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When Bob Schulenberg and I met a little more than 50 years ago, we had no idea where our lives were headed. I first met Bob in December of 1973. I was still in high school and he was just out of high school. We had attended rival high schools, which explains why we hadn’t met sooner. Our relationship started off a little rocky, when he thought I didn’t like him. Nevertheless, with the help of his sister, Debbie Cook, we got him convinced, and the rest is history.

While Bob was a little shy to begin with, we quickly became best friends. I simply can’t imagine us any other way. We love the same things, and we are very comfortable together. We love to hike, and I was asked at one time, how we could find things to talk about on those long walks. The truth is that after all these years together, we don’t have to talk the whole time. We often know exactly what our BFF is thinking before words are even spoken. We point out the same things, and we notice the same things…on the trail and off. Things go the same way at home. Of course, we do a lot of talking, but the quiet is ok too. We are comfortable talking when there is something to say, and enjoying the quiet when there isn’t.

We also have hobbies of our own, so when Bob is working on a car in the garage, I might be found writing a story for my blog in the house. It’s all good. We support each other in whatever endeavors we take on. We both know that we have things we like that are different than our other half. We aren’t clones, after all. So, while we are both retired, we also like our own time with things. I think we have a very healthy relationship. We both love to take trips to places Washington state to visit our daughter, Amy Royce’s family; Thermopolis (our anniversary spot); and the Black Hills. Nevertheless, we are also very happy just being together…right there at home. When we got married, we knew that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, and it is a decision we have never regretted. Today is our 49th anniversary. Happy anniversary Bob!! I love you very much, and I am so happy to be sharing my life with you!!

With every passing year, I find myself wondering how it could have been nine years since my mom, Collene Spencer, left us to go to Heaven. Like she lived her life, my mom went out in her own time, and in her own way…on her own terms. I’m sure that you have heard about having a bucket list. Well, my mom had her own kind of bucket list. After my dad, Allen Spencer graduated to Heaven on December 12, 2007, Mom told us that she was going to stay. I don’t know if she thought we thought she would just give up, and maybe we did to a degree, but she told us that she missed Dad very much, but she felt that she had more to give and that there was more life for her to live.

She talked about the things she wanted to do. Her bucket list was filled with simple things really. She wanted to travel to Washington to visit family up there. My Aunt Ruth and Uncle Jim were gone, but their kids, Shirley Cameron and Terry Wolfe were still there, as were their families. She wanted to see them again, so Mom, my sister, Cheryl Masterson and I went in 2013. It was a good trip, even if part of it included my Uncle Jim’s funeral. The next year, we took her to Wisconsin to she family up in the Superior, Wisconsin area. We reconnected with so many people, and had a lovely time, making lasting cousin friendships. Mom got to reconnect her brother-in-law, Bill Spencer, her sister-in-law, Doris Spencer, as well and good cousin friends, Les and Bev Schumacher, Carol Carlson, Bernice Hutchison, and several of their family members. Mom was so happy to see her relatives on that side of the family, who had become her close friends too.

Mom had always said that she wouldn’t mind going to Heaven straight from church, and she almost did. On Thursday of that last week, we took Mom to dinner at Red Lobster (one of her favorite places). Then, on Sunday, we all went to church, as we always did, but this day was to be different. Mom’s sister, Evelyn Hushman was in the hospital. She had terminal Breast Cancer, and Mom wanted to get all of her remaining siblings to meet at the hospital to have lunch with Aunt Evelyn. They were all able to make it, except Aunt Dixie Richards. They all had a lovely lunch, and really enjoyed the visit. That night, Mom and my sister, Cheryl had a nice dinner and watched a movie. At 10:00pm, Mom said she was going to bed. Cheryl loaded the dishwasher and went in to take Mom her pills, but Mom would no longer be needing those pills, or any other pills. She was lying on the floor, peacefully. She had not fallen, because nothing was disturbed. She could not have laid down there by herself, because her knees would never have allowed that without disturbing everything in the room. You can say what you will, but we know that the angels carefully laid our mom down there on the floor, when they took her spirit to Heaven, because Mom was ready to go. She had been talking about it for weeks, if not months. I think she might have left during church, had it not been for the chance to say goodbye to her siblings. What a blessed way for a blessing of a lady to graduate to Heaven!! We love and miss you so much, Mom. Tell Dad we love and miss him too. You are in our future now, and we will see you both again someday.

When Marcus and Narcissa Whitman and their family contracted the measles in 1847, little did they know that it would not be measles that would endanger their lives, but the treatment given after they got over the measles. The Whitmans were American missionaries who lived and worked in the area of what is now Walla Walla, Washington. When the measles broke out, the missionaries managed to survive the disease, most likely by using normal medical protocols, but the Cayuse Indians, who lived in the area, and weren’t known for cleanliness, did not fare so well. Of course, there is no proof that it was a lack of cleanliness that caused the deaths, nor was there proof that it did not. The main reason that the Whitman Mission was included in the ensuing massacre is that the Cayuse came to them for help, and lives were lost.

The Whitman massacre, which was also known as the Whitman killings and the Tragedy at Waiilatpu, mostly refers to the killing of American missionaries Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, and eleven others who were involved with the mission, on November 29, 1847. The missionaries were killed by a small group of Cayuse men who accused Whitman of poisoning 200 Cayuse in his medical care during an outbreak of measles that included the Whitman household. The massacre occurred at the Whitman Mission at the junction of the Walla Walla River and Mill Creek in what is now southeastern Washington near Walla Walla. That massacre changed everything in the history of the Pacific Northwest…at least as far as the Oregon Territory was concerned anyway. The massacre caused the United States Congress to take action declaring the territorial status of the Oregon Country, thereby establishing the Oregon Territory on August 14, 1848, to protect the white settlers.

The Cayuse justified the killings by saying that any time a “medicine man” failed to bring about healing to a patient, the medicine man was killed for giving out “bad medicine” to his patients. Basically, the “medicine man” who officiated over a terminal patient, had better plan on going with the patient, because any death was going to be his fault. Basically, the Cayuse looked at Whitman’s failure to cure the Cayuse people as a criminal inability to perform his duties as “medicine man.” Of course, their “findings” were not logical, but they weren’t thinking logically and didn’t really care anyway. The warriors were simply acting out of grief and an expectation of revenge for what they believed was a serious injustice against their people. In the White Man’s language, the massacre is usually ascribed to “the inability of Whitman, a physician, to prevent the measles outbreak.” At least three Cayuse villages held Whitman responsible for the widespread epidemic that killed those hundreds of Cayuse people, while leaving the White settlers comparatively unscathed. Some Cayuse people even accused the settlers of poisoning the Cayuse as part of a plan to take their land. Of course, justice needed to be carried out, and in the trial of five Cayuse warriors accused of the killing, the Cayuse used for their defense that it was tribal law to kill the medicine man who gives bad medicine.

Everything blew up on November 29, 1847, when Tiloukaikt, Tomahas, Kiamsumpkin, Iaiachalakis, Endoklamin, and Klokomas, who were enraged by Joe Lewis’ talk, attacked Waiilatpu. According to Mary Ann Bridger, the young daughter of mountain man Jim Bridger, who was a lodger of the mission and eyewitness to the event, the men knocked on the Whitmans’ kitchen door and demanded medicine. Bridger went on to say that “Marcus brought the medicine and began a conversation with Tiloukaikt. While Whitman was distracted, Tomahas struck him twice in the head with a hatchet from behind and another man shot him in the neck. The Cayuse men rushed outside and attacked the white men and boys working outdoors.” Whitman’s wife, Narcissa found him fatally wounded, and while he lived for several hours after the attack, and sometimes responded to her anxious reassurances, he later died of his injuries. Catherine Sager, who had been with Narcissa in another room when the attack occurred, later wrote in her reminiscences that “Tiloukaikt chopped the doctor’s face so badly that his features could not be recognized.”

Had she stayed hidden, Narcissa might have lived through the attack, but she later went to the door to look out and was immediately shot by a Cayuse man. Then she was coaxed out of the house. She died from a volley of gunshots immediately upon leaving the house. The rest of the people killed in the massacre were Andrew Rodgers, Jacob Hoffman, LW Saunders, Walter Marsh, John and Francis Sager, Nathan Kimball, Isaac Gilliland, James Young, Crocket Bewley, and Amos Sales. A carpenter who had been working on the house, Peter Hall managed to escape the massacre and reach Fort Walla Walla to raise the alarm and get help. After leaving Fort Walla Walla, he left to warn Fort Vancouver, but he never made it. Sone think that Hall drowned in the Columbia River, while others speculate that he was caught and killed. On man, Chief “Beardy” tried to stop the massacre, but it was too out of control. The warriors were insanely crazy with grief, and nothing was going to stop their revenge. Chief “Beardy” was found crying while riding toward the Whitman Mission.

The loss of a loved one is one of the hardest of life events, and when it is a child, be it a young child or an adult child, it is even worse. For my uncle, Lester “Jim” Wolfe and my aunt, Ruth Wolfe, the loss of their adult son, Larry Wolfe in an explosion on May 16, 1976, was a devastation. They, like any parent, had a really hard time coping with the loss. They were living in Vallejo, California at the time, but after their loss, they could no longer stay there. They had to get out of California. It was then that a move to Washington state seemed their best option. I don’t know if Washington had been on their radar prior to Larry’s passing at 26 years old, or not, but they moved the entire family to the mountains outside Newport, in eastern Washington state. They purchased basically the entire mountain top, and built three cabins, where they would live out their lives.

They lived a good life on the mountain top. They were completely off the grid, something that is common these days, but not so much back then. Nevertheless, they craved total isolation, and the mountain top provided just that. Still, while they wanted to be left alone, they still enjoyed traveling, and they came out to see our family several times after that. Aunt Ruth was my dad, Allen Spencer’s sister, after all. Uncle Jim lost Aunt Ruth to cancer, on May 11, 1992, when she was just 66 years old. I’m sure he quickly learned to dread the coming of May. After that, we lost touch with them unto shortly before Uncle Jim passed away on January 30, 2013. We had reconnected with his daughter, my cousin Shirley Cameron in 2011, but by that time Uncle Jim was already in a nursing home with Dementia. We were always sad about that, but for the most part Uncle Jim was happy. His favorite things to do were strolling down the halls in his wheelchair singing and flirting with the nurses that worked there. They all loved him and thought his flirting was cute, and knowing my uncle like I did, I’m sure he was also a great jokester. He always had been, so playing pranks on the nurses came naturally. He once tried hiding in the nurses’ station but got caught. I’m not sure if his plan was to scare them or to catch one around the waist when she wasn’t looking. I wouldn’t put either choice past him. Uncle Jim was always a lighthearted person and great fun to be around. He loved to take his family camping, and maybe that was a big part of the reason the family moved to the mountains of Washington in the first place.

It was with heavy hearts that we attended the funeral of our uncle. My mom, Collene Spencer, sister, Cheryl Masterson, and I all made the trip to Washington. It was a bittersweet trip. We were happy to see their family again. We had not seen my cousin, Terry Wolfe, Shirley’s brother in many years either, although we had texted back and forth a little. We just wished that the reason for the trip had not been my Uncle Jim’s funeral. While it would have been hard, we would much rather have been able to visit him at the nursing home just once before his passing. Today would have been Uncle Jim’s 102nd birthday had he still been with us. Happy birthday in Heaven, Uncle Jim. We love and miss you very much.

While their 25th anniversary was three years ago, my daughter, Amy Royce and her husband Travis Royce are heading out today on their 28th anniversary to celebrate their 25th anniversary, which just so happened to land in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. They had wanted to take a cruise to Alaska for their 25th anniversary, but the cruise ships weren’t sailing then. Now they are, and the ridiculous restrictions are gone, so off they go to have the trip of a lifetime, and I am so excited for them. Since Amy’s dad and I took an Alaskan cruise and absolutely loved every minute of it, I can’t wait for them to experience the same amazing trip we did.

Amy and Travis are so perfect for each other. They are both funny and they like many of the same things. They don’t get stressed or bent out of shape about things, but rather they pretty much go with the flow of life. I think that’s a big part of why their marriage works so well. In a number of ways, they remind me of how my parents and grandparents were with each other. From pet names to the way they think, they just fit in with that same easy compatibility that my parents and grandparents had. It’s funny how some couples can immediately seem like they have been married for decades, and it just gets better and better as the years go by. Amy and Travis are like that. I love the pet names especially, although I won’t tell them here, because that is their names for each other, and not for anyone else to use.

Amy and Travis lived in Wyoming while they raised their children, but then moved to Washington state in 2004. They do love it there, and it is beautiful. Of course, we miss them, because we don’t get to see them very much, but going for visits is always a great treat. They have a beautiful place up in the Ferndale area and they love fixing up the yard with flowers and turning it into an oasis. They are so happy with their home, and they love to entertain family and friends there. They have a garage/recreation room that has been turned into the T&Avern, which is their own private club. They have a pool table in there and you might even get to listen to Tavis and Caalab play guitars, while Shai sings. Caalab and Shai are their two grown kids. For Amy and Travis, it’s an ideal life. Today is their 28th Anniversary. Happy anniversary on the Royal Princess!! Have a wonderful time!! We love you!!

I often wonder, when thinking about couples and how they met, what might have happened if their families hadn’t moved to the state where they eventually met their spouse. Would they somehow have met in another way, like college, mutual acquaintances, or a random trip to the same city. It’s hard to say, I suppose, and the reality is that they may never have met at all. Thankfully, for my husband, Bob Schulenberg’s grandparents (and for me), his grandparents did end up in the same small town, and they did meet and married, producing Bob’s mom, Joann (Knox) Schulenberg, who gave birth to my husband. I say thankfully, of course, because if that hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be married to my wonderful husband all these years.

Grandpa, Robert Knox was born in Prosser, Washington, where his two brothers, Melburn Coe Knox and Joy Allen Knox, but on February 4, 1917, Joy Allen died 13 days after he was born on Jan 22, 1917, and by the time their next son, Richard Franklin “Frank” came along on February 4, 1920, the family was living in Rosebud, Montana. The birth of their Rainbow Baby, ironically on the same day as the death of their older son, must have been a little bit bittersweet. It seems like if the move was to get away from the memory of their loss, it actually ended up following them to the new place. All that aside, the family eventually moved to Rosebud, Montana.

Meanwhile, Grandma, Nettie (Noyes) Knox was born in Clyde Park, Montana, which was three hours and fifteen minutes from Rosebud, but the family would eventually move to Rosebud, Montana, which is, of course, where she met her future husband, Robert “Bob” Knox. They were married on June 14, 1928, in Miles City, Montana, and as they say, the rest is history. While they lost their first child, a son named William Edgar Knox, at birth, they went on to have three daughters, Joann Schulenberg, Linda Cole, and Margee Kountz. They were married 57 years, until Grandpa went to heaven on December 17, 1985. Grandma lived until July 29, 1990, and then she joined him in Heaven. Today would have been their 95th anniversary. While there are no marriages in Heaven, I know Grandma and Grandpa are enjoying themselves as friends very much. Have a happy day, Grandma and Grandpa. We love and miss you very much.

Story by guest writer, Corrie Petersen

Today is a special day for a special person in my life. My mom’s birthday is today, and I am so grateful for all the things she has done in my life for me and everyone else. She is such a caring person, and she is a Godly woman. She has taught me to believe in God and trust in Him because He will make all things come to pass.

As of today, she has four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren with two more great-grandchildren on the way. She loves spending time with all of us and she does all she can to make sure she does just that even though two of her grandchildren and her other daughter, my sister, Amy, and her husband Travis live in Washington State. She loves to visit them in Washington and she and my dad are planning a trip to see them next year.

The past six years have been a roller coaster of events. From me starting college for a nursing degree to all the great-grandchildren that have come along. We’ve experienced some not-so-fun things as well including a death in the family and my dad had a heart attack, but the good thing is that God helped us through each of those days. I know she has helped my family when I was not able to be there for them due to school. Nursing school takes a lot of time, energy, and dedication and during that time, she helped my family in so many ways that I don’t know how to thank her for what she did for them.

My mom has been retired for a little while now and I am positive she and my dad love the retired life they are living. They love to travel and hike while on the way. They bowl together, they hike together, and they go to family events together and they would not have it any other way because they love being together.

Today is my mom’s birthday. Mom, I hope you have a wonderful day. I love you so much.

During World War II and really with any war, any coastal area of the United States had to be kept on a higher alert than during peacetime. Coastal defense networks now are much more technological that they were in 1943. During World War II, the West Coast was patrolled by units of men whose job it was to watch for activities that were out of the ordinary along the Olympic Coast of Washington. Normally, their job was pretty boring, unless you liked walking or driving along the coast looking at the ocean. There were ships out there, but most of them were where they were supposed to be and were not cause for concern.

In the early spring of 1943, however, coastal lookout activities along the Olympic Peninsula suddenly took a turn from the mundane to something quite unusual. As the La Push unit patrolled the beach that day, they suddenly began to see debris on the beach. That is never a good thing to see, because it means that somewhere, there is a ship in a lot of trouble. Rain, wind, and heavy seas just before midnight on April 1st, were driving the Russian steamship Lamut toward the shoreline, and behind a jagged cluster of rocks just off Teahwhit Head. By the early morning hours of April 2nd, the ship was in great peril, and the lives of the crew hung in the balance.

The La Push patrol unit was in for an intense morning, as they would find at first light on April 2nd. When the patrolmen began finding wreckage on the beach, they headed south along the beach to see if they might find the ship in trouble. It wasn’t long before they sighted part of the grounded ship. It was lodged between a hundred-foot cliff and a small, jagged rock island. Amazingly, there were survivors huddled high on the steeply sloping deck of the Russian ship called Lamut. They wouldn’t have lasted long on that deck, but the high seas made a sea rescue impossible. The coast guardsmen of the La Push Unit decided to attempt a rescue by land. That would be pretty treacherous in itself, but they had no other choice.

This would not be a quick rescue. By mid-morning, the members of the rescue party had cut a path through the thick underbrush bordering the beach. Then, they began their ascent along the slippery boulders to the top of the cliff above the smashed ship. They would have to get very creative in their rescue maneuvers. “Using gauze bandage weighted with a rock, a light line was lowered to the eager hands of the stranded crew aboard the Lamut. Tying heavier line to the gauze, one line succeeded another until a lifeline strong enough to support the weight of a single person was stretched between the ship and the cliff. One by one survivors were raised to the cliff top and finally assisted down the landward side of the rocky ridge to the beach below. As darkness approached, the last of the Lamut survivors emerged from the swampy beach trail to waiting coast guard trucks and ambulances.” The rescue of the Lamut crew was among the most dramatic events in the annals of World War II beach patrol history.

While this was just one of the rescues conducted by the Olympic Defense Network, it was undoubtedly the most intense rescue they performed in their years of service. On March 29, 1944, the beach patrol ended and a week later the unit decommissioned. The trails in that area are now a part of the Olympic National Park probably date from the era of World War II beach patrol activities. A while back, a small, collapsed wood frame cabin was located at Teahwhit Head. It is believed to be associated with World War II beach patrolling activities in the La Push unit, and quite possibly belongs to the Lamut.

The Sinking Ship parking garage in Seattle is aptly named, a fact which you can clearly see when you look at it. The building is a multi-story parking garage in Pioneer Square and James Street to the north, Yesler Way to the south, and 2nd Avenue to the east. It is just steps away from the Pioneer Building on the site of the former Occidental Hotels and Seattle Hotel. The look of the structure gives the illusion of a sinking ship, even though it is level. After the Seattle Hotel was demolished in 1961, the Sinking Ship was built as part of a neighborhood redesign.

Designers Gilbert H Mandeville, an engineer and Gudmund B Berge, an architect of the Seattle firm Mandeville and Berge built the structure in 1965. They also designed the Logan Building and an addition to the First Presbyterian Church downtown, the Ballard branch of Seattle Public Library, which is an unusual building too, although not like the Sinking Ship, and two buildings at the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962….the Alaska Building and the Transportation 21 Building, neither of which are really unusual.

The parking It is owned by the Kubota–Fujii family, who had acquired the Seattle Hotel in 1941. Doris Kubota, from the same family, called the garage the “ugliest building in all of Seattle.” During the 2001 Mardi Gras riot the building was used as a staging area for police and city officials. The Seattle Monorail Project had hoped to acquire the site through condemnation to turn it into a monorail station at the site of the Sinking Ship, but the Kubota family disputed the condemnation lawsuit, stating their intention to build housing and retail at the site.

While Doris Kubota thought the building was ugly, it was named the “coolest parking lot” in the United States by the design publication Architizer Journal in 2019 and still remains on that list today, dropping to 4th place. While I agree that it is cool, I’m not a fan of concrete buildings. Still, it makes sense for a parking structure to be made out of concrete. As of 2022, the garage is managed by Diamond Parking, and it is open 24 hours a day.

My aunt, Ruth Wolfe was the person I most closely resembled. She was my dad, Allen Spencer’s sister, and for most of my life, I didn’t really know that I resembled her. Nevertheless, I am built like she was. I laugh like she did, something I found out after she passed away, and I laughed, but when I did, I heard her laughing. I thought, “How could that be?” I had never noticed that I laughed like her before. I began to wonder how I hadn’t noticed it before. Whatever the reason, I did and do laugh like her, and these days, it is a pleasant reminder of her, and the memories are very sweet.

I always loved Aunt Ruth…and her husband, Uncle Jim too. They lived what seemed like such an exciting life. When they moved away from Casper, Wyoming, they moved to Reno, Nevada, and later to Vallejo, California, and finally to Newport, Washington. While Washington was rather a calm place, almost a retirement of sorts, Reno and Vallejo seemed like an exciting, party kind of place…and maybe it was. People go through different phases in life, and maybe they were in a phase of looking for some excitement. A small town, like Casper, Wyoming, while not tiny, is certainly not as exciting as a place like Reno, Nevada or Vallejo, California. Still, Newport, Washington, and especially the mountain top property they purchased, was certainly more like the places she lived when she was growing up. It was almost like going back to her roots.

I think that some of the happiest times in Aunt Ruth’s life were when she and Uncle Jim were on the road, traveling. They liked to see the world around them, and they loved showing up unannounced to surprise us. I don’t think they ever thought about the fact that they might find us out of town, and to my knowledge, they never did…or at least if they did, they never told us about it. I suppose if they had told us they were coming, it would have ruined the adventure of things. I don’t think any of us ever minded the surprises that came with their unexpected visits. My parents were always happy that they were there. It was like running into a favorite old friend…but they were old friends, even more so than some siblings are. Aunt Ruth and my dad were just 19 months apart. They were the youngest of my grandparents four children, and in many ways, that did make them close, even though they were brother and sister, and not brother/friends, like my dad and their older brother, my Uncle Bill. Today would have been my Aunt Ruth’s 97th birthday. Happy birthday in Heaven, Aunt Ruth. We love and miss you very much.

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