Five generations of Walla Walla resident Archie Lindsey’s family gathered recently for a photo to commemorate having that many generations under one roof. It was the first time 90-year-old Archie, a retired masonry contractor formerly based in Dixie, got to see his brand-new great-great-granddaughters, Karsyn and Gail-Lynn Johnston.
The babies are the daughters of Archie’s great-granddaughter, Aleesha Berg and fiance Dakota Johnston of College Place. “Aleesha is doing quite nicely managing the babies while Dakota works. But he’s also a very involved daddy,” said Aleesha’s grandmother and Archie’s daughter, Mary Ellen Berg of Walla Walla. Aleesha’s mom is Michelle Berg of Walla Walla.
The infants were born a month early on Oct. 27 at Walla Walla General Hospital, Karsyn tipping the scale at 6 pounds 1 ounce and Gail-Lynn at 4 pounds 5 ounces. “They’re gaining weight great according to the pediatrician at their one-month checkup,” Mary Ellen said.
The family has deep roots in Walla Walla County, Mary Ellen said. Archie’s late wife Bernadene Berg is former Dixie postmaster. Her grandparents came west across the plains by covered wagon and homesteaded in the area in the 1800s. Bernadene died in 1976.
Walla Walla writer Martin McCaw is gearing up to sign copies of “Short Story America Anthology Volume 2,” which includes his novelette, “A Song for One-Eyed Lou.” He will greet patrons at Book & Game Co., 38 E. Main St., from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 14.
Also available will be the anthology’s first volume, which features Martin’s Pushcart Prize-nominated story “Light in the Window.” In May another of his stories was short-listed for the United Kingdom’s Global Short Story Prize. The two anthologies are also available at Earthlight Books, 321 E. Main St.
Back in September, “Sara’s Wreath,” a story Martin penned based on his friendship with the Yenney family here, garnered a $500 second-place prize in the inaugural Short Story America contest for Short Fiction.
He wrote it for Pat Yenney and daughter Sara Erwin. “Pat and Sara had told me about their lives when Sara and her sisters, Susan Scott and Ann Caulk were growing up,” Martin said.
“Alan Yenney, Pat’s husband and Sara’s father (whom I never knew), became a legend to me when I read Sara’s memoir about him. After he died, she woke up at one in the morning and wrote the memoir in one sitting. Pat is also a fine writer, and her stories added to the legend,” Martin said.
From Dale Cosper of Milton Freewater, Martin learned that Alan was among the last of the sidehill cowboys, those guys who rode their horses across mountain slopes too steep for people to walk.
Sunday evenings would find some of these cowboys gathered at the Yenney home. Pat played piano and sang such tunes as “They Call the Wind Mariah” and “Home on the Range” with Alan, their daughters and the cowboys.
Images began to build in Martin’s mind, based on a photo of Alan and his horse that hung on the wall that Sara mentioned.
“Even though I never saw the photo, I can visualize it. In my imagination, the photo resembles a Charles Russell painting, with Alan leaning forward into a stiff wind,” Martin said.
“Sara’s Wreath” will be a Story of the Week online and will appear in the “Short Story America Anthology Volume Three.”
Getting out of town and honeymooning in the fun, exciting atmosphere of Disneyland fit the bill for newlyweds Samantha Lee Sanderson Wooster and Karl Wesley Wooster. Samantha said that through a contact at the Anaheim, Calif., resort, “we got put on the rides right away and it was on my birthday, too.”
Back on the home front after their July 8, 2012, nuptials, Samantha juggles three jobs. She is a nutrition educator at the local Washington State University Extension office; helps with the SPARK education program at the YMCA and mentors freshmen at her alma mater, Walla Walla University. She is the daughter of Robert and Irma Sanderson of Walla Walla. She graduated in 2004 from Walla Walla High School and earned two social work degrees from WWU, her bachelor’s in 2008 and master’s in 2009.
Karl, who earned a bachelor’s in engineering in 2009 from WWU, is a mechanical design engineer at Key Technology in Walla Walla. He graduated in 2004 from Maplewood Academy in Hutchinson, Minn., and is the son of Nicholas and Kimberly Wooster of Minot, N.D.
John Mcvay officiated for the couple’s ceremony in the Eastgate Seventh Day Adventist Church. A reception followed in the Young Ballroom at Reid Campus Center on the Whitman College campus.
Walla Walla High School FFA students Reed Curcio, Jed Eastman and Hayden Leber steered their way to wins the Washington State FFA tractor driving championship Nov. 9.
Reed took first place in the individual category; Jed placed second in individual; and Hayden earned seventh place. The competition included 17 FFA chapters and 27 teams.
First-time competitors at state, the team of Samantha Zuger, Michaela Stalder and John Mihelitch placed 22nd.
Students competing in the tractor driving competition must complete a written test with questions regarding tractor safety, mechanics and operating procedures; identify parts on a tractor; and drive a tractor and trailer through a course. Students must them through cones going forward and reverse, according to the Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review online newsletter.
They also attempted to miss the cones and not make unnecessary changes of direction, grind the gears or a number of other operating mistakes. They had to navigate the course within 2 minutes 30 seconds.
FFA Advisor Lindsey Butcher prepped her teams for competition.
Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at email@example.com or 526-8313.