As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

February 13, 2019


The first picture I am sharing was taken over 50 years ago ... in 1965 ... of the First Church of God at Fifth and Elmira.

First Church of God, 1965
First Church of God, 1965

That building has long since been torn down and replaced by a large office building constructed by Eugene Hill and later sold by the previous owners to Dan and Mary Wilson, who plan to open an assisted living center there.

The Church of God is one of the oldest churches in Bandon, having celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2012. The church building in this picture was built in 1924, burned in 1936, and was rebuilt at the same location, where it served its congregation until 2003 when parishioners built a new church in west Bandon, now known as Seabird Chapel Church of God. One of the longest serving pastors was Earl Bissett, who was pastor from 1968 until 1984.

Their first church was located at Riverside Drive and Caroline Street; later they moved into an old laundry building on First Street, where they held services until they built this church on Elmira.

Among the early pioneer members of the church were the Pullen and the Boone Lee families, whose descendants (including Boone Lee's granddaughter Virginia Weaver) still live in Bandon.

Jim Minkler is the pastor of the Seabird Chapel Church of God.

The second picture, taken in April of 1965, introduces the new officers of the Bandon Junior Chamber of Commerce, better known as the Jaycees.

Bandon Junior Chamber of Commerce, 1965
Bandon Junior Chamber of Commerce, 1965

From left are Earl Robertson, who now lives in the North Bend area; the late Sid Dominy; Gene Scott of Bandon and Graydon Stinnett, a long-time resident who moved several years ago to Albany.

The third picture was taken in June of 1964 as then Fire Chief Bob Schultz catches fish for the Chamber of Commerce Fish Fry, held annually in City Park on the Fourth of July.

Fire Chief Bob Schultz, 1964
Fire Chief Bob Schultz, 1964

Schultz, who owned Bandon Plumbing and Heating, was fire chief from 1960 to 1968, when Walt Ashton became chief until 1974 when the present chief, Lanny Boston, assumed the position.

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Much of the Oregon news media spent the last month or so bashing the University of Oregon softball team, who lost nine of its players off the championship team of last year, most of whom went to the University of Texas to play for former Oregon coach Mike White.

It appears sports writers had pretty much given up on new coach Melyssa Lombardi, who had previously been associate head coach at the University of Oklahoma.

The KVAL sports team, who I watch during the 11 o'clock news every night, had never failed to mention when another player left the Ducks.

So I was amazed when there was not one mention of the Ducks on the Saturday night news cast talking about Oregon's success at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., where they went into Sunday morning's game with a 4-0 record, having beaten Kansas (14-5), Cal State Northridge, Missouri and Bradley. Sunday they topped off the tournament by beating Seattle 8-6 to finish with a perfect 5-0 record.

I also scanned Sunday's Oregonian for mention of the team, and could find not one word ... even in the lengthy list of sporting events that were taking part that day.

Nor was there any mention of the fact that both Oregon and Oregon State softball clubs were in the tournament. And I did read Sunday in the Register-Guard that Oregon State won their first four games at the tournament, but couldn't find out if they won their fifth game.

I will be watching Sunday night to see if KVAL finally figured out that the Oregon Ducks may still be a softball team to reckon with ... and the fact that they finished with five wins in the Tempe, Az., classic.

The R-G did have articles both Saturday and Sunday, so maybe the TV sports guys will figure it out.

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I learned this week of the death of Flo Curran, who was one classy lady. She died at the age of 94 after having suffered a stroke. I just saw Jim and Flo at the Bakery around Christmas time, as they loved coming from their home in Coquille to visit the local shops and the many friends they have here.

Their son, Jim, told me that his parents had been married 73 years, which is a true testament to their love and devotion for each other. Local survivors include Jim and Patti and their son, Jimmy.

I first met Flo and Jim Sr. when he taught school at Harbor Lights for many years. He always comes to the museum's Bandon Fire anniversary programs to talk about his experience of delivering the Coos Bay Times at the time of the Fire, when he was 12 years old. And Flo always accompanied him.

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I've learned that Bandon Police officer Jordan Waddington is leaving the local department, effective Feb. 15, to take a job with the Coos Bay PD. Waddington, who lives at Greenacres, has been the handler of the city's police dog, a job which will now go to Bandon's newest officer, who was formerly with the Coquille Police Department.

Nolan Scoville, who was another recent hire, is no longer with the Bandon department. One of our newest officers, Zack Carpenter, has graduated from the police academy and is now working full time. A long-time resident of John Day, Zack is the son of Grant County District Attorney Jim Carpenter. He is a great addition to the department.

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The other night we went to Pony Village Cinema to watch "Can You Ever Forgive Me," the true story of author-turned-forger Lee Israel, which was co-written by Coos Bay's own Jeff Whitty, who has been nominated for an Academy Award. Melissa McCarthy, who generally stars in comic roles, was nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of Israel.

It's a great movie as is another one we saw recently, Green Book, which is also based on a true story and resulted in Oscar nominations for Viggo Mortensen (as Tony Lip) and Ali Mahershala as Don Shirley.

*           *           *

Wow. Just watched the Oregon women trounce Stanford 88-48 for the Ducks' first win on the Cardinal's home court since 1987, and the worst home loss for 18-year Stanford coach Tara VanDeveer. It is such a thrill to see talent like this, led by Sabrina Ionescu, the all-time NCAA leader in career triple-doubles, who was only a rebound and two assists away from her 17th Sunday.

The Ducks are the top squad in the Pac12, followed by Oregon State in second place and Stanford in third. Oregon and Oregon State meet twice next week, which should be two very exciting games.

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The Bandon Police Department put out a scam alert last week letting the community know that people are receiving calls saying that the City of Bandon Electric Dept. will be shutting off their electricity if they do not make a payment electronically by 5 p.m. The City is not calling any customer regarding any electricity shut-off at this time. This is a scam. Do not make any electronic payment over the phone.

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A 32-year-old Bandon man, Nick Housego, was injured in a fatal accident which occurred near Florence Saturday morning. A 52-year-old Mapleton woman, Jamie Jones, lost control of her vehicle on the ice and snow and slammed nearly head-on into a delivery truck operated by Daniel Crump, 25, of Reedsport, according to an Oregon State Police report. Jones died at the hospital. Both Crump and his passenger, Nick Housego, were said to have been seriously injured.




As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

February 06, 2019


The first picture I am sharing this week is the Bandon City Hall in 1961 as city officials (including manager of utilities John Fasnacht on porch) look over the flooding from Ferry Creek, which threatened businesses in the area.

Bandon City Hall, 1961
Bandon City Hall, 1961

The building, of course, is now the home of the Bandon Historical Society museum, which has recently undergone an exterior facelift. At left you can see the service station that stood on the corner of Fillmore and 101 for many years (now Baja Imports), and facing Fillmore, Yockey Electric (now Reese Electric).

The second picture, taken during high school baseball season in 1970, pictures catcher Dennis Williams, Pat Fraser and Russ Fraser during a game. I've heard that Dennis has recently moved back to town after having been gone for many years, so all three of them now live in town.

Bandon High School baseball, 1970
Bandon High School baseball, 1970

The third picture was taken in September of 1957 of a gorse fire on Beach Loop Road, which threatened several homes, including that of the Darrell Ward family.

Gorse fire, 1957
Gorse fire, 1957

An article in Western World reports that someone either deliberately or carelessly tossed a cigarette or a match into the gorse along the Beach Loop Road south of the golf course ... and set off a blaze, that except for quick action on the part of interested parties, the Bandon Fire Department and the Coos Fire Patrol, could easily have destroyed some valuable property.

The picture shows the City of Bandon line crewmen attempting to protect the base of a power pole at the intersection of Beach Loop and the road into the Ward home. The sign on the pole reads "The Wards." Although the home was surrounded by fire, Bandon firemen and their pumper stayed with it and averted damage.

Carl "Bub" Perry arrived on the scene with his Caterpillar from the west side and a big bulldozer from the Oberg Lumber Company started from the east side and between the two they circled the blaze with a trail that brought it under control.

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The two concerts that I talked about in last week's column, which were scheduled for this weekend at the Sprague Community Theater, will not be held at the Sprague.

At 4:30 a.m. Friday, smoke alarms that were wired into Gold Coast Security went off, and minutes later, both Sprague manager Jeff Norris and Fire Chief Lanny Boston and several others arrived on scene.

The belt had broken on the heater unit upstairs next to Jeff's office, causing it to become red hot, and begin melting duct tape off the ducts. Smoke from the overheated unit apparently went throughout the ducts because it could be smelled throughout the theater.

The city's insurance agent, Joseph Bain, was immediately on scene and began preparation to contact the commercial cleaners who will clean all the theater seats as well as the huge curtains on the stage. He told me it will probably be a month before the theater can be utilized again.

Jeff told me that had the alarms not gone off, it would probably have been only 45 minutes to an hour before the unit burst into flames, which could have been disastrous for what many consider one of the community's greatest assets.

At any rate, we dodged the proverbial bullet, but the situation caused a headache for the Showcase board. As I write this, I do not know if the Halie Loren concert will be held, and if so, where it might be, but I do know they are considering The Barn.

The Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival group, who were to play Saturday night, will now be at the Langlois Cheese Factory, where they have performed twice in the past. The concert will begin at 7.

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If you haven't tried the new Shoestring Cafe in the Continuum Center in Old Town (where Jason Tree's shop used to be) you have missed a real treat. Rick Jackson, who owned restaurants in both Gold Beach and Brookings, is a first-rate chef. His grilled eggplant is one of the best dishes I've ever tasted.

He is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 a.m., and I can't wait to try his braised leg of lamb or his spicy pork, which can be served as a sandwich or a wrap.

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I have been listening to radio station 105.9, The Legend, lately, and I really enjoy the oldies, but repeated, and I mean every few minutes, ads for Herbal Choices, the recreational marijuana business located just south of Bandon, as well as in Coos Bay and Charleston, get a bit tiresome.

I had heard that Herbal Choices owner and local realtor Jim Deatherage owned a local radio station, so I began to wonder if this was the station.

I Googled 105.9 and found that while the station was previously owned by Harry Abel and Mike Gaudette, it has been sold to Roger Morgan (the station manager) and Jim Deatherage.

I absolutely love the format ... and not only have I switched my car radio to 105.9 The Legend, but it's playing in my bedroom and in the living room...as I write my column.

It you love the songs that we grew up, be sure and give it a listen. It's renewed my faith in radio . . .

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There's been quite a bit of activity on Fillmore Avenue in recent weeks. A friend of mine stopped to talk to the guy who is moving into Reinhard Schoepel's former vehicle repair shop on Fillmore, between Fourth and Fifth.

It is becoming a machine shop, manufacturing specialty high-performance parts for ATVs. What people have been seeing installed is a CNC lathe and material handling equipment, all of which he describes as state of the art.

Just a block north, people may have noticed the work going on at the old garage, shop, just south of the museum.

The building, which is getting a beautiful face-lift, is reportedly being converted into a residential rental duplex. This is the kind of conversion I wish more people would make as there is a desperate need for rental housing.

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There are several big events slated for February, with the first being the third annual Gorse Blossom Festival, Feb. 15-17, in the Old Town Marketplace building on the waterfront.

The festival kicks off Thursday night, Feb. 14 (Valentine's Day), with a Science Pub at Bandon Brewing Company, where people can learn from a "Gorse is Gross" expert.

Several gorse and noxious weed experts will speak during the program, which lasts from 6 to 8 p.m.

Admission to the festival is $10 each day, with Friday hours from 3 to 9 p.n., Saturday from noon to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be various events in the evening, including a pub crawl, and on Sunday morning, beginning at 10, the popular Bloody Mary Stroll, ($30 in advance or $35 that weekend).

The following weekend, on Saturday, Feb. 24, is the big community crab feed at the Old Town Marketplace from 1 to 5 p.m. Tickets are $30, with proceeds donated to the Bandon Historical Museum, according to Lori Osborne of the Beverage Barn, who is spearheading the event, and sponsoring the facility. Goddard Energy is the title sponsor, and will be providing the crab, while Cardas Audio is the music sponsor.


Previous columns by Mary Schamehorn


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