Another Golf Course Story

By Slim Randles

Some things aren’t allowed to go away, no matter how much a person might want them to, and no matter how much sense it makes to do away with them. It was that way with Doc’s golf tournament.

Last fall, to raise money for coats for kids who needed them, Doc talked two farmers out of the use of their pastures and set up the only 18-hole golf course in history that was created in an hour and a half. Each of the 18 holes had a hole (personally dug by Doc with a shovel) and a flag by the hole (a steel t-post personally pounded in by Dud) and a tee-off spot (personally tee-off by Herb Collins). But that was all the course had. If there was grass on the fairway, it was because the cows missed a bite. The whole course was hazard. The tenth hole alone had two rock piles and a manure sump to negotiate. The second hole required people to clear a prairie dog town or lose the ball forever to the abode of confused and terrorized rodents.

Well, everyone had fun, and the whole thing was won by Delbert Chin, owner of the Gates of Heaven Chinese restaurant, who came in with the low score of 312.

Doc wasn’t really excited about doing it again, but first one, then another of our locals pestered him until he relented and set out a whole new course this year that included the elementary school playground and the town’s sewage treatment lagoons.

Twice as many people signed on to play this year, and Doc admits that next year’s course might have to take in the gravel quarry just east of town.

“The hardest part about this tournament,” he told the boys down at the Mule Barn truck stop, “is figuring out what par should be.”


Brought to you by “Ol’ Slim’s Views from the Porch,” available at www. and wherever cowboys are celebrated.

Happy Camp Is Like A Fish Bowl

A View From My Hill

Wild flowers at Wingate River Access

Happy Camp Is Like A Fish Bowl

By Linda Martin

Happy Camp is a small town and there’s no bad side of town. Every side is just about like any other. And this causes some people discomfort.

You see, if you’re used to being able to live on the good side of town in a larger community, it is a step down to come to a place like Happy Camp where we’re all together – the good, the imperfect, and whoever comes to live with us.

We’re deep inside the Klamath National Forest – a group of less than 1500 souls. Some were born here. Some have had family here for many centuries and others for more than one century. But many of us have no idea where our ancestors came from. We were born in this country which is not our ancestors’ native land, and we struggle to find a place we can call home. We’ve been drawn to this remote mountain community either by the hand of fate or the will of God, where we learn that Happy Campers are all like one big extended family. We’re together here, deep in the most remote part of the forest, trying to make the best of it.

So if you’re reading this website thinking you might want to move here as many have done before you, consider this. In Happy Camp we’re not just talking about the unity of mankind. We’re living it. There are no bad people here, but there are plenty of imperfect ones and if we’re going to be honest we’ll admit that everyone is imperfect. There are those who let it show and those who try to hide their imperfections, but in general we’re all pretty much alike.

Though there are no bad people here, there are bad drugs that cause some of our citizens to act in ways others consider to be irresponsible and immature. And in a larger town most of those people would be living on ‘the other side of town’ – forced by economic necessity to rent places that we can not see or be bothered by because we never go there.

Well in Happy Camp, we don’t have that type of luxury. There’s no bad neighborhood. All neighborhoods are pretty much alike with both good and troubled people in them. And though we may complain about our neighbors, they are still like our cousins, brothers and sisters, and they’re probably not going away any time soon. So like any big family there are sometimes petty arguments, then we usually get over them because that’s what people in families do.

So if you’re used to luxury living, it is possible Happy Camp isn’t the place for you. True, you could buy a home outside of town and only drive into town to get your mail and groceries, but then you’d miss the true beauty of Happy Camp. By true beauty I mean the friendships and comaraderie you find by associating with all classes of people here. Yet this apparently is not for everyone.

As editor of this news site I have met people who learned about the town from this site and came here to buy property. Please consider this your warning. Though Happy Camp is a beautiful and isolated community in the middle of a gorgeous national forest, we’re not all upscale and if you find that bothersome, you may want to look for other lodging.

However if you love humanity, care about people, and want to join together with all classes to help and find new kinds of friends, this is a great fishbowl to be in.


Linda Martin is the editor and publisher of Happy Camp News. She writes novels in her spare time. Her writing website is at

Courteous, Concerned Community Dialogue Furthers Happy Camp Progress

by Judy Bushy

In my column in the “Pioneer Press”  last week, I said that the present Happy Camp Health Services Board, considering comments from the majority of voting members, chose not to give the building to another organization and that  “The Karuk Tribe has already put a new building for these services on their property between Second Avenue and the Highway.”

I was mistaken that the new modular was for the doctor’s offices and services that are presently in the Happy Camp Health Services Building. The modular moved unto the property will house program staff moved from the building next to the Administration Building; information technology and self-governance. The building next to the Administration Building was originally designed for a Medical and Dental Clinic and that is the area being remodeled, at considerable cost, for the medical services. The former Council Chambers will be the medical reception, medical records and nurses station. That wing is being remodeled for examination rooms. 

That is why the Karuk Tribe of California notified the Happy Camp Health Services that they were NOT interested in buying or leasing the Happy Camp Health Services building and said they planned to be moved out by end of September.To hold a NEW board of VOLUNTEERS responsible for past years isn’t really fair since they coveyed their desire to listen and learn what needed to be improved.

Even though I usually ask readers to respond and share with me, I don’t get large volumes of mail in response! Last week was an exception; I received quite a few calls about the column.  A caller might have given me information on corrections,. since she said I was ignorant, and was writing illegal slander, but never gave me a speck of information on what might need correcting. I did ask, but the phone slammed down! I’m still of the same mind, that Happy Camp needs mental health and similar services which are not adequately available, and that a community group, everyone working together, like the Happy Camp Health Services has always been, could help in this regard. I’m a good listener, but after calling names, no one gave me any specifics. We just don’t need more vacant unused buildings sitting around for years when there are nearly a dozen organizations that need places to meet. We can help each other when we can work together more effectively. I’m happy to listen to anyone’s views, but a few pertinent facts might be more effective than bluster and name calling.. I listened quietly to the name calling but got hung up on when I asked for help in understanding their point of view.  


The speaker who rudely accused John Godwin of the Happy Camp Health Services of rudeness when he is the quietest, kindest and a hard working volunteer who called the meeting to hear all views, made me wince. That is why Leon Hillman’s comments to friends and neighbors that whatever the disagreement, we will go on being friends and neighbors was so moving. Sharing viewpoints helps us all learn, when it is done in that frame of reference.

We respect the fact that Tribal members families and also many other members of the community and their families were also active in building the clinic building. The land, milled lumber, and many hours of labor were donated by the mill and citizens of the community. Wasn’t it a wonderful accomplishment they achieved together! It reminds me of the Memorial Log Building which was built with community working together, to provide education for our children, also, (although that was before my time!)

 We need more mental health services in Happy Camp and lease of the building to an organization working with Behavioral Health, is one way that it could be provided. Also, I see some value in some organization that could be the whole community working together, not exclusively for any particular group to the exclusion of others. Amazing things can be accomplished when we work together!

Give me a call, I’ll be happy to hear your views. If I’m busy at the moment, I’ll be happy to call you back. Also appreciate your telling me of any news and announcements that you have to share. That is why living along the wild beautiful Klamath River in the midst of the green forest, with blue skies above is so wonderful. We have great neighbors, mostly courteous and concerned about the community.

Rascal, by Sterling North

A good book to read!

If you have ever thought about having a wild animal for a pet, you might like to read this novel about an 11 year old boy who had a pet raccoon. The story takes place in Wisconsin during World War I. The boy in the story is the author, Sterling North, and he really did have a pet raccoon and a canoe he built in his living room.

We used to leave cat food on our front porch, and when we were reading this book, we saw raccoons eating there at night. We don’t leave cat food out overnight anymore, since our neighbor said she saw a mountain lion on our porch in the middle of the night.

If you have a favorite book you would like to recommend, you can leave a comment on this page with the name of the book. Tell us why you like it. Be sure to include your first name and your age. Parent’s permission is required for a child’s full name to be published.

Editor note:

Sterling North went on to enjoy wildlife and wrote “Raccoons are the Smartest People,” with photos of raccoons who visited his backyard patio. “Rascal” takes place on the Brule River, and we lived near there and Mr. Bushy canoed down the Brule. 

Mrs Bushy, Happy Camp News Editor

Is This Freedom?

by Linda Martin

Can we have freedom while standing on territory safeguarded by killing of innocents? Aren’t we losing a part of ourselves, when we allow innocent people to be victims of our warring governments? I feel so sad whenever I hear about people suffering because of the war. Just like in World War 2 when thousands of innocent Japanese civilians were killed by US bombs, I am distressed to know that children have died in Afghanistan during this conflict. Even hearing that the ten year old son of one of the Taliban leaders was killed distressed me. I don’t care who his father was – I do not want children to be cut down before they even get a chance to live. I have a young son about that age! I guess I lost my enthusiasm for this fighting at about the time the wrongful killings began.

I was reading an article in the SF Examiner yesterday about children – about 450 of them – in an orphanage in Kabul, Afghanistan. Most of the children had at least one parent, but that parent didn’t feel able to feed their child. So – there was a picture of little boys with smiling faces, eating plain rice for dinner. Is that all? Just rice? It was the only thing on their plates. It seems like the USA, land of prosperity, could do something to help those poor children return to their families with food in hand. How tragic for the people there, to be so destitute that they think their child will eat better in an institution.

What kind of freedom is this? I will never be free of the memory of these starving and dead children.

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