Bigfoot Jamboree Parade

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The Karuk Tribe’s float.

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The Dear Mad’m Cabin

Sunday, the highlight of the Bigfoot Jamboree was the Parade. The theme was “The Heritage of Happy Camp.”

Double J and ABC Logging worked together on the number #1 commercial float. Elk Creek Campground came in 2nd in the commercial entries with a little cabin with Charlotte as Stella Patterson, and “DearSir” and “UpandUp” along. These characters are from Stella Patterson’s book of memoirs, Dear Mad’m.

Organizations were also in full swing. Family Resource Center was 1st place, Tom White on horseback with his POW flag was 2nd, and Smokey and the Forest Service won 3rd place in Organizations.

Bigfoot was especially energetic this time and even got into a tussle with some of the men, and he was 1st in the Individual category. Tom and Linda Seals in their 1923 T-bucket roadster came in 2nd and Katlynn Driskell with Charlene, Paul and Jim Driskell were third place.

The Grand Prize went to the Karuk Dancers. Grand Prize winning Karuk Dancers float were Shauniece Polmateer and Stormy Polmateer, Mikala Polmateer, Mac Polmateer, Jay Jay Reed, Charley Reed, Jason Reed, Rony Reed and David Arwood.

Judges were Buster Attebery, Jordon Blackford and Carol Day. The Grand Marshall was Don Zink.

Queen Tuesday Reigns at Bigfoot Jamboree

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Each year the most important festival of the year in Happy Camp is the Bigfoot Jamboree. This year is no exception and it was a wonderful time.

The weather cooperated by being a little cooler and everyone worked together for a great time. Thanks to the Happy Camp Coordinating Council!!! I’d mention Tracy Burcell, Donna McCulley, Leonie Jacobsen, Janet Burcell, Linda Zink and Linda Davis but I don’t want to leave anyone out and you know it takes many willing volunteers to make such an event such a success.

Sammi Jo Goodwin, Kelsea Huston and Tuesday McClun were our top raffle ticket selling royalty for this year. Tuesday was crowned as Queen of the Bigfoot Jamboree before the teen dance on Friday night.

Seiad Days – End of August

O'Reilly Buggy with Billy, Justin and Jeffrey.
O'Reilly Buggy with Billy, Justin and Jeffrey.

The Seiad Day of fun was Saturday, August 29. There was a parade right down Highway 96 from Seiad Creek Road to the Fire House.

All day long there were festivities at the Seiad Valley’s Volunteer Fire Department Fire House, 44601 Hwy. 96. Fun included a children’s bounce house, poker tournament, horseshoes, 50/50 raffle and chicken poop bingo.

There was a live auction with beautiful and unique hand crafted items and artwork to be treasured. Proceeds helped the Volunteer Fire Department.

Steak or chicken dinner was just before the dance with Blue Stew until midnight,

13th Karuk Tribal Reunion Coming

The 13th Annual Karuk Tribal Reunion is coming Saturday August 29th! Come on down to the Happy Camp River Park where you can sit in the shade of the trees by the riverbank and enjoy the day. Of course, if you want to get active, there will be a 5K Fun Walk and a Fun Run, traditional card games, and an obstacle course & water-slide for the kids AND Adults who are brave.

See Robert A. Goodwin to compete in the Horseshoe Tournament. Ellen Joyhnoson is the contact for cribbage games. Doug Goodwin will arrange the Poker Tournament. Arch Super will be in charge of the Volleyball Tournament. Then, when you’ve played, you can stop by the Health Fair before going to the food booths. Now, don’t fill up on Indian tacos, hot dogs and cheeseburgers because Acorn Soup and the Salmon Dinner will happen at 3:30 or so. Other vendors will be having crafts, jewelry and art items for your pleasure. There will be a demonstration Brush Dance.

Even though the day will likely be hot, bring your own umbrella chair and you’ll have a comfortable place to rest and visit with old friends and family. All vendors are welcome. For a wonderful time with the family, come on down to the River Park and celebrate “Chimi ikriva koovura pa’ararakuuphaveenati” (Hold Onto Our Heritage.) For further information contact Sara Spence at 493-1600 ext 2010. This is a drug and alcohol free event.

The Story behind Dear Mad’m

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by Judy Bushy, Happy Camp

Last weekend we took a drive down Highway 96 just to enjoy the sunshine on the River, and the forest and blue skies. We came to the pullout near where Stella Patterson had her cabin and stopped to enjoy the view.

At the time of her eightieth birthday, Stella W. Patterson was faced with a dilemma. Her decision involved when a person is OLD and how she wanted to live her “senior years.” Stella made a surprising decision and became a hero to seniors who have since loved her book, Dear Mad’m.

Stella was born October 14, 1866 in the bustling city of Stockton, California. Stella enjoyed the urban opportunities for social and cultural life, and lived in San Francisco as the wife of a judge. After the earthquake of 1906 she married James Patterson and lived on his ranch in the area near Willow Creek.

At the time of her 80th birthday, while visiting friends in Arcata on the northern coast, she was invited to live with relatives eager to do for her and take care of her in her “declining years.”

When a doctor told her that she had “young legs” it set her thoughts in a different direction. She owned a cabin on a mining claim in the wilds of Clear Creek near the friendly little town of Happy Camp, on the Klamath River. She decided to give living in that little cabin a try for a year. She wrote to the caretaker and set off for Willow Creek where she rode with the mail delivery up to the mailbox on Highway 96 below the cabin.

The title of her memoir of life on the Klamath came from, perhaps a senior moment, when Fred, the caretaker arrived, and she’d forgotten his name. In her correspondence she had said, “Dear Sir,” so she fell back upon that salutation. Fred replied, “Dear Mad’m,” and thus the nickname, which was later to become the title of the book, began.

The book tells of her life in that solitary and somewhat primitive cabin in its beautiful surroundings. She lived alone there with her dog, Vickie, and it turned out she had many adventures.

While Stella Patterson still traveled some, her delight was to return to her little cabin on the Klamath. She loved to garden and put up jams and jellies. She sent the memoir of the year she moved to the cabin to agents, critics, and finally a New York publisher who edited it. She called it “slashing,” her story! In the fall of 1955 she moved to an efficient little travel trailer, near Everett and Thelma (who had been like a daughter to her) in Redding. Her life drew to a close there in December 23, 1955 at the age of 89. It was just two weeks before Dear Mad’m was to be published, January 6, 1956.

The book had far reaching effects. It became a popular book club selection. Three ladies from Chicago retired from the Telephone Company and came to live near Happy Camp, because of reading her story. Vivian Witt, Marie Miller and Joan Richardson enjoyed gardening and artistic endeavors and were active in the community. They were loved and appreciated in the community although they too are gone now.

When Highway 96 was improved and straightened (Yes, it is possible that there were more curves and corners!) the road went right through her cabin according to George Harrington who drove the bulldozer.

Still, relatives had moved into the area below the road closer to the highway, and they had grandchildren, Tom, Claudia and Rod, who came to visit summers. What happy memories they made along the Klamath River at Grandparents those summers!!

Naturegraph, a local Happy Camp publisher, kept the book in print since that time, for which we are grateful. Stella was a hero of sorts to persons of mature years, who still have more years to appreciate life and blessings. It’s a good book to read to remind a person of all the wonderful reasons we love life on the lovely wild Klamath River at the top of California.

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