Young and old enjoyed two days of Victorian fun and games at the Flavel House Museum last weekend. More than 240 people took advantage of the unexpected sunshine and came to Flavel House to play croquet, badminton and other games from the Victorian era. Children participated in competitive events such as potato sack, egg and spoon, and three-legged races. Things got a little messy with a pie-eating contest, like this happy fellow, but the kids begged to do it again! Also on hand for everyone's amusement were traditional rug hooking, quilting, flax and wool spinning, chair caning and rope making. Children pressed apples for cider and made butter.

Organizers from the Clatsop County Historical Society told the Ear they would like to thank the many volunteers and highlight the generous sponsorship of NW Natural Gas Company which allowed kids and adults to rediscover how to have fun the Victorian way.

The Seaside Fireman's Ball held Sept. 11 at the fire station raised roughly $10,000, according to the Seaside Fire Department.

The ball included blackjack and roulette, refreshments and a live band. Fire chief Joe Dotson said the money raised will go toward equipment and training.

Vernonia's Tobie Finzel placed third in the 2004 National Senior Spelling Bee, held Sept. 11 in Cheyenne, Wyo. The winner was Jeff Kirsch, 52, of Madison, Wis. William Long, 52, of Salem, took second place. Finzel, 56, is an independent consultant in computer security and audits.

The National Senior Spelling Bee, open to anyone age 50 and older, began nine years ago, when six AARP members in Cheyenne decided they wanted to find a way to keep their minds sharp in retirement, and encourage others to do the same. Entrants compete in four elimination rounds of written spelling with the top 15 spellers advancing on to the oral competition. The contest continues to be run by some of the original group members.

The Ear hears that Christian author and speaker Julie Bonn Heath, daughter of Richard and Dolores Bonn of Seaside, recently moved to the North Coast.

As a youth, Heath spent summers attending the conference center in Cannon Beach and enjoying the North Coast.

She is the author of "Dangerous Comrades: A Misadventure in Gang Affiliation" and contributing author to the upcoming book "Chicken Soup for the Friend's Soul," compiler and editor of the upcoming book compilation series "Then Along Came An Angel" and publisher of the monthly e-zine, Inspiration Station. Heath also freelances for national magazines and news journals and contracts as a marketing consultant.

She was recently chosen as the co-director of the Ohio Christian Writer's Conference held in Aurora and is scheduled to teach "Writer Branding" at the "Write on the Sound" conference in Edmonds, Wash., in October.

Heath and her family attend North Coast Family Fellowship church in Seaside.

Astoria High School graduating classes of January and May 1939 held their 65th reunion Sept. 11 at the Astoria Elks Lodge.

The graduates enjoyed a sit-down dinner served by volunteer Karen Martens. They spent the evening socializing and dancing to the music of Al Anderson on the organ. Tables were decorated in the school colors, purple and gold.

Of the original class of 47 graduates of the January class, six of the surviving 10 members attended. Of the May class of 131 graduates, 24 of the 50 surviving members were able to attend.

Those traveling the furthest were Ruth Ford Ritter from Topeka, Kan., and Helen Wahl Alne from Hemet, Calif.

Classmates Ed Fearey, Catherine Erickson Elder, Merrill Ginn, Helen Olson Stromsness, Frances Potter Miler, Helmi Winters Netzel and Fred Antilla were in charge of arranging the event. Fearey was also Master of Ceremonies.

Sept. 27 has been designated "Family Day - A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children." The Ear's research suggests that a family regularly having dinner together is often a key factor in a child's success. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University says kids are less likely to use alcohol, tobacco and drugs and more likely to do well in school.

Family Day is being sponsored locally by the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce, Take Five-Be the Difference, and other groups in the community in hopes of fostering the habit of regular family meals and positive parent-child communications.

Several area restaurants are lending a hand by making Family Day more affordable for families that would like to eat out. Baked Alaska, Cannery Cafe, Fulio's, Pier 11, the Schooner, the Shoalwater, Subway, Wet Dog Cafe and the Logger in Knappa, are the ones whose names have been provided to the Ear by the chamber folks. They are offering half-price meals on Family Day for kids 18 and younger when accompanied by their parents.

Send us your ears! If you have an item for In One Ear, send it to Patrick Webb, Managing Editor, The Daily Astorian, P.O. Box 210, Astoria, OR 97103 or e-mail pwebb@dailyastorian.com. Include a daytime phone number for follow-up calls.

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