100 years ago
July 15, 1920 — Chautauqua Entertainer Steals ‘Sparkler’ Here
A diamond valued at seventy-five dollars was stolen from the window of Roy Shaw’s jewelry store Friday afternoon by a member of an Ellison-White Chautauqua troupe playing in Redmond that day. The diamond was not missed by Shaw until the next morning but he remembered the incident which made it possible for the theft to be made while he was making a repair on a musical instrument for two members of the troupe.
Following a phone message from Redmond, the district manager of the Chautauqua met the train at The Dalles and got a confession from one of the young men, and returned the diamond. The Chautauqua managers refused to give the name of the man who had confessed to the theft.
75 years ago
July 19, 1945 — Cake Received by Van Buskirk After Ten Months
It took ten months for the fruit cake mailed last September to reach Floyd Van Buskirk, pharmacist’s mate first class serving with the navy in the southwest Pacific, but he received the package on July 8 and the cake still was in good condition.
Van Buskirk’s mother, Mrs. C.W. Van Buskirk, made the cake early last fall, then sealed it in cans at Redmond community cannery. She mailed it to her son when he was on an LST. Later he was transferred to the command staff; then in January he came home on leave, returned to San Francisco, was sent to the Hawaiian islands, and now is in the Pacific battle area on another ship.
Despite all his changes of address, the parcel was forwarded, and in a letter just received by his parents, Van Buskirk said the cake had arrived in fine condition.
50 years ago
June 15, 1970 — Young musician becomes expert on carillon despite blindness
SISTERS — Steven Knight, en route home from Spokane, visited at the Jim Durdan home last week. He and Mrs. Durdan are cousins.
Knight, 25, was a guest at The Cathedral Church of Saint John, The Evangelist, in Spokane where he played a recital on the carillon bells. One song was his own composition.
It takes him about two weeks to learn a five-minute piece by listening to a recording, because Knight is blind.
“I take separate measures apart. I can get a good idea of the chords but I can’t tell all of them,” he said. “It gets a little technical.”
When he began piano lessons at the age of seven, he could see the keyboard but not the notes. He had 25% vision until 10 years of age when he went completely blind.
He memorized entirely by ear, until he attended Perkins School for the Blind near Boston, Mass., where he spent his last three years of high school. There, his music theory teacher, Edward Jenkins, taught him the Braille system.
To learn music by Braille, he memorized the song measure by measure.
He has two degrees in piano from the University of Alabama and studied organ and carillon at Samfords at Birmingham, Ala., where he lives. He is an alumnus of five music fraternities and societies and is a member of the guild.
In September he will enroll in Schola Cantorum in Paris, where he will study under Jean Langlais, organist at Saint Clothilde, a Catholic basilica where Cesar Franck was organist.
Knight spends four hours a day with his organ and one hour at the carillon.
When through with his studies, Knight plans to teach piano, organ and carillon.
25 years ago
July 19, 1995 — New post office due in ‘96
Redmond’s long awaited new post office is scheduled for construction in 1996.
The U.S. Postal Service anticipates construction of the building beginning “around April 1996,” Robert Ayers of the Postal Service told U.S. Rep. Wes Cooley in a letter last week.
The Postal Service purchased land for a new building in 1987. The new 17,000-square-foot post office will be situated just south of Les Schwab Tires on Northwest Sixth Street. The existing building is just 4,000 square feet.
Cooley inquired about the status of the new building after holding a town hall in Redmond last month. The congressman will be monitoring the situation, said Duane Bales, an aide at Cooley’s office in Medford.
Redmond was scheduled to get a new post office in 1987-88, but plans have been put on hold four times. Earlier this year the Postal Service said the building was still a couple years away.