Harry Spicer Lorraine

Hi Gerry
 
Harry was my great uncle. This is a note that was passed on to me by a relative some time ago. The date and source is unknown to me.
 
Steve
 
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I had the opportunity yesterday to ask my uncle, Guy Defanti, about Harry Lorraine. He came to Plumas County, prior to 1926 and worked at "Engles Mine" a huge copper mine that was just up the road from my grandparents ranch. The mine shut down in 1930 but during it's heyday was a bustling community of 5000 people with a store, school, dance halls etc. After the mine shut down Harry stayed on as caretaker of the property. He remained in that capacity through the WWII years. My uncle had many amusing stories about Harry.. apparently he was a drinking man and was often well into his cups when he would drive- which resulted in a number of motor vehicle accidents. He would drive into town every other day (about 12 miles) He self appointed himself a the mailman. He would go by the post office in town and pick up the mail and deliver it to the ranches as he would pass by. Unfortunately, after more than one driving mishap the mail would be strewn across the
pasture and needed to be recollected and sorted. During the war when auto tires were scarce- he developed a way to superimpose the remaining tread from one old tire over another- secure with wire and be off. One of his favorite exclamations after his many car wrecks was that some "Damn Lobster" had run him off the road. One of the ladies in the neighborhood was a Native American woman called Rachel. She was quite a large lady and Harry agreed to give her a ride in his car to town- as luck would have it, he had not 1 but 2 flat tires that day - and both on the side of the car that Rachel was riding. He was certain that her weight had caused the misfortune and vowed not to transport her again. To my uncles knowledge Harry did not have a wife or children. My uncle was a child and teen when Harry was alive and held him in great regard but now as an adult, in retrospect says he was actually quite eccentric and a bit odd. Harry would tell of his younger years
in Maine- how he sailed on square riggers in the Bay of Fundy. My uncle remembers him as being quite artistic and that he would make lots of little craft projects which he generously shared with the neighbors- the one most memorable to my uncle as a child was a taxidermy project he undertook in which he stuffed a mouse. He did a lot of fishing in a nearby stream and ate a lot of fish. He also loved to cook pinto beans and would give an extremely detailed description of the proper way the clean and prepare the beans for cooking. By the time Harry passed away my uncle was in the military but thinks he died in the county hospital located in the county seat in Quincy, Plumas County, California.


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