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Cloverdale Reveille
Cloverdale, California
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August 3, 2011     Cloverdale Reveille
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PAGE 8 WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2011. CLOVERDALE REVEILLE CLOVERDALE, CALIFORNIA For her daughter's 50th birthday in 2001, Marie booked a cruise to Alaska for both of them. They both took a memorable helicopter excursion to a glacier near Juneau. GOOD DECISIONS CONT. Fair on Treasure Island in San Francisco. Do you recall any dark moments in Cloverdale" s history? When the U.S. Hotel burned down in mid-1940s, that was a big disaster. The barbershop and nearby businesses were damaged. Can you compare Cloverdale politics in earlier years to now? ' There didn't seem to be much wrangling going on in the 1930s and 1940s. Maybe it started after the war when the building boom came. Of your contributions to Cloverdale, which make you most proud? One of my proudest accomplish- ments was being chairman of the Bicentennial, oh, and I started the fireworks that continued every year. 4-H had been a big part in my youth, including 4-H summer camp. It declined when there weren't enough leaders, but I started it again for my kids so they could go to summer camp. We were active in American Legion from the beginning. After my husband died in 1978, I quit a lot of things but I was always proud of Cloverdale and wanted to help in ways I could. What about employment and working outside the home? That was my first of three big life decisions. They had stenogra- phy machines in San Francisco, so I moved there with a girlfriend, Lynn Hoelbl, for three years. I really liked working for an alcohol tax advisory concern helping wineries comply with regulations. I was green and learned to wear high heels, gloves and hats. What was your next decision? While in San Francisco, my friends and I were thinking of going to go into the WACS. I'd seen newsreels and the city was flooded with sailors. We got applications and took physicals. In a way I wanted to, but I didn't want to be away that long. Quite a few of my male classmates met girls and later relocated to the girls' hometowns. I didn't want to marry someone and move away. I was still spending most weekends at home in Cloverdale. The next important decision that shaped my life came at the end of the war. I was down in San Francisco on Market Street during the VE Day Celebration and then, in 1946, my city friends were leaving their wartime jobs and relocating. San Francisco suddenly seemed like a lonely place. I moved back to Cloverdale when the men returned from war because I'm a country girl at heart. Upon returning, ! worked for Farmer's Insurance and A1 Gillis was my agent. Later, after my daughter was three years old in 1954 1 started working for Bud Miller. I then worked 38 years as an insurance broker in Cloverdale at Shannon & Dilley. And your third decision? I had passed up a couple suitors in San Francisco who were friends, but also they were city boys. After returning to Cloverdale there were two proposals, one from my high school boyfriend and one from Harold "Butch" Hill. Butch had been born and raised in Cloverdale. He was strong and good-looking. He had been a 1 t Sergeant in the Army. We married in February 1947 and had 31 happy years and two beautiful children together. I was a young widow at age 53. I sometimes daydream about "what if" I had taken another path, but I have had a happy life with the exception of losing my husband and daughter. I have family and friends close by and my ranch. I am content with my choices and decisions. The ranch has been central to your life. Oh, yes. You learn how to do things on a ranch. We had prunes" and grapes so I learned to drive a tractor and tow the prune trailer at 13 or 14. I learned to ride a horse " and care for animals. It kept you out of trouble. , Later, Butch and I managed te',! sheep ranch next to my grand )ari, ents' ranch in 1948. When they died, we moved into their home. I commuted to work because ButCh and I wanted our kids to go to Cloverdale schools. Both my children, Jim and Kathy, were born on the ranch. They played together and got along well, building forts and playing in the creek. I was an outdoor woman and did a lot of hiking. I didn't care for cooking and house cleaning. I cooked for my family, but it wasn't anything special. Jim barbecues for the two of us now. Tell me about the Rendezvous. I think the first one on the ranch was 1981 or 1982. The Sonoma Valley Muzzle Loaders needed a flew place to set up their event. Dennis Ronlund and his friend in the group asked my nephew Tim Vadon to ask if we would consider letting them use the ranch. The event is a primitive shooting ' competition each spring with participants in period dress campingin teepees and tents. Much like in 1840, there are traders and blacksmiths. With the recession the attendance has dropped off some. What are among your favorite memories? Naturally, having children. There was an exciting helicopter flight over the glaciers in Juneau, Alaska with my daughter Kathy. Getting married in the United Church - we called it the Ivy Church - and then my 25 th wed- ding anniversary. In our day we killed a lot of deer on the ranch. We still go to Modoc County, but you have to draw tags so I haven't hunted the last few years. There were many highlights from hunting trips with my husband to Modoc County. I got a prize at the local bar for the biggest mule deer buck at 212 lbs. I can still see that buck stepping up onto the rocks in front of me. Do you have any personal untold stories? Any historical perspective left to share? I have to write what I know. I don't have an imagination to write fiction. Lots of stories I've written aren't in that book. Looking back, I missed Butch so much the first five years, but decided I didn't want to marry again. My son Jim quit his job as a civil engineer and came home to run the ranch and do engineering from home. A couple weeks ago I wrote a story and I think of an incident now and then. I think "lucky" and "healthy" are two words that describe my life. The high school class this year interviewed people on video who have been in Cloverdale a long time. That was fun; it's a great program. The museum calls me quite often, but I've run out of stories. There are three friends remaining from my graduating class of 1942. Carol Ramos called not long ago with a question about a matchbox for the Ivy Caf6. I didn't remember it. What is new in your life? My granddaughter Penny and her husband Ramon Avila gave me a great granddaughter. Are you hopeful for Cloverdale" s future? It's so different from when I grew up here. There are so many subdivisions and so few business- es. [ was disappointed when they messed up our boulevard two or three times. I liked the nice wide streets. As far as the future goes, it's going to be a struggle. I'm not part of it but I'm pleased the art community has brought so m,ch to town, as have the History Center and Friday Night Live. If the economy picks up I think Cloverdale will come to life more. We've got good scenery and weather. We are close to the coast and Bay Area. In your travels did you ever see another place you thought you could call home?, It would have to be in Northern California and there wa s only one place we liked. Butch always said if it got too crowded we'd move to Burney. The last story in her book describes how Hill's kitchen window has provided 50 years of insight to upcoming seasons and holidays and how it keeps her connected to memories of life on Marie Vadon married Harold "Butch" Hill in February, 1947 at Cloverdale's Ivy Church. The couple had 31 happy years together. Marie and her husband "Butch" are pictured celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. her beloved family ranch. In the same way, stories in her book about sheep ranching, telephone operators, the local brothel and toys of her childhood offer a window on Cloverdale's past for anyone who cares to know it better. I recommend you pick up a copy at the History Center or borrow it from the Library.--PW The Quarter Mile Combo will play at Friday Night LiveAug. 5 For a night of good time rock n' roll, be sure to check out The Quar- ter Mile Combo at Cloverdale's Fri- day Night Live on Aug. 5. Hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area, The Quarter Mile Combo is a dy- namic quartet, fronted by the tal- ented and dynamic Ms. Nettie Hammar, with drummer Gary Daly, Todd Troublemaker on bass and Justin Barr on guitar solos. While the band plays with a fresh new sound, the tunes are favorites and will bring back many fine mem- ories. With their recent release of Mo- tels, Gas and Beer, and their exciting live show, The Quarter Mile Combo will have FNL fans dancing all night long! Friday Night Live is produced by the Cloverdale Arts Alliance with underwriting support from the City of Cloverdale and a number of gen- erous local businesses and winery sponsors. The Quarter Mile Combo concert is underwritten in part by Comcast. Winery sponsor is Star- mont Napa Valley. Major sponsors for the 2011 series are Furber Devel- opment, A&M Satellite/Dish Net- work, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Coors Light, Hopland Sho-Ka-Wah Casino and Real Goods Solar. Media Sponsors are Cloverdale Reveille, Radio Lazer 107.1 and KZST-FM. -Elissa Morrash The Quarter Mile Combo is a dynamic quartet, fronted by the talented and dynamic Ms. Nettie Hammar, with drummer Gary Daly, Todd Troublemaker on bass and Justin Barr on guitar solos. Bill and Virginia Mills with their daughter-in-law Patty downtown last Friday night. Bill and Virginia stake out their places, always right in front of Jeannie Griffitts' Finishing Touches Interior Design on the boulevard. Farmers Market volunteers Sharon Gallagher, left, Laurie Kneeland and Mary Stuart take a few minutes to enjoy a glass of beer and wine from the Eagles Nest Deli & Grill once the market was underway last Friday.