Page 3 - February 2009
P. 3
3 Honoring our Elders: Marie Griswold “...loves to spend time with other Elders as they basket weave” Marie Griswold was born in 1930 to Gertrude Parsons-Connors and Edward Conners. Her grandparents were Elsie Benn and Charlie Parsons and her great-grandparents were Melinda (Davis) Benn and Jake Benn. Marie has three older sisters: Mae Palmer, Geraldine, and Barbara, and two younger sisters: Alberta and Delores. Her frst marriage to Allen Fricke, Sr. lasted 10 years and they had three children: Linda, Allen Jr., and Laura. She’s been married to Ray Griswold for 36 years. He had two girls, Cindy and Kim, from a Marie is a well known Master Basket previous marriage. They have 11 grandchildren. weaver. Her husband, Ray, helps her gather basket-making materials and likes to work with wood. By Marie Griswold and swimming with her friends at the river, the Tribal Days Tournaments, and all the Fred Shortman, Editor behind their house, under the Sickman Ford games for kids. My biggest competitor was After graduating high school Marie Bridge or the Balch River Bridge (which no Irene Youckton. She was fast! There were married Allen Fricke, Sr. The couple raised When Marie’s father and mother, Edward longer exists), “Anna and Louis would lead potlatch lunches where everyone brought three children, Linda, Allen, Jr., and Laura, and Gertrude Parsons, were married, Marie’s us on a picture-like trail. The trees and brush food to share.” Marie was a stay-at-home mom until Grandfather, Charlie Parsons, gifted them an made umbrella covers which left the trail Marie says she always thought Maggie her children graduated. She was a 4-H 80-acre farm. Everyone had chores: feeding muddy. I remember the cool mud oozing and Johnny led an exciting life, because they volunteer, and active in her church. Allen the cows, pigs, chickens, and tending a large though my toes,” says Marie. trained and raced horses. They travelled to and Marie divorced, and Marie moved to vegetable garden. Marie’s dad fshed with nets, using fairs and race tracks to enter their horses. Olympia. Marie remembers her father plowing a rough hand-carved dugout canoe that “We loved watching them train their horses Marie went on to attend school, held the felds with two horses. Marie and her he kept under the Balch River Bridge. for the races,” says Marie. managerial jobs and was a decorator. She siblings rode the horses for fun, often three Because he wasn’t a tribal member, one Marie’s great-grandmother, Melinda married Ray Griswold in 1973, and the kids at a time. When one horse got tired of the girls would have to get up a 5 AM Benn, lived a little farther down the road. couple raised Ray’s two daughters, Cindy of carrying the kids around, he refused to and accompany him in the canoe. All the “She enjoyed basket weaving, and she and Kim Griswold. move, letting everyone know their time was children learned to paddle a canoe at a very was a master weaver. We would watch Marie and Ray live in Olympia. Ray up. early age. “Fish used to be more plentiful her great skill and she promised that she enjoys woodworking and helping Marie Marie says her parents taught them many back in the 30s,” recalls Marie. After the would teach us to become master weavers. gather materials for making baskets. Marie life lessons. “If something needs to be done, fsh were caught, everyone helped to salt and Unfortunately, she passed away before this is a well known master basket weaver and do it. If anyone needs help, help them. If can. could happen.” is a NNABA Board Member. Marie says, you have more than you need, share it with To help out community members in the Grandmother Melinda Benn gave each “After I retired, the urge to return to my others. It was a good time, because everyone late 30s, Marie’s parents donated part of girl a basket. “We had many of her baskets roots began. I began participating in tribal in our community helped out.” their land to the school system for a garden. in our home. They were used for storing, affair. Ray I both enjoy attending lunches She has fond memories of how hard CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) and beadwork, blankets and other items. When and breakfasts at the Elders Center. It’s her mother worked raising fve girls. Her WPA workers raised produce that was our farm house burnt down, all of our been fun getting to know the children of the mother loved quilting: Every bed had a canned and given to the grade school for belongings were destroyed, including the people I grew up with.” hand-sewn quilt on it. There was a large school lunches. baskets. Uncle Johnnie opened his home for Looking back on her life, Marie says, quilting frame set up in the living room. Marie remembers the army using the us to live.” “All these experiences, like our farm house It rolled all the way up to the ceiling, and upper wooded part of the family’s property In middle and high schools, Marie was burning down and our mother’s long illness when unrolled, it showed quilts that were for maneuvers. “There were some draw a cheerleader. Her closest friends were and her leaving us too soon, prepared us to being worked on. Friends and family came backs to having them there,” says Marie. Bernice Secena, Roberta Wolff and Bernice accept every day as it comes.” over, working together sewing each quilt “When they were there, planes would fy Beckwith. Marie excelled in school, taking by hand. Marie says, “I remember the smile right over their heads, forcing them to dive extra classes and graduating a year early. that my mother had on sewing day, She for cover.” (It was practice to see looked forward to working on the quilts with how they would handle actual plane other ladies.” attacks.) During the fruit season Marie’s mother Marie has good memories of the would take the girls blackberry picking. soldiers. “They liked showing us their Once while picking, her mom quietly waved wooden guns. When they left, life her hand for everyone to follow her to the returned to normal.” car. Marie remembers the incident saying, Marie’s Aunt Maggie and Uncle “On our way home, our mom told us that Johnny Benn lived nearby. “We loved there had been a black bear eating berries them dearly, and visited them as much on the other side of the bushes!” Marie still as we could. Johnnie would show us loves to go out and pick wild blackberries. his wooden leg and tell us his stories Marie has fond memories of her when he was in World War I. Aunt Granddad, Charlie Parsons, who visited Maggie loved basket weaving, but them every Sunday evening for dinner. He focused on knitting sweaters and socks. always brought gifts for the girls. He gave She had a spinning wheel to make her Marie her frst doll. own wool.” Marie remembers looking forward to the “We would go with Aunt Maggie Marie (left) was a cheerleader for Oakville High School. This photo was end of school in early summer. The sisters and Uncle Johnny to the Christmas taken in 1946 when she was a sophomore. would shed their shoes and wouldn’t put Eve celebration and other events that them back on until September. Marie liked were held at the old tribal hall. I loved Tribal Staff Profles: IT Administrative Assistant and Head Start Director Hello, my name is Theresa Science in December 2007. I Hello, my name is Lloyd When I was Director of “Terry” Youckton. I am currently have worked for the Chehalis Commander, and I am the Education for my tribe in the IT (Information Technology) Tribe for many years, starting Chehalis Tribal Head Start Pendleton, Oregon, I got to know Administrative Assistant. I was out as a youth worker and was Director. My birth parents are many of my family members hired in August 2008 and my assistant cook for both Rosetta Lita Wannassay, (Umatilla), on my mom’s side. I discovered offce is located next to the Klatush and Gladys Brown, and and Leo Hoptowit, (Yakima). I that I was named after my tribe’s Resource Offce. was a cook for the Summer am an enrolled member/citizen grandfather, Lloyd Wannassay I like my job here with Theresa Youckton Youth Program. Recently I of the Confederated Tribes Lloyd Commander and that matches the name the IT Department. Everyone IT Administrative worked at the Chehalis Head of the Umatilla Indian Head Start Director on my birth certifcate. keeps me busy handling Assistant Start Program for fve years. Reservation in Pendleton, I’ve been married to my work orders, purchases, I was a cook for the Chehalis Oregon. wife, Paula, for 16 years. We live with our scheduling technicians, and billing for the Tribe Elders Program for a little less than I was born and raised in The Dalles, dog Moxie, two cats, one corn snake, and different departments of the tribe. I handle a year. I worked at the front desk reception Oregon. From birth to age two, I lived with three lizards. Together we had owned, and customer service coordinating outside for a short time before I received my job as my dad and his wife Isabelle. My dad, Leo operated a pet shop in Pendleton for three companies for services to repair systems. I Administrative Assistant. Hoptowit, married Isabelle Lewis (maiden years. Paula has a great way with all animals also take care of paying bills, mail, purchase My interests are attending the Oakville name). She was Chehalis and grew up and they sense it when she is near them. orders, copying, fling, phone calls, e-mail’s Indian Shaker Church where I am currently in Oakville. My dad was a commercial Paula and I love to go to the movies and requisitions within the IT Department. the third elder on our church board. When fsherman on the Columbia River and out on every week and we love to eat salmon and The IT Department’s workload has grown I have time outside of work and church, I the ocean near Ilwaco. elk chili. Also, I am a professional musician with the addition of our new enterprises. enjoy doing basket weaving, crocheting, At age two and a half, I was adopted (sax, clarinet, and Indian fute) and have On a personal note, I have six children: and beadwork. by a non-Indian family, Walter and Grace performed with several jazz bands, and Derek, Giles, Brenna, Owen, Jacinda, I have survived cancer two times. I Commander. This was before the Indian blues bands. Currently I perform solo gospel and Kendall. I have four grandchildren: encourage my children and everyone else to Child Welfare Act became law. concerts at churches in Washington and Malia, Wyatt, Annabelle, and Tyler. My get an education by telling them it’s never I like to joke when I tell people that I Oregon. parents are Melvin L. Youckton and the too late to go back to school. Set a goal for have 17 brothers and sisters. They are from One of my sisters, Sophie Hoptowit, is late Leona Stevie (Capoeman) Youckton. yourself and accomplish it. The one thing I three different families and I am still trying a medical doctor for the Cowlitz Tribe in My grandparents are Clarence and Jessie wanted to do after surviving cancer was to to get to know them all and our extended Longview. We love visiting their family on a (Hayden) Youckton, and Joseph and Theresa go back to school and get my degree and families, too. regular basis. (Underwood) Capoeman. I did. I hope more of our tribal members I graduated high school in The Dalles, Lastly, I have a passion for working with I grew up and lived here all my life, further their education so they can work here attended the University of Oregon, and young children and their families. I enjoy and graduated from Oakville High School. to help our tribe. received a Bachelor Degree, in Music very much working for the Chehalis people I attended Centralia Community College Education in 1986. In 1990, I earned a here in Oakville. Thanks for allowing me where I received my AA degree in Social Masters Degree while attending Nazarene to serve you and your children. It is a great Theological Seminary. experience!
   1   2   3   4