Memory Lane and Territory Road Converge!

Nov 15, 2022 | 1 comment

The final edition of Parade in print in the Oregonian was last weekend.

I couldn’t quite imagine why my friends Harry and Linda were emailing me a copy of this week’s Parade Magazine from the Oregonian.  But, a few lines into the editorial and I KNEW!  Our Oysterville Red House Cousins were in the news!  Again!

It seems that when  the first Parade supplement ran in the Oregonian on Father’s Day 1957, it featured a three-page story on a Portland family, the Williamses. The headline said:  “Meet a 1957 novelty: the Williamses of Oregon.  They’re an old-fashioned family where… Father is the BOSS.”

The article, written by two Parade writers began, “In a two-story stucco house here, with a wife and three lively children, lives a man who might be called a rare bird in modern America:  a genuine, old-fashioned father.”  As an example of his “rule the roost” ways, the article went on to say: he preferred long hair on women so wife Barbara and daughters Lex and BeeGee wore their hair long.

The Red House

And, then as now, Oysterville was an important part of the family story:  The annual trip to the beach house in Oysterville, Washington was an occasional sore point, the article said.  But either the entire family went, or no one did — the implication being that if Bronk didn’t want to come, no one else ventured forth.  I honestly don’t remember any years that they weren’t here for a while, anyway.

The original article is mounted on the wall of that 1871 coast home, still in the family, David Williams said  His father and mother both had ties to the Long Beach peninsula.  Great-grandfather R.H. Espy was one of the founders of Oysterville.

David, Lex, BG — circa 1948

Barbara Espy Williams was my mother’s first cousin and I must say that our family’s impression of Barbara and Bronk’s household was not quite in line with the point the writers of that 1957 article were trying to make.  I was happy to see that the current editor gave my cousin David the final word on that subject:

David gave a wry chuckle. “The article from our perspective, was sort of a misrepresentation of who ran the show,” he said.  “Our contention was our mother ran the show.”

1 Comment

  1. Deborah L Wells

    Good one and the mom running the show makes sense!! Deb


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