I've finally finished writing "Vic and Greg," and free pdfs are available by email. Just send me a note.

   if you've been following along online, or if you want to read it, the pdf gives it all to you in one place.. It was too long for one volume, so I split it into two books. It differs slightly from the online version. I've corrected miscellaneous typos and format problems, and have done a little rewriting of a couple of chapters. I've added illustrations, and also an 80-page "epilogue," telling what happened in the 50 years since 1966.

   For those who want to continue reading chapter by chapter online, the first 32 chapters are linked at:

 Chapters 33 and beyond are found at: 

The epiogue, written by Daniel C. Rafferty, Vic’s and Greg’s brother-in-law, is presented here.



by Daniel C. Rafferty

January 2024



   To those of you who stumbled in here, wondering what an "epilogue" was, you don't have to read it. It just seems to me that Victoria ("Vic") and Gregory ("Greg") Anderson-Cleveland - and Vic's sister Amanda ("Mandy") Anderson-Rafferty - remained such interesting people through their whole lives that someone should put some of their story down on paper. As the last one to know enough about them to do it, I elected myself. I especially wanted to write something for our kids and grand-kids, but you can read it, too.

   I didn't know Greg and the Anderson girls during their earliest times together, but I learned a lot from them in the 50 years that came after, after I joined "the family" and we became close friends. Of course, Mandy was my chief source of early information.

   Vic was born near Fargo, North Dakota, on July 6, 1946. Her father, Charles ("Chuck") Anderson worked on a wildlife refuge there. He and Vic's mother, Alice Johansen, were of Norwegian stock, just second generation Americans. Alice was actually born in nearby Minnesota, but her family moved to North Dakota when she was a baby. She and Chuck met in college. Chuck graduated with a degree in wildlife conservation, Alice got a B. A. in business and accounting.

     I should note that this is definitely Mandy's story, too. Amanda ("Mandy") Anderson, Vic's younger sister, was born in Fargo on December 2, 1948, a couple of years before the family started their move west. She was just a year behind Vic in school, and they were - and remained throughout their lives - both loving sisters and best friends.

   Most of the Andersons and Johansens stayed around Fargo the rest of their lives, but Chuck and Alice moved their girls west to another North Dakota refuge, then in 1958 moved to Magic Valley, Idaho, where Chuck was given his first full refuge manager job.

   In those days, I guess it was unusual for a young refuge manager to remain more than three or four years at the same location. Part of this was because varied experience looked good on later job applications, and moving was pretty easy with a young family. Government housing was often available. The houses weren't mansions, but the rent was cheap, and living conditions were okay.   The other reason for frequent moves was that it was difficult to get a promotion without moving. Promotions meant  a bigger pay check which, for federal refuge employees, still wasn't very big. I suspect that Chuck was clearing maybe $3,000 a year when they first moved to Idaho. Of course, $3,000 went a lot farther in 1958 than it does today, but it still wasn't much for a growing family. He did get cost-of-living increases and other adjustments, but in 1966 he probably was still only clearing about $6,000. And, of course, prices had been going up in those years, too.

   Despite the low pay and lack of promotion potential, Chuck and Alice mutually decided that their girls were not going to grow up as wildlife refuge vagabonds, with no strong ties to anywhere in particular. They agreed that they would stay at Magic Valley until both girls had graduated from high school. I guess this proved pretty hard at times, but not because of the money. The operation of the Magic Valley refuge was not very complicated, and Chuck got bored after a few years. The refuge was 18 miles from town, so Alice began to suffer from the isolation from any community life. But It was a good choice for the girls, as they were both able to graduate from high school with the kids they had known for all of their adolescent life. And, of course, Chuck and Alice survived the "hardships."

   All this prelude is just to say that - under "normal" circumstances - Vic would have been long gone from Magic Valley in late April 1965 when Gregory Lewis Cleveland ("Greg") appeared at the refuge as Chuck's new (and first) assistant manager. Greg was born in Oakland, California, on October 27, 1943. Both his parents were native Californians. He characterized his father, Clifford's, upbringing as southern California farm boy, but I think I learned in later conversations that the "farm" was a big orange grove down around San Bernardino. Cliff settled in the Bay Area in the 1930s, and was working as an auto mechanic, when he met Greg's mother, Marian ("Merry") Lewis.

   I guess I don't know much about Merry. I met her once, but she died fairly young. I know she was born and raised in Oakland, and that her parents were long-time Californians, but I guess that's about all. She was working as a salesgirl when she met Cliff. They married just before World War II got going in earnest  and, even though Cliff was off in the Merchant Marines most of the next several years, they managed to produce three little Clevelands - Greg, his older brother Clifford Jr., and a slightly older sister Janille (aka Janna). After the War, Cliff worked as a machinist, often in the Navy yards around San Francisco Bay. They lived in Oakland - in the same house - the rest of their lives.

   Greg was the ultimate "Native Californian." Before his move to Idaho in 1965, he had only been out of California one time - to Yellowstone Park - but it hardly mattered, because he was a baby, and didn't remember any of it. His first time away from home for any length of time was when he enrolled at a state college, 300 miles north of the Bay Area. It was still two months before his 17th birthday.

   In elementary school, Greg was what the other kids would have called "a brain." He was good at everything, and immediately grasped every new concept presented to him. This both excited and worried his teachers, the result being that he was eventually moved two grades ahead of the kids he had started school with. This proved to be a personal disaster for him, as he missed important learning (taught in the grades he skipped), and left him socially and biologically quite immature compared to his new classmates. He eventually righted himself personally, but graduated high school as an "average" scholar, whose solace came mostly outside school in reading, hiking, and watching birds.

   Greg earned his B. S. degree in wildlife management. He had early troubles in college, but did well in his major subjects. All the way through college, he wondered if he was on the right path, because much of the training involved hunting and fishing aspects of the outdoors, things he didn't do and that he had little interest in. Still, he didn't know any good alternative. When he graduated, he was sick of school, his one long-term ("nearly platonic" - his words) relationship was ending, and he just wanted to get away. He took the first job he was offered.

   (As I read what I've just written, I think I've made Greg seem immature, insecure, and maybe a little anti-social. Vic and Mandy say he wasn't any of those things. He had his own demons - particularly the Vietnam situation - but he kept them to himself. To the world - and mostly, to himself - he was confident, interesting, and pretty much impossible not to like.)


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