51-year-old news clipping evokes warm memories

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Janet Langenwalter Lindquist of Walla Walla came across a newspaper clipping, dated July 19, 1958, that more than likely came from the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin.

While going through her father, Allan Langenwalter’s things, Janet found the news item that she said her grandmother cut out.

The clip reports that along with her parents and siblings, Janet was visiting from Hermiston for a family gathering here at the J.E. Langenwalter home on Boyer Avenue. Janet’s uncle, aunt and cousins were in town from their home in Schenactady, N.Y. Even in July, the 14 family members celebrated Christmas for the first time together with a trimmed outdoor tree and a turkey dinner, the item noted. Janet’s grandparents lived in Walla Walla at the time.

A doctor in Twin Falls for more than 30 years, J.E. and his wife checked out several communities and chose to retire in Walla Walla.

"It was a great community, close enough to Hermiston where my family lived, and still in Washington state," Janet said via e-mail.

"I remember so vividly driving over for Sunday dinners, going to the park to feed the ducks and trying to roller skate on the bumpy sidewalk. Thankfully Grandpa had a good supply of Band-Aids!"

J.E. refinished furniture in an antique shop just for fun, Janet said. "He also grew the most beautiful dahlias and delicious tomatoes in their backyard. His garden was always a wonderland for me. And Grandma made the best pickles, jams, and jellies! Yup, there are some good memories there."

Her grandparents lived in their home at 1067 Boyer Ave. for about 15 years before moving to the brand new Capitol Manor Retirement Home in Salem.

By the way, anyone interested in researching old Walla Walla Union-Bulletins and any of its predecessors into the 1860s can do so at Whitman College’s Penrose Library, 10 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, 345 Boyer Ave., (509) 527-5922; archives@whitman.edu; www.whitman.edu/archives.

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It’s probably safe to say none of the 249 seniors with the Walla Walla High School Class of 1949 thought they would be gathering for a class reunion when they’d passed their 75th birthdays.

But 60 years later and down by nearly 90 of their classmates, the remaining members concluded this year would be their last official function and the money left in their treasury should go to a good cause, said Paul Franzmann, communications manager with Fort Walla Walla Museum.

Class of ‘49 representatives include Maita Hagedorn, Toss Benefiel, and Dick Garver, all members and volunteers at the Museum.

Along with classmate Dick Neher, the four presented Museum Operations Manager Don Locati (a member of Wa-Hi’s 1954 graduating class) with more than $250 for the Museum’s general operating funds.

"We thought that was a really wonderful gesture on the part of the Class of 1949," Don said.

"Many members of that group have been big Museum boosters and supporters all these years and here they are, still making a difference in the community. Our hats are off to these terrific folks."

Don and Paul gave the group a brief tour of the Museum’s new Entrance Building & Exhibit Galleries to show them the progress to date as the Exhibits & Collections Department begins to fill the new space in preparation for an April 1 season opening.

Fort Walla Walla Museum is at 755 Myra Road. Museum hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily April through October. For more details, contact Fort Walla Walla Museum at (509) 525-7703 or e-mail info@fortwallawallamuseum.org. Online see fortwallawallamuseum.org.

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Two of Lyn Ritz’ Walla Walla University students are teaching violin to seven young beginners in Touchet. They began lessons on Dec. 8. Lyn and one of her students worked with the beginners for over an hour, and they really seemed excited, she said.

The WWU students, Noel Jabagat and Danielle Loch, work with the youngsters at the Touchet Public Library.

Students include: ?Catelin McGreevy, Danaka and Zac Jaggar, Kaitlyn, Amanda and Savannah Cottrill and Olivia Kentch.

Retired teacher Gerald Hixson organized the activity for students in the Touchet area, six of whom are homeschooled. Gerald initiated several after-school programs earlier this year, including one in July where he brought in supplies to work with young people on a rock polishing project.

Gerald is looking at birding as a possible activity for spring. He has about a dozen bird guides and stories, photos and several pairs of binoculars to share and is considering field trips for bird identification.

One project will be for participants to build a bird feeder. Participants will earn an honor for the activity, he said. For more information, contact Gerald (pronounced with a G as in "golf") at 509-540-2187.

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Milton-Freewater Rotary Club member Robby Robbins reported that Kristopher Borgman from Walla Walla’s new Wine Valley Golf Club, spoke to the group during its Jan. 5 meeting.

Kris is one of the golf club’s two superintendents. A Walla Walla Valley native, he developed a keen interest in the game of golf and providing the conditioning to go with it. He’s involved with the Byerley family, which owns the land, including co-owners Jim Pliska and John Thorsnes, in adding something new to the area attractions. He studied at Washington State University and Walla Walla Community College to help develop the techniques required for golf course management and care, Robby reported.

The links-style course is open to the public. It’s situated 7 miles west of Walla Walla off Frenchtown Road. Local business entrepreneurs funded the course to make it another of the valley’s wine country destinations. Dan Hixon, a golf course architect, designed the facility, which opened on April 17, 2009.

It has five sets of tees providing a playing length of 5,105 to 7,360 yards to challenge all players at every level.

The greens are a blend of bentgrass with fine fescue and Kentucky bluegrass tees and fairways. During summer schedules, 12 groundskeepers maintain the course.

Precise control of the irrigation heads on the course are controlled by a highly advanced computer system linked to an on-site weather station. Two wells on the property provide water for the system throughout the growing season.

Peak season rates apply from May 1-Sept. 30 and various other rates are available during the year.

Wine Valley Golf Course was rated fifth by Golfweek’s Best New Courses of 2009.

Tournaments scheduled this year include the Wine Valley Pro-Am Invitational from April 17-18; the Inaugural Washington State Golf Association Mid-Amateur Aug. 6-7; the Northwest Open Aug. 23-25; and the Wine Valley Best Ball Invitational Sept. 25-26.

For additional details, call 1-877-333-9848 or online, see www.winevalleygolfclub.com. The course is off U.S. Highway 12 at 176 Wine Valley Road.

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Press a few buttons and presto, news in the travels fast in the electronic age.

Life Scout Adam Gallinat of Walla Walla recently sought photos of Bennie Shinbo, a 12-year-old Walla Walla Boy Scout who drowned in the Columbia River while attempting to save his scoutmaster.

Currently Boy Scout Troop 305’s historian, Adam wanted to include photos and information about Bennie’s heroic act in the troop’s scrapbook.

So he e-mailed me information about Bennie and photos detailing his headstone for publication.

An item in the Jan. 3 Etcetera column outlined Adam’s research and the details he discovered about Bennie’s attempt to save Fred Small. Unfortunately, the current was too strong at Thrasher’s eddy, 3 miles from Wallula, and they died there on Aug. 27, 1933.

A phone call I placed to Walla Wallan Art Shinbo, Bennie’s younger cousin, set in motion a series of electronic contacts that ultimately reached Yokohama, Japan, 5,023.8 miles away, and resulted in a portrait of Bennie and another that was taken at his burial service in Mountain View Cemetery.

The trail I followed from Art first led to Bennie’s niece, Wendy Ding of the Seattle area, who graciously put out feelers, as Art had, to various relatives in search of photos of Bennie.

Wendy’s aunt Masako Shinbo of Yokohama (about 45 minutes from Tokyo by car) located two images that we are privileged to publish today. Bennie, his sister Maxine (Wendy’s mom) and their parents, Takisaku and Yuso, lived in Walla Walla. Taki and Yuso had another son, who went to Japan with two relatives at an early age to be raised there.

"He got a very good education," Wendy said of this uncle. He grew up to hold a 1/3 ownership in the Chrysler Corp. in Japan, but sold his share right before the big crash of Chrysler years ago, Wendy added.

After only seeing pictures of this brother for years, Maxine got to visit with him years later during three weeks in Japan around 1977.

Wendy got to meet the uncle in 1982 during her first time to Japan. She stayed with him and other relatives for about a month.

Prior to her trip to Japan, she had only met five relatives from there, but by the end of her visit, she came to know more than 150 relatives.

Wendy plans to forward the Etcetera column about her uncle to a cousin in Japan, who will translate the item from English to Japanese for rest of the family.

And all because of the curiosity and diligent research of Michael and Carol Gallinat’s son, Adam.

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Local artists are donating some of their work to a fundraising enterprise coordinated by Jo Lowe, owner of Suncatcher Studios in Milton-Freewater . Jo organizes raffles of the artists’ works and then donates the Humanities for Youth Program funds to the McLoughlin High School Art Department.

In September, Michelle Thacker won a wall hanging quilt by Viv Silva. Susan Dorman won Randy Klaussen’s watercolor painting and Jean Mascak won an original print by Francesca Spoonhower.

The most recent raffle of a gift basket of arts and crafts items ended in December and was won by Teresa Hutchins. The total donation from the raffles comes to $129.

Mac-Hi art teacher Blue Leitch appreciates support shown by community members "who care about the arts and their importance for our young people.

"The generous donations of work from local artists are what has made these raffles possible."

For more information on upcoming raffles and gallery openings, call Suncatcher at 938-6379 or Mrs. Leitch at 938-5591.

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Ahoy, former shipmates of the destroyer USS Maddox, the association of the same name is planning a reunion Aug. 26-29 in Philadelphia. The contact is Dennis Stokhaug, 571 W. 14562, Muskego, WI 53150. He can also be reached at 262-679-9409 or e-mail maddox64@aol.com.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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