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Nothing New — Those flaky, feisty Finns of Aberdeen

Historically, one of largest immigrant populations in Aberdeen were those who came from Finland. Until 1917, Finland was a part of Czarist Russia. In the early 1900s, to avoid conscription into the Czar’s army, thousands of young Finns fled to the United States and hundreds of them came to Grays Harbor. The Finns, a clannish people, created two distinct “Finntowns”: One in South Aberdeen west of Boone Street; and the second that ran on each side of the Wishkah River from roughly the Wishkah River Bridge to the North Aberdeen Bridge. While most Finns were industrious, providing much-needed labor and economic benefits to their new hometown, there were those who spent a large amount of their time in the local saloons, creating headaches for the Aberdeen police department. Here are a number of stories published by the Aberdeen Herald covering the antics of dissolute Finns.

Wife of deaf husband seeks to cope in new surroundings

Dear Abby: My husband, “Norm,” has become profoundly deaf. He has a cochlear implant in one ear and a hearing aid in the other; neither has helped much. He has extreme difficulty with speech recognition. We can talk together in the quiet of our home as long as I sit right next to him and speak slowly. We use assisted-listening devices to communicate with each other in the car or at a restaurant.

Widow with younger lover is uneasy about their future

Dear Abby: I am a widow who has fallen in love with a wonderful man who is almost 30 years my junior. He proclaims his love for me every day, and I know it’s real. I have been warned by others to be aware of “devious males on the make for comfortably situated widows.” After discussing it with the man, I have determined this is not his motive.

Nothing New — The end of Prohibition on Grays Harbor

From 1916 to 1933, prohibition was the law of the land in Washington State. From fine Canadian whiskey to bathtub gin of questionable origins, bootleggers and rum runners managed to supply tipplers with liquid refreshments. The election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt brought an end to the “Great Experiment” and on Grays Harbor during the first weeks of wetness, the great demand was limited by a lack of supply. Here are some stories on the issue as reported by the Aberdeen Daily World in April, 1933.

How does “bliss” figure into your faith?

Lama Chuck Stanford, Rime Buddhist Center: All beings experience some form of bliss. Even animals experience pleasure and bliss. The problem is that most of the bliss we experience is “conditional” bliss; that is, it is generated in response to some object of pleasure.