Fischer Children Grew up Hearing Music Coming From Parties at the Blue Room

Masterson, Jolenta Fischer. "Fischer Children Grew up Hearing Music Coming From Parties at the Blue Room." Emmons County Record, 5 September 2000, sec. 2B.

My brothers and sisters, all children of Wendelin M. Fischer, were having a family gathering in Ocean Shores, Wash. We took the ferry to Westport, a well known fishing village on the coast of Washington. My sister came out of a little shop and told me that the Blue Room burned down.

Now what are the odds of hearing that story at our end of the country?

I had trouble believing it and had to call a friend in Strasburg to confirm the fact. Sadly, it was true, and we all sat around recalling our own memories of our times in connection with the Blue Room.

Our home was less than 200 feet from the back of that building and, as children, it was hard to go to sleep on dance nights because the music was right outside. So we grew up hearing that music long before we were old enough to go to dances there. And, as with most of us, it was there that we learned to dance, at the free wedding dances to which everyone was invited.

It was also important to us as a theater, and it was there that we saw "Gone With the Wind" and every Gene Autry show that was shown. It was a very special place when it was the Mattray Theater and Ballroom--Matt for Matt Fischer and Ray for Ray Bichler, the owners. Virginia Hoffart Streifel of Portland, Ore., told me that the original builder and owner of the Pool Hall and Bar on that corner was Ray Bichler's father.

Reprinted with permission of the Emmons County Record.

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