Ginnie Greene reigned as the Printed Plowshare’s voice of community gossip from 1956 until her dementia became apparent in 1989.
She was born Ginger Patousen in 1916. Her father passed in 1918 in the flu epidemic. She and her older brother Stephen were raised by a doting mother, Bernice, who was a nurse at the Warhaven Hospital. In 1937 she married Richard Greene and together they ran the Big River Feed Store located downtown a block over from City Hall. Richard passed of a heart attack in 1955. Ginnie sold the business to her clerk and just puttered around for a while, her formal mourning. For you history buffs, Greene was a direct descendant of Putnam Greene, the first pastor of the Congregational Church in Warhaven.
She knew everyone and everybody’s business, and it seemed like a good idea that she could write a column for the newspaper on community happenings. The Printed Plowshare welcomed this widow’s proposal and “The Greene View” was born. By mutual agreement in exchange for her weekly column, she received a free subscription.
One of her more memorable pieces was the one dated March 19, 1964:
Well, Henry at Chet’s Barber Shop is certainly not happy with the British Invasion! Those mop top Beatles are a gang of shaggy Pied Pipers of Hamburg! All the youngsters are boycotting the clippers and razor for longish hair. Henry laments, with a wink and a nod, where the world is heading. He told me he’d be broke if it weren’t for the farmers on the Plateau and in the West Hills!
The Warhaven Grange held its quarterly square dance last Saturday. Such a sight, young Bertie Johnsen in the promenade with that strapping buck, Gus Chapman. Her cheeks were flushed beyond her rouge, and I suspect wedding bells are sounding somewhere in the future for this courting couple. Matching dance outfits for the unmarried. My, my. But they sure make a cute pair!
It was a big week for pinochle. The annual Double Deck Pinochle Tournament was held in the dining room of the Warhaven Care Center this past Saturday with many tables set for eight players. It’s always been popular, but with word of mouth being what it is, this year’s event was stellar with Darla Johnsen’s cousin bringing a team from Butte and a Methodist team from Logan, Utah, showed up to challenge us on our home turf. If that isn’t audacious! In the melding there were many interesting marriages, two double pinochles and one 100 aces. One highlight of the day’s competitions was repeated renege from old Mrs. Caldwell, who at 97, misses a thing or two every now and then, and would believe she was playing a game of euchre, which caused no lack of confusion, but she did so with such good humor that her warm spirit only raised the gaiety of that sunny day in Warhaven.
There was the high brow bridge gathering in Garfield. Four Warhaven ladies traveled in Miss DuMont’s Cadillac to compete against the city slickers. They report facing few trump cards and vanquishing the snobby metropolitan bouffants. For those that think we in Warhaven are hayseeds or hicks, caveat emptor.
Over at the monthly mahjong tournament it was nearly slaps and regrettable insults when the robbing of tiles got out of hand. Hostess Betty Long regrets the ruckus, claiming a changed recipe for the punch, for which, she confessed, used Everclear instead of white wine. Oh, Betty! It must have been a hoot!
Lest we forget the boys of poker, the chips were flying about at the back booth of Brown’s Lunch Counter last Thursday after lunch. The Warhaven Retired Firefighters’ Association could have been Marlon Brando’s motorcycle gang for all the rowdiness they were making. Grown men! Sometimes I wonder if Genesis got it backwards and Adam is sourced from Eve’s rib!
Herb Larsen wrote us to say he has a cousin who moved to the northwest about Thanksgiving. It had been real cold, and he cut his Christmas tree off his land and leaned it against the back of his garage for a week or so. “It was so beautifully green, so conical,” he said, mystified. “When I went to fetch it, not a needle left on the tree! What happened?” He took a lot of ribbing not knowing the difference between our firs and our tamarack, the latter of which, of course, lose their needles in late autumn. Poor Herb. Caveat emptor.