Bill Moeller Commentary: Looking for Those Special Lewis County Gems

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Would you like to help me write a column? Or maybe two or more? 

I’ve never made it a secret that I’ve stayed in Lewis County because it’s close enough to cities where we can shop for something we really need but can’t find in local stores while — at the same time — remaining full of quiet spots where we can still take a deep breath and smell nature instead of civilization.

In my memory, Rose Park was near the top of my list of special places that used to exist. You never heard of Rose Park? 

It was on Penning Road, off state Route 6, less than a mile east of Adna. It sat on land donated to Lewis County by a man who only did so after it was promised to be named after his deceased wife, Rose.

Unfortunately, the entry into it has been blocked for several years. Supposedly, it became too expensive to be maintained for just the few locals who knew of its existence. The memory of it remains; lounging in the grass on the hillside with a favorite person, a picnic lunch and a disguised container of wine.

Its location is still noted on my outdated county map despite the gate being closed for years.

Kayaking has opened up places that cannot be seen by any other means. One of the best that I’ve written about before is a portion along the Tilton River after leaving the calmer waters of Mayfield Lake.

Hemmed in on both sides by banks covered in sword ferns, native big leaf maple trees and large slabs of sheer rocks, it’s a spot like none other in the county.

Maybe a favorite spot of yours is on a logging road that’s seldom used but has a place to pull off where you can look over the tops of planted forests on the side of a hill or two? 

I’m sure that if you’ve lived here long enough, you have discovered your own piece of the county that has meaning for you.

I’d love for you to describe those locations to me for future reference. Maybe I’m asking for too much. 

If it’s meaningful to you, you may not want to share it with a crowd of other people.

In searching my “office” for a lost bit of information recently, I came across a 24-year-old copy of a 56-page edition of a monthly newspaper called “Senior Dynamics” that used to be printed by and for senior citizens in Lewis County.

Its editor was Cherylyn Reed, also in charge of “feature articles and design,” while typist Bonnie Canaday took over “typing, layout, color and design.” Advertising was in the hands of C. Jere Jones and Carolyn Jones.

Daily activities were planned for every day of the week for the Twin Cities, Toledo, Pe Ell, Olequa, Morton and Packwood seniors. The group meetings and potlucks, sited for 15 organizations, took up another whole page. A hilarious poem by Lois Gano Schiller on another page made me jealous of her talent.

Gardening and cooking, trips and tours, classes and activities, etc. barely touch the many features in that 1997 edition of the paper.

Now we can all ask, “Why isn’t it still being printed today?”

It’s obvious that our worldly pandemic shut down all the activities but we can also add, “because the cost of printing it and the load of responsibility on too few citizens were just too much.”

Pity.

•••

Bill Moeller is a former entertainer, mayor, bookstore owner, city council member, paratrooper and pilot living in Centralia. He can be reached at bookmaven321@comcast.net.

 

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