ETCETERA - Recycling all the rage during World War II

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Recycling to reuse has been in the common lexicon for decades now, but there was a time when recycling certain items went into efforts to "feed the nation's war furnaces," according to an Associated Press item from Oct. 31, 1942.

A copy of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin from that date included an article about a scrap metal harvest drive to address an urgent need.

Several old issues of the newspaper surfaced and were dropped off at our office recently by a local resident and a work colleague and I never tire of perusing the dusty, yellowed old pages.

The state amassed 80,000 tons of old metal in a drive for the World War II effort in 1942, but organizers needed still more industrial material to solve the nation's winter scrap problem.

County committees were named, including in Columbia where the contacts were J. Vern Rogg, Charles Sparks and Leo Henry, all of Dayton; A.L. Tefft, J.A. Butler and S.S. Jefferys, Pomeroy, for Garfield County; and Lew Felch, Earl Haines and R.B. Collins, all of Walla Walla for our county.

A bit odd by today's sensibilities is that Safeway advertised itself as an official fat collecting station. "Bring us your waste fats. This store is cooperating with the waste fat saving program."

I found an explanation for the need and uses for fat online at Dayton's history page: The War Production Board wanted fat that came from cooking to use in making explosives.

"Glycerin, made from waste fats and greases, was one of the most critical materials needed for the war effort. Three pounds of fat could provide enough glycerin to make a pound of gunpowder. Nearly 350 pounds of fat was needed to fire one shell from a 12-inch Naval gun."

Page one of the Oct. 30, 1942, U-B is covered with news about the war with reports from Europe, Japan, Australia, Egypt and other arenas.

That issue advertised a speech by Lawrence Minnick in support of John C. Tuttle's candidacy for prosecuting attorney over Radio KUJ.

The main headline on Oct. 31, 1942, is, "Bombers Smash Jap War Fleet/Heavy Ships Hit at Buin After Enemy Navy Leaves Guadalcanal Battle Scene."

It's interesting to compare how much food and clothing items are advertised for in other eras, including in the early 1940s.

In 1942, Bisquick, for example, was 31 cents for a large package. Kraft cheese was 65 cents for a 2-pound loaf, and ground beef was 49 cents for 2 pounds. Using a current Consumer Price Index calculator online, the same Bisquick would cost $4.14 in today's funds. Kraft cheese would be $8.68; and ground beef would be $6.54 today. Wool blankets from Sears, at Main and Colville streets, sold for $4.98, but would cost $66.48 now. The Copper Kettle at 22 E. Main St. offered boxes of chocolates and Halloween novelty candies "for her" from 65 cents-$2.20, or $8.68-$29.37 in today's currency.

The Church Grape Juice Co. in Kennewick advertised for men, women and children to pick grapes for 10 cents per lug to make juice for the troops.

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Pullman High School will celebrate 100 years with an all-alumni reunion July 2-4, said Kathleen "Kay" Pierce, PHS Class of 1969 and a member of the planning committee.

The group is so organized there's a Web site at www.phsgreyhoundsalumni.com/ .

The ball got rolling last summer when Amy Troutt Rosio, PHS Class of 1990, and Bill Smith, PHS Class of 1988, posted a question on Facebook asking if anyone would like to get together in Pullman this summer.

That turned into the Facebook group "Project Get Your Ass Back to Pullman" where folks voiced a preference for Fourth of July weekend or the Lentil Festival, Kay said. By December, it appeared the majority of comments were in favor of the July 4 time frame.

Kay teamed with Sue Druffel, PHS Class of 1958, who has chaired numerous PHS reunions, including the PHS Centennial in 1992.

Research showed that PHS 2010 is the 100th graduating class of 12th graders. "One Hundred Years of PHS graduates calls for a big celebration and reunion," Kay said.

Now both retired and with more time to spend on it, Kay is reunion chair woman and Sue is assistant chairwoman.

Use www.phsgreyhoundsalumni.com/ for information on the reunion schedule of events and reunion registration information.

Events are still being added, such as a self-guided tour of the current high school building. Currently it has a portal to other Web sites and a history tab. For more details, contact Kay at 2804 S. Harbour Springs St., Nampa, ID 83686; at home at 208- 463-4314 or by cell at 208- 249-2385 or e-mail PHS.WA.AllAlumniReunion@MSN.com

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Parents and children from Camp Fire USA's five After School Camp sites joined together March 20 at the Ice Chalet to celebrate the organization's 100th birthday with a cake and skate party.

The annual event reached an all-time record in participation, said Felicia August, communications coordinator.

Approximately 45 skaters were there and others who came but didn't skate, Felicia said. And they went through at least 60 slices of cake.

Camp Fire USA has served young people on the national level since 1910 and locally since the early 1900s. While the face of the organization has changed, a common thread over the last century has been helping children reach their full potential through a variety of meaningful activities that are relevant to present-day needs, Felicia said.

Camp Fire USA Walla Walla Council provides enrichment programs for boys and girls after school and in the summer.

After School Camp is available for children in kindergarten through fifth grade and is held at five of Walla Walla's elementary schools (bus transportation is available for Blue Ridge students to attend Prospect Point's program).

Super Summer in the Park runs all summer in Wildwood Park weekdays from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., and is offered to children entering first through sixth grades. Registration for the summer program begins May 3.

Between the two programs, activities include sports, crafts, educational games, science experiments, drama, financial literacy, cooking and nutrition, music, reading, art projects, holiday celebrations, bowling, swimming, community service projects and field trips.

Camp Fire USA's aim is to keep costs affordable for parents while providing a wide range of quality enrichment opportunities for local youth. Fees cover approximately 55 percent of program costs; fundraising, community giving and local partnerships make up the difference. Scholarships are available on a limited basis. For more information about Camp Fire programs, contact the office at 509-525-3180 or online see www.wwcampfire.org.

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Walla Wallan Brandon Campeau is among 28 Special Olympics athletes who will represent Washington state at the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games July 18-23 in Lincoln, Neb.

Brandon is on the state's bowling team.with David Brown, Vancouver; Jennifer Correa, Bremerton; and Sara Steele, Yakima.

The games will host 13 Olympic-style sports, ranging from soccer and bowling to aquatics and track and field to power-lifting; and for the first time flag football will be introduced.

Nationally, more than 3,000 athletes will compete; assisted by 1,000 coaches, 8,000 volunteers, supported by 15,000 family and friends. In the stands, more than 30,000 fans are expected to be on hand to cheer them on. In addition to competing, athletes will have the opportunity to meet other athletes from around the nation and share experiences, different cultures and customs.

Expected guests include Tim Shriver, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Vanessa Williams, Scott Hamilton, Nadia Comaneci and Bart Connor, along with other celebrities and dignitaries. The Games will focus the world's attention on the everyday courage, abilities, leadership, and achievements of Special Olympics athletes from every corner of the globe.

Special Olympics Washington provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. For more information see www.sowa.org

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One of the three students to be sent abroad for study from Western Washington University's Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies is from Walla Walla.

This summer, Kelsey Beckmeyer will be in Central America on a 10-month international learning project as part of WWU's Adventure Learning Grant program.

A 2007 graduate of Walla Walla High School, Kelsey is the daughter of Jim and Debbie Dumont of College Place.

ALG is a $15,000 grant awarded annually to three students within Fairhaven. All students enrolled at Fairhaven are eligible for the grants, so long as they have completed two quarters and commit to returning to Fairhaven for three quarters upon completion of their trip.

A junior, Kelsey will leave in September for Guatemala and Costa Rica to explore and learn about the impact of Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues" on an international level.

Kelsey performed in the Whitman College production of "The Vagina Monologues" during her senior year at Wa-Hi. In her project, "Feminism Across Borders: The Vagina Monologues," Beckmeyer said in an e-mail that she hopes to connect with the communities of women in these countries who have been a part of the Vagina Monologues and better understand how it has influenced them.

The episodic play written by Eve Ensler in 1996 is made up of various monologues, all relating to the vagina through themes such as love, mutilation, masturbation and birth. The play's central theme is that of the vagina as a tool of female empowerment and individuality.

Kelsey said she also aims to better understand how the concept of feminism is different between the United States and other countries.

This year's ALG recipients will venture to such locales as the Andes, the Balkans and Central America.

Factors on which grant applicants are judged include the creativity and ingenuity of the proposed project, the extent that the culture they will experience is different from their own, and the student's commitment to integrating and sharing their experience with the WWU community. Upon returning from their trip, grant recipients are expected to share their experiences with other students in classes or presentations to the community.

Contact Annie Charnley Eveland at annieeveland@wwub.com .

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