A Note From Rose (Rosie) Edwards-Fisher

Pristine white snow coating the landscape and filling my boots, our breath freezing mid-sentence, this is my first impression of Seneca. We were two little girls trudging through the snow for our first day in a new school. It was February 1948 and we had arrived in the dark the night before. We moved from western Oregon and this was our first look at our new home.

Considering that we had been attending a one-room country school Seneca school seemed huge by comparison. The teachers were warm and welcoming and we made new friends that very day.

The deep snow was amazing (snow was a rarity at our former home). My sister, Carolyn, and I dug a deep hole in our back yard. We placed cardboard over it and the snow soon covered all signs of our handy work. What we intended as a play fort soon became a hidden trap. A friend of our fathers came through the backfield that night and fell in. Strange, but our father and his friend did not see the humor in this and made us dismantle our wonderful fort.

Our house (the only one available) made out of two boxcars, which now made a kitchen, one bedroom and a living room. There was one faucet in the kitchen and a bucket to catch the water. There was not a bathroom, just one of those backyard igloos, better known as an outhouse. Yes, I do remember how icy that toilet seat was. Looking back it was lucky for our father that it was dark when we arrived. Our poor mother had left a home, though small, that had had all the amenities. What our parents turned into a cute little house has now fallen into disrepair and hardly resembles what we called home.

Seneca was a wonderful place in which to grow. We had a theatre, general store, restaurant, filling station, barbershop, pastime and a steam heated swimming pool. Moreover, all these amenities were within walking distance. We were never bored as there was always something interesting to do. In the winter, despite the intense cold, we had our choice of sledding or ice-skating. You could start at the cattle guard at the top of the logging road and if you were lucky and the roads icy enough you could actually coast clear past the highway at the bottom. Skating was supposed to be on the slough beside the river below town. The river was a forbidden spot but more than once, you could find a bunch of us showing off our skating skills on the Silvies. By skills, I am referring to how to fall without breaking anything. I mentioned the cold, it was more than cold, we lived there when the temperature hit minus 52 on two occasions. That is when the hair in your nose turns to twigs and harder you gasp for air the bigger the twigs become. Sort of like breathing through a logjam. However, kids do not mind.

Summers would find us at the swimming pool. There was always a lifeguard on duty and the water was clean and warm. I think most of us kids helped clean it and believe me the water was not warm right after filling. Now that was refreshing! Most of us had a bicycle and we pedaled many a mile. We hiked to porcupine rock, out past the shops to shirttail creek; in fact, we were pretty much given free rein to go anywhere. I really do not think our parents ever worried.

However, the one thing that really brought us together was the Seneca school. There we received an education, made new friends and found ourselves in a safe, nurturing place. After graduation, we went on to Grant Union High school where we held our own and often-surpassed students from other towns. Some of our friends have gone on to become quite successful, thanks

in part to our early education at Seneca. A big thank YOU goes to the teaching staff as well as the community.

(Summer 2007)