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Welcome to the Custer High School Message Forum.

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This message forum is an ongoing discussion about anything and just about everything ... within reason.  One thing our class was good at was having opinions.  Almost 70 years of life experience certainly qualifies us as experts on most everything!   Ask a question ... give an opinion ... share some insights ... it's our web site, it's our forum.  That said, it's probably not a good idea to get into arguments about politics, religion, and the like.  While we're experts on everything, we also have a wide range of values and beliefs. This site belongs to all of us ... the whole range ... and we are not here to isolate, alienate, or subjugate anybody.  Of course insults, humiliation, sophomoric barraggadocio, and demented humor is expected behavior among some of us less mature people.

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08/23/20 09:22 AM #2908    


Garry Sellers

Big Basin redwood park is gone.  Museum, country store, historic buildings ... trees ... gone. It was  first on our tourist visitors stops before the Golden Gate Bridge. Roaring Camp Railroad next door ... gone.  So far 1500 square MILES gone and that's with 15% containment.  In comparison Milwaukee is less than 100 sq miles. The Custer contingency is mostly in large municipal areas and pretty safe although Bonnie is at the top of a hill and Roy Franks lives down south where there are lots of fires. It'd be nice to see .... cough, cough ... the sun!!! Hope Roy is safe. 

08/23/20 10:40 AM #2909    


Nancy Davison (Boerger)

We're sad for you. 😢

08/23/20 06:04 PM #2910    


Terri Levenhagen (Hoornstra)

I'm so, so sad about Big Basin. We too took all our visitors there, and I camped there many times, first as a junior Girl Scout camp counselor, right after moving from Wis. at age 18 and many times thereafter with family growing up and later with church. The hike to the waterfalls deep in the park's canyons is amazing - my go-to place to imagine when getting my blood pressure taken! The buildings may be gone, but hoping the resiliant redwoods, which were here for thousands of years, can survive. Several Bay Area friends and family are evacuated, praying for the fire to turn another way or be put out. There is supposed to be more lightning tonight, which has everyone terrified. 

08/23/20 07:07 PM #2911    


Jim Cejka

Big Basin Park headquarters - before and after:

08/23/20 09:47 PM #2912    


William Nelson

I guess wherever you go, something will threaten or hurt you. As Paul Harvey used to say, "You can run, but you can't hide." We're going to find out later this week what it's like to have two hurricanes in the Gulf at the same time. Our governor is warning that there will probably be a lot of folks without power for an extended period. With one leading the other, if you lose power in the first one, the crews won't be able to go out until after the second one clears the area. We live in the northern part of the state, so the winds should be diminished by the time they arrive, but we can look forward to some heavy rain. Two of our kids live in Katy, TX, about 30-miles west of Houston. That area floods quickly, even in small storms. There's always a chance they'll spawn tornados, too! Wish we could send some rain without lightning your way, Gary. 

08/25/20 03:04 AM #2913    


William Nelson

At present, it looks like Marcos will fade away while dumping some rain, but Laura appears to be strengthening. Trying to pay attention, but it'll be a couple more days before we know for sure where and how bad it'll be.

08/25/20 11:15 PM #2914    


Garry Sellers

Looks like the Gulf coast will have to hunker down.  If you could send a couple of glasses of water our way we'd appreciate it!  Good luck Bill and others.

But Jim and Terri, I have to apologize.  I was thinking of Henry Cowell Redwood State Park, just down the road from Big Basin, near Felton.  They've saved Felton so far although the fire got a number of subdivisions in the area.  And there was just a story on the redwoods at Big Basin.  Most of the centuries old, 300 feet tall redwoods are still standing, smoldering but standing tall and proud in all their ageless majesty.  As you know, they actually use fire to germinate their seeds!  It won't be pretty for a while, but our kids and grandkids will be around to build memories again amongst these beautiful giants ... and tell tall tales about the blazes of 2020.

08/26/20 06:27 AM #2915    


Jim Cejka

Bill - Looks like you're in for a bit of a storm. Do what they tell you to do and STAY SAFE. Hope for the best for you. 

Garry/Terri - The mature trees with intact trunks will probably survive, at least if they get near normal moisture in the future. They get most of their moisture from the morning/evening marine layer (fog), and that's iffy with the  changing weather trends. The big trees that had hollowed out bases, the ones our guests stood in for their pictures, may not make it through this intense of a fire. If they burned inside, the fire up into the core, they may still stand for a while, but in effect, be choked off eventually. Those are the ones that come down.

The trees may still stand for our grandkids, but the site as a park - ? Regardless (or irregardless, in Mlwaukee-ese) of the political feelings about CA's budget management, the quadruple whammy of disasters that have hit them lately will leave little money to restore things like the parks for some time. While we're praying for rain and a vaccine and all those other things to help, let's also pray that you guys don't get a quake on top of it all. 

Anyone - if you're evacuating or just getting away from it all, you're welcome here. We've got room and lots of peace of quiet, a little rain, and, oh yeah, grits, lots of grits.

08/31/20 06:42 PM #2916    


Jim Cejka

So, did I miss a global warming event, or flunk geography, or something - ?

I was watching a program about sharks, and the shark "expert" they had on was a professor (of sharkology or something) from the University of . . . KANSAS??????

09/01/20 05:46 AM #2917    


Nancy Davison (Boerger)

But Jim, if Jamaica can have a bobsled team.....( a piece of wisdom from a small lake in "Pure Michigan", where the water has " no salt, no sharks, no worries" )



09/01/20 07:54 PM #2918    


William Nelson

We always thought the Lauras we knew were sweet ladies, but the one that visited last week definitely didn't fit that description. We had over 5" of rain (all the gauge holds) in a couple of hours and lots of wind. Local forecasters said 70-80 MPH. That's highly unusual this far north of the Gulf. Just got power back a half hour ago. I've had a change in attitude about the a/c running too much. Like the sound of it and hope it soon wrings >10% out of the humidity and 10° off the temperature. Our two Texas boys delivered a large Cat generator, along with enought gas to run it for a week. It exceeded our expectations, but won't miss refueling and changing oil. It has 78-hours runtime now. Quite a bit of gas left over. We'll let it run through the night, in case there are any "hiccups" in power. Our water system was down for four days. A deputy came through on Saturday and asked if we'd be willing to pay and extra $3/month on our water bill to support getting an emergency generator. It was up and running that same evening! Really enjoyed that! We haven't gone into our woods, but around the house, the only damage was some fallen branches. Still have more to pick up, but with high temps and humidity, we work on picking them up when we feel like it. They're not in the way.

When we were kids, we spent the entire summer without electricity other than what batteries and the '39 DeSoto furnished while we camped in tents near Chetek. We had an outhouse and a pitcher pump for water. Our kids have a hard time wrapping their minds around that. Most of the time, we thought it was fun! Thanks for the good wishes! 

09/02/20 08:11 AM #2919    


Jim Cejka

Bill, I watched the track of Laura and as it moved inland, it looked like it was going right over you. Glad to hear you're OK. 

09/02/20 03:30 PM #2920    


Garry Sellers

Yeah Bill, I saw it coming right your way too and "inland" is relative. You were a lot less inland than say our friends in Wisconsin.  Tried to call but got voicemail so I thought maybe you had your hands full. Glad it was no more than some branches.   

But I'm confused with your childhood accounts. How the heck did you get to Custer?  It's a long bus ride every morning from LA.!!!

09/04/20 02:55 AM #2921    


William Nelson


I was born and raised (or is that razed?) in Milwaukee. Went to Longfellow School until the middle of 4th grade, then 36th Street School, (old) Custer, Edison, and (new) Custer. Spent most of a year at UW-M, but had a kid on the way and dropped out. After another kid and a few years at Centralab as a draftsman and technician, I became the draftee, rather than the drafter. After a divorce and a couple of years in the Army, I returned to Centralab as a Sample Dept. Supervisor. Decided to use my GI Bill for a couple of years at MSOE and then went to Industrial Nucleonics in Columbus, OH as a Field Engineer. Spent a couple of months a year living there for continuing training, but wound up assigned to a paper mill in Hodge, LA. Many other assignments meant that I, and later, we, traveled all over the South for 30-years. -- The company name changed several times; it became AccuRay before it was taken over by Combustion Engineering, which was subsequently taken over by ABB. -- We've lived in this area for nearly 50-years now. Never saw a hurricane get this far north before and a local weatherman said tonight it's the first time a Category One has ever gotten as far north as Monroe. They usually blow themselves out, but slow down forward movement and dump buckets of rain on us. Our land slopes and the water usually runs off to a low field south of our home, so we have a pond for a few days. Our boys in Katy, TX got some rain from Laura, but very little wind. It pretty much stayed within Louisiana for the first day and South Louisiana is much worse for wear. Our governor said today he's very concerned that our COVID-19 numbers will spike again because of the influx of repair crews and lack of housing for many. They aren't using the Super Dome like they did after Katrina. They're putting families in motels and hotels, so they can have some separation. Those crews are doing an amazing job. Our rural road is again completely open with branches and trees pushed to the side for future cleanup. It's wet enough now that they're making giant bonfires. We're believers in global warming and anticipate more of these events in the future.

09/04/20 08:43 PM #2922    


Jim Cejka

09/05/20 01:00 AM #2923    


Melody Jones (Parker)


09/10/20 12:18 PM #2924    


Sandy Wachs (Oldham)

To all our classmates on the West Coast, we are thinking about you and hope you are staying safe.  The images that we are seeing of the fires are just devastating.  The pollution in the air has to be terrible.  I am hoping you all get some rain to put out those fires.

I just finished getting caught up reading about all our classmates on the home page.  It is nice to know that others are facing the same problems as I have getting through this pandemic.  Garry, please keep up the great job on the home page.  So entertaining.


09/10/20 04:55 PM #2925    


Jim Cejka

Seeing the photos from CA and the Bay Area reminds me of that old sailor's adage - "Red sky at night, sailor's delight; red sky in the morining, sailor take warning."

But, it doesn't say anything about "red sky all day, After day. After Day."

09/11/20 01:59 PM #2926    


Garry Sellers

Cough ... 9/11/2020 ... Milwaukee air quality index 18, cough, Green Bay air quality index 27 ... San Francisco air quality index 280,  cough, cough ... San Jose (Silicon Valley) air quality index much better, 274.  gasp, cough, gasp!  At least the smoke got rid of the 110 degree temperatures ... cough, cough, cough,  Melody ... you couldn't have gotten out of here at any better time with your health issues. And Jim,  we're happy that you got out of here too but for entirely different reasons!

  Petty Parker Smoke GIF - PettyParker Smoke SnoopDogg GIFs

09/11/20 06:34 PM #2927    


Karsten Boerger

Gary, are you  ready to move back to MKE or to our beautifull lakes in Michigan?





09/12/20 01:48 AM #2928    


Terri Levenhagen (Hoornstra)

If you want to understand how bad the air quality is (274??) up in Garry's territory, wrap your mind around this: LA has had the worst smog in 30 years for the past two days, and the air quality index is 114! We have two fires east of us, but we are not personally in danger of burning. It is my friends and family in the Bay Area who have really suffered: 3 families were evacuated, and two were under warning to evacuate. Of those 3, my ex-sister-in-law's house in Boulder Creek burned to the ground, and the car she left behind melted. I can't even begin to imagine how she's coping. I do appreciate the quarantine material on the Home Page. I need those laughs a LOT!

09/12/20 06:27 AM #2929    


Nancy Davison (Boerger)

Oh, Terri, it hurt me to read this. It's impossible to imagine how it would feel to lose everything - every photo of the first birthday, the first day of school, prom, graduation - all the postcards from summer camp and the carefully crayoned Mothers' Day cards, the hand-crafted clay pumpkins that grace the Thanksgiving table every year, the cookbooks with dates and comments on well-splattered pages, the faithful old dog's collar and ID tags. And now you, who have lost your dear mate - the worst loss of all - will be the strength to turn to. 

  We wish we could send some strength, some hope, and maybe even some fresh air to all our fellow citizens in the west. And for us all, a wish for good health and the good sense to be grateful for every day.

09/12/20 08:14 AM #2930    


Jim Cejka

My daughter-in-law's brother is a deputy sheriff in one of those counties around the fires north of Sacramento. He and his wife had their first baby a couple weeks ago, just when all the fires were starting. He's only been home about three days since then to see that baby. 

09/12/20 06:39 PM #2931    


Lauren Dieterich

We are in Arizona, a 100 miles South of Las Vegas. There aren't any fires to speak of, by us. But, we are getting a lot of smoke from the California fires. For the last 3 days the sun has been an orange disc; and, we can't see the mountains around us that are only 15 miles away. My odest daughter is stationed at Camp Pendleton. She has said that there are no fires near them. I don't know if the fires have anything to do with it; but, the last 3 days, our highs were in the upper 80's. It's the first time that our highs have been below a 105 degrees since the beginning of June. We haven't broken any records for individual days; but, we've broken the record for the most 120+ degrees for a summer. The old record was 15 days. We're at 23 days and counting. Although, I doubt if we will have any more 120 degree days. The extended forecast calls for a 104 to 109 degrees thru the end of the month.

Prayers for everyone affected by the fires.

09/13/20 12:22 AM #2932    


Melody Jones (Parker)


Yes, I am glad to be here in North Carolina instead of CA at this time.  If in CA, I would be on portable Oxygen!

Here, I only have to worry about 5 tropical storms in the Atlantic Ocean forming into hurricanes!crying

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