75 years ago, Dec. 31, 1937/Jan. 1, 1938
• Aberdeen and Grays Harbor will usher out the tottering 37th year of this century and greet a lusty young 1938 with traditional noise, dancing and hilarity or with quiet, hopeful prayer tonight.
Tomorrow’s sun will rise on store doors closed and locked. Public servants will have throttled alarm clocks, congealing grease on industry’s wheels will not warm up, late sleepers in thousands of home will eventually open rested eyes on nearly the millionth day since man has calendared time.
But tonight, casting off the old and putting on the new, Grays Harbor will not think too much of tomorrow. Dancers will trod tavern floors until after beer and wine have ceased to flow at 3 o’clock in the morning. The liquor store will close its doors only one hour short of 1938.
• Jean and Jo-Ann and Johnny and Jerry are two sets of Quinault twins born to the same mother in 1933. The girls were born Jan. 3 to Mrs. Pat Milbourne and the boys were born Dec. 22 that same year. Next Monday the girls will be five years old but the boys will still be four. But last Thursday the boys were telling their friends they were just as old their big sisters.
• Six hours after 1937 expired, Christine Helen Johnson came into the world at the Johnson maternity home to win gifts given by 14 Harbor merchants to the first child born in Grays Harbor County this year. Miss 1938, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clinton Johnson of Chenault Ave. in Hoquiam, weighted nine pounds and joins two brothers at the family home.
The only data available on the father disclosed he grinned from ear to ear, passed out cigars with reckless abandon and told everyone who would listen, “It’s a girl!”
50 years ago, Dec. 31, 1962/Jan. 1, 1963
• Lee Wills, first mayor of McCleary and long-time employee of the Simpson Logging Co., died Sunday at Mark E. Reed Memorial Hospital.
Mr. Wills went to work for Henry McCleary in 1910 as a rough carpenter on the crew that constructed McCleary’s door plant. He continued working for McCleary until the mill was sold to Simpson in 1942 and retired in 1955 as a master mechanic. During those 45 years he was the first clipperman, first core layer and second lathe operator in the plywood plant.
When the Town of McCleary incorporated in 1943 Wills was chosen as the first mayor. The foundations for community progress were laid during his four year term.
• Each year, The World Sports department singles out individuals and teams for outstanding achievements on the Harbor sports scene. This year’s winners include: Coach of the Year, Vel West, the handsome young man who in his second year on the banks of the Willapa, guided Raymond to the state Class A football championship with an unbeaten season; Athlete of the Year, Bob Oar, Aberdeen’s versatile 3-sport star; Track Man of the Year, Hoquiam’s stellar all-around runner, Rick Van Zandt and Game of the Year, Aberdeen astonishing 49-0 massacre of previously unbeaten West Bremerton
25 years ago, Dec. 31, 1987/Jan. 1, 1988
• Yesterday’s court-ordered agreement to end the manufacturing of three-wheeler all-terrain vehicles is a little akin to throwing the baby out with the bath water, according to the Harbor’s largest dealer of ATVs.
“It’s not the fault of the vehicle,” said Marv Reiner, owner of Reiner’s Harbor Honda in Aberdeen. “It’s not the dealer’s fault It’s the fault of the parents.”
In the last six years, accidents with the machines have killed 900 Americans, including 300 children.
• A sweet and gentle man who loved America with an immigrant’s passion, Andy Rotous died Wednesday. He would have been 90 on March 3.
A barber in his youth, Andy began giving free haircuts to nursing home patients in 1963. Twenty-three years and 20,000 haircuts later, he finally stopped when his doctor warned him to slow down and take it easy.
On holidays, he and his wife, Georgia, delivered trays of Greek pastries dusted with powdered sugar, laced with honey and sprinkled with nuts to nursing homes and newsrooms.
• Daily World’s top stories of the year include 1. 15-week grocery strike; 2. Brutal slaying of Melanie Santiago; 3. Aberdeen and Hoquiam mayors lose elections; 4. Tall ships, murals, waterfront piers and parks.
• Susan Theel was selected the Daily World Athlete of the year; Ace of Clubs as the team of the year and a tie between HHS girls basketball coach Dan Steward and HHS track coach Tony Pasckvale as coaches of the year.
Compiled by Karen Barkstrom from the archives of The Daily World.