As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

Aug 21, 2019


The first picture I am sharing is the original restroom building at the South Jetty, which opened in April of 1965.

Original restroom building at the South Jetty, 1965
Original restroom building at the South Jetty, 1965

The caption under the picture, which appeared in Western World, explained that the restrooms were a joint undertaking by the county, city and port commission.

The Port had donated part of the land to the county who in turn constructed the building and hauled in many yards of rock to build a retaining wall between the beach and the parking area.

As their portion of the project, the city furnished the water for the facility, which included a drinking fountain.

"The parking area surrounding the above facility will be paved by the county sometime this summer," said the article.

Not sure what happened, except that the restrooms were vandalized repeatedly during the ensuing years, but as we know today, the parking area was never paved.

Later, the City took over responsibility for the South Jetty area, and built the restroom facility that is there today. Vandalism is kept to a minimum by the fact that a park host lives in a trailer house adjacent to the facility.

The second photo was taken in 1966 when Nils Lau of Germany, at left, visited the Rogge Lumber Co. mill to learn about the lumber industry. At right is mill employee Bill Ellis.

Rogge Lumber Co. mill, 1966
Rogge Lumber Co. mill, 1966

The caption read that Bill was explaining the trimming operation while Nils was observing control of the machine by foot pedal and production techniques required for continuous flow of timber.

The article, which was part of a full page of pictures and stories about his visit, explained that "for six weeks, under the watchful eyes and careful guidance of lumber veterans Ken Rogge and Piercy Sweet, the youthful German visitor has watched, participated in and learned the various phases of mill operations involved from cutting, green chain and grading to local shipping and transportation methods."

It went on to say: "In the past few weeks this pleasant young man has proven himself an apt student and personable representative of the company and his country."

Later Nils Lau returned to the area, where he and his family lived at Floras Lake and he started Oregon Overseas Timber in Charlie Redmon's old hanger next to the airport. Later he enlarged his operation, just south of the airport on Kehl Lane, which today is run by his son, Ulrich Lau, with the assistance of long-time employee Jim Curran as mill manager.

Nils and his wife, Rita, returned to make their home in Germany.

I love this third picture, and although I had it in my collection for a long time, I was not sure who these little girls were. And I found out that the two, Sarah Elliott (now Lakey), and Mindy Boston were pages for the 1980 Cranberry Court, where Kelley Erdman was crowned queen. In this picture I believe they are escorting the Mystery King.

Pages for the 1980 Cranberry Court
Pages for the 1980 Cranberry Court

Although not pictured, the flower girl was Theresa Thompson and the crown bearer was Travis Lafayette.

The Mystery King was later revealed to be Russ Sommers (father of Barbara Dodrill and June Korenko).

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Barbara Dodrill was one of three long-time Bandon residents who were celebrating August birthdays, with Barbara's 92nd on Aug. 18, Mary Capps celebrating her 95th with an open house at her Ocean Drive home on Aug. 17th, and Tom Gant, celebrating his 90th with a big crowd of golfers Saturday at the Bandon Crossings, where he's a regular.

Tom was born in Bandon; Mary was raised on the Boice ranch at Langlois, and Barbara and her late husband, Don, moved to Bandon in the late '40s.

My friend Marianne Pittman, who brought a beautiful bouquet from Esscents to City Hall Aug. 5 for my 80th, celebrated her birthday Aug. 19.

I forgot to mention that the night I celebrated my birthday at a city council meeting, our city recorder Denise Russell and the assistant city attorney Shala McKenzie Kudlac, were also observing Aug. 5 birthdays. What are the odds that all three of us would have the same birthday?

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Not long ago someone asked me if I knew what had happened to former Bandon Police officer Ron Wampole, whose wife Sgt. Lisa Wampole of the Coos County Sheriffs office was killed in a car crash 20 years ago on July 20, 1999. At the time of her death, Lisa was a member of the Bandon City Council.

I saw a tribute to her on Facebook recently and asked if anyone knew what had happened to Ron as someone told me they thought he had gone to work for the FBI.

Actually, Skip Sumstine responded on the site and said that Ron had died August 31, 2015. He had gone back to live in upstate New York near his family, and had been awarded a contract to build log cabins in New York and New Hampshire for the state parks departments. On one of the sites, Ron took a serious fall and couldn't return to work. Eventually his condition worsened and he died.

He attached an email from Les Dolecal, who said she and her husband had been friends with Ron and Lisa when they all lived in Bandon. She described what had happened to him and how she had cared for him in his last days.

*           *           *

Speaking of big birthdays, one of my favorite guys, Chuck Salt, was honored by the Bandon Rotary Club Friday to celebrate his 90th birthday. Family members came to town to help Chuck celebrate, and I believe they also had a special event at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

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I was given a tour through Lloyds Friday evening by the new owners, Mike and Melanie Collins, who own The Blue Moon in Coos Bay. They have done a lot of work on the building, both structurally and cosmetically, including upgrading the restrooms and installing three large windows in the back area around the dance floor.

Mike told me they are hoping to open Aug. 31, which is good news for a lot of us who have been waiting for several years for something to happen there.

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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) signed legislation recently that gives residents 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave and offers low income workers full wage replacement benefits in a historic first, according to the Oregonian, who said the legislation is reported to be the "most progressive family leave policy in the nation."

This will be a real blow to Oregon's small business owners, who comprise most of the businesses in the state.

As Margaret Thatcher said some years ago:

"The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."




As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

Aug 14, 2019


The first picture I am sharing was taken in December of 1966 as surveyors from the state survey Highway 101 in preparation for widening the highway to four lanes.

Surveyors on Highway 101, 1966
Surveyors on Highway 101, 1966

The building in the photo was previously Chick Girard's garage, later Bandon Auto Repair, and is now the home of Chamber President Anthony Zunino's Freedom Graphics.

As explained in Western World, the project, which included the pouring of curbs and gutters along the north side of the highway, "will be a joint undertaking between the city and the state. The curb and gutter will run parallel with the parcel of land where the proposed new city hall is to be built.

"Manager of Utilities John Fasnacht explained that although the new highway will be four lanes, there will be no parking allowed on either side."

The present city hall, mentioned in the article, opened in 1970. Previous to that, and since the Fire of 1936, the city hall had been in the building at 101 and Fillmore, now occupied by the Bandon History Museum.

The second photo was taken in March of 1965 as members of the Bandon Lions Club volunteer to build new concrete dugouts at the high school baseball field.

Building new dugouts, 1965
Building new dugouts, 1965

In the back, barely visible, you can see the east end of the high school, which was destroyed in an arson fire in 1974.

The dugouts were replacing old wooden ones which had been there since the days of the Bandon Millers (a semi-pro baseball team from the '40s and '50s) which had been destroyed by a wind storm in December 1965. Among those pictured are George Kronenberg (west end), Ernie Wehner, back to camera at left; Glenn Scofield (plaid shirt), Ralph Yockey and R.L. Parks, at right. Russ Conn, who spearheaded the project, is bending down at left, and teacher/coach Floyd Holloway, can be seen at right with a shovel.

I am not sure about the year of the third picture, but the negative envelope said "Men of the Year," which probably meant the Bandon Jaycees. At left is Tom Gant, who is celebrating his 90th birthday this week, and Ervin "Butch" Richert, who was in the BHS Class of 1956. Gant and his brother, Jim, both graduated in 1948.

Tom Gant and Ervin
Tom Gant and Ervin "Butch" Richert

*           *           *

Hasn't the weather been amazing? I can't remember a late July and August where we've had such warm days and virtually no wind. It appears that climate change is a positive for us ... unlike some already hot areas that are experiencing the warmest weather ever.

It was so great to see Facebook postings of people lying on beach towels on the sand, like they were in Southern California ... without the throngs of people.

This morning (Sunday), Reg Pullen, Jim Proehl and I hosted members of the South Coast Striders and others on a history tour. We had reminded people to be sure and dress warmly and bring their windbreakers ... and some of them did, but they weren't wearing them for long.

Part of the group went with Jim up Fillmore, and over to Ocean Crest and the high school and points along the way as they headed out, I think, to Coquille Point.

Reg and I started at the museum, and walked through Old Town, with me talking about the buildings and Reg giving us the history of the Indian tribes and where they had lived hundreds of years before Bandon was founded.

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This Saturday, Aug. 17, I will be presenting a program on the '50s, '60s and '70s by sharing negatives from the collection which I saved back in the early '80s as they were being hauled from Western World to the dump.

People are always fascinated by the fact that I was able to save so much of Bandon's history by simply telling the owners of Western World (I worked under 12 of them during my long career as reporter and sometimes editor of the paper) that I would take the negatives home, which I did .... boxes and boxes and boxes of them (more than 30,000).

Many years later (like 30 years) Jim Proehl and I began to scan them into the computer, and those are the photos that we will be showing Saturday, with the first program at 11 and then a repeat of the same program at 2, at the museum on Fillmore.

There is no charge to attend, and we will be encouraging people to share their stories as they see a photo that may jog their memory.

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Last week, I listed several buildings that I had been told (by the planning department) had been purchased by a Coos Bay woman, Heidi Sause. But the owner of the Baja Imports building (which started out as my father's Gilmore service station in 1941) told me that they have not sold their building.

So I guess, for sure, she has purchased the Reese Electric building and the quilt shop just west of Face Rock Creamery, to go along with the duplex that she is finishing just south of the museum on Fillmore.

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I am so glad to see that the Bandon Playhouse is alive and well. It's been two years since their last show, and it was fun to attend their Broadway Singalong show, Some Enchanted Evening, Saturday night at the Sprague.

The emcees for the show were long-time thespians Mike Dempsey and Cathy Underdown, with Crystal Landucci accompanying the singers at the piano.

Members of the chorus were Linda Baldwin, Kailynn Blackard, John Fink, Annie Giardinelli, Sally Jurkowski, Dylan Levrets, Lachlan Miller, Hallie Minkler, Nena Minkler, Merle Morrigan, Amy Moss Strong, Autumn Moss-Strong, Bobbie Neason, Maddie Pahls, Marley Petrey, Olwyn Reed, Daniel Undell and Gareth Williams. Daniel also accompanied on the guitar.

In charge of creative direction were Geneva Miller, Lachlan Miller, Amy Moss Strong and Autumn Moss-Strong.

The next big event for the Sprague is the Skylar Grey concert Friday, Sept. 6, presented by Bandon Showcase. Skylar is a big-name performer who just happens to be the daughter of Bandon's Candace Kreitlow.

I understand the tickets went on sale Tuesday, and by Wednesday noon, they were gone. Thankfully, David was able to purchase tickets for us. I certainly would not want to miss it.

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The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced this week that because of low Chinook returns, they are cutting back to one wild fish per person per day, and five for the season, out of the Coos, Coquille, Elk and Sixes rivers.

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It was fun to watch actress Alison Brie being interviewed the other night on Jimmy Kimmel (which someone posted on Facebook) as she described how she and her actor husband, Dave Franco, had been in Bandon to film their horror movie, The Rental.

She laughed as she told Kimmel that since Oregon allows recreational marijuana, she had purchased some and was a bit high when she and a friend went out to dinner that night at a small restaurant in town. She said that earlier in the day she was sitting on a bench, and each time she got up, she had to scoot across the bench. But she forgot that she was sitting on a chair, at a small table in the front window, when she started to get up to go to the restroom, and when she went to scoot "across the bench" she plopped down on the floor.

Alloro co-owner David Hayes confirmed that it was indeed at Alloro, where the humorous incident had occurred. While she didn't mention the name of the restaurant on the Kimmel show, she had high praise for the community, and I figured out very quickly where she had been that night as I knew they had eaten there regularly during the filming.

I guess the movie is a bit like A Quiet Place, so it may be too scary for me, but I am sure I will see it since part of it was filmed locally.




As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

Aug 07, 2019


I recently purchased the first picture I am sharing, which was an Associated Press photo from San Francisco.

Coast Guard Station razed by fire 1936
Coast Guard Station razed by fire, 1936

The caption was taped to the back of the photo, and here is what it said: "Coast Guard Station razed by forest fire. Bandon, Oregon., Sept. 29 (three days after the fire in 1936) -- Vivid evidence of how the forest fire which destroyed this coastal town swept right to the water's edge is given by this picture of the destruction of the Coquille River Coast Guard Station and boat house here. Guardsmen are shown looking over the ruins. Nine lives were lost (actually I believe most reports say 11) and more than 1,500 made homeless by the blaze, one of a number of fierce fires that threatened several communities in Southwestern Oregon."

The Coast Guard station was rebuilt in 1939 to much fanfare, as pundits heralded it to be one of the finest and most modern on the entire coast.

The second photo, probably taken sometime in the 1920s, shows stacks of white cedar logs ready to be shipped out of the port.

White cedar logs, 1920s
White cedar logs, 1920s

I found an article in the Sept. 20, 1923, Western World which talks about progress in Bandon, and mentions the flourishing cedar business. An article in the Coos Bay Times says, in part, "Bandon right now is showing much activity. a number of new houses are being built. On Ocean drive especially are some very fine new homes. These houses face the ocean and command beautiful marine views and the street will be one of the most unique and attractive residence sections on the coast.

"The wharves are piled high with cedar which is shipped out from Bandon and the booms near the city are filled with cedar logs. Many men are employed in the cedar business hauling from the different camps and handling the product in the city."

The third picture, taken in the mid-50s features BHS graduate Gwen Knox (Class of 1956) and teacher Ruth Gabriel, who taught home ec at the high school while her husband, Lloyd Gabriel, taught civics and other classes.

BHS graduate Gwen Knox (Class of 1956) and teacher Ruth Gabriel
BHS graduate Gwen Knox (Class of 1956) and teacher Ruth Gabriel

The Gabriels have lived in Washington state for many years. He is 97 and his wife is 92.

I heard from them today and they are still doing well.

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When it rains during the winter, I just say: "oh, no, not another day of rain." But when the weather forecast calls for rain in the middle of summer, I say a little prayer, knowing how dry things can get and the possibility of fire.

I just received the rainfall totals for July from Gerry Terp, and he recorded 0.31 inches, compared to just 0.01 the previous July. Hopefully, some rain will also be recorded in August ... as we begin to hear stories about big fires across the state.

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Not long after being elected to the Bandon Port Commission, Brian Kraynik (owner of several sport boats that take passengers up and down the Coquille River) asked me if I had any articles from the old Western Worlds about the boat-building class in the old Coast Guard building. And I did.

I found several articles and photos dating back to 1972 when Francis Stadelman was in charge of vocational education for the school district.

During his first meeting as port commissioner, Brian made a motion to explore a partnership with the Bandon School District in an effort to bring back boat building and any skilled trades training the school district sees fit using Port resources. Vote in support was unanimous.

It would be neat to once again see the old Coast Guard building, and the boat ways, be a place where young people could learn the art of boat building.

A Nov. 27, 1975, article reports that students in the Tiger Boat Manufacturing Company, under the direction of Eric Leegard, had completed planking on its 36-foot commercial fishing boat. Six small boats were also under construction and being painted that week.

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While reading the South Coast Strong supplement in The World last week I found a story that references Heidi Sause of Sause Brothers as having renovated the Front Street Provisioners building, which houses a restaurant.

Heidi also owns a number of buildings in Bandon, and is presently finishing a duplex on Fillmore just south of the Bandon History Museum. According to a spokesman in the Bandon Planning Department, Heidi has also purchased the Reese Electric building on Fillmore, the building on the corner of Fillmore that houses Baja Imports and the building just east of that where the quilt shop is now located.

She also owns the Alloro Restaurant building, and I believe she purchased the small cottage/bungalow across Highway 101 from the Face Rock Creamery that I owned at one time.

It will be interesting to see what she has in store for that area.

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I saw an interesting article recently indicating that "On Saturday, Aug. 10, a group of Second Amendment rights defenders have invited Joey Gibson from the group Patriot Prayer to speak at a rally on the Coos Bay Boardwalk.

"The event is being hosted by Oregon Second Amendment Sanctuary, Patriot Prayer, The Rob Taylor Report and Coos County Watchdog. The rally will begin at 3 p.m. and last until 5 p.m. Following the rally a potluck will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. at the North Bend Community Center."

The article went on to point out that "Gibson has been in the news lately regarding his involvement in a May Day counter-protest held by his group Patriot Prayer that turned violent in Portland. The clash happened at the northeast Portland business Cider Riot, when counter protesters began fighting with patrons."

One of the sponsors, Rob Taylor, is a Bandon resident.

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Bandon Showcase has announced its 2019-20 schedule, and I am definitely looking forward to all the shows, but one in particular.

The Sept. 6 show will feature five-time Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Skylar Grey (Holly Brook), who just happens to be the daughter of Candace Kreitlow of Bandon. She is also related to Jessica Neal, owner of the Broken Anchor, who is Candace's niece.

Skylar has written for Rhianna and collaborated with Eminem to great acclaim.

As a child, Grey performed professionally in a folk duo with her mother called Generations.

In 2004, at the age of 17, Grey signed a publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Group and a recording contract with Machine Shop Recordings under the name Holly Brook. In 2006, she released her debut studio album Like Blood Like Honey.

I can't wait to see her perform on the Sprague Theater stage. What a special treat!!

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I've learned that the 48-year-old son of Bill Tiffany (Class of '64) and Dixie Olinger Tiffany (Class of '65) died recently on the operating table while undergoing heart surgery.


Previous columns by Mary Schamehorn


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