Michele Grgas Thomas The Triplicate

About 10 years ago I worked on a project with two editors at the Grants Pass Daily Courier that resulted in the book, "A Pictorial History of Josephine County." My research included rummaging through photographs belonging to the Courier's current owner, John Voorhies, grandson of Amos, who had owned the Courier since 1897.

Amos was a publisher first and a photographer second. Because his original press used water to power it, and because his printing office was on the second floor where water pressure was weak (although he blamed that on the city retaliating for some of his editorials) Amos walked into the Kodak store downstairs one day and bought it outright just so he could move his press downstairs, closer to the water source. With the Kodak store came the equipment, and soon publisher Amos Voorhies became photographer Amos Voorhies.

Grandson John grew up with his granddad and the newspaper. When I asked him, John graciously lent me several dusty boxes filled with the history his grandfather had captured. John didn't see much value in the fistfuls of photos stuffed into boxes he stored in his office. But for me, the boxes held treasures like the photo of a young Shirley Temple signing autographs in Grants Pass when the car she was traveling in broke down there.

In the boxes I discovered that historically there's a long tradition of

reliable transportation between Grants Pass and Crescent City. Used for

travelers, cargo and U.S. mail, the stagecoach was our first bus line.

Pulled by three horses, a stagecoach traverses mountains and

circumvents giant redwoods in a 1912 photo. It was called the Grants

Pass to Crescent City Stagecoach.

I was excited to hear about the brand new bus service connecting us

with Grants Pass, Medford, Klamath Falls and points in between. I've

taken a few epic bus rides and I like buses and trains as an

alternative to driving so I can relax and take in the scenery.

Although many of us drive to the valley with some regularity, there are

others, I'm sure, who either won't or can't drive through the canyon

but would like to visit a friend, consult with a specialist or maybe

see a Shakespeare play.

Last week I got a call from the new Southwest POINT system's marketing

company representative. His name sounded familiar and before we started

to talk "bus" I asked him if he used to handle the Sizzler account.

"Still do," he said. I worked with Cliff Engel's agency years ago in

Grants Pass. In fact, Cliff did me a huge favor once by agreeing to

come down from Portland and be a presenter at a newspaper training

program I organized. So, when Mr. Engel asked if I'd do him a favor, I

didn't hesitate.

If you have a story to tell about why you will ride the new bus, Engel

Marketing wants to know. Perhaps you have family members in Medford you

haven't seen in awhile and the bus has opened up the possibility of a

family reunion. Or perhaps you'll be attending your Grants Pass High

School class reunion this summer and want to start the party on the

bus. Or maybe your niece is getting married in Montana, and you will

bus it to the station in Klamath Falls and catch the Amtrak to

Whitefish, with a stop at Glacier National Park.

If you have a story about how this new bus might make a difference in

your life, please call, write or email me. Mr. Engel has a few round

trip tickets he wants to give away to help make your travel dreams come


Reach Michele Grgas Thomas, The Daily Triplicate's publisher, at mthomas@triplicate.com , 464-2141, or stop by 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.