This week in history - from The Marysville Globe archives

10 Years Ago 1997

They wait patiently, some talking, others tight lipped and grim. All eyes continually flicker to the doors, toes nervously tapping, arms crossed, to see if it has arrived yet. Inside the drab building, dozens of alchemists wait for the 2:30 p.m. bell to begin their feats of magic turning out nuggets of red gold. To the waiting throngs outside the So. Co. Berry Pak Plant, wizardry isnt exaggeration. Strawberries seem to appear out of thin air, more apparition than substance that is until the ruby juice runs down your chin and the smiles begin. But strawberries arent born in glory, despite their taste. They begin hidden in rows of geometry where just after sunrise the pickers arrive to ferret them out from hidden places. The pickers, some veterans, some rookies, all come to the Biringer farm prepared for a long day. The gritty rows, painted with berry stain-splotches, are gone over carefully, every unpicked berry a disappointment. The treasures are placed in plastic trays called flats, each holding approximately 15 pounds. By early afternoon, enough flats are collected to put them on pallets in lots of 120 and load them on the truck. Owner Mike Biringer, a farmer since the mid-fifties, takes the truck on the 10-minute treck to the downtown Marysville plant. The unmarked, rust-spotted truck waits its turn in line on the plants south end, just like customers on the north end. Manager Larry Munizza, who has been running the show for over 40 years, greets the trucks, pen in hand, counting the ransom. On a six-foot dock stand Todd DenDren and Chad Dais, waiting for pallets. Each are in front of a line extending 50 feet to the north. They dump each flat in a large metal container which shakes and washes the fruit, one going to be processed for cold storage and the other side for immediate sale. They tumble gently down the slide and onto a belt where two-week Marysville resident Dawn Harris, along with nearly a dozen workers on each belt, inspect the fruit for quality. On the customer side stands Tracie Anderson, 16, with three or four other workers, helping package the five-gallon containers for instant sale to the crowd. Sales clerk Pam Fisher inspects them once again, along with the customer making sure the red baubles are inside. For strawberries fated to a less glorious future of cold storage, the berries move down the belt into a cutting vat. The sugar is poured six pounds at a time into the swirling scarlet mixture. Aaron Alday, 17, helps keep the sugar supplied on the top of the mixer, My mom said, You either get a job or Ill take your car away. Alday said. So he spends eight hours a day, seven days a week, on strawberries. Three-year veteran Rick Wood loads the packaged berries onto trucks. He figures he can load between 18-22 pallets of the ruby cargo before they take off for the Lynden storage plant, he said. Wizardry? Perhaps not. But dont tell the customers. They wouldnt believe you anyway.

25 Years Ago 1982

Somebody must have been listening when Herman Williams spoke in the middle of a driving rainstorm last year. Looking up at a dark, grumbling sky swallowing the Strawberry Festivals Grand Parade last year, Williams, a member of the Tulalip Tribes, suggested festival organizers and fair-goers should adopt the ritual of a sun dance. You know, we have a rain dance for rain; a sun dance for sunshine, he had said, as he sat with his wife, Gen, under the protective covering of a tarpaulin. Although she may have other concerns, Strawberry Festival managing director Cheryl Deckard certainly didnt have to worry about rain spoiling any of the fun for this the 50th year since the inaugural festival back in 1032. The weatherman more than cooperated, shooting temperatures into the mid-90s for Fridays entertaining and competitive Tricycle races, and pushing them into the 90s again for Saturdays festivities. It was so warm at Asbery field Saturday afternoon that both teams competing in the first Marysville Alumni football game agreed to shorten the contest and lessen the risk of heat prostration. The decision couldnt save Vic Larson, a 1968 Marysville graduate who was playing for the 60s team. Larson, in what was to be a mild game of flag football, cracked two ribs on a play and had to be helped from the field. Many citizens realized this was no ordinary heat wave. Neil and Joan Hordyk suddenly were pressed into service Sunday as the lead runners in Marysvilles Second Annual Berry Run spotted the family out watering the lawn. Most of the spray was spent on cooling off exhausted runners. Thousands, despite the heat, were hopelessly caught up in the festival spirit. Phil Jubie, searching the sticky atmosphere for oxygen following the grueling 10-kilometer race, said he didnt know why he ran the event except that he had to. Two days before, in 94-degree heat, Jubie had competed in the trike races. I guess I just never get enough of the festival! Marysville Athletic Director Ward Sayles, his running gear soaked in perspiration, also wasnt sure why he ran the race. Well, its kind of like fertilizing your lawn, he said. You fertilize it and water it just so you can cut it. Several thousands liked the route for the Kiddies Parade Thursday night, and young Brian Christopher was one of them who wanted to get a closer look. When he returned to where he believed his mom should be, all he could see were a bunch of people and no faces he recognized. Terry Altermott and the Marysville Police Department joined forces with the Fire Department in tracking down Brians mom. When they finally found her at a downtown drive-in, Altermott told her to stay put. Young Brian was put aboard a a glistening red fire truck and on his way to a happy reunion. Mayor Brennick was rousted out of bed with a call that told him hed better do something as a number of minors had gained entry into the beer tent, just off the parade route. The mayor, without hesitating to comb his hair, dashed to the scene and in a matter of seconds had ordered the closure of the popular oasis. Not all people left the facility in a good Strawberry Festival humor.

50 Years Ago 1957

Focal point for Operation Polio in Marysville will be the city fire station at Third and Delta. Young adults (up to 40 years) and pre-school children are especially urged to take advantage of this opportunity. With the participation of all there is the one chance of wiping out polio. All local doctors are participating with regular shifts assigned to Doctors K.O. Barnes, Robert Glein, Chas. Hammond, J.W. Rose. Mrs. Garnet Karcher is in charge of nursing staff, assisted by Mrs. Barbara Friend, Mrs. Amelia Williams and Norma Addington. Aides and recorders are organized under Mrs. Erling Anderson, Marysville Volunteer Firemen will aid in expediting traffic. Jack Gardner is in charge of accounting. The whole procedure is to be handled jointly by the Polio Foundation of which Ray Schneider is local chairman, and Snohomish County Medical Society. All services are being donated.
An all out campaign to combat polio will be launched by the Snohomish County Medical Society June 26. Operation Polio has but one objective to fight the dread disease through the inoculation of everyone in age brackets most vulnerable. Campaign strategy is simple, direct and complete. Focus will be on centered on the preschool groups and young adults up to 40 years of age. The goal is to make available two Salk vaccine shots to everyone in these age brackets, but those of school age who have not received injections are also eligible. The cost to each will be $1 per injection, with a maximum of $4 for a family at any one time where pre-school aged children are concerned. The same procedure applies at the time of the second shot. The time factor regarding the Salk vaccine injections is important. Two weeks must pass between the first and second shot. Those receiving their first shot on the first day of the drive may return two weeks later, whereas those waiting until late in the campaign for the first shot may miss the opportunity to get the second shot before the drive ends. Also those who had one shot before the campaign begins may receive their second shot. Those who received two shots six months before the drive opens may receive their third shot.

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