World Gone By 3/17

75 years ago, March 17, 1938

• Asserting beaches are already overpopulated with diggers and that stories circulated of “big money” being made digging clams are drawing dozens of additional ones daily, the Copalis clam diggers union local No. 238 today declared it plans to close its books to more members.

Les Dugwyler, secretary and business representative, said the union has a closed shop contract with buyers and cannerymen. He said dilapidated cars are arriving daily with destitute families who haven’t money enough to get away or the $2 initiation fee for the union.

The Copalis area alone has 738 union diggers signed up but only 500 of these are “real clam diggers” with much former experience, he said.

• Grays Harbor gets into step with the swing toward spring tomorrow night when, fashionably speaking, the new season is ushered in by the annual showing of latest spring clothing modes.

Fashions for every member of the family and for every room in the home and all items that make living pleasant will be shown.

New furniture styles, upholstering and window draping, new modes in table setting … all things new this year that the world’s smartest designers can produce will shine in Aberdeen shops tomorrow night.

50 years ago, March 17, 1963

Sunday, no newspaper published

25 years ago, March 17, 1988

• After winning for the second year in a row, Jason Pierson’s victory is anything but “tenuous.”

But that’s the word that gave the 11-year-old McDermoth School fifth grader the edge in the Aberdeen School district’s spelling bee yesterday. It was the only word Bruce Rifenberg, a sixth-grade student at Robert Gray Elementary missed.

Then as the time-honored rules outline, Jason had to spell another word correctly to capture the championship. He raced to victory with the word “whippet” — a swift dog resembling a small greyhound.

• Four men and women gathered around the table in the dining room of the convalescent center. As members of the resident council, they were meeting with their volunteer ombudsman, Alice House.

House is part of the volunteer ombudsman program sponsored by the state through the Grays Harbor Community Action Program.

She devotes several hours a week at Grays Harbor Convalescent Home and Pacific Care Center, making sure the feelings and concerns of the residents/patients are communicated to the administrators.

“She’s out of this world,” enthused Esther Brown, an articulate active resident of Grays Harbor Convalescent Center. “She goes to bat for us in things we can’t do ourselves.”

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