100 YEARS AGO
June 27, 1918
Last Friday evening an insane man was brought here and turned over to Sheriff Wood by Judge Boegli.
The man it appears is a paroled inmate of the Insane Asylum at Salem, and was touring through Central Oregon with the family, consisting of father, mother and sister.
The family thought to make the trip leisurely through this country for the benefit of the son's health, he having been recently paroled from the asylum. It appeared that his mind was normal, and he was the only auto driver of the party, and hence did the driving of the machine.
Somewhere south of here he began to manifest signs of insanity, and finally, near Culver, left the automobile and took to the road on foot, leaving the party stranded on the road. They hired a driver to take them to The Dalles, after disposing of the son.
The man, after deserting the machine, wandered down on the Crooked River to Judge Boegli's place and informed the judge that he was on his way to The Dalles. The judge, realizing his mental condition, told him he was going to The Dalles and invited him to ride with him, which the man accepted, and thus enabled the judge to easily get him to Madras.
The man made it very interesting for the inhabitants in the vicinity, while in jail, with his noises.
75 YEARS AGO
June 24, 1943
H. Halvorson, younger member of the Halvorson Construction Co., is now supervising the government housing project here.
The apartments will not be ready for occupancy before Aug. 1, due to delay in delivery of materials.
The three one-story units are rapidly taking shape as framework is well underway. Chimneys, 24 in number, were finished last week.
The outside of the buildings will be sided with a mineral-surfaced insulating board and sheet rock will be put on the inside walls and painted. This material resembles plaster board in appearance. A wall blanket will be laid between the floors and over the ceiling.
Halvorson said the buildings will be well-insulated and should keep out all dust and wind.
The government has made provisions to furnish the apartments with heating and range stoves, refrigerators, beds, tables and chairs.
A strip lawn in front of each building will be seeded with a mixture of lawn seed and the installation of a large flag pole is included in the plans. Streets have already been graded and graveled.
Tuesday the same company started work on a new contract at the Madras Army Air Base. The contract calls for erection of three buildings, a service club for enlisted men and post exchange will be housed in one building; a service club for officers; and a recreation building containing auditorium, chapel and theatre.
Halvorson's started contracting work in Minnesota and have branched out from there in all directions west. They were prime contractors at the Redmond Air Base.
50 YEARS AGO
June 27, 1968
What is it? This black critter, exhibited at the Madras Livestock Auction Inc. sale, Wednesday, is, by all available evidence, a cross between a black Angus and an elk, however unlikely such a hybrid might seem.
The animal was brought to sale by Cal Albright, foreman of the 99 Ranch near Millican. Albright said the ranch's cow herd ran in the high country near Baker, where elk abound. The critter, a short yearling, was born in August 1967. It was bottle-raised because the cow wouldn't claim it.
Weighing 485 pounds, the odd animal was bought by Jack Raburn of Madras Cattle Feeders, who said he plans to raise it to see how it turns out. He paid 27 and a half cents a pound, about two cents over the normal figure for Wednesday's sale. Albright said State Department of Agriculture tests indicated elk blood in the animal. Stockmen present at the sale noted that other elk characteristics, such as "toes" high on the leg rather than just above the hoof (as in beef animals), a "different" tail, an "unbeeflike" muzzle, and a similarly "unbeeflike" jaw (little dewlap) supported the black Angus-elk cross theory.
25 YEARS AGO
June 24, 1993
Ever been frustrated by mislaid parts or tools dropped while doing home repairs on your car?
Well consider the career of blind mechanic Tim Venetis, who recently visited Madras from his home state of New York.
"I do car repairs by feel and by listening. Sure, I drop parts too, but I just try to find them or get help if I can't," said the 39-year-old Venetis.
Venetis, who grew up in Poughquag, N.Y., was in Madras to visit his high school friend Cliff Dwy, who owns Cliff's Auto Repair.
The mechanic has been blind since shortly after birth. He was born premature and placed in an incubator with pure oxygen. It wasn't until many premature babies across the nation began having problems that doctors discovered the oxygen was making them go blind.
Dwy said he and Venetis went to the same school and graduated together. "I remember the first time we met. I was at a junkyard looking for VW parts and met him. He said he had some parts at home, so we went to his house and the whole basement was full of motors! I don't know how he and his dad got them all down there," Dwy laughed.
Venetis said he began learning about mechanics in junior high in 1968 by working on lawn mowers. He picked up more skills helping his friends with their cars, then took auto shop in high school two years later.
In 1972, he enrolled in Morrisville Technical School and earned an associate's degree in automotive technology.
"I can do all-around mechanics, brakes, rebuild engines, tune-ups, etc.," he noted.
"He's a very good mechanic and quite an inspiration. If he lived here I'd hire him," Dwy said.
Now, the good-looking, single mechanic owns his own home in La Grangeville, N.Y., and runs a shop out of his garage where he "putters around" repairing lawn mowers and cars.
For the past 16 years, he has also worked at the Texaco Research Center near Beacon, N.Y., testing oils blended by Texaco.
"I build engines and run them on the oils. After so many hours, we take the engines apart and test them for deposits and check the wear on the engines," he explained.
In his spare time, Venetis enjoys collecting old records and working on the restoration of his 1926 Model-T roadster.
In Madras on what he called a "working vacation" Venetis maneuvered unassisted over air hoses, around equipment and ducked under hoisted-up cars in Dwy's shop while telling about his occupation.
"Since he's been here, he's changed two starters in a Chevy, put a head gasket on a 1985 Dodge D-50 pickup and has torn down a D-8 Dodge engine to rebuild, all by himself," Dwy said proudly.
And that's not all he's done. Venetis also got to enjoy some of Central Oregon's recreational opportunities. On the weekend, with Dwy's verbal assistance, he drove a golf cart all over the Nine Peaks Golf Course and later at Lake Billy Chinook, steered a boat from the first landing to the Metolius arm of the river during a fishing trip.
"Last Sunday, Cliff helped me and I drove up at the Madras Drag Strip," Venetis admitted. "We had a Chevy Monte Carlo. He gave me direction and we got up to 90 mph on the straight-away."