Sherman County eNews #99


  1. Free “Grow Your Own Groceries” Vegetable Gardening Class, April 10

  2. Northwest author Craig Lesley to Speak at Community College, April 13

  3. Sherman 4-H Club News Reports

  4. Community Sale on Memorial Day Weekend in Grass Valley, May 26-27

  5. Hood River Follies, April 23

  6. 17 Inches – Don’t widen the plate!

  7. Letter of Intent Deadline for Preserving Oregon Grant, April 14

  8. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do

1. Free “Grow Your Own Groceries” Vegetable Gardening Class, April 10

food.raspberriesFree “Grow Your Own Groceries” vegetable gardening class will be held Monday, April 10 at 6pm at the Sherman Extension Office in Moro.  This is the first class of the Sherman Resiliency Series, which will give local residents information on how to provide for yourself and your family…to be able to withstand hard times or “bounce back” after disruptions or dramatic changes in your life.

Upcoming classes include:

Monday, April 24  “Grow Your Own Groceries” on perennials, berries and fruit trees

Tuesday, May 2   Raise Meat ‘n’ Eggs on the Homestead or Backyard

Tuesday, May 16 Make Compost to Improve Your Soil

Watch for summer classes on topics including food storage; food preservation by canning, freezing, drying and more; water storage and filtration; 72-hour-kits aka “Get Home Safely” bags.  For more information or if you can’t make the meetings but would like the handouts, email

2. Northwest author Craig Lesley to Speak at Community College, April 13

books.loveAcclaimed Northwest author Craig Lesley, a native of The Dalles, returns to his home town Thursday, April 13, for a special reading in the Columbia Gorge Community College Library. Lesley speaks in conjunction with a series of events this month celebrating American Indian Cultural Festival, which also features Oregon Poet Laureate Elizabeth Woody, authors Sherman Alexie and Rosanne Parry, and related events at other local locations.

Lesley’s reading is at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the college library, Building 1, 400 East Scenic Drive. Lesley will be introduced by Oregon State Librarian Mary Kay Dahlgreen, emcee for the entire cultural series. Lesley’s works include Winterkill, River Song, Burning Fence, Storm Riders and The Sky Fisherman, the latter two of which were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Leslie is writer-in-residence at Portland State University.

At the same time as Lesley’s reading at the college, Oregon Poet Laureate Elizabeth Woody will be offering a reading at The Dalles Wasco County Public Library. And, at 4 p.m. that day, authors Sherman Alexie and Rosanne Parry will be joined by Lesley and Woody for an hour of poetry in The Dalles Middle School Commons. Musical accompaniment will be provided by the Taholah Drum Group of the Quinault Indian Nation and school district poetry students.

At 7 p.m. Thursday evening all four writers will gather at Klindt’s Book Sellers, Oregon’s oldest bookstore, to sign their published works, which will be available at the bookstore.

The Dalles Wasco County Public Library will be providing Native American Family Story Time Wednesday, April 12, at 10:30 a.m. And on Thursday, April 20, at 6:30 p.m. there will be an Adult Book Club discussion of Blasphemy, by Sherman Alexie, in the public library.

Local literacy partners for the American Indian Cultural Festival include Columbia Gorge Community College Library, The Dalles Wasco County Public Library, Friends of the Library, D-21 Libraries, and Klindt’s Book Sellers. For information, call (541) 506-3449 ext. 4010.

3. Sherman 4-H Club News Reports

4-H clover1The Sherman County Swine 4-H club met on March 20 at 6:00pm at the home of Cadence Smith.  Attending were Samantha, Emma, Cadence, Natalie, Allie, Austin, Hunter, Kyle, and leaders Samantha and Brennah.  No excused absences.  Pledge of Allegiance led by Cadence Smith, 4-H Pledge by Emma.  We introduced ourselves and elected officers.  The President is Samantha, the secretary is Cadence, and the treasurer is Allie.  We also talked about how to select a pig and swine auctions where members could find their pigs.  Lastly, we learned Roberts Rules of Order and practiced conducting a meeting.  Our next meeting will be April 20 at the Extension Office.  Meeting adjourned at 7:00pm.  Submitted by Cadence Smith, News Reporter.

The Sherman County Beef 4-H club met on March 23 at 6:30pm at the Extension Office.  Pledge of Allegiance led by Wade, 4-H Pledge led by Patrick.  Wade is President, Patrick is secretary/news reporter, Natalie is treasurer.  We have 8 steers for fair as of now.  Talked about halter breaking your steer.  Talked by filling out your steer fair tags at weigh-in.  Weigh-in is April 2.  Talked about showmanship clinic.  Took a small test.  Next meeting will be April 2.  Meeting adjourned at 7:10pm.  Submitted by Patrick Ramos, News Reporter.

The Sherman County Beef 4-H club met on April 2 at 9:56am after the 9:00am weigh-in at the fairgrounds.  Excused absence was Hunter.  Pledge of Allegiance led by Wade, 4-H Pledge led by Courtney.  We talked about how to gain weight and start working with our animals.  How to feed your animal to hit target weight.  Talked about what to feed and how much of what types, and about different breeds’ weight gain.  Sizes for sweatshirts.  Next meeting will be week of April 24.  Meeting adjourned at 10:15am.  Submitted by Patrick Ramos, News Reporter.

The Sherman County Sewing 4-H club met on April 3 at 3:30pm at the Sherman School home ec room.  Attending were Madalyn and Becca.  Pledge of Allegiance and 4-H Pledge led by Madalyn.  We made pin cushions from felt using needle, thread and scissors.  We hand sewed them and stuffed them. We talked about future scheduling and past year’s work.  Next meeting will be Tuesday April 18 at the Extension Office.  Meeting adjourned at 4:30pm.  Submitted by Madalyn Elene Berry, News Reporter.

The “Chicken Tenders” poultry 4-H club met on April 6 at 5:30pm at the Extension Office.  Attending were Joey, Clay, Savanna, Grace, Emily, Antone, Quinton, Calvin, Ben.  Pledge of Allegiance and 4-H Pledge led by Joey.  We reviewed turkey arrival and prices, reviewed brooding, and setting coops.  Questions about chickens and butcher parts.  Did advancements. 4-H day of service on April 29.  Next meeting will be May 10th at 5:15pm at Extension Office.  Meeting was adjourned at 6:05 pm.

The “Goatees” 4-H goat club met on March 20 at 6:00pm at Extension Office.  Attending were Will, Logan, Patrick, Joey, Charlotte, Izzy, Mercedez, Kaelex, Bailee, Erynne, Jordan, Juliet, Riley, Coral, Skyler Lexi and parents.  Excused absences were Kade, Wyatt, Elijah, Austin and Reese.  Pledge of Allegiance led by Charlotte, 4-H Pledge by Izzy.  President is Will, Izzy is Vice, Secretary Jordan.  We have reviewed that auction will be May 26, $90 per goat.  Showing clinic will be in July.  At the end of fair the club will be helping to clean up and community service will be scheduled sometimes for cleaning up the Wasco cemetery.  At the next meeting Izzy and Mercedez.  Doing record book advancements for better experience.  August 23-27 will be the date of fair.  Try to find ideas for basket.  Next meeting will be in April.  Meeting adjourned at 6:35pm.  Submitted by Jordan Barrett, News Reporter

4.  Community Sale on Memorial Day Weekend in Grass Valley, May 26-27

9 AM TO 4 PM
For Sale: Collectables, Crafts, Clothes, Food, Furniture,
Tools, Estate Sale Items and

Many Other Treasures.
CONTACT Terri Bibby, 541-333-2374 to be listed on map.

5. Hood River Follies, April 23

LionsInternationalLogoSherman County Community Transit is scheduled to take supporters to THE FOLLIES on Sunday, April 23rd, for the matinee performance of “Kid Awesome and the Disco Girls,” an original written and produced musical presented by the Hood River group that has a 40 year history of barnburners presented with local talent from youngsters to oldsters and everything between.

Alert to all of those who have supported and loved the Hood River Follies for parts of the last 41 years: The Follies have been one of the biggest supporters of Sight and Hearing in the LIONS OF OREGON.

This Year the title has changed to MID COLUMBIA LIONS FOLLIES, due to the inclusion of The Dalles, Odell, Cascade Locks and Odell clubs all assisting with the event,

Call Marnene at 541 565 3553 to register for the bus or to find out costs. Programs at 7:30  with you providing your own transportation are scheduled for April  21, 22, 23, 27, 28, and 29.

6. 17 Inches – Don’t widen the plate!

sports.fastBB17 INCHES
In Nashville, Tennessee during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA’s convention.

While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name, in particular, kept surfacing, always with the same sentiment —“John Scolinos is here? Oh, man, worth every penny of my airfare.”

Who is John Scolinos, I wondered. No matter! I was just happy to be there.

In 1996 Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948. He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate.

Seriously, I wondered, who is this guy?

After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage. Then, finally … “You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck?” he said, his voice growing irascible. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility. “I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.”

Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?”

After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches?” more of a question than answer.

“That’s right,’ he said. “How about in Babe Ruth’s day? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?” Another long pause.

“Seventeen inches?” a guess from another reluctant coach.

“That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up as the pattern began to appear. “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”

“Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.

“You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”

“Seventeen inches!” we said in unison.

“Any Minor League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?”

……. ’Seventeen inches!”

“RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in the Major Leagues?

“Seventeen inches!”

“SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls. “And what do they do with a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over seventeen inches?” Pause. “They send him to Pocatello!” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter.

“What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Jimmy. You can’t hit a seventeen inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of hitting it. If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.’” Pause.

“Coaches…” pause, “… what do we do when our best player shows up late to practice? When our team rules forbid facial hair and a guy shows up unshaven? What if he gets caught drinking? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him? Do we widen home plate? The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold.

He turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows.

“This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline. We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We widen the plate!”

Pause. Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag. “This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful, and to educate and discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?”

Silence. He replaced the flag with a Cross. “And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate for themselves!

And we allow it.”

“And the same is true with our government. Our so called representatives make rules for us that don’t apply to themselves. They take bribes from lobbyists and foreign countries. They no longer serve us. And we allow them to widen home plate and we see our country falling into a dark abyss while we watch.”

I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curve balls and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable.

From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.

“If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: if we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools & churches & our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to.

With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside, “… dark days ahead.”

Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine. Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches. He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach. His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players—no matter how good they are—your own children, your churches, your government, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches.”

And this, my friends, is what our country has become and what is wrong with it today, and how to fix it.

Don’t widen the plate.
~ Chris Sperry

7. Letter of Intent Deadline for Preserving Oregon Grant, April 14

The Preserving Oregon grant funds the preservation of historic properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places and archaeology projects. The letter of intent is required in order to apply for the grant. The letter should include information about the property or location and the project. The application, that includes the letter of intent is submitted online. The letter of intent deadline is April 14. For more information, visit<> or contact Kuri Gill at<> or 503-986-0685. 

 8. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do

Bird.Black.Envelope17 Inches. Don’t widen the plate.
~ Chris Sperry

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