DO YOU REMEMBER THIS FROM TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO?
DO YOU REMEMBER THIS FROM TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO?
Family of Marian Winchell to honor her with Smokey Bear statue
EMILY HOARD The News-Review
Jun 21, 2017
Smokey Bear memorabilia ranging from toy cars and stuffed animals to snuff boxes, belt buckles and silver coins fills the glass case in the lobby of the Douglas Forest Protective Association. The display is thanks to a renowned collector in the world of all things Smokey Bear, Marian Winchell of Roseburg.
To honor her lifelong love and dedication to Smokey Bear, her family is dedicating to Winchell the life-size wooden Smokey statue that stands outside the DFPA office at the corner of Stewart Parkway and Airport Road in Roseburg.
“We thought she has one of everything, but she doesn’t have a statue,” said her son, Jack Winchell, who’s part of the Smokey Bear Association. “Nobody has their own personal statue, and it can be a reminder for Douglas County.”
Marian Winchell, 89, said her favorite version of Smokey Bear is a plush bear with a rubber nose. She first became interested in Smokey Bear in the 1970s, when her husband worked as a fire patrol officer.
“I thought he was cute because he was just a little teddy bear to me at that time,” Marian Winchell said. “My kids got roped into Smokey.”
When the family lived in Northern Idaho, the kids would ride through a parade on a Smokey Bear-themed float, waving to the crowd alongside a person in a Smokey costume. The family later moved to Bend, and after her kids moved out, Marian Winchell said she filled the Bend house with Smokey Bear memorabilia. She had to downsize since moving to Roseburg, but she’s still on the lookout for anything related to Smokey Bear.
Jack Winchell said most people have distinct first memories of Smokey Bear. Marian Winchell remembered one a fellow Smokey Bear Association member told her.
“Smokey came to his school and it scared him to death, he thought the bear was going to eat him,” she laughed.
For Jack Winchell, it was a record player playing the Smokey Bear song.
The Winchells have displayed some of Marian’s collection throughout the state for educational purposes, and have worked with Kyle Reed at the DFPA, who hands out Smokey Bear materials in schools in Douglas County and educates students about fire prevention.
Before it was a Smokey Bear statue, the wooden figure outside the DFPA was a tree that burned in a fire near Loon Lake 15 miles east of Reedsport in the 1960s. It fell into the water and floated for years until someone fished it out in Reedsport. When Jack Winchell saw it, he thought it would make a great statue, so he had woodcarver Tom Castaneda transform the wood into Smokey Bear with a chainsaw in 2015.
“This is a fire-damaged tree, so it’s gone full circle,” Jack Winchell said. The tree that once burned in a forest fire became a symbol for fire prevention.
According to him, the first Smokey Bear statue ever was carved in Canyonville, so for the new one, he wanted everything from the wood to the carving and the display to come from Douglas County.
He had the 700-pound statue installed at the DFPA in 2015.
“It’s a great location here with people driving by to see it and it works well with our message,” Reed said. “Our job is to prevent and suppress wildfires, and Smokey’s whole message is fire prevention, so it’s a great fit.”
The dedication will take place this Saturday during a Smokey Bear Association celebration at the DFPA.
“It’s a legacy for her,” Jack Winchell said of his mother.
Smokey Bear has been reminding the public, “Only you can prevent forest fires,” since 1944, and has become the longest-running public service announcement campaign under the Advertising Council Inc. His motto was updated to “Only you can prevent wildfires” in 2001.
Jack Winchell said the association’s purpose is to “preserve Smokey’s past, promote is present and protect his future.”
“It’s harder to see Smokey Bear things out and about and I don’t want kids to forget him,” he said.
For more information about the Smokey Bear Association, visit smokeybearassociation.com.
Brianna Hannigan is a 10 year old from Renick, West Virginia.
She is in the 5th grade at Frankford Elementary in Frankford, WV and will be headed to Eastern Greenbrier Middle School this Fall..
In the Summer of 2015 we were walking outside and she wanted to make a fire pit in the backyard. I told her where she wanted to put it was too close to the overhead trees and the house. She asked Why ? I told her that the embers from the fire pit could fly up into the air and fall into some dry dead leaves and cause a forest fire. I told her like Smokey Bear says, “Only You can Prevent Forest Fires”. She then asked me Who was Smokey Bear?
This really bewildered me that an 8 year old child that had been in school for 4 years had never heard of Smokey Bear. I told her when we went back into the house we would look up Smokey Bear and learn all about him.
When she first saw the Smokey Bear commercials she was amazed and wanted to learn all about him. So we did !
When it came time to work on a project for the Social Studies Fair competition she was determined she was doing hers on Smokey Bear.
We called around to the local forestry services and looked online for anything Smokey Bear. We found a lot of resources and was given a lot of things to share with her classmates.
When it came to the day for her to present her project on Smokey Bear she was so excited. She had her Smokey Bear hat and she knew everything about him.
She Won her school competition and was headed to the County competition. She learned the Smokey Bear song and was ready for the County competition.
She got 2nd Place. She was hurt but still excited at everything she had learned.
We sent her picture to the Smokey Bear Association Facebook page and she was excited to see all the Great Responses she got ! Her favorite one was from Smokey’s best friend, Woodsy Owl ! “Great Job Brianna” !
She was ready for her next adventure ! She was determined that her next social studies project would be on Woodsy Owl.
And she did ! We started looking for anything Woodsy Owl.
When we started organizing the Woody Owl project she decided to go the direction of Woodsy Owl and recycling. She learned both the old and new Woodsy Owl songs and was ready for her next presentation.
She again won at her school level and was headed to the County level. She came home with a 98 out of 100 score at the County Level and was headed to the Regional competition.
The Regional competition consisted of 5 counties competing for top honors. She placed 3rd at the Regional level. She was upset she was not going to get to go to the State Level. But we were all so Proud of what she had accomplished.
When the Smokey Bear Association asked for her story, she was again excited ! And wanted to know, “Does Smokey and Woodsy have any more Friends I can learn about?!”
Thank you for allowing Brianna to become friends of Smokey and Woodsy !!
Just a reminder that we are hosting the Smokey in the Ozarks, a Central Regional Get Together, on Saturday, June 10, 2017, at our home outside of Neosho, Missouri. This meeting is open to all members regardless of which region you live in. Since we are centrally located, I would love to have members from all regions attend. If you are planning to attend the Western district meeting, you could come to Missouri on your way to Oregon!! We will plan to start our meeting at 9:00.
We will have some fun door prizes, buy and sell tables, as well as give away tables. Everyone is welcome to bring a door prize, and any items you wish to sell, trade, or give away. There will be plenty of time to get reacquainted with all of your Smokey friends that you haven’t seen in a while. We will be cooking burgers for lunch and smoked brisket for dinner, all from Smokey’s BBQ shack.
Since we live ten miles outside of Neosho, and approximately 20 miles from Joplin, I would suggest that you stay in Joplin. They have a great variety of motels and eating establishments, all conveniently located off of I-44. If you need any help picking a motel, let us know, and we will be more than happy to assist. There is only one motel in Neosho that I would recommend, and that would be the Best Western. Once we have a tentative list of attendees, we will be sending out a map of how to get to our home.
Weather permitting, we will be inside, outside by the pool, or in the picnic pavilion. Anyone wishing to swim, feel free to bring a suit.
Should you have any suggestions, please don’t hesitate to let us know, since we are new to hosting this meeting! You can contact us at either of the numbers listed below.
Please let us know if you plan on attending so we know how much food to prepare. We certainly are looking forward to hearing from all of our Smokey friends!!! .
Roger and Jackie Schmidt
8948 Otter Drive
Neosho, MO 64850
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