A Hot Head Will Not Melt the Snow, But it Can Get You Booked

This has absolutely NOTHING to do with genealogy, but I had to post it for the laugh. It came tonight in an e-mail update that we receive from the Spokane Police Department. Obviously, Officer Eckersley has a great sense of humor! Kudos to our city police and fire departments and road crews, along with the mail carriers and everyone else that has to be out in the awful three feet (and still falling) snow.

A hot head will not melt the snow, but it can get you booked

On 122308, at about 3:30 P.M., an armed man confronted snowplow drivers in the 400 block of west Providence. The incident started when the man’s elderly mother went outside to confront two plow-truck drivers who were clearing the residential street she lives on. The woman began yelling at the drivers and her 53-year-old son, Clay Moon, came out of the house as well. Clay expressed his opinions about the downfalls of snow banks while holding a handgun as he yelled at the plow drivers. No shots were fired. A short time later, the City Streets Dept received an anonymous phone call from a male. The male threatened that the next plow drivers would be shot. The phone call was traced back to Moon’s residence. Spokane Police Officers responded and investigated both incidents. They determined that Moon was the suspect in both cases. A loaded handgun was located at his residence and he was booked into the Spokane County Jail for Felony Harassment. The truck drivers were not injured in the incident.

Everyone in the city has been affected by the heavy snow fall. Several days of dealing with it have caused tensions to rise and police calls for service are increasing. Most people are digging in and helping out their friends, neighbors, and perfect strangers. I ask those people to continue with the Holiday spirit as there is more snow to come and we will all suffer through it. Remember, when July comes, we will all be laughing about those crazy days in December. Try not to reflect on those days from your shared cell at the Spokane County Jail.

Officer B. Eckersley #649

Blog Caroling: I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas

This is a repeat post from last year, when footnoteMaven started the tradition of blog caroling. It is just as relevant this year. To join in, visit her blog.

The footnoteMaven invited us genea-bloggers to go blog caroling. We’ve been posting favorite carols and sometimes a bit of history to go along with them. The Maven also posted a spectacular Choir of GeneaAngels graphic with links to our blog carols here.

Boy, it’s hard picking out a favorite, since I love most Christmas carols, both religious and secular. Also, being a bit late to the game, some of my favorites were already picked. For instance, Craig at GeneaBlogie posted “Silent Night.” I’ve always loved the legend of how the German pastor and church choir director created a song they could play accompanied by a guitar when their church organ was damaged by hungry mice. Additionally, this was the song that briefly stopped World War I…until December 26th, 1914, when indignant officers insisted that the war must go on.

Terry at Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi also blogged about another fave of mine, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” Although I knew the history behind this song, I forgot that it was written by Longfellow, one of my favorite poets. And then my Salvation Army background gets a boost when I think of “Silver Bells,”

inspired by the imagery of Salvation Army bellringers standing outside department stores during the Christmas season. [1]

What to pick? What to pick? At a school sing-along yesterday [17 December 2007], I was reminded of a very favorite Christmas song first introduced by Spokane native Bing Crosby in one of my favorite classic movies, Holiday Inn:

The sun is shining
The grass is green
The orange and palm trees sway.
I’ve never seen such a day
In Beverly Hills LA.
But it’s December the 24th
And I am longing to be up North.

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know.
Where the treetops glisten,
And children listen
To hear sleighbells in the snow.

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write.
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white. [2]

While Bing was born on the west side of the state, he grew up in Spokane and attended Gonzaga University until the siren call of the entertainment industry drew him to California. In fact, when I was pregnant with our son, we used to live across the street from his sister’s home in what is now the City of Spokane Valley. I often wonder if, as Bing sang this song, he thought of snowy days in Spokane, sliding down the hill at Manito Park or skiing up at Mount Spokane?

[1] Wikipedia contributors, “Silver Bells,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Silver_Bells&oldid=178588830 (accessed December 19, 2007).

[2] Berlin, Irving. “White Christmas.” Lyrics. White Christmas, single. Decca Records, 1942. Lyrics007, http://www.lyrics007.com/Bing%20Crosby%20Lyrics/White%20Christmas%20Lyrics.html (accessed 17 December 2007).

"Voices of War" Series Ends

From time to time, I’ve linked to stories from the “Voices of War” series that my local newspaper, the Spokesman-Review has published both in print and online formats. They recently published an article announcing the end of the series. Originally, the editors had planned to do twelve articles–one a month–and figured they could find just enough material to publish stories for one year. Instead, they discovered there were so many World War II veterans and stories in the Inland Northwest that they could have published one a week for several years. The effort and time that went into interviewing, photographing, and writing up each story prevented them from doing so, however.

The twelve original stories can be found here, along with photographs and audio clips from the interviews. In addition, the reporters remind us that there are many veterans of other wars whose stories we need to capture. They list ideas of how to do good interviews and give online resources, including Footnote.com, to help with that process.

Ninth Historical Monument Dedication

From the Spokane Police Department:

On behalf of the Fairmount Memorial Association, in partnership with the Spokane Law Enforcement Museum, and the SPD History Book Committee we would like to invite you to the dedication of our 9th Historical Monument dedicated to Pfc. Joe E. Mann on:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Greenwood Memorial Terrace (UPPER level).

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers will be giving the Memorial address, Reardan Mayor Sherman Johnson will speak on behalf of their “Hometown Hero”, Duane Broyles will dedicate the monument on behalf of Fairmount Memorial Association, and officers from Ft. Campbell, Kentucky will present the family with a memorial plaque, as well as other very special moments planned for this event. Gonzaga R.O.T.C. will present the colors, and John Shaw Junior High School band will have some patriotic music during the ceremony. There will be many dignitaries and family members present.

A reception will follow for all those attending at the Heritage Funeral Home across from Greenwood on Government Way. There will be a PowerPoint program playing about Pfc. Joe E. Mann’s life, and a display of his ribbons and awards, etc. for all to view and greet family members.

Questions please contact Susan S. “Sue” Walker at 477-6449.

Beginning Online Genealogy Class Offered

If you live in the Spokane, Washington area and are interested in taking my next Beginning Online Genealogy course, check out your Fall Quarter 2008 Community Colleges of Spokane catalog that should be arriving in your mail any day. My class is listed on page 117 under Continuing Education courses.

We will be meeting in Room 213 at CenterPlace at Mirabeau Point Park, 2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley from 6:00 to 8:00 PM, Tuesday evenings from October 7th through the 28th. You must register through the Institute for Extended Learning at (509) 279-6000. The course number is L109 and the fee is $41. You can also register online by going to http://www.iel.spokane.edu/registration.

This beginning class covers Getting Started, Organization, Vital Records, Census Records, Googling Your Ancestors, and Connecting with Others Online. We will be utilizing several popular genealogy websites as well. The class is a prerequisite for my Intermediate Online Genealogy Class, which will be offered during Winter Quarter.

Eastern Washington: A State of Emergency

I’ve heard a lot of sirens today. We’ve had high winds all across the Inland Northwest, and they’ve caused downed trees and power lines. Additionally, there have been a number of fires, both wildfires and incredibly, suspicious structure fires. A three-alarm fire at a business in West Central Spokane was the first big news of the day, in what officials believe was arson. The high winds caused authorities to shut down traffic in the area so that fire crews could contain the flames.

When I went to pick up my daughter from work at 6 PM in North Spokane, we noticed that traffic was at a crawl on the small arterial in front of her workplace. Only an hour earlier, two blocks over on the larger arterial, a motorcyclist had been involved in a head-on collision. He died shortly after. Police had rerouted traffic from that street to the one by my daughter’s work while they investigated. In addition, there were four garage fires right by that same street. I am wondering if the motorcycle-automobile collision was caused by rubber-necking drivers who were distracted by emergency crews or vehicles attending to those fires. UPDATE: I was right.

My son, daughter, and I went out to dinner with my brother-in-law’s family to celebrate our niece’s birthday (my husband was at work). As we drove home, we noticed dark clouds of dust? smoke? to the southeast of us, in the Spokane Valley. When we arrived home, there was a message on my answering machine from my sister. She was preparing to evacuate herself and her three young boys because of a wildfire in her neighborhood (that was the smoke we had seen). They were going to her best friend’s home, and in her message she said that her cell phone wasn’t working too well. I attempted to call her and when I couldn’t get through, I called her friend. While I was on the phone with the friend, my sister texted her friend’s cell phone and asked her to tell me to call our parents. My sister’s cell phone was able to send and receive text messages, but phone service was sketchy. Neither my sister nor I was able to reach our aunt, who lives only a few blocks away from where the fire had started in a gated community at the foot of the Dishman Hills.

I called my parents who live in the mountains north of Colville in Stevens County and spoke with my dad to let him know my sister and nephews were okay and where they were going to stay. He had also been unable to reach my aunt (his sister). He said the power was out at their home and trees were down all over the county. There also had been wildfires here and there around Colville, but they were small ones and nowhere near their home. However, there are wildfires in the area around Kettle Falls, further west.

My husband, who works out in the valley, called and we discussed the fire near him. It was about three miles southwest of him, so not a danger, but he said there was another small one to the north of his work location.

Next, a friend of my dad’s called to ask if my sister and aunt were all right. I updated him on the news and he told me that about a dozen huge trees were down in the city park in Colville. I was able later to view photos of this on one of the local television stations. I was just up in Colville yesterday, speaking to the Northeast Washington Genealogical Society on a beautiful, calm, hot sunny day, and drove by that very park with its stately Ponderosa Pines and Douglas Firs.

At last, I received a text message from my sister as she was leaving her home. She had been watching TV and saw my aunt checking into a local high school which was set up by the Red Cross as an evacuation center. At least four homes have burned in that neighborhood, and of course, we have no idea whose they are. The fire is still out of control, although thankfully, temperatures are dropping as well as the wind. Earlier, a number of firefighters had to use their fire shelters because the firestorm was hopping around so much they couldn’t safely retreat.

The governor has declared a state of emergency for Spokane and Ferry Counties, and the Stevens County commissioners have also declared a state of emergency for their county. Thousands are without power from the Canadian border down to close to the Oregon border. Northern Idaho is also suffering fires and winds; portions of Interstate 95 have been closed. Photos and videos of these stores can be viewed at KREM2.

I’m very grateful that all my loved ones are safe.

Eastern Washington: A State of Emergency

I’ve heard a lot of sirens today. We’ve had high winds all across the Inland Northwest, and they’ve caused downed trees and power lines. Additionally, there have been a number of fires, both wildfires and incredibly, suspicious structure fires. A three-alarm fire at a business in West Central Spokane was the first big news of the day, in what officials believe was arson. The high winds caused authorities to shut down traffic in the area so that fire crews could contain the flames.

When I went to pick up my daughter from work at 6 PM in North Spokane, we noticed that traffic was at a crawl on the small arterial in front of her workplace. Only an hour earlier, two blocks over on the larger arterial, a motorcyclist had been involved in a head-on collision. He died shortly after. Police had rerouted traffic from that street to the one by my daughter’s work while they investigated. In addition, there were four garage fires right by that same street. I am wondering if the motorcycle-automobile collision was caused by rubber-necking drivers who were distracted by emergency crews or vehicles attending to those fires. UPDATE: I was right.

My son, daughter, and I went out to dinner with my brother-in-law’s family to celebrate our niece’s birthday (my husband was at work). As we drove home, we noticed dark clouds of dust? smoke? to the southeast of us, in the Spokane Valley. When we arrived home, there was a message on my answering machine from my sister. She was preparing to evacuate herself and her three young boys because of a wildfire in her neighborhood (that was the smoke we had seen). They were going to her best friend’s home, and in her message she said that her cell phone wasn’t working too well. I attempted to call her and when I couldn’t get through, I called her friend. While I was on the phone with the friend, my sister texted her friend’s cell phone and asked her to tell me to call our parents. My sister’s cell phone was able to send and receive text messages, but phone service was sketchy. Neither my sister nor I was able to reach our aunt, who lives only a few blocks away from where the fire had started in a gated community at the foot of the Dishman Hills.

I called my parents who live in the mountains north of Colville in Stevens County and spoke with my dad to let him know my sister and nephews were okay and where they were going to stay. He had also been unable to reach my aunt (his sister). He said the power was out at their home and trees were down all over the county. There also had been wildfires here and there around Colville, but they were small ones and nowhere near their home. However, there are wildfires in the area around Kettle Falls, further west.

My husband, who works out in the valley, called and we discussed the fire near him. It was about three miles southwest of him, so not a danger, but he said there was another small one to the north of his work location.

Next, a friend of my dad’s called to ask if my sister and aunt were all right. I updated him on the news and he told me that about a dozen huge trees were down in the city park in Colville. I was able later to view photos of this on one of the local television stations. I was just up in Colville yesterday, speaking to the Northeast Washington Genealogical Society on a beautiful, calm, hot sunny day, and drove by that very park with its stately Ponderosa Pines and Douglas Firs.

At last, I received a text message from my sister as she was leaving her home. She had been watching TV and saw my aunt checking into a local high school which was set up by the Red Cross as an evacuation center. At least four homes have burned in that neighborhood, and of course, we have no idea whose they are. The fire is still out of control, although thankfully, temperatures are dropping as well as the wind. Earlier, a number of firefighters had to use their fire shelters because the firestorm was hopping around so much they couldn’t safely retreat.

The governor has declared a state of emergency for Spokane and Ferry Counties, and the Stevens County commissioners have also declared a state of emergency for their county. Thousands are without power from the Canadian border down to close to the Oregon border. Northern Idaho is also suffering fires and winds; portions of Interstate 95 have been closed. Photos and videos of these stores can be viewed at KREM2.

I’m very grateful that all my loved ones are safe.