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Weve lost a valued part of West Linns history

by: Emily Gustafson, Since 1959, it has been Ida Case’s attention to detail that has provided stylish fashion to fair princesses. In this 2003 photo, Case is shown with her trusty sewing machine.

I was saddened to read in the Tidings that Ida Case had passed away. It seemed so cold and sterile.

Ida was one of my heroes. She loved this community. There are many sides to Ida's life.

She will always be remembered by many of the members of the West Linn Fair Courts over the years. She was the seamstress of the dresses for the princesses. This was a labor of love for her. Each year she would take the bolt of material and make each girl look like a princess.

She could take any design and make it look good on any young lady. If a girl was outside the pattern range, she could create the pattern in her size. She had the wonderful knack of being able to work with any 14-year-old girl and her mother. In fact, over the many years there were girls and mothers who used Ida for other sewing projects long after the fair.

For a period of time the Fair Board used 'secret judges' who observed the girls as they went about their tasks of being a princess. Ida was often one of these judges, but she always found something good to say about each girl.

Long before I knew Ida she had been the creator of the gowns for the May Day Court at West Linn High School. Yes, these were simpler times, but Ida had a way of endearing herself to each person she met.

There was another side of Ida that I was privileged to know. Each time I ran for public office she was always there with a donation and request for a lawn sign.

Now for you who have never run for public office, you don't realize how wonderful it is for someone to donate unsolicited. And she was a great guardian of lawn signs. If it was damaged or stolen, she would always let me know and want a replacement; plus her yard was a great site.

Ida played volleyball until she was well into her 80s. Oh, how I yearn for such ability.

Ida Case was one of the people who made West Linn so desirable over the years. She and her husband, Charles, truly loved this community. They loved the events of the fair each year and were among the many who donated time and effort to keep the event alive.

Life in West Linn goes on, but it is important that we take a moment to remember those like Ida who are part of West Linn's great history.

Jill Thorn is a West Linn resident and former mayor of the city.