PDA news, poker run scheduled for June 10
Last updated 6/10/2017 at 4:49pm
The monthly meeting of the Harrington Public Development Authority was held May 16, with Josh Steward, Allen Barth, Tim Tipton, Paul Charlton, Heather Slack and Bunny Haugan present. The new tourist brochure created by the PDA and the residential brochure created by the City were reviewed and met with approval. Election of officers took place. Steward had completed a four-year term as president and did not choose to run again. Allen Barth was nominated as the new president and Heather Slack was nominated to be the vice president.
Harrington will host the second annual Justin Clouse Memorial event on June 10. Cpl. Justin Clouse, 22, was one of five U.S. troops killed June 8, 2014 in a friendly fire incident in southern Afghanistan. A coalition jet had been called in to help ward off a Taliban attack and the U.S. troops were bombed. Clouse, a 2010 graduate of Sprague-Lamont High School, was the son of Rob and Tina Clouse. The purpose of the event is to honor Clouse’s sacrifice and to provide yearly scholarships in his memory.
Plans for the event are entirely organized by Tina Clouse. It is advertised as “Fallen Soldier Concert, June 10, at Harrington, Wash.” and as “2nd Annual Cpl. Justin Clouse Memorial Poker Run.” The Poker Run has registration at 9 a.m. with the actual run from 10 a.m. to 12, which is shown to be a 60-mile motorcycle/car run. This could bring as many as 150 to 200 motorcycles to Harrington. Entrants travel a triangle of towns to get cards for their poker hand. It is anticipated that there will be up to 25 vendors. “Bring you family and enjoy the fun” says the advertising. There will be kids games and plenty of food. The event will have a Music Fest beginning at 11 a.m. It is advertised to have eight bands which includes: Billy Bozley & Sean Owsley, Death by Pirates, Elephant Gun Riot, Broken Thumbs, Jesse Quadt, The Hankers, Rusty Jackson and Volcanos on the Sun. Details are being worked out for a potential beer garden.
One of the highlights of Memorial Day weekend in Harrington is the beauty of Hillcrest Cemetery and St. Francis of Assisi Cemetery, where all military graves are decorated. One hundred years ago, greater passion was shown toward a celebration. “Patriotic Program is Given in Honor of Nation’s Heroes” was the front page headline on June 1, 1917 in the Citizen. “Memorial day was faithfully observed in Harrington with exercises appropriate to the occasion. A.M. Applegate, as Master-at-Arms, arranged the line of march for the parade which formed near the Evangelical church and marched to the school house led by the band and followed by various lodges, Sunday school classes and citizens while in the rear was along line of autos. The exercises at the school house were under the direction of the mayor of Harrington, W.W. Downie. The auditorium was beautifully decorated in patriotic colors by a committee of which Mrs. Grant was chairman. As the curtain rose the city band played ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ with Miss Ellis at the piano and Miss Leila Wright with the violin. Prayer was given by the Rev. Mr. Carey after which the choir sang an anthem, ‘Praise ye the Father.’ The speaker of the day was Rev W.S. Lake... The exercises at the cemetery were brief. C.J. Hilderbrand sounded taps and a firing squad composed of Cliff Coleman, Buriage Armstrong and Tom Marler in charge of Sam Sahn, a veteran of the Cuba and Philippine campaigns, fired a salute over the graves. It is indeed pleasing to know that Harrington can give as good a program on such notice as she did Wednesday.”
That same newspaper carried another significant front-page headline: “10,000,000 Men, Ages 21 to 31, Expected to Enroll. Patriots Will. Cowards Must. At Parting of Ways—Either Friend or Foe.” Strong words by the editor, “On next Tuesday all over this broad land the registration officers in charge will be busy registering what is thought will amount to 10,000,000 names of America’s fighting men. It is the call of the country and no man of the specified ages can lay any claim to manhood in the future if he fails to answer. All men who have passed their twenty-first birthday and have not yet attained their thirty-first birthday must register at their regular polling places on June 5 no matter what disability they may have. The penalty for failing to register is one year’s imprisonment... The property of all who seek to discourage enlistment should be confiscated.”
A third headline, although not related to Memorial Day, connects Harrington and Odessa 100 years ago: “Deputy Sheriffs Nab Bootleggers; Downie and McKinnon Capture Odessa Postmaster and Two Barrels of Booze.” In 1917, S.A. Stanfield was postmaster at Odessa. He and two other men had buried two 52-gallon barrels of booze at Nemo and when they went to retrieve it, deputy sheriffs R.H. Downey and Jim McKinnon were waiting for them. Stanfield was shot in the arm while his accomplices escaped. Judge Joseph Sessions leveled a fine of $200 plus court costs. This ended his career as postmaster.
Dubbed the Shields-Gooley reunion, descendants have been returning to Harrington for more than 50 years to decorate the graves of ancestors in St. Francis Cemetery. Each year they came, and following their activities in the cemetery, they would meet at the city park for a picnic and allow the younger ones some activity before the long trip home. About 45 years ago, a storm forced the families into the basement of St. Francis Catholic church, which worked out so well that it has become their permanent picnic area, and the children continue to enjoy the city park. There were more than 60 present this year including surnames of Stout, Shields, Gooley, Rieth and Witt. Only the older generation have personal recollections of the early business district in Harrington, but it is thrilling to get them to share their knowledge of the town.