Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Every Saturday morning without fail, Douglas Fry would come to The History Museum of Hood River County, put on a pot of coffee, sit at the front desk, and wait to greet museum guests with a smile.
Sadly, the next time the museum is open during weekend hours, Doug won’t be there.
Doug, a Hood River resident who had been an avid volunteer at the museum for the past five years, passed away on Aug. 23 while hiking near Ecola Falls in the Columbia Gorge (see his obituary on page A6). He was 63 years old.
Museum Director Connie Nice said museum volunteers and board members are still reeling from the loss and Doug’s presence at the museum will be greatly missed.
“Every Saturday morning Doug Fry worked at the museum,” she said. “It’s left a huge hole in our hearts. Doug loved this museum and was so dedicated to volunteer efforts.”
Before he served at the museum, Doug served his country as a medic in the U.S. Army. He first began serving in 1969 in Vietnam when he was in his late teens. Doug also served in the Persian Gulf War and in Bosnia before retiring from the Army Reserve with the rank of Master Sergeant in 2010. He kept busy after retiring from the service and made himself available for volunteering at a number of museum events, including Cemetery Tales, where he was in charge of lighting the luminaries along the pathways of Idlewilde Cemetery.
Museum board member Dottie Gilbertson remembered Doug as a man of many talents who “could tell you exactly how much time he had to do something,” and then do it.
“He was very reliable, very willing to please, very pleasant to everyone,” she said. “He was just a good person.”
Museum Education and Volunteer Coordinator Carly Squyres said Doug was always willing to go the extra mile at the museum.
“He had a really positive, devoted energy that he would instill in everything,” she recalled. “He would always go above and beyond.”
In addition to volunteering at the museum, Squyres said Doug was editing his late father Alvin’s memoirs of wartime service. According to his obituary, Alvin, who passed away in 2005, served in the Army Medical Corps during World War II where he was captured by the Japanese and kept in a prisoner-of-war camp in the Philippines for three years before he was rescued by American forces on Feb. 5, 1945.
Squyres said Doug had recently finished editing his father’s memoirs into a book, which he was planning on publishing. She also noted Doug was training to hike Mt. Kilimanjaro in Kenya next month and was running, hiking, or walking upwards of 20 miles per day to prepare for the adventure.
“It feels like an unfair loss,” Squyres said. “He had so many plans.”
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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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge