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She's almost here ... our fair lady

She’s the oldest one in the state, yet somehow her timeless nature makes us feel young at heart. Whether 4 years old or 85, we brave the heat, dust and waning days of summer — the endless cycle toward school, football, volleyball and approaching fall — in our futile efforts to court this grand old dame. We wine and dine her along the food court row. Applaud her performance from the grandstands or the hay bales of festival seating. Cheer her on while cowboys test their skills in the tilled dirt of the rodeo arena.

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A group of Walla Walla pool boys rise early for some good, clean fun

The rules in this hall are few but still well kept by a dozen early risers who love the game. No alcohol, no tobacco, no beverages around the table, no gambling, no cursing and, most of all, don’t forget the doilies, which are placed under the cue ball for every break to help protect the tables at The Center at the Park’s pool hall.

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Some summer fun

“And she’ll have fun, fun, fun ’til her daddy takes the T-bird away ... ” Now that I’ve got that Beach Boys’ song stuck in your head, let’s think a moment about having fun. It used to be easier when we adults were kids, particularly in summertime.

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Saling through time

Weston’s Saling House is lit by a single lamp on the ground inside the historic building’s front hall. With its windows boarded to prevent vandalism, the house’s top two floors are almost completely dark. Eerie slivers of light shine through above the windows in places where old brick walls have cracked. The original residents, Isham and Melinda Saling, died within its walls in 1910 and 1938, respectively. Still, Sheldon Delph, president of the Weston Historical Society, assures visitors that there are no ghosts in the old building.

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Frames out of time

Harvest. Music and dance. Parades down Main Street. A good pair of blue jeans. Some things are timeless. Without beginning or end, they have an unusual shade or out-of-place sparkle. They catch our eye and stand out in the crowd. Whether it’s an old fashioned, mule-drawn buggy blurring the spin of time, devoid of most modern day color and sending the faint “clip-clop, clip-clop” echoes from our often perceived black-and-white past or the soft, full-blown color of a red combine cutting golden grain against a backdrop of placid blue, our thoughts are colored by the familiar. Fragments of yesterday stand among the moving crowd. They walk with us in the preparation for a Scottish dance competition. A last second adjustment — just the right tip of the hat — to pass the scrutiny of our inspecting eyes.

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Harvest begins

Mark Small of Small Ranches surveyed a field of soft white wheat near Lowden on Thursday. “Yesterday was the first day, and we had some bugs to work out,” Small said, adding that by noon, his crew, had harvested roughly 170 acres. “We’re early. There’s not too many harvesting yet at all.” Small said he expects to harvest an average of 200 acres of wheat a day during harvest, and hopes to finish by the second week of August, though he’s concerned his yield this year will be down due to unfavorable spring weather.

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Taking aim at the longshot

This year's Berryman Invitational long-range shooting competition goes to new heights.

Six hundred yards. It’s one thing to say it. It’s another thing to shoot it.

Donating goods gives back great opportunity to learn

When Candy and Ernie Schrader visited the Omo River Valley, the Gibe III dam, and captial of Ethiopia, Addis Abbaba, in April they brought along goods from several Walla Walla businesses to donate.

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In pursuit of projects that ... hold water

If there were an award for most-traveled Walla Wallan, Ernie Schrader would likely win it. Schrader, who competes in endurance horse-racing in his spare time, has been to more than 35 countries while working on more than 100 different dams across the globe as an engineer. Most recently, Schrader returned from an April visit to the Gibe III Dam on the Omo River in Ethiopia, for which he is a consulting engineer and principal designer. Schrader also spoke at the Africa 2013 conference in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Abbaba, a conference on hydropower and water storage.

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A local veterinarian finds ... Tending a farm feeds the heart

It’s early in the morning, but Greg Proctor has already been at work, judging from the chuff of his tractor in the distance and the scent of freshly cut grass thick in the nose. High above, summer-weight clouds daub the brightening sky. At closer distance are several rows of young cherry trees, trained along a horizontal wire. And beyond those are rooted peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots and pluots at Morningstar Berry Farm on East Ferndale Road.

Church bulletin - 6/23/13

Umapine’s Vacation Bible School begins at SDA church on Monday UMAPINE — Umapine’s Vacation Bible School begins at 9 a.m. Monday at the Seventh-day Adventist Church, located at 84685 Ringer Road in Umapine. The Bible school is for children ages 4-12. It will meet daily through Friday. This VBS experience is entitled “Athens.” Parents are welcome. For more information, call Brigitte Davis at 541-730-9090.

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Fan-demonium

Take soccer, also known as “the beautiful game.” Magnify it on an international level.

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Play Ball!

Funny thing about final scores – they don’t always tell the whole story. Wednesday night’s season opening game at Borleske Stadium for the 2013 Walla Walla Sweets baseball team goes down in the record book as a 4-1 loss to the visiting Bend Elks. But it was a lot more than just a final score.

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up-LIFT-ing experience

MILTON-FREEWATER — Across the Ferndale Elementary School playground, a student worked to slow down the 6-year-old Welsh pony named “Elvis” that she was riding. “I’ve ridden before, he’s just got more life,” the girl said from her perch. “You need to pull back and get him to stop,” instructed Lorri Wright, a retired Ferndale teacher who raises Welsh ponies with her husband, John. Wright went on to describe Elvis’ lively personality.

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Even successful mushroom hunts can yield slim pickings

You could say even the worst day mushroom hunting is better than the best day working. That being said, this mushroom hunting season is proving to be one of the worst in quite some time for wild morel mushroom hunters. “The trouble is we are just finding one here or there. If it were any scarcer than this, it wouldn’t be worth the trouble,” mushroom expert Paul Miller said, as he stopped to pick a single black morel from the ground.

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