By Eilene Lyon
In July 2020, I posted a blog called “Justice for Mrs. Loftus.” In March 2021, someone shared it on North Idaho History, a Facebook Group with 14,000 members, and it quickly became my number one post — ever.
Given the interest, I decided to expand it into a full-blown article for this year’s Latah Legacy magazine, which was published this month. (Scroll down at the link to find the current issue.)
When I put together a family history blog, I sometimes still have pending inquiries at the time I publish the story. This was the case for my recent post about Aubrey R. Lyon. After it went online, I received some photos and documents from The Putterer’s cousin, including an obituary and a letter Aubrey wrote just three days before his death in 1985 at age 92.
Then this week, I received a reply from an Inyo County librarian who located a couple documents, and even better, two interviews with Aubrey from the 1970s, when he was in his 80s. The first is raw footage from a documentary or news piece found on the Internet Archive. Who knew you could find such things there?
Because it is raw, a few parts don’t have sound and there are some bloopers. The interview is entirely about the Owens Valley water issue. It was so cool to watch Aubrey “live”!
The second interview is also about the water issue, but the interviewer started by asking about Aubrey’s personal history, and it is absolutely priceless. The entire interview was transcribed into a book with a number of other interviews about Owens Valley.
I learned new things about Aubrey, including aspects of his career and WWI military service. He said he married in 1916 in Chicago (I’ve not found a record) and that his wife was a model. He also talked about what it was like living in Pasadena in the 1920s.
Christmas Bird Count
The Christmas Bird Count takes place here on Saturday, so I will be walking downtown Durango to observe as many feathered friends as possible. Hopefully the weather will be mild. It doesn’t look like more snow in the forecast until next Wednesday.
To get a break from the cold, since skiing isn’t yet an option, we took an eight-day trip to southern Arizona where I had my first sighting of a vermilion flycatcher!