In 1958-59 the Ilwaco High School basketball team had a perfect year. Team members Gary Tetz, Allan Dobbs, Dennis Oman, Bob Bales, Lynn Worthington, Bill Jacobe, Don Bales, Steve Gray, Jim Peterson, and Ken Sugarman were out to win, and win they did.
After the regular season, they went off to the state finals at Olympia.
Where they won.
The team arrived back home to tumult and shouting. "State B-Tourney Champs Welcomed Home. 250 Autoloads Hometowners Met Fishermen. Noisy Procession Rolled On To Hi School. Program At Gym To Welcome Players, Coaches, Cheer Leaders And Others," rejoiced the headlines in the March 13, 1959, Observer.
"With sirens blowing [and] auto horns honking ... 250 cars gave the Peninsula fishermen, B tournament state championship winners of Ilwaco high school, a grand ovation upon their reaching Skinville cutoff on highway 101 Monday evening at 7:50 p.m. ...
"Fire departments and equipment from both Long Beach and Ilwaco, state patrolmen and deputy sheriffs of the area were also on hand to form a caravan to accompany the state winners over to the high school gymnasium.
"Prior to 7:50 p.m. [the] Long Beach ambulance, equipped with public address system, was patrolled over the Peninsula by Ben Sott and Wayne O'Neil to notify people of the big event. ...
"People of this area were rather wild Saturday night when due to some unavoidable difficulty, as explained by [Astoria radio station] KVAS, the Ilwaco-Harrington game did not come in until the second half when Ilwaco was out in front 37-26, and it just kept going from bad to worse for Harrington until the fishermen ended it all for the Eastside boys, 79-53. ...
"Ilwaco high [star] ... Ken Sugarman ... placed on the state all-star team ... Bob Bales was named for the second state string; Oman and Tetz each received honorable mention."
"After the Fishermen's final state B tournament game in Spokane Saturday night, Supt. Aase took the group out to a down-town cafe in order that players might catch up on their eating, and here is the report ... after Aase received the check: 60 hamburgers, 24 hot dogs, 35 pounds of French fries, five bowls of potato chips and four and one-half cases of pop."
-March 13, 1959
You just know that Mr. Aase was pleased to pay the bill.
There would be another year for this great team, a year where they came within three points of a second state championship, but one player had injured his ankle in the semi-final game and that was just enough to make the difference.
But that didn't matter that night in March of 1959 when Ilwaco High School was the state basketball champion.
"Human Hand Found On Beach. Herman Polhen, Ocean Park, while out on the beach Monday, found a male human's left hand which he turned over to Deputy Sheriff George Maltman who in turn delivered the member to Prosecuting Attorney Herbert Wieland. Dr. Dave Bronder was called in on the examination and advised it was his belief the hand had been dead for a month or so."
-July 10, 1959
"Editorial. A Long Beach lady called this editor last week to state that she believed this area should make a bid for the new proposed state penal institution.
"We imagine, like Longview, there would be some people opposed to having such an institution on the Peninsula, but we go along with the Longview Daily News editor that these correctional homes must be located in somebody's town, so why should we foster an uppish attitude. Of course, there's no need for worry about the establishment being located here with so many larger cities very certain to be putting in their bid.
"According to the Longview newspaper, the penal home will employ at least 250 people which is equivalent to a new industry. In a business way the institution would be quite a help to any town, and residents would soon come to accept the penitentiary without having any worry about escapees; at least, we found it that way over in the Walla Walla country, living over there for a number of years-on the outside."
-Sept. 11, 1959
"Editorial. Are Three-Member Boards the Right Answer? Since reading what Port Commissioner Perry Mills had to state about why he recently resigned, and having heard the same reason given in earlier years by a Public Utility District commissioner, leads us to believe there is due a change ... to provide for a greater number of commissioners-five or seven-member boards-in order to lend greater planning power to districts served.
"On these three-member boards, it seems to invariably two members hit it off just fine, and the third person is pretty well shut out. At least in accordance to explanations we have received from the PUD district, Port district and even Pacific county commissioners, the odd commissioner becomes a 'wooden Indian,' and finally sinks into a feeling of having met with utter defeat.
"On a three-member board, one commissioner has a much better chance to dictate policies than he would have on a five- or seven-member board. In fact, as we have seen it in cases throughout this county, a three-member board is, for the most part, no better than a two-member board."
-Jan. 8, 1960
"A 43-ton tug, the Rebel, was launched Saturday night at the Ilwaco Boat Works by Howard Gerttula. The tug ... was constructed for Harbor Tug and Barge Co. of Coos Bay, Ore. Work began in March 1959."
-May 13, 1960
"Seattle, Aug. 15-Rear Admiral Allen Winbeck, commander, 13th Coast Guard District, announced ... that he has issued instructions to Coast Guard units on the Columbia river to take affirmative law enforcement action with respect to fishing boats and other vessels which may be found obstructing navigable channels and thereby impeding transit of deep draft vessels ...
"He has had numerous complaints that deep draft vessels have encountered difficulty in safely navigating these areas because of a concentration of small craft which refuse to give way. Since deep draft vessels have limited maneuverability and must stay within marked channel limits, such obstruction creates a dangerous situation."
-Aug. 19, 1960
"Runaway Bus Furnished Loggers Wild Ride. Charley Patterson, driver, and his companion of two days only on the job, Bill Byrd, both of this city, had a wild ride on a runaway bus on Long Island, Monday, when the bus brakes went out.
"The passenger bus was being used on the Howard-Newton logging job, and driving down a rather steep grade the brakes went out, and the bus took off; driver Charley Patterson kept her in the road until about 70 miles per hour was reached, then on a curve the bus went over the side, and as she went, struck a log which caused the bus body to leave the truck chassis and sail out into the blue, landing with a crash many feet below the road. Both men luckily escaped injury.
"As the bus was making her best time, just before the crash, Byrd looked over at Charley and asked: 'What's wrong, is she running away with you?' And Charley answered: 'Hell no, I always drive like this.'
"Henderson Howard, following the runaway bus, thought sure the men would be killed, and when he called out to them, 'Are you hurt?' Patterson called back, 'No, but if you don't get me out of here pretty quick, this dust is going to choke me.'
"The bus was completely wrecked."
-July 29, 1960