Firestone Double Dominates Imperial IPA Tasting

Firestone Double Jack Double IPA walked away with the title at the LeMonds Family Imperial IPA tasting held at the Post-Ride Pub at 465 on May 14th. Hopworks Ace of Spades was second, followed Avery Maharaja. The event was part of a 50th birthday celebration for [Continue Reading]

R. A. Long Alum Inks Two-Book Contract

Long, long before I ascended to the lofty position of Board of Director, I was a high school English teacher, a frightening thought for those of you concerned about the welfare of young people. One of my students was 1998 grad Lyndsay Farber. The best thing I can [Continue Reading]

Winterfish Wins 2010 Christmas Tasting

Winterfish from Fish Brewing of Olympia was the surprise winner at the LeMonds Family Holiday Tasting on Christmas Day. A hoppy brew with an ABV of 7.5 percent, Winterfish received high marks for its citrus flavor, smooth finish, and overall drinkability. [caption [Continue Reading]

Castle Rock’s German Community

The following story by Jim LeMonds appeared in the December 2010 issue of the Cowlitz Historical Quarterly. During the first part of the 20th century, Castle Rock was home to a large contingent of German immigrants, many of whom were born and raised in Russia’s [Continue Reading]

Black Friday Beer Tour

In my eternal quest to find the spirit of Christmas, I loaded our rental van with the usual group of losers – Paul Norris, Dave LeMonds, Larry Morehead, Jeff Muldoon, Ryan McMaster, Jeff Lipton, and Lance Brigman, along with the incredible Melanie Norris [Continue Reading]

Castle Rock’s German Community

The following story by Jim LeMonds will be included in the December 2010 issue of the Cowlitz Historical Quarterly. During the first part of the 20th century, Castle Rock was home to a large contingent of German immigrants, many of whom were born and raised in [Continue Reading]

Former Monarch Sokol Taking First Steps Toward Medical Career

The following story by Jim LeMonds of WriteTek Northwest was published in the Daily News on June 30, 2010. Photo by Roger Werth. When Michele Peterson, nurse manager at Pacific Surgical Institute, hired former Mark Morris hoopster Tyler Sokol to work at PSI through [Continue Reading]

March Column – Cowlitz Historical Quarterly

The following column by Jim LeMonds will be published in the March issue of the Cowlitz Historical Quarterly. I recently finished editing a book manuscript for my friend Irene Martin. Irene is an accomplished writer whose publishing credits include Legacy and [Continue Reading]

Real Beer Arrives in River City

Tess-Parker Dahlquist, manager of the Backstage Cafe at the Kelso Theatre Pub, has announced that the KTP will begin serving beers from Hopworks Urban Brewery on Friday, January 29th. Tess decided to bring in Hopworks brews because she heard there was a demand for [Continue Reading]

Newcomer Edges Favorites to Win Holiday Beer Tasting

Old Humbug Winter Warmer from Southern Oregon Brewing edged Port Brewing’s Santa’s Little Helper and Fish Brewing’s Winterfish to claim the title at the 2009 LeMonds Family Christmas Tasting on Growlers Gulch Road in Castle Rock. The vote was the [Continue Reading]

CHQ Column – December

The following column by Jim LeMonds appeared in the December 2009 Cowlitz Historical Quarterly. This issue of the Quarterly features Steve Anderson’s story “By Any Other Name: E’La-cac-ca, Prince of the Cowlitz.” E’La-cac-ca was present in 1855 when Isaac [Continue Reading]

Town’s History Told in Pictures

Castle Rock librarian Vicki Selander shelves and checks out books every day. But until now, she’d never had one she could call her own. That changed this month when Arcadia Publishing released Castle Rock, the latest installment in the company’s “Images of [Continue Reading]

Floyd LeBaron Coached Basketball, Taught Life

This column was published in the Daily News on November 13, 2009 When I was a kid growing up in Castle Rock during the 1950s and ‘60s, I never missed a home basketball game. I dreamed of wearing the red-and-white and playing for Rocket coach Floyd LeBaron. I got [Continue Reading]

Cowlitz Historical Quarterly – March 2009 Column

The following column by Jim LeMonds was published in the March 2009 issue of the Cowlitz Historical Quarterly. I taught a Shakespeare class at R. A. Long High School for nearly 20 years. The students loved the characters, and, despite the passage of four [Continue Reading]

Beer Tasting Highlights Hoppy Holiday

Like most families, ours has a sacred holiday tradition. Ours just happens to involve beer. Christmas Day on Growlers Gulch Road, west of Castle Rock. Friends and family members had been shuttled over via four-wheel drive, the turkey was in the oven, and the [Continue Reading]

For the Love of Plants

Digger Magazine, February 2009

Roger and Arda Berryhill have been in the nursery business since 1962, and they have no immediate plans to stop working. During the past 46 years, the Berryhills have established a reputation as world-class propagators and staunch representatives of the nursery industry.

“Raising plants is a true love,” said Arda, who made her mark as one of the Pacific Northwest’s first female propagators more than four decades ago. “I can’t imagine doing anything else.” Continue reading For the Love of Plants

The Man Who Met Hemingway

Columbia River Reader, January 2009

November. The lobby of the Cannery Pier Hotel. Astoria. I was drinking coffee, watching cargo ships slide across the large windows that framed the riverscape.

A guy came in wearing a Hemingway t-shirt, the one with Ernie in his 50s, sporting a gray beard and big smile, his cap cocked jauntily to the side.

I said I liked the shirt. Continue reading The Man Who Met Hemingway

Fort George Brews Great Beer, Community Connections

Northwest Coast Magazine, Winter 2008

World-class beer is the most obvious product of the craft-brewing revolution that has swept the Pacific Northwest in recent years. But brewpubs that get it right are also great places, where a sense of comfort and community are at the top of the menu.

The Fort George Brewery & Public House in Astoria gets it right. Continue reading Fort George Brews Great Beer, Community Connections

Grace Dinsdale Generates Perennial Power

Digger Magazine, December 2008

When Grace Dinsdale says that Blooming Nursery is her dream, she’s not kidding.

On a trip to Mexico at age 24, she came down with a severe head cold that left her in what she describes as “an altered state.” That night, the nursery was the focus of her dreams. When she awoke, she immediately began putting a plan on paper.

“Things aren’t always rational,” Dinsdale said. “But it’s worked out well so far.” Continue reading Grace Dinsdale Generates Perennial Power

Setting the Pace

Digger Magazine, October 2008

Some people in the nursery business believe Gordon Gleason is a genius. But Gleason, who invented a series of machines that revolutionized the industry, says his success is simply a product of laziness.

“Even as a kid, I was lazy and looking for a quick way to do things,” said Gleason, 81, who designed, fabricated, and marketed a series of machines during the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s that reduced overhead  and streamlined production for nurserymen. Continue reading Setting the Pace

Former Logger Tries His Hand at Country Music

Northwest Coast Magazine, Fall 2008

Carl Wirkkala would love to make a splash on the country music scene. But if it happens, it will be on his terms.

The 33-year-old Castle Rock resident has written nearly 200 songs – a handful of which are currently being considered by publishers and producers – and released four albums. His sound is a combination of blues, folk, and old-school country. Something you might hear if Johnny Cash and Buzz Martin sat down to jam with Bob Dylan and Tracy Chapman. Continue reading Former Logger Tries His Hand at Country Music

A Deeply-Rooted Legacy

Digger Magazine, August 2008

As a gunnery mate aboard PT-490 during World War II, Ed Schultz survived shelling, strafing, kamikaze attacks, and a long, harrowing night in Surigao Strait. When he returned home from the service in 1946 he promised himself two things – he was through with killing, and he would do his best to make America a more beautiful place. The 87-year-old Aurora resident has fulfilled both of those vows. Continue reading A Deeply-Rooted Legacy

Born of the Mother of Invention

Oregon Nursery Association – Digger Magazine, July 2008

In the years following World War II, the U. S. economy boomed. Two factors that fueled the surge – an expanding housing market and the development of an interstate highway system – proved especially important for Oregon nurserymen. Increased demand for ornamentals and shade trees, in combination with fast, cost-effective shipping, opened the door to national markets for the first time.

But change was required for those who wished to seize this opportunity. The technology that had sufficed during the 1930s and 1940s was no longer sufficient to keep Oregon growers competitive. Continue reading Born of the Mother of Invention

Inscription on a Human Canvas

Columbia River Reader, March 2008

There are things old people are supposed to avoid – Speedos, nose piercings, saggy pants. For the most part, I play by the rules. My recent tattoo is an exception.

You might be wondering why someone would be interested in getting his first tattoo at fifty-seven. As my uncle Ed used to say when he ran across a road grader or Czechoslovakian tractor he couldn’t pass up, “I always wanted one of those.” Continue reading Inscription on a Human Canvas

Kids are a Precious Resource to Oil, Mining and Timber Industries

“Kids are a Precious Resource to Oil, Mining and Timber Industries” – Northwest Education Magazine, Winter 2003 One September day in 1969, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson announced from Seattle that the first Earth Day would be celebrated come [Continue Reading]

Eruption of Mount St. Helens a Watershed Moment for Timber Industry

“Eruption of Mount St. Helens a Watershed Moment for Timber Industry” – Columbia River Reader, November 2005 Twenty-five years ago, the timber industry in Southwest Washington was on the cusp of change. But the eruption of Mount St. Helens brought [Continue Reading]