While Redmond volunteer firemen battled smoldering timbers and insulation on the east side of Fred Hodecker’s potato cellar last week (above), smoke was pouring from the west end of the building (below). The blaze, which was started when a portable oil space heater ignited a nearby tarp, caused an estimated $500 damage in 1971.

100 years ago

Jan. 13, 1921 — Merchant Club Organized for Redmond

Fifteen Redmond merchants meeting last night at the Hotel with Edward A. MacLean, secretary of the Oregon Retailers’ Association, formed the Redmond Merchants’ association with J.R. Roberts, president, and George Gates, vice president.

Following an address on the purposes of the retailers association, the newly organized association here voted to join the state organization.

The principal advantages gained through merchants’ association work is protection from the habitual “dead beat,” and cooperation between retailers in buying toward lowing the cost to the retailer and consumer. MacLean said that the people of Oregon, as had the people everywhere, gained the impression that all merchants were guilty of profiteering during the war and since, which, he declared, was not the truth except in isolated instances. An important work now will be the education of the public to the facts of the retail business so they could better understand the reason for prices charged over the counter, he said.

Plans were laid to extend the organization here to include all firms and professional men interested in credits. Those attending the meeting last night were: T.J. Quigley, W.H. Wilson, W.H. Hobbs, B.A. Kendall, J.R. Roberts, A. Munz, J.O. Houk, Samuel Andrews, Mrs. Warren Smith, Mrs. Andrews, George F. Gates, C.H. Irvin, J.B. Roe, E.C. Parker and A.H. Tifft.

Bend has had a merchants’ association for more than a year. Prineville formed a similar organization a week ago and voted yesterday to join the state association, MacLean said.

75 years ago

Jan. 17, 1946 — Tom McCall, Ship’s Correspondent, Home, Saw Action in Okinawa Battle

Return to the States of Tom McCall, son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry McCall, of Crooked river, was the topic of “Greg’s Gossip,” sports column written by L.H. Gregory, in last Saturday’s Portland Oregonian. McCall, a graduate from Redmond union high school and University of Oregon, was a member of the Oregonian staff when he joined the navy. He will be here soon to visit his parents and to attend the marriage of his sister, Miss Bebs McCall, and Capt. George Chamberlain of Portland.

Gregory, Oregonian sports editor, says: “Our tall friend, Tom McCall, is back from the navy wearing the crow of a specialist (X) 2/c, but with an odd un-navy-like stoop that requires explanation. He was six months on the cruiser St. Louis as navy combat correspondent and acquired the stoop his second day aboard. Tom underestimated the height of the ‘tween-decks spacing and got cooled off with a couple of awful bumps on the head from moving around at his full height. He had to adopt a stoop in self-protection, which has now become second nature.

“Tom finds himself confronted with an odd problem on return to civilian life. He’s one of the liveliest sports writers we have known, but got drafted by radio from The Oregonian’s writing end a few months before his service draft came up. The radio people, paying no attention to his indignant protest, dropped his cosy first name of Tom, which they averred had no glamor appeal, to bill him under his middle name of Lawson. But now, on returning from the war, he wants to be plain Tom McCall and forget that Lawson business, and a fearful knockdown and dragout about it probably is in the making.

“Tom saw lots of action for one not entering the service until late 1944. The St. Louis was in the Okinawa area throughout that hard battle and broke an American and world’s naval record by firing 27,000 rounds of five and six-inch stuff in 61 days. In that period she also shot down nine Japanese kamikaze plans, from five miles to 25 feet away, with Tom at the loud speaker on the bridge giving the news to the ship’s company as it happened. He also got up a sort of informal ship’s daily talk, with world news picked up from short wave radio mixed with locals about the crew, and says the most popular items of all were on sports. He also wrote around 600 news stories as ship’s correspondent, so kept fairly busy for a tall man.

“The St. Louis bucked two typhoons and escaped another by running from it, and one of the two was that big typhoon off Okinawa. Tom had his sealegs by then, and the terrific pitching didn’t give him the slightest tummy qualm, but he stresses that he can think of much happier experiences.

“Incidentally, the jolly old navy which usually is so quick to pick up an odd sounding name that the owner thereof never used in real life, had much more mercy on Tom than radio did and kindly did not call him Lawson. He was Tom in the service or “Mac,” which as a sort of generic name for all sailors pretty much replaced in the present world war the “gob” or “Jack” of the first world war. However, in his case it was not generic, but specifically “Mc” rather than “Mac,” in honor of his name of McCall.

50 years ago

Jan. 13, 1971 — All RAC units surpass fire fighting records

The 1970 fire season was the busiest encountered since Redmond Air Center was activated in 1964. All subunits recorded more fire activity than during any previous year, responding to calls throughout the West, including Deschutes National Forest, which experienced the greatest number of blazes ever recorded, but suffered only 65 acres of burn.

The fire season was kicked off with four jumpers being dropped on Deschutes on June 1. Later the same day, three of the same four men jumped another man-caused fire on the Ochoco. The experienced jumper started arriving that week and th4e fire season swung into high gear. By the following Monday, 19 fires had been manned.

This year Tom Bowen was temporarily assigned the “Hot Seat” behind the dispatcher’s console.

The jumper unit command changed only slightly from the previous year in that Jim Hawes became the newest squadleader. Hal Weinmann and Tony Percival were foremen; Skinny Beals, Pat McCauley, Dave Wood, Dave Laws, and Ed Weissenback were squadleaders, Bill Hollowell replaced Ed after Ed’s injury on the Umpqua during that first wild week.

The rest of the men had arrived by the 15th of June, bringing the total smoke jumper personnel to 45.

The fire season continued to be busy and unpredictable throughout the summer. A record fire year for RAC jumpers (195 fires for 642 jumps) with the Deschutes recording the highest usage (75 fires and 198 jumps). This year the Deschutes had 315 fires and a total burned acreage of 65 acres. Any records established in Central Oregon were quickly overshadowed by the northern Washington fires that finally burned over 150,000 acres.

Most of the RAC jumpers received fire jumps in the Okanogan or Wenatchee forests and a record number of “War Stories,” were returned to RAC.

The Deschutes inter-regional crew, under the leadership of Wayne Linville and squad bosses Joe Metts, Tom Holechek, and Tiny Brown, had a record season also, starting on July 6 with the Cottonwood fire on the Tonto in Arizona, then back to Region 6 where 20 days straight were spent on fires. A short rest at RAC and off they were again to the Deschutes, then the Modoc in California. A three day break and on August 18 the previous 20 sustained day record was shattered when the crew went to Wyoming and directly from there to the Entiat fire in northern Washington, logging 24 days straight of fire duty.

The inter-regional crew spent 51 of the 90 days season on fires, receiving many compliments on their fine work.

The regional fire cache under the direction of Don Waterbury, regional warehouseman; Carl Rader, assistant warehouseman, and Betty Dalrymple, stock handler, established a new record in fire equipment shipments.

The previous record year was 1960, when the regional fire cache handled and stored all the sacked retardants for Region 6. Although the total weight of shipments for 1960 was higher, the actual fire equipment shipped was lower than this year. The shift since then to liquid retardants has eliminated the storage of sacked retardants.

During the 1970 season, 608 individual shipments were dispatched, totaling 2,517,733 pounds. This total represents the entire stock of the fire cache shipped out more than five times.

The bad fire season of 1967 only required the warehouse to ship 1,333,115 pounds of fire gear.

The 1970 fire season was the first time that anything other than incidental use was made of aircraft in transporting fire cache equipment. Aircraft as large as C-119 (Flying boxcars) capable of hauling 15,000 pounds, or C-46’s with 12,000 pounds capacity carried the bulk of the 314,915 pounds shipped by air.

Many types of smaller aircraft were used to hauls mall, urgently needed loads of equipment directly to the fire area.

25 years ago

Jan. 17, 1996 — Party-line service eliminated in state

US West announced Monday the completion of a five-year, $40 million program to eliminate party-line service in Oregon. All customers now have access to single-party service.

The program eliminates the last major obstacle to the information superhighway for many Oregonians, the company said.

Since planning began in 1991, the program has made it possible for 18,000 customers with two-and four-party service to obtain single-party service.

Party lines, on which multiple customers shared lines, were provided mostly in rural and remote areas of the West as a quick and inexpensive way to extend phone service.

Single lines allow those who previously have shared lines to log onto the Internet, choose their own long-distance carriers, subscribed to Call Waiting and other features, connect computers and answering and fax machines, and enjoy privacy.


Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.