Afraid of life, she listens to

them tell her how different

she is; she takes it to heart

at first. Watch her try, try

try to be like them but

no matter how hard she tries,

she is not like them.

Somewhere along the equation

she realizes that different than

is not less than;

it is equal to. Sometimes (maybe

mostly) different than, plus

different than equals a sum

far greater.


The Color of Your Heart

(Written for my art students at Howard Street Charter School, 2012)

The color of your heart is deep and wide–

It gathers all around me

And fills my days with laughter rich

And teaches me to be

More colorful myself, spilling all

My deepest hues

(Those I tend to hide inside)

Instead of showing them, like you.

Together we can paint the world to

Create a masterpiece

Of love and harmony and then

Our world can be at peace.

No Monsters Here

(a poem written for my students in 2011, after news of a school shooting incident)

Four walls around us protect

Not only from the elements,

But from the ‘Out There’;


In here, there are no monsters;

Hydras, Chimeras, Griffins

and Dragons, STAY OUT!


There is a bubble around

Us–we are safe and sound.

Even if you pound, pound, pound,


We won’t worry because

In this room no monsters

Roam; we shine in this room.


Oregon Pulp and Paper Company

My father worked for the O.P. and P. (Oregon Pulp and Paper Company) for 30 years. He started out as a boiler man, feeding the furnace. Then he worked up to the Bleaching Department. They wanted him to be the supervisor but he never accepted the job.

One day he gave me and my sister a tour of the plant. We saw how the wood came into the mill and was mashed into a pulp, which was wood and water. Then the water was squeezed out. It was sent to the bleaching vats where bleach was added. It was mixed with huge paddles and then sent to another machine. It was sent through this machine, a huge press that pressed out all the liquid and then to giant rollers that rolled it flat, finally in paper that came out in huge rolls. Some of the paper was dyed different colors.

The building+ is still located on Trade and Commercial Streets in Salem, but it’s called Boise Cascade. While talking to a lady in the office the other day, she told me that soon the name would change to just Boise. It still is in the paper business but I am sure it is very modernized by now.

–Mrs. Wenger

+ This building has been turned into downtown condominiums and shops, 2016


The Old Sawmill

There used to be an old sawmill on our property on Rodgers Mountain. The mill was complete with a flume that ran down the mountain and into Scio, a mill pond, sawdust pile and wood cutter’s cabins nearby. We have an old picture of the mill, taken when it was still operational. Our family and the Scio Youth Art Class painted a mural of the sawmill, with original equipment, to show the difference between now and then. To this day, we still find old gears and cable on our land. Our dad, when he was a child, and Grandpa even found an old tractor and got it to work.

–Joel A. Lonbeck

Rodgers Mountain Loop, Scio


Jefferson Then

My family moved to Jefferson in the Spring of 1946 from Southern California following World War II. My father worked in the shipyards and my mother ran a boarding house there.

We came to Oregon so the family could work in the fields which we did, starting with strawberry picking, mint hauling, bean picking, corn picking, etc as all were done by and before mechanization of those crops. There was no minimum age limits, so we all could work, and did all summer. We were all responsible for making enough for all school clothes and expenses. When we came to Jefferson, there seemed to be a lot more business than today.

Downtown had a Confectionary where we could go for ice cream, milk shakes, etc. There was a drug store, Doctor, Theater, two active lodges (Masons, Eastern Star Oddfellows and Rebeccas), a blacksmith, variety store, several grocery stores, several service stations and cafes, just to name the first part of the business area.

The “Terminal” was on the highway (Second Street) and was the bus terminal as Greyhound busses came through regularly. This was prior to the construction of Interstate 5 and highway 99 was the main north/south highway going through Jefferson.

Having been born on the Texas Plains and raised in Southern California among the Palm Trees, the thing that amazed me most was how high the fir trees grew! And I never knew that mint was a farm crop.

I have lived in Jefferson now for 57 years, married a Jefferson born native, raised a family, worked and retired in Jefferson and have see many, many changes take place in town. Major businesses destroyed by fire include the Evangelical Church, the Mari-Linn Co-Op and Freres Lumber Company, each of which have been replaced except the Co-Op.

A bank came to Jefferson in 1963, a new post office in 1960 and again in the early 1990s.

In 1946 there was one school that included all 12 grades. Now there are three schools as the population has grown to require a grade school, middle school and high school. Jefferson will continue to change.

–Margaret Hire Knight


When I was asked to write a story about Oregon, my thoughts went back to the time when I first came to teach school in the town of Jefferson. Yes, to be exact it was but a wide spot in the road but it was an important wide spot. Why? Well it’s importance stemmed from the fact that it was situated on the two main arteries of travel–the railroad and the highway. At that time much of the passenger traveling was done by rail for buses were just beginning to come in to use. Most of the trains were made up of freight cars and passenger cars. The trains made regular stops at the station which was located at the east end of Church Street. The men working for the railroad company picked up freight that was being sent out as well as outgoing mail and deposited freight and mail being delivered to Jefferson residents. Travel was so different in those days for the pace of travel was far less speedy than it is today.

This is not a very interesting story by perhaps it will give an idea of what traveling conditions were like seventy years ago. The automobile industry has made such a deep impression on our mere existence in this world. We must stay alert just to keep up with the crowd.

It might be of interest to readers to compare our methods of travel to that which was used by the early settlers of this area. The method of travel used by the great grandfather of my husband, Gilbert was the covered wagon. Jesse Looney came to the Willamette Valley in 1843 to look this area over, then he returned with family and some friends to make a home in the area that is now known as the Looney Butte area. He staked a land claim and later staked claim for his children when they came of age.

It was shortly after my arrival here in 1930 that I met Gilbert Looney and in 1933 we were married and for the life I’ve had in Jefferson I am truly grateful.

–Geraldine “Gerry” Looney