Newspaper Archive of
The Adams County Record
Council, Idaho
November 7, 2012     The Adams County Record
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November 7, 2012

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Page 8 Wednesday, November 7, 2012 The Adams County Record Community Spotlight Layne Caswell's prized memento album reads, "Mobile Construction Battalion One, Yearbook, 57-58." It reminds that 4 years in the Navy gave him priceless work skills and a broader perspective on life. The oldest of three chil- dren, Layne resembles his father, Roy, in his family picture. He was born in 1937 and spent his childhood in Las Cruses, New Mexico, Santa Barbara, California and Salem, Oregon. His dad worked oil fields and ranches, anything to keep the family going. With PGE (Portland General Electric) in Salem, dad found stability, and even- tually "a supervisory posi- tion. Layne remembers his sweet mother, Beth, helping people, baking and sewing. She worked in the fields with her children, picking beans, strawberries and hops while they earned money for school clothes. "It made us appreciate what we were buying; Layne recalled. Layne also remembers his dad working hard. Dad came from a family of 9, and took raising children seriously. "He did all the right things, getting us to church every Sunday, making sure we went to school." Layne and his brother Fred relished out- door time with him. He and Fred tried to be good kids, but both had been born with too many mischief genes. In New Mexico they stuffed their grandfather's bee- hive entrances with sand. In California they sent their favorite dog down a culvert after a skunk, then closed the exit. "We had quite a clean up to do;' he laughed. Riding their bicycles rapidly through the neighborhood, they became sling shot experts at targeting milk bottles set out for pickup. "We just about had to get a whipping a day;' Layne sighed. He wrestled in high school and state competition. "But I could never win," he admitted. "Those log- ger kids were just too tough." His military career started in the high school Marine Corps. They joined regular Marines on weekends for training. After high school gradu- ation, his best friend announced, "I'm join- ing the Navy. Impulsively, Layne enlisted in the Na W to be with his friend, but ironically he never saw him again. Aptitude tests, color blindness and sea- sickness put him in naval surveyor's school, and it turned out to be the best move of his life. For four years he trained and worked in the U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion One. Known for their "can-do" attitude, the MCB Seabees built facili- ties for Navy personnel in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Bermuda; and Spain... headquarters, housing, Layne Caswell An Innovative Life for a Seabee Surveyor huge water catchments. Layne perfected his sur- veying skills, rising to sur- veyor second class, two stripes. He saw worlds he'd never seen, made friends with native con- tractors and learned to snorkel. "We were too young to think about any politics," he said; too young to understand the Cold War looming all around. He gained inspira- tion from his young pla- toon leader from the Philippines, a man of skill and dedication. He came home a better man, mar- ried his loyal sweetheart Jean, and settled into a civilian job search. Navy and private prac- tice surveying were miles apart. Finally Hal Barrows, the County Surveyor for Washington County, Oregon, mentored him, and he obtained his Surveyor's License in 1966 after a long apprentice- could easily pick up a 3' ship and a grueling full by 2' stone.' day exam. He formed his In 1987 he formed a own surveying company, partnership to buy the Caswell Survey Company first Eagle GPS unit in in 1971, took pilot's train- the Northwest. Costing mg on the GI Bill, and $250,000, and weighing bought a 250 Comanche 60 pounds, the, 3' x 3' x 4-passenger airplane. Jean 1' survey tool could mea- stayed home with his sure down to millimeters. three children, Jeff, Jim Now instead of chains and tapes, his instrument could mea- sure proj- ects covering hundreds of miles. "It was very exciting and frustrat- ing, he said. Sometimes the machine wouldn't work. Solar flares interrupted satellite signals, and you only could measure certain times of the day, We had to work nighttime in the winter." However, the partnership was an innova- tive success. and Jodi, while Layne Then health problems traveled from worksite to cost him his pilot's license. worksite. He learned to Long absences from scuba dive and loved it. home cost him a divorce. When Mount Saint Diagnosed with multiple Helen's blew, he and his sclerosis (which later was 6-man crew, under con- deemed a misdiagnosis), tract with the Army Corp he sold his company in of Engineers, packed tents 2000, and wondered what and trailers and surveyed to do. He remembered for the Spirit Lake and Danna Barnhart, a feisty Coldwater Lake Dam. woman he had seen at the "You never traveled alone," annual surveyors' confer- he recalled. "You had to ences for 25 years, and watch out for sink holes went to visit her. She was that would swallow a the only female surveyor man. It was so desolate, he'd ever known. The timber lay down like Danna had moved to matchsticks. The rock Council at the urging pumice was so light a man of her sister, Charlene By Deb Wilson Walling, after a long career and bitter divorce. Hailing from Oregon, Danna had completed Boise State University and learned her surveying profession on the job. Struggling with health problems her- self, she found she pre- ferred small town living, and so did La)me. Soon the), were sharing a sunlit house on Berkeley Ave. Danna's quest for treat- ment for her sleep sei- zures led her to herbal guru Darcy Williamson in McCall. Danna and Layne took classes from her, and started their own herb business, D&L Herbs. They collect natural ingre- dients for their many products like valerian; choke cherry cough syrup; arnica flowers for arthritis and bruising; and many ointments, salves and lip balms. "Try it and see if it works;' they tell their customers. Their business has thrived with return clients. Layne is well loved at the Council Senior Center. He makes soft elk leath- erwork articles for D&L Herbs. His hands get stiff, his legs suffer from peripheral neuropathy, his heart from atrial fibrilla- tion, and his back from an L4 and L5 vertebrae fusion, but he keeps a sense of humor and a love for his life and the many birds and squirrels he and Danna love to feed. "But I miss scuba diving;' he reminisced. "Get an education," he advises young people. "You'll have to fight for it. Work very hard and give people more than their money's worth. That's how you find success." Cambridge Principal Notes Basketball practice begins Nov. 9 By Angie Lakey-CampbeU In case you missed the pre-season meeting, boys' basketball practice is scheduled to begin Friday, November 9. If your son is_ interested in participating in basketball and missed the meeting, please con- tact the high school office. We have a short break from student activities this week. However, the break is short. Our first girls' basketball game is Thursday, November 15 in Midvale against Notus. if you have already received a schedule, this game was originally scheduled for November 17. The girls will also be at home on Friday, November 16 when they play Liberty Charter. If you partake in shop- ping on Black Friday, you might want to schedule time for tile Shriner's East- West All-Star Football game. Josiah Jaeger and Levi Morris will be repre- senting Tri-Valley at the game on Friday, November 24. I will provide more details as I receive them. You may purchase tickets from either one of these young men. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Please consider a centerpiece from our floral depart- ment. Orders are being taken right now. The dead- line for placing an order is Tuesday, November 13. Centerpieces will be deliv- ered Tuesday, November 20. FRIGIDAIRE e'OVEN S DOUBLE.00e,r