Clinton St. Quarterly, Vol. 6 No. 1 | Spring 1984 (Seattle) /// Issue 7 of 24 /// Master# 55 of 73

A T CENTRAL COOP When you work a weekly 3-hour member /worker shift. Cali or come in to find out more. hrs-. M-Sai 10-8 12th Denny on Capitol Hill 3Z9-I5H5 Sunday 12-8 Mexican Cuisine of the Yucatan Gi^at Winds EL CAFE Savour our Authentic 5020 Roosevelt Way N.E. 522-9805 Walk across from the Seven Gables IT'S SIMPLE STEVE? W H y D o t f r v o u , A N D X X JR B O Y S j JUST GET THE FUCK OUT OF EL SALVADOR? W AKA Fine used books bought & sold 5519 UniversityWayNE 522- 8864 A PUBLIC SERVICE MESSAGE BROUGHT TO YOU BY LEFTBANKBOOKS Cafe de ladder Cannon Beach, Oregon (503) 436-1179 A Seafood Restaurant Edible art works Quite possibly the best restaurant on the entire Oregon Coast. David Brewster, Best Places 1984 Tues-Sat 5:30-9:00 Sun 9:30-1:30 Headlines blare out the news “Herbicide Spraying Banned in Washington and Oregon.” Behind the headlines has been a long and at times lonely battle fought by concerned citizens of the Northwest. In an important new book, A Bitter Fog (Sierra Club Books, 1983), activist Carol Van Strum chronicles this struggle in the forests, homes and courtrooms of our region. Excerpted here is one tale of many that activated an unaware populace to resist the horrors of better living through chemistry. A Bitter Fog (An Excerp ) By Carol Van Strum service community, serving tourists, sport fishermen, timber workers, and the scattered population of the Alsea River valley and its tributaries, including Five Rivers. Along the lower Alsea, up to the limit of the tidewater, are clustered small trailer courts and retirement and vacation homes, distinguished by the tidy docks, drift boats, and other small craft used by a devoted community of steelhead fishermen. In a small travel trailer in one of these trailer courts lives Larry Archer, with his wife and their 21 /2-year-old daughter, Kaleen. Larry works at a gas station in Waldport. In October 1979, his wife Laura gave birth to a child with anencephaly. Larry is a young man in his early twenties, wiry and strong. In the cramped, stuffy trailer on an overcast spring evening in 1980, he wears a T-shirt with its short sleeves rolled up to his shoulders. He sits in the hallway on a cushioned bench that doubles as a child’s bed, holding his sleeping daughter Kaleen on his lap. In the kitchen, a few feet away, Laura silently prepares dinner. “You want to know about the baby?" Larry says. “What do you need to know? It’s dead. You don’t want to know the rest. But I can tell you about sprays. There’s a lot more I know about sprays than you’ll find out from those assholes at the University. Some fuckin' nerve they’ve got. Did they ever see a baby like that? Did they ever see a baby like that and know it was theirs — their own kid? Just let one of ’em tell me it couldn’t be the herbicides. I can’t prove nothin’, but I know.” His voice rises in anger. “Look, I lived around here all my life. Up in Siletz, that’s where I grew up. They used to spray there every goddamn year. We was just little kids then. We thought it was so neat — they loaded the helicopter right at the end of our driveway. We’d all run out there — running around the helicopter, getting in the way while they loaded it. It was such a trip, you know, having a real helicopter come down right there . . . I mean, we didn’t know — and those guys never said a word about the stuff, that it wasn’t good stuff to get on you. It'd be dripping all over us. And then we always ran after the helicopter when it took off. We was kids — it was a trip, and it’d be spraying the stuff all over us with us running after. They never warned us, never told my folks nothin’. Twelve years they did that every year. “My folks bought our milk from a neighbor who sprayed the pastures with the cows still out on ’em. They never thought nothin’, thought it was that safe. So we was probably drinkin’ the stuff all that time, too.” “So I grew up with that stuff. They sprayed it all over the goddamn place. Who knows what I got in me, for chris- sake? Laura, she comes from L.A. I don’t know, but they probably don’t spray right in the city there. Except we was living in Corvallis before we came back here — they was even spraying there, right up by the goddamn reservoir. We moved back here before our second baby was born, though. “Everything was going real good then. Laura was fine. It was a good pregnancy, I mean — right up to the end. Then, two days before the baby was born, the doctor says there’s something wrong, he can’t feel the head. So we go over for x-rays. And I’m siftin' there, waiting for Laura, you know, and the doctor comes out with this bad look on his face. He says, ‘There’s something I have to tell you. I hate to tell you this, but . . . ’ And he goes on, saying there’s something wrong with our baby. Something's wrong with its head, and he says it probably won’t live. So we had two days to think about that, and then Laura goes in labor, and all the time we’re knowing this.” Kaleen sleeps peacefully on Larry’s lap, his hand stroking her hair. “We went in the hospital together. When Kaleen was born, you know, I was there the whole time, watching. And maybe this sounds corny, but that was the most beautiful moment of my entire life — just being there . . . . “So I was there this time, too, but it was another thing altogether. The baby — it was a girl. She was perfect, from her toes up to her eyebrows. I mean her face was perfect, too — kind of like Kaleen’s, almost. But that was it. It ended at the eyebrows. That’s all there was — just this T o them, to everyone, our baby was ju s t a statistic, a number. I want 'em to see the real th ing." kind of bowl, with a kind of film of tissue over it. She couldn’t breathe. There wasn’t any brain to tell her to breathe. So they give her oxygen, and she lived for about an hour. An hour and twelve minutes. I don't know how Laura stood it. I would’ve broken up then, but she didn’t. “These people who say herbicides are so safe — I could give them something to think about. I’d like to put every one of ’em in a delivery room to see a baby born like that, like ’em to have to watch their own kid born like that. To them, to everyone, our baby was just a statistic, a number. I want ’em to see the real thing. They just want numbers. They want to blame it all on anything but what it could be. And they sure as shit don't want to find out." • Reprinted by permission of Sierra Club Books from A Bitter Fog: Herbicides and Human Rights, 1983 by Carol Van Strum. Available by mail for $14.95 & $2 postage and handling from: Sierra Club Catalogs, 205 S. McKemy, Chandler, AZ 85224. Clinton St. Quarterly 27