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George and Lois Best Oral History Interview

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George and Lois Best Oral History Interview


In this interview, George and Lois Best describe their childhoods growing up in Oregon. In recalling his childhood, George notes that he was born in Minnesota, but moved to Oregon when he was five years old. Lois states that she was born in Michigan but that she and her family moved to Oregon when she was about twelve years old. Both note that they grew up without electricity, and did not have access to advanced medical care or other modern amenities. Lois recalls a number of medical emergencies and describes how the limited access to medical care impacted her family. She also states that she and her family were surprised by the highways they drove on while moving to Oregon, and notes that her mother was worried that Lois’s father and brothers would get hit by a car.

George then describes his experiences in World War II. He talks about his training as an air gunner, before outlining his tour in France and Germany during the war. He notes that he had to return home after catching malaria and that his superiors planned to send him to the Pacific front after his recovery, but that Japan surrendered before he was deployed. He concludes his recollections of World War II by describing his memories of being in the U.S. when the Allied victory was announced.

From there, George and Lois describe the beginning of their relationship. They discuss how they met, their wedding, and their marriage, and Lois briefly talks about their children and grandchildren. George then talks about the work he did as a logger while their children were young, and Lois describes her memories of being a bookkeeper and taking care of their children while they were in school. The Bests also discuss how they spend their free time, noting that they are actively involved in a local church community. They also describe their love for traveling and talk about past trips that they’ve been on. The interview portion of the film concludes with a brief discussion of gold prospecting, Oregon’s geography, and how that has impacted the history of the state. From there, George provides a tour of a piece of land in the Westwood Creek area that his grandfather used to own, and demonstrates an axe-handling technique.

George Best was born in Burtrum, Minnesota, in 1923. In 1928, he and his family moved to Oregon. His father worked at a sawmill, a job that George helped his father with when he was a child. Best enlisted in the Army at the start of World War II and was eventually deployed to Europe. After the end of the war, he returned to Oregon, where he married Lois Wooster. He and his wife had two sons and two daughters. After marrying, George began a career in logging; he spent his retirement years travelling and volunteering. Lois (Wooster) Best was born in 1928, in Fountain, Michigan. In 1940 she and her family moved to Philomath, Oregon, where they lived as homesteaders. After World War II, she married George Best. While raising their four children, she worked as a bookkeeper at a local bank. In her retirement years she volunteered with her church and with the local school board.


George and Lois Best


Starker Forests Community Oral History Collection (OH 38)


Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Oregon State University Libraries


March 28, 2008


Gary Blanchard


Born Digital Video




Oral History



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Gary Blanchard


George and Lois Best


Best residence, Philomath, Oregon; Westwood Creek

Original Format

Born Digital Video



OHMS Object

Interview Format


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