The Odessa Record -

Love – The Odessa Record "By Your Relative"


Odessa Record subscriber Larry Fisher of Spokane continues his series of articles on the history of the Batum/Lauer area where his wife, the former Joyce Kiesz, grew up.

Hi, here I am again.

It’s a Sunday in May, 1980, the Mt. St. Helens historic day. How did it start out for Clarence Eugene Lobe, Pat Gies, Don Schibel, Joyce Kiesz Fisher? All people related to the L-B-D.

As for Joyce and I, it was around 9 a.m. when over the radio, we were told to look west toward Yakima, Washington. At the time, Joyce and I with our children were north of Spokane at Deer Lake. Around noon, we locked the trailer, got in the car, headed for Spokane. At Deer Park, looking west, we could see the gray/black sky heading toward us. By the time we arrived on the north side of Spokane, it was raining whitish-gray colored ash material. I turned on the car headlights and windshield wipers. By the time we arrived at our home on the south hill, everything we could see was covered with ash and the sky was in total darkness even through it was only 3 p.m.

In the L-B-D, at least 3 families experienced the event differently than above.

First Eugene Lobe, He was out doing field work at least over a mile from his farm house. It was sometime around noon or so. Looking west, he saw what looked like a rain cloud coming toward him and it was getting dark. Matter of fact, it got so dark he had to quit work and start walking toward home. If it hadn’t been for the yard light at the farm house he doesn’t think that he would have made it home. He probably would have gotten lost out in the darkness. After all, he knew the farm light was at his home. While this was all going on he still didn’t know what had happened. When he got home, he and his wife who was home at the time, heard over the radio, what had happened. Outside, ash was falling.

The next L-B-D person is Pat Gies. He and Patricia were at church in Odessa when they heard the boom. After church, they headed home. No ash had fallen. They arrived at home went inside and stayed there. Outside, still no ash but it had gotten dark, the yard light turned on. The ash fallout started. Note: I have been told that Pat told Don Schibel “when it got dark, the chickens became confused, the rooster started to crow.” Until next time.

Your Relative,



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