I might be the oldest… For sure I’m the luckiest!

Jun 14, 2024 | 3 comments

Photographer, Chauffeur, Friend, Neighbor

As far as I know, I’m the oldest resident living in Oysterville’s National Historic District.  Without a doubt, I am the luckiest — especially in the matter of my good friends and neighbors, the Wachsmuths, who live just around the corner from me on School Street.

Our families –the Wachsmuths and the Espys — have been friends and neighbors for at least three generations.  And before that, certainly our great-grandparents lived within a few blocks of one another but we don’t have specific stories about that period of time — from say the 1860s to the early 1900s.   For sure they knew one another, though.

After that we know more about their interactions because my grandparents moved into this house directly across from the Wachsmuths who lived on the corner of School Street and Territory Road.  My Aunt Medora (age 12) wrote in a letter to her mother on December 3, 1911: Rover Wachsmuth was run over and badly hurt Friday night.  His leg was paralyzed.  I don’t know if he is dead or not. They (Mr. Wachsmuth) said they would have to shoot him because he couldn’t live in that state…

Rhodies on the North Property Line and Not a Bramble In Sight

According to Cuzzin Ralph’s unparalleled research, Tucker and I are 7th cousins(!) but I think it’s neighborliness not relatedness that creates a day like last Wednesday.  For starters, Carol W. drove me to Tualatin and back to a very scary dental appointment involving a specialist and the possibility of my developing jaw necrosis due to a medication I took years ago for osteoporosis through OHSU Hospital.    It’s way too worrisome and complicated to contemplate, so suffice it to say that Carol drove me there and back knowing full-well that there might be many more such trips.  (As it turned out… so far, so good and no immediate re-visits are planned.)

Meanwhile — and unbeknownst to us until Carol checked in with him later, Tucker was eradicating the blackberry vines which have grown rampant within the rhododendrons along my north property line.  I saw them — scads of them in blossom! — leering at me over the tops of the rhodies the other day and asked Tucker if he knew of anyone who might tackle them.  (“No goats, please,” I said.  “I don’t think my neighbors would appreciate goats and I’m pretty sure we’ll have to go on that side of the rhodies to get them all.”  — Actually he didn’t have to but you never can tell with goats…)

Tucker prepares tp haul a load of brambles away!!!

I think that all the time that Carol and I were chit-chatting and having a grand time on our medical mission, poor Tucker was pruning and getting clawed and scratched to bits.  He even hauled those brambles down to the meadow to the old burn pile and I’m hoping when the Fall Meadow Mowing occurs they will get disappeared!

I am ever grateful and haven’t a clue how to repay them.  Maybe take them out to a spiffy dinner?  Which might be fine if these were the only things they’ve done for me but…the list is too long and my gratitude too profound for this small space!  And certainly a dinner-in-gratitude would just be for starters…



  1. Caroline Miller

    Knowing the Wachsmuths and their kind and caring natures, I suspect your gatitude will be enough, but taking them out for a dinner and a chinwig where noone has to do dishes after would be loads of fun!

  2. Cuzzin Ralph

    Cuzzin Sydney, It’s a minor detail but Tucker is your 7th cousin once removed, and your son Charlie’s 8th cousin. I’m just an old school stickler (as a mathematician) for precise detail! Despite the exact relationships we are just one big Espy-based family with Scottish roots on this side of the family. The few times I’ve had contact with Tucker he is definitely one of your (and my) most loyal neighbors, friends, and distant cousins!

  3. Cuzzin Ralph

    Cuzzin Sydney, OOPS I didn’t mean to slight Carol Wachsmuth, who is equally a loyal neighbor and friend, even if not a distant cousin! YAY for great neighbors!


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