Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on June 28, 1993 · Page 8
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 8

Ukiah, California
Issue Date:
Monday, June 28, 1993
Page 8
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8 MONDAY, JUNE 28, 1993 Readers Page THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL The Reader'* Page appear* monthly In the Dally Journal. SubmlMion* can be made to the editor, P.O. Box 749, UWah, 95482 'Sweet Memoirs' of roosters copperheads and fightn' By CYNTHIA PARDUE of Ukiah "The morning air hung thicker'n pea soup, and yeah... just as salty and sticky! oh gawd liken ta honey been sittin nex ta the stove fer a month 'stead of in the pantry ya know, where it's cold and mild... yup that's where we should be right now. Not out here feeding these critters. Tho Rose reminded us, (none too politely), How'd we'd be feeling like if we were left starved and abandoned, "cuz she could git up early and feed her 7 and then come to our household & be a kindred mother to us while our mama Marsha took care of her interests, not to say momma wasn't interested in raising us ya know, but what the horses, piano & daddy's animal refuge she had her hands full. And daddy John... well being the only vet for miles out in the swamps he rarely even slept., (must be why I'm nocturnal to this day)... I reccollect an old claw-footed tub sunk into the ground that we used as a holdin tank for the baby alligators. Yep, John & Marsha, (just like the movies)... How romantic... How like life sometimes... Eloquent, awash in the rythyrns of the day, starting with subtle^ melody v pf. the sterling 'silver - sunnsev:. the •days; events enjoelished i like an opal, at after supper time, with the awe inspiring cotton candy sunsets. So anyway there we were feeding those critters, membering the crazed rooster, though he was part kanga-roo & very territorial. He'd jump on you faster than a humming bird to Indian Bottle Brush when we'd go to fetch them eggs. But he did that one too many times to one of my young'uns. Pissed me off hotter'n a Copperhead. Smacked 'em silly I did! Course after that incident he was really tweaked. So naturally we held a fine meal in his honor! Yes sir mad roosters make fine sampling!... Anyways we was all trying to think up an excuse to go to the pantry for respite when Lordy Rose gave forth a wail., the katy-dids did an absolute chill, and even the cat stopped in her tracks. We all picked up & scooted into the house not heeding that we brought half the yard & its dust & the feed into the parlour. She was listenin' to the victrolla, which she oft' did., usually jazz or classical or sometimes waltz's, which we children would half in jest waltz to, with great emphasis on the twirling till we were so nauseated & dizzy, the clouds would be swirling in our brains. "Someday, Rose would exclaim, someday you'll appreciate fine listenin.' "... And of course she was right... Bless her... But now she stood with a look of gloom on her face, her eyebrows knitted together like 2 catepillars mating, or whatever it is they do to make butterflys. This wasn't music appreciation day though. This was a nightmare come true to life, worse anything Stephen King could write. This was war, the bleak dark sad, cold, stark, not beautiful gloom of life. Like an empty p-nut butter jar. Nothingness. When the man made powers that be decide to wreck havoc against Gods peace & serenity. When will these men learn to comprimise & have compassion? Be more like women. Why oh why must they be so unspiritual? Nuthin' comes of war but grief, families torn assunder, & mistrust of gov't guidance. A blight upon us!... send a man to the moon, communicate to whales & dolphins, but killin' one another for profit & power? More likened to a couple of pre-schoolers who should be scolded & sat down with crackers & milk together without the toy. Popular consensus dictates duelin' pistols at 20 yars, like them french aristocrats. Neat & clean & only the loss of one life. Instead of thousands, "lo even one life is too many for the bells of freedom to ring." ...And me? I'm grown now, matured, changed, I shave, have nice craft I make an honest livin' at, a smile upon my face, a centered (somewhat) soul, Yep, young'uns of my own to tend. One is upon draft age. Yet I'll protect him against the powers that argue his patriotic duty... Is it noble to murder for freedom, To defend our families, of course!.... but to plot & plunder for the sake of an elitist few to protect their financial prowes'? Nay! Rather beat a Copperhead with a crazed rooster. Retired justice remembers Ukiah's early days By ELLY MILLER I interviewed Hale McCowen in, retired justice court judge, because he grew up in Ukiah, for a history essay in my school. Mr. McCowen's great grandparents crossed the Plains in 1857 and settled in Potter Valley. Their son George came first in 1854 and kept a diary. He copied the diary and sent it to the rest of the family so that they would know what roads to follow and where to find water. Traveling with Mr. McCowen's greatgrandparents were their daughter Helen and her husband A.O. Carpenter. Grace Carpenter Hudson, their daughter, was Mr. McCowen's cousin. First they stopped in Grass Valley, and then they went through Lake County, and then they came up over the south end of Mid-Mountain and got stuck in the snow. People from one of the three Potter Valley Indian settlements walked up the mountain into the snow in their bare feet and packed their belongings down to the valley floor. The Carpenters and the McCo- wens liked the Indians. They were good people. The Potter Valley Indians had a fight, however, with the Eel River Indians. They thought the Eel River people could not be as good. Very few of these people remain. Some were relocated to Covelo. He didn't know what happened to the rest of them. Taking the train Cousin Grace did very well as an artist. Her husband was just useless as a doctor so she supported him. He wrote well, but he was a useless doctor. One day Cousin Grace and his aunt took the train to San Francisco. From Sausalito, they probably took the car ferry to the foot of Hyde Street. The train used to leave Ukiah at 4:30 in the morning — that was the train down from Eureka—and also at 10:30 and at 1:30. (When Elly Miller, age JO, attends Yokayo Elementary School. he was 8, he went on the train with his father and his father got to ride in the locomotive because he knew the engineer but he wasn't allowed to.) When the train crews stopped here, they stayed at the Cecile Hotel which is where the new Savings Bank is. Grace Hudson was trying to negotiate a contract with Gump's, which sold all her pictures. She had his aunt ask "Whose paintings are those?" at Gump's. The manager came out and said they were Grace Hudson's paintings and she was very famous and they were very valuable paintings. Then Grace jumped out and said, "I see how valuable my paintings are to you. Now you will pay me accordingly." They did. The Hudsons were the only people in Ukiah to drive a Cadillac. His mother didn't want to live next to his grandparents so, they bought former District Attorney Poage's house at 610 Clay Street. Mr. McCowen's father was the District Attorney then. Many years later, Earl Warren's last act as Governor of California was to appoint his father to be a Superior Court judge. His sister was born in the hospital that burned down and was just left for years and years until the owners moved the Bitterbender house to the site last year. Remember the Bitterbenders The Bitterbenders owned the hardward store that became Yaeger & Kirk. There's a very old warehouse in the lumber yard of Yaeger & Kirk. He thinks that was the original Bitterben- der warehouse. He was born two years later, in 1918. His mother felt there wasn't anything she couldn't do at home that she'd done at the hospital. A few years after he was born, his grandparents moved from Grove Street to the house across the street, where his son John McCowen lives now. So, his mother didn't escape her in- laws after all. He lives in the house he was bom in, at 610 Clay Street. It's called "clay" because, under the gravel bar in this neighborhood, it's all clay. Water doesn't go into clay. His father had a well out back and he threw rocks and bottles and cans into it all the way to the top. Then he covered it over with wood and bricks and took out the chicken yard and put in a pergola. Many years passed, then in the early 1950s, he had to replace the rotted boards. They looked inside. All the heavy trash was gone, sunk into the underground channel that leads to the river. Burning wood for heat Everyone used to burn wood for heat. His parents had two pot-bellied stoves. The one upstairs was never used unless someone was sick and stayed home. In the 1930s, people started to put in furnaces that burned oil. When he and his wife Virginia moved back into the house in 1962, they put in electric heating boards. There were about 2,500 people living in Ukiah when he was a boy. Where the Indian Health Clinic is now on Bush, there used to be a hospital. That's as far as Ukiah went on the South except for a really old big Victorian down on the South over near where the airport is now. On the east side-, Ukiah stopped this side of Orchard Street. Two very stingy spinster sisters —the Redemeyer sisters—used to own a lot of the land down there. They had a big old house and really huge oak trees, but they didn't do anything with the land. There was a man who had a vegetable garden on Perkins where there's a gas station now. He had a push cart with HUGE wheels and he went around Ukiah selling vegetables. Sometimes people drove down to his farm to get vegetables. One day, his aunt went to visit the Redemey- er sisters. It was about 11:30 in the morning. The sisters saw their brother Jack drive up, so See ESSAY, Back Page Dad's gift of love fills heartbreaking void By ANNIE JORDAN of Ukiah "The fair is here, why don't you take Raymond, it would be his first time going." I sighed and turned to look at my mother. "You take him Mom, I don't feel like it." "Sweetheart, I know you hurt, but you have to start letting go. You still have a fine, healthy son who misses his mother's attention!" I knew my mother was right, but I didn't care. My little girl was dead. I never got the chance to even hold her in my arms. All I got was a glimpse of a tiny perfect face before the doctor whisked her lifeless body away. The autopsy didn't reveal why my daughter died before I gave birth to her. All I knew was that the child I carried in my body for seven months was gone. And she never knew her name would have been Brandy. I turned away from my mother, and after a while I heard her leave with my son. I was sure they would be gone for a few hours. Mom liked the fair too. I didn't mind being left alone. I welcomed it. I must have dosed off because it was dark when I heard my Dad calling me. I figured that he just wanted to know where Mom was. He was so nervous around me since I lost my child. He didn't bother to come to the hospital while I was there and he avoided being alone with me all together. Dad came to my room and sat on the edge of the bed. "Daughter, you have been cooped up in this room too long, now I want you to get up, get dressed and come with me!" At first I was going to argue with him, let him know how I really felt about him and his neglect of my feelings. But Dad had an unusual firmness in his voice that told me he would not take no for an answer. To my surprise and dismay, we went to the fair. I thought we would be meeting Mom and my son there but Dad told me they were on their way home. He told me he wanted to spend a little time alone with me. Instead of feeling comforted, I felt a little resentful. He wasn't there when I needed him earlier, what made him think I wanted to be with him now? Dad asked me if I wanted to go on some of the rides, but I refused. So we walked around and saw some of the exhibits. I don't remember much of what I saw. I do remember looking at every baby I saw and wondering why I couldn't have mine with me. Why was everybody happy except me? Maybe God just didn't care about me no more than my Dad did. Dad suddenly stopped in front of a dime toss. They had all kinds of teddy bears there. All shapes and sizes, dressed in every kind of way imagined. Before I realized it, Dad was handing the carnie a couple of dollars. I stood back and watched Dad take careful aim and toss. The first two slid off the table, but the third one landed perfectly in a small red circle. The carnie told Dad to choose any teddy he wanted. Dad studied them carefully. Finally, way up on top, he chose a small brown bear, dressed in a sleeper with a nightcap on. I was thinking how happy my son would be with it, when Daddy put it in my arms, as carefully as you would a baby. "I can't say that I know what you are going through daughter, because I didn't lose you. I just wanted you to know that I love you and wish I could make it better. I know this isn't a replacement but it is something you can hold whenever you get to thinking of Brandy." Brandy. He knew what I was going to name her! Dad seemed to read my mind. " You don,' t think I cared, because • I didn't come to the: hospital sweetheart, but I couldn't. I was of no use to you there, and I couldn't stand to see you in so much pain, like you are now." I didn't say anything to the man I misjudged as uncaring, I just hugged my gift and let my tears flow. But this time, I smiled! Daddy relaxed and smiled back. After a Moment he hugged me. At that Moment I realized that Daddy did love me, he just had his own way of showing it. I love you Dad! POETRY Grandmother's Death By DOUGLAS STRONG of Ukiah Riddled with cancer and the cares of a lifetime, irresistible forces converge upon her, sealing her snugly in a hard, unrelenting silence, as death disperses the seeds of oblivion. She changed to phosphorous at first, then some far more precious essence. She was transformed into something noble and rare. For when she turned her head and sniffed for her soul, we caught a look of turquoise gleaming in her eyes, and her voice — flying from her as it merged with non-being whispered verses in jade. Weaving the World By ROSE ROCKELS of Ukiah Weaving the World A ship of silver, So sleek and smooth, Weaving itself in a cloth scan, So calm and nice, No waves to see. Upon land are petals of silk, And grass of wool, As God weaves he needs no tool, He shapes a human, As a potter does a bowl, He's never lonely because of his happy soul. He fastens mountains, And blows the winds, Places the sun, And gives us sins, He sprinkles the rain, And roars the thunder. Will the world stay this way? I wonder. Death By ROSE ROCKELS of Ukiah What are we coming to for us to kill another Whether it be a friend, an enemy, or even our brother. To rid a life from this forsaken world, Is it a blessing or a sin? To throw them out where the dead are hurled, Is that to lose, or is that to win? Is the loser the killer or killed, Is the winner the weak or the willed. We use knives, and guns, and drive-by shootings, A rope, a razor, any thing that death will bring. We hear the murder the death, the suicide, The missing the convicted and the homicide. Is our world so wrong That we nmust remove ourselves, is death that strong? Death keeps us clutched tightly within it's claws, Are we so unjust that we find security in deaths jaws. To climb into the unknown for comfort, Do we not find this a frightening port? Is it just that the unknown is mysterious So we do not take death so serious? Are you a Poet, Short Story Author, Photographer or Have your work published on the Ukiah Daily Journal's Rules for submission of material: 1 Nothing derogatory, libelous or in poor taste toward an individual or business will be published either in poetry, photographs, drawings or short stories. 2. All short stories or poetry must be typed. 3. All material submitted must include the author's name, address and telephone number. 4. All material will appear subject to the editor's discretion All submissions will be kept by the Daily Journal unless prior arrangements are made. In the cage of photographs, where negatives may be used, the negatives will be returned. There will be no payment for use of any material. Please submit your material today to: Jim Smith, Editor Ukiah daily Journal 590 S. School St. Ukiah, CA 95482

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