Down Memory Lane-flag

John Schultz and his wife Faye hold the flag that he and a buddy made in a Japanese prison camp when they found out World War II was over. Inset is a close up of the hand-stitched stars. Clearwater Tribune, Sept. 6, 2001

10 years – Sept. 8, 2011

Nearly 3,000 lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, and on Sept. 11, 2011, Clearwater County remembers.

Among the 2,753 victims who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center were 343 firefighters, 60 police officers from New York City and the Port Authority, and eight emergency medical technicians and paramedics. The overwhelming majority of casualties were civilians.

To remember that day and those who lost their lives, it is Clearwater County’s First Responders’ challenge to the community to fly 3,000 American flags outside homes, apartments, offices, stores and anywhere a flag can be displayed in Clearwater County.

Not only are we flying the flag to honor those who died on Sept. 11, 2001, but also to honor all of our heroes across this country; to the soldier who gives all to keep us free; the firefighter who runs into a fire to pull you out; the law enforcement officer who stands between you and crime; the emergency medical worker, who gives you another chance to survive; the search and rescue volunteer who searches through the night, so you can return home; and all volunteers, no matter where you are or whom you serve: Thank you! Because without you it would never get done!*

20 years – Sept. 6, 2001

War comes even to those who are involved in other pursuits just as it did to the men working for contractors to build Pacific Naval Air Base for Wake Island in Dec. 1941.

Orofino resident was one of those men working for Morrison Knudsen Company when the Japanese captured the island and pressed the men into slave labor. One of the happier memories of that time recently came back into his life when he received a call that a flag he and a friend, T. Bailey Lee, constructed had been found.

Schultz was working for M-K in 1941 when he heard about a job on Wake Island. He signed up for a nine-month contract and left in March of 1941. Little did he know he would not return for nearly four and a half years.

On Aug. 15, 1945, the prisoners were ordered out to the compound. The Japanese commander talked for about 30 minutes before the interpreter finally told them the war was over. Everyone was in shock.

Schultz and Lee decided to construct a flag to fly over the camp the next morning. They scrounged materials…They worked all night and until daylight on hand stitching the flag to have it flying the next morning, Aug. 16, 1945…

Lee brought the flag home with him to Twin Falls and it stayed there until his death in 1984. Schultz had wondered what happened to the flag, but had not had contact with Lee in 30 years. In June of 2001 he received a call from Lee’s daughter to tell him about finding the flag among her father’s things. Now the flag is with Schultz who is considering the best place to have it displayed.*

30 years – Sept. 5, 1991

Lolita “Cheeta” Brown has retired as production supervisor for the Clearwater Tribune. She will be back on occasion to help with special editions and to fill in for vacation relief.

She came to the Tribune five years ago to help change over the typesetting method from the photographic process to the desktop publishing of computers. It has been her responsibility to see that all the news, photos, features and advertising are ready and properly put together for the printer.

Cheeta said, she will miss the Tribune crew, but not the drive from Kamiah every day. Her retirement plans include: playing a lot of bridge, fishing, quilting, painting, and visiting with her grandchildren. She may also do more historical writing like her book, Pioneer Profiles.*

40 years –Sept. 10, 1981

Ten years of efforts to achieve improved sewage treatment for Orofino moved nearer reality as Emil Rodokowski and N.L. Construction of Lynnwood, Wash., began a $178,000 crossing of the river to a new treatment plant site east of the airport.

The big trench will house 600 feet of 12 inch pressured line pumped from the old plant, and a gravity 20-inch outfall line of ductile iron pipe back across to the north side of the river for discharge. With a $400,000 bond issue and $2,571,000 in grants, the plant which started a decade ago at about $600,000 is now near the three million mark. Bids for the plant are due this fall. Regional sewer studies imposed were one of the delaying factors.*

50 years – Sept. 9, 1971

Closure of the 40-foot Dworshak diversion tunnel is set to start next week, reports Ben W. Molle, resident engineer, when a 195-ton bottom section of a seven foot thick gate is lowered into place by construction crews.

Four six-foot square portholes in the 26 foot high unit will continue to allow passage of the North Fork’s 1700 second feet of water for a two week period while the ten additional three-foot sections are added to reach the full tunnel height of 56 feet.

When the water level in the reservoir reaches the low level outlet in the dam, the tunnel bypass will be closed and water will be released through the dam’s low level outlet.

When the by-pass valve is closed, the contractor will move into the diversion tunnel and close it off with a permanent 80-foot long concrete plug.*

60 years – Sept. 7, 1961

Company C Orofino, 139th Combat Engineers was one of the five Idaho units directed to prepare for combat readiness and possible future active duty by Brig. General George B. Bennett of the Idaho National Guard.

Two extra drills per month and full strength have been authorized. Nampa, Grangeville, Boise and Idaho Falls units are also named.*

According to an Information Section bulletin issued from fort Ord, Calif. Pvts. William J. Kaufman, Ahsahka and David L. Braun, Jon P. Oud, Douglas H. Roberts, and Paul L. W. Pippenger are undergoing basic training at this base.

Upon completion of the eight weeks basic each soldier will go on to either advanced Infantry training or one of the Army specialist schools.*

70 years – Sept. 6, 1951

Orofino Celebrations Inc., is moving ahead with plans for the biggest Lumberjack Days celebration in county history with several major new attractions supplementing the outstanding shows of the past.

Mel Snook, logging events chairman said that the world’s best lumberjacks are whetting axes and getting in training for their rigorous muscle and skill competitive events of sawing and chopping.

Sale of tickets on a new Plymouth sedan and a power saw is reported gaining momentum.

With an anticipated crowd of 7,000 for the logging events and Sunday show, it is expected that additional bleacher seats will be erected by the county fair board in 1952.*

80 years –Sept. 11, 1941

More than a half inch of hail and rain fell here in less than five minutes beginning at 4:05 Friday afternoon. The downpour made virtual rivers of most of the city’s streets, overflowed curbs, flooded some cellars, damaged lawns and gardens, and entered the living quarters of at least one house.

Almost the entire population of Orofino stopped working to view the heavy downpour of hail pellets and rain. Hail was piled two inches deep in some places and cars slushed around in six and eight inches of water in the busiest downtown streets. Sticks and cans could be seen floating down the streets, giving the town a Venetian atmosphere.*

90 years –Sept. 11, 1931

Work on the new Pierce High School will start this morning. The building will be of brick construction, two stories high, part basement, and architecturally it will compare in attractiveness with schools of its size in the northwest. There will be two large classrooms, and manual arts room, music room, library, laboratory, assembly hall and superintendent’s office.

The old high school will be turned over to grade school uses when the new structure is completed, and thereby relieve the crowded condition in the grades. The growth of enrollment in the high school made the construction of a larger and more modern building imperative. – Lewiston Tribune, 9-7*

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