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Archive for July, 2017

Originally published in the MVHS Bugle, July 1994

By Barbara Nilson
Based on taped interview by Bill McDermand in November 1993 and interview by Barbara and Edward Nilson in June 1994.

“I’m the only boy from the Valley that made it to the big leagues,” said Johnny Lazor as he displayed his 1946 championship ring, “and I’m proud of it.”

“I’m the only boy from the Valley that made it to the big leagues,” said Johnny Lazor as he displayed his 1946 championship ring, “and I’m proud of it.”

But the road to the outfield of the Boston Red Sox in the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals wasn’t easy.

He was born in Taylor in 1912 to Veronica and Michael Lazor (pronounced Lawser in the Valley but known as Laser like the beam in baseball circles) who had immigrated from Czechoslovakia. His folks met in New York in the 1890s and went to Franklin around 1908 for his Dad to work in the mines dumping cars. They then moved to Taylor where the first of four children were born.

The oldest was Mary, born in 1908, then Mike, 1910, and Johnny was next. In 1914 the family moved onto their 20-acre farm in Hobart and the youngest boy, Vincent was born.

His folks paid $10 an acre for the farm, which they sold in 1969 to the Bill McDermand family. It is located on the old road to Taylor (S.E. 208th St.) on the north side. When his folks moved here it had all been logged off, but huge stumps remained. Lazor said it took a box and a half of powder just to blow them open. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, August 10, 1977

Retired train dispatcher Don Vernor of Maple Valley was honored by friends and co-workers at a recent reception. He has been “on the job” here since 1945 and prior to that worked as a dispatcher and telegrapher in Nevada. — Voice photo by Bob Gerbing

Retired train dispatcher Don Vernor of Maple Valley was honored by friends and co-workers at a recent reception. He has been “on the job” here since 1945 and prior to that worked as a dispatcher and telegrapher in Nevada. — Voice photo by Bob Gerbing

A number of friends, co-workers, and their spouses brought refreshments and gifts on Saturday afternoon, July 30, to the Maple Valley railroad station to wish Don Vernor well upon his retirement as dispatcher and telegrapher after nearly 33 years at that post.

He had been “on the job” in Maple Valley since January 1945. For three years prior to that he worked as dispatcher and telegrapher in Nevada.

“A train dispatcher’s job,” Vernor explains, “is to keep track at all times of the trains in his area. We always have telephone contact station to station.” (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, September 11, 2007

By Kathleen Kear

Labor Day Program 2007

To read the article, “Back at the Stump: A Labor Day Reflection,” about the formation of the Black Diamond coal miners’ union in 1907, click here.

The fun began on Saturday, Sept. 1st, and ran all the way through Labor Day, Sept. 3rd, with each day filled with all sorts of activities the whole family could enjoy.

There was the annual softball game with the fire/police team trying hard to beat the community only to have the community come back and take the win.

There was also the nostalgic sock hop at the newly dedicated Black Diamond gym, Black Diamond Museum tours full of fascinating historical items and information, the dedicating of the city’s first skate park, pancake breakfast, peanut wagon and ice cream, BBQ luncheon, button raffle drawing, watermelon and pie-eating contests, and field games to boot.

The parade was filled with bunches of kids as well as adults on bikes, floats, with their pets, in cars, on tractors, and big rigs. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, July 27, 1977

By George and Dianne Wilson

Beer mug from the Morganville Tavern

Beer mug from the Morganville Tavern (photo by Bob Dobson).

At the city council meeting last week, it was announced by Mayor Gomer Evans that the council had made the decision to support Police Chief Jack Berge regarding the issuance of a liquor license to Rick King, owner of Morganville Tavern.

In a tersely worded statement, Evans declined to entertain any further discussion in the matter.

Desiring to more fully understand the process involved in obtaining a license, we called Mr. Doug Alexander, public relations officer for the Liquor Control Board in Olympia. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Sunday Times, July 27, 1919

The fourth annual statewide mine rescue and first aid meet, to be held under the joint auspices of the United States Bureau of Mines, the state mine inspection department, the Washington Coal Operators’ Association, and District No. 10 of the United Mine Workers of America, will be staged at Black Diamond on Saturday, August 9, according to an announcement made by the executive committee in charge of arrangements. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, July 26, 1978

By Bill Ziegner

What’s new in the valley? This $600,000 all-steel building promises to be the latest and one of the really famous attractions in this area. It will house the Cedar Downs Equestrian Center, largest privately-owned facility of its kind in the Northwest. It is scheduled for completion September 1, and the first function will be a show for the benefit of the Greater Maple Valley Community Center, according to Richard Burke, Equestrian Center president. —VOICE photo by Bob Gerbing.

What’s new in the valley? This $600,000 all-steel building promises to be the latest and one of the really famous attractions in this area. It will house the Cedar Downs Equestrian Center, largest privately-owned facility of its kind in the Northwest. It is scheduled for completion September 1, and the first function will be a show for the benefit of the Greater Maple Valley Community Center, according to Richard Burke, Equestrian Center president. —VOICE photo by Bob Gerbing.

The largest privately-owned equestrian center in the Northwest is nearing completion at Cedar Downs, off Witte Road in Maple Valley. (more…)

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Originally published in the Pacific Coast Bulletin, July 26, 1923

Though off to a late start, the aggregation of baseball ability shown above is now winning honors for Black Diamond and before the season ends is confident there will be few teams with a higher figure in the percentage column.

These are the boys who gave Newcastle a close run for their money on the Fourth of July and the line-up which will cross bats with Burnett next Sunday.

The line-up of the team includes: Chambers, ss; Kertis, 2b; Garcey, 3b; Bowen, c; Hydorn p; Wasmund, 1b; Connell, lf; Maroni, cf; Rockey, rf. Jack Kravagna, in front, is the mascot, and the man with the straw hat is Bert Arthur, team manager. (more…)

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