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.