Rummy

Grandma enjoyed playing rummy and hanging out with an old bachelor.

For as long as I can remember, Walter Davis came over to my grandmother’s house every Sunday. They played rummy, talked in Finnish and had coffee and pastry. Every Sunday was the same routine. Walter was a bachelor and he lived over the hill along Salmon Creek. He was known to squeeze a penny until it squealed.

There was a story that he took my grandmother to a show at the theater in Deep River. Anyway, as they got up to where the ticket taker was seated, Walter supposedly turned to my grandmother and said, “You better give me the money, it looks better if I pay.” She never forgot this grievous error.

I once asked her if she and Walter would ever get married. She assured me that wasn’t in the cards.

During one of the times I wasn’t living with my grandma, she up and married the Deep River bridge-tender, Louie Baxter. What a shock! I didn’t even know she knew Louie. All I know is Louie apparently couldn’t keep up with her. It seemed like it was only a couple of months after they were married that he up and died.

The Sunday after Louie was buried, Walter was back over at Grandma’s house playing rummy, drinking coffee and shoveling down the pastry. That went on until she died in early 1963. I guess he really cared for her.

Shortly after her death, he gave up the ghost to join her. If heaven is all it’s cracked up to be, I’ll bet they’re up there right now sipping coffee from their saucers, eating Finn biscuit and playing rummy.

Some years ago, Deep River resident and part-time Chinook Observer correspondent, Richard (Nick) Nikkila, began to write down his memories of growing up in Deep River during the 1950s and early 60s. Eventually, it became a booklet entitled, “A Collection of Recollections.” Nikkila donated the booklet to the Naselle Appelo Archives Center to print and sell in hopes of raising funds to support the center. Since then, it has been well received and copies can still be purchased from the center. This is another in a series of these recollections being reprinted in the Observer.

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