February 14, 2003
Oroville Mercury February 20, 1945
860,000 SURGICAL DRESSINGS MADE IN THIS AREA IN 2 YEARS
Oroville volunteer Red Cross workers have completed 860,000 surgical
dressings in a little under two years' time, according to the January
report of the local Red Cross Chapter. The dressings were made at
the headquarters building and the following auxiliary centers: Burbank,
Las Plumas, Feather Falls, Biggs, Rio Bonito, Thermalito and Palermo.
The dressings were sent from Oroville in 13 shipments during the
time between Feb. 16,1943, when the project started. here, to Jan.
24, 1945 when the work was temporarily discontinued. During January
of this year volunteers worked at headquarters in Memorial Hall
for 13 days completing 13,428 dressings. Average daily attendance
was 12 plus. On Jan. 24, headquarters shipped 32 cartons containing
111,228 of the dressings. A recall of volunteers will be made soon
when a new shipment of gauze is received, according to headquarters.
Notice of the shipment has already been received there.
We've talked about the service boys coming to Oroville and to
the Dances, so a nice lady I know told me the following, these are
the words of Merle Caborn. "In the 1930's and into the 1940's
the south side of Oroville was known as El Medio. There were several
small businesses on Palermo Rd. (now an extension of Myers St.)
Dick and Merle Caborn owned the El Medio Grocery, where the
South Side Fire Dept is located . George (Shorty) Roades
and wife Alice had a used furniture store and there were
several other businesses also in the area.
The Roades' and Caborn's and other residents in the area liked
to dance and started to hold dances at the El Medio Hall, now the
Veterans Hall. Soon we were getting people from other than the El
Medio area, then Men from the Military service stationed at Camp
Beale. Ray Heath was one of them. He was a jolly friendly
fellow and made friends quickly. Eventually, his company was shipped
out. There was a period of time when we didn't hear from him or
didn't know where he was, until he arrived back in Oroville when
he had been discharged. He said he chose Oroville as his home because
of the good times he had here, and the friendships he had formed.
My brother John Mathews was in World War II. My mother
kept in touch with him when he was stationed in Fort Knox, Ky. He
went overseas and was in a Tank Battalion. He, too, came back to
Oroville. He passed away a few years ago. John Scoff Mathews is
his son and lives in Oroville as you know. John Scott was born at
Fort Knox I believe."
Stu's notes: I first met Ray when I was 7 years old. He went
to the Methodist Church downtown and worked with my dad at Montgomery
Wards. He was a hard working dedicated family man. He and his wife
Genevieve raised 3 children here in Oroville, All turned out great.
All those years he never talked to me about going to war. But to
War he did, serving well under Patton. He was a Radio Man, story
goes he was the only one that knew Morse Code. Ray recently passed
on, so here's a salute to my long time friend, 1st Sgt. Ray Heath
US. Army. Job well done.
John Scott Mathews is married to my sister-in-law, Dawn. He served
in the Navy during the Vietnam War. He served his country well and
came back to Oroville. Merle and Dick Caborn have always been very
thoughtful people. While our daughter Debbie was serving in Germany
for 18 months they wrote to her to keep her connected to Oroville.