08/04/10 SpeechEasy Discussions

I came across these letters to the editor of the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research (JSLHR), August 2010. They have to do with a study that looked at the functionality of the SpeechEasy anti-stuttering device. The SpeechEasy has been questioned as losing its effectiveness across time; that initial success using the device does not persist over months and years. Perhaps this is true for some, if not many who use or have used the device. For those of you researching the topic, I am making this available for educational purposes.
Letter to the Editor
Response to Saltuklaroglu, Kalinowski, and Stuart (2010)
Ryan Pollard
University of Colorado at Boulder
Don Finan
University of Northern Colorado, Greeley
Peter R. Ramig
University of Colorado at Boulder
Contact author: Ryan Pollard, University of Colorado at Boulder, Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences, 409 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309. E-mail: ryan.pollard@colorado.edu.
Purpose: To reply to the criticisms of Saltuklaroglu, Kalinowski, and Stuart (2010) by addressing their concerns regarding our study’s methodology, statistical analyses, and findings. Also, to challenge what we view as omissions, misinterpretations, and inaccuracies on their part.
Results: Our operational definition of stuttering was sound. Participant adherence to the treatment protocol was telling and appropriately enforced. The question-asking task was proper given participant characteristics. Statistical analyses of treatment effects were correctly interpreted. Our general conclusions regarding the clinical merit of the SpeechEasy were misinterpreted by Saltuklaroglu and colleagues; our findings were in fact far less nullifying and more balanced than what they claim.
Conclusions: While robust immediate effects of altered auditory feedback (AAF) in the laboratory are well documented, recent longitudinal experiments conducted in naturalistic settings have found less consistent and pronounced effects with the SpeechEasy. These reports also indicate that initial reductions in stuttering are often not maintained over time. Future efforts to determine why this is so would be worthwhile.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research Vol.53 912-916 August 2010. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/10-0050)
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Letter to the Editor
Refutation of a Therapeutic Alternative? A Reply to Pollard, Ellis,
Finan, and Ramig (2009)
Tim Saltuklaroglu
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Joseph Kalinowski
Andrew Stuart
East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Contact author: Tim Saltuklaroglu, Audiology and Speech Pathology, University of Tennessee, 533 South Stadium Hall, Knoxville, TN 37996-0740. E-mail: tsaltukl@utk.edu.
Purpose: To challenge the findings of Pollard, Ellis, Finan, and Ramig (2009), who examined 11 participants using the SpeechEasy, an in-the-ear device that employs altered auditory feedback to reduce stuttering, in a 6-month “clinical trial.” Pollard et al. failed to demonstrate a significant treatment effect on stuttering frequency, yet found positive subjective self-report data across four months of use. The authors concluded that the device was not therapeutically useful and further testing is unwarranted.
Results: We dispute Pollard et al. on the following grounds: Their operational definition of stuttering is confounded as it does not adequately distinguish true stuttering from “normally” disfluent speech or from volitionally produced initiating gestures taught to be used as part of the treatment protocol, nor is it the definition used in their pre- and posttreatment stuttering assessment instrument; they failed to maintain participant adherence to the treatment protocol of device usage; they utilized an inadequate question-asking task; and their conclusion of no significant treatment effect that is drawn from their inferential statistical analyses of group data.
Conclusions: In light of problematic objective measurements, reported positive subjective findings, a robust corpus of contradictory data, and the need for alternative stuttering treatments, we argue that the SpeechEasy merits further investigation.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research Vol.53 908-911 August 2010. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/09-0128)
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

5/15/10 High School Recess at Manzanar

In 1942 after the Pearl Harbor attack, ten U.S. concentration camps were built to hold 120,000 Japanese. Seventy percent of these people were American citizens. Each of these camps became highly organized by the people who lived in them. They included stores, bakeries, churches, beauty shops, cemeteries, schools, and more. This is a picture of some Manzanar high school students at recess.
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For more information on Manzanar, check out the article, A Glimpse into the Japanese Internment Camps: Recollections of Dorothy Ikuko Amatatsu-Watanabe

A Glimpse into the Japanese Internment Camps: Recollections of Dorothy Ikuko Amatatsu-Watanabe

Original version in Nostalgia Magazine, March 2010
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Perhaps my first inkling of the Japanese Internment Camps occurred when I was a boy. As a youngster, I occasionally visited my Uncle Minnie and Aunt Sarah who lived in San Jose. New to San Jose, Minnie bought a home in 1944; a small, comfortable house on 21st Avenue along the Coyote Creek. In the back of their place there was a vegetable garden and a steep slope, tangled with brush which led to the water below. One day while exploring beyond the garden, I came across an unusual find. There were dishes with Japanese symbols and old bottles. My cousins and I later spent endless hours excavating where numerous artifacts were found. The items weren’t necessary trash and they included a bronze shrine, a letter opener, toys, and Japanese art pieces. All of it was interesting to me and little did I understand how these artifacts came to be deposited here.
Some 30 years before, Minnie, with a chunk of his life’s savings, purchased the home from a realtor. In discussing the purchase with an aunt, I learned that the house belonged to a Japanese family and that they were called to task. During the Japanese internment relocation in 1942, the family was forced to move. Upon moving in, my aunt recalled that paper lanterns adorned each bedroom.
With little time to react, tens of thousands of Japanese families were forced to leave their homes. Japanese who were lucky enough to sell, got a little for their homes, businesses, and possessions. Many more lost nearly everything as they were forcibly relocated to one of ten internment camps around the country. I now realize that in an urgent scramble, the Japanese family who owned the house before my uncle were burying or tossing their non-critical possessions over the bank, likely preparing for a quick sell of their home. Kitchen utensils, decorations, and other items had to go quickly. There is no doubt that some Japanese families hid their possessions and treasures with the hopes of returning some day to retrieve them. While adventurous at the time, those archeological digs behind Uncle Minnie’s garden haunt me now.
Following the Japanese attack on Peal Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt hurled forth an order that would leave a lurid, indelible mark on American history. Infamously known as Executive Order 9066, Roosevelt’s proclamation altered the lives of 120,000 Japanese people by ripping them from their homes and placing them in concentration camps, less drastically known as “Internment Camps.” People of Japanese heritage living in the western portions of Washington, Oregon, and California, in proximity to “military zones” were relocated far and away from their homes. Seventy percent of these Japanese people were American citizens. Spokane was outside of the evacuation zone and many Japanese people fled there.
Ikuko “Dorothy” Amatatsu Watanabe
More recently, I was able to synthesize a greater understanding by interviewing Ikuko “Dorothy” Amatatsu Watanabe who was interned at Manzanar and Minidoka. These concentration camps were located in California and Idaho respectively. Complete with photographs, letters, and telegrams, Dorothy offered a remarkable oral history-a critical time in her life as a senior in high school-and of a historical blemish that altered the lives of her family and other Japanese on the West Coast. As a good student, Dorothy was anticipating some great things. She had a scholarship at Washington State College in Home Economics which she was going to pursue after high school.
Many Japanese who endured these U.S. concentration camps are reserved about the ordeal and silent in discussing their experiences. On the other hand, Dorothy has spent countless hours talking to school children, historians, and others about her experiences. In vivid detail, she is able to describe her childhood, family, the time surrounding March 30, 1942, and her time in the concentration camps.
Born on August 13, 1923, Dorothy was the youngest of four daughters. Like her sisters, Elsie, Kay and Rose, Dorothy was given an American name along with her Japanese one. While the two older girls were born in Seattle, the younger two were born on Bainbridge Island.
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Dorothy and her older sister, Rose. 1928.
Dorothy and her sisters were American citizens, and like their parents, they were loyal and devoted to America. Dorothy’s parents, Yoshiaki and Taka Amatatsu, however, were not citizens until much later in life when they were allowed to apply for citizenship.
Born in Japan, Dorothy’s parents had a prearranged marriage. Her father was attending medical school in Japan when the Russo-Japanese war broke out. Drafted as a medic, Yoshiaki would not return to medical school after the war, but instead, immigrated to Seattle in 1913. His bride, Taka, who received her college education in Japan, served as a math teacher at the Bailey Gatzert Elementary School in Seattle where many Japanese students attended. Both Yoshiaki and Taka were of Samurai ancestry. In fact, Dorothy showed me a picture of her grandfather dressed in a traditional Samurai outfit. He was a Shinto priest.
When Dorothy was six years old, the family received word that Taka’s father was gravely ill. Both Dorothy and her mother took a freighter back to Japan.
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Dorothy with her mother, grandmother, grandfather and cousins during a visit to Japan. This was the first of several visits that Dorothy made to Japan.
During their six month stay, Taka’s father miraculously regained his health. There is little doubt that the reuniting of father, daughter, and grand daughter has something to do with the healing process. An old photograph in Dorothy’s collection shows her as a cute little girl at her Bainbridge home. Still another photograph shows Dorothy with her mother, grandmother, grandfather, and cousins during that trip to Japan.
Finding meaningful employment in Seattle was a tough prospect for Yoshiaki as many prejudices against the Japanese existed, both before and after the war. Working as a janitor for Seattle General Hospital, Yoshiaki was ready for a venue change when their friends, the Sakuma family, invited them to help start a strawberry farm on Bainbridge Island in about 1918. A fairly short distance across the water from Seattle, the family first rented a home. Later they purchased a home with the title in the name of their oldest daughter. Dorothy remembers the family working the farm. Prior to the strawberry farm, the Amatatsu’s had never cultivated food. Dorothy recalled that there was a learning curve in the early days, especially with a family of girls. Since 1915, the Sakuma family has continued raising berries and they are a major producer in Washington State, now in the Burlington area.
Dorothy explained that many Japanese families who were not citizens could not purchase homes. Instead, they enlisted the help of straw buyers who were citizens. Sometimes those straw purchasers were sons or daughters, friends, or others. Essentially, many Japanese families owned homes but the title was held in someone else’s name. After several years of imprisonment in the internment camps, countless families returned to find that their homes and possessions had been sold, taken, or were simply gone. Some properties were bulldozed. Upon their return, Japanese from the camps had to begin afresh; many found new places to live; still others in despair moved back to Japan.
Teddy was the Amatatsu’s family dog. He was a Miniature Fox Terrier who lived on the strawberry farm. Remarkably smart and loyal, Teddy loved his owners and they adored him. On his five-acre farm, Teddy frolicked and watched over the family.
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Dorothy Amatatsu and Teddy at their strawberry farm.
Life on the ranch was established and good. Affectionately, Teddy cuddled each night between Dorothy and her sisters, and enjoyed taking baths just like the rest of the family. But on March 30, 1942, all of this was to drastically change… again. Even before that, Teddy knew that something was wrong because Yoshiaki had been had been forcibly taken away-far away
Just days before throughout Bainbridge Island, posters were tacked up on walls and street posts. Dorothy recalled that the demands placed on the Japanese people were ominous and clear.
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Demand poster tacked up around Bainbridge Island.
Signed by J.L. DeWitt, Lieutenant General of the U.S. Army, these posters had bold declarations that read: “Instructions to all JAPANESE living on Bainbridge Island… The following instructions must be observed…” In her scrapbook, Dorothy showed me one of the posters. She explained that the Japanese had only a week to prepare for the move. To make matters worse, a curfew was imposed and all arrangements could only be made during the daylight hours-a difficult task. DeWitt seemingly had no sympathies for the Japanese Americans being sent away. He was quoted as saying, “A Jap is a Jap.”
Since Dorothy’s father was a community leader who helped others translate letters in English and Japanese, he was singled out shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack and sent to an alien detention prison in Seattle. Dorothy remembers visiting him while he was behind bars. From there he was further separated from the family and sent to North Dakota and New Mexico.
Dorothy described her father as an adventurous, gentle, and caring man who loved his family. In fact, when he was 87, Dorothy recalled that her father visited her in California. With heartfelt sympathies and tears, he apologized that he had nothing to give her; that he was not as successful as his brothers; that he had lost his wealth and had nothing.
Yoshiaki Amatatsu, Dorothy's father circa 1971_edited-1 (Small).jpg
Dorothy’s father, Yoshiaki Amatatsu in 1971.
By this time, his wife Taka was in a nursing home and Yoshiaki was traveling alone. He felt stripped of his life and dignity, especially when he compared himself to others. Dorothy assured him that he had, indeed, offered the best gift of all to their family-the gospel.
Dorothy’s mother, Taka, was a pleasant, loving, and Christian woman. She tended to be strict like a disciplined teacher, but always had the best intentions for her daughters.
Taka Amatatsu, Dorothy's mother on the strawberry farm and Teddy Dog_edited-1 (Small).jpg
Dorothy’s mother, Taka Amatatsu on the farm.
Dorothy explained that Taka instilled in her daughters the meaning of sincerity and responsibility. She taught her daughters to be kind and truthful, and not to say things unless they were accurate.
Interestingly, the imprisonment of the Japanese on Bainbridge Island was the first of this mammoth effort. In fact it would be used as a model for all the other “evacuations” that would occur in Washington, Oregon, and California. Each family member was allowed to take two suitcases which included blankets, clothing, toiletries, and eating utensils. Dorothy recalled that two suitcases did not hold much and that they were small and did not have wheels like they do today.
Fortunately, during the mad scramble, Dorothy’s oldest sister was able to secure a trusted Filipino man named Mike Corpus, to watch over the house and strawberry farm. Taka knew very little English and making such arrangements herself would have been impossible. That year the strawberry crop was exceptional… but the Amatatsu family would not see any of those profits.
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A high school picture of Dorothy.
And besides the strawberries, Dorothy was finishing her senior year of high school where she served as the class treasurer. Because of the curfew and bad timing, Dorothy, along with 13 other Japanese seniors were unable to attend the Senior Sneak and the Senior Ball at Bainbridge High School. Principal Roy Dennis made a plea to the army requesting special permission for Dorothy and her Japanese classmates to attend the Senior Ball-the request was denied.
Enforced by the military, 276 Japanese arrived at the Anderson Ferry Dock on Bainbridge Island on March 30, 1042. Dorothy and her family knew them all. Trucks were used to take the Japanese and their luggage from their homes and to the dock. The Anderson Dock is a short distance from what is now the Winslow Ferry Terminal. Dorothy remembered that an armed soldier was assigned to each Japanese family. Caucasian friends, neighbors, soldiers, classmates and others wept as their Japanese counterparts were being gathered and hauled away. Many of those relationships had been forged over the course of decades and all of it seemed ruthless and unfair. Caucasians tried to encourage their Japanese friends by saying, “Don’t worry, you’ll be right back home in no time.” With staunch dedication to America, the Japanese cooperated with the demands while Caucasians looked on in horror. The people referred to the event as, “Shikataganai,” interpreted as, “It can’t be helped.” The ferry left at 11:20 a.m. on this gloomy Monday morning.
Once ferried to Seattle, Dorothy and the others were placed on a train destined for an unknown location. Shades on the passenger windows were pulled down tight and none of the Japanese prisoners were told where they were going. Since it was April 1, during the journey, Dorothy rationalized that all of this must be some kind of an April Fools joke-except nothing about it was funny.
To Manzanar
Three days later, Dorothy arrived at a place called Manzanar which is located in California at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada range. Manzanar is 230 miles northeast of Los Angeles in a dusty, cold, desolate area complete with sagebrush and abundant nothingness.
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The desolate Manzanar Concentration Camp.
Once they arrived, the Japanese were issued aviation goggles, a pea coat, and a tin cup. Later, Dorothy and the others would rudely discover why the goggles and pea coats were issued.
Manzanar was one of ten permanent centers where Japanese Americans were imprisoned during World War II. Although tenderly referred to as “Internment Camps,” Manzanar, like the others, were truly Concentration Camps. This variety of semantic alteration, borrowed from earthquake evacuation terminology, was commonly used in the imprisonment of the Japanese. Other flowery terms such as “Reception Centers,” “Relocation Centers,” and “Evacuees” were also used to put a soft touch on these Constitutional violations.
When Dorothy, her mother, and three sisters arrived in Manzanar, they noted that this gated place was a series of shacks, lined up, and parallel to each other. Tar paper served as outer shells on the buildings. At first, there were missing windows in the shacks. Eight people were assigned to Dorothy’s room making for a crowded place. There were unfilled mattresses and each person was required to stuff their own beds with straw, otherwise known as “tick.”
By and large, Manzanar was a hellish, make-shift city with all the basics. Besides the shacks, it had a mess hall, clinic, and post office which were manned by the prisoners. It had a barber shop, beauty salon, and school rooms throughout the place. Workers were paid a pittance to conduct their jobs. Bearded and scruffy contractors milled around the place making the new tenants nervous. A common bathroom consisting of eight toilets and offering no privacy complicated the matter. Females enlisted the help of Japanese men and boys to safely escort them to the bathroom.
Manzanar was a wind swept and forsaken land complete with a dry terrain and mountains looming in the distance. When the cold wind blew, large amounts of sand and dirt would envelope the place and enter into shacks. With floors made of planks, Dorothy explained that fine particulate would enter in through the cracks thickly coating everything and everyone inside. Dorothy recalled sleeping in her shack and awakening the next morning partially buried in dirt that had blown in. Now Dorothy understood why the pea coats and aviation goggles were issued. In March 1942, there were 251 visits to Manzanar’s clinic. All but two were for respiratory ailments.
About two weeks after their arrival at Manzanar. Dorothy and her family were notified that Teddy Dog had died. Apparently, after the family’s departure, he stopped eating and could not reconcile the loneliness. While the Bainbridge prisoners were unable to bring their pets, the other detainees from California could. All of it was unfair and Teddy’s death haunts Dorothy to this day.
Supplied with a mess hall card, Dorothy and the others, at first, were offered food that was disgusting.
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Each person had a mess hall pass. This was Dorothy’s.
On the menu, prisoners were offered canned wieners, white rice, canned bread pudding, and canned spinach. Dorothy recalled thinking that the “spinach,” very likely, was sagebrush packed in a can. Prior to this time, she had never heard of canned spinach.
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People of all ages in line for one of the Manzanar mess halls.
Perhaps the food got better as food processing units were developed at the camp. Tofu and Shoyu, both made from soybeans, were later produced at Manzanar in substantial quantities. In fact, Manzanar was largely self-supported in nearly every aspect by the summer of 1942.
Like any city, Manzanar had an inner dark side too. There was infighting, gangs, and dissention between some groups. Dorothy recalled a riot or demonstration which took place on December 2, 1942 close to her barracks. During the uprising, many of the inhabitants were merely spectators but military police responded against all. Two young men were shot and killed by military police. One of them was shot in the back and at least ten others were wounded by bullet fire. Dorothy knew the boys who died and they were innocent bystanders.
Despite it all, the inhabitants of Manzanar were productive, organized, and mostly dedicated to making the situation the best they could. Socials, follies, dances, and games occurred. There was a makeshift tennis court and football fields too. Landscaping, complete with a rose garden and an outside theater were all part of the place.
Dorothy met her future husband while at Manzanar where both of them worked for $16 a month. Hideo (pronounced HeeDayo) was a truck driver and Dorothy worked in the personnel office. Hideo was incarcerated and sent to the camp when he was 21. After Manzanar, Hideo served in the military as an interpreter. When the war broke out, his listing was 4C or enemy alien. Later, when he entered the military he was listed 1A in the draft, a respectable rank.
To Minidoka
In March 1943 after the uprising, Dorothy and the rest of her family requested a transfer and, surprisingly, it was granted. Dorothy recalled that fellow Manzanar prisoners in her same block threw a farewell party for the women. It was a tearful departure and many friends offered the family blankets. Dorothy explained that their belongings had been picked up the previous day and it was extremely cold. Their new location would be Minidoka and it was located in south-central Idaho in Jerome County. This time, the train ride included open shades. A picture shows Dorothy, her sisters and mother on the steps of their Minidoka shack. At 3800 feet above sea level, Minidoka had seasonal temperatures that ranged between 30 degrees below zero and 104 degrees.
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Dorothy in the center surrounded by her mother and sisters outside their Minidoka shack.
With a human capacity of 10,000, many of the Japanese (7,200) at Minidoka came from “Camp Harmony” in the Puyallup area. The Western Washington Fair Grounds was used as a temporary holding tank before they were taken to Minidoka. Much like Manzanar, Minidoka was a desolate area with sagebrush, mosquitoes, and dust storms.
Dorothy would stay at Minidoka for about ten weeks before being allowed to move to Chicago on a work release program. Being the youngest, it would have been customary for Dorothy to stay close to her mother. Taka, however, wanted Dorothy to get out and make something of her life. At different times, two of Dorothy’s sisters would also leave Minidoka to continue their lives. But Dorothy’s mother and sister, Rose would remain and later be reunited with Yoshiaki. During their separation, Yoshiaki was imprisoned in distant camps away from the family. Taka, Yoshiaki, and Rose left Minidoka in 1946 and returned to Bainbridge Island.
After The Camps
Once in Chicago, Dorothy worked at Traveler’s Aid, a governmental social service organization. She lived with the family of a Methodist minister who took her in like one of his own. Reverend Raymond Laury and his wife, Zella, had five daughters and all of them were friendly, loving people. Dorothy cooked for the family and had a secure place to live. She also continued her education. At that time, there weren’t many Japanese people in Chicago.
Hideo had left Manzanar and joined the service in 1944. He went to Language School at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. After his military experience, he found himself in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Working in a leather processing plant, Hideo lost a finger in an industrial accident. Dorothy explained that Hideo was tired after traveling to visit her in Chicago. Upon his return and while at work he lost his concentration and finger. But this did not slow up the couple. Dorothy and Hideo were married in Chicago in July, 1945.
Dorothy and Hideo's wedding (Small).jpg
Shortly after, Dorothy and Hideo would leave Chicago to move Hideo’s mother from Manzanar. To their surprise, the place had changed incredibly. There were rock and Japanese gardens, and lawns too. Huge quantities of vegetables were grown at Manzanar and it was still a self-sustaining place. In fact, agricultural produce was shipped from Manzanar to parts of Los Angeles and to Arizona. All of this, of course, was a testament to the people who were forced to live at Manzanar. At the time of their visit, the population was vastly depleted and contained mostly the elderly and very young school children.
Dorothy recalled that the Amatatsu family had a family reunion in Denver, Colorado, where her sisters had relocated. The occasion was memorable and, as fate would have it, this was the same day that the United States dropped an atomic bomb called “Little Boy” on Hiroshima. That day was Monday, August 6, 1945.
Dorothy returned to Bainbridge Island for a time to work and help settle her parents. At this point, her parents were quite elderly and could not work. Many of the strawberry fields were no longer owned by Japanese and, instead, were operated by Filipino workers. Although the Island people were pleasant, the area was unkempt and changed. Dorothy commuted to Seattle each day and worked for the Federal Housing Department for a time.
Eventually, the couple settled in the Glendale and Pasadena areas where they a developed their lives and careers. Hideo received a chemistry degree from UCLA and became a successful chemist. He spent his career working for Aerojet Corporation and Beckman Instruments. Dorothy worked for the Treasury Department in Los Angeles before the couple began their family. Dorothy and Hideo had two boys who became highly educated and leaders in their disciplines. Dorothy recalls that discrimination and mean spirits were encountered from time to time, especially when finding housing- but over a long period, this has subsided. Dorothy and Hideo were married 63 years before his death in 2009.
All this time, Dorothy has kept her interment experiences fixed in her memory banks. She realizes the constitutional injustices that impacted her family and thousands of others. As a promoter of social justice and a conscientious person, Dorothy recounted her experiences to me as a matter of fact- the way it was. While most people in the same moccasins might harbor a longstanding grudge, there is no bitterness when conversing with Dorothy.
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Dorothy Amatatsu Watanabe smiles for the camera.
Her strong faith and a loving family has been a stabilizer. Out of Dorothy’s collective set of experiences, perhaps the most haunting has to do with Teddy… the little dog she never saw again.

11/26/09 The Story of Stuff

With Black Friday at our heels and the push to buy more stuff, you, like me, may find this video especially interesting.
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Here, Annie Leonard discusses the hidden costs of the things we purchase. The video is fun to watch, thought provoking, and indeed worthy of consideration. References for the stats are available as a PDF on the site. Check out the video and site and let me know what you think. Watch the video.
All of this is important, but most importantly today, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

The Spokane Free Speech Fights

Original publication in Nostalgia Magazine, November 2009.
This November, precisely 100 years ago, Spokane was in the dark, bloody throws of the infamous Free Speech Fights. The Spokane fight was actually the second of many fights that would occur around the country. The first one occurred shortly before in Missoula.
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I.W.W. gatherings like this one occurred across the country. One of the first was in Spokane.
Although buried in the archives of our past, four publications including the Spokesman-Review, The Daily Chronicle, The Spokane Free Press, and the Industrial Worker covered the news as astonishing events unfolded.
With components of economic class disparities, constitutional violations, mass civil disobedience, brutality, and prejudice, news of the turmoil flooded over the entire nation– putting Spokane on the cerebral maps of many people. As part of a nostalgic review, one will appreciate a feel for the labor mindset, not only here in the Northwest, but throughout the country.
In the mid to late 1800s, Spokane’s economic growth had been spurred on by big enterprises. As a hub, the Inland Empire was in the midst of the lumber, railroad, mining, and orchard industries. Each generated huge sums of money and the region was growing by leaps and bounds. Laborers by the thousands were needed to make it all happen. During this time, not only here in Spokane, but across the country, a paradigm shift was occurring; a consciousness; a meta-awareness of the economic classes, and a backlash. With the industrial revolution at the end of its pendulum stroke, many laborers had become cognizant of the disparities that separated the working and upper employing classes. With generations of noted hard labor and little to show for it, many workers were disenchanted with the status quo. The working class was merely existing and generally becoming poorer while the employing, capitalistic, upper class was prospering. Each class recognized the differences, but only one of them felt hindered and in need of change.
In 1905, Chicago held its first Industrial Workers of the World meeting. Otherwise known as I.W.W. members, Wobblies, or Wobbs, this union group understood the need for the working class to organize, unite, and to communicate with each other. Derivation of the term, “Wobbly,” comes from a Chinese restaurateur who referred to these members as, “Eye-Wobbelu-Wobbelu.” The name morphed and stuck and the organization grew exponentially with I.W.W. union halls popping up across the country.
Understanding the differences between the labor and upper classes, and perhaps long suffering and generational impact, some leaders amongst this group discussed alternative economic systems. Opposing capitalism based on the personal and economic tolls it had taken on workers and families here and abroad, many extolled the possibilities of other systems which included socialism or communism or anarchism, each frightening and counter propositions in America. Wobblies yearned for a change that balanced the classes and offered mechanisms that promoted fairness. They felt, to some degree, that as skilled laborers and toilers, they should actually be in more of a position of control. Many I.W.W. leaders wrote of the need for safe, sanitary work conditions, the eight hour work day, and fair, livable wages. In fact, it can be largely argued that because of the efforts of the I.W.W., these benefits were incorporated into labor laws formed decades ago. Wobblies also understood the impact that industrial accidents had on workers, and that most accidents occurred towards the end of extra long workdays. One motto included, “An injury to one is an injury to all.” Writers such Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and James Rowen spoke out and wrote volumes about these important problems. When accidents and disease occurred to workers, little or no health care existed to help. Instead, many workers were blinded, maimed, or killed on the job-and employers seemingly did not care as profits were the primary concern.
Huge prejudices wore heavily against the Wobblies, resulting in many told and untold abuses. With the anti-capitalism sentiments of some coupled with the imposed American fears of socialism or other counter thinking, the organization was seemingly painted with a broad, biased brush. This was especially so because many Wobblies were uneducated, poor, migratory, immigrants, and people of color. Many paid no taxes and had little or no assets. Other than the blanket rolls and clothes on their backs, and union cards, many Wobblies owned nothing-and they were exploited by the thousands. As a whole, Wobblies were hard working, salt-of-the-earth people whose basic needs of food, shelter, and existence were no different than others. While many were simply muscles and laborers, many others were skilled craftsmen. On the same token, Wobblies were the lifeblood of industry and, without them, commerce and industrial output were hindered. Any discussions or behaviors that could potentially sway attitudes in or out of the workplace were highly punishable by trumped-up charges or vigilante forces. Industry foremen had spies and undercover Pinkertons looking out for I.W.W. members. When found, they were often fired, beaten, or killed. Many were tarred, feathered, and run out of town. Some were shot or hanged. I.W.W. halls were raided with records confiscated and contents destroyed. Leaders were arrested.
In 1908, thirty-one employment agencies lined Stevens Street in Spokane. Known as job “sharks,” most of these businesses were in cahoots with the foremen of various industrial operations. Charging a dollar a job to each worker, these agencies were directing workers to jobs that either did not exist, or to ones that did not pay their workers. Outside signs on these businesses lured workers to “inquire within.” Wobblies complained that some businesses like the Somers Lumber Company had 3000 workers coming and going just to maintain a crew of fifty. The abuses were so blatant, that an I.W.W. leader named James Walsh came to Spokane in 1908 to address the problem. Walsh spoke to and befriended many of the near-destitute workers and the local I.W.W. chapter flourished. By March of 1909, nearly fifteen-hundred workers had enrolled.
At first, Wobblies began speaking publicly in front of the businesses that were causing such trouble. Collectively, however, the employment agencies pressured the Spokane City Council to pass a squelch ordinance that prevented street speaking. Instead, any public speaking was limited only in the city parks which were far away from the sharks. To devalue these nonconformists, Wobblies were portrayed as “hobos,” “un-American,” “bindlestiffs” and “no good troublemakers.” At first, the Wobblies obeyed the ordinance but the agencies continued their deceptive ways unobstructed. The I.W.W. carefully documented the continued abuses and lobbied the authorities to justifiably take action. Opposed to violence, Wobblies promoted change with the “tongue and pen.” But nothing was changing. When the Salvation Army, however, successfully motioned the City Council that they should be given the right to religiously speak on the streets, Wobblies constitutionally objected and took to their soapboxes in civil disobedience. Wobblies in great numbers were organized and speaking out. More of them came in on the freight trains.
Acting Police Chief, John T. Sullivan, announced that he and his team of marauders would arrest any violators… and they did by the hundreds.
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Acting Police Chief, John T. Sullivan
Sullivan stated, “I am no respecter of persons in this case, I wish the newspapers would call these people by the right name. They are anarchists, pure and simple and their song of the Red Flag is one of the most inflammatory things I have ever heard.” On the other hand, a bulletin posted by the I.W.W. read, “The I.W.W. and police have nothing in common. There can be no peace so long as the police use clubs and hose, and the I.W.W. uses the pen and tongue.” The Spokane Press headlines on November 1, 1909 stated, “7000 IWW MEN HERE FOR BATTLE.”
Aside from Chief Sullivan and the police force, other figures such as Judge Mann and the War Department had little regard for the free speech and human rights of the Wobblies. As public speakers were arrested on violations of street speaking or disorderly conduct, another Wobbly would simply take his place on the crate… only to be arrested too. Men were not the only ones arrested either. Edith Frenette, Agnes Thecla Fair, and others were arrested as well for street speaking or singing the Red Flag. Attorney Fred H. Moore, a Spokane resident since 1901, was retained by the I.W.W. as their chief legal representative. Moore took on the courts, filing complaints and writs of habeas corpus, and supporting the Wobblies.
Once arrested, Wobblies were abused and tortured by the police guards. Dozens of reports leaked out about the treatment received by those arrested. The Spokesman-Review’s Fred Niederhouser reported that groups of 28 men were smashed tightly inside an eight foot by seven foot jail cell, and that, “It took four cops to close the cell door. This was called the ‘Sweat Box’. The steam was turned on until the men nearly suffocated and were overcome with exhaustion. Then they were placed in ice cold cells and third-degreed in this weakened state. When the jail became overcrowded, an abandoned unheated schoolhouse, Franklin School, was used as a jail.” Space at Fort George Wright was also made to imprison Wobblies.
James Stark, a prisoner in the original Franklin School on Front Street (now Trent Street), kept a diary of his experiences. He told of how men were badly beaten, covered in blood, teeth knocked out, and bones broken. One man had a badly broken jaw.
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November 12, 1909 Spokesman Review photograph: Armed with rifles, policemen Dugger and Willis guard I.W.W. prisoners at the old Franklin School.
The Industrial Worker indicated that three men had died just after their release from the Franklin school jail. A funeral for one young man who was diabetic was organized by the I.W.W. Many of those jailed went on hunger strikes, not only on principle but also because of the horrid food that was offered. Stark wrote that for Thanksgiving, the only turkey eaten was the one drawn on the school’s chalkboard by an artistic prisoner. Chief Sullivan boasted that prisoners would get only bread and water on Thanksgiving Day. As many as 600 Wobblies were arrested. In some cases, men were jailed and released before breakfast the next day so they wouldn’t be fed at all. Some who were released, refused to budge in support of their peers despite the scurvy and intestinal problems that were rampant in the places.
The makeshift school jail was freezing cold. Refusing to chop and haul wood, Franklin school prisoners reportedly ripped the molding off the walls to burn for a warming fire.
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By November 1909 Franklin School was abandoned and used as a jail to imprison Wobblies.
Socialist orator and writer, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, pregnant, was also arrested as she walked to the meeting hall. During her one night stay in the jail, she reported on the brothel that was kept in the women’s section of the jail.
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Elizabeth Gurley Flynn around the time of the Spokane Fights.
Her jail cell contained two prostitutes who were systematically removed during the night to service certain paying customers.
Agnes Thecla Fair, who was arrested for street speaking, was taken into a darkened cell for questioning. When she refused to answer the police questions, one man made sexual threats while another unbuttoned her blouse. This sent her into “convulsions” and she was unable to eat or sleep after these events. Being released by the prison doctor and judge, she was taken by her comrades through the streets on a stretcher to her room.
Flynn wrote the news as editor of the Industrial Worker after the original editors were arrested. Chief Sullivan had the police go door to door and confiscate as many copies of the Industrial Worker as possible… but news of the abuses had already leaked out. As word of these constitutional and human violations washed across the country, hundreds of Wobblies hopped the freight trains to join the cause. In her autobiography, Flynn expressed that Wobblies came from across the country to support free speech rights and the plight of local workers. Many came from such places as Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Chicago, and towns in Montana.
By the end of November, 1909, things were looking grim for Spokane. Chief Sullivan indicated that the “I.W.W. agitation” was costing the city $100 per day, a significant sum of tax dollars in those days. Spokane citizens and high ranking members of the Women’s Club were speaking out in favor of the Wobblies. In fact, it was a member the Women’s club who bailed Flynn out of jail. Citizens took pity on the Wobblies and gave them fruit and Bull Durham tobacco as the police marched them through town. Furthermore, the courts were overwhelmed by huge numbers of complaints and attorney Fred Moore was not stopping his work. By November 29, 1909, remaining cases in Judge Mann’s court were transferred to Judge Hyde’s court. Judge Mann expressed a week earlier in open court that if he were an attorney he would not defend such cases. All of it was bad as locals and the rest of the country read of the atrocities.
With newspaper reports of jail conditions and Flynn’s description of Chief Sullivan’s jail house prostitution, a new low and turning point was established. The arrests slowed and stopped and those still imprisoned were released. Shortly after, Wobblies felt a bitter-sweet victory. Nineteen of the labor agencies had their licenses revoked; matrons, for the first time, were placed in the jail to supervise matters (even though the jail refused to pay to have them); the ordinance for street speaking was relaxed and modified; and some members of the police force were fired. Even Mayor Pratt, perhaps a little too late, admitted that he had helped men collect thousands of dollars from the sharks.
Other strange things happened following the Spokane Free Speech Fights. On August 15, 1910, an arsonist set the original Franklin school on fire. The building was gutted by the fire and the Milwaukee Railroad, who then owned the property, declared $25,000 in damages.
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Nothing now remains of the school where the Spokane WSU campus now resides. Later, on the chilly evening of January 5, 1911, Chief Sullivan was murdered in his home at 1314 Sinto Avenue. As Sullivan sat behind his lace curtains and bay window, a gunman from the outside shot a fatal bullet through his back.
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A modern look at the home where Chief Sullivan once lived.
The day before, the telephone lines to Sullivan and his neighbor’s house had been cut. In the Franklin fire and the Sullivan murder, no one was ever charged in the crimes. Flynn wrote that Sullivan’s murderer may have been one of the many who he brutalized.
Several authors, including Helen C. Camp, Ronald A. Myers, Dale Raugust, Robert L. Tyler, and others have offered illuminating descriptions of the events that surrounded the Spokane Free Speech Fights. Although not the last of the free speech battles, many more would ensue across the country in the years that followed. All of them were fueled by organized Wobblies wanting change, justice, and equalization of the classes.
The Red Flag
Written by Irishman Jim Connell in 1889
(To the tune of O Christmas Tree)
This song was associated with radical socialism. People caught singing this tune in Spokane during the Free Speech Fights were arrested.
The peoples’ flag is deepest red,
It shrouded oft our martyr’d dead
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold,
Their hearts’ blood dyed its ev’ry fold.
Then raise the scarlet standard high,
Within its shade we’ll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We’ll keep the red flag flying here.

Memories of the Pohl Spring Works

Original publication in Nostalgia Magazine, October 2009.
Jefferson Elementary School, on Spokane’s Grand Boulevard, was built in 1908. Along with the typical businesses like a grocery markets and gas stations, the Jefferson community had a unique neighbor–that neighbor was the Pohl Spring Works.
Only a few people these days understand the huge impact that Pohl Spring Works had on Spokane in the early 1900s… and to the present day. Brother and sister, Art Pohl and Anita Pohl-Roberts, and Jim Thosath are amongst these people. In the early days of the automobile, the company manufactured auto and truck suspension springs. Not only were these springs manufactured and used right here in Spokane, but they also permeated much of the nation. With competitors in Seattle and Michigan, Pohl Spring was a thriving operation.
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Pohl Spring Works, Circa 1917.
As kids, Art and Anita lived at 3430 South Grand Boulevard. In an interview, they recalled the Pohl Spring operation and also helping out after school and on weekends. Jim Thosath, now 84, was a general helper at the plant while he awaited military enlistment.
Until just recently, the old Pohl Spring building resided at 3725 South Grand Boulevard across the street from what is now Albertsons Grocery Store. The business left this location in 1962, but a faded building sign which read, “Pohl Guaranteed Springs” was a distant reminder. Although the company relocated to the Spokane Valley many years ago, the early facility sat kitty corner and down from Jefferson School. A strip mall now resides on the property.
Born in Germany in 1861, Joseph Pohl immigrated to America, first arriving in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. As a young man, like his father before him, Joseph received valuable training as a steel worker at the Krupp Steel Works in Essen, Germany.
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Joseph and Anna Pohl, Circa 1890s.
From Sheboygan, Joseph and his bride, Anna, and their three children, made their way west to Spokane in 1904. During his early days in Spokane, Joseph worked for the railroad making springs for the coach cars. Equipped with knowledge of steel fabrication and heat tempering, Joseph wanted his own business. So, nestled in the Jefferson neighborhood, Joseph started a business manufacturing straight razors and surgical supplies in 1915.
Spokane was a rough and tumble place in the early 1900s and Anna Pohl took no chances with the prospects of riffraff. Railroad workers spending long hours in saloons and transients along the tracks and streets were a crusty and a belligerent bunch. For this reason, Anna resourcefully kept a single shot, 22 caliber pistol buried in her hair bun or hand muffs.
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Single shot pistol belonging to Anna Pohl.
Pohl Razor Company would only last two years. With the influx of automobiles, inferior roadways (nothing has changed), and the advent of the safety razors, business prospects were changing, but not in favor of straight razors. Joseph’s friends and acquaintances were asking him to repair their auto springs with more and more frequency. In short order, the demand for springs and repairs exceeded those for old-style straight razors and Pohl was thrust in a different direction.
Business continued to grow as new spring applications were needed. Besides auto springs, farmers and farm equipment dealers were in need of pea springs for their pea harvesting equipment. In fact, Art Jr. and Anita recalled working at the punching machine putting holes in the springs for a penny each. Fertilizer springs were also a hot item. Fertilizer was delivered into the soil by way of a spring and tube assembly and Pohl made these as well. Anita, Art, and Jim recall the huge furnaces, lathe, and mandrels used in the operation. They also recall some of the other workers like Lindsey Williams, Ernie McConnell and John Fallig. The construction of Grand Coolee Dam provided huge amounts of work at the plant as did projects from logging and railroad companies. At one point, during the dam’s construction, the business ran seven days a week to keep up with the demand. To the benefit of their patrons, Pohl engineered, designed, and fabricated springs of every variety under one roof. Besides springs, repairs of heavy equipment were common.
Mostly a family run operation, Joseph Pohl partnered with his three sons at the plant. Each one brought talents to the operation seemingly through their common steel-manufacturing bloodline.
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Workers at the Pohl Spring plant. Art Pohl, Sr on left; Albert Pohl in middle; unknown worker on right.
The oldest brother Bruno was the machinist; Albert ran the furnace; and Arthur Sr. managed the sales. Hired helpers assisted in between. After Arthur Sr. married, his wife Rowena worked in the office. They had two children, Art Jr. and Anita, who like their father, attended Jefferson School and spent time at the plant.
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This picture of a Jefferson classroom was taken circa 1908 shortly after the building was completed. Arthur Pohl, Sr. is the boy on the right, third from the front. Note the double barrel wood stove. Last year (2008), the school celebrated its 100th birthday.
Besides normal growing pains, work at Pohl Spring was not always smooth and calm. At one point, non-family workers wanted the shop to become a union one. Adamant that the shop would steer clear of unions, Joseph told his workers in broken English, “If ya go union, ya be locked out in da mornin.” Fortunately, the Pohl employees thought better of the idea and returned to unlocked doors the next day. During WWII, as a racist gesture, someone painted a Nazi swastika on the shop door. Joseph became so outraged, that he threatened to close down the facility for good. Of course this did not happen and Pohl Spring lives on to this day.
English did not come easy to Joseph and the telephone was his nemesis. When the company got one, it was a big deal. Business had grown to the point where significant communication needed to be carried out over the phone. Eventually, Grandpa Joseph had to be kicked out of the office because he refused to answer the phone. Instead, he would screech, “I vill not ansa dat phone, that #@!* damn ting!”
Numerous newspaper articles spanning the years highlighted the innovations at Pohl Spring. Ultra high-temperature furnaces, unlike others, were used to nearly liquefy selected Pittsburgh steel for fabrication. A special metal-hardening solution was also formulated for use at the plant. Additionally, overload springs were invented for Ford and other trucks and used extensively in this region. The work at the facility was not merely dedicated to heavy springs either. Tiny springs used for eye glasses were also in the mix of jobs. Clearly, no part was too big or small, and with a warranty and good people standing behind their products, the business flourished.
As Grandpa Joseph became older, the operation was left more and more to the children. Arthur Sr. was the primary manager of the plant. When he suddenly died in 1949 at age 51 of a heart attack, some business changes occurred. His wife Rowena later sold the operation marking the first change in ownership. To date, the company has changed hands three times with Bob Williams as the current owner. Even so, memories of Joseph, and Anna, Arthur Sr., Bruno, and Albert, live on. The family bible lists the births of the children, and the single shot pistol belonging to Anna’s hair bun still exists. Photographs and newspaper articles are relic reminders of the early Pohl Spring days and times in the Jefferson community-kitty corner from the school.
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Jefferson School children headed for home, 1957. Taken from Jefferson School’s front steps. Pohl Spring Works is on the far right. When this photo is magnified, many of these students are looking at the photographer.
As a remarkable sidebar, Anita recalls that her father brought figure skating to Spokane. Starting off as a barrel racer he later developed interests in figure skating. He fabricated his own blades in the shop and bolted them onto his work boots. Before too long, Arthur Pohl headed up a Spokane Figure Skating Club on 29th Avenue. Besides a backyard rink behind their home on Grand Boulevard, a frozen pond and clubhouse where the Waterford now stands served as an early venue for skating and winter fun.
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Arthur Pohl, Sr. and daughter Anita pose at a skating rink, circa 1939. Arthur was heavily involved in bringing figure skating to Spokane. An outdoor skating rink and clubhouse once resided where the Waterford retirement facility is now located.
A newspaper article from yesteryear discussed how Art Pohl was specially manufacturing skates for others. One such person was Claude Malone, “Spokane’s Skating Fireman of Station No. 9.” Art was also involved in the Artic and Hiks skating clubs. In fact, skating clubs from around the country sent their best skaters to compete here in Spokane.
Arthur Jr. tells of another Pohl memory. Young Art’s first car was a 1953 Ford Mainliner. As many young men of the day knew, the car demanded dual exhaust for more power, speed, and sound. In the wee hours, Arthur Jr. smuggled the rig into the spring shop to install the modified exhaust system. Much to the surprise of everyone, the police were summoned on a break-in call and Art had to explain his presence. Perhaps this is the reason why Arthur Jr. has had a long, successful career in law enforcement!
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Art Pohl, Jr. and Anita Pohl-Roberts.
As for Jim Thosath, he too was a Jefferson school kid. His father owed a garage and service station to the south of Pohl Spring which is how Jim became acquainted with the Pohl family. He recalled that Joseph owned a camel-colored Model A Ford. Commonly, Joseph would get a dollar of gas, get the windshield and headlights washed, get air in the tires, and beep the horn as he drove off-a ritual that is burned in Jim’s memory. After Jim’s time at Pohl Spring, he entered the service. Afterwards, he became a successful machinist and contractor. He married his sixth grade Jefferson sweetheart, Lucy. Lucy recalled that she and a girlfriend walked by the place “hoping to get a look” at Jim.
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Lucy and Jim Thosath
Located at 6415 East Nixon in the Spokane Valley, Pohl Spring is still manufacturing springs of every description. Art and Anita expressed that they are proud of Pohl Spring and the business that associates their name. Art Pohl Jr. lives in Newberg, Oregon; and both Anita Pohl-Roberts and Jim and Lucy Thosath live in Spokane. Thanks to Joseph Pohl and his family nearly a century ago, the company still enjoys deep roots here in Spokane.

07/12/09 Cool Phrase Derivations and Customs

Ever wondered where some of our current customs and phrases came from? This circulated into my mailbox and is interesting. I have modified it a bit and I’m blogging it for your interest.
The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:
Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.
Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.
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Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, It’s raining cats and dogs.
There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.
The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, Dirt poor. The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. Hence the saying a thresh hold.
In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.
Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, bring home the bacon. They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.
Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.
Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.
Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.
England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized that they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a… dead ringer. Kind of reminds me of the recent group who were found to be digging up graves to resell the plots.

Franklin School News/Pictures (Various)

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Dr. Irene Gonzales will be joining Franklin as its 27th Principal. Dr. Gonzales has a long, successful history in the area of education and she comes to us from Spokane Public Schools. Welcome Dr. Gonzales!
MAY 2013
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After many years of leading the pack, Principal Mickey Hanson and Office Manager Reda Andrews are being pulled towards retirement. Both of these women have been wonderful to work with and they will be mightily missed. We’ve tried to con them into staying, but they respond, “Bannana Oil.” They are modern in their language! A farewell celebration will be Tuesday, June 4th, 5 to 7 p.m. in the Franklin Gym.
MAY 2013
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From a student nomination, Kindergarten Teacher Miriam Richey was one of five winners in North America to the receive the Haworth Very Special Teacher Appreciation Award. Because of Mrs. Richey’s award our school received new staff-room tables and chairs. Mrs. Richey has taught for 46 years and we are very proud of her. Many thanks to Haworth Corporation and Mrs. Richey!
This year, as always, Franklin had a batch of terrific students ending their time at Franklin. Susan Burns was the Keynote Speaker at this year’s promotion ceremony. As Franklin students move on to middle school, we wish them all the best as they continue their education!
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Susan Burns, a teacher at Franklin for 30 years, poses with Connie Hen and some of her students. Susan and Kate Jones will be retiring from Franklin this year. They will be missed by all!
JUNE 2012
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The Spokane company, Interior Development East, purchased sweatshirts for every Franklin student and staff person. (Wow). This was perfectly timed for Christmas, 2011 and the cold weather. Here are some of us wearing them. Thanks IDE! Thanks also to graphics expert, Jill Poland.
MAY 2012
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The front glass case by the office has been the venue for hundreds of displays over the years. This one had a Peter and the Wolf theme. School will be underway very soon and new arrangements will be placed in this case!
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Last year’s theme revolved around peace. Here’s an example of some of the hundreds of art pieces that highlighted the concept of peace.
JULY 2010
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This is Activity Director, Nooshin Aflatooni and Director, Boonie Robinson of the Franklin Express program. Sadly, Bonnie is leaving after many years. She will now be an Express float person. Express is a before and after school activities program.
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The 2010 Grads on the Franklin stage!
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This is a picture taken at the end-of-year speech and learning center party–a fun time had by all!
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Shelly Pederson smiles for the camera!
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Kathy Brinkley and Brian Shute say, “Here Here, another great year at Franklin!”
JUNE 2010
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On May 11, 2010, band and string students throughout the district gathered at the arena to offer a giant concert! Special thanks to music teacher, Teresa Sauther for these shots!
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These shots were taken at the Franklin May Pole Celebration. Elaborate dance steps weave colorful ribbons around the May Pole. The Franklin dancers performed very well and this was fun to watch! Pictures by Teresa Sauther.
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MAY 2010
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As you walk in the front entrance of Franklin School, this Batik artwork adorns the wall. It was created by APPLE students and Kenyan artist, Nicholas Sironka on October 1, 2007.
APRIL 2010
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Connie Oliver Ahrenberg graduated from Franklin in 1960 and wrote this charming childrens’ book in 2009. It is published by Xlibris Corporation and is available for reading in the Franklin library.
MARCH 2010
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The Missoula Children’s Theater came to Franklin and directed, The Pied Piper, using Franklin students as actors and choir members. The performance was a hit and everyone had a ton of fun.
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JANUARY 2010 Happy New Year
This friendly snowman piece was created by Josi in Mrs. Patton’s classroom. Theme: Favorite Snowman. Medium: Chalk on art paper. Technique: Chalk blending and color use. Rating: Five Stars. Artist: Miss Josi. Date: January 2010.
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Titled, A Frosty Franklin, these students were from Mrs. Yake’s classroom. In friendship with the snow that last winter brought to the lower field, this photograph was turned into a note card. Pretty cool huh? Photograph taken by Joan Yake.
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Here, the entire Franklin student body posed for peace.
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On September 25, Franklin held its 4th Annual Fun Run. This is the PTG’s big fundraiser used for clubs, activities, and fieldtrips. At the Fun Run, Franklin students run to raise bucks. This collective fitness activity is not only fun, but this year students raised $5000. WhooHoo! Photographs by Anne Walter.
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Franklin students recited words of peace, some in various languages. Counselor Anne Walter described some components of peace.
On September 21, 2009, Franklin School celebrated Peace Day and commemorated the Franklin Peace Pole. The pole was obtained by principals, Mickey Hanson and Sonya Ault as a tribute to the Franklin students and the need for peace in our world. Printed words in Japanese, Russian, Spanish, and English along each side of the pole read, “May peace prevail on earth.” A small gold plaque also states, “Dedicated to the children of Franklin School. May they be peacemakers of the world. Franklin School Principals, May 2009.” Historically, Franklin students are no strangers to the attributes of a peaceful world. In 1985, Franklin students took part in the Million Cranes for Peace. Oragami cranes by the box-full were sent to President Reagan… the message was clear, Peace on earth. The Peace Pole resides in the front entrance area of Franklin. Thanks to Kristine Campos for the photos.
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Principal Mickey Hanson explains the importance of Peace Day and dedicates the Peace Pole.
This shot from the 1963 Franklin graduating class was selected as this month’s photo. Golly, fashions have sure changed. Note the brilliant colors, knee high dresses, and the white shirts with black ties for the boys. The girls had white gloves… and you thought Michael Jackson started that trend. This old picture was scanned on 3/26/09 and was donated by Dean Carriveau.
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Vincent van Gogh would probably be jealous. Cool artwork like this can be seen around Franklin charming the place. How many such pieces have adorned the halls at Franklin over the course of a century? Ten thousand? Perhaps a million? This question is anyone’s best guess… Do you remember any of your own works that were taped or tacked on the Franklin walls?
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JULY 2009
This is longtime teacher Joan Yake with some of her students. Due to budget cuts, Joan will be leaving Franklin but will be picked up at Jefferson for next year. Farewell Joan, we will miss you!
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JUNE 2009
This shot, taken June 5th, 2009, is at Claire Haslebacher’s retirement farewell. Claire was the assistant librarian at Franklin and will be missed by all. Good luck, Claire!
From left to right: Susan Norton, Becky Davis, Claire Haslebacher, and Shelly Pederson.
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MAY 2009
Franklin School Centennial Parade line-up and first to roll. May 22, 2009. West end of Lincoln Park on 17th Avenue, Spokane.
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One of thousands of smiles observed at the parade. Photo by Wendy Hinckle.

Franklin Alumnus Climbs Mt. Everest

Leave it to a Franklin alumnus to climb Mt. Everest. What may have started with the school slide as a tot, has evolved into something much bigger. Dawes Eddy, who attended Franklin in the 1950s, made it to the top on May 20, 2009. And not only that, Dawes is the oldest person to get to the top. Congratulations Dawes! Check out his website and adventure. Check out a KXLY video of Dawes on the mountain.
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