Whitaker Woodcraft
Whitaker Family Web Site
1971 through 1975 The New Whitaker Woodcraft
Portland Oregon / Tigard / Lake Oswego
I got a camera for Chirstmas in 1972 and became very prolific at documenting everything.  So there is a lot of material and you will want to check back ofter as text, photos & things will move around / be added until it is done.
Possibly one of the biggest defining events that happened during the 1970s was that Dad went back into construction. He and Kent started up Whitaker Woodcraft anew with a leaner outlook and concentrated on the bustling remodeling market and urban renewal taking place in the Portland Metro area.  It was a hot summer day about 1971 and Dad had pulled the GTO up to the side door of a cafe/ boarding house over in a seeder part of North Portland. What little shade there was there didn’t seem to help my brother Bruce and I as we sweltered in the black vinyl back seat of an olive green car with no air conditioning. Dad turned around and said "now I'm here to see a man and his wife about some work. He's a black man and these are black people that live here. Now black people are just like you and like me, they just have darker skin, now I’m going to bring you in with me and you be polite and talk with these people just like you talk with anyone else. Now if you act funny or ask them any stupid questions like “why are you black?”, when we get back here to the car I’ll spank the hell outta ya" We went in and the café was fairly full of black folks with big fans running at the doors to circulate some air. The mans wife was real nice and she gave us each a cold bottle of Coke a Cola. Before this Bruce and I might have seen a black person here or there but this is the first time either of us were in a place where everyone was black except us.

Dad firmly believed all men are equal, didn’t make a difference about what color they are. I will relay a story he told me once about the war. He said he was running down a catwalk in the heat of battle to get some more ammunition when he came across a black man. An explosion had ripped a hole in the deck and a strip of metal had ripped open, curled around like a banana peel and the point of it had caught this mans leg as he was running past, pinning him there. Dad hesitated and asked “Are you alright man?” The man said “yeah, yeah I’m alright” so Dad went on down the catwalk. He told me blacks and whites they bleed the same.  It was because of Dads lessons in life early on that I have always strived to look at a mans character, and to me on that hot day long ago with fans humming a breeze through Nelly’s café & Boarding house, I learned to see other people, not color, and that has lesson has fared me well throughout the years.
1971 to 1975, Griggs County North Dakota.  
At 82 years young Grandpa was running around like a man half his age.  Still active in the Shepard Elevator CoOp and semi retired board member of the Griggs/Steele REC C.B. Herigstad was an active voice in the community and already a noted historian of Early Eastern ND History.  Here he is seen at a covention signing in at the Finley CoOp Day in early November of '72. 
Tennessee / Kentucky & North Dakota  ( Some of this is repeated from the Whitaker 1900 to 1944 page but reprinted here )
It wasn’t until 1972 that I met my Dads family, his brothers and sisters that I had heard so much about in the stories Dad would tell.  To me his childhood seemed in such a distant past with family and friends taking on form in my imagination in the places he'd describe. The hills of Kentucky, coal mines, Railroad yards with coal chutes, camp cars, school yard and hills of forests, opossum hunts and plow mules taking almost mythical significance. His world back then was in fact so far removed from the modern day it could have come right out of the 1800s, or 1700’s. Even at the time of Dad’s child hood, much that went on in the Hollers of those hills and Appalachian mountains was not on contemporary ground with much of the rest of the U.S.  Yes it would seem his early life was in somewhat of a time warp and made my Dad seem much older in my eyes than the 52 year man before me. Even now, thinking back on the time of our Tennessee trip, it his hard for me to fathom at the time of this writing that My father was a year younger than I am now.
 
We were taking a cross country trip and had the bus loaded down for the trip, complete with Bunks, a refrigerator, kitchen area, curtains, Mom and Dad and us 4 kids plus our pet cat – Kitty. We pulled off the highway and onto a gravel road which soon led to a dirt road.  The further we drove into the hills the more we saw and some of those same sights I had conjured up in my mind from dads stories were unfolding before me.  Tar paper shacks, an old woman heating a big kettle over an open fire, the road going through creek beds, not much more than a trail in places.  The bus crawled along in low gear, engine roaring, right through those shallow creeks and on down the dirt path, finally giving way once more to gravel.
 
Up ahead we made a turn into a drive and could see a house nestled into the trees and there in the yard, a lot of people, my Dads brothers and Sisters began walking then running up as Dad brought the bus to a stop. They surrounded the door and as Dad threw it open they ascended into the bus, clamoring at a chance to touch their brother as he made his way down the steps and waded into the group.  I had never seen such a commotion made for Dad, he was a celebrity among these people, and it struck me that they were all calling out ‘Lawrence’, for I had always only heard my Dad addressed as ‘Larry’. The rest of us soon disembarked from the big beige bus and were equally and affectionately greeted and embraced by our new throng of cousins, aunts and uncles.  This was the Whitaker family. Of the 16 Bothers and Sisters, the surviving 12 brothers and sisters were all here at the 1972 reunion. We then travelled up to Frankfort KY.  Dad had hemmroids so bad he had to have an operation.  While he did that we stayed at Marie's and Joe's. Joe would pay Bruce or I $20 to mow his lawn, several times. Then it was on to Jingle's in Indiana to Meet Julie, Louanna, Tom & Rachel. When we left the south we


1971 - 1975, Portland Oregon
Kent and Dad had been working together on the remodeling projects downtown.  At this period of time Portland was undergoing a transition not unlike many other U.S. Citys.  Urban renewal projects were springing up and a new generation of people were emerging as young adults of the baby boomer generation that craved entertainment and a different kind of night life that had recently taken hold in larger cities such as LA, Chicago, Detroit and New York. Dad was getting a remodeling job from his black friend on that hot day in the black part of town.  These jobs did not start out very glamorous but Dads craftsmanship and forward thinking was transforming portions of 'Old Town' Portland into chick nightlife establishments and businesses.  The Grogg house was one such establishment.  

Then one night Kent brought me home a bag full of old pennies they had found when they tore a wall out of the Jeff Corner Tavern.  Seems the regulars back in the 40s and 50s must have had a contest to see who could flick pennies behind this wall and they had stayed there all these years until Larry and Kent discovered them.  Knowing that I had a fledgling penny collection my brother brought me this treasure of pennies from the 1920s through early fifties.  There were even some steel pennies in the bunch from 1943 war years when copper was at a premium.  I promptly added these to my collection and in the display books I wrote 'TF' for Tavern Find, next to each penny that had come from that batch.

The Jeff corner tavern was a nasty job that included hauling piss soaked boards out from the restrroms, removing the worn out grease covered store fixtures from the kitchen and stale beer coated bars, tables and chairs then rebuilding the entire insides of the bar.  The GTO became the work car and the arms of the table saw extened out of its trunk and plywood tied to the roof.  Then Dad bought a 59 Cadillac from a business associate at Prudential and the Cadillac became the work horse, it had a lot bigger trunk! (I eventually resurrected this car and restored it for my high school transpotation). Kent: " So before you fixed this Caddy up, dad had enlisted it as his work vehicle. We loaded her up one day & pulled up to a new job downtown Portland; sheets of plywood strapped to the top & a trunk/backseat full of tools. Back bumper was maybe 3 inches off street & trunk lid was tied down over top of table saw arms sticking out! Guy we were working for saw this 'Beverly Hillbilly' outfit & started giving dad a hard time about 2 hours into job; dad tried to calm him down but guy kept at it & dad walked over to me & said, "Load up the tools Kent!". The dude changed his tune real quick & we finished our work. Larry wasn't to be messed with too long"
1970/71 Whitakers1971 House
1967 - 1993 Larry & Dotty's home 0n 63rd Place, Portland OR (1972)
Jo Jeanne & Mom for Jeanne's B-day at farm during 72 trip
Barbara & Kathy looking all 1972 w/ us in Jamestown during the Tennessee & NoDak trip
1972 cousins Claire & Wendy (back) w Jeanne & friend
1972 Bruce w cousin Claire & friend in basement
1972 Grandpa at REC CoOp Days in Finley ND
1972 REC Magazine
1972 Bob & Bill Davis (Kents friends)
1972 Bob & Bill Davis (Kents friends)
1972 Bruce & Kent ping Pong basement
1972 Bruce & Kent ping Pong basement
1972 Bruce w Bob & Bill Davis (Kents friends)
1972 Christmas tree
1972 Grandpa
1972
1972
1972
1972 Jeanne's pillow for Kents bus
1972
1972
1972 Game of Life
1972 Kitty
1972
1972 Bill Davis ( Kent's friend)
1973 Jeanne on way back to collage
1973 Jeanne on way back to collage
Jeanne back in Portland before grandpa departs for LA 1973
1973 Jeanne & Kent
1973 seeing grandpa off at PDX
1973
19731972
1973 Grandpa on his way to LA
1973 Dan Dilly (Bruce & Brian's friend) dune buggy, he was upset I shot the pic with his glove up
1972/73 Mark Schlacter, Bruce, Tom Dilly, Rick Schlacter & Brian
1973 Marcia White, family friend
1973 baby Jennifer, daughter of Marcia White, family friend
1973 baby Jennifer, daughter of Marcia White, family friend
1973 Kent plowing up the garden back yard
1973 Kent plowing up the garden back yard
1973 Tigard looking north on Pacific Hwy
Fred Meyers, Notice Dads bus parked in the background.  Also, Margerine 19 cents LOL
Todds restaurant where Jeanne worked her way to Collage, Nice little 53 chevy to boot!
1973 the way the Cadillac looked when it rested along side the house before being restored
1973 Mom on hill overlooking the farm ND
1973 Phyllis, Ardis, Dotty & Joann at Farm
1973 Joann, Phyllis and Mom at piano on farm
1970's shop at farm, the lean from the original log cabin in the 1880s
1973, my favorite picture of Mom
1973 Bruce getting his banjo
1973 Bruce getting his banjo
1973 Bruce getting his banjo
1973 Bruce getting his banjo
1973
1973
1973
19731973, electric frying pan, this would later be used to cook Dads goolosh at the coast
1973 Electric fry pan, this would be used in later years to cook Dad's goolosh at the coast
1973
1973
1973
1973, as I recall dad wasn't too enthused about the hat !
1973 > getting ready for 741973
197319731973 Jennifer
1973, Jennifer White, mom and dads godchild
1973, Jennifer White, mom and dads godchild
1973, Jennifer White, mom and dads godchild
1970's backyard at the Whitakers, plenty of woods1974 Jeanne's birthday i
1974 Jeanne's birthday at collage
1974 Jeanne's birthday at collage
1974 Jeanne's birthday at collage
1974 Jeanne's birthday at collage
1974 Jeanne's birthday at collage
1974 Jeanne's birthday at collage
1974 Jeanne's birthday at collage
1974 Jeanne's birthday at collage
1974 Jeanne's birthday at collage
1974 Dad with his table saw that by this time he had fitted with two 5 HP motors
1974 Brian and Kitty in the bedroom, I remember mom coming in to take this shot
1975 Kitty under tree
1975 Dad installing custom partitions he'd built at the General Store Job 1974 & 75
1970's Dad's bus pre 1975
1970's Kents Buis pre 1974
INTRODUCTION
The beige and white paint scheme seemed like a good idea at the time but for some reason, maybe because there was school bus yellow underneath, the color soon turned more of a pinkish hue and some people actually thought our bus looked like a pig with its snout nosed hood and big round body. In fact to some of my friends it was nick named the 'Pink Pig'. It sat in our driveway like any other family car except bigger. We went to the store in it, to by groceries at Fred Meyer, to pick up mom at the hospital and anything else a family car would do.  But it's most important task was to haul the tools, wood and supplies to the jobsite every day, day after day. The bus was the work truck, the family car and the camper for vacations.  That old bus got around, Drove down the Oregon Beach before Governor Tom McCall ended vehicle traffic on the sand, went to the Hills of Tennessee for a family reunion, Mount Hood camping, to the Farm in ND, To Indiana to build Jingles House and innumerable Job sites.  Now it sits in Oregon City with Bruce’s name on the title, his bus, but really Dotty and Larry's bus. But throughout the entire 1970's it is one of the things that defines that time period for Larry and Dottie’s family. I think each of us kids spent more time in school buses than any other kid in Oregon and most of that time wasn't going to school. Kent’s bus sat in the back yard through most of the '70s and held up the fort out back. We kept the neighbors worried, and that was good!
What seemed to work much better was Mom's request to have the house painted gold with white shutters.  And so it was that the house at 63rd place went from the pale green shades of the '60s into a more modern look of the '70s.  Dad hired some men to help and as the decade changed so did the look of the Whitakers house down on the corner.  Dad had made a point back when he was selling insurance to the farmers in the Hood River Valley to ask for tree seedlings and starting shoots and the yard that was barren except for two small junipers when we moved in soon took on a whole new look of foliage from holly trees to rose bushes from JC Perkins to apple trees.  There was a black walnut tree, and Russian cherry, plum and a few others.  In the years to come these trees would grow to dominate the yard and Mom's rose bushes and the holly tree at the west end of the front yard always yielded beautiful blossoms depending on the season. But the Whitaker yard was by no means the envy of the neighbors and never without activity. From the various vehicles that the family went through to times when mowing wasn't the top priority it still was a favorite to the neighbor kids for all kinds of games being it was bordered on two sides by thick woods. And since we lived adjacent to vacant lots and woods this made it possible to have any assortment of cars from a 1959 Cadillac poking out of the blackberry bushes to Jeanne's two toned Chevrolet Impala to the GTO up on blocks for more years than it ever ran. Yes it was maybe a little bit of a throwback to those hills of Kentucky or maybe just that little ol country boy but in the years to come of the 1970's those old cars bode us kids well as we went from playing night tag to reaching the age of drivers licenses.
Another defining and constant presence on the holidays during the 1970s was Grandpa. Thanksgiving and Christmas were two holidays that were always looked forward to and His arrival seemed the pinnacle of the holidays.  If we were very lucky he would come for thanksgiving and stay all the way through Christmas.  The Christmas of 1972 was one such time when he stayed all the way into March before leaving for LA to visit his sisters Lydia and Sylvia. As far as I was concerned my Grandpa, CB Herigstad, walked on water.  I still feel that way.  Sometimes The Steenersons would come down from Pullman Washington.  Aunt Ardis and Uncle Arland would come and sometimes bring cousins Wendy and Claire. Thanksgiving 1972 was one such time. In the 60's we spent a lot of time with our cousins Barbara and Kathy but on the West coast we lived closer to Ardis's family. They had a foreign exchange student with them; I think she was from Korea.  The holidays were always a big family affair and one time that the parents could justify buying film for me. Therefore most of the photos I took as a kid were around the holidays, although sometimes I would get lucky and Mom would splurge to get me a cartridge of 126 Kodak film for the little black camera they bought me.

One odd thing that happened on that get together was that Claire and I got involved with an all night game of Ouija Board.  It seemed we were speaking with someone from the past.  After the holidays when school started back up I went to the library to try to look up some of what the Ouija board had told us. I soon found that some of what we had encountered was in the history I was reviewing. At that moment a presence made it known to me to not look further. I was petrified and it was broad daylight in the middle of the school day.  The hair on my neck stands up even today as I write about it.  I'll tell you what though, never dealt with a Ouija board again!

Grandpa would walk 1 mile every day, although he                         - Claire, Jeanne, Wendy & friend          Grandpa boarding Plane to LA Spring 73
was in his 80s he was in better shape than most guys his junior. 
The white panel under the buses drivers window was an add on.  Bruce, Dad and I went on a fishing trip up on the Sandy River and somewhere on the Highway the original vibrated loose and fell off. 
Click on the thumbnails below for full sized views & scroll through!      [ 1971 into 1974 so far, more coming! ]
Dad had been doing work for Richard Adimak and actually became friends with this man.  He would buy our first decent car since the GTO from the man a few years later, a 64 Ford in brand new condition from the estate of the mans aunt. I remember it had pink and beige floral carpet in the trunk. He would also bring his tenure with Prudential Insurance to a close after a close call with his boss John Briece one day. As dad worked on a remodeling job downtown he stepped out onto the sidewalk in coveralls and work boots and there walking along was John. He couldn’t avoid him and feeling a couple washers in his pocket brought them out.  John was as surprised to see Larry who he thought was out selling insurance. After exchanging hellos dad held up the washers and said he was working on the kid’s wagon, had just been in the hardware store to buy a couple washers.  John bought it, but the profits Dad was making with remodeling were already surpassing the income from Prudential and that was now in the way so he left it behind him.
As summer drew to a close Bruce and I went back to school Kent and dad continued the projects at Civic Parking. We hated the school we went to.  We lived at the intersect of three counties. In one we had our Portland address, In one we had our utilities and Tigard phone number and in the other our school district, Lake Oswego.  Now Oswego was the affluent and snobby part of South West Portland and the kids from our neighborhood were mercilessly picked on by the snooty rich kids over at the school.  As I entered Junior High I found myself getting into more fights and also defending my friends but this only curbed some of the bullying by the nasty kids and made the nice kids leery of me. My brother and I, Russell Hornback, Mark and Rick Schlacter, Dan and Tom Dilly and others in Southwood Park were not very accepted at the old Alma Madre. As High School years came things only got somewhat better because we made friends with others who were not in some elite click. I just spoke with Russ the other night.  He brought up a name of our prime bully and my blood started to boil, even after 40 years. Never mind that I saw this guy at a reunion some years later and he was not too successful and no longer intimidated me. He and Russ still went at it and I found myself with the same old urge to come to the defense of my friend.

At any rate, from the Civic Parking Job, new jobs quickly took hold and soon the jobs were coming in based solely on references from past clients. Dad and Kent went onto bigger jobs and the big beige bus was soon the work truck, much more practical and could haul all the tools and full sets of Cabinets or Bars that Dad built out of the basement that now was converted into the shop.  Kent had been taking pictures and made a portfolio to advertise Whitaker Woodcraft, most Job Gallery images are by him.
1971 - 1975, Multnomah County Hospital - Portland Oregon
Mom had been working at Multnomah County Hospital on the Hill in Portland.  Every morning her and dad would rise before the rest of us at around 4 or 5 am and get ready.  Then dad would drive mommy up to work before his work day began.  I can remember winding up that hill in the GTO to pick up mom in the hot summer afternoons then dad would sit with Bruce and I on the concrete benches out front of the hospital.  There was a lawn area and balcony that overlooked a lower parking lot and out in the distance down on Portland and on the horizon Mount Hood.  We were up high enough on this lawn area to where the tops of the trees from down below were almost at our level.  Then Mom would come out and we would leave, sometimes stopping at the Carousel Diner at the bottom of the hill on out way home or at TOPS Restaurant on Barber Boulevard. 

Mom worked her way up from the shift charge nurse to charge nurse to head nurse, then to the specialty wing as head nurse of the nursery and neo natal wing of the hospital. She went from someone the doctors gave their orders to, to the person the doctors went to for specific advice on premature babies, specialty medical cases and became highly respected and regarded in the medical community and among these doctors.  She worked daily only taking days off here and there.  She loved her career and I didn’t hear her complain about getting up and going into work and I took it for granted that Mom just worked up at the hospital. But she didn’t want to always get up that early, she didn’t always want to go into work but she did, every day, for us kids. God bless her!  

1971 - 1975 Salem & Monmouth Oregon 
Jeanne graduated from high school and had been working at Todds restaurant where she met Vern & Helen, two elderly friends who were regulars at the restaurant.  They took a liking to my sister and saw her potential.  They offered her a scholarship for collage and in the fall Jeanne went to collage at The Oregon School for the Deaf, Salem and Oregon College of Education in Monmouth. Her dream was to teach the deaf and by the mid ‘70s she received her degrees in Education. The advantage of Jeanne going to school for me was that I got the basement bedroom, the coveted bedroom of the house that was originally Kent’s.  Dad and he had paneled this room in dark wood with acoustic ceiling tiles when he’d come home from ND and it was quiet and more private. Then when he moved to the house on Corbett in Portland Jeanne had the room passed to her and Bruce and I got our own bedrooms for the first time. Now I had the room and proceeded to decorate it in my own style complete with radio that was wired to antennas on the roof and picked up WBAP in Fort Worth Texas.  
 
I took a trip by bus to go stay with Jeanne in Monmouth.  It was the first real trip away from home I took on my own and was quite an adventure. She took me to the store and bought me the foods I liked and a Popular hot Rodding magazine, that I still have stashed away somewhere. She was the best sister.  I also helped move her back to school one year in the bus as dad drove her and I sat on the floor about half way back and talked.  We were visiting quite unaware that Dad could her every word over the roar of the highway and somehow were on the subject of farm animals.  Jeanne wondered what a female pig would be called and I didn’t know either.  Then from up front dad yelled back, It’s called a sow!  We were surprised and wondered, now what else did he hear that maybe we were hoping he didn’t haha.  
Darby O Gills was a mid evil club in the Civic Parking Building complete with iron shields and Mace and swords on the walls.  Dad was asked if he could build a walk in cooler for the club.  He said sure then went home and began calling cooler companies, inquiring as though he was going to purchase one.  His knowledge quickly grew and he built a perfect cooler, which led to other cooler jobs.  

Veltie's Lamp Market was constructed over 2 1/2 stories in a part of this building and the stairway that Kent and Dad built was a piece of art. The lamp market was a futuristic space for the time. In the section of the building where parking took place large arched openings had been bricked off.  My first job at Civic Parking was to sit day in and out with a hatchet and piles of pold brick that Kent had broken out by sledgehammer.  I would knock the mortar off the brick and clean it to be re used in another part of the remodeling.
Beaverton and the Oregon Coast
Soon Dad and Kent were doing a job for Peyton Haas and Bill Armitidge, the owners of Payless Drug Stores.  Bill had a house in Newport at the Oregon coast and one summer in particular dad Kent and I spent a good deal of it working on this house overlooking Yaquina Bay.  We stayed in the South Beach state Park adjacent to the beach and drove up to the house daily. The big job was to repaint the entire house, put on all new gutters and side parts of the house that had depreciated from the salt sea air.  The deck was surrounded by a rust encrusted railing.  Kent used a hand jack hammer to remove the scale and I followed up with a large side grinder to remove the rust and smooth the finish.  It took days and the rust dust would stick to us like honey.  

Dad had the job of spraying the deep brown paint on the enormous house from under tarp enclosures we constructed to stop the ever present winds. I asked him why we weren’t painting the exposed concrete and he explained that he wasn’t sure if Bill wanted it painted and it would be a lot easier to paint it than to try to get paint off it - another good point that I used in later years. Dad greased up his face and hands each day with Vaseline and in the evening he would emerge looking like a black man. But the Vaseline made it easy to get the brown paint off and one day he made sure to have me get a picture before he cleaned up.  In the evenings, back at the came ground he cooked Kent and I dinner of his special Goolosh on the wood burning stove in the bus. And we would talk from our bunks after dark until we slept to the sounds of the ocean.
Brian, Jeanne, Bruce / Dad, Mom, Kitty, Kent 1971
1970s Backyard at the Whitakers, with woods, garden, blue boat & tree fort
1972 Mark, Bruce, Tom, Rick and Brian
1972 Bob and Bill Davis
Kitty coming in from a heavy rain storm
Kitty - I want to say something about an important member of our family that isn't with us anymore.  He came into our lives as a stray kitten and there was never a more loyal pet, a tuffer cat that would take on dogs 4 times his size and enjoyed hunting and being with the family, sleeping along side us at night and anxiously awaiting his Christmas presents of KatNip.  If the Cat could have talked you'da thought he was human. Yet  one day he didnt come home.  He must have met a very horrific end because he always came home, no matter how injured.  Some speculate he was kidnapped, others that he took on a german shepard just a little too big or a raccoon.  If there is a cat heaven he is definately there, God Bless Kitty
Cadillac Mudshark sitting in the lot outside King Size Photo where most of these pics were processed.  Mom & I would stop there on the way home from picking her up at work and then we would usually go to Plush Pippin for pie
Three of the innumerable Whitaker Woodcraft Jobs of the early 70s. Custom Cabinets somewhere Portland, New wood grid & Beam ceiling w lighting, Greenwood Inn Beaverton and Armitige's new White ash Custom Kitchen remodel with cabinets, shutters and ceramic tile counters in Vancouver.  I was just learning to drive and dad let me drive the 64 Ford to this job & home, but gas was going up steep to 40 cents a gallon and that was going to limit my driving !
Dad at radial arm doing a full remodel in Lake Oswego / Veltie's Lamp Market job built in the Civic Parking Building, multi levels, stairways, masonry and fixtures
Phyllis, Ardis, Dotty and Joann at the farm 1973, also at the piano in the living room of the farm and mom sitting on the hill overlooking Grandpa's farm
Whitaker Woodcraft Job Photos - Click on the thumbnails below for full sized views & scroll through!      [ 1971 into 1973 --74 & 75 Below ]
Armitige Job on Coast, Brian & Kent prepping railing
Dad cutting it up as his black cousin after a day of spraying
Brian's room with KittyBrain's basement room
Brian's 1970s basement room
Brian's 1970s basement room
Brian's 1970s basement room
Brian's 1970s basement room
Brian's 1970s basement room
Brian's 1970s basement room
Brian's 1970s basement room
Freind David Harper entering the church at Southwood park as scoutmaster to run Boy Scout Troop 25
Freind Jerry Harper at the church at Southwood park for Boy Scout Troop 25
Freind David Harper leaving the church at Southwood park as scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 25.
Freind David Harper leaving the church at Southwood park as scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 25. His dog 'Bear' at his side
Oct 74, Dad & Mom's trip to Vancouver BC at Japanese Tea Room
Oct 74, Dad & Mom's trip to Vancouver BC at Japanese Tea Room
Christmas 1974
Christmas 1974 Ardis and Mom (Dotty) looking at some of the same pictures that are now shown here.
Christmas 1974 Ardis and Mom (Dotty)
Christmas 1974 Arland and Dad ( Larry)
Christmas 1974 Jeanne in kitchen
Christmas 1974 Jenny (goddaughter) Bill Davis, Dad
Christmas 1974 Bill Davis & Dad
Christmas 1974 Bill Davis and Kent
Christmas 1974 Kitty under tree
Christmas 1974 Dad, Jeanne, Bruce. Some of these pictures were water damaged and had to be cropped.
Christmas 1974 Dad (Larry) reading card
Christmas 1974 Dad (Larry) & Kitty
Christmas 1974 Dad (Larry) & Bruce
Bruce's Lion Poster Present , Christmas 74
Christmas 1974 Kent
Kent with his grease gun present Christmas 74
Christmas 1974 Jeanne
Christmas 1974 Jeanne
Christmas 1974 Jeanne with her panties present, Some of these pictures were water damaged and had to be cropped.
Christmas 1974 Mom (Dotty)
Christmas 1974 Kitty opening Catnip
Christmas 1974 Jeanne, Kent, Brian, the photo got damaged & Bruce was cropped
Christmas 1974 Kitty napping under tree
Christmas 1974 Jerry Harper
Christmas 1974 Dave and Jerry Harper
Christmas 1974 Jeanne
64 Galaxie in winter Ice storm
Mark Schlacter & Clinton Huget, camping Mt Hood
Jerry Harper chopping wood while camping Mt Hood
Doug Bernard camping Mt Hood
Jerry camping Mt Hood
Jerry starting fire camping Mt Hood
Spring 75 Dad Plowing up backyard for garden
Spring 75 Dad Plowing up backyard for garden
Spring 75 Bruce Plowing up backyard for garden. Kent had repainted the Ark Silver previously
Spring 75 Kent Plowing up backyard for garden.
Spring 75 Bruce Plowing up backyard for garden. He had repainted the Ark Silver previously
Spring 75 Jeanne graduates collage Monmouth Ore
Spring 75 Jeanne graduates collage Monmouth Ore
Spring 75 Jeanne graduates collage - Dad filming Jeanne & Vern
Spring 75 Jeanne graduates collage - Dad filming Jeanne & friends
Spring 75 Jeanne graduates collage - Dad filming Jeanne w Vern, Tom & Helen
Dad, Mom & Jeanne Spring 75 Jeanne graduates collage
Spring 75 Jeanne graduates collage - Bruce, Brian, Jeanne, Kent
Spring 75 Jeanne graduates collage - Jeanne & her friend Marci
59 Cadillac in bushes beside house before restoration Summer 75
59 Cadillac during restoration Summer 75 Brian doing body work. Dad's bus also getting a candy apple red paint job
Finished Cadillac and Bus paint jobs 1975
Cadillac, nicknamed the Mudshark sitting pretty out front of King Sized Photo while Mom picked up her prints
Summer 75 Jerry Harper napping in tree on Mount St Helens.  The mountain would explode in erruption 5 years later
Saron Church in Griggs County ND, accross from farm.  Grandpa Josephson founding preacher here. Melvin Stokka sunflower field Mid 1970's This picture by CB Herigstad was used as the cover to the Griggs Co. Phonebook.
Garden views 1975 with 10 foot tall corn in back yard
Garden views 1975 with 10 foot tall corn in back yard
Garden views 1975 with 10 foot tall corn in back yard
Garden views 1975 with 10 foot tall corn in back yard
The old 64 Galaxie with the grand national rims sitting out front of the house
The old 64 Galaxie with the grand national rims sitting out front of the house
Scout troup 25 with Dick Schlacter taking over for scoutmaster when Dave went to Alaska, Jerry and Doug
New recruit lighting the candles before cerimony at Troop 25 in the Evengelical Church Southwood Park
Troup 25 cerimony with Dave, Jimmy Copesak, Doug Bernard and New recruit
Doug showing slides, Troop 25, Tri County Oregon
Dick Schlacter, Doug and Jerry
Kitty came in through Brians bedroom window to escape a downpour and proceeded to give himself a tounge bath
The house got a new red and white paint job and bark chips to start off the second half of the 70s
Grandpa digging potatoes in the back yard garden
Grandpa digging potatoes in the back yard garden
Christmas 1975
Christmas 75.  Matt Scarfone was taken in by the parents when his own mother threw him out and given a place to stay until he graduated high school
Christmas 75. Dinner Kent, Mom, Dad, Matt, Bruce, Jeanne
Mom putting the Milk away
Mom and Bruce opening presents, Christmas 75
Kent opening presents, Christmas 75
Kent opening presents, Christmas 75, showing off his boxer look
Jeanne opening presents, Christmas 75, with her perfume
Matt opening presents, Christmas 75
Bruce opening presents, Christmas 75
Dad opening presents, Christmas 75
Dad relaxing during the holidays 75
Mom and Ardis in the Kitchen, holidays 75
Christmas 75. Aunt Ardis and Mom at Piano
Christmas 75. Mom picked up the doll and said, 'take my picture' in a little girls voice.  The parents always had a good sense of humour!
Mom, Ardis, Grandpa and Jeanne  visiting holidays 75
Grandpa and Jeanne Christmas 75
Bruce sacked out during the Holidays 75, the sign above his head says 'DEAD END'
Grandpa moring coffee 75
Jeanne & Grandpa Conrad, Christmas 75
Jeanne strikes a pose w the rode, christmas 75
Christmas 75 Jeanne in Kitchen
Ardis & Grandpa Christmas 75
Brian & Grandpa Christmas 75
Christmas orniments 75
Dad, Grandpa & Bruce 75
Grandpa Christmas 75
Jeannes elderly friends Vern & Helen showed up, Helen smoked, Grandpa did not, nevermind, he lit one up for good measure LOL
Jeannes elderly friends Vern & Helen showed up, Helen smoked, Grandpa did not, nevermind, he lit one up for good measure LOL
Brian, Melissa, Rick, Mark, Dad
Brian, Mark, Matt, Rick, Dad
Mark, Matt, Melissa & Dad. Matt & Melissa would marry the following year.
Bruce, Matt & Mark playing poker
Rick Schlacter, Matt & Mark playing poker
Chrsitmas 75 fireplace
Mom & Dad enjoying a few rare moments peace during the holidays
Christmas 75 draws to a close
Seeing off Grandpa to LA after Christmas 75, Dad Mom & Grandpa
Seeing off Grandpa to LA after Christmas 75
Click on the thumbnails below for full sized views & scroll through!      [ 1974 & 1975 ]
By the mid '70s things were looking up for Dotty and Larry's family.  Jeanne had graduated from collage, Kent & Dads business was going strong and Bruce & Brian were working in it when they could get out of high school classes.  Their friend Matt Scarfone had been thrown out of his house by his mother down the street.  dad & Mom took him in and gave him the basement side room for the year.  They were always willing to help those that were less fortunate.  Matt was able to finish High School and graduate the following year. He later married Melissa.  Rick and Mark were as much of the family with them either at our house or us across the street at theirs. The Whitaker homestead took on a new appearance as well, Mom had the house painted red and white. Dad painted his bus red and white and the Cadillac Midnight Metalic Blue and white.  The yard also took on another load of bark chips which always looked and smelled great until the weeds started finding their way through.  Ardis and Grandpa came out for the holidays and grandpa had a new passtime, digging potatoes from the garden, almost like hunting buried treasure from the garden of the just passed summer. One night Vern and Helen came by to wish Jeanne well.  Helen smoked, and not to be undone Grandpa lit up a smoke as well.  He always seemed to have a suprise and it went with his sense of humour.
TOPS Restaurant was another early project for dad and Kent.  The 1940s diner had seen its better days but they remodeled it completely into a modern establishment and I found out another one of my dads talents, ceramic tile work.  First the kitchen area was built, centered in the room and enclosed with white ceramic tile. Then an eating bar was built around three sides and booths surrounded this with large picture windows looking out onto the street. It was a completely new look for the old establishment. The Tops Job had to be wrapped up by early summer because the Whitaker Family reunion was coming up in Lyle Tennessee.  The Bus was readied. Dad got bunks from Zeidell's ship yard downtown that had come out of a submarine and mounted them, two to either side midway in the bus.  Then a cabinet and overhead cabinets were built and a refrigerator was installed.  The insurance company wanted to see pictures, including a stove inside before they would cover it as a mobile home so some quick thinking on Dad''s part had Bill Davis and Kent hauling the kitchen stove out while Dad mocked up and enclosure and it was set in place to appear as a built in stove.  The pictures were taken, the stove was put back in the kitchen and the insurance company was never the wiser.  To hell with 'em Dad said as we laughed that one off.  We loaded the cat, all 6 of us and away we went, leaving Tom Dilly and Bill to tend our pet turtles while we were gone!
Civic Parking was an early job the led to many more within the same facility.  The building was actually a combination of three old 1800's brick buildings of warehouses and machine shops that had been bricked together at the turn of the century (1900s) and then converted over time. The tallest was about 7 stories and in the upper stories the rooms had been vacant for years.  They actually still had the old pulleys and shafts running on the ceilings from the machinery that used to run there. I don’t remember the name of Civic Parking's owner but he had cars stored in the upper floors of Civic Parking and a freight elevator that was used to bring them up.  I remember he had a 1920’s Essex that was dark blue and Black and near perfect condition. If the work day slowed for me I ventured up into the other floors of this building to explore and see what else I could find.  One day I found a long work bnech in an otherwise vacant upper floor with all kinds of electrical parts and tools.  There was a TV on the bench and I turned it on.  The Daytona 500 was running and I got to see Richard Petty, Buddy Baker and the Purolator Mercury battle it out. Another time I was looking out an open window from up above watching two police motorcycles roar by on the street below; as they approached a corner and went through the intersection a station wagon coming the other way ran the light and broadsided the cop in the rear.  I saw him fly from his bike and land on the street about 50 feet up.  His partner wheeled around and came back to aid him.  He was conscious but really hurt.  The ambulance came and took him away.  I often wondered whether he wound up OK? 

Another time we had been at a wedding for one of Jeanne’s friends.  I thought I was real smart and had been sneaking drinks from the beer and wine table. No one seemed to notice. After we left I started getting sick on the way home.  Dad said, “oh you can’t be sick we have work to do at Civic Parking”. But it was Sunday I complained. “Oh no, we have some special work to get done”. So when we got home Dad took me down to the building and had me picking up boards and bricks while he worked on a door and some other trivial odds and ends. Ha ha on me, it took me a while to figure out that Dad knew about those drinks, I learned a lesson, and didn’t have the urge to sneak any more alcohol like that for a long time!  

Brian, Melissa, Rick & Mark Schlacter & Dad                    Mom and Dad, (Dotty & Larry) Relaxing                      13217 63rd Place in 1975, the family home
Views of Yaquina Bay from the Armitage's deck and viewpoint, 1974
Summer vacations through the 70s were spent at the Oregon Coast, Mom made sure of that, and each summer we would travel at least once to the beach to camp in the beautiful Oregon campgrounds. Honeyman State Park, Seaside, Canon Beach, Lincoln City and of Course Newport and Yaquina Bay.  We would load up the bus and head to the beach, camp in the bus with our cat and all 6 of us.  One summer we met some blind kids from a youth camp and dad made sure they had the experience of making home made ice cream and cranking the old churn until done.  Another time when you could still drive on the beach we almost got the bus stuck in the sand. Kent was driving and got it wound up and roared up the ramp and onto the beach road as terrified onlookers raced for cover. Mom and Dad both loved the coast and in fitting tribute to them I will show this picture of Yaquina bay fishing fleets just after an afternoon shower with the sun basking in from under the clouds to the west. God Bless You Mom & Dad for giving us a wonderful childhood!
went up through North Dakota and stayed at the farm. The first time since 1969 when we made the trip in the GTO. When we started for home the Montana abiss was ahead of us, always a potential breakdown through this sun sweltering country.  And sure enough Just outside of Deer Lodge the bus threw a rod.  They towed us back into town and we stayed a week across from the State Prison in the Ford Dealer parking lot while they installed a new engine.  Finally we made it home to Portland and a yard of overgrown grass, a little sad that the trip we had anticipated for so long and enjoyed was now over.
Jeanne's 1972 Birthday at the farm.        Visiting Jo, Helmut, Kathy & Barbara in Jamestown during the trip