All Roads Still Lead to Grandpa’s Village!

Jun 11, 2024 | 1 comment

Meg and Jim Donaldson — borrowed from their facebook page

And in case the title of this blog doesn’t make sense to you… it’s a not-so-oblique allusion to my Uncle Willard Espy’s book, Roads to Grandpa’s Village, published by Clarkson N. Potter in 1977.  However, his book was about old ancestors and their descendents,  My blog today is about old friends.

When I moved up here full-time in 1978 there were several “young people” living in town — among them Meg and Jim Donaldson,  Jim was working in Nahcotta as the fledgling oyster hatchery there, and Meg was working over in Astoria — a nurse at the hospital.  Today, almost fifty years after moving away, they came visiting,

Meg and Jim did visit once before — maybe 15 or 20 years ago, but, even so, I only remember a few highlights from those long-ago days when they were up-the-street neighbors.  I remember that Jim was the very first president of the Oysterville Restoration Foundation.  (My father, as organizer and first secretary-treasurer, was eager to get “the younger generation” involved.)  And I think I remember a few parties at their house with other young neighbors Carlos and Sharon in attendance.

Today, of course, I learned even more as we strolled down Memory Lane..  They are still good friends with Carlos and Sharon whose son Chaz, they told us, now is the father of three sons, himself,  the older two in college and heavily into music.  Another long-ago memory that delighted me —  my folks had invited them over to play cards when Meg was expecting their first child.  When mom opened the door to their knock, Jim and Meg discovered that the entire town had gathered together for a surprise baby shower for them!

Called “The Wedding Cake House,” this lovely home in Long Beach (built in 1898, four years after marriage to Dr. William Lee Wood) was a belated bridal present to Elizabeth Lambert, The record is unclear if the gift was from her father or her bridegroom.

Meg also shared that Elizabeth Lambert Wood was her (great?) aunt and wondered who owned the house now and if it had been changed at all.  I was happy to report that it is, as far as I know, unchanged and that my good friend Erin Glenn and her son are now there. Meg then showed me a ring that her aunt had given her on her sixteenth birthday — a treasured keepsake that (I think she said) had once actually belonged to her aunt.  “It is seldom off my finger,” Meg told me.

Tucker and Carol joined us for the reminiscing..  They bought their cabin the year that Meg and Jim moved from Oysterville, but they shared memories of the beginnings of ORF and of the oystering on the bay and of Eddie and Lucille Freshley who were  good friends of the Donaldsons’ and, as those small world things go, Lucille was Tucker’s cousin.  “And Chris Freshley used to mow our lawn,” Jim said.  “My folks’ lawn, too,” I agreed.  And they remembered that he was starting to build his house about the time they moved away.

And so it went — such a pleasant afternoon.  If only we could squinch Port Townsend a little closer to Oysterville so we could get together more often!  We probably left a lot more ground to cover, but the highlights were a great pleasure, indeed.  A perfect afternoon!



1 Comment

  1. Meg Snow

    It was, indeed, a lovely afternoon and thank you again for welcoming us into your home. Thanks to Tucker and Carol for joining us as well. Oysterville will always have a special place in our hearts.


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