World Gone By 2/5

75 years ago, February 4/5, 1938

• Returning this week from a jaunt into Mexico, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Hobi praise Mexico City as one of the finest in the world. Comparing it to Paris, the Hobis declare it to be much more modern, enterprising and equally if not more picturesque than the French capital.

They were accompanied on the trip by Mr. and Mrs. John Schafer of Montesano.

The party traveled in one automobile and covered fully 10,000 miles on the long jaunt, spending more than a month on the trip. From Aberdeen to Mexico City, they said, it takes eight days of good hard driving.

They rented a five-room suite in one of the best hotels in the city for what one room would cost in a first-class American hotel.

• The famous Polson ranch, lying between the old and new Olympic highways and the Chehalis River, east of Montesano, is to be sold in small tracts it was announced yesterday. Mrs. William Polson, the owner, is putting about 30 tracts on the market.

With its location close to Montesano, its fine soil and good exposure, the Polson offering is regarded as one of the most outstanding of recent years in Grays Harbor.

• If a medal for courage, perseverance and earned success were to be awarded a member of the Hoquiam basketball team, the winner undoubtedly would be Bob “Snakebite” Aiken.

A week ago “Snakebite” attained a goal of years’ standing. He became a member of the Grizzly first hoop squad.

Nine years ago when he was but seven, he fell from a chinning bar, resulting in a compound fracture of his arm, causing the loss of the main muscle in his arm. After treatment that lasted more than a year he was able to raise his left arm but not bend it at the elbow. He could use his thumb and first finger slightly.

And now after years of perseverance he has earned a spot on the varsity HHS team.

50 years ago, February 4/5, 1963

• His left elbow shattered by a bullet, Dan Damitio, 56, storekeeper, former Grays Harbor County Auditor and schoolteacher, bled to death Saturday night in his Cedarville home after defending himself against would-be robbers.

Two men and a woman are under arrest, one of the men in St. Joseph Hospital with a bullet wound through the hips — put there, sheriff’s officers said by the one-eyed Mr. Damitio, firing a 38-caliber revolver to repel the attack on his home.

• Fifth graders in Robert Grieb’s room at Robert Gray School are doing more than talk about the weather. They have built their own weather station and from first-hand observations are learning all about the behavior of the elements.

Responsible for making various instruments were Guy Barrett, hydrometer; Christy Crawford, barometer; Charles Fisher, anemometer and Ron Loomis and Dan Christenson, wind vane.

25 years ago, February 4/5, 1988

• A mayor-appointed committee is recommending that Aberdeen Public Works Director Rudy Balgaroo, who died Jan 6 after almost 20 years at City Hall, not be replaced.

Instead, Mayor O. Dean Williamson is endorsing a plan to split the department in two, with the utilities and operations coming under separate directors.

• Contrary to what some may think, the life of a wrestler is far more involved than the six minutes he may be in the spotlight on the mat during a particular match. “It’s a science to make the kids understand that,” said Jon Wahl, who directs the successful Hoquiam High School wrestling training program.

“It takes a lot of discipline to stay away from that junk food and drink nothing but water. Some kids go as long as a day and a half without food,” Wahl said.

He says it’s nothing for a wrestler to drop three or four pounds of water weight the day before a match. He said some, such as Roy Whisenhunt (Hoquiam’s 141-pounder) can drop as many as 20 pounds from his football playing weight.

• Overall, the Weyerhaeuser Co. says 1987 was a “financially outstanding year.” But at the Raymond sawmill, they’re just hoping to be back in the black in ’88.

“This mill has always been behind the 8 ball,” said manager Andy Karisnes. “The loss has been reduced every year, but it still has yet to be a profit for the company.”

There are 140 workers at the mill, which opened in 1981. It is a high-tech operation geared toward smaller logs.

But the market never boomed as predicted and the company’s net loss totals more than $13 million since, startup, the manager said.

Compiled by Karen Barkstrom from the archives of The Daily World.