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


My Grandpa Frank Cavanaugh

the rail road engineer

Our immediate family did not move to Auburn till my father got a job around 1955 working for Boeing as an inspector.

My dadís parents have lived here  in Auburn since the early 1900ís  They moved her when  my dad  was maybe 5 yrs old until getting married & moving with his wife,  my  future mom, to Alki point & on to Walla Walla & Spokane before he found himself without a job & came back to this area again, looking for work.

My mom waited till school was out in Spokane before moving the rest of the family to Auburn the summer of 1955.

Prior to that time there were many trips over to Auburn to see our grandparents.

My Grandpa had worked his way up working for the Northern Pacific to the position of   railroad engineer.

Their home at that time we went to visit was 106 R ST. SE Auburn. They had 2 acres with a nice sized fruit orchard & a large garden & enough chickens to keep them in eggs & chicken dinner. They also had a cow for a number of years & the back field was harvested for winter feed for her.

Their home was about 2 blocks north of the Northern Pacific rail road tracks. Between them & the tracks was an open field.

One of the fun things that happened while we were visiting the grand parentís house was going to pick Grandpa when he came home from a trip over the mountains.  Because he was the engineer for a freight train not a passenger train his train didnít get in at an exact time.  When he was close enough to the house for grandma to hear him he would blow whistle 2 times. Later when it was the diesel motor it would be a he horn he blew twice to get Grandmaís attention that he was on his way to the ďyardĒ & was wanting to be picked up.;.  She would bustle around the house calling for us to help her find a white dish cloth while looking for one her self. When one was found she would open the window facing the rail road tracks & wave it to let him know she heard him & would come to pick him up.  They always shared just one car.  Every few years they would drive back to Detroit the pick a brand new one.  We kids that wanted to help go pick up Grandpa would wait 10 minutes then climb in the car to go get Grandpa whose engine he often parked in front of the round house.

Well I have to go hang clothes up on the back line. Yea I still do that. They smell so good when they are dry. Maybe next time I can tell you about the Grandma that gave 4 of her grandsons their first baths at Auburn Hospital.

Auburn High School

One afternoon I was sitting in the side yard of Myron Masseyís home relaxing with his daughter Barbara.    I was visiting my Grand parents for a while in the summer.

The new high school was being built & we were watching & talking about it. I remember saying something like I donít think I will ever go in it.  

Well 2 years later I moved to Auburn & ended graduating from there & so did my 3 sonís & my youngest sister.

My dad went to St. Martins for some reason but his brother & sister also graduated from

Auburn High School.  My hope was that my grandson would graduate from Auburn High but they moved & it didnít happen.

Did you hear the story about the time a motorcycle rode down the hall at the High School during class one afternoon? No maybe when I have more time I will share that one with you.

Little Tyke

One day while visiting my Grandmother in Auburn, she decided to stop at the meat market on Main St. & take me to see Little Tyke, the famous lion that was raised, & lived here in Auburn.

For a donation we were able to visit him.

We walked through the market into the back area where Little Tyke was laying resting in the middle of the back yard surrounded by a high wood fence.

Little Tykeís owner said he was tame & I could pet him so I went over to him & sat down by him & petted him. They were quite surprised that I felt so comfortable petting him. I told them they had said he was tame.  I trusted them to have been honest in what they said so was comfortable to sit down & pet him.  It was like petting a huge kitty cat.

You didnít get to see the out house that was placed on the roof of the bus area out front of the High school but I have more of that story for another time.

The log in the road on Main St. in Auburn WA

My husband. our two little boys & I lived on Pike St. off Main Street back in the 1960ís.

One day I heard a lot of noise & went to investigate. What I found was the Street Department was digging huge logs out of the street. I went back to the house & got the boys to let them watch.

 donít remember if I called the Globe Newspaper or they got wind of it in some other way.

What happened was they came out & took a picture of the 2 little boys watching the proceedings.


This is the article that accompanied the picture in the paper.

ďLoosened Logs. City street Department officials last week pulled logs ranging to four feet in diameter and 15 ft in length from beneath surface of East Main Street, between O & Pike. A long-time resident told city workers that logs were laid when the road was first put through, shortly after turn of century, to shore up soft spots in former riverbed land. Officials surmise that recent earthquake settled this particular section of logs (which measures about 24 ft in length) causing unsupported street pavement to sag.Ē

There are times you see doggies in ladies purses but I have a story about a kitten that took a trip to town in a purse. Tell you about that some time.

The Rock Contest

One day Kaspers had a contest. It was during the time where people were buying pet rocks.

This clothing store decided to have a contest to give a gift certificate to the person who brought in the largest & smallest rock. I think there were other things in the contest but I donít remember them.

Well I figured I would enter the contest by taking a grain of sand as the smallest rock & getting a rock as big as we, my boys I could get in our suburban. We went to the White River where the Wilderness Game Farm Park is now. We were able to find rock that pretty well filled the kidís wagon. We took it to the store in the wagon & the newspaper that was across the street came over & took a picture of the boys taking it into the store. Well we won the largest & smallest rock part of the contest & I got a gift certificate & got a blouse with it. I donít know where the blouse is but I moved the rock from our home on 17th St where we were at the time of the contest to our home on Bridget Ave SE on 4+ acres.

Auburn Good Olí Days

Good Olí Days was called Auburn Days back when I was younger.

Back then some of the kids like to raise cane during the Auburn Days celebration & one of the things they would do was soap the windows of the stores down town. One year in the mid 50Ďs as my 74 yr old brain remembers it there was a ruckus down town that was very upsetting for those that planned the Auburn Days.. I was talking to a gal at the Senior Center the other day & as she recalls there was a fight between some Auburn & Enumclaw kids & someone brought out a gun & ended up shooting a pregnant lady. No she didnít die but having that happen was just too much for the Auburn Days planners & they didnít have it again for a few years. I was so glad when it started up again. Auburn Days or Auburn Good Olí DaysÖ I was just pleased to spend time in or at the parade & be involved in all the ďgoings onĒ during that time. Oh & what good food to eat & all the booths to see things or just sit on a bench or curb & watch the people donít this & that.

YIJC Jonie  

IN GOD WE TRUST  _________________________





P.O. Box 2311

Auburn, WA 98071-2311