As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

Dec 04, 2019


The first picture I am sharing this week was taken in October of 1971 when a fully loaded chip truck broke through the Moore Mill & Lumber Co. dock.

Moore Mill & Lumber Co. dock, 1971
Moore Mill & Lumber Co. dock, 1971

The dual wheels of the chip truck broke through the planking in front of the mill office. Walt Miller, mill owner, estimated that damage to the dock would cover an area of about 12x20 feet.

"By presstime Wednesday, the truck still remained with its duals hanging over the water.... and Miller said Monday that it would probably be necessary to remove the chip cargo before the truck could be lifted out of the hole," according to an article in Western World.

I worked in the mill office for 6 months before going to work at Western World as news editor in February of 1959 after deciding I probably was not cut out to be a payroll clerk.

The second picture was taken during the Fourth of July celebration in City Park in 1961.

Pie-eating contest, 1961
Pie-eating contest, 1961

Pie-eating contest winners were, from left, Jeff Hess, third; Billy Burgher, first; and Cary Baker, second. During the day, over 600 fish and chip dinners were served by the Bandon Chamber of Commerce. Chairman Bob Schultz and chamber president R.L. "Rollie" Parks said the festival was successful in every way except financially. It seemed that they had prepared for 1,000 people, and ended up being $400 to $500 short of making expenses.

The third picture was taken in 1973 of Bob Elliott, owner of Bob's Shell Service.

Bob's Shell Service, 1973
Bob's Shell Service, 1973

I wondered what my reason was for taking the photo, and I discovered a rather lengthy article about it in the May 17, 1973, issue of Western World concerning the major gas shortage that was sweeping the country.

I had interviewed most of the service stations in Bandon, including several of the independent stations. I interviewed Gordon Texley, who had just built a new independent station about six months prior to the article, who felt that the shortage was artificial, and a power play by the big oil companies to "squeeze out the little guy." He told WW that he would have gas, but the shortage was forcing him to raise his prices from 31.9 cents for regular to 37.9.

Elliott, who represented one of the area's largest dealers, Shell Oil Company, said he had not been served notice of a pending shortage. "Shell doesn't sell to independents so their prices should remain more stable," Elliott said. Shell's pump price was 39.9 for regular and 43.9 for super.

Standard Oil had advised local dealer Don Goddard that he could not take on any new fuel customers.

According to the article, "Jack Chappell, owner of Chappell's Chevron Station, learned this week that he would now receive gas on a quota basis."

Jack Paulsen, owner of Jack's Phillips 66 station, said he had not received any notice about a price increase, "but I personally don't believe gas is going to be any 50 or 60 cents a gallon .... but I think it will raise a cent or two."

I definitely remember cars backing up the highway hill going north out of town as drivers tried to get into Chappell's, which was directly across from what is now the Face Rock Creamery, and next to the driveway that I had to access to get to my house. When I would try to ease my way through the wall of cars to get to my house, drivers thought I was trying to cut into the line. It was a real mess.

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Will Bailey of Bandon, who was a member of the Coos County Weed Control Board and a dedicated volunteer in Bandon's efforts at controlling the spread of gorse, has sold his home, and he and his wife are moving to Eugene.

Last week he sent an email to acknowledge the tremendous work that ODOT, along with the Shutter Creek crews, are doing to remove all the mature gorse along the highway.

"This will greatly reduce the spread of gorse seed along this stretch of road. If this can be followed up next summer with herbicide spraying of the re-sprouts and new seedlings, this will go a long way toward eliminating this major vector of gorse seed spread north of Bandon.. Great work and many thanks!!!," he added.

Tim Lollar of ODOT responded by saying: "Rest assured, ODOT will be spraying sprouts next year! It is my goal to remove that ugly eye sore and stop it where it stands between 254.4 and 260 on ODOT right away."

Will Bailey will be hard to replace, and I hate to see him leave the community.

I also credit Will with introducing me to Knotweed, which is another very invasive species that is hard to control and even harder to kill.

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After the wonderful weather (well, with the exception of last Tuesday's storm) we have had in November, including a beautiful Thanksgiving day, an icy rain fell Saturday evening during the lighting of the Christmas tree. But it didn't stop hundreds of people, many with children who wanted to see Santa, from lining the streets of Old Town and the adults from enjoying the Nog Walk.

The weather man had been telling us for several days to expect rain Saturday afternoon ... and he was right. But, after all, we need to remember this is winter.

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A big crowd was on hand Friday afternoon to honor long-time museum supporter Mary Capps, who recently celebrated her 95th birthday. Not long after her August birthday, Mary fell and broke her hip. But she's as "good as new" now and instead of spending the afternoon on a comfortable chair at the table that we (museum board) provided for her, she preferred to circulate through the crowd.

She's an inspiration for all of us!

The inscription on the beautiful cake said it all: "Thank You Mary."

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I have learned that for drivers who may be wondering about conditions on Beaver Hill north of Bandon, all they have to do is go to ODOT.com and click on the Beaver Hill camera.

I understand the camera is now back on line and can provide a real service for a stretch of Highway 101 that can be pretty icy in bad weather.

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I've often heard people say that they felt one of the earthquakes that periodically hit off the southern Oregon Coast, but personally I had never felt one .... until Friday night. At exactly 5:45 p.m., the computer chair in which I was sitting began to move.

Wow, I thought, that must have been an earthquake. I immediately went to Facebook and sure enough, the first thing I saw was "EARTHQUAKE" in big blue letters.

The US Geological Survey said the 4.5-magnitude earthquake struck Port Orford, with its epicenter about two miles inland. No damage was reported but plenty of people felt it.


Previous columns by Mary Schamehorn


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