In 1941, Huhta denies rumors that he’s going to UW

75 years ago

Dec. 15, 1941

Emphatically denying he has signed any contract or even been approached, Elmer Huhta, Hoquiam high school football and basketball mentor, today said he was as much in the dark about Jimmy Phelan’s successor at the University of Washington as the next fellow.

“You can say for me that outside of what I’ve read in the papers, I don’t know a thing about the coaching change at the university,” the veteran mentor told The World today. “I don’t know where the rumor started that I had signed as a line coach but it is absolutely false.

“Naturally I would be overjoyed at returning to my alma mater in any capacity,” Huhta said. “I realize that it would be a big step but I wouldn’t hesitate. However, I must say again that so far I haven’t heard a single word about it.”

Dec. 16, 1941

Grays Harbor today mourned its first victim of the battle of the Pacific when word came that First Class Petty Officer Theodore Kelly, 36, former resident of Aberdeen and Hoquiam, was killed in action somewhere in the Pacific.

Notice of Petty Officer Kelly’s death was received by his brother, Luther Kelly, officer manager of Stouffer-Bowman company. Theodore attended grade school and high school at Hoquiam and worked for a time for the Harold Blake company.

50 years ago

Dec. 15, 1966

Walt Disney, who fashioned a golden entertainment empire from the gossamer threads of fantasy to the delight of commoners and kings alike, died today at the age of 65.

The cartoonist-turned movie mogul, amusement park operator and television emcee was one of the world’s most beloved and honored figures in the 20th century.

Dec. 16, 1966

When 9-year-old Eddie Peterson took a plunge into the Hoquiam River from the Eighth Street bridge yesterday afternoon, his teen-age babysitter, Doneen Sampson, leaped into the cold murky water for the rescue. Then came another young woman, Leta Buchanan, who joined the twosome in the river. Finally Dick Phillips and Jim Lewis came along and one of the men swam out to help the girl.

Eddie was wet and cold after the self-imposed ordeal but otherwise unhurt.

25 years ago

Dec. 15, 1991

Carlos “Little Boss” Corwin of Taholah and Rick Oppelt of Aberdeen pulled their punches in the only friendly fight of the Grays Harbor Boxing Tournament yesterday.

But Carlos, 9, and Rick, 12, heralded the future of organized boxing on the Harbor with their heart in an exhibition match.

In the the other 12 bouts at the Hoquiam YMCA, a host of young men demonstrated enough ferocity and skill (not always at the same time) to advertise that Harbor boxing packs a punch right now.

About 300 people came to the Harbor’s first tournament in many years, encourag ing the organizers to think about putting together another next year.

The event brought back memories of the “Smokers” that were a regular event on the Harbor until the early 1980s.

Craig Thiessen of Montesano, a big, bearded man viewing the action from under a ten-gallon hat, fought heavyweight back then and boasted of never losing a fight. Thiessen said he had little formal training. He was a perfect example of the kind of raw competitor who entered the smokers at Hoquiam High School’s Olympic Stadium and the 7th Street Theatre back then.

Dec. 16, 1991

Jeanne Rux is hoping and praying for a miracle.

Nearly 1,400 needy kids on Grays Harbor are expecting packages of toys and clothes Saturday, Dec. 21.

Right now, however, Santa has only enough to fill about one-fourth of the orders, said the Sunshine Kids spokesman.

“At this point, we’re operating on faith alone,” she said today. “We desperately need donated items, especially toys.”

Clothes and toys can be dropped off at the SouthShore Mall office, the Bank of the Pacific and Skippers restaurant in Aberdeen.

Compiled from the archives of The Daily World by Karen Barkstrom