Jan Johnson, 1970-1973

Crater Lake National Park Centennial Oral Histories

Jan Johnson, 1970-1973

I remember the bright sunshine at Crater Lake. In September it made the sky the deepest blue I have ever seen. In February, people would lie on their beach towels on top of the snow banks to start on their suntans. I suspect sunburn was more like what they got. I also remember how the full moon shone on the snow. The shadows were as sharp as mid-day. You had better not stay up too late looking at it though, because the snow plows started roaring around the Circle at 4:30 in the morning.

I remember summers in the Superintendent’s residence. We left the TV at the winter place so we had lots of time for US. There were 3 little rills in the back, fed by snow melt. They brought many wild flowers, and the water attracted birds and deer. One morning we discovered that a bear had attempted to get in the dining room window during the night. Butterflies loved to sun themselves on the rock walls of the house, and those butterfly-covered walls were spectacular; east side in the mornings and west in the afternoon. The home and furniture were one of a kind, made by the CCC during the depression, and living there was an experience that will never by duplicated.

I remember Tuesday morning coffees with the other wives. Everyone brought some hand work and some news to share. We had big dinners in the community building with all our kids running in and out. In winter that building had the longest icicles I’ve ever seen.

We always backed into the garage so we could see if there was anyone coming when we exited (like a snow plow!). One day I stalled my car while baking in. It totally blocked the street, so I called the shop. Wib Hescock came and taught me how to deal with a car that was flooded. I still remember how to do that.

I remember being a Little League Mom. Erik’s team was in Chiloquin so we put many miles on the car that summer. He played games as far away as Tule lake. Then there were the swimming lessons at Klamath Falls. The kids went on the school bus from Chiloquin every day for two weeks and II went along as monitor. I can still smell the smoked salmon the Indian kids brought for lunch.

One day I took the kids to a ranger talk near Annie Springs. Sue was a baby, and I left my purse on the seat while I got her out. Bang! The older two locked the car and slammed the door with my purse still on the front seat. The ranger obligingly called Einar on the park radio after the walk, and announced to the entire staff that I had locked myself out of the car, and would he please come get us? Oh well, to much pride isn’t good for me anyway.

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