Meeting Minutes from the 5-4-2016 Meeting

EAA Chapter 31 Meeting, May 4th, 2016
The dinner portion of the meeting started at 6:00 PM hosted by Virgil and Bridget Pratt. There were Costco Hot Dogs, great hamburgers, wonderful “Bridget brownies”, chips and a drink for only $5. Don’t miss her next great meal!!

The meeting started with the pledge of allegiance at 6:55 PM (John was ahead again!) President John Kuehl and Secretary/ Treasurer Randy Stout were present. VP Bill Johnson was in Virginia on business. The business and entertainment portion of the meeting was called then to order. There were 38 members and guests in attendance.

Next Chapter breakfast is Saturday, May 21st. Come out to the clubhouse in the AM and pay $5 for an “all you can eat” breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, OJ, coffee and camaraderie!! Starts at 9:00 and runs to about 10:30 or so. Our volunteers for this breakfast are (hopefully) the same group as last time Tom, Bill, Rod and John, who will coordinate getting the breakfast ready to serve. Thanks in advance guys!

There being no urgent business, the meeting was turned over to Yvonne Fasold (my son and daughters teacher while attending Sheldon High!) and Alice Riddle, who are now working with the National Rosie the Riveter group as coordinators with the few remaining gals who were such a big part of the war effort.

She began by outlining the goal of the group, which is to locate and identify as many of the 600,000 women who worked in WWII for the war effort, and to honor their service. The local group meets on the 2nd Friday of the month at Willamalane center. She also had few books for sale (R is for Rosie, Free Falling for Freedom) and noted that their web site is and also noted that the book “Americas Rosie the Riveters” from the McKenzie Chapter is in both libraries in town.

She then began the program by introducing the first of 4 “Rosies” who would in turn tell their story of service during the War:

Lorette Wedlake: She was at home weeding carrots, spinach and beets for 5 cents/Hr with hopes of earning 10 cents/Hr after 2 years, and 20 cents/Hr after 3 when she was offered a job at the hospital dressing wounds from incoming service men. These were mostly burns and required her to administer Tannic Acid Jelly. She worked in the surgery department for 3 weeks at the age of 16 after she got out of school at noon. When she was out of school, she began work at the BAR factory.

Ann Olsen: She began working in Vancouver BC at the Boeing factory producing PBY’s under contract. In 1942 she met her husband Ralph, but 3 days later he was shipped out for a year. She finally was able to see him again in Portsmouth VA. She had gotten a 30 day Visa to go to the States, but by the time she saw Ralph, she only had 3 days left on it. After much struggle, she found a sympathetic Chaplin who got her another 30 day Visa so she could finally spend time with her husband on a honeymoon. She is still working with the USS Block Island Association and will go to their reunion in St. Louis this year. Her job with Boeing was to file a part on the wings until she was later promoted to the office. She noted that the first airplane off the line would not fly, and had to be reworked for a week until it was ready to go.

Dorris Grantham: She lived in Virginia after High School graduation when a man from the U.S. Treasury came to town looking for typists. She went to work for them typing up War Bonds all during the War for $90/ month in Washington D.C. near the White House. She began dating a guy from the Weather Bureau after 1-1/2 years with Treasury, and moved to the Weather Bureau to be closer to him. That must not have worked out because she met and married her husband in 1945 in San Diego when he was transferred to the Navy.  Her husband had over 70 patents for things like Bow Doors for the LST, a Bathyscaphe Lift, Garage Door openers etc. She met Elinor Roosevelt at a Birthday Ball in the White House when she was 18 in 1943. She ending up having 5 daughters and brought in a War Ration Book for everyone to see. She noted that there is now a National Park in the Bay Area that is a Rosie the Riveter Park.

Opel Nelson:    She was on the front page of the Register Guard 2 weeks ago talking about Rosies. She left town at age 18 to get away from $1/Week babysitting, going to Southern California where they paid $5/ Week! (and she had a boyfriend there!) She got $20 saved and decided with a friend to go as far as that would take them (to Denver). Got jobs there, saved enough for the rest of the trip to Santa Monica and went to work for Douglas Aircraft, working on the A-20 on the graveyard shift for 2-1/2 years. Her job was to drive the rivets that the bigger men in the jig couldn’t get. She told how the outside person holding the bucking bar would bang on the fuselage; once meant “hit it again”, twice meant “OK”, 3 times meant “hit it again just once”. She married her boss, who promptly got a draft notice and they didn’t see each other for 2-1/2 years. During this time, when no longer working for Douglas, she applied to be a Porter on the Erie Pacific Rail Road where she worked for several years and remembers people standing in the isles, it was so busy. She said that she will be turning 49 this year and has got only one medical problem- dyslexia!

The ladies were all thanked for their presentation and service.

There being no other business, the meeting was then adjourned at 8:15 PM
Respectfully submitted,

Randall Stout, Secretary/ Treasurer

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