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Updated 12:51pm - Jul 29, 2014

Home arrow News arrow Northcoast Life arrow Fair honors its ‘school marm’

Fair honors its ‘school marm’

Fair Board member Kevin Hartwick with Volunteer of the Year Phyllis Tedsen.
Fair Board member Kevin Hartwick with Volunteer of the Year Phyllis Tedsen. Del Norte Triplicate / Rick Postal
There’s a grand total of one full-time employee at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds, and Fair Manager Randy Hatfield would be the first to tell you there would be no county fair every August without the volunteers.

That’s why the Fair Board makes a big deal out of honoring them with an annual dinner. More than 100 folks attended this year’s event on Thursday night.

Among them was Phyllis Tedsen, who was named Volunteer of the Year.

If you’ve ever visited the one-room schoolhouse that’s been at the fair for more than two decades now, you’ve probably met Phyllis. She gives tours and tells stories about how the students of yesteryear did their learnin’ there.

Randy Hatfield, fairgrounds manager.
Randy Hatfield, fairgrounds manager. Del Norte Triplicate / Rick Postal
“She’s a walking, talking historical piece” who makes the schoolhouse “come alive,” said Fair Board member Kevin Hartwick.

“There’s just no one who has the passion she does,” Hartwick said. “She’s been the caretaker, promoter and tour guide since it was moved to the fair” from its original location up on North Bank Road.

That happened in 1991, when an inmate work crew took off its roof and placed the schoolhouse on a flatbed truck.

Karen Phillips, left, and her mother, Jeanne Butler, fill their plates with food catered by Fabulous Foods by Julie. See more photos at triplicate.mycapture.com.
Karen Phillips, left, and her mother, Jeanne Butler, fill their plates with food catered by Fabulous Foods by Julie. See more photos at triplicate.mycapture.com. Del Norte Triplicate / Rick Postal
“It was a big deal to move it down the highway and get it across the bridge,” said Hatfield.

“Phyllis became the school marm,” Hatfield said. “You don’t do anything with the school unless you talk to Phyllis.”

Del Norte Triplicate / Rick Postal
Del Norte Triplicate / Rick Postal
An attachment to the fairgrounds seems to run in the family. Her late husband, dairy farmer Harry Tedsen, attended 65 consecutive fairs, said Hatfield. “He was the guy who came to the fair every year and gave advice.”

Secrets to success

Consumer Reports’ February edition is hitting the newsstands with Crescent City’s own Bob Berkowitz sharing his secrets to success. 

A retirement survey spotlights several retirees who, according to the magazine, “reported a net worth of well above $1 million.” 

According to the article, 85 percent of Berkowitz’s wealth is attributed to his real estate dealings, such as buying and selling fixer-uppers and repos, and investing in rental properties. 

“You have to make sure all parties are winners,” he’s quoted in the article, “because you are going to run into your renters everywhere.”

Ah, yes, life in a small town.

Setting up Spring Fling

Whether you’re a renter or homeowner, no doubt you have a few unused items hanging around the house that are just taking up space.

Here’s your chance to clean out and clean up. 

Sell your items at the third annual Spring Fling sale put on by members of the Smith River Heritage Association scheduled for Saturday, March 16 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Smith River Community Hall.

Participants can rent 3-by-8-foot tables at the event for $20 or bring their own and pay $10. Collectibles, antiques, arts and crafts and yard sale items may be sold, but no large furniture, guns or ammo allowed.

To get an application, call 487-3025 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Friday will be Fry-Day

On Friday the fish’ll be frying at the VFW Hall at 810 H St. from 6-8 p.m.

“We get a really good crowd,” said Stanlee Landon, a volunteer for the Veterans Post. “It’s really, really good fish, batter fried and nicely prepared on order,” she said. “And I’m really picky about my fish.”

For $8, diners can get a plate full of Alaskan cod, steak fries and coleslaw. For a buck more, you can take your dinner to go. Kids ages 12 and under eat for half price. 

And be sure and save room for dessert ’cause the VFW Ladies Auxiliary will be there selling homemade treats.

Getting the picture

The Crescent City-Del Norte County Chamber of Commerce has been around for a century, but there was a new wrinkle at the annual Chamber dinner on Saturday night at the Cultural Center.

But come to think of it, the new wrinkle was actually a throwback to the old days of photo booths where you could squeeze in with your friends or your sweetie and make funny faces that were then immortalized on a strip of pictures.

John and Linda Ging try out the accessories as they pose in the Flash Foto Booth on Saturday night.
John and Linda Ging try out the accessories as they pose in the Flash Foto Booth on Saturday night. Del Norte Triplicate / Richard Wiens
This was like one of those old-time photo booths on steroids with fancy props such as masks, colorful scarves, and fake mustaches and lips fit for a gala masquerade. It spit out not only a strip of small images but an enlargement of each party’s favorite. And on the side of the booth was a rolling slideshow allowing everyone to see how their fellow dinner guests had mugged for the camera.

It was a smart promotional demonstration by Big Flash Foto Booth, which rents out the contraption for parties and other events (707-315-9840).

Reach Laura Wiens at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

 


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