20th Karuk Reunion was a Great Gathering

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by Judy Bushy

Although the day was warm, it wasn’t quite as hot as some Karuk Tribal Reunion days have been in the past! Tents were all over. This year was the 20th annual event at the Tribal compound, Administrative, medical and dental clinic and other offices are there as well as the People’s Museum and Multipurpose Building that used to be the Happy Camp Elementary until back in 1989 when the new school was build on Park Way.

The largest and most prominent white tent being the one where all the Health Services were located. Keeping people safe and healthy is very important to the Karuk Tribe and we are grateful for all that they provide, not only for Karuk Tribal members and descendants, but also for the entire community.

The most fun of the event, to me at least, was to see bunches of children in joyous play swooping down the water slides, splashing and playing! In a day when there is concern that our children spend far too much of their time glued to modern technology, cell phones, I-pods, and computer screens and games, Active play in the out of doors in water play was fun to watch! The kids all wore big smiles, some with toothless grins common among youngsters in the early primary years. They were all especially cute, at that age in life when new teeth are a momentous occasion!
After watching them for awhile, and trying without much success to catch the blur of their activity and constant motion on camera, it was time to go to lunch in the air conditioned Senior Nutrition site.

It was ther that I had the pleasure of meeting Huddleston Oakes! Huddleston grew up at Ferry Point and his sister, Arlene was the young girl who visited Stella in her book about living on the Klamath River, Dear Mad’m! He uis listed, with Arlene in the Methodist /church roll for 1939. It was happy news to hear that he can read Klamath Views in the Siskiyou Daily News in Weed as well. His mother, Virginia Effman Oakes, and later added Anderson) wrote newspaper articles before my dayu. Debbie Wilkinson and Hazel Davis Gendron wrote articles about Happy Camp. Wouldn’t it be fun to read all their articles now!! Hazel has been sharing some items that she found in old newspaper research on the Facebook page, Growing up In Happy Camp, and we enjoy them so much!

We went back to the reunion later, as there were more old time friends and family still to visit with, but Huddleston left us wishing we knew more about the families, Southards, Oakes, Effman, Hastings Brothers and Taylors as well as the Coverts, Cy Jenson (Up’n Up) Fred Crooks (DearSir) and others no longer here. Those characters who lived down where Tinkum Creek met Titus Creek before joining the Klamath where Robert E. Southard and his family had their cabin.
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