Kindergarten children at Sisters paused long enough to have their picture taken during a clean-up campaign at Sisters State Park and the cooking area at the rodeo grounds. Nine children gathered 15 bags of litter during the four-day drive.

May 13, 1920 — Settlers Dash Burtt’s Hope of More Japs

Terrebonne Meeting Refuses to Give Geo. Burtt Permission to Bring in Two New Experts

A flat refusal to give community consent to a proposal submitted by George Burtt that he be permitted to send two more Japanese to act as potato experts on the George Shima ranch at Lower Bridge, resulted in a meeting called at Terrebonne to consider Burtt’s request. Although the meeting was announced only a few hours in advance and advertised by a neighborhood telephone call, fifty men attended the session, which was held at the W.F. Mackey store.

Much indignation was expressed over the permission previously given (unreadable) Japanese to come to Central Oregon. Speakers are declare to have said that the community would take the next step if Burtt or Shima, “Japanese Potato King of California,” attempted to disregard the will of the community as expressed at the meeting which Burtt had been instrumental in calling.

While advocating only peaceful methods, it was the feeling of the men present at the meeting that the task of getting rid of Japanese here should be continued until successful.

Complaint was made in regard to an alleged Japanese “gun man” who was said to have been employed by Burtt, and to have made threatening remarks to neighbors.

May 17, 1945 — County Fair Association Repays $4000 Advanced by 16 Men Some 20 Years Ago

Four thousand dollars, loaned to the Deschutes County Fair association over 20 years ago by 16 Redmond businessmen, was repaid Tuesday, a check for $250 being sent to each by R.J. Carpenter, treasurer.

Back in 1921 the fair board borrowed $4000 from the bank to make improvements at the grounds. The loan was carried for two or three years, recalls M.A. Lynch, now chairman of the association, but then the bank notified the board that payment was desired. Each of the 16 men advanced $250 to pay off the note, and in return the association gave them a note.

This year is the first time since 1921 that the fair association has had sufficient money for running expenses and to take up the old indebtedness, Lynch said. The 16 agreed to settle without interest for the 20 years or so that the money has been owed, doing this as a gesture toward helping the fair; and $250 principal was returned to each. Some of the group have died, others have left Redmond, but a number are still here. One of the 16 is Frank Redmond, the man for whom the town was named. He still is living and is making his home in Arizona.

May 13, 1970 — Sisters Kindergarten pupils collect big amount of litter

Litter by the bagful was picked up by Sisters Kindergarten children during four mornings work.

Fifteen garbage bags were filled in about 5 1/2 hours, with nine children participating.

They cleaned an area south of the Sisters State Park and the cooking area of the Sisters rodeo grounds.

Treats were furnished by Chuck Christiansen at Smitty’s Drive-In and by Homer Shaw of the Sisters Rodeo Association.

Hauling trash to the city dump were Homer Shaw and Chief of Police Daymond Mullins, who gave children a ride in his pickup.

Litter pickers were Frankie Jerman, Joanie Davis, Bonnie Buckingham, Lance Dyer, Cynthia Hiatt, Katie Brockett, Kimberly Jacobson, Sherry Ure, Kathy Rowe and Carll Hermanson.

They were assisted by Mrs. Steven Ure and Miss Loris Watson, teacher.

All reindeer booked solid for holidays

Redmond’s reindeer already are booked solid for the 1970 pre-Christmas season, says John Zumstein, owner of “Operation Santa Claus.”

Redmond Reindeer Ranch has more than 40 deer which will be ready to start traveling Nov. 15. In addition to appearing all over the Pacific Northwest, they will be transported, usually by plane, as far away as eastern Canada and Honolulu — a radius of some 3000 miles.

Zumstein will send deer to the Ala Mona shopping center in Honolulu, for instance. So far, eight cities in Canada are scheduled, including Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Kamloops, Saint Catherines and others.

May 17, 1995 — VFW post celebrates 50 years

When old-timers at VFW Post 4108 get started telling war stories, they’re not necessarily reminiscing about their days in the military.

Art Horsell, 73, and Gib Cousineau, 77, have spent a lot more years involved with VFW-sponsored social activities than they did serving in the armed forces. And they both were closest to the fighting at dances held in the VFW hall in the 1960s than they were to the front lines during World War II.

Saturday night’s dinner and dance celebrating the 50th anniversary of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post was a much more tranquil affair than what Horsell and Cousineau remembered from the earlier years when the post put on dances that drew crowds of rowdy teen-agers.

“There was a lot of fights,” recalled Cousineau, who sports a “Not tonight dear, I have VFW” button pinned on his Post 4108 cap.

“We had a crowd of kids who used to come just to get in fights,” Horsell said. “For a while we really had a tussle with’em.”

Retired police chief Speed Morgan was a patrolman back then.

“He started a police detail that I headed up,” Horsell said, so that deputized VFW members could deal more effectively with the brawlers at dances.

Despite problems with the fights, the dances were enormously popular with the younger set.

“We had about 1,000 kids in this place once for a New Year’s Eve dance,” Horsell said.

Along with memorabilia from members’ military service and scrapbooks of photos and newspaper articles from the early years of Post 4108, the 50th anniversary display included posters from the teen dances.

They advertised $2 admission to hear bands with goofy 60s names like Morning Reign, Sir Raleigh, Gentlemen Wild, and the Dick and Dee Dee Show.

But predating the gigs by such forgettable pop groups, there was an era when the Redmond VFW post hosted some of the legends of country music.

“At that time a lot of the country music guys were traveling around,” recalled Horsell, who grew up going to the grange dances with his parents.

He booked the likes of Johnny Cash, Little Jimmy Dickens, Ferlin Husky, Bob Wills, Buck Owens and Hank Thompson to play VFW dances.

Remembering the appearance by Bob Wills, whose western swing has influenced generations of country music performers, Horsell said, “we booked him in on a Friday night and was the best fair dance we ever had.”

Most of the big name country acts played Redmond when the VFW post was in its original hall, a building at the air center that had been military officers’ quarters during World War II.

But Hank Thompson, best known for his classic song, “Wild Side of Life,” was one of the performers who played at the VFW hall near Juniper Golf Course that was built in 1964, two years after a fire destroyed the old hall.

Johnny Cash played a VFW dance when he was a rising star in 1960.

“I never will forget that dance,” Horsell said, remembering how he scared the hell out of one of the band members after the show when he came running through the hall with a pistol chasing a rat.

That memory is more vivid than Horsell and Cousineau’s recollections of where they were on V-E Day, the historical date of Germany’s surrender on May 8, 1945 — four days before the founding of Redmond’s VFW post.

“I remember more about what I was doing the day we got the news that Roosevelt died,” said Cousineau, who was an army mechanic stationed in Weimar near the Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald when the Allies proclaimed victory in Europe.

“I probably heard it on the radio, I suppose,” said Horsell, who served during WWII with a navy aviation squadron in Mexico and South America that did aerial photography for mapping. For him, he said, there was a greater anticipation of J-J Day when the war ended later in 1945.

When he came back to his family’s Central Oregon farm after the war, Horsell almost joined the American Legion.

“Our mail carrier was commander of the Legion post in Bend, and he almost had me talked into joining,” he said, “but the guys I knew from around here at the dances talked me into joining here.

Horsell, who was Post 4108 commander from 1989-91 after serving 32 years as quartermaster, said keeping the organization going for half a century has taken a lot of work, although “it’s kind of like a hobby, I guess.”

I think it’s quite a milestone,” he said of the posts 50th anniversary, “but there’s some of us now probably wonderin’ if we’ll be here in the year 2000.”

Continued on redmondspokesman.com.

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