ETCETERA - Aviary bids welcome aloha to gaggle of Hawaiian goslings

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The nene or Hawaiian goose is an endangered species indigenous to the Hawaiian Islands, said Joanna Lanning, caretaker of the Pioneer Park Aviary.

All kidding aside, imagine how pleased bird enthusiasts are then, to have five healthy nene goslings hatch there on April Fool's Day. The family is on display in the lower pond enclosure at the aviary, Joanna said.

Because of budget challenges, the aviary needs funds to keep going. Currently, Friends of Pioneer Park Aviary have raised $100,000 of the $110,000 needed for operational funds through the end of the year.

The Friends' spring fundraiser will be a yard sale May 11-13 at the park facility. Proceeds will help support the new goose family and the other 200 exotic waterfowl and ornamental pheasants that reside there.

The yard sale will be on the aviary building's lawn, 925 Whitman St., from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. May 11-12 and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. May 13.

Quality donations are still being accepted for this benefit at the aviary. Call 509-527-4403 to contribute items. Pick up can be arranged for large donations. For more details, contact Joanna at jorunner33@gmail.com.

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Big news occurred 135 years ago when former Union Army Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman came over the Mullan Trail to Walla Walla in 1877.

"Walla Walla is a beautiful town, has a narrow-gauge railroad, built by the enterprise of Dr. Baker, thirty-two miles long, to Wallula, whence an excellent line of boats daily come to Portland, transferring freight and passengers around The Dalles, 14 miles, and the Cascades, 5 miles, by Railroad," wrote Sherman in a Sept. 23, 1877, report to George W. McCrary, secretary of war, in Washington, D.C.

Sherman said wheat grew in such abundance here that they estimated a million bushels for sale and export and that the railroad would be incapable of hauling it and fruits and vegetables away before winter.

"My route from Spokane to Walla Walla carried me west of the prosperous settlements on Hangman's Creek, Palouse, Tucanon, etcetera, but the loaded wagons and dusty roads leading into Walla Walla show that the farmers had much to sell. Meat, flour, oats and all that is needed by a garrison are cheaper and more abundant at Walla Walla than Leavenworth," he said in the letter, part of the collection "Reports of Inspection May in the Summer of 1877 by Generals P.H. Sheridan and W.T. Sherman of Country North of the Union Pacific Railroad," printed by order of the Secretary of War, by the Washington Government Printing Office in 1878.

Sherman's writing also promoted getting the Native American Indian population to conform or get out. In this same dispatch, he wrote, "I honestly believe the Army could induce hundreds if not thousands of others to do the same; but if left as now, wandering about hoping to restore the old order of things, an Indian will be a curiosity here in 20 years."

Retired Whitman College librarian and avid researcher of vintage images, advertisements, stories and vintage family photos Joe Drazan gleaned an article in the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin on Sept. 13, 1936, that reported on Sherman's rough trek 59 years before that along the Mullan Trail to Walla Walla in 1877.

When he got here on Sept. 18, 1877, he opted for a stay at Stine House to be wined and dined, instead of being put up at the garrison. His party's rooms had been arranged by the city council.

He was accompanied by son Thomas E. Sherman, Gen. Orlando M. Poe and Col. John M. Bason and two companies of the First Cavalry under the command of Capt. W.H. Winters and Lts. Force and Shelton. They had been conducting inspections in Montana, previously, and made the "fast" haul in 15 days from Missoula.

Fallen timber and destroyed bridges along the Mullan road made it nearly impassable. Thirty men cut and built passageways for the two ambulances and baggage wagon traveling with the retinue. They continued by train to Portland after a two-day stay in Walla Walla.

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A career with the U.S. Navy took a detour for former Walla Wallan Scott Eagon, who was into his second year at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., when he was injured in his room, his father Paul Eagon said.

The 1998 Walla Walla High School graduate recovered from his injury, but also went in a different direction than the military once he was well. Working hard, he got a full academic scholarship at Whitman College and earned a chemistry degree from there in 2005.

Prior to his death, Port Martin of Martin's Jewelers was able to attend grandson Scott's thesis class at Whitman, where Port was also a chemistry alum.

Next, Scott earned a Ph.D in chemistry in 2010 from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He teaches organic chemistry at San Francisco State University.

While in Boston, on leave from the Naval Academy, he met future wife Lena Mah Eagon, with whom he has sons Aiden, 51?2, and Brendan, 3. As Lena heads overseas distribution for Lucas Films, their family lives at the Presidio in San Francisco.

Scott is the son of Scott and Mary Eagon, and grandson of Honey Lou Eagon, all of Walla Walla.

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Hundreds of people contribute time and talent to make the 45-year-old Fort Walla Walla Museum what it is today. The museum opened its doors to the public at its current location in Fort Walla Walla Park in 1968.

Volunteers are honored for their contributions during an awards banquet, according to a release from Nancy Parry, executive assistant.

Recipients include: Elaine MacDonald, All-Around Awesome; Bob Bonstead and Roger Cockerline, Archaeology; Jean Hiroko, Edith Haggerty and Mardy Adams, Building Attendant; Vickie and Bod Shatzka, Buildings and Grounds; Kathy Stritzel, Collections Management; Linda Hintz, Docent; Esther Dixson and Helen "Sis" Kerr, Exhibits; Larry Panasuk, Gardens; Nada Robie, HQ Receptionist; Dick Phillips, Living History; Kristen Hair, Museum Store.

George Carpenter received the Morris Ganguet Outstanding Volunteer Award, given to a recent volunteer whose contributions have stood out even from other volunteers. Marjorie Saranto was presented the Gerwyn A. Jones Service Award, which honors a volunteer whose contributions have been consistently beyond the call of duty over time.

There are more than 400 volunteers who give to the museum. "Without the dedication of so many wonderful volunteers, operating an organization of this size, scope and ambition would truly not happen," said James Payne, museum director.

Annie Charnley Eveland will be back in the office on May 22. Items for the Etcetera column may be submitted to annieeveland@wwub.com or, if too timely, to Alasdair Stewart at alasdairstewart@wwub.com. Call Stewart at 526-8311 for more information.

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