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  • Ednold

Lakeview 10/8/22

We had planned to visit Lakeview earlier this season, but that game was moved to Brookings-Harbor, so let this be a lesson to everyone else out there who thinks they can escape the CPHC squad just by leaving town: I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career, skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you just let me watch a football game now, that’ll be the end of it. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you. Whoa!! No, I won’t! I won’t kill you. But sooner or later I’ll show up at one of your home football games. You can run, but you can’t hide a big group of people in helmets and shoulder pads forever.

Lakeview calls itself the "Tallest Town in Oregon" because of its elevation ( 4,802 feet), which doesn’t really make any sense. I would say it would make more sense to claim they are the Highest Town in Oregon, but I was recently in another town that could probably lay claim to that title. Anyway, point taken, Lakeview. Your town is at a pretty high altitude. Lakeview is situated in the Goose Lake Valley backed up against the Warner Mountains less than 20 miles north of the California border. Since it’s in the Goose Lake Valley and is called Lakeview, you may make the mistake, as I did, of assuming there’s a lake within viewing distance of the town. Even when it’s full Goose Lake is a good 5 miles from the town, and these days it’s much farther than that.

Lake County was created from pieces of Jackson and Wasco counties in 1874, and in 1876 Lakeview was voted the county seat. Soon after that election a town plat was filed with the state, and the Lakeview post office was opened. Lakeview has long been an agriculture and lumber town, but in the 1950’s uranium was found in the hills north of town and there was a rush to scour the hills in search of the next big uranium strike. Nobody at the time had much appreciation for the dangers of working with uranium, but the Lucky Lass and White King mines employed a few hundred people until the local uranium mill was shut down in 1961. Both mines are EPA superfund sites today, and the pits have been filled with water, the debris buried, and access restricted to prevent exposure to radioactivity.

Hey, guess what else they have in Lakeview that you won’t find anywhere else in Oregon? Now, I know my audience pretty well and I know some of you out there just said something inane, like “Lakeview City Hall” or “a Welcome to Lakeview” sign. I don’t know where you got the idea that stuff like that is funny, but you all need to grow up. The thing I’m talking about is a geyser. Lakeview has a geyser! - after a fashion. We aren’t talking Yellowstone, here. It’s a man-made geyser, and it doesn’t seem to be working anymore, but it’s right there just a few miles north of town. The area is known as Hunters Hot Springs, named after Harry Hunter, who purchased the land in 1923 to build a health spa. He wasn’t satisfied with the amount of hot water the springs were producing, so he drilled a few wells on the site and one of them kept erupting every few minutes and just wouldn’t stop. It got the name “Old Perpetual”.

Then, after more than 85 years, possibly due to changes in the water table created by development and also drought conditions over the past 10 or 12 years, Old Perpetual stopped spewing quite so often. Now it can go months without any activity, though apparently it does still go off periodically. We sat on Geyser View Lane for about 15 minutes waiting for it to do something before we got bored, and I’ve read differing accounts of how long we may have sat there before we could have expected to see any action.

That experience really got me wondering about the people in southern Oregon and their ability to name things properly. Klamath Falls has no falls. Lakeview doesn’t even have a lake, much less a view of a lake. Old Perpetual may be old, but… My dictionary says perpetual means “everlasting”, “eternal”, “endless”, “permanent”, ”ceaseless”, and “constant”. That doesn’t seem like a good descriptor for this particular geyser any more, so I looked up the opposites of perpetual, and they seem more appropriate. I want to propose a name change, but I’d like a little input from everyone on what the new name should be. Based on my dictionary search, here are your choices: A) Old Unfaithful B) Old Unreliable C) Old Broken D) Old Intermittent E) Old Mitigated. Just send me a postcard letting me know which one you prefer and once we have a consensus I’ll write up a petition and get it circulating. I’m sure the other good people of Oregon will agree that a change of name is in order.

Amazingly, we just happened to be in town for the first annual Lakeview Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Buckaroo Swap. We didn’t have time to hang around to hear any cowboys reading poetry, but we did stop for a few minutes at the Buckaroo Swap. I had an old bandana and I was looking to trade up. I was expecting to find a bunch of horses hitched up outside the Memorial Hall with guys inside who had just rode in off the range, but that wasn’t quite what we found. It was still interesting and worth a stop, but I left with the same old bandana I’d arrived with and then it was time to get to our Saturday afternoon football game at Lakeview High School.

Lakeview are the Honkers, in honor of the large quantity of Canada geese that spend some time in the area each year. Honkers is a great name, and I really like their logo. That Honker looks like he’s about to open up a can on the next poor thing he comes across, and on this hot Saturday (82° at gametime) that thing happened to be the defending 2A State Champion Coquille Red Devils, who have moved up to play at the 3A level this year. The Red Devils were off to a 4-1 start to the season, with the Honkers behind them at 2-3.

The main (south) grandstand

We parked on South 3rd street right behind the stadium and paid our $10 to get both Mrs. Ednold and me into the game. The covered wooden grandstands with plastic bleacher seats are divided into three sections: One on the north end for the students, one at the far south end for the visitors, and the middle for the rest of us along with the band. The band, a tiny 5-piece group that punctuated touchdowns and filled the empty space between quarters with the usual repertoire of high school football music, didn’t take up much room, and there were no cheerleaders to make room for, so there was plenty of space. The press box is across on the north side of the field, but there is no place to sit over there, hence the visitors’ section in the main grandstand. Access to concessions and restrooms are easy as they are just north of the grandstands.

It was military appreciation day at Lakeview, and the armed forces each had an information booth set up between the concessions and the grandstands so Mrs. Ednold and I, both veterans ourselves, felt right at home. When I tell people I was in the Army the first thing they always want to know is whether I ever killed anyone, and the honest answer is that I really don’t know. I didn’t do it purposely, but the possibility cannot be completely ruled out.

Once the game started it was clear that this was going to be a tight affair. Both teams are talented and well-coached, and when the teams went to halftime with the Honkers leading 13-7 it was clear that nothing had yet been decided. The Honkers used their passing game for several big plays, but found it hard to stop the Red Devils’ running game. All of which made me pretty hungry, so I got a hot dog meal to ready myself for the second half. It was nothing special, but filled me up and I was ready when the two teams took the field for the second half.

Just as I was afraid of, that extra point miss by Lakeview in the first half looked like it could cost them the game after Coquille scored in the third quarter to make the score 13-14 heading into the fourth. Then Coquille scored again. Then Lakeview scored. Then Coquille scored to go up by 7 with just a few minutes remaining. With just over half a minute left the Honkers had a fourth and ten on their own 30 yard line and called a timeout. If that Honker was ever really going to open up that can, this was the time to do it. The resulting hook-and-ladder play was run to perfection, and with 18 seconds left they had to choose whether to kick the extra point and try to win in overtime or go for a two-point conversion. The coach decided to try and win the game, and the short pass ended up about half a yard short of the end zone.

It had been an exciting game, and it felt like the Honkers deserved more than a one-point loss. So it made the Lakeview crowd happy when they recovered the ensuing perfectly-executed onside kick on their own 47 yard line, with 18 seconds to find a way to score another point. Mrs Ednold predicted they would need just two plays to score again, but she’s not very good at that sort of thing. Their first play was a 30 yard completion, but their second pass was incomplete. It wasn’t until the third play that they found the end zone as time expired and everyone in blue and gold went crazy. Two touchdowns in less than 20 seconds was a surreal ending to a game that always looked like it could go either way, and for sheer excitement I don’t think I’ve seen better.

We had seen an amazing football game and the Lakeview Honkers had learned a valuable lesson about trying to elude us, so we were all winners, except Coquille and the guys who declined to swap for my old bandana. They have no idea what they missed out on.

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