Thanks to all who made Dear Mad’m such fun!

12DMSCelebrating the NEW book, Dear Mad’m who was she? at the Reception at Naturegraph October 12, 2012.

:                                                                                                               Saturday Luncheon at Karuk Building


Rod put more wood on the fire for the marshmallow roast to make Sm’ores!


Thank you to all who worked together to make Dear Mad’m Symposium such a fun event for all last weekend! First of all we thank Geneva Johnson who received our Dear Mad’m Award for her wonderful pioneering spirit. Thanks also to Casey Chambers who shared what Geneva “Dear Grandma” has meant to her through the years since she was a newlywed neighbor.

We Thank Barbara Brown, who was our Dear Mad’m last year at the first annual Dear Mad’m Day. She has been the publisher through Naturegraph publishers, both of  “Dear Mad’m” by Stella W. Patterson and the newly published “Dear Mad’m Who Was she?” More recently, we thank her for having the Friday reception at Naturegraph, and the great sweet grapes and homemade apple juice that she made. Besides welcoming so many to her place, she also provided printing tours thanks to Sonny.

Thanks to Abigail Eadie for the beautiful sunflower cupcakes she made for the occasion and Melissa Colbert who helped her decorate ALL those cupcakes.

Bonnie Alvarez was most responsible for the delicious luncheon on Saturday as she shopped and cooked and served the old fashioned meal with fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy and all the other delicious food.  Bonnie always serves food with love. I cannot believe the effort and wonderful skill she puts into such a meal, all the while being a volunteer. Thanks to Joe for the help that he gave as they work as a good team.  Audrey Henke, Cheyenne Moore, and Nikki were great working in the kitchen and serving the pies. Thanks to the Happy Seniors for providing wonderful coconut cream, banana cream, pumpkin and apple pies that were so delicious–Especially Pauline “Sis” Attebery, Jeanne Burrer and Anita Wolf!

Thanks to Marilyn Townsend for making the colorful cloth napkins in fall florals and leaves  and the idea of canning jars centerpieces to decorate a dozen tables.

Thank you to Judy Hahn who wrote a great poem about Dear Mad’ m! It was such fun to hear the story put to rhyme!!We can’t wait for the second installment which will tell more about her story.

Karen Tulledo was not only a great help on the committee the last month, but also wrote a story based on the historical about John Jeardeau. the Clear Creek postmaster for many years, and his special sourdough. Next year we hope to have sourdough pancakes with blackberry syrup! Her story really made the life on the Klamath River in Dear Mad’m’s day come alive.

Of course, the main speakers were Peter Lismer who is a great nephew of Stella Walthall Patterson and his wife, Elizabeth! Thank you Pete for sharing your family story! Elizabeth Lismer, was also author of the book and shared how they went about research and tracking down the tale of Stella’s life. Their presence ,having flown from a summer place in France, was just in time for this event. We are very grateful.  Thank you Lismers for having the book there for people to obtain autographed copies too.

Thank you Cindy Trobitz-Thomas for your additional comment about the love that James Patterson showed when hearing that Stella was dying and walking all the way from his ranch in Willow Creek, since the flooding had washed the road out in places in December of 1955.

In addition we are grateful to the Karuk Housing for sharing their wonderful building with us for this event. The beautiful kitchen and dishwasher made serving the meal a joy. Thank you Dorcus, Sara Spence, and Babbie Peterson especially.

Thank you Roberta Everett for bringing Stella’s  rocking chair and Claudia who enjoyed seeing it again after all these years. Thank you to Liz Lismer, Cindy Trobitz-Thomas, Karen Tulledo, Claudia Diridon Wagner and her husband Dick, who brought old photos and mementos to share with all of us.

Thank you to James Buchner, Robert & Sherry of Klamath River Resort Inn for setting up a beautiful camp fire right down on the river where we could enjoy a beautiful fireside evening Saturday evening. The stars were beautiful and hearing fish leap in the water was neat!

A very special “Thank you” to Rod Diridon, Sr. both for your comments and help at the Luncheon and for making a map and providing a guided tour of your memories visiting grandparents John and Alice Covert at their place along the Klamath in your childhood. I especially enjoyed your inspiration of how we are all like the storytellers sitting around the fire sharing the stories. The others around about hear those stories and pass them on and some day they will go to another generation.

Yootva and Thank you to the Happy Camp High School Seniors who served a pancake breakfast Sunday morning. Thanks to Cassidy Little the class president, Brandon Tripp who stirred up pancakes, Shelly Hokinson, and Ray Griffin especially! Also thanks to their Class Advisor Alyssa Garcia and her daughter Emma who colored pictures for us.

Thank you to the Klamath River Writer’s Group and especially Linda Martin who originally had the idea for our first Dear Mad’m Day last year.

Thank you to the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce: Board President Robert “Javabob” Schmalzbach, Vice President Dolly Elston, Ray and Bobi Arneson, Rosemary Boren, James Buchner, and Judy Bushy. Special Thanks to James Buchner for helping get the basic plans off to a good start and Karen Tulledo who joined the Committee the last month and was such an encouragement. They were enormously helpful in making the event possible! Thank you to all who have offered help next year also.

Thank you to all who came and what a joy it was to visit with all those who came, relatives or not. We have enjoyed getting to know Stella through her writings, and now through Pete and Liz’s biography!

The Klamath Writer’s Group has been working on an Anthology of writings about Happy Camp and one comment mentioned that it would be nice to have a book of the Dear Mad’m and Dear Sir awardees over the years so perhaps that could be added to their project for the future!

Can’t wait until next year, OCTOBER 11-13, 2013 to see you all again!


Dear Mad’m Committee,

Happy Camp, CA 96039-1675



Hazel shares about Dear Mad’m at Picnic Luncheon


Hazel Davis Gendron shares a portrait she made of Stella W. Patterson. Hazel is probably the most noted historical authority of Happy Camp and spent many years writing about the little town on the Klamath River. She also has contributed to four issues of the Siskiyou Pioneer put out by the Siskiyou County Historical Society each year for their members. The last issue for which she wrote was Gold Rush and the Mixing of Cultures in Western Siskiyou County (The Siskiyou Pioneer, Vol. 9, No. 8) by Various, Hazel Davis Gendron and Cheryl M. Beck (2009).


Hazel also wrote about Stella W. Patterson at the following site:




Rod Diradon, Sr. to speak at Dear Mad’m Picnic


The Committee to Celebrate Dear Mad’m Day is honored and delighted to have Rod Diridon, Sr. come and speak to us for this occassion.

Rod said in his reply, “I’d be glad to share thoughts about Stella, the Clear Creek Claim and our even earlier times at the Classic Hill placer mine about 12 miles up Indian Creek near the state line.

“Grandfather John Covert filed three mining claims at Clear Creek with Fred Crook around 1910 and Fred, an authentic mountain man, stayed there to do the annual “claim improvements” to hold title. Grandpa wandered off to earn and lose a couple of fortunes. Seems he was a brilliant builder, but imbibed a bit too much.

“After quite a time in set design and construction in Hollywood, Grandpa helped to build the Hurst’s Wintoon “Castle” from the mid 1930s to the late 1940s.

“After an altercation with a couple of loggers in a Dunsmuir bar, Grandpa resettled (was resettled) on the Classic Hill Mine that was purchased by Grandma Allie’s Redding-based logging family (Middleton, Cocherine, and Notley) for timber rights. In the late 1940s and early 1950s Grandpa worked the claim illegally in the winter when the streams were muddy so his tailings weren’t discernible. It was a massive old systems with miles of ditches and high flums, hydroulic “giants” and piping, a small town (blacksmith shop, stables, hay shed, machine repair shop, large orchard, etc.) at the main HQ bunk house and superintendents home dating to the late 1800s….

( After )”Grandma Allie moved to the Classic Hill and they then moved to the Clear Creek claims with Fred. Grandpa built a very nice home, later cut in two and moved to Happy Camp after Caltrans condemned and bought the the claim in the early 1960s to straighten and widen the road…..”

Rod Diridon, Sr. the son of an immigrant Italian railroad brakeman, is called the “father” of modern transit service in California’s Silicon Valley. Raised in Dunsmuir, California, he worked his way through college as a railroad brakeman and fireman receiving a BS in accounting in 1961 and MSBA in statistics in 1963 from San Jose State University. Rod served four years as a naval officer with two Vietnam combat tours.

He is especially proud of son Rod, Jr. (a two-term Santa Clara City Council member and vice mayor recently reelected city clerk/auditor) and daughter Mary Margaret (director of counseling for the Silicon Valley YWCAs). His wife, Dr. Gloria Duffy, former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense directing nuclear disarmament negotiations, is now the president/CEO of the Commonwealth Club of California,

Dr. Gloria Duffys article on the first annual Dear Mad’m Day may be seen at


First Time Plans to Celebrate “Dear Mad’m”

Dear Mad’m Day August 13th, 2011

11View from former Cabin Site

View from the former Dear Mad’m Cabin site of the Klamath River’s new placement from 2011,

Happy Camp is celebrating a literary celebrity of our community. The book Dear Mad’m by Stella W. Patterson has brought many visitors to our community and encouraged many “senior citizens” to lead an adventurous life despite advancing years.

The Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce is planning the luncheon picnic to honor Stella Patterson and those who still maintain the spirit she exemplifies today! The Luncheon will be held in the shade of the trees on the lawn of the Klamath River Resort Inn and Rafting Lodge on the Klamath River east of Happy Camp.

Dear Mad’m Day will be Saturday, August 13th and the picnic luncheon for $5 donation will be at 11:00 o”clock. Sandwiches, ribs, jewel and fruit salads and specialty breads are planned, as well as Dolly’s Strawberry Lemonade and dessert.

We are so pleased that guests who have known Dear Mad’m from their time on the River, will be with us. Peter and Liz Lismer who are related to Stella Patterson and who are writing a book to be published by Naturegraph on her life plan to come, Hazel Davis Gendron, our local historian,  who used her artistic talents for a drawing of Dear Mad’m will bring the portrait with her and numerous other “Friends of “Stella” from near and far will be coming to the picnic luncheon.

Plan to come to this first celebration of a literary treasure of the Klamath, Dear Mad’m!