When my Mom moved to a home care apartment she asked what I wanted of her personal processions. It seemed odd for my Mom to be giving away the things she had collected over a lifetime. I blurted out ” Could I have all the family photos?”, she smiled and said, “Yes”. When I heard the news of the tragic death of U.S. Forest Ranger Margaret Anderson it reminded me of photographs I had seen in my Mom WWII album. I searched page after page until I found photographs my Dad had sent my Mother in 1945 after he returned home to Oregon.
My parents met in New Zealand when my Dad had shore leave while in the Navy during WWII. He was working in the Deschutes National Forest in Oregon when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He immediately headed to Portland to enlist in the devastated Navy. When he returned to Oregon After WWII returned to his job as what he called a guard at the Crescent Ranger Station in the Deschutes National Forest (Crescent Ranger District Office). When I looked at his photograph a bit closer I noticed Dad had as a one of his favorites songs said “A Big Iron On His Hip” (Marty Robbins). It made me wonder what he was guarding, I never considered the danger of being a Forest Ranger in Oregon. This thinking all changed with the tragic murder this week of Mt. Rainier US Forest Ranger Margaret Anderson in Washington State.
The photographs are a window into my joy of the hiking in the Forest. When my parents married they moved to Milwaukie, Oregon and my dad attended University of Portland on the GI Bill. He received his degrees and worked as a surveyor for the Federal Government hiking through the National Forests of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. When he would come home after weeks away on the trails he would regale me with stories of the adventures of Chip and Dale (I have always loved Chipmunks). As I got older he would taking me hiking, fishing and camping in the Forests and Deserts of Oregon. One of our last adventures together was in 1979 was based on reading one of my Dad’s favorite books “Pete French Cattle King” by Elizabeth Lambert Wood ( I still have our original copy). We drove across Oregon to visit Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, French Glenn and Blitzen Valley heading for our goal in Harney County the Steens Mountain and the Alvord Desert Salt Flats.
One day I hope to take my beloved husband Rick on the same adventure…
I miss my Dad…
Love to ALL,