Archive for the ‘Oysterville Schoolhouse Lectures’ Category

Hear her story: Nancy Bell Anderson

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

Nancy Bell Anderson

On the chance that you haven’t had time to read yesterday’s Observer, I am copying the article I wrote about the Oysterville Schoolhouse Lectures.  They start tomorrow, September 20th.  Hope to see you there!

Nancy Bell Anderson, co-founder with her daughter of the Knappton Cove Heritage Center, will begin the Fall 2018 Lecture Series at 10 a.m. on Thursday, September 20 at the Oysterville Schoolhouse.  Her topic: “The Columbia River’s Ellis Island.”

Since 1980 when the U.S. Public Health Service Quarantine Station was paced on the National Register of Historic Places, Nancy and a cadre of volunteers have worked tirelessly to preserve and interpret this important Pacific Northwest site.  She will talk about the site from the time it was put up for auction in 1950, its rescue and its role in interpreting the immigration story of the lower Columbia region.

Four additional schoolhouse lectures are scheduled for alternative Thursdays:
October 4, Dr. Susan Raymond, “Hieroglyphs and Graffiti”
October 18, Andrea Patten, “Hear My Poems – My Father’s Code”
November 1, Aaron Webster, “Flint Knapping”
November 15, Dr. Madeline Kalbach, “Birds, Making Their Voices Heard”

Knappton Cove Heritage Center

This marks the tenth season of the Schoolhouse Lectures.  Organized by Diane Buttrell and sponsored by the Oysterville Community Club, the talks are open to the public and are followed by a question and answer period.

Were you the one who spoke to Diane… ?

Saturday, September 1st, 2018

Diane Buttrell

At the Opening Reception for Eric Wiegardt and David Campiche’s exhibition at the Heritage Museum in late July, Diane Buttrell had a conversation with a woman about plans for the Fall 2018 Lecture Series at the Oysterville Schoolhouse.  Diane can’t remember who it was.

Not only that, the conversation was substantive enough that she (Diane) is hoping that this person might kick off the Series.  “I thought we might begin on September 6th but, obviously, that’s too soon now.  I’m hoping for September 13th – if only I can find out who the woman was.  She would be perfect!”

Diane and Hal were here last night for our usual Friday Night gathering and, as they were leaving, she very hesitantly explained her predicament to me.   And, even more hesitantly, asked for help.   As a fellow “now-who-told-me-that” sufferer, I am only too happy to do what I can which, ultimately, comes down to blogging about the dilemma and hoping for the best.

The topic for the planned series this fall is “Hear My Story” and will feature people in our community who are doing something interesting or for the good of the order and, perhaps more importantly, how they came to be doing it. She has a number of folks on her line-up but… that first week is still “To Be Announced.”  I can’t tell you how sympathetic I am to her plight!

If you are the person Diane was talking to – or even if you were eavesdropping on the conversation – Diane urges you to get in touch with her at  There is no time to lose!  Publicity deadlines are upon us for a September 13th kick-off.  And, if you have FB Friends who might have attended that opening on July 27th and just might have spoken with Diane, please share this!  Thanks so much.

Whoops! Sorry, Diane!

Monday, April 16th, 2018

Captain Fletcher’s View

A promise is a promise.  That’s what I grew up believing.  “Don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep,” I was told.  “Don’t make promise lightly,” I was admonished.  No one said anything about an overactive forgetter or warned me about that aging mind thing.  “Don’t make excuses.”   Period.

So, instead, this is an apology to the amazing Diane Buttrell, Organizer Extraordinaire, to whom I made a promise – to write up the Oysterville School Lectures for the paper.  The final one in the series is scheduled for April 26th – time enough to get an announcement in next week’s paper but too late for the day-after-tomorrow edition.  Diane likes to have the information ‘out there’ a week ahead.  Gives people a little advanced notice.  Time to plan.  I hope she doesn’t fire me.

Oysterville Schoolhouse

The speaker will be Brian Fletcher, a Port Captain with the Tidewater Company.  What is a Port Captain?” you may ask.  “And, by the way, what is the Tidewater Company?”  Those are some of the questions Captain Fletcher will be answering a week from Thursday at the Schoolhouse.  I hope you mark your calendar.  Thursday, April 26th, 10 o’clock!  It will be the final talk in the Spring Series that has featured the Columbia River.  See you then!

Right In Our Midst: Another Unsung Hero!

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

Tucker at the Schoolhouse, October 2015 (in front, not behind the camera)

To my great relief, the schoolhouse was filled to capacity for Robin Cody’s talk yesterday morning.  Apparently, the word got out that the Observer article (written by yours truly) had the wrong time and things began at ten as was intended.  Robin was terrific.  His stories about his 82-day paddle down the Columbia were filled with humor, a bit of pathos, and with a great deal of unexpected information about the river.  Like the rest of the audience, I was enthralled.

Once or twice, though, I have to confess that I turned in my seat to see how Tucker was doing.  For several years now, he has been manning the video camera which is placed on a tripod toward the back of the room.  The recording (along with the official permission slip signed by the subject, in this case Robin) goes to the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum and eventually ends up online on YouTube.  Usually, I don’t give the cameraman a thought (sorry, Tucker!).  Though he is clearly visible, he has a knack for fading into the background while he does his job – which is as it should be and the way he wants it.

Robin Cody – Not A Sit-Still Kinda Guy

But, as we all listened to Robin yesterday, I realized that Tucker might be experiencing a bit of a challenge.  Robin is not one of those passive-sit-still-while-he-talks storytellers.  He stood, he paced, he turned this way and that establishing eye contact with his audience. I couldn’t help but wonder if Tucker was able to keep up with him.

After the questions and clapping were over, I went back and asked cameraman Tucker how it went from his perspective.  He laughed and admitted that keeping Robin in the camera’s eye was a bit of work.  “Once I glanced at my watch – just glanced! – and when I looked back through the lens, I couldn’t find Robin!  I don’t know how the video will look.”  As we chatted, he said that he never had taken time to see his ‘finished products’ so he couldn’t be sure of how this one might look to the viewer.

From CPHM Video: Mary Garvey, Cate Gable, 2017

I had to admit that I had never taken a look, either.  So yesterday afternoon, as I was preparing to write about the next speaker, I went to the Heritage Museum’s website and took a look at the April 2017 recording of Mary Garvey and Cate Gable.  OMG!  There was just a clip – one song; one glorious song – but the site directed me to YouTube for the complete video!  I highly recommend that you take a look!  Especially you, Tucker!  I’m not an expert but I have been known to be critical of what I see.  In my opinion, the video is pretty darned close to professional quality!!!

See for yourself.  Go to  You can skip the introduction part (me)… cut to the main speakers/singers!  Wonderful record of a stellar event – with Tucker the unseen and unsung hero!