Reuter wins first at fiddle contest

Donna Reuter heads to her hometown of Spokane for the Northwest Old Time Fiddlers Regionals April 13 after winning first place in state last weekend.

Reuter, of Hood River, won the adult division (ages 37-59) at the Oregon Old-Time Fiddlers Competition in Salem.

Reuter (pronounced “roy-ter”) also took third in duets. She was joined by Pam McNamara on bass.

The state win earns Reuter a trip to the Nationals in Weiser, Idaho, July 17-23. The state organization will pay her entry fee.

Reuter will get to play in the special “Certified” Division for the state and regional champions and compete for titles including the “fanciest fiddler,” “best-dressed,” “most entertaining.”

Reuter has placed in the top four at Weiser four times, and while this was her first win in Oregon, she was 1976 Washington State Junior Champion. Her father, Bud Johnson, and grandfather also played fiddle.

“I didn’t imagine I would win when I’m at this age,” joked Reuter. “I thought I was over-the-hill.” Reuter works as bookkeeper for her husband’s company, Fritz Reuter Construction, but she’ll be playing a lot more fiddle in the coming weeks.

“I make an effort before competition to practice every day. I normally practice only once a week,” she said Thursday at Hood River Valley Adult Center, where she and pianist Diane Allen played a mix of folk and classical tunes during lunch.

Asked what making music means to her, Reuter said, “It’s like a different language that I use to communicate with people.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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