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1972 - Cecil Moore recalls Halley's Comet over Madras; Fishing debates on the Deschutes in 1947 and more

100 YEARS AGO

September 14, 1922

At a meeting held Monday afternoon at the offices of the Jefferson Water Conservancy District and largely attended by farmers on the district and businessmen of Madras it was decided to invite the members of the Oregon Irrigation Congress, when they meet next month in Bend, to see the lands of the proposed Jefferson Water Conservancy District. For the transportation of the visitors, automobiles furnished by the people of the district will be supplied.

This plan should work out well. It has been arranged on the program to giving the second day of the Congress over to auto trips through Central Oregon's irrigated districts. With the addition of the cars which will be supplied by Jefferson County citizens the trip can be enhanced by being extended through the largest and most prominent district in the state.

Further details of arrangement could not be made. A.D. Anderson, secretary of the Jefferson Water Conservancy District was delegated to carry the plan to the president and secretary of the Congress, and he went to Bend to confer with them Tuesday.

75 YEARS AGO

September 11, 1947

A.R. Bowman, chairman of a committee of the Crook County Chamber of Commerce, during the past week discussed with members of a Madras Chamber of Commerce committee, Joe L. Waud, Joe Joseph and Joe D. Thomison, details of a final and climatic Central Oregon celebration for the summer — a joint celebration between the two cities, to commemorate completion of paving of the new short cut highway between Madras and Prineville.

Bowman stated that he had written H.B. Glaisyer, secretary of the state highway department, seeking participation of State Highway Engineer R.H. Baldock and other officials. Plans also call for participation of T.H. Banfield, president of the state highway commission, who would come here from Portland with Edward C. Sammons.

The Prineville Chamber of Commerce committee has asked the Madras folks to meet them at the county line at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. After the ribbon cutting exercises, all will proceed to the Ochoco Inn, where the Prineville folk will be hosts at a luncheon.

H.G. Smith, construction engineer of the state highway commission, will be present for the ceremony.

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As a result of action taken last week by the Wasco County Court, opening of the Deschutes River, which for some time has been available exclusively to members of a Portland organization, to the general field run of anglers has been brought a step nearer. The Wasco court, following a recent hearing at The Dalles has called for inspection by county road viewers of the proposed route, south from Maupin on the east side of the river, and a report from that official body. Further hearings will occur following the submission of the report.

It is proposed to utilize an abandoned railway right of way in opening a road up from Maupin to favored fishing stretches of the great Redside stream. Up to date the exclusive club has prevented anglers from motoring to the fine fishing waters by a locked gate on the only road.

This column wishes to join the newspapers of The Dalles and the members of 11 rod and gun clubs, all the way from The Dalles to Gilchrist, which form the Deschutes River Sportsmen's council, in their campaign to open the Deschutes to all anglers.

The exclusive sportsmen argued at the hearing at The Dalles that their action in closing the old railroad right of way worked for a conservation of the fish of the river. We ask: "For whom?" When the gate is locked, it appears to us, that the conservation works solely for the benefit of the privileged anglers who belong to the exclusive club.

The state fish commission plants young trout in the great fishing stream for all of the anglers of the state and all who may visit the state and become privileged to fish the state's streams when they purchase licenses and abide by laws. The aims of the exclusive club men to perpetuate a long stretch of the Deschutes River for their own privileged use in obnoxious to fair minded folk of the state.

50 YEARS AGO

September 14, 1972

Cecil Moore, Bend real estate broker, spent his boyhood in Madras in the early years of this century. Herewith he recalls Halley's comet. The year was 1910.

It was awful to contemplate I was only nine years old and already sizzling death and world destruction inevitably bore down upon me. Sinner and Saved alike were doomed a fiery finish; the only leniency was to have the saved judge first on resurrection day provided the books hadn't been kept in too technical a manner! To think of my pet bull calf would be roasted to a turn with no one to eat it after all my hard work of hoeing weeds to earn it in the first place.

The year was 1910 and Halley's comet was headed for old mother earth almost on collision course. The near miss was to be of no avail because the fiery tail would sweep every spot-on earth. The newspaper said so, or indicated it, in headlines of the same section that carried the funny papers like Little Nemo in the Frozen north, Happy hooligan, the Katzenjammer Kids and other interesting educational impossibilities.

I eagerly listened to everything said and read and re-read everything twice but ignored looking at the comet any more than necessary in hopes that it might go away if nobody paid any attention to it.

Looking out from our screened-in porch, I noted that all the stars had taken the shape of a cross so checked with Mother to see if divine intercession was about to take place and was dreadfully disappointed when she led me outside where the heavenly bodies appeared as usual. My thought was that our Great Heavenly Father, in the gracious goodness of his everlasting love must be making a terrible mistake, for every cell in my body was crying out that nine years old was too young to die!

Of course, most people pooh-poohed the scare talk and kept right on slopping the pigs and milking the cows as if nothing were going to happen. Their opinions weren't exciting, so who wanted to listen to their down to earth ordinary comments, when others were expounding the wildest prophecies, quoting chapters and verses to verify impending disaster. A few evasive sermons began to give weight to this calculated catastrophe which made persons entertaining the death wish to feel that their purpose in life now had real meaning. Others were said to have given away or sold their worldly goods that they might meet their Maker with empty hands and clean hearts. This was a godsend to those who bought on credit and also those who borrowed funds to have one last fancy fling; they couldn't lose in any event.

I discussed the coming terror with some of the other kids and found there was mixed opinions as to the seriousness of the situation. Jess Gard figured that if it did happen all his family were of such repute that they would be heaven bound in a group. Ross Watts took the attitude that it was a big lie from the start to finish, for you couldn't believe older people very much about anything. Frank Edmondson adopted a "yes and no" stance which would leave him free to go either way if there was a split second to make the proper decision. None of their opinions reassured me whatsoever.

The dreaded night of those last hours came; the body said, "eat hearty" while the brain said, "what's the use." Determined to see the entire performance, I stayed wide awake but must have dozed, for the only blinding flash was pure morning sunlight and breakfast was ready. No matter what may have happened there was firewood to be carried and buckets of water to be brought from the cistern. The new era was to be just like the former one.

Those who had disposed of their property started scheming to get it back. Those who had borrowed for the final fling had only a hangover. The believers who had spent the night on haystacks and other promontories climbed down and puzzled on how the Scriptures had been misinterpreted. Some that were suicides may have found themselves. The newspapers printed a scientific explanation that allowed all to save face, so all was well.

A few nights before the anticipated end, several people were visiting our farm home and one educated person remarked that, of all there, I was the most likely to live long enough to see Halley's comet on its next return if it kept on schedule. So, if my Social Security checks keep on coming that long, I'll be seeing the comet for the second time.

The World Book Encyclopedia says the following:

Halley's comet is a brilliant comet named for the English astronomer Edmund Halley. Before Halley made his investigation, most people believed that comets appeared by chance and travelled through space in no set path. But Halley believed comets belonged to the solar system and took definite paths around the sun at regular intervals. He found the paths taken by certain comets at 1456, 1531, and 1607 were identical with the path of a comet observed in 1682. He decided that the same comet made ll these paths. He correctly predicted that it would appear in 1759 and at regular intervals thereafter. Historical records show that Halley's comet was seen as long ago as 240 B.C. It reappears about every 77 years, but the intervals can be two years longer or shorter.

From the earth, Halley's comet can be seen only as it nears the sun. It was last near the sun on April 24, 1910, approaching as close as 55 million miles. Scientists at Helwan Observatory in Egypt photographed it in August 1909. They determined that the comet was then about 300,000,000 miles from the sun. It became brighter as it approached the sun and the earth. In early May 1910, the comet's head was as brilliant as the brightest starts. Its great tail stretched about two thirds the distance from the horizon to directly overhead.

Halley's comet came as close to the earth as 14,000,000 miles on May 20, 1910. On the next day the earth is believed to have passed through its tail. Halley's comet was last observed with a camera on July 1, 1911. Astrologers estimate that Halley's comet will return about 1986.


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