It’s common for people to ask each other where they grew up; where they’re from; where’s home? In this time of greater mobility and seemingly fewer community connections, these can be challenging questions for some while for others, it’s straight forward – they have a strong connection to a place.
Consider the example of Paul Primak. Paul was an “Air Force brat.” He and his family never lived one place for more than a few years. Paul’s family moved to Lakeview in 1970 and a year later he graduated from Lakeview High School and left for college. He lived in Lakeview for a total of one year, yet it’s the place he calls home. I saw Paul in June when I was in Lakeview for the annual Daly Fund trustee meeting. Paul was in town to present a painting of four Canadian “Honker” geese to Lakeview High School. The painting was done by Paul’s 1971 fellow graduate, Jimmy Johnston. When I asked Paul about his connections to Lakeview, he said, “It’s the place I consider home; it’s where I made lifelong friends; it’s the place I go back to.”
Very sorry to learn that Jim Lynch passed away last month. I first met Jim ten years ago during my very first my visit to Lakeview. Jim’s law office was my first stop. He patiently told me about the workings of the Daly Scholarship, provided me with a list of the recipients, and encouraged me in my research on the Daly Fund. He told me that it was his hope that someone would write a book about the scholarship, its impact and about Bernard Daly. I’ve tried to do just that, and hope that the result lives up to his expectations.
As his long-time friend David Maxey wrote, “By birth Jim was a cattleman; by vocation, a lawyer. He was a superb performer in both categories. He and I entered the legal profession at about the same time, at opposite ends of this country. It was inevitable, I believe, that Jim would decide to stay at home and serve the community he grew up in. Yet he achieved national recognition as an expert in trust and estate law.”
Lake County is a big place. It’s roughly the same size as New Jersey with a lot fewer people, about 8,000 in Lake County and 9 million in New Jersey. As big as Lake County is, it only has two “cities” – Lakeview, the county seat, and Paisley, 50 miles north of Lakeview with about 250 residents. In addition to Lakeview and Paisley, there are a handful of unincorporated towns that are the home communities for Lake County ranching families. One of those communities is Adel, about 30 miles to the east of Lakeview. Continue reading →
It’s summer in Corvallis. The flowers are beautiful, once again the OSU baseball team is in the regionals of the College World Series, and on June 15th, OSU will hold its 150th commencement. Among the almost 7,000 graduates are 11 very talented Lake County kids.There have been a lot of talented OSU graduates from Lake County ever since the Daly Fund was established. If you look at them as a group there are important differences between them and other graduates. Continue reading →
Following in the tradition established some years ago by Lakeview math teacher (and OSU alum) Noni Vandenberg, talented 8th grade Lakeview math students made their annual visit to OSU. This year the students learned about robotics at OSU from Matt Shuman who teaches engineering design and coaches the OSU robotics team. Matt talked with the students about the importance of math in all of engineering and especially in the design of robots. We met Cassie, a walking robot designed by OSU faculty and students, and saw the Mars rover robot designed and built by the OSU student robotics club that won an international competition. Continue reading →
Take a look at the 1922 photo collage of the first Daly Scholarship recipients and you’ll note that most of the recipients that year (and all through the 1920’s) were young women. Nationally, only about 2% of the college age cohort (18-24) went to the college in those days and most were young men. So, why did so many young women get the Daly Scholarship?
In the 1920’s, only about 20% of America’s youth graduated from high school and in Lake County where many boys worked on family ranches, far fewer boys than girls went on to high school. Since the direct costs of attending college were low and the scholarship funds were plentiful, all of the high school graduates, and some from previous years, who wanted to go to college received a scholarship – most of those high school graduates were young women. Continue reading →
What about those who don’t get the scholarship? It’s a question I’m often asked and as far as I can tell, the answer is that they do quite well. It seems that the scholarship has had an impact on most everyone in the community; on those who get the scholarship and those who don’t.
Consider the example of Gene Peterson (Lakeview H.S., 1936) who watched all seven of his siblings receive the scholarship. Seeing one sibling after another go off to college, it’s not surprising that, as he told me, the Daly Scholarship was always on his mind. When he didn’t get it, he was very disappointed – he was the only one of eight in his family not to get the scholarship. Since he couldn’t go to college and didn’t want to stay on the farm, he got a job as a bookkeeper at the First National Bank of Portland in Lakeview. According to Myrna (Perry) Bell (Lakeview H.S., 1946), whose family lived on the same tract of land in the New Idaho District, Gene was so accurate he was called Perfect Posting Pete. Continue reading →
Bernard Daly traveled quite a long distance to get to Lake County from Ireland, but he wasn’t the first. As described in a wonderful book by long-time Lakeview resident Jim Ogle and Paiute Snake Tribe descendent, Clayton Chocktoot, there is evidence that, more than 14,000 years ago, some of the very first Americans traveled by foot all the way from Asia to Lake County. As described in the book, research by the University of Oregon archaeologist, Dennis Jenkins (aka Dr. Poop), shows that radiocarbon-dated human feces found in Paisley Caves are 14,300 years old, pre-dating previous findings from Clovis, New Mexico by more than a thousand years. Continue reading →
Geotab released a study that identified the least-traveled roads in each state and, according to traffic count data, the least-traveled road in Oregon is Route 395 heading north from Lakeview through Lake County. I know it well as I rode my bicycle the 100+ miles from Lakeview to Riley early in my west-to-east cross country bike trip in the summer of 2016. In those two days of riding 395 north from Lakeview, I saw only a few people (most stopped to ask if I needed water) and a couple of buildings but it was a beautiful ride alongside Abert Rim, one of America’s highest fault scarps, created many millions of years ago.Continue reading →
The American Dream of upward mobility is disappearing for many, but not all. In the 1940s, about 90% of children grew up to earn more than their parents; today only about half earn more than their parents. Economist Raj Chetty and his colleagues recently released a study and remarkable web-based tool revealing that, when it comes to upward mobility, place matters. Chetty and his colleagues used data from tax and census records to track data for more than 20 million Americans back to the neighborhoods where they grew up. In high-density urban areas, using the on-line tool, researchers have found that only a few blocks can make all the difference to educational attainment and future earnings (see https://opportunityinsights.org/press/).Continue reading →