Our tradition began when we got married in 1980 although Richard has been going to Little River since he was a little boy. Our tradition started with the Charlie Strohm annual Birthday Party in late January, which many members of the Strohm family attended. The Van Damme House was the perfect location for this size group. We  were able to take long walks up the Fern Canyon, picnic in Russian Gulch, and shop in Mendocino.  This gathering changed when Jeanne decided that cooking one Holiday meal was enough, and we changed our gathering to spend Thanksgiving with our extended family at the Little River Inn.
This tradition has had its trials and tribulations, just getting to the Inn. This included, Fog, Floods, Fires, Snow, Slides, and big Wind, with many a detour, which added to the Story.  All was worth it, as soon as we saw the smiling faces waiting for us and occasional adult beverage to calm the nerves with Susan at Ole’s bar. Some of the most memorable times include: power outages; I remember trying to put pantyhose on by fire and flash light. This was very entertaining for Richard. AND tree falling; A particularly violent storm that blew down one of the lovely old coast cypress. Which resulted in the removal of a familiar feature the Inn was noted for. But, it produced a splendid bench and a statue of Ole.   AND turkey cooking; Mel carting cooked turkeys from his house to the Inn because the kitchen couldn’t handle the amount that was needed for Thanksgiving diners. AND most especially, long talks with Ole about the good old day and 49ers, and he and Mel taking advantage of poor Charlie with the dice cups. The weather has always been the determining fact in whether we relaxed with a book or movie in our favorite cottage number 111 or had a terrific adventure outdoors. But it didn’t matter, it always adds yet a new memory or experience to our visits in Little River.