Anne Louise Grimm was the first of three children born to bilingual World War I veteran George J Grimm and immigrant Anna Marie Richter. Her parents married in June, she was born in March, and by the following Christmas they lived in the house where her parents would spend the rest of their days. She spoke no English when she started at Willapa Valley School with her second-cousin-once-removed Loraine Elizabeth. Their fathers were partners in a gyppo logging business; Anne’s mother aunt to the mother of nine-days-younger Loraine. The girls, each with a younger brother and sister, walked to school beginning with first grade. They lived pretty much tandem lives as near neighbors in the rural Pacific Northwest—in Pacific County, across the state line of Washington, from Oregon. During the Great Depression with their fathers filing for bankruptcy and World War II, until graduation day 12 years later, when their lives began to diverge. Loraine, once married, would live less than ten kilometers from where they went to school.
Anne spent four years in Seattle. She boarded with her Uncle John and Aunt Edna on Beacon Hill, later living in the apartment of “Aunt” Neva in West Seattle. Finally sharing an apartment in the University District with her sister Rose Marie when she met her World War II veteran husband, and the day they married moved to Portland, Oregon. Sixty years later the women cousins were living hardly more than walking distance apart—in Raymond. In Pacific County where they spent their public school years. Annually, some classmates from the “Class of ‘45” first met in Menlo at Willapa Valley School had begun gathering for a restaurant brunch reunion to compare those Tales Told out of School. Some perhaps, Anne and Loraine will never tell… though you can ask: