Sherman County eNews #327


  1. St. John the Baptist and St. Mary Catholic Church Services, Dec. 24-Jan. 26

  2. Notice. Sherman County Court, Jan. 2

  3. Rustic Cabins Open & Ready to Rent at Cottonwood Canyon State Park

  4. First Day Hike at Cottonwood Canyon State Park, Jan. 1

  5. Black History 101 Mobile Museum to Visit The Dalles, Jan. 8

  6. To Be Alone

“[Members of Congress] are the Servants of the People, sent together to do the People’s Business…” —Benjamin Franklin (1785)


Away in a manger, no crib for his bed,
the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
but little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.
I love thee, Lord Jesus! Look down from the sky,
And stay by my side until morning is nigh.

~Lyrics unattributed; music by William J. Kirkpatrick in 1895

1. St. John the Baptist and St. Mary Catholic Church Services, Dec. 24-Jan. 26

church.family1Christmas Eve Mass, Monday, December 24, 5pm St. John the Baptist, Grass Valley (No Mass in Wasco) Everyone is welcome to join us as we celebrate the birth of Our Savior!

December 29 – January 26 Mass Schedule

St. Mary, Wasco, Saturdays at 5pm (No Grass Valley Masses) Father Ron Maag will be celebrating Mass with us while Father Fabian is on vacation.

2. Notice. Sherman County Court, Jan. 2

ShermanCoLogoThe Sherman County Court session scheduled for Wednesday, January 2, 2019, at 9:00 a.m.  will be held in the Commissioners Meeting Room at the Sherman County Courthouse, 500 Court Street, Moro, Oregon, 97039. The agenda, including updates, will be posted on the Sherman County Website at

3. Rustic Cabins Open & Ready to Rent at Cottonwood Canyon State Park

Just in time for the cold winter weather, the cabins at Cottonwood Canyon are open for business! These rustic cabins are the perfect way to experience the open wilderness of Cottonwood Canyon and the surrounding area while sleeping in comfort.

Our 4 rustic cabins sleep up to 8 people and are outfitted with two twin sized bunk beds, a full sized bed, and a futon that pulls out into an additional full sized bed. Each cabin also includes a dining table with 4 chairs, a mini fridge, porch seating, picnic table and fire ring.

For those cold winter nights, or hot summer days; air conditioning and heat is supplied.

Located nearby is our newly constructed restroom/shower house; free hot showers are provided with rentals of any cabin or campsite. Potable water is available outside the cabins year round.

Visitors will still need to bring bedding, eating utensils, food and any other camping items they’ve come to rely on.

Cabin rentals are currently $48/night for visitors without pets, or $58/night for one of our two pet-friendly cabins. (Plus an additional $8 reservation fee). For additional information, give us a call here at Cottonwood Canyon at (541) 394-0002.

Reservations can be made on-line 24/7 through Reserve America; or by calling reservations at 1-800-452-5687Monday-Friday 8-5pm (excluding holidays). See

4. First Day Hike at Cottonwood Canyon State Park, Jan. 1

This year, the hike will start at our brand new Experience Center building. From there we will be hiking the pinnacles trail which follows the John Day river canyon through stunning geologic formations in a natural desert landscape. Look closely for Mule Deer, Red Tailed Hawk, and our resident herd of California Bighorn Sheep.

Some things to keep in mind: Dogs are permitted on a 6-foot leash. Due to some narrow and sloping trail sections, strollers are not recommended. Bring plenty of water, and snacks if desired. Hiking boots highly recommended, as well as hats, gloves and winter coats.

The hike is expected to be around 2.5 miles round trip. We will be meeting at 10am starting from the Experience Center, located just past the red barn. Resister now at!

Looking for something different? Nearby Deschutes State Recreation Area will be hosting its first annual First Day Hike. The hike will begin at 9am, meeting at the Oregon Trail Kiosk (located in the campground area). Take a ranger-led hike on the historic Railbed Trail along the edge of the Deschutes River. The hike will continue on the Ferry Springs Trail to climb to the highest point in the park and magnificent views of the Deschutes River Scenic Waterway. The final leg of the trek will be on the Blackberry Trail. Note that this hike will be approximately 5miles, with minor water crossings. Hiking boots, water, and weather appropriate clothing are necessary. Register for this hike here:

5. Black History 101 Mobile Museum to Visit The Dalles, Jan. 8

A mobile museum featuring a collection of over 7,000 artifacts related to Black history and culture will visit The Dalles-Wasco County Public Library on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, from 11 am to 3 pm. The Black History 101 Mobile Museum’s founder, Khalid el-Hakim, will give a talk from 12 to 1pm. Admission is free.

As a Social Studies teacher at Detroit’s Lions Academy, a public middle school, el-Hakim realized that the available textbooks often glossed over or inadequately explained Black history and culture. In response, he began scouring second-hand shops, junk yards, and other sources for original artifacts that he could use to illustrate concepts like the trans-Atlantic slave trade, Jim Crow, slavery, and institutionalized racism to his students. el-Hakim calls himself “the Black version of the show American Pickers.”

Starting in the early 1990s, el-Hakim continued growing his collection for use as a classroom aide, amassing around 500 pieces. In 1995, after attending the Million Man March in Washington, D.C., el-Hakim was inspired to do something that would support awareness and social change in the community. He also decided he needed a larger and more permanent way to make the collection accessible beyond just his own students.

The result is the Black History 101 Mobile Museum, a 39-foot trailer that houses el-Hakim’s collection, representing a cross-section of what el-Hakim calls “the Black experience in America.” The museum showcases artifacts–both historical and contemporary–that illustrate the history and progression of Black culture. Pieces range from those connected to slavery, Jim Crow, and civil rights, to the emergence and flourishing of Black culture in movements from the Harlem Renaissance to modern-day hip-hop. The museum is laid out in table-top displays, with objects grouped together to illustrate a common theme.  Unlike books or commentary about a historical subject, a collection such as the one el-Hakim has curated allows visitors to have a visceral experience of history and culture. Grouping objects thematically allows the artifacts to be contextualized. As el-Hakim said “I took it to a different level [to show] what Booker T. Washington or W.E.B. Dubois or other individuals were doing during the Jim Crow era. It just made more of a powerful impact for me to see Aunt Jemima imagery next to somebody like [poet and playwright] Paul Laurence Dunbar, and what he was doing at the time.”

Current themes include women, hip-hop, Jim Crow, civil rights and Black Power, music, leadership, sports, and science and technology. Since 2018 is the 50th anniversary of his assassination, materials are included that relate to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and to the 1968 Olympics, where athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos each raised a fist in a silent salute to civil rights.

el-Hakim stopped teaching social studies in 2011 to devote himself to the museum full time. He is also creating a documentary film about the museum itself, called ArtifaXual, as part of his dissertation research as a Ph.D. student at the University of Illinois.

Light refreshments will be served, and the event, which is sponsored by Columbia Gorge Community College, will be held in the Library’s Community Room.

Khalid el-Hakim and the Black History Mobile Museum can be found on social media at the following locations:

Twitter @BH101MM
Instagram: @bhistory101
Facebook: Black History 101 Mobile Museum
Black History Mobile Museum website:

6. To Be Alone

Loneliness is something most of us dread. It can seem even worse during the holiday season, especially if we are dealing with loss and the need to create a new future for ourselves. However, even loneliness has its positive aspects.

Loneliness can be painful, but, as with other things, it is our attitude toward loneliness that counts. We can take a negative attitude, in which case we may either run from being alone, filling life with “busy-ness” or we can choose to wallow in it, immersed in self-pity.

We can also take a positive attitude, recognize it as an essential experience of every human being and use it creatively as a resource for knowing the self, and discovering our center and focus in life. Loneliness then becomes “alone time,” which is very different from loneliness.

It is only when we can stand alone, when we can admit our separate-ness, that we can make full use of our individual resources to set about finding our meaningful connections with others. We can take the time to set aside the desperation that fear of being alone can cause.

When the love and understanding with which we reach out to others is based upon a true sense of the self, a sense that we have discovered in confrontation with our loneliness, then it is based on reality instead of on false expectations. It is much easier to deal with, or handle, the truth than it is to deal with the disappointment of false expectations.

We alone can change ourselves. We alone can make the decision for growth. Each of us, alone, is the central point of reference in our lives. And this alone-ness actually gives us courage and resiliency to face what comes.

Knowing these things can be a lonely experience, but out of it can come a greater strength and confidence in your ability to meet life – and provide inner security that fear cannot manipulate or destroy. ~The Pacific Institute