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Ron TompkinsWALTERVILLE: Like many of his generation, Ron Tompkins answered the call to arms for the armed services in World War II. Age for him wasn’t an issue, getting his mother to sign off on his enlistment papers when he was nine months shy of his 18th birthday.
Time, however, did have an effect. Coming into the Navy in 1945 he sailed out of San Francisco and arrived for duty in the Philippines. In the Marshall Islands his ship, the USS Petrof Bay, a 7,800 ton aircraft carrier, was part of a fleet being put together for the invasion of Japan. Those plans came to a halt soon after the sailors saw a strange bomber fly over their ship escorted by two fighters.
Ron says that at the time, they had no idea of the significance of what they’d seen, only remembering that the heavy bomber had what looked like a “big torpedo” slung underneath. Another clue that made sense later was chatter on the radio at the time telling people to expect some weird weather.

Off Beat Oregon History

Gov Martin speechBy Finn J.D. John
It was the morning of Oct. 1, 1938, at the ceremonial dedication of the new Oregon state capitol building. Following several dedicatory speeches (including one by President Franklin D. Roosevelt), the ribbon was cut and the crowd outside invited to come inside and have a look.
But as the crowd moved forward, those at the front found themselves up against a door stuck shut. The crowd of Oregonians found itself packed tightly against the door.
Then a voice rang out, strident and harsh and full of authority. It was the governor of Oregon, Major General Charles Henry Martin, and if he’d been in his dress uniform he would probably have had his sword out whacking people with the flat of its blade.
“Get back, you bastards!” he roared.
“It was just like a blowtorch,” former Oregon Senator Mark Hatfield told historian Gary Murrell. “The people fell back.”

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Doodles By Barry McWilliams

Gardening Tips

Kids garden toolsBy Kym Pokorny
When grubby little hands grip your pant leg as you head for the garden, put them in the soil and they may dig up a lifetime of learning and pleasure.
“One of the keys to getting kids interested in gardening is to get them engaged,” said Joy Jones, Oregon State University Extension Service master gardener coordinator in Tillamook County. “Let them explore what catches their attention, especially small children.”
Stimulating a child’s imagination can be as simple as filling a dishpan with dirt, passing them a hand lens and letting them delve into the world that lives underground, she said. If it’s gross, so much the better.

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McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.