Author Topic: New Forum & News Updates  (Read 714292 times)

Offline georger

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6840 on: March 23, 2020, 03:38:19 PM »
Message from Bryan at the Ariel store today - I had asked Bryan if he (and his Mom) knew anything about the Ariel store robbery... here is Bryan's reply.

"Hi Jerry, I've never heard anything about the robbery, and don't recall Mom ever mentioning it either.  I'll see if I can find anything on it as info on it could be found thru archived editions of the Reflector or The Columbian.  Heisson would be between Yacolt and Battle Ground along the east fork of the Lewis River.  Currently I'm doing okay, finished a round of radiation for Stage 4 lung cancer that has spread to the brain as well, but improving  since radiation. Now on a two week break before starting two treatment types of chemo as the cancer has been determined to be two different strains, one of which is rare. So my life is in the hands of my doctors, who have done a great job getting me to this point, and God's healing hands.  Have you every seen the signed copy of "The Ballad Of D B Cooper" that was sent to Ariel Store Nov. 22, 1976? Its signed by the writer, includes a letter, the ballad, and musical script. The writer has never taken credit for writing it, but does take credit for two other songs dated 1974. "Dodger Rag," its about a draft dodger. "Living in a hideout." Sings about if shaving a cutting the hair he'd be a wanted man in the lower states.  I've compared pictures of the writer to Cooper's composite, actually two men's photos. Why? Two men using the same name, one a Navy Veteran, and the other a self-proclaimed draft dodger. One in Canada, the other in Scranton, Penn. Yes I've been doing some research of the name signed to the ballad, and believe the letters I've gotten may have come from him after Blevins insulted the Ballad with his Kenny C. ballad mocking Cooper's Ballad.  Well best close for now, and pray all are staying safe and healthy during this time of pandemic."

Thanks Bryan! 
 

Offline nickyb233

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6841 on: March 23, 2020, 07:25:27 PM »
G how many owners has that store had over the years? Maybe the current owners purchased it from the owners of it in 71 and they might have contact info for them?
 

Offline georger

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6842 on: March 23, 2020, 11:49:24 PM »
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G how many owners has that store had over the years? Maybe the current owners purchased it from the owners of it in 71 and they might have contact info for them?

Many over the years. I would have to look it up! 3, 5 ? Maybe Shutter remembers.... somewhere I have a list of the owners and the dates ... if this is really important?  :)
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6843 on: March 26, 2020, 09:42:26 PM »
News from Bryan Woodruff

As some of you may know, Bryan Woodruff is very ill. For those who don't know Bryan, he is the current owner of the Ariel Store, having inherited it when his mother, Dona Elliott, passed away a couple of years ago. Dona was a fixture at the store and in DB Cooper lore. Her Cooper Daze parties on the Saturday after Thanksgiving were colossal fun. Epic, even. Best parties I've ever been to.

Bryan sent me this missive about his Mom today, and I thought I'd share it here. I think our Forum is a fitting place to feature this tribute to a vital member of the Cooper World.



MY OWN ARIEL STORE STORY

     My own Ariel Store begins when my Mother, Dona D. Elliott, bought the store from Germaine Tricola in 1990.  Never in a million years did the thought ever occur to me that someday my Mother would pass her pride and joy onto me alone after her passing away in October 2015.  Was I ever surprised when one taco night I over-heard her telling some customers she was leaving me the store as I came back inside from taking a break from making her beloved tacos.  Yes, the Taco Queen's tacos will once again be served in due time, as Mom made certain to train me to make them her way or hit the road and I'll make them myself. Hard, soft, in a salad, or on a hamburger bun. My idea, not Mom's as I had to change things up a bit by occasionally putting the taco works on a hamburger bun.  Think a few customers took note of this as it sure made a big plate full to polish off, and it was plenty. Mom didn't want anyone leaving hungry that's for sure as her steak night dinners usually meant you had food to go would be testimony to that. Nothing better than old-fashioned home cooking to please a hungry stomach. Weekend breakfast and nightly dinners growing up was always Mom's old-fashioned cooking, much of which she learned from her Grandmother spending time on her grandparent’s farm on Delameter Road in Castle Rock where she graduated from High School.
     In July of 1991, I was laid-off a job and moved to Ariel Store as I lost my apartment as well. So, Mom and I did a midnight move after she finished working and closing the Old La Center Tavern. At that time, she owned both Ariel Store and Old La Center Tavern. I started working at both places for her as a bartender/food server, and have had the pleasure of making long-term friendships with many of Mom's customers, from the younger generations to many of the elderly customers as well. My personal favorites would truly be Miss Dolly and Father Frank, you just never knew what them two mischievous kids at heart might be up to, sometimes I think Mom was in cahoots too. Mom had her favorites to play her own mischievous tricks on, especially Indian Larry. From red hots to gummy worms to liquorish or no meat at all he just didn't really know what to expect at times.  I'm sure their teasing ways have continued on in the heavens above, and if you ever feel like someone is putting a wet finger in your ear, it could be either or both of them saying hi or blessing you with their spiritual presence.
    June of 1992, I started working at a warehouse, but remained staying at the store working to help Mom on her taco nights which had been extended to two nights after she sold the Old La Center Tavern her customers followed as evidence her taco nights were popular, and Mom was referred to being The Taco Queen of the Mountains. A title she thoroughly relished and enjoyed as many of her customers were thought of family, and she treasured them all.  A Mother type to some, a Grandmother to young children, but most importantly a true friend to all. Well unless you tried to tell her how to run her business or ended up getting yourself on the bad and ornery side of her. Thus, her motto: Enter as a stranger, leave as a friend. It’s now burned into the wall above the entryway doorway in tribute to her for all to see. When working with Mom getting orders and serving tacos, I'd refuse her offers to pay, and often had to remind her why as she was already providing me enough by allowing me to stay in an extra room in the living area of the store. Didn't always work especially if I let her split up the tips at times, but I caught on soon enough. 

     For Mom's 60th birthday I surprised her real good. Told her for her birthday I was going to pay the cost of having a band play for the weekend, the weekend profits would be my birthday present to her to spend anyway she wanted. Didn't tell her my Aunt was also inviting people up to celebrate her birthday with a potluck dinner in her honor.  Mom thought nothing about a surprise party when the band showed up and set up, soon people began showing up with potluck dishes, and Mom started wondering. Finally, my Aunt sat her down, and explained what was taking place. Mission accomplished as Mom was always a hard one to pull a surprise on, figured it be the last time I'd pull of a surprise on Mom, and much to my surprise it wasn't the last time.  The last time was her 78th birthday, completely surprised to shedding tears as all the customers sang Happy Birthday to her as I entered the store carry a Birthday Cake towards her as she was relaxing in her chair at her desk after all taco orders had been done.  She thought it was for someone else until I lowered the cake and showed her her name on the cake, then the tears flowed.  Only months later did we realize the importance of that night to us all as it was her last birthday celebration while alive. 
      October of 2010, upon being released to return to work by my doctor, I came home to Ariel Store as I'd been living their part-time since returning from Alaska in August of 2009. I was off work due to a on the job injury.  Upon entering Mom was sitting at a table with three others, and I was informed that Mom had health problems and things needed to change. So instead of returning to work I took over the taco making for Mom as my cousin continued taking food/beer orders from the customers. Told my Mother: I'm single, no girlfriend and no ex-wives, no children, and that I'd be there for her as long as she needed me to be there for her as there was no sense for two of three other children to change their lives as they have their families. Also told her she didn't need the third as he'd already proven beyond a reasonable doubt he wouldn't look out for her best interest, and had already used her enough thru previous years. Mom agreed, and I kept my word to her right up until she passed away on Oct. 13, 2015.
     Thru the five years of helping Mom deal with her health conditions it was hard to see as her health began to take its toll on her we talked many times as we traveled back and forth for her appointments and surgeries.  Tried getting her to change her eating habits, but she wouldn't listen, and pretty much told me to mind my own business. So, at times it became hard and heart breaking to watch, but I stayed strong and supportive of her never the less. The last six months was the most difficult after the health department caught us red-handed serving the customers tacos.  They threatened to have her charged as she wasn't licensed for serving tacos or doing her steak nights as out of her love of her dedicated customers who were her extended family in many ways. Mom pretty much gave up, started spending more time alone, struggled to wait on her customers as I was still making tacos, serving them and beer or wine to her customers, they would help me out with cleaning up their tables afterwards which speaks volumes of how much they truly appreciated and cared about The Taco Queen.  When no longer serving tacos, 15 to 20 customers started bringing potluck dishes to share, show their support for her and the business. The last month or so we once again served tacos again to them, and most in the public was clueless and it had to be kept that way to protect both Mom and I from criminal prosecution by the County.
     Sept. 30th was the last night Mom's tacos were served at Ariel Store, her official last day of business, and there's no words that can describe the empty atmosphere of the night as Mom remained downstairs too weak to be there. Unfortunately, that following Saturday, Oct 3, 2015, a bunco night which we had to cancel, we had to call that morning to have her transported by ambulance to the hospital. When I checked on her, she was fussing with her bed and I helped her get it situated the way she wanted. Asked if she was okay? Her response to me was it was either here or the hospital.  Called my sister to let her know what was happening, she contacted the others, and the youngest was able to convince her to go to the hospital as it could cause legal problems if she didn't. She understood, and agreed.  She passed at hospice 10 days later in the presence of family and friends.  My last words to her were: Mom you may go now as I've fully completed all you have asked me to finish for you, so please let go now, and gave her a kiss upon the cheek. About 45 minutes later she was declared deceased by the hospice staff.
      My poem written for and read at Mom's celebration of life on Oct. 24, 2015, dedicated to the memory and legacy of my Mother, DONA. D. ELLIOTT

         FOREVER WITHIN OUR HEARTS

Forever within our hearts
Gathering together family and friends
Amidst tears of sadness and heart-ache
As a dearly loved one has passed on
Stories and memories shared, now cherished
Forever within our hearts

Now a celebration of one's life
As a mother, grandmother, and great grandmother
Thru life a true friend to many others
Deeply loving and caring
Yet strong, proud, and stubborn
With a mischievous sense of humor

Proudly we honor and cherish you
Thru your life many lives you’ve touched
Certain to be missed by all who cherish you
Time will heal the pain within our hearts
As we move forward without you
Sharing together our treasured memories of you

Now you're resting in peace
Alongside others having passed before
As the passing of the human body
Unites the heart and soul together
In creating your spirit for eternal life
You'll be dearly missed, but never forgotten

Forever within our hearts
Gathering family and friends
Amidst tears of sadness and heart-ache
As a dearly loved one has passed on
Stories and memories shared, now cherished
Forever within our hearts

   
« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 09:44:12 PM by Bruce A. Smith »
 

Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6844 on: March 26, 2020, 10:06:18 PM »
Parachute Update

I got an interesting phone call yesterday from a fellow who grew up in the Washougal Valley as a kid. His name is Mike Hubbell. He told me that he and his family remember seeing a parachute dangling from a tree branch on the far side of a creek beyond his house in the winter of 1972. He also remembers seeing "something white" hanging below the chute.

Mike says that he and his family viewed the chute through a hunting rifle scope. Mike's father said he thought it was a weather balloon. Mike and his mother thought it was a parachute.

Why they didn't make any connection to DB Cooper is unknown.

Nevertheless, Mike says that he is going to investigate the area - which was too remote and too wild to access back in the day - and get back to me. His estimated time for doing this is summer.

Mike says that he's never heard of Jerry Thomas, but does know of Ralph Himmelsbach.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 10:06:48 PM by Bruce A. Smith »
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6845 on: March 26, 2020, 10:14:31 PM »
I made a video for Bryan some years back dedicated to his mother...

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Offline georger

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6846 on: March 26, 2020, 11:22:29 PM »
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I made a video for Bryan some years back dedicated to his mother...

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Great job!  :bravo:
 

Offline Unsurelock

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6847 on: March 28, 2020, 05:17:58 AM »
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Message from Bryan at the Ariel store today - I had asked Bryan if he (and his Mom) knew anything about the Ariel store robbery... here is Bryan's reply.

"Hi Jerry...

Thanks Bryan!

Gee, I do recall being given a lot of crap for using proper names here. Can't remember by whom...
 

Offline georger

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6848 on: March 28, 2020, 04:31:49 PM »
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Message from Bryan at the Ariel store today - I had asked Bryan if he (and his Mom) knew anything about the Ariel store robbery... here is Bryan's reply.

"Hi Jerry...

Thanks Bryan!

Gee, I do recall being given a lot of crap for using proper names here. Can't remember by whom...

Obviously it's an oversight - "Army Joe" aka Unsurelock aka . . . . .?      :conspiracy:
« Last Edit: March 28, 2020, 04:32:45 PM by georger »
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6849 on: March 29, 2020, 12:06:54 PM »
I see Blevins still running at the mouth about Ariel. face it Robert, you blew it. Bryan is very sick and I doubt Cooper is a priority for him at this moment in his life! you say video's don't count? you may be right since the one you made appeared to be all about AB! your self promotion had people believing you were the new owner! always right there to tell people how it's done when you haven't come close to doing ANYTHING on your own. little camping trips is the highest level you can achieve. let's see you even come close to what Eric does. put your money where your mouth is...you have used that "cheap talk" for years.

Leave it up to Robert Blevins to take a tribute video to his mother's passing and piss all over it!

Shutter
« Last Edit: March 29, 2020, 03:11:36 PM by Shutter »
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6850 on: March 29, 2020, 05:32:41 PM »
How is everyone holding up during the virus alert?

I just got the green light for the job in Tampa. I'm going to buy a small camper instead of renting a hotel or being forced out of one. our work is outside so less of dealing with people and I'm buying everything needed for two weeks prior to leaving to minimize shopping out of town. I'm having it delivered.

trying my best to stay home but have several jobs running and places to be...

Stay safe

Shutter
 
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Offline Bruce A. Smith

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6851 on: March 29, 2020, 10:33:42 PM »
Sounds like you have a reasonable plan, Shut. All the best with it.

And welcome to the RV life! ...Smile. I've been living in a 16-foot trailer for the past 19 years!
 

Offline Shutter

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6852 on: March 29, 2020, 10:52:08 PM »
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Sounds like you have a reasonable plan, Shut. All the best with it.

And welcome to the RV life! ...Smile. I've been living in a 16-foot trailer for the past 19 years!

We camped for over 20 years...started with a popup and then a couple larger trailers ending with a 31 foot Argosy. the trailer was parked year round at a park called Memory Lanes. we went there every weekend only pulling it out for vacation each year.
 

Offline Parrotheadvol

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6853 on: March 30, 2020, 10:27:23 AM »
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How is everyone holding up during the virus alert?

I just got the green light for the job in Tampa. I'm going to buy a small camper instead of renting a hotel or being forced out of one. our work is outside so less of dealing with people and I'm buying everything needed for two weeks prior to leaving to minimize shopping out of town. I'm having it delivered.

trying my best to stay home but have several jobs running and places to be...

Stay safe

Shutter

Wednesday will be the 2 week mark since I returned from New York. I was in Long Island. The county I was in has the 4th highest total of the  virus in New York. Thankfully, no symptoms for me. I'm pretty much shut down and working from home. I get like one or two phone calls a day, maybe an email or two. So for me it's an opportunity to get caught up on some work around the house. Pretty much all of my travels have been put on hold. Crazy shit. Never thought I would see anything like this. Hope everyone is staying safe and well.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2020, 10:28:07 AM by Parrotheadvol »
 
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Offline Shutter

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Re: New Forum & News Updates
« Reply #6854 on: March 30, 2020, 05:07:56 PM »
Lots of people are working at home now since the business they work for shutdown. hopefully, this thing will die out soon (fingers crossed)...contractors are closing a lot of offices and the project managers work from home and the job site instead of going to the office..

I'm picking up a camper I bought tomorrow. this will keep us out of the hotels and away from the public. our work is outside so hopefully it will not be an issue for us while in Tampa..it did get postponed till April 20th.