Letters to the Editor for April 22, 2014

WHS has inspired students to achieve

This week we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Washougal High School.

We have had many outstanding students who have graduated from Washougal and gone on to accomplish many great things in a wide variety of professions and have made their mark in their community, occupation and academia. Please let me share with you one story about an early WHS graduate by the name of Larry Rakestraw.

In 1932, Larry Rakestraw graduated from WHS. The following year, he worked at the Pendleton Woolen Mill and saved money for college. When Clark College opened its doors in 1933, Larry was the first student to enroll and he paid his tuition a full year in advance. For this reason, Clark has always referred to Larry Rakestraw as its first student.

Classes were first held at the Hidden House in downtown Vancouver. Larry actually lived in the basement of the Hidden House and in order to pay his rent, Larry kept wood burning in the furnace so that the lab specimens that were in the basement science class would not freeze and the college would be warm when the students arrived for class in the morning. Part way through the first quarter, the college faculty met to decide if starting a new college during a major depression was such a good idea. One of the professors pointed out that they had already spent Rakestraw’s tuition and that they had a fiduciary responsibility to keep the college open. So, if it wasn’t for Rakestraw, Clark College may not have stayed open and grown into the college that it is today.

Larry graduated in 1935 from Clark and transferred to then Washington State College. Later, he earned a scholarship at the University of Wisconsin where he earned his BA in 1938, and his MA in 1939, both in history. In 1941, Larry accepted a fellowship at Washington State College and the next summer he accepted a job with the U.S. Forest Service where he was assigned to a fire suppression crew in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. In 1949, Larry earned a teaching position at Montana College (now, MSU), and he completed his Ph.D. at the University of Washington in 1955, with his dissertation on “A History of Forest Conservation in the Pacific Northwest.” Dr. Rakestraw would become the historian for the Tongass National Forest in Alaska and he would continue to teach at the University of Washington and at Portland State University.

There are many more stories about WHS alumni who have achieved excellence in their chosen fields. Rakestraw is an example that even in the early years, WHS inspired students to set goals and to strive to achieve them.

Roger D. Daniels, WHS graduate, Class of 1968

A fun brunch for all

If you missed this year’s Saturday Easter Brunch at Columbia Ridge Senior Living, you missed a wonderful buffet, helpful servers, beautiful decorations, music and much more.

The Easter bunny was there to have his picture taken with kids, and the older kids at heart. The residents, family & friends enjoyed the festivities with an Easter egg hunt to top the day off.

The great staff made the day a fun brunch for all.

Pam Clark, Washougal

Unhappy with Taboo ad

The wonderful thing about Camas and Washougal is its dedication to family values — a place safe and nurturing to children and youth. We’ve always been impressed with your effort to portray this way of life in your publication.

Editorials, sports, and city activities make it a pleasure to read. In fact, it’s hard to wait a whole week for the next edition. But we know a newspaper is a business. And it takes money to accomplish this effort. Advertisements are your life blood. But we were saddened to see the Taboo porn store included in your advertisements. Believe me, you are better than that. You might weigh whatever financial gain with the stain you are placing in the Post-Record.

Frances Bullock, Camas