Bob Spiwak Monkey MazamaBy Bob Spiwak

Well, everyone likes to talk about the weather, it is said, and on this Sunday morning, an early writing effort because of the holiday, it is gently snowing here in West Boesel. Just under freezing is predicted.

Freezing is what brought to mind last week’s commentary about a rumored remembrance commemorating the coldest temperature in Mazama, 28 below zero, that occurred many years ago. Ordinarily when that sort of information gets written here, it is consumed with some interest and that’s it.

Not so with the reported Mazama freeze-out memorial of last week. I got a call from somebody correcting the minus 28 that had been quoted (based on the rumor) and stated that the record for the valley was 52 below zero. Next came a reliable source, Dick Roberts emailing from Hawaii, with the true scoop. Dick was the official weather reporter in Mazama when he and his wife, Sue, owned the North Cascades Basecamp.

Dick emphasizes in his status at the time of writing with, “… just sitting here in Hawaii looking at the sun-speckled sea and wondering which shorts to wear as well as reading the Snooze [that being his affectionate name for this newspaper].”

Dick continues his communication by advising that according to his records the official low temperature in Mazama was minus 48 degrees on Dec. 30, 1968. This would have been three or four months after my first entrance to the Methow. Dick adds that many folks recorded lower temperatures around the valley, but those were not “officially” recognized. Temperatures near 30 below were not unusual before 1980, but since then the lows have been around the minus 18 mark.

Many thanks for that information. Maybe now we can have a true commemoration of the event and make the rumors real. And yes, I would like the link to the Weather Service section with the history of the temps. I’ll include it in a future column for all our readers.

Last week’s column also included our Googling “Mazama” and among other entries was one for The Mazama Coffee Company of Dripping Springs, Texas. I had intended to contact this outfit for some information since Mazama and Dripping Springs are both virtually outside our door. I did so today, the impetus being a call from Rayma Hayes, as the Hayes built their former house near the Big Valley car park, and named their driveway Dripping Springs Road.

Rayma informed that she grew up in Dripping Springs, Texas, and her mom, Doris, still lives there. She added that she had never heard of anything relating to Mazama or the name at that community.

Who knows? We may have a new sister city deep in the heart of Texas, y’all.

 

PREVIOUSLY, IN MAZAMA