NASELLE — Family members and friends of Dick Grabenhorst and Merle Hall gathered in the Naselle-Grays River Valley School commons on Saturday for the dedication of the Grabenhorst-Hall Fieldhouse. Members of the school staff, board of directors and fieldhouse architect Erik Fagerland were also in attendance.
Superintendent Lisa Nelson read a few stanzas from the poem “The Dash” by Linda Ellis:
“I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning … to the end. He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of was the dash between those years. For that dash represents all the time that they spent alive on earth. And now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.”
Nelson noted both of the gentlemen for whom the Fieldhouse is named had significant dashes. Grabenhorst was a Naselle School administrator and superintendent from 1953 to 1982. Hall was head of maintenance and operations from 1974 to 1985 and a Comet fan extraordinaire. Neither sought out the limelight during their tenures. They knew their jobs and did them well. Grabenhorst was a multipurpose superintendent. Back when it was legal to do so, when notified of a road killed deer or elk, he would dress the animal out and transport to the school where it was utilized as food for students. As an ardent fan of the Comets football and basketball teams, Hall traveled to wherever the game was being played to support them. Hall was one of the individuals responsible for the creation of the “KM Trophy.” The football trophy came into existence in 1960 and the basketball trophy in 1964. At that time, the sports rivalry between Cathlamet’s Mules on the east side of KM mountain and Naselle’s Comets on the west side was as good as it gets and continues into the present.
From the comments made by family members, the naming of the Fieldhouse meant a great deal to them.
Following comments, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held as well as a tour of the fieldhouse.