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Looking back

A garbage can sits atop the flagpole at Klamath Union High School following a prank by a graduating senior in 1971. School administrators admitted it was “quite an engineering feat to get it up there.”

100 years ago

With 50 men on the day shift and 12 or 15 going to work on the night shift from now on, the site of the California Oregon Power Company’s dam on the west side of the Link River is a scene of much activity.

A dike has been erected on the West Bank to handle the rock that is being taken from the abutment excavation, steam drills are eating into the rock, carpenters are putting up the platform for a concrete mixer and all preliminaries are being rushed with a view to get the $300,000 structure completed this year.

The construction camp below the dam site is a neat little city, with a big cook house and dining room, a dozen or more bunk houses, garage sheds and blacksmith shop.

Local merchants appreciate the presence of the energetic young camp, as it supports a $4,000 monthly payroll and expends considerable additional money for supplies.

The Evening Herald, June 3, 1921

50 years ago

An unnamed member of the Klamath Union High School Class of 1971 celebrated his graduation Monday night by hoisting a garbage can atop the school’s flagpole—just as his father did after his graduation 29 years ago.

Just how the feat was accomplished is a well-kept family secret, according to an anonymous call to the Herald and News today from a woman who said her husband originated the prank in 1942.

“He promised not to tell anybody how to put it up there until his son graduated,” the woman said. “And our son says he’ll keep the secret until his first son graduates.” The can remained on its lofty perch from 11 p.m. until 7:15 this morning when three KUHS custodians nudged it loose by hoisting a stick up the halyards.

“It was quite an engineering feat to get it up there,” said Jack H. Peterson, assistant principal, “but to get it down without shinnying up that pole. We feel we’re just as inventive as they are.”

The mother of Monday night’s prankster—still unidentified—said her first grandson would carry on the tradition and test the ingenuity of a later generation of KUHS custodians. The 1942 prank went unnoticed, at least as far as press coverage.

The Herald and News, June 8, 1971

25 years ago

Marchers were carrying a 30-by-60 foot U.S. flag into the Dorris City Hall park when, one by one, virtually all of the 1,000 or so parade watchers’ eyes were averted skyward.

Gliding lazily overhead was a lone eagle.

Unperturbed and seemingly full of curiosity, the eagle looked down on the flag, which was stretched to its full size as an honor guard of Dorris and Butte Valley area youth and adults carried it toward the park’s 200-foot-flagpole, the tallest in America.

“How,” wondered one impressed observer, “did they arrange that?”

Sometimes, things just happen.

As the flag was hooked to a steel cable and slowly raised, the gathering recited the “Pledge of Allegiance.”

As the flag continued upward, bands played patriotic anthems and upon reaching the top, a cannon was fired three times.

Herald and News June 3, 1996

Ten years ago

More than 20 cardboard boats from Klamath Union, Mazama and Henley high schools, were lifted into the water of Upper Klamath Lake to test the design and craftsmanship against the competition Wednesday during the annual cardboard boat races.

Some, unfortunately, were not deemed seaworthy by the elements and windy conditions and never made it out of the water—or at least had to be dragged out using a tow rope and pick-up truck. With names such as Iceberg (the winner) and the SS Save My Physics Grad, the boats filled with science students from the three basin schools raced across from Marina 2 near Moore Park for bragging rights and a little school credit.

The Herald and News, June 9, 2011