In 1968, Vekich started working on the docks in 1944

From the archives of The Daily World

75 years ago

June 11, 1943

Deeply impressed by the amount of war materials now being turned out by furniture and floor-covering factories throughout the country, Cy Goldberg of the Goldberg Furniture company returned to Aberdeen yesterday from a six week buying trip to the east and middlewest.

He visited furniture markets and factories in New York, Chicago, Grand Rapids, Philadelphia and St. Louis.

“Very little merchandise is available because the furniture factories are practically all engaged in war work and there are few materials for those that aren’t,” he said. “The carpet industry is nearly 100 percent in war work.”

50 years ago

June 11, 1968

Max Vekich had tried soda-jerking, barkeeping, driving a truck, the sawmill, commercial fishing and clerking in a wholesale grocery outlet when an explosion landed him in his permanent calling — longshoring.

The Harbor native and 1935 graduate of Weatherwax High School got his first job on the docks after a devastating explosion on San Francisco Bay in 1944 prompted many ammunition ships to call at Grays Harbor.

“I liked the idea of working when I felt like it,” Vekich said. “The conditions are better than other places, and the pay is good.”

After 10 years wrestling cargoes in dockside bottoms, Vekich was elected secretary of Local 24 of the ILWU.As a dispatcher, he must batch the right skills with the right assignment, while giving each of the 186 on his lists a chance to have his fair share of work.

25 years ago

June 11, 1993

Hoquiam High School choir director Don Tackett is retiring this year, after 18 years with the Hoquiam School District, but he’s not singing the blues about his final group of students.

Four Hoquiam students — a record as far as Tackett can remember — made it all the way to the state vocal solo competition in Ellensburg this spring.

Dave McClure, 17, sang in the baritone division, as did 15-year-old sophomore Reece Dano. Sophomore Matt Skinner, 15, sang in the bass division and Traci Kay Pryde, 18 competed in the soprano division.

Each of the students did well, although they did not place. The statewide competition was tough, they said.

“The voices you were there competing against just blew you away,” said Traci.

Compiled from the archives of The Daily World by Karen Barkstrom