The real Turk Irving

To the Editor,

After reading Sandra Ihrig’s letter last week concerning Lewis “Turk” Irving, I feel I must present the impression I have of him after doing research for the Jefferson County Library history. All of this information came directly from articles in the Madras Pioneer and the library minutes starting on July 25, 1916, when Turk called a meeting for people interested in establishing a public library. The Pioneer announcement quoted him saying, “Everyone should be interested, so everyone should be present.” The Jefferson County Library Association was formed that night and he was elected president … an office he held for 28 years.

From this point on, it was a constant struggle to get the little library established, as there were only 77 paying members. Turk immediately donated a “date-Due” stamp from his office and in 1923 encouraged members to donate $1 a year. “Those of you who feel that you were slighted last year may pay $2 instead of $1 and any voluntary contributions you wish to make will be gladly received,” said Irving. Dues were dropped later to 50 cents a year in order to attract more members.

When he was elected mayor in 1917, the City Council, at his urging, voted unanimously to give the library $5 a month for a year. It was the first tax support of the library, and there was not permanent funding until a taxing district was formed in 2000. When firewood for the library’s stove ran out in January of that year, Irving stepped in and donated enough wood to last through the spring. In 1927, he furnished paint for the library and donated a new flue and much-needed repairs to the floor.

He was always looking for ways to cut library costs and in 1931 suggested the lights be turned off for the summer months. He also offered to pay for half of a new roof that year if the community could raise the other half. Many creative fundraisers were held during the Depression years with prizes donated by local businesses. The best one reported in the Pioneer seemed to be the “10 gallons of gas donated by Lewis Irving’s service station.” He had unfailing support for the library, and when all else failed, would subsidize it with his personal funds.

The community showed great excitement about the announcement of his marriage to Louise. There were bridal showers, a bridge luncheon, and dinner parties to celebrate. His honeymoon involved a train trip from Seattle to San Francisco, where they boarded a steamer to New York City via the Panama Canal. The paper reported that they had returned from a three-month honeymoon, each bearing a good coat of tan.

He declined the nomination for president of the Library Association in 1945 and died in 1949. Sadly, his obituary never mentioned his many contributions to the library. All of us who love and use the Jefferson County Library today should be thankful for Lewis Irving’s vision and determination.

Kathie Olson


Get a dog for your health

To the Editor,

Today is Wednesday, May 28, my 91st birthday. Two things are necessary for longevity, our good thoughts and actions.

I just read a book titled “You Can’t Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought.” When anyone speaks harshly to you, it may be they had just received news from their doctor of a serious medical problem. Do not take their attitude personally.

Everyone needs someone to talk to once in a while. The most generous thing you can do in today’s fast-paced world is take time to listen. Psychologists know that, and they get paid for listening!

When bad/sad news is on the television, act. Turn it off and play soothing music on your recording machine.

I have a dog. Her name is Jazzy. She is at my feet constantly. (She likes music too.) It is a known fact people with a dog live longer. Not because we take them walking, but because they are such a loving comfort in the home. Get yourself a dog. Walk through a local animal rescue kennel. You will make eye contact with a dog you can readily see wants to go home with you. Taking it home will be a mutually happy event, and you may even have saved its life. Trust me, my friend, you will never ever regret your act of salvation.

Donna Quick-Polka


Library films

To the Editor,

This is an open invitation to all Jefferson County book clubs. As you make selections for books to be read this next year, keep the Jefferson County Library's Film Committee in mind.

Call the library and leave the names of the books selected by your club and a contact information. Once the committee has this information, we will seek movies that relate to the books selected and if we find one that we will show the community, we will contact your book club contact with that information.

The Jefferson County Library Film Committee presents the Screen on the Green in early September to begin our yearly showing of three movies a month. These films are all presented to the public free of charge.

Stephen K. Hillis

Jefferson County Library Film Committee

Contract Publishing

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