More Memories of Mules

Dear Editor Christi,

The April 7 Edition of the Forks Forum just arrived by mail, here in San Francisco.

With great interest and joy, I read the article “Two Men and a Mule”, by Vera Klock. This report held special interest for me because I have similar memories from my childhood.

During World War II, in 1942, I was a pupil in 4th grade at the Beaver School. In the Spring of that year, I remember looking out the windows and from the play yard of the school to see the encampment of a large company of U.S. Army soldiers, in one of the fields of Art Munson’s dairy farm, below the school.

This must have been a Friday because the next day I was not at school, but at my home in Beaver about 1/2 mile from the school. During that day the Army soldiers and the mule train marched down U.S. Highway 101, which passed right past the front yard of our home, going West toward Forks. There were many mules being led by soldiers, some carrying canons, and other supplies. Plus many soldiers marching on foot, There were also a number of Army trucks driving along slowly at the pace of the mules and the marching soldiers. In the back of the trucks, there were also a number of soldiers riding, who had apparently been injured. I remember some had their legs bandaged and/or in casts. My dad said they had probably been kicked by the mules, and broke their legs. He said mules were notorious for kicking.

I also remember at least one or more Army Ambulance trucks driving slowly in the convoy.

Apparently, this was a different Army mule train than the one reported on by Mrs. Klock.

As a 9-year-old, during the War, I was greatly attracted to the Military. So, in my feelings of patriotism, I went out and joined the soldiers marching down Highway 101 towards Forks. I marched alongside the marching soldiers from my home in Beaver all the way through Tyee.

Some of the soldiers engaged me in conversations as they marched along. I can’t remember, now, what we talked about.

At about the location of the present-day Fred Orr baseball fields, in Tyee, I realized that I was getting a long way from home, and that I was going to have to walk back up 101, to get home. So I left the soldiers and walked back home.

Later, during the War, I remember hearing that these soldiers with their mules, had been engaged in the War in Italy transporting canons and arms through the mountainous terrane, Particularly in Sicily.

If you wish, you can add some of my memories to the story. You can add a “boy” to the “Two Men”.

Thank you for the inclusion in your Editor’s page of reports from the past. I always enjoy reading them, and looking for stories I remember from the past.


Ron Konopaski

PS: I also appreciated your reports on the large slide blocking SR 112 between Sekiu and Clallam Bay, since the detour was routed across the property I inherited near Sekiu, and near the prison.