Phyllis “Fifi” Krumbah Laughlin

Name: Phyllis “Fifi” Krumbach Laughlin

Birth Date or Year (optional): February 4, 1933


Education—Coming of Age

What are your memories of Issaquah High School?  Which teachers were influential?

I graduated from Issaquah High School in 1951.  There were several teachers that were respected and no doubt influential.


What memories do you have of Minnie Schomber, or another favorite teacher?

Minnie wasn’t teaching while I was in school, but she was a neighbor living about three blocks away.  She and Jake were wonderful, kind people.


Were you affected by earthquake damage to the schools in 1949 or 1965?

I well remember the earthquake of 1949, Mom was working at the school cafeteria and I was going to see her about something(?).  The brick chimney on the old Fin Church came tumbling down and I was pretty close!


What kind of extracurricular activities were you involved in?  Did you play football or chess, or did you act in the school plays?  What were memorable games or plays?

I turned out for every sport I could.  The most memorable was in 1951 when Joyce Castagno Lewis and I won the Lakeside League Championship Tennis Doubles.  I believe tennis was the only sport for women in the league.


Where did you and your friends spend your free time as teenagers?  What kind of mischief did you get into?  How did your parents or teachers punish you when you got into trouble?

Our most fun was the time we “piled” into some ones car and went dancing at the local resorts.  French’s Pine Lake, Alexander’s and there was always the Saturday night at the Fire Hall with Leo Labre’ band.

Trouble?  No way!


Local businesses

What local businesses do you remember?  What items did you purchase there?  Who owned the business?  Where was it located?  What do you remember most about it?

The Honeysuckle owned by Tom Drylie.  Had great Green Rivers, Cherry Cokes and ice cream and who would forget the milkshakes.


Where did you go to buy your groceries?  Did you go to Tony and Johnny’s, or RR Grocery on East Sunset? Do you remember your favorite clerk?  Were there any items that these grocers specialized in?

I remember Jimmy Flynn when he worked for Tony and Johnny’s.  He loved to tease and give me candy.


Did you purchase things at the Grange Mercantile Building?  What type of things did you get there?  Did your family rent a frozen food storage locker?

The memory of the Grange for me was when I was about seven years old.  We had dance recitals upstairs on stage  with all the parents watching and clapping.


What restaurants or soda shops did you enjoy going to?  Did you go to Rena’s Café, or XXX Root beer?  What was your favorite food?  Were there memorable waiters or waitresses?

I worked at the first XXX on Sunset next door to Stonebridge Chevrolet.  It was a great place, because everyone came by for something!  Burger, cokes, Root Beer, or fries.  Drive-ins were starting up and the owner wanted me to work outside; trouble was the windows were so small it was hard to see people drive up.


Local Politics

What important local political issues of Issaquah are memorable?  Do any particular politicians stand out?  Why are they memorable?  What did they accomplish while in office?

My dad, Melvin Krumbach was on the city council while Remo Castagno was mayor.


What do you recall about Mayor Stella Alexander, the first female mayor of Issaquah (elected in 1933)?  Were there any other local politicians or political activities that drew scandalous attention?

Stella lived next door to us on Hill Street.  She was no longer Mayor, but as a neighbor she was nice.  P. J. Smith was also a past Mayor and a neighbor.  Also Mrs. Smith had great cookies.


World War II

How did World War II affect the town of Issaquah?  Did you know men or women who went to fight in the war?  Did you leave Issaquah to join the war efforts?

At the start of the war there were hobos still walking the train tracks and riding the trains.  They would come to our back door for a meal.

We couldn’t go much because of gas ration.  Many of the young people in town had a horse and we spent hours riding in the mountains.



Issaquah Round-Up—Salmon Days—Labor Day Celebrations

What do you remember about Labor Day Celebrations or Salmon Days?

When the Labor Day parades took place and I was very young I rode on top of George Ek’s ice cream truck.  Then when I got Older I rode my horse in the parade.  I did the Barrel Race one year in the Rodeo.


What special activities were there at Labor Day Celebrations, or at Salmon Days?  How has Salmon Days changed over time?

I remember the carnival would come to town.  What fun.


Outdoor Recreation

Did you spend a lot of your free time outside?  What do you remember about fishing, hunting, or hiking in the area?  What was your favorite hiking trail?

Dad would take me to lake Sammamish while he hunted ducks.  I can remember “large” rafts (flocks) of Mallards on the lake.  I loved hiking to Round Lake – Lake Tradition area.


What type of fish did you catch?   How many trout did you catch in the Issaquah Creek and what was the biggest?  Did you fish in the kids fishing derby held in Issaquah?  Were your methods for fishing and hunting any different than they are today?

We used to catch small trout and craydads in the creek.  In the summer all the kids hung out along the creek and played war with our rubber guns.


What are your memories of Vasa Park?  What did you do while there?

Vasa Park roller rink was just the greatest.  I hated to miss a Friday night roller-skating.


Did you go swimming in the local lakes in the summer?  Or ice-skating at the Horrock’s Farm in the winter?

Lots of swimming and large picnics would take place in the summer.  Fireman, Alpine Dairy and town picnic.


Farming and Dairy

Did you work at the Issaquah Creamery, or what is now Darigold?

My father was Manager of Alpine.  I spent lots of my time there visiting and waiting for dad to get off work.

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