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


A Day I Remember in Auburn

A day I remember in Auburn was my very first day ever in Auburn.  I was sitting among the Board of Directors of Auburn Youth Resources in the front room of our 118 D Street, SE building.  It was my very first interview for the executive director position and Al Shaughnessy, the Board’s Vice President, asked me, “If you got the job, where would you live?”  I recall immediately responding, “Of course, I’d move down to Auburn!”  

I hadn’t really thought about that previously, but I was cock sure of my answer, but even surprised myself with it.  As I was leaving the interview the outgoing exec told me, as he pointed to the rear lot in the back of the building, “The next time you come here you can park in the back.” That in itself was assuring.

Immediately I liked the informal funkiness of the facility and the welcoming graciousness of the Board.  Somehow I felt at home, knew I’d like to work here and, so it seemed, liked to live here.  I felt kids and families could be comfortable in a place like this, not felt threatened.  That to me seemed really important.

It was near suppertime and I asked about a place to eat.  Someone on the board suggested VIPs’ on Auburn Way and that sounded good to me.  VIPs was where Denny’s is now.  It was attractive and busy.  I finally got a table with a very pleasant young waitress.  I kept thinking about the possibility of a job here, the possibility of living here. All the way down from Seattle, off and on I saw the grandeur of Mount Rainier, and I asked the waitress how far away Mount Rainier was.  Her answer was, “It’s not very far.” and then, excited, thinking about the possibility of living in Auburn, I asked the young woman how big is Auburn and she responded, “It’s pretty big for its size.”  Immediately, I knew, I’d feel at home here.


Dick Brugger

City of Auburn Poet Laureate




A Day I Remember in Auburn


It was a beautiful day

The Vet Building reserved

The park was well kept

Songs sung by the birds


The tables were arranged

The food was displayed

The cake looked delicious

The gifts ribbons were frayed


What a joyous reunion

The guests all aglow

The birthday girl humble

Sixty-five was a blow


When the party was over

The guests helped to clean

The Vet Building restored

For the next group’s big fling


Reggie Horn



Going to Grandma’s House

My favorite place in Auburn is my grandma’s house.  I love going to her house because I get candy.  I like to go to the park by her house and play with her dog, Teddy.  I like to play on the monkey bars and the twisting toy at the park.  I love my days at grandma’s house.

Skyler Evans

Age: 7




A Day I Remember in Auburn 

I remember the day I moved to Auburn with my family:  October 1, 1941.

I am Sharon (Taylor) Younker - age 77.

My parents had me wait in auditorium while they went to the office to enroll me in
Washington Grade School first grade (Ivy Adams was to be my teacher).

Boys sat on one side of the room; girls on the other.  I happened to sit on the boys side.

Mary Jane Campbell (Tinlsley) came across to me, and asked me to come over and sit with she and her sister on the girls side, which I did.

My father had purchased a mortuary & home from the estate of Mr. Lemar; we had moved to Auburn from Forks.  

Another day I remember (and recall it often on patriotic holidays) was the day the 6th grade teacher (Mr. Eugene Green) left for the service (Army).  There was a BIG send-off in the auditorium to honor him - - I recall we all shouted, "Remember Pearl Harbor and Mr. Green!"

Sharon (Taylor) Younker






A Day in Auburn:
Auburn in the late 40s and 50s was a great place to grow up.

It was then a very small town, about 5000, if I remember correctly. You never locked your door, kids were safe anywhere at any time. I knew we were not rich, but I did not think of us as poor, we seemed just like the families of my friends.  Growing up in a small town was a two sided sword; someone always knew who you were and what you were doing, both good and bad.

We spent all our time outside, playing, riding our bikes, hitchhiking, riding logs down the green river and swimming in the many lakes around Auburn.

I remember in the summer, going to the Pastime tavern to get on the farmers trucks to go pick whatever vegetable was in season at that time. We would work until around noon or the fog lifted and then we would hitchhike to High dive and spend the afternoon swimming and jumping for the 50 foot tower, and then hitchhike back home. We never had a worry, and never a care.

I had a lot of good friends, but mostly Gary Osterloh, Stuart Jones, Bob Johnson, Bob Millard, and Bob McFadden. I still see Gary in Arizona.

Auburn Days was the highlight of the summer, and we looked forward to it. Celebrations like that are now missing in this time and place.

I graduated in 1956 and left to join the Navy and see the world, which I actually did. The last time I was in Auburn was for my 30th high school reunion, the only one I ever went to. I think of Auburn and my youth often, and it always makes me smile and feel good.

Auburn was a great place for a kid to grow up, acquire good values, manners and a strong work ethic. I wish all children today had the opportunity to grow up in a town like Auburn.

James G. Johnson

Age 73

Class of 1956





Rain was forecast –

rain happened.


Parents and children

came anyway.


Ponchos, umbrellas,

handout fire hats from VRFA,


or no covering at all –

just shorts, pants, and skirts

absorb the drops.


Hot dog combo at the Youth tent -

add mustard, relish and water.


Covered pony ride very popular –

animals working for hay

earning $5 per passenger.


Veggies and fruit at the Farmers Market booth – creative kids

pushing carved apples, carrots, potatoes

and broccoli

into white, red, yellow, green and blue paints, 

then onto tiny canvases –

instant refrigerator art, if it dried.


Fake mustaches,

balloons, painted faces,

library packets, liquid slide rides.


A damp day at Les Gove Park –

an enjoyable entry

to an Auburn summer.


Len Elliott



A Day I Remember in Auburn


It was a hot July day at Fulmer Park that I recall realizing how amazing it was that four generations of my family had played ball at the same Auburn parks.  I sat in the shade with my grandfather and my mother who had played ball at Fulmer Park on Auburn teams.  Next to me sat my husband who also played the same youth ball leagues I did when he was a child.  We were enjoying our son play his fourth pinto baseball game this season on his favorite team yet, The Bombers.  This was a perfect summer evening in our hometown.


 Watching my son smack that ball out into the field and run as hard as he could gave us such a wonderful feeling of excitement and pride.  The family legacy of loving to play and participate in community sports is a special part of our history.  My mother has memories of cheering my grandfather at countless games at Fulmer Park as she grew up. My grandfather boasts about his batting averages as my mother recalls her tiny strike zone when she played as the most petite player on her team.  I remember doing cartwheels in the outfield while playing and how extraordinary it felt when I actually hit the ball when at bat.  My husband reminisces about the camaraderie he built with his teammates as they always gave 110%. 


My son cannot wait to play each game this year and we share the same anticipation to sit along side and root for the kids as they build their own memories.  With schools losing athletic funding and many programs having to close, community sports are incredibly vital in keeping activities like baseball alive for our youth.  They offer fair and supportive recreational programs that are based on the belief that every child should be able to have this experience available to them.


It is that hometown spirit that opens opportunities for all incomes to participate and community members to get involved by coaching and cheering. 


Just days after celebrating the fourth of July, it was this evening at Fulmer Park that reminded me about what the American dream represents… freedom, community and the hope for the next generation.


Aimee Evans





P.O. Box 2311

Auburn, WA 98071-2311