Valley Gazette     

2013 Writing Prompt is: "The funniest thing happened in Auburn"

  Auburn Days Collection of Reflections  Home Reflections 1 Reflections 2 Reflections 3 Reflections 4 Reflections 5 Reflections 6 Reflections 7 Reflections 8


Not about Auburn

This is a poem not about Auburn

Although I do visit there weekly

To attend the doings

Of Striped Water Poets


Whenever I travel to Auburn

I avoid running red lights

Might’ve run a few but the myriads

Of Traffic cameras never caught me


Found some nice comfy

Crocs at the Super Mall last year

Use them to patter about our home

Upwind in the City of Kent


Auburn has alphabet streets

Wonder if there is a Z street?

Mostly I drive on M street but its

Lane confusion causes me stress


We meet to write & shape poetry

Meet in the Auburn City Hall

Art is on the first floor

Poetry is upstairs


We’ve got two poet laureates

In one room in our Tuesday night

Critique group – the son of one

Always rips my poems to pieces


But he makes them stronger

So, I like the pain he delivers


Jim Teeters


Petpalooza – What an Adventure!

The city of Auburn has many nooks and crannies to explore and also some pretty fun events to check out.  One event that I have never attended until this year was Petpalooza, held at Game Farm Park.  What a great event! 

First, the day was sunny and comfortable, which is always a plus here in the northwest.  Upon arriving, even though it took us a while to get moving and get to the park, parking was not a struggle.  The park is large and well maintained; the perfect place for an event of this type.  It was a great walk through the park to access the actual booths. There was every possible breed and mixture of dog on the planet.  Big dogs, little dogs, cute dogs and ugly dogs; they were all there.  Toss a ferret on a leash in the mix, and it was a scene to behold. 

The most amazing thing was no dogs were barking.  There was no fighting or growling.  Both humans and dogs were having a great time.  The atmosphere was festive and fun.  The whole event was very organized, from the parking to the booth arrangement.  Of course the big ugly bulldog caught my eye and I needed a picture of the two of us.  Naturally, he had to lick me across the mouth with his dirty dog lips.  He thought that was pretty funny.

Petpalooza is an annual Auburn event that is fun, diverse and well-orchestrated.  The humans seem to be as happy and have as much fun as the dogs checking each other out!        


Richard Hursey




.A Special Day


On February 6, 2006 I arrived in Auburn with a TV crew to shoot an episode of My Home Town, a television show which I hosted for Comcast. It focused on what’s going right in American communities. And plenty was going right in Auburn that day as more than two hundred people turned out at City Hall to shout, “Welcome to My Home Town, Auburn!” for the opening of the show.


Two dozen guests showed us their city from the White River Buddhist Temple to the Bocce Ball Park. The Senior Walking Club drifted through most scenes. We looked in on the Miss Auburn contest, spent a minute with John Rottle and another one at The Optimist Club. We even met the Pioneer Mother. There were so many stories to be squeezed into 29 minutes and 30 seconds. A lot had to be left behind.


The memory that stays with me still is of the time I spent at White River Museum with the beautiful and indomitable Mae Yamada.  We sat together on the replica of the front porch of the home where Mae’s mother raised twelve children. Sitting comfortably next to the bronze statue of her mother, Mae recalled, “Everything she did was all for the sake of the children.”


I asked her how she felt to see her family depicted prominently as part of Auburn’s history. 


“I’m very humbled by it,” she said. “This reflects on the Issei population - that first generation and the struggles they went through to raise our families.”

She recalled the disappointment of the years after the return from internment when “a few of us found when we came back that what we thought was going to be there wasn’t there” and yet, with great courage, the family went on to serve proudly as so many Japanese families did. Mae’s brother was one of those who served in the Army’s famous the 442nd called the “Go For Broke Battalion.”

”He volunteered,” said Mae. “He volunteered and when he was shipped overseas he was sent to the 442.  And he was killed in France during the last siege which was to rescue the Texas soldiers, (the famous Lost Battalion.)” There had already been two failed attempts to rescue the Texans of the 141st who were under siege in the mountains of France. They were trapped nine miles away from the 442 who not only succeeded with the rescue but went on to complete the original mission of the Texans.

“The Neisei were the rescuers,” Mae told me. The 442nd went on to became the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in American military history. 

I heard from Mae once more.  She wrote me to say that she had been selected to represent the Pioneer Mother during Auburn Days. I couldn’t imagine a better choice. Mae laughed at my fractured Japanese when I tried to repeat a phrase I heard her say often.  I won’t be able to write it now, either, but it sums up everything Mae told me that day in Auburn.  It was something like “kodomo no tame ni.” It’s hard to think that Mae’s not in Auburn anymore but she left something important. Whenever I think of Mae and that one special day in Auburn, I hear her say that phrase,  “It’s all for the sake of the children.”


Dorothy Wilhelm



Auburn, Washington

There  is a town

nestled in the Green River Valley,

of Washington State:


Where there are beautifully landscaped parks,

 fields for playing sports.

Fields of pumpkins, a corn maze, and all others sorts.


Trails that connect to other nearby communities.

These are only a few of its’ amenities.


Indoors or outdoors,

rain or shine,

There is so much to do here,

golf 18 holes or just 9.


Take in the arts, the symphony,

this town, though modern, has old world charm.

There is history at the museum and The Olson farm.


This Community with its’ ever growing town,

to the Super Mall, Muckleshoot Casino,

to Emerald Down


Everything you can think of is here.

Perhaps in spring, a sighting of someone,

riding a John Deere


(Home to The Striped Water Poets)


Julie Courey




A Day I’ll Never Forget


What I remember most about Auburn is my grandma during the Auburn Good Ol’ Days.  The funniest part was her sitting on a big toilet in the parade.  How many kids get to see their grandma on a big toilet in the middle of the city?  It is definitely a good thing it wasn’t a real toilet!


Another thing I like about Good Ol’ Days is that lots of people throw candy during the parade.  There were Tootsie Rolls, lollipops, Jolly Ranchers, bubble gum and mints.  Delicious candy in my tummy warms my heart especially because my grandma was part of it.  My sister tried to sneak a bite of my mother’s Tootsie Roll but she only got a mouth full of air.  She coughed a bit. I gave her one of mine to make her happy.  We also had good food that day.


We went over to the stage and danced awhile but I got embarrassed.  My sister was still dancing around with a lot of talent.  We had snow cones to cool down.  We were getting tired by then so we headed home.  It was a great day I shared with my family.


Dylan Evans

Age: 10








P.O. Box 2311

Auburn, WA 98071-2311