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As It Was: Whitewater Guide Glen Wooldridge Charms Women on the Rogue

Whitewater guide Glen Wooldridge had no equal on the Rogue River, where his witty stories charmed his guests for more than 60 years.  His favorite passengers were women.

He said, “Women would do what you advised them to do, use the equipment and bait that experience taught us was best. But most men, they’d try all their own ideas that wouldn’t work before trying it our way.”

He said one of the best guests he ever had was the actor Ginger Rogers.  Wooldridge said, “She was a really good ‘guy’” who washed dishes and other camp chores.

Around 1942, Rogers and husband Jack Briggs made the trip with several companions.  Their excursion was written up in a Hollywood screen magazine with pictures showing her, alongside Wooldridge, with the steelhead she had caught, the biggest landed on the Rogue that season.

“Women were pretty good sports,” Wooldridge said, and added, “The average woman did not expect to catch a fish, so when she caught one or two, she was happy about it. A man might expect to catch all the fish in the river and then wouldn’t be satisfied.”

Source: Arman, Florence, and Glen Wooldridge. The Rogue-A River to Run. Grants Pass, OR, Wildwood Press, 1982, pp. 137-41.

Laurel earned a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from Humboldt State. Her research efforts as a volunteer for the Curry Historical Society produced numerous newsletter articles and exhibits and earned her a reputation as a seasoned local history buff. Laurel is the author of "Renderings from the Gold Beach Pioneer Cemetery", a 50-page booklet containing a walking tour and snippets about the lives and times of folks buried there. She is also a contributing writer to Oregon Coast Magazine.