Humboldt County Historical Society

HH - Summer 2009

Summer 2009: Volume 57, No. 2

Radio Days
Suzanne Forsyth
When moving to a new town, a sheriff's escort is not exactly the welcome one hopes for.

Growing Up Crannell
Weston Donald Walch
What made this little company logging town so unforgettable? Wes Walch shares the magic of a life poor in things, rich in experiences.

Ammer Gets the Hammer - Presence of the Past
Jerry Rohde
The dangers of singing patriotic songs-about a foreign country-in 1917.

Cow Dogs
Gerald Beck
Mountain ranching on Elk Ridge was possible only with the help of dedicated stock dogs.

William Daly - Speaking of Collections
Charlie Blake
A recent donation to the Historical Society reveals the career of this two-star general. Eureka streetcars were a cheerful and comforting presence, whether you were riding.

Songs of the Streetcars
Naida Olson Gipson
Eureka streetcars were a cheerful and comforting presence, whether you were riding on them, or wistfully watching them pass by.

A Country Courtship - Christmas Prairie Companion
Jerry Rohde
Romance blooms on Christmas Prairie, helped along by a wayward croquet ball.

Pictured is an original watercolor painting of Elk Ridge by Gerald Beck, circa 1965. In this self-portrait with his horse Goldie and his dogs Zip and Hank, Jerry Beck captures his days as a mountain rancher on Elk Ridge in the 1950s. See his article, “Cow Dogs;’ on page 22 in this issue. A fourth-generation Humboldter, Jerry Beck always knew it was his destiny to one day take over the family ranch, Graybrook Farm, and he always wanted to be a cowboy, which he viewed as a romantic calling. But when his mother dragged him “ by the ear” to Humboldt State and said, “You’re getting a college degree;’ he tossed his lariat around another passion-the performing arts-and earned his bachelor’s degree in speech and drama. This was, he says, “a very happy and exciting time;’ and he recalls that faculty members Don and Gayle Karshner were like parents to him. As it turned out, Jerry’s destiny encompassed two professions: he did take over the family ranch, where he lives today; he also enjoyed a twenty-five year career as a professor of theater arts at HSU. Jerry’s interest in watercolor painting derives from his early years as a stage designer, when he would use watercolor as a means of rendering scene designs.
— On The Cover