleen finished her freshman year of high school. During 7th grade, her parents decided to help a child in need and adopted Bruce to join the family. He is 10 years younger than Kathleen and he fit right in! When her dad got transferred again with Crown Zellerbach, Kathleen was 14 and the family moved to Seaside. Her dad was promoted from logger to assistant manager. She graduated from Seaside High School and attended Seattle Pacific College, which is now Seattle Pacific University. She then transferred after two years to Oregon State Univ. and majored in Elementary Education. Kathleen says she learned many life lessons in college and as a result, chose to make some changes and joined a campus ministry in San Jose. After this, she was hired to teach special education on an Indian reservation in Montana for one year. This was a very positive experience. Later she got a job as an aide in a behavior classroom in Park Rose. Here she learned a tremendous amount. Kathleen's grandmother found her a husband during this time. Dave Shelman attended the same church as her grandmother and introduced them. It was love at first sight! They dated just nine months and then married in her parent's wheat field in Molalla. Kathleen got her first full-time teaching job as a reading specialist, teaching three years. She gave birth to a daughter and then two years later, a son. Dave was transferred to Colorado as an architect and they lived there for four years. Kathleen taught nursery school during this time. In 1986, they moved back to Oregon. In 1988 Kathleen began working in the  Reynolds School District as a kindergarten teacher, part-time. She later taught first grade. Both her kids went to Corbett Schools K-12 and graduated. She retired in 2013 and has subbed in both the Reynolds and Corbett School District ever since. She mostly volunteers now. She loves to garden, do yard work, hike, kayak and travel. Her and Dave are happy at home with their one dog and two ducks.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Behind the Scenes

Cathy Taylor was born in Lake Oswego as the third of four children born to her parents. There were two girls and two boys. Cathy says she was very shy as a child, always reading books and playing the violin from age 10 until high school. She was involved in Brownies and then Girl Scouts, up until middle school. She did not participate in any sports, and spent her entire childhood in Lake Oswego. During high school she worked for two years at Kentucky Fried Chicken. After graduating from Lakeridge High School, she became a bank teller at Willamette Savings and Loan for three years. The bank closed, then Cathy took a job at Burns Brothers, quickly moving into an accounting position. She enjoyed her work and stayed eight years with the company. During this time, she met and married a man from Corbett and they moved to Troutdale. Jeff and Cathy had one son together in 1997. After her time with Burns Brothers, she went to work for Hoffman Construction as an accountant, staying four years. Cathy then went on to work for Toyo Tanso USA in Troutdale and stayed for twenty years! Cathy and her son live in Boring and she has been with her boyfriend Lynn the last seven years. Recently Cathy was looking for a job change and was notified of the position available in Corbett as the Business Manager. She was hired and has been with the school district since November 2017. Cathy brings a lot of experience to the table and although she works in an office tucked away in the administrative office, she loves being on campus with so many friendly students and staff! She says she is excited to be in such a positive environment and wants to make this a great year! In her free time, Cathy enjoys snowmobiling and riding motorcycles with Lynn. Cathy says she is a permanent passenger for the motorcycle rides! Cathy has a dog named Cheech and loves doing yard work on the property. She also volunteers for Soulful Giving, a non-profit group that feeds the Randall Children's Hospital. She does inventory and registration for the yearly Soulful Giving Blanket Concert held at Junki Yoshida's Troutdale home. The concert is held the first Saturday every August.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

A Lover of Language

Travis Dockter was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota and is the only child born to his parents. His father is a civil engineer and his mom is a retired preschool teacher. They are currently still living in North Dakota. Travis was very outgoing as a child and loved many different languages. Graduate students from literally all over the world came to work with his father and they would spend time at the family home. Travis admired most everything about the students and appreciated that they were all bi-lingual. This influence greatly inspired him to learn another language. Travis began studying German and while in high school, he lived in Germany with a family as a part of an exchange program. A perfect chance for him to perfect his language skills! While growing up, Travis learned to juggle and has continued this skill into his adult years. He also camped a great deal with his family and developed an immense love of the outdoors. He hiked the Grand Canyon at age 12 with his father and has visited Yellowstone, Glacier National Park and Carlsbad Cavern just to name a few. After graduating high school, Travis attended the Univ. of North Dakota in Grand Forks. He majored in both German and CSD (Communications Science Disorders) which is also known as Speech Therapy! Travis moved to Arizona after graduation and worked in the Glendale School District as a speech therapist for seven years.  This is when he met his wife, Kerri. During this time, this is when he also began attending Northern Arizona University to earn his Master's degree in Speech Language Pathology. Both Kerri and Travis decided to move to Oregon when he completed his degree. They both felt Oregon was gorgeous, fun and had the culture that they desired. In 2015 they moved to Fairview, Oregon and got married. Kerri began working for the Corbett School District. Travis got a job at WESD in McMinville, Or. He worked there one year and then applied to the Corbett School District. Fall of 2016, Travis was hired as a Speech Language Pathologist at Corbett Grade School. He really enjoys his position because of the opportunity and flexibility to try new things. Travis loves teaching the kids new communication skills. Travis and Kerri enjoy exploring Portland in their free time as well as hiking. Travis just recently began improv comedy to add to his performance skills as a juggler and children's entertainer. Travis and Kerri currently share their home with two cats.


Monday, January 1, 2018

Because of Trout Creek Bible Camp

Michelle Maier was born in Fort Benning, Georgia. She is the middle daughter of three girls and her parents are still married. Michelle's father was in the US Army and they moved often as a result. Michelle's mother stayed at home full-time until the youngest was in middle school, then she returned to teaching at a local grade school. Michelle was very outgoing as a child and loved to both sing and participate in theater. She took acting classes, was involved with plays at her school and was also involved in both speech and debate. As for athletics, Michelle played soccer, volleyball and ran both the the 100 meter dash and the four person relay in track. After graduating high school in Fayetteville, North Carolina, she attended the University of North Carolina in Wilmington. During the summers, Michelle decided to volunteer at Trout Creek Bible Camp in Corbett as a result of her mother's encouragement. Her mom had grown up in Troutdale and had also once been a volunteer at the camp! Michelle loved the experience and was there for four summers as both a counselor and as a dean.  She graduated college with her major in Elementary Education and immediately began teaching after finishing her degree. Michelle stayed in North Carolina, teaching 5th grade and then 1st grade. After teaching in North Carolina, Michelle decided that because she had loved the Corbett area as a result of her time spent at Trout Creek Bible Camp, she wanted to go back. In the summer of 2015, Michelle made the move and began working at a charter school in Gresham. She then had the opportunity to step in for a teacher in Corbett that had a health issue. She began teaching in February 2016 at the Corbett Grade School, teaching K, 1st and 2nd grade. She finished out the year and then began working on her Masters of Education at Concordia University. In the fall of 2016 she was hired at Corbett Grade School as a 2nd and 3rd grade teacher. She has continued on, loving her teaching position, the students, school and the Corbett area. Michelle met her current boyfriend through mutual friends and they have been dating for just over a year. They enjoy hiking, reading and trying new restaurants together. She recently bought her first home in the Portland area.