Happy Valley on the Web
Photo/Logo Copyright © 1996 Erik Gustafsson

Happy Valley on the Web

My Happy Valley

September 19, 1996, Happy Valley

This is the first edition of Happy Valley on the web. I believe this will become a real meeting place where "Happy Vallians" can learn more about the area, the schools, the government, and their neighbors.

I will be looking for contributions from local sources both on and off the web. Feel free to submit articles, items of interest, schedules or what have you and we will publish it here (of course subject to what is deemed appropriate).

To start the ball rolling, I will tell a little about myself. My name is Erik Gustafsson and I moved to Happy Valley in 1955. I have seen it change from a quiet gravel roaded "hollow", far from the "city", to a bustling community where blacktop is speading daily and the "city" is just around the corner.

I remember watching many of the magnificent barns in the area being destroyed; some by time, some by fire, others by the Columbus Day storm of the early 60's. More recently I watched as the local firemen burned a dairy barn to make way for a new subdivision. I could only imagine the reaction that the old dairy farmer might have had if he were still alive to see it burn. It had been built in several days by a community barn-raising effort after an older barn had burned accidently, killing a number of the farmer's cows. Today there is new life where the barn used to stand in the form of Carmichael Estates. I thought it should have been called Thompson Estates, after the old dairy farmer and his wife. But then I wasn't asked.

I attended Happy Valley Elementary School. Went to the first grade in the oldest room in the building, I think it is now the music room. There used to be a sand box in the foyer at the front door. That's where we would play when it rained. No buses when I went to the first grade, but they started coming by the second grade. Now there's progress. I can't remember walking 10 miles to school in a blizzard uphill both ways. It was only a mile, and I don't think we went when it snowed.

My older brother was in the eighth grade at HVS when I was in the first. He watched out for me as we walked to school, but ignored me after we got to school. Except the time during recess that I fell out of a swing at its highest arc, tumbling backwards onto my head on the pavement. When I was revived, there was my brother leaning over me, checking to make sure I wasn't dead.

I remember being chased by Mr. Zinser and his shotgun when we trespassed on his pastures west of 132nd. I remember the time my friends and I threw rotten pears at the passing cars on Mt.Scott Blvd. We all scattered when one one driver finally stopped, but he easily apprehended Gary Pahlka as he tried to hobble away on his crutches. I think he ratted on the rest of us. Later, in high school, I remember being chased in my friend's very fast car through Happy Valley by Ed Rebstock as my friend drove me home from Clackamas H.S. Ed never did catch us.

I have moved away several times over the years for military service and college, but otherwise I have been close to Happy Valley most of my life.

The changes taking place in Happy Valley are somewhat disturbing to me. But just as I can't stop the computer age and the demise of the typewriter, I can't stop the changes to my Happy Valley. After all, someday I will wither away like grass and the Valley will remember me no more - - just like it has forgotten many of those old barns.

Erik Gustafsson


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Last upate August 8, 2004
Copyright © 1996 -2004 Erik Gustafsson, Happy Valley, Oregon
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