Friends from Maine Visiting!

New Friends, Peter and Karen from Maine.

New Friends, Peter and Karen from Maine.


The best part of the evening was the opportunity to meet new friends from Maine, Peter and Karen Benson. They brought a very special gift, a first edition of “Dear Mad’m” from 1956 that had belonged to Alice Buck from New Hampshire. Alice Buck had read “Dear Mad’m” and written a fan letter to Mrs. Patterson. Unfortunately, Stella Patterson had passed and Fred (Dear Sir) answered the letter. In fact, he said that he had hundreds to answer and was behind!

Alice Buck kept his letter and it has been passed on to us along with her scrapbook with photos of Stella, Fred Crooks (Dear Sir) and Cy Jenson (Up ‘nup.) There are photos of mining activity, the sawmill, building the road to the mine, cabins and gardens, especially flowers which were a passion of Mrs. Patterson! Alice’s cousin living at Seattle Creek, Capt. Ben Joyce, is shown in a photo from 1943 with Fred, and also one of Dora and baby Tina. The three ladies, Joan Richardson, Vivian Witt and Marie Miller who came to live on Dear Mad’m’s claim and the house built there for them, were also pictured, as well as cats. Cats weren’t mentioned in the book, other than the cougar, to my recollection. Since paper-mache didn’t keep the rodents out, perhaps they decided cats were needed. Roberta Everett brought a rocking chair that had belonged to Stella and a display of Christmas greetings Vivian Witt had painted.

May Showers and Sunshine for Dear Mad’m!

Friends of Dear Mad’m had a very busy weekend! A favorite Happy Camp author, Stella Walthall Patterson (who was called Dear Mad’m) wrote the book by the same name. Four years ago, Linda Martin thought we should have a day to commemorate her and life along the Klamath.

Karen Tulledo planned the Friday reception and made a very special chocolate cake. Abigail Eadie made strawberry cupcakes decorated with delicate icing butterflies and pastel flowers. There was also liver pate, served in an antique coffee can, in honor of another character in the book, Frenchy although it wasn’t made of horse liver as his was!!

Saturday was the Dear Mad’m Symposium Luncheon. Jess Haun, who teaches at Happy Camp High School, was the Master (or mistress?) of Ceremonies again and added her cheerful good humor to the program. Christian Robinson was honored for a literary story he wrote about the author, Edgar Allen Poe which won the Dear Mad’m Writing Contest and was presented with his $200 prize. Dennis Day helped at the book table and mentioned how Robert Service had written a poem, The Cremation of Sam McGee, and that launched him to fame and fortune. Perhaps some of our talented students will have the same experience as they continue their writing. The Happy Camp Chamber and Klamath Writer’s Club were happy that students entered the writing contest and look forward to seeing more of their work in future contest. Thank you to all who contributed to the prize for the Writing Contest as well. Bob Seaman sang the song that went along with the privy or outhouse building project in Chapter four of Dear Mad’m and also read another student’s story, about climbing town trail.

Everyone had been looking forward to the continuation of a poem that Judy Hahn had begun about the Dear Mad’m story and that was such fun to hear. Judy has a real talent for writing poetry and her daughter Christine Robinson joined her as well. Megan Hogue was the winner of the basket of homemade crocheted items and jams made by Norma Seaman. She already mentioned the plum jam was delicious!!

Sheri Boren Kennedy and her helpers made the BBQ chicken dinner with chocolate cakes, as “Nora” brought for dessert. By evening time, the wind had picked up, spring weather being rather unpredictable, but a small group still gathered about the fire at the Klamath River Resort Inn at twilight before the clouds increased.

By morning the rain stopped and more came to the Grange for the Pancake Breakfast which was delicious, thanks to Norma Seaman in the kitchen. Don Clark and his son, Matthew, came as they were visiting Jay and Stella in Happy Camp. Before the fieldtrip to the scene of the story, it began to rain again, and so the field trip was postponed to another time. Bob Seaman received a first edition “Dear Mad’m” donated by Klamath River Resort Inn.

The Committee is looking forward to next Dear Mad’m Symposium April `10-12th, 2015 and looking forward to learning more about life on the Klamath River especially from around 1946 to the serialization in McCall’s Magazine and book publication in 1956.