MAY 5, 1997

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Wesley Larson, now 82, never left Carnation

Wesley Larson

If you have a magnifying glass, you may find Wesley Larson among his school classmates at Carnation.
Photo by Oscar Roloff.

Oscar Roloff by Oscar Roloff
Mary Asterdam called and suggested a local fellow would be a good character to write up. I had a hard time locating Bird Ave. I thought someone was kidding me, but it turned out to be real, and close by was the home of Wesley Larson. He was born in 1914 in the Tolt area and never lived elsewhere.
   Speaks well of such a rural area whereby people more or less spend their lives there. People are the same, never change, friendly folks.
   But upon meeting Wesley, he brought out that Carnation had a problem: they needed a bigger tax base whereby large industries could be encouraged to move in. Carnation Farms had long been a tax base.
   Born on the outskirts of what was then Tolt, Larson attended the two-story grammar school, then high school. When I asked if any famous people had gone to school with him such as Lana Turner, he shook his head. His parents were William and Mary Larson. His grandparents had arrived there in 1889.
   While there, Larson showed me a book, A History of Tolt-Carnation, published by his sister, Isabel Jones. Very interesting, photohistory-wise.
   Part of Larson's background consisted of farming, working in a cannery, sawmill work, and operating an auto-freight business between North Bend to Seattle and in-between cities.
   His wife Helen was born on the land owned by Judge Ward Roney, Sr. of Duvall. They had two children who have long since flown the coop. Larson said his parents had seven kids and five of them lived to have their 50th wedding anniversaries with their spouses. Very rare, indeed.
   On the table, Larson had stacks of publications he'd garnered about the area. Rare old photos over 100 years old. He's spent years putting these together on behalf of local historical groups.
   During all of his years, Larson has been active in city affairs and working on behalf of it. But his main worry now is how to increase the tax base. He and city officials seek to alleviate the problem. No easy task. When his long paid job as cemetery caretaker petered out, he then volunteered. He and many other Carnation folk continue to help the city prosper, get ahead.
   They all give freely of themselves. Nice to hear that such people unstintingly give of themselves. That's why I enjoy writing about these people. My kind of people. Good folk.