100 Years Ago

For the week ending

Dec. 31, 1916

Bend Christmas was ideal one

With the most typical of Christmas weather prevailing, Bend spent an ideal Christmas yesterday, for not a family in the city was neglected by Santa. The holiday spirit reigned supreme, and through Sunday and Monday morning, members of a special committee toured through the outskirts of Bend in autos, and saw to it that no one was without material for a bountiful Christmas dinner. Nearly 30 homes were visited, and left happier by virtue of these visits.

For the post office force there was no layoff in the morning, and so large was the amount of matter to be handled, and so numerous the crowd waiting to receive gifts through Uncle Sam’s aid that a line which lasted for an hour and a half stretched from the general delivery window, well across the street. At the package window the number of waiters was not so great.

Appropriate services were held in the churches of the city Sunday, Christmas programs being given by the Sunday schools.

With a carpet of snow under foot, hundreds of Bend people, a majority of them children, took part in the municipal Christmas celebration Saturday night on Wall Street. Colored lights strung on a living tree, furnished illumination for the scene, and a short but excellent program was given, with City School Superintendent Thordarson presiding.

A choir of children, under the direction of Mrs. C.V. Silvis, sang Christmas songs, and two addresses typical of the season were given by Father Luke Sheehan, of the Catholic Church, and Rev, W.C. Stewart, of the Methodist church, while Rev. J.L. Peringer, of the Baptist church, led the assemblage in the Lord’s prayer.

Father Sheehan praised the spirit of Bend citizens, which had made the municipal celebration possible, and declared that it would prove a tie which would bind the people of the city closer together than ever before. Rev. Stewart’s talk consisted chiefly of a Christmas story, emphasizing that it is the spirit giving and of doing things more than anything else which perpetuates Christmas and make it worth while.

At the conclusion of the program, a real Santa Claus distributed gifts to the children, and not one of the little folks was left out. In fact, so bountiful was the supply that much was left over to be distributed among needy families of the city.

To give rare

Congressman N.J. Sinnott has received notice from the Department of Agriculture that he has been allowed a limited number of packages of alfalfa, field pea, millet, Sudan Grass and white clover seed.

Because of the very limited supply on hand this year the rule has been made that only one package of the seeds can be sent to a person. Those wishing a package of the seeds should write to Congressman Sinnott for the same at once, before the supply is exhausted. The seed will be mailed directly from the department’s warehouse, and will be accompanied by a circular giving full instructions for culture of the crop. The department has also decided that no seed will be sent out later than March 1.

There has been great difficulty in securing some of the seeds this year, and for that reason only, the following number of packages could be allotted to the Second District of Oregon:

Seventy 4-pound packages of Kansas frown alfalfa seed; 200 4-pound package of improved variety field pea; 50 4-pound packages of Kurst millet seed; 100 1-pound packages of white sweet clover seed.

75 Years Ago

For the week ending

Dec. 31, 1941

First casualties of war land at San Francisco

The first casualties in America’s new war were back home in the Continental United States today, cheerful despite their wounds and anxious for another crack at the Japanese.

They landed on Christmas day from ships of a convoy which brought them through submarine infested waters from Hawaii where they were struck down by bombs and machine gun bullets in the first vicious Japanese attack.

Some may win their wish to return for revenge against the enemy; others will be incapable of fighting again.

The ship that returned them also brought a large number of civilian evacuees, including women who had been widowed and children who had been orphaned by the Japanese bombs. Some of them were wounded.

Details of the protection the ships had en route were not revealed by military authorities but as they steamed through the Golden Gate a fleet of planes patrolled overhead. The ships were painted a dull gray in war-time camouflage.

Crowds which rushed to the wharves were kept three blocks away by police as ambulances shuttled from the docks to the hospitals with the wounded.

The comment of one sailor summed up the mass reaction.

“We’re sore as hell that we were knocked out at the very beginning,” he said, “but we’re going back in there to clean up.”

All told stories of heroism of Hawaii’s defenders under fire — stories of rescues and grim determination to stick by their guns despite intensive bombardment and strafing.

Air raid siren being planned

Construction in Bend of a special air raid warning siren will probably be undertaken just as soon as blueprints can be prepared by the state defense council. The defense council has promised working blueprint for a siren which can be fabricated by any metal-working concern.

The air raid siren will be installed in the fire hall.

Care with lights is requested

Mayor Fred S. Simpson today urged residents of Bend to cooperate in a possible blackout emergency by not leaving lights on when they are away from home during the evenings. To leave lights burning is a common practice in Bend, the mayor points out, and it is one that would illuminate Bend in an air raid emergency.

Air raid wardens in the various precincts will do their utmost to enforce the blackout regulations but, the mayor stresses, it would be difficult for the wardens to enter numerous homes to put out lights.

Bend business men are cooperating by controlling lights downtown, and it is only fair that home owners should do their part, Mayor Simpson explains.

“When you leave your home in the evening, put it in shape for a blackout,” is the advice from the office of the mayor.

50 Years Ago

For the week ending

Dec. 31, 1966

Headlines from Vietnam

Christmas truce marred by gunfire.

Christmas filled with mixed emotion a Viet war goes on.

B52s bomb targets as Christmas truce ends.

U.S. position overrun in human wave attack.

Thailand gets Viet Cong threat for U.S. support.

Vietnamese paratroops launch largest airborne attack of war.

Claim continues that United States bombing Vietnamese military targets.

Vietnam war given scant attention.

Final raids of year flown by U.S. planes. “Happy New Year, Uncle Ho.”

VC attacks mar New Year’s cease-fire.

‘Pauses’ in Vietnam war fail to achieve anything.

Hope and Troupe back home from Vietnam tour

Comedian Bob Hope was home from the war today, a little more “hawkish” than when he left 16 days ago.

Hope and his entertainment troupe set down at Los Angeles International Airport Friday after more than 25 shows in Vietnam.

“It’s a strange and dirty war,” commented the 63-year-old entertainer. “A booby trap and mine war.”

A newsman said Hope appeared more “hawkish” — aggressive — about U.S. military involvement in Vietnam.

“I’m afraid I am,” he answered. “But I’d rather be a hawk than a pigeon. I hope I won’t have to go back next year, but if there is still a war, I will have to go. It’s an experience that defies description.”

With Hope on his annual Christmas tour were his wife Dolores, Phyliss Diller, Vic Damone, Joey Heatherton, Anita Bryant, Miss World (Reita Faria of India), Les Brown and his band, the Korean Kittens and baton twirler Diane Shelton.

They performed usually in adverse weather ranging from intense heat to a drenching rainstorm.

Hope praised American troops, saying their morale “was great”.

The comedian said the Communists committed “many violations of the truce” while he was entertaining troops Christmas Day.

Despite the hazards of war, American troops made “marvelous audiences”, he said. At one stop, Hope recalled, the men waited seven hours until his plane could land on a muddy airstrip.

“The soldiers laugh the same way they did during the Koren War and World War II,” he remarked.

25 Years Ago

For the week ending

Dec. 31, 1991

Being a clown no joke for Redmond Rodeo star

Christmas came early for Redmond resident Gene Clark, who made a place for himself in the Rodeo Hall of Fame by mixing comedy into bullfighting.

Clark and his brother Bobby, earlier this month became the first rodeo clowns and bullfighters ever honored by the Rodeo Historical Society in Oklahoma City.

At the induction ceremony, Gene Clark said he was approached by a former cowboy acquaintance who said, “The induction justified all the licks you’ve taken.”

And there were a few in a career that went from 1948 until he retired in 1975, although the only visible badge of courage he carries is a scar near his right ear from a run-in with a bull in Mexico.

“I’ve been pretty fortunate,” Gene said. “I’ve had lots of broken bones but that just goes with the trade.

When Clark got into the trade, he was a Spanish-style bullfighter complete with cape. But eventually he and his brother came to the realization that they needed something more.

“We got to seeing that the American public doesn’t understand Spanish bullfighting,” Gene said.

But the Clarks found that the American public did understand and enjoy comedy.

“We figured a good laugh was worth $25 on our contract,” Gene said. “You’re there to relieve that nervous tension...and there’s nothing better to relieve that tension than a good laugh.

The Clarks did their job well enough that they were in demand throughout the country. Among other big events, Gene Clark clowned and fought bulls at the first National Finals Rodeo, which was held in Dallas.

“In your good years, there were only about 22 days a year where we didn’t rodeo,” he said.

There were a lot of good years, so the Clarks spent a lot of time on the road. Gene was almost always accompanied by his wife, Nita; two sons David and Darrel; and daughter, Debbie.

Family togetherness extended to the arena, as Nita and the kids often watched the Clark brothers perform.

Despite the danger involved for her husband and brother-in-law, Nita said. “I would rather be there and know what was happening than be in a motel room and not knowing.

“I had full confidence in their ability. Freaky things happen … but I would rather be there.”

Confidence played a large roll in the Clark Brother’s act, Gene said.

“We had confidence in each other.” Gene said. “That helps you fight bulls better if you know somebody’s going to be there.

Knowing the Clarks would be there to help probably helped a few riders, also. By diverting an animal’s attention, a rodeo clown can keep a cowboy from serious injury.

Clark takes pride in what he did, but he insist that it was no big deal.

“It’s not that difficult to be in the right place at the right time,” Gene said. “With two men, one of us was in position at all times.