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JULY 28, 1997


oscar I watched as one of the volunteer street sweepers planted and watered this street scene. Kind of cute.

photo by Oscar Roloff

The Duvall that I remember is still there

  by Oscar Roloff
   The other day I returned to my earlier writing roots in Duvall. My first journalistic venture was about thirty years ago. Quickly I latched onto many an interesting character, and that kind is still there. Searching them out is harder. My recent return revealed nothing new had drastically emerged or changed.
   As I jaywalked across the street, a driver stopped, waved, smiled and let me progress onward. No change. I used to make U-turns. Probably still can. Saw one thing different down the road a bit. Guess what? A stop light! Boy! That's new!
   As I slowly wended my way down the three and one half blocks of my old Duvall recallings, I saw the Duvall Cafe. Here I'd eaten many a meal. Good food. Fine friends.
   Saw a city hall and police station in this area. New to me but they fit in well. Saw many eateries, espressos. New, but they blend nicely into the friendly atmosphere.
   I stopped to talk to several of the eight volunteer women who were sweeping the streets, sidewalks, digging out weeds from places set aside for sidewalk trees. They were planting flowers in the many unique containers situated on the sidewalk. Many had to be chained to posts lest someone make off with them. When I mentioned I was doing an article on the Duvall I used to know, she said, "I live in the oldest house in Duvall." Getting her phone number, I said I'd come out later to possibly do an article on her and her aged home.
   The IOOF
   I stopped to gaze at old two-story Cherry Valley Grange Hall and the IOOF name on the building. Few know the background of the IOOF if what I've been told is correct. Many years ago in England a section of the Masons broke away. When accepted as a Mason, one swears on the Bible to be a good person and go to the aid of others whenever they are in distress. (I'm one of them.)
   A leading Mason referred to them as "those odd fellows," and they were then called "The Independent Order of Odd Fellows." I located Larry Whitfield, an old friend, who had done well there and he had helped Duvall too. He's a tall, distinguished looking fellow. Neatly dressed. Dave Harder's Plaza is next to Larry's plaza. He's done well too. Friendly as all get out.
   I was there when the bank had its first hold-up. I followed the get-a-way car that day until they ditched it and scooted away into the woods.
   I saw many interesting eateries, art galleries and noted how people easily ease in and out of those charming places. It was time to leave; I waved goodbye to the volunteer street sweepers. When I was opening my car's door, a sixth sense told me to look across the street to that old house serving as a restaurant. There's a unique story there. I always follow those hunches.
   I'll return and soon you'll read the story that came from that hunch telling me that there was an unusual story within those restaurant walls.