Chief Daniel Packer Honored, Mourned

 A sunrise memorial service had been held in honor of Chief Daniel Packer at the Ukonom Complex Incident Command Post in Orleans in the morning. Over a thousand firefighters attended to honor the fallen firefighter who died in the line of duty. Many more attended services in Happy Camp that evening.

  Chief Packer was from Washington, the East Pierce Fire & Rescue. He was preparing to take over duties of division supervision on the Panther Fire, 15 miles south of Happy Camp in rural Siskiyou County, California.  He was an experienced and able firefighter, but while Packer was scouting the fire, the wind shifted and the fire blew over him.

 Each and every firefighter that comes to fight fires in our neck of the woods does so in peril of his life. We dare not take lightly the courage and valiant honor of these firefighters.

Tributes to Chief Packer mentioned his courage, service and commitment, as is true of many of our heroes fighting wildfires in the forest but some especially noted his faith, compassion and humility.  

We pray that God will bless and comfort the Packer family and his friends and comrades on the fire line who have our deepest sympathy.  Chief Packer is among those heroes who selfishly give of themselves for their fellowmen, and his sacrifice will not be forgotten.

Are You a Teenager that Drinks?

by Donald O’Reilly

Are You a Teenager that Drinks?

It’s a great feeling when you tip the bottle back and let the liquid fly. The people that you couldn’t get are now having a staring contest with you from across the room. Even the people you could get with are looking even better. Time’s flying and you could care less about what’s going on with the world. Troubles are gone and every drink you take is another mile away from reality.

Almost all the teens today are drinking before they get into high school. They’re ruining their lives before they even begin. I almost got sucked into the world of alcoholism. Then, somehow, I clawed my way out of it. Now I hope I’m an example to the little kids to stay clean in high school instead of drinking and partying all the time. It may be fun while they’re doing it but not in the end. I have compared my life and grades to my freshman year and I like the outcome of who I am now, to what I was then. I realize how immature I was acting, and how much of a fool I made out of myself.

Various websites show that more than 40% of adolescents who drink are going to be alcoholics. They may have the choice now to drink, but in 5 years it will be a habit they can’t stop. Some students may be fortunate enough to snap out of this nasty cycle. Fortunately, I was one of the smarter ones and stopped drinking little by little.

My grades for the beginning of my freshman year were D, A-, D, A-, A-, A+ and B. then at the end of my freshman year, when I started drinking, my grades were D, C, F, F, B-, C+, and B. What an effect drinking made on my grades! These are not the grades I would like the college I am planning on going to see.

Most adolescents start drinking because of an older sibling that does it and they think it’s cool. So when you see someone under the age of 14 drinking, you can thank their household. In public, no one likes a drunken person. They just laugh at them because they’re making themselves seem stupider than they really are. Sooner or later they’re going to be known by everyone as a raging alcoholic who can’t handle their liquor and has abusive problems when they have been drinking. They will get into a car wreck and seriously injure themselves, or die, and either of those outcomes is not good.

Everyone thinks that drinking isn’t so bad when they’re young. They don’t look at their role models and see how much drinking has screwed up their lives. Most of the drinkers’ now a days have at least one parent that is an alcoholic so when they drink they don’t think there is anything wrong with it, till they don’t have a job, a life, and are not happy with what they’re doing in this world.

Drinking is a disease and you might be able to cure it, if you get help soon enough. So contact your local AA advisors and get in a class before the disease kills you!

Donald O’Reilly


by Alexis

As a Happy Camp High School student, I am here to tell you about Family. I haven’t’ really been into my family, until I reached the age of 14. I finally realized if I don’t talk to my family that I would regret it.

I was never into my family when I was in my childhood. I lived far away from my family at one point in time. In that time I felt like there was a big hole in me and I never could find out what it was. One day I was sitting on the front of the house. I received a phone call and it was my mom. She said that she was coming to get me and she missed me and couldn’t wait to see me. She finally got her act together and realized I was what she wanted to help her through what she was going through. She showed up and I got my stuff and came home. Ever since I have tried so hard to keep up with my family, but some times there are too much, emotionally and physically.

My family has so much to share with me if I sit down and just listen five minutes. I feel it changes my life. These are some things I learned from my family stories, pictures, baskets, dresses, regalia, recipes movies and many more. I drifted away and mom tried to get me to go here and there with her to see family and stuff like that, but I would just stay home. I felt like the only thinks I needed was me, myself and I, but I found out the hard way, losing family I never had a chance to sit down and talk to. I lost a lot of history, and things I will never be able to recover.

People don’t realize that our elders are the most important people to our communities. These precious people hold and know many things. When I look around I see how kids act toward their elders. They may have been born in the 50’s or the 60’s but if it wasn’t for them telling us to do thing or that, just think of what the world would be like today! If we can just sit down to hear our elders out, I bet that we would have a better understanding of one another. Our elders know how to help us or teach us. If we just gave them the respect they need they won’t be so hurt or torn. We need to give our elders more respect and more love.

Sometimes some people don’t have a mom or a dad, brother or sister, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have family. Maybe you live with your auntie or uncle or grandparents, but you still have family. We all need to sit down and talk more to the people that are close to us.

Happy Camp Community Spirit

To the Editor:

Volunteers! Donations of time, labor and materials! That is the kind of community spirit that built needed places for the local folks in the history of the Happy Camp area, and other towns of Siskiyou County.

Indian Creek School 1883 and 1890, log church, 1928, log high school 1933, Grange hall, (Red Cross) First Aid Station, town Fire Hall, Lion’s Boy Scout building, Library, and the volunteer firefighters, ambulance services and other community efforts. Donations of land, timber, plywood, equipment, and money, manpower and ambition…that is the kind of community spirit that built the Happy Camp Health Services.

I do not believe that local citizens will stand for seeing that Health Service taken over without a fight.

James A. Waddell


Note: Jim is a Happy Camp citizen who moved away awhile. Five white generations of his family have been the pioneers who called this area “home” since gold prospecting and he is also a member of the Karuk Tribe of the Klamath River. He lived on the family homestead (of 1900’s) in the Happy Camp area for over fifty years and enjoyed hunting, hiking the mountains, appraising of timber, working as fishing guide and takes absolutely wonderful outdoor photographs. He helped us with technology at the Happy Camp Community Computer Center for awhile also. Lately he has been blessing us with the stories of the history of this area through tales of his family,  for which we are grateful! A cd of beautiful photos of the area is available (see ad on frontpage of Happy Camp News for further information)~jbushy

Happy Camp High’s Football Future

by Joe Harrison

What would happen if we didn’t have a football coach next year?

What would Happy Camp do without football? Happy Camp High has had football for at least fifty years. It is a community tradition. Everybody who has ever gone to high school here comes to watch the games. All of the elders come to watch the young kids play. Even people who don’t have kids in school come to root for the kids who are playing.

I don’t think most of the kids would even come to school if there wasn’t a football team. We would lose school funds, which support our school. We would lose out trips, our COS trip and other fieldtrips.

Then, what’s left for us kids to do? There would be nothing but trouble, and everybody would drink. At school, kids would be out of control. There would be a lot more fights and drug use because there would be no motivation to go to school.

What would Happy Camp do without football? I think this whole town would turn into a hell hole—nothing but druggies and alcoholics and need a lot more law enforcement.

How many kids in this community do you think would graduate if we didn’t have a football team? Perhaps as many as 35% pf high school students wouldn’t stay in school to graduate. Some of the kids I’ve talked to said it there wasn’t a football team they wouldn’t even show up for school. I think it would all go in a chain reaction, first football, and then basketball.

As we grow older, people say that the young look up to us. Well, how are they supposed to look up to us when we have nothing to do but drink and do drugs! There would be a big change, instead d of playing in a game on Friday night, we would be getting drunk and driving our cars around, and that’s how 50% of the teens die in this neck of the woods.

What are some of the benefits of playing football? One benefit of playing football is to release stress, and stay in shape. However, the best thing about playing football is a person gains discipline and self control.

Football is a very fun activity. Guys can get girls and they learn more about the game. Students also show the people in the crowd what they’re made of. When the team goes on an out of town game, they get to travel a long way sometimes. The most fun part about traveling is eating fast food. When the players travel to other towns they represent our school and Mr. Dyer. That is why everyone is on their best behavior.

Last, but not least, I would like to talk about Coach John Kufner. He has been coaching at Happy Camp for over thirty years. He has more wins than I’ve had girl friends, and that’s a lot. He is a legend in his own time, and now it’s time for him to sit at home and watch football on television like the legend that he is.

No matter what happens here in Happy Camp, football needs to keep going on!

Remembering Happy Campers

Today  I was just going back and re-reading some stories on Happy Camp News, and I happened on the Letters to the Editor page. I found the letter I wrote to the entire town two years ago and it is still as true as it was when I wrote it. My wife and I have run off to be with our other children and to be closer to family during our time of loss. However, we have not found any more support here than we had from our good neighbors and friends in Happy Camp. Happy Camp is a place that will stay in my heart always and I am still just as grateful to all the wonderful people who live there as I was when I wrote that letter in the first place.

Someday the world will know about Happy Camp and realize that despite it’s problems, it has a wonderful and pure heart. God bless all of you. My family and myself send our love.

Bob (JavaBob) Schmalzbach

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