September 14, 1998
A letter of appreciation to Oscar
Dear Oscar Roloff,
Have just read your column once again. This one on the "Russian Hermit" who lived at one time here in Carnation. This article stirred good memories of the man, for me, as well as, to clear up some questions.
He lived in the shack in the field, next to the McDevitt farm at the time nearly 27 years ago that I worked at Paar's IGA store. The store is no longer an IGA.
One of the McDevitt family would bring the Russian (no one seemed to know any other name for him) to get his groceries once a month. It was always a big job to fill at lest two carts with what he needed. I don't remember if he spoke English, but he would point to what he wanted, and we'd write it down. We wondered how he could get all those groceries into that little box-like shack,even if he had a bed in there?
He was always friendly, but bundled up in warm clothes, and we also wondered how, or if, he could get a bath with no water there.
How sad to read your article, but still good to know that at one time, he lived with wealth and royalty. To be alone in this country with no one to share memories with is sad.
I'm sure he appreciated your friendship as much as we all appreciate your wonderful columns all these years.
Ruth Powell, Carnation