The Odessa Record -

This Week in Odessa History

Field fires, Deutschesfest preparations dominate the news in Augusts past


August 17, 2017

--Archival photos.

St. Joseph's Catholic Church ladies begin their project or making kraut ranzas in 1992. Left to right: Mildred Deife, Florence Pavliska, Marge Tebow, Betty Smith, Bonnie Burroughs and Jane Smedley.

100 Years Ago

The Odessa Record

August 17, 1917

Hemmerling apartment house finished: The Christ Hemmerling apartment house and rooming house on Liberty hill is now completed and ready for tenants. Besides having living quarters for his own family, Mr. Hemmerling has over 20 rooms for rent in the building which is in every way modern with baths, hot water heating plant and even has an electric stove in the apartments. It is convenient to the school house and he is counting on the patronage of the school teachers this year among his patrons. His ad shows that his charges will be reasonable so there is no reason why he should have any trouble in renting same and making good interest on his investment.

First thresher accident: A shocking threshing machine accident which cost William Clouser his right hand, besides numerous other painful injuries, occurred at the Alfred Loeffelbein ranch in the Ruff country about 11 o'clock Monday morning. Mr. Clouser, an old-time resident of Odessa now residing near Gloyd, was working on the Christ Hostetter machine and was assisting in cleaning up after threshing a setting. His clothes caught in the tumbling rod and his arm wound around it before the machine was stopped. His right hand was completely torn off and in addition he sustained a compound comminuted fracture of the right arm, a piece of flesh was taken out of his side and other bruises about the head and body.

Dr. L. Ganson of Odessa was called and by agreement met Mr. Clouser at the Jacob Wacker place, where he amputated the forearm at the elbow and made him as easy as possible. He was brought to Odessa by Mrs. Clouser and J. Hostetter Tuesday and taken by Dr. Ganson to the Sacred Heart hospital at Spokane for further treatment and care.

75 Years Ago

The Odessa Record

August 17, 1942

J.J. New, Spokane, formerly of Montpelier, Idaho, has arrived to take over the management of the local Burgan's store, succeeding Nile Graham, who is being transferred. Mr. Graham is remaining this week in order to acquaint the new man.

Harvey "Jum" Kuest has been named by the school board as janitor in the grade school building, replacing Louis Horak, Jr. Mr. Horak takes over the high school building, replacing Reuben Melcher, who left to enter defense work at Portland.

Grasshoppers are becoming more numerous in the Odessa area, to the extent that they are a menace to gardens. They are located generally throughout the area, and some dockage on wheat has resulted because of their presence. Oat fields have been ravished and yields cut more than half.

Supt. E.E. Newland today announced the hiring of Marvin Knudson of Idaho as principal of the Odessa high school, bringing the list of faculty members near completion. School will open on September 8.

V-mail stationary is available at the post office for correspondence with personnel of the army and navy overseas. These sheets, a combination letter and envelope used for correspondence, upon being sent to San Francisco, are photographed in 16-mm film and transmitted overseas, where letters are reproduced in natural size and remailed to the addressee.

Two more snakes were reported killed in Odessa this week, George J. Kissler killing one at his home on Friday, with five rattles, and C.H. Scrupps killing one at the Jake Wacker home on Saturday. This snake had 10 rattles.

W.C. Raugust, on a business trip to Spokane this week, purchased every drill he could from the International distributors, suited to this area, and all he could purchase from the Mitchell-Lewis company, and has his trucks hauling them here this week. He states that he made the effort to forestall any possible freezing orders that may come up.

Leonard B. Roloff is now cooking, states word from Utah, and has been promoted to the rank of private first class.

Bennie Bartalamay, who recently was promoted to corporal, writes that he is stationed in England.

Alfred Hein, with the air corps, has been advanced to the grade of private first class. He reports that he enjoys the news from the boys in camp, as carried in the Record.

J.P. Keller, former operator of the Keller Motors here, has purchased the Texaco service station from Howard E. Phillips. The station has been under lease to the Texaco company until the first of the month.

50 Years Ago

The Odessa Record

August 17, 1967

Forey heading for Jaycee championships: Forey Walter, outstanding high school track star, will represent Washington at the Fourth Annual Junior Champ Track and Field Championships, August 24-26, on the campus of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

The championships will draw 450 thinclads from forty states. Each entrant is a champion in his own right, having won first local then state Junior Champ competition.

The U.S. Jaycee Junior Champ Program, co-sponsored by Pepsi-Cola and the United States Track and Field Federation, reaches 1,000,000 youngsters in over 2,500 communities. Senior (17-18) competition is the only division represented at the championship finals, although local and state meets include the pee wee (9-10), junior (11-12), intermediate (13-14), and prep division (15-16).

Most states will field a three-man team in the following events: 100-yard dash, 220-yard dash, 440-yard dash, 880-yard run, mile, 180-yard low hurdles, 120-yard high hurdles, high jump, shot put, discus, broad jump, triple jump and pole vault.

Fair button is passport to Friday show: Fair buttons are on sale at the Odessa business houses, and those who buy them may use them as a passport for the August 25 grandstand show put on by the Fair association. This show costs $1 at the gate, the fair buttons sell for 50 cents. Advance sale will close on the day preceding.

Things are "go-go" for one of the most successful rodeo, fair and festival week ends in recent years. The women's division of the fair found unusual interest in premium books this year, and this year the art show looks to be one of the larger units.

The town is commencing to "look rodeo," a decorating group having put up colored banners in overstreet lines. Some store windows have festival displays.

A complete new rodeo is set for August 26 & 27. Ralph McLean's rodeo stock will be used this year, said to include some of the area's best bucking stock. Cowboy members of the Washington Rodeo association will compete here. Afternoon shows will be held on Saturday and Sunday, August 26 and 27.

The Odessa city park will again be the scene of the free beef barbecue. Timed for noon on Saturday, entertainment will be provided at the park from parade end until after the barbecue. The parade is planned to get underway at 10 a.m.

Don Evavold, fair manager, reports much interest in the cattle division and judging contests that get underway on Friday morning.

Ruth Suchland, general chairman of the Friday night show at the grandstand, reminds local talent that their numbers can still be fitted into the program. Numbers will be limited to fill a prescribed time, necessary to keep things moving at a pleasing pace. She is interested in seeing that everyone with a talent is urged to contact her as soon as convenient.

Students travel in Europe: Touring Europe this summer with the People to People high school Ambassador Group were Carol Anderson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Anderson and Barbara Gudgel, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Gudgel. Through home stays and many contacts directly with the people of the European countries, this program hopes to create a better understanding between the United States and the countries visited.

Carol and Barb stayed with families in Holland, Italy, Austria and England. In Holland, Barbara stayed with the Krol family and their seven children. While there she attended a Dutch church service.

Doing the family shopping on a bicycle was an unusual experience. "It was very interesting to see the men selling fresh fish and cheese in their wooden shoes on the market square," Barbara said. Carol had the opportunity of staying with a Catholic nun at the foothills of the Alps in Austria. When she stayed with the family in Holland, she enjoyed fishing along the canals.

The girls toured the countries of Holland, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Austria, England, Belgium and France during their 45-day stay in Europe.

They name as some of their most memorable experiences: get-togethers with foreign students; a visit to a school in Heidelberg; government buildings in Rome. A youth camp controlled by the government in Yugoslavia; a trip down the Rhine on a river steamer and a gondola ride by night in Venice. A typical Hungarian Goulash party in Budapest, a trip to the top of the Eiffel tower in Paris and a visit to Dachau, a German prison camp, which made an unforgettable impression on all.

The 29 students in Barbara and Carol's group traveled mostly by plane and toured by bus on the Continent.

Next year's People to People Program for high school students of this area will probably visit Spain, Portugal, Greece and southern Italy.

25 Years Ago

The Odessa Record

July 30, 1992

Stubborn blaze, burns 70 acres, destroys barn: A fire which was started from a burn barrel got out of control Monday on the Vazquez property, formerly the Delzer ranch, eight miles north of Odessa, destroying a landmark chicken barn.

It burned across 60 to 70 acres of rangeland before it was finally contained.

The fire began about 2 p.m. when the burn barrel was lit in a cleanup operation by Rick Vazquez. It blew over, igniting dry grass in the barnyard.

The first truck was called out immediately from the Odessa rural department. Five trucks and a tanker responded. The Bureau of Land Management, which has adjoining property, also sent a truck, but unfortunately it was put out of commission when a rock hit the underside of the vehicle.

The fire, believed to have been put out at 3 p.m., flared up around 5 p.m. and the firetrucks again responded. Once again, the Grange Supply of Odessa hauled water in its tanker. At 2 a.m. on Tuesday the fire department received a third call that the fire had reignited. All five trucks once more responded along with the tanker to squelch the flames one last time.

Lost in the blaze was the chicken barn at the ranch, once the scene of a large-scale poultry operation by the Richard Delzer family. A well-house was also destroyed by the fire. The red barn, another landmark, was slightly scorched but survived.

Jamboree to be Fest feature: While there won't be any of the biggest names n country western music appearing on the program of this year's Deutschesfest, there will be quality entertainment to make the planned and then canceled Sunday concert a reality again. JulieAnne and Southbound and Kelly Hughes and the Border Patrol will be in Odessa on Sunday, September 20, to give new life to the final day of the fest, known in the past to be the time when everyone packs up and leaves town.

Last March the Odessa Chamber of Commerce, Fest sponsors, voted for a Sunday concert at Finney Field. Trying this, it was felt, would avoid the Sunday sleeper.

"We wanted to keep tourists here to contribute to the success of the Deutschesfest as much as possible," said Linda Gustafon, one of the members of the Deutschesfest Music Committee.

By April, Denny McDaniel, chairman of the music committee, had contacted the promoters for big-name singer Ricky Skaggs. The Chamber voted to go for it. Everything was on track, with only the signing of the contract by Skaggs and the music committee.

"These people aren't in the same hurry we are," Denny concluded as time wore on and the committee waited. Finally the promoter contacted Denny with a "sorry, Ricky has another obligation."

Then, as time drew short, the hunt was on for another good name group which could be obtained within the committee's budget.

"We could have gone with Garth Brooks at $100,00 or the Oak Ridge Boys for $60,000, but being a conservative-minded group, we decided to play it safe and try for under $25,000," said Linda. That amount of money was still a frightening thought when no one knew for certain whether or not the project would be a success. But the committee found that if they wanted to find quality performers and at the same time were to provide good seating, security, advertising and all perks associated with big-name performers they would be looking at a tab at around $25,000.

The committee is already looking towards next Deutschesfest for a concert at the football field with a big name entertainer. "We have learned a lot from other promoters who book concerts. They all say it is 'heart attack city' right up until the show goes on," said Cindy. But this group plans to keep working together to get a good concert for the community.

The committee persevered, making calls to other booking agents. Finally the word came in that Dan Seals would come.

"We were all so excited but also very apprehensive," Linda said. Time was down to 40 days before the fest. Apprehension set in among committee members when it was realized that Seals had preformed frequently recently in the Inland Northwest and may have saturated his appeal, dimming prospects for a good draw in Odessa. That and the time factor made it appear unlikely that enough tickets could be sold to cover the cost of having him preform. The contract also contained a few clauses the committee didn't like.

Barbara Gudgel and Carol Anderson traveled to Europe for 45 days with the People to People organization in 1967.

The idea of a Sunday concert seemed to be dead until some of the die-hard committee members looked at the possibility of a scale-down show, as there wasn't much time. The idea surfaced for a mini-country/western concert in the Biergarten on Sunday afternoon. And so a country western jamboree was born. The day will begin in a very uncountry way within the Odessa's famed Oom Pas and Mas at 12:05 - 1:05 p.m. This band will get the crowd ready for the 1:30 p.m. start. JulieAnne and Southbound will open and play to 4:00 p.m. A short break will take place while her band gets off stage. At 4:30 Kelly Hughes and the Border Patrol will come on and play until 7:30 p.m.

Both of the country western groups which have been signed are quality bands with large followings. JulieAnne will be in Moses Lake next week and is also doing the Puyallup Fair next month. Kelly Hughes has his own club at Stateline, which draws in on an average weekend 800 people.

The music won't stop at 7:30 p.m. The Oom Pas and Mas will come back on for their last set of the Deutschesfest weekend and another band, which will finish out the evening.

"The committee had a lot of frustrations and headache but it never once gave up trying to make Sunday a better day," said committee member Cindy Groh. Many people don't realize all the time and work involved in looking for a headline group, she said.


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