The Odessa Record -

This Week in Odessa History

Dust and rain; approach of harvest; growing deer population


--Archival photos.

An elephant seen feeding in its natural habitat is a beautiful sight to behold.

100 years ago

The Odessa Record

July 12, 1918

Some Dust Storm. Following two of the hottest days of the season, which pinched some more of the already damaged wheat, the biggest dust storm that ever struck the Odessa country during the past eighteen years, broke upon the town about 7 o'clock Tuesday evening. The dust came in such clouds that for nearly an hour the dust clouds, at times, made it as dark as night and at no time during the gale was it possible to see across the street. Fortunately, however, the principle part of the soil from the southwest country was so high above the earth that comparatively little of the dirt sifted into the business houses and residences and there was not nearly as much cleaning to do after it as there has been following many just ordinary blows in the past where the main part of the dust was near the earth.

In western Grant and eastern Kittitas counties, the wind was followed by a a heavy rain. J.C. Kaynor, editor of the Ellensburg Daily Record, who stopped at the Record office Wednesday on his way to Spokane to attend the State Press Association, said that the storm broke shortly after he left Ellensburg and that he was obliged to drive his car through heavy rain every foot of the way to the river and that after it crossed the river the rain continued all the way to Quincy, where there was a cloud burst which spent its force before it reached Ephrata.

Between Vantage and Quincy there were places where his machine sank to eight inches in the mud, but after leaving the Grant county seat he had no rain, but the drifted sand to contend with, and plenty of that piled up between Wilson Creek and Odessa. What rain fell in the west would not help anything except potatoes.

Rain causes land to blow. The hard rain of a week ago last Sunday down on Rattlesnake Flat was so heavy that it flattened out the summerfallow and pulverized the clods. As a result, when the sun struck the land and the winds arose, the land started to blow. There are many places on the flat where the blowing has set in, considerable soil drifting over the roads. The farmers are getting on the summer fallow, however and roughing up the surface to stop the blowing.

Blowing on the flat is unusual and it looks queer to see places where blowing has set in on what is usually regarded as heavy soil. So far the damage has not been great. -Ritzville Journal-Times

75 years ago

The Odessa Record

July 8, 1943

Earlier harvest seems assured. Burning hot weather is speeding development of the wheat crop and farmers believe they will be in the harvest fields before the end of the month. The June rains came at an opportune time and indications are the yields will be high.

Elevator men have prepared adequate storage for the crop. The Odessa Union Warehouse company is completing the construction of a 200,000 bushel grain bin to augment its bulk storage space.

Winter wheat is turning color fast. Barley and other grains are growing rapidly. David Jeske brought samples of barley to town today, better than a yard in height and well headed.

50 years ago

The Odessa Record

July 11, 1968

Ed Salo Strokes Hole-in- One. Ed Salo, first-year golfer, experienced the thrill of a lifetime Saturday on the local golf course.

Using a 3-iron, he holed out the 165-yard fourth hole while en route to one of the lowest 9-hole scores registered on the Odessa course ---37 strokes. This is only one over par on the local links, it is stated.

Hits Deer. A Spokane driver hit a deer at approximately 8 p.m. Friday, July 5, at the Bob Hemmerling farm six miles south of Odessa. The deer came out of the lane at Hemmerling's, Bob states, and ran in front of the passing vehicle which received some front end damage.

This is the first deer that has been reported in that area in several years, Bob reports.

And from the number of cripples being towed into Birge's Garage there obviously have been other accidents in the area this week, however, the editor has been unable to locate the new State Trooper for details.

25 years ago

The Odessa Record

July 8, 1993

Safari. Odessans out for big game by Linda Gustafson. Zambia was their destination and 14 days of hunting to bring back some trophy animals was their goal.

Don and Mavis Smith and Pam and Tony Williams of Odessa and Bill Dress and Pat Thomas of Moses Lake, left on May 23 for a safari vacation. They flew from Seattle to London and on to Lusaka, Zambia.

From Lusaka, they traveled to Abie duPlooy's farm, where they spent one week hunting in two different areas. There were only two places where lechwe can be hunted and the group had to travel more than 700 miles, round trip, from Abie's in a Land Rover to find these animals. The time and long trip paid off for Don, as he shot a record book kafue lechwe at Kafue Flats.

After a day's rest, it was "On the road again," heading toward Abie's main safari camp in the Luangwa Valley. With three Toyota Land Cruisers loaded to the maximum with supplies, luggage and people, Tony said it looked like a scene from the The Grapes of Wrath traveling down the road. The group traveled a day and a half before arriving at a camp. Everyone agreed the camp was a wonderful site to see. It was set along the bank of the Luangwa River, where animals could be seen at all times of the day across the river in the National Park (all hunting areas in Zambia border the National Park).

The camp was busy with local people Abie had hired, complete with a chef, waiters, water boys, game skinners and trackers. Several of the men also worked for Abie on the farm during the off season. Mavis and Pam enjoyed not having to lift a finger. Laundry was gathered every morning and clothes were washed and ironed daily, "even our jeans," said Don. The reason for this was because there are small Puttsee flies that get into clothes when washed in river water and can then burrow into the skin. Sores will develop from these flies. A hot iron kills them. Refreshments are always available as soon as they arrive back in camp.

Everyone agreed the meals were wonderful. Each night the group would ask what was for dinner and they were told. One night the chef wouldn't tell them. They had hippo steaks, Pam said, "They were a little tough."

There were hardly any mosquitoes or tsetse flies, considering this is a high risk malaria area. The time of year and the weather had something to do with the lack of bugs. Several of the locals were recovering from malaria when they arrived for their stay.

While hunting in Luangwa, Don took a large tom leopard that would be considered trophy size. Tony and Don each shot a cape buffalo and Tony shot a big black mane lion. They also shot a hippopotamus. Don kept the teeth and tusks and the rest was used for bait.

Other animals taken were antelope, tsessebe, reedbuck, impala, wart hogs, oribi, zebra, water buck, puku and baboon.

Town faces two choices on garbage. Members of the Odessa Town Council decided last Monday they had two choices to pursue in disposing of the town's solid waste when Odessa's landfill is closed by law Oct. 1.

One way to go is to buy a truck and haul the solid waste to another landfill. Facilities in Klickitat, Adams and Grant counties have been considered. Transporting waste to a remote site would cost the town in the neighborhood of $40 a ton, it is estimated Odessa generates about 10 tons of solid waste each week.

The other choice, council members believe is to contract with a firm to make house-to-house pick-ups of garbage and transport it out of town. The cost to the town would be about $560 a week in addition to collection charges. Darrell Koss, general manager of Sunshine Disposal, Inc. of Spokane, which contracts to dispose of solid waste from Ritzville, parts of the Spokane Valley and other areas, appeared before the council Monday to state the case for hiring a contractor.

Spokane's waste-to-energy plant cannot accept any more garbage as it is operating at capacity, Koss said. And if it could, he said, the cost to Odessa to dispose of waste there would be far greater than hauling it to a landfill.

Greetings from Zambia. Left to right: Pam Williams, Mavis Smith, Don Smith and Tony Williams with a record book kafue lechwe.

Koss's firm operates its own trucks, collects waste door to door and transports it to a Spokane area disposal site. Considering the 500 waste pickup points in Odessa and a $2 per mile transport charge and other costs the town would pay approximately $560 and additional labor costs a week for Sunshine Disposal Service. Koss answered council members' questions. The firm would not supply individual waste containers. Council members concluded they would be paying Sunshine about $100,000 over a two-year contract period for its services. This, they calculated, would be in the same ballpark as the cost for the town to buy a truck and do its own hauling.

In turning its attention to that option, the council decided to look into the purchase of a good used truck for long-haul service. It would need to be determined, council members believe, if town crews could process solid waste as efficiently and speedily as contractors, who propose a one-day, one-man operation for collection, transport and disposal.


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