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Issaquah, Washington
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January 12, 1928     The Issaquah Press
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January 12, 1928
 

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Page 6 THE ISSAQUAH PRESS, THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 1928 @ A Cliff on Mlddleton Island. (Prepared by' the National GeograDhlo Society, Washington. D. C.} N THESE days of congested popu- lation, rapid transit, telegraph and radio connections, It ts hard to imagine people living in solitude like that of Robinson Crusoe. Yet this hero, so much admired by youthful readers of an earlier decade, was no farther from neighbors than are the dwellers of today on a certain is- land In the North Pacific. Mlddleton Island lles 160 miles off the southern coast of Alaska, almost due south of Cordova, a town of 1,000 inhabitants. From no point In Its area of a little less than eight square miles iS there anything to be seen except limitless sea and sky. The Indian name for the island Aehaka or Achatsoo (which sounds very much like a sneeze) means "The Harborless." It Is a descriptive title, for in all the shore line there is no safe anchorage for boats of any sort. Steamers having business at Mld- dleton must stay well outside of the dead line of crashing surf which sur- rounds It nearly every day of the year, and take the hazard of sending tn a small boat. Rarely can the occupants of such boats reach the shore without a thorough drenching, if nothing worse happens to them. More than once a schooner, after a day or more of standing by, has been obliged to wigwag a disappointed farewell and depart without having accomplished her errand. Callers at tile island are few and far between, however, as it is off the course of boats bound for Seward, Nome, and the Arctic. Once in a blue moon, one of the fishing boats which ply along the Alaskan coast turns off the beaten path to pay the Island a friendly visit, and Is lucky if its dory is able to make a land- ing. No postman makes an unfailing daily call upon the islanders, no telephone bell tinkles its welcome sum- mons to communication with the outer world. Not even a trail of smoke or a sail on the horizon Is sighted for two, three, or even six months at a time; yet in this utte isolation two voluntary exiles live in comfort and contentment for eleven months of the year. Raising BIye Foxes. Since 18.90 Middleton has been leased by the government to various private concerns as a breeding farm for blue foxes, and In consequence there has been a succession of Crusoes tn charge of the place. The present one Is by birth a Bostonian, who emb grated to the Yukon during the Klon- dike rush and thence crossed back to Uncle Sam's territory on the trail of another "blg strike." Like many another in those hectic days, he made and lost fortunes, trav- eled and prospected over many hun- dreds of miles of that vast country and acquired what your true Alaskan always possessesmthe ability to turn his hand to any occupation which comes along and to make it go. Unlike Defoe's famous hero, this modern Crusoe brought an excellent partner to share his solitude. Mrs. Crusoe was a Bogton school teacher until her exodus to the far North west ten years ago. Some years ago these two sold a prosperous restau- rant business In Cordova, Alaska, and left that thriving little town to be gin their experience In fox farming on Mlddleton, out in the ocean. The breeding of blue foxes in cap Uvlty Is not an easy undertaking. owing to the extreme shyness of the fox family. They do not readily grow accustomed to man, but generally have the attitude of wlld animals on the defensive. A mother fox, when alarmed, has been known to kill her offspring on the instant, and the con- stant nervotmness of the animals even affects the quality of the fur. On the island the foxes are unaware of being prisoners, as they roam free- ly; so they rear their young in the natural way, double their number an- nually, and produce skins of great beauty. Fur Brings a Good Price. The blue fox has a long-haired fur, of a soft gray tone at the ends of tile hairs, shading to a dull blue close to the pelt. An average price In the London market Is $175, while excel> Uonally fine skins may bring $375. The chief duty of the fox farmer is to provide and daily distribute fresh food for hls charges, at stations seat- toted about the Island, especially dur- Ing the winter months. Besides a mall proportion of vegetables, rations consist of rabbits and the flesh of the ]mlr seal when it can be obtained. The last requires expert marksmanship, as the seal must be shot through the head In order to float ashore; other- wise It sinks and Is lost. In summer the foxes will leave the food In the feeding boxes and go for- aging for themselves, running along the beach in search of fish eggs and small fish washed up In the kelp. or climbing the cliffs to rob the sea- pigeons' nests of eggs and squabs. The animals are seen at close range only tn December, when they are ltred in- to box traps. Climatic conditions on Middieton are agreeable on tile whole, except for the strong and almost constant winds which sweep it. The lowest tempera- ture recorded is 20 degrees below zero, the highest 110. There is an annual rainfall of about 96 Inches and from 2 to 4 inches of snow in winter. The succession of seasons is not unlike that of New England, al- though the summer Is much longer. Spring on Mtddleton begins with the reappearance of plant life, about the middle of February. From this time on, the sun shines warmer and longer each day until the summer solstice. Between M'/y 1 and August 15 there are from 15 to 20 hours of sunlight daily, and during June and July no darkness at all. But the islanders pay for this luxury In the long nights of winter, when they get hardly more than a glimpse of Old Sol during the entire month of December. One of the natural beauties of the Island ts a chain of lakes, clear as crystal and large enough to afford the pleasures of boating. Scattered along the shores of the lakes are the only trees which the place possesses--12 small spruces, battered and bruised by the winds, but refusing to give up the fight. Grass of 12 varieties flcur- ishes everywhere, sometimes growing six or eight feet high. Gnats, but No Mosquitoes. There are no enemies of plant Ills" on the island. Picture the Joys of horticulture without aphis, cutworm or potato bug. The mosquito, that ter- rible pest of the Alaska mainland, is also absent. Evidently It was not on Middleton island that the Indians used t tie a man naked in the woods in mosquito time as a form of capital punishment. However, for three weeks In August Ilfe is made miserable by the tlny gnat called by the Indians "No-see- urns," which will go through any net ting yet devised by man, and there- fore cannot be kept out of the house entirely. During the last week of June great quantities of wild strawberries rlren all over the island, and for a month the residents revel in them. Then, In August, the salmonberry bushes are heavily laden with ripe berries, almost any one of which would fill an after- dinner coffee cup. Delectable strawberry preserves and salmonberry Jelly are two of the lax. uries which Mrs. Crusoe provides for the winter menu. The staples, tn large quantities, are brought in from Cor- dova yearly. When the Islanders need eggs they go to the great chalk cliffs at the north end of the island, where the sea pigeons nest. Stretched flat on the cliff top, with a hook-and-bag contrap- tion, they fish up the eggs from the ledges below. They are a trifle smaller than hens' eggs and of excellent flavor. When the game season opens, on September 15, the lakes are filled with game birds, feeding and resting on their way down from their summer in Arctic regions. Unfortunately, the birds all leave before the weather is cold enough to freeze the meat for winter use. Hungry for fresh meat, the islanders sampled the flesh of a young hr seal Just killed and found they had hit upon a real treat. The meat, wbich resembles venison in appearance, was Juicy and delicious when roasted, and the liver more delicate than calves' liver. Everyday llfe on Mtddleton Islahd is full of potential dangers: A furl pus winter storm, a fall from the cliffs, a shooting accldent--any of these might bring suffering and sorrow. The most serious situations which have risen have been shortages of food and ammunition. Once each year in January, the Islanders board a small schooner for Cordova for a month's stay. The most important business there, after seeing the furs off for London, Is the bu,in of equipment for the next year--food clothing, tools, ammunition, reading matter, and a hundred and one sun dries, all essential. Where Swatters Are Taboo In Ukranla, the southern Russia province, superstitions natives hold the common house fly in reverence and make no effort to kill the pest. Many persons regard the fly as a sa- cred animal. Jaywalk Into Cars Five per cent of the automobile ac- cidents of the country are caused by persons who walk Into the sides of moving machines. Like automobiles running Into the sides of trains. NEW WHIPPET CAR A MOTOR MARVEL One of the sensations tn the automo- bile world Is the perfected "Whippet" produced by the Wlllys-Overland, Inc., and It is direct evidence that John N. YCillys, president of the corporation, proposes to make good on his decla- ration that "there can be no monopoly in the light car field." The perfected cat', and the price at which It Is offered, placing It directly In compe- tition with the lowest priced cars, has centered the eyes of the automobile tndury and the motor car world In general on the enterprising Toledo manufacturer. It makes him the first manufacturer of automobiles to enter the price field heretofore exclusive to but one light car manufacturer. The "Whippet," which has been In production for more than 18 months, ]olds the national fuel economy rec- ord of 43.28 miles to the gallon In a test between Los Angeles and New York City, covering a distance of 3,559 miles, under official observation of the A. A. A. In a speed test on Rocking- ham Speedway, Salem, N. H., a "Whippet" recently attained a speed of 71.6 miles an hour over a 50-mile route. This was officially timed. The same engine that has acom- plished these records is the power plant employed In the perfected "Whippet," now offered at tile lowest price tn the history of Willys-Overland. The "Whippet" was tle fir light car to be equipped with four wheel brakes, setting a new trend In the light car field. The braking area of tile "Whippet's" brakes ts greater th'm any other light car. Details of the perfected "Whippet" dbclose a wider range of colors, em- ployment of full crown fenders, a new cadet sun visor that imparts a smart military effect, and the addition of automatic windshield cleaner, rear view mirror, and a combination rear driving light and stop light. These additions make the "Whippet" the lnost fully equipped light car built in he four cylinder field. Life's Added Problems Ltfe is becoming more mathematical every day. We are now urged to count our blessings before eating, our cal- ories while eating, our change after eating and our sheep while going to aleep.--Kansas City Star. Opportunity Next thing for scientific breeders to do Is to cross the carrler-plgeon wlth the parrot so that messages can be delivered verbaliy.--Wall Street Jour- nal. Various Trades Offer Occupation to Blind Blind men are employed In many engineering factories. In one German electrical concern, says the annual report of the National Institute for the Blind, more than one hundred sightless people are employed, while double ttmt number are being trained. Blindness, it is said, is no hindrance to a man looking after two or even three automatic machines The aver- age earning capacity of a blind oper- ative In these works is considered to be about 80 per cent 9 f that of a normal-sighted man. Ninety blind persons employed In French engineering trades earn about 85 per cent of full wages. A motor factory In America employs 44 blind men, who are given the work for which they seem most competent. Nature's Economy Inventions during the next two or three centuries will, In the opinion of many experts, probably be in the di- rection of imitations of the wonderful econotny and the simple, direct meth- ods of nature. Take the electric eel as an example. Its electric organ Is In no sense a storage battery, but a contrivance by which electric energy Is liberated at the moment when It is required. At rest, the organ shows so small an electromotive force that a good galvanometer Is required to de- tect it, but a sudden nervous impulse from the eel's spinal cord raises a potential of many volts, with very llb tle heat, and so small an expenditure of matter as to defy the most expert chemist to weigh It. Fireflies, glow- worms and many deep sea fishes pro- duce light without heat, at a cost which would make the price of a wax candle an extravagant outlay. Feet and Talking It's the fellow who can't talk on his feet who puts his foot in his mouth when he tries.--San Francisco Chron- icle. Grandfathers on Vacation Fifteen grandfathers, whose ages totaled 1,200 years, recently enjoyed their annual two-weeks' vacation to- gether at LIttlehampton, England. They are members of the Browning Hall Grandfathers' club of London. The oldest In the party was eighty- four and the youngest seventy. Correct the Fault Whatever you dislike in another person take care to correct in your- self. Migratory Bird Treaty A resident of Ohio, who had previous- ly raised wild fowl under a federal permit, but failed to submit the re- quired report of operations and con- tinued to make sales and shipments without renewal of the permit, was arraigned In Federal court at Toledo, Ohio, found guilty, and ned $300 and costs. To engage In the business of rearing and selling migratory waterfowl, says the bureau of biological survey, Unit- ed States Department of Agriculture, It Is first necessary to obtain a per- mit from the secretary of agriculture and then to comply with all require- ments of state law. These requirements are made under the migratory bird treaty act regula- tions to protect and perpetuate migra- tory species of birds passing each year between the United States and Canada. Lets the Worm Go By For the seventy-fourth consecutive season, Mrs. Richard T. Auchmuty of New York has arrived at her summer home, the Dormers, on the Lenox- Pittsfield road. She has never owned an automobile, Ires no llsted tele- phone, no electric lights, no steam heat In her villa, nor a radio. She prefers to drive over the wooded roads in an open victoria. Glowing fagots In her fireplaces and, kerosene lamps furnish heat and light. She ls in her ninetieth year.--Boston Globe. Not That Sick Gtrl--I want a nice book for an In- valid. Librarian--Something religious? Girl--N, not now. He's convales- cent. Cure for Optimism The neurologist says optimists live longer than pessimlsts They might If they didn't have such sublime faith in loose brakes.--San Francisco Chron. Iris. Hen Lays Twin A hen In Ulster lays times, sometimes three. plains this by saying that last year's pullet, had a month old. Since it the hen has on four days two eggs at a time, and three. Apotheosis o? the Sign in restaurant ties of Class and ton Transcript. Canadian Lakes Among the seven aside by the government of the Rocky mountains more beautiful than National park, which lies ern slope of the Rockies mountains approach the ai boundary. The park square with a long added to the east, the an area of about 220 Newest American Critic-baiting has ;rater and more typical spot than framing prize lng horse races and [aseball games. The man tires professional cri year of our Lord lives a metaphorical gashouse head and seat in of bash and boot.--George than in Vanity Fair. ProRt by Past The past Is gone, and You may learn by your do not be guilty of the sin ly worrying over them. face toward the future. mistakes and blunders a In the pa, and let the them furnish you with industry by which you the gold mine of future Exchange. Fowls in Biblical Partridges are noted 1 Testament. The fatted 4:23) is interpreted as or duck. Cocks and hens from Persia two or three fore Christ. A tomb at about 200 B. C. has a good tlon of a crowing cock. other "twittering birds" used for food. It doesn't pay to you are able to deliver the Beauty and Oua!i'ty lathe Perfected 00ippet COACHS F.O.B. UA QUALITY CAR AT THE LOWEST PRICE IN OUR HISTORY 's 4-DOOR SEDAN '585 FORMER-PRICE '725 REDUCTION '140 THE MOST N low Prices Reductfo Touring - s455 "170 Coach- - 535 90 Roadster,*00, 485 Roadster 525 170 Coupe-- 535 90 Cabrioletco,0000 545 2oo Chassis - 355 90 All prlcea . o. b. factor Quality Shown in Outward Beauty- Whippet introduced the vogue in light car design for smart s compact bodies with low, fleet lines. WHIPPET VALUABLE CAR EVER OFFERED FOR SO LITTLE MONEY Big 4-wheel Brakea--moro brakinz surface per pound of car weight than any other fight car. You cam stop from 40 miles an hour within $1 feet. Rear Gasoline Tank--for utmost ufeqv-with vacuum fuel feed. This corn more to build, but is much safer. Increased Speed--Whippet raperioriv/ is also ex- pressed in greater--and safer--ecd; $$ to 60 miles per hour, and many owners say 65. Greater Gasoline Economy--Whippet hol& the A. A. A. Coast-to-Coast economy record of 43.28 miles per gallon. Other Important Features--164 inches of spdng, full force feed lubrication, faster accelerations silent timing chain, longer leg room, adjustable steering wheel, lower center of gravity, single plate clutch, longer connect- ing rods, banjo-type rear axle housing with renovable shaft, are among the many quality car features of the Whippet NOW READY FOR IMMEDIATE DELIVERY WILLYS- OVERLAND, INC. TOLEDO, OHIO