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A grand tour from a history buff

Denny Grosse, 78, is one of the docents who gives weekly tours of the Geiser Grand Hotel

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Meet Denny Grosse, one of the volunteer docents who leads tours of the Geiser Grand Hotel. (Baker City Herald/Kathy Orr)
This is a story about a grand hotel, and a woman whose enthusiasm for history is contagious.

Denny Grosse, 78, a Baker City resident since 2006, is one of several docents who leads a tour of the Geiser Grand Hotel every Saturday afternoon.

 

‘My choice was to stay there and die or fly out. So I flew.’

Dick Humphreys, 71, flew through a heart attack to get medical help

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A heart attack grounded Dick Humphreys, but he wasn’t satisfied to keep his feet on the ground and now is aiming to pass 5,000 hours of flying time. (Baker City Herald/S. John Collins)
Dick Humphreys’ charter pilot career ended Aug. 31, 2006.
It wasn’t his decision — but he couldn’t argue with his heart.
His job that day was to transport people and supplies to Red’s Horse Ranch, located in a deep canyon on the Minam River.
The load required two trips.
 

Eldercare Adviser

What is the leading cause of injury for older people?

Think about this question for a moment — what would you guess?

To give you a few hints, this type of injury happens to 1 in 3 of people over the age of 65.

Of those, a third require medical attention. Sadly, each year 11,000 older people die from this cause. It costs a staggering $20 billion annually in direct medical costs, which is more than the annual budget for the Federal Department of Homeland Security. By the year 2020, the cost is estimated rise as high as $54.9 billion.

 

Veterans offered free admission to the musical ‘Swingtime Canteen’

Eastern Oregon Regional Theatre is bringing good-time tunes to Baker City with the musical “Swingtime Canteen,” based around a USO show at an Air Force base in London in 1944.
 

National Stroke Awareness Month

May is National Stroke Awareness Month. Stroke is the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and all forms of cancer combined.

According to the National Stroke Association, a stroke, also called a “brain attack,” occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. When either of these things happen, brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs.

 

Daily delivery with a smile

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Bill Stewart, 75, prepares for his newspaper-delivery rounds at St Elizabeth Care Center. (Baker City Herald/S. John Collins)
Bill Stewart sits alert in his wheelchair, his gaze riveted on Midway Drive.

“Oh, oh, oh!” he says, his voice rising in excitement as he points out the window.

Then, with a push of his left leg, he swivels the chair toward the doors of St. Elizabeth Care Center to await the daily delivery of mail.

 

50 years of preserving wildlife

Delbert Moulton, 68, began his taxidermy career in high school

In 50 years as a taxidermist, Delbert Moulton has worked with just about every creature known around these parts.

But has he ever worked on a ground squirrel?

He smiles, and holds up his hand in affirmation.

“Of course,” he says.

And it was an albino, after all.

 

‘The old ways were the best ways’

Gene Westberg keeps his cowboy ways — in his life and in his art

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Cowboy artist Gene Westberg, 80, is the featured personality for the March Living Well section. (Baker City Herald/S. John Collins)
Gene Westberg’s paintings aren’t just pretty pictures — they embody stories, a moment in time the artist explains with such description you can feel the bitter wind and driving snow biting your skin.

He points to one titled “Mother Drove the Horses” and says it’s a scene from “anybody’s cow country.”

He tells the story behind this painting of a man and woman braving the cold to feed their cattle.

“A young couple who can’t afford a hired man,” Westberg says. “He’s pitching the hay and she’s driving the horses. And you can surmise a baby wrapped up behind the mom.”

He pauses, and seems transported to that wintry scene.

“I’ve been there — I know what that’s like,” he says.

 

Baker Heritage Museum celebrates this year’s opening with a party March 14

The Baker Heritage Museum will kick off the 2009 season with a grand opening event Saturday, March 14.

The evening festivities will include hearty hors d’oeuvres, silent and live auctions and a performance by the Elks Drum and Bugle Corps.

The event starts at 5:30 p.m. at the museum, 2480 Grove St. Tickets are $35 and available by calling the museum at 541-523-9308 or by mailing payment to the museum at 2480 Grove St., Baker City, OR 97814.

 

Making magical music

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Dave Clemens plays his flutes throughout all stages of development. His shop is full of flutes of varying lengths and diameters. All his flutes have a different voice. (Baker City Herald/S. John Collins)
Dave Clemens likes a challenge, especially when he hears someone say they can’t play an instrument.

That’s his cue to sort through his flutes and find the perfect fit.

Then he holds out the instrument and gives a quick lesson: cover the six holes with your fingers and blow into the mouthpiece.

And he doesn’t even grimace when the resulting sound is more squeak than music.

A slight adjustment, and in a few minutes a sweet sound floats from the flute.

He smiles, then brings his own flute to his lips and plays a haunting song.

Across this space, in the lower level of Crossroads Carnegie Art Center, four other flute players play songs — from their memories, from their hearts, from their souls.

 
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