As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

April 27, 2016

I may have shared some of these before, or maybe just different versions, but I love to see the contrast between the "old days" and today. The first picture was taken over 40 years ago, in 1972, and pictures Kronenberg (George) & Waldrop (Eddie) Insurance. This is on the corner of Second Street and Baltimore, now known as the clock tower building, which houses The Sassy Seagull, and was previously Timeless Accents.

Kronenberg & Waldrop Insurance, 1972
Kronenberg & Waldrop Insurance, 1972

The second picture is titled "new Perry Mill at Rosa Road" and was taken July 24, 1969. This is now the site of the Bandon Supply complex.

Perry Mill at Rosa Road, 1969
Perry Mill at Rosa Road, 1969

The third picture was probably taken in the '60s, or maybe the early '70s, of the Bandon Plumbing building, owned by Judy Knox' father, Bob Schultz.

Bandon Plumbing
Bandon Plumbing

Across First Street you can see Graydon Stinnett's fish business, which previously housed George and Nella Dow's Bandon Seafood business. The plumbing building is now Sunny and Gary Chang's Wheelhouse and Crow's Nest, and will soon host the Bandon By The Sea art gallery on the south side of the building.

I have a lot of "new" old photos to share with you, but I have to get them scanned into my computer first.

*           *           *

Several things are happening this weekend. For the first time ever, the VFW Auxiliary National President Francisca Guilford will visit Bandon. She will be at Face Rock Creamery Friday afternoon at 2:30, and will then be honored at a reception and dinner at the VFW Hall later that afternoon.

Bandon VFW Auxiliary District 4 president Madeline Seymour is coordinating her Bandon visit.

Friday marks the opening of the Old Town Marketplace at the Port of Bandon, with the Good Earth Community Garden holding its annual fundraiser Friday and Saturday at the market. The market will continue Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., through Dec. 17.

Saturday night is the annual Bash for Cash, "The Wild West: Boots, Craps and Cowboy Hats," at The Barn/Community Center, with doors opening at 5:30 and dinner at 6:30. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at Banner Bank, Mick's Barbershop or at the door. All proceeds benefit Bandon Project Graduation, which has provided a safe and sober graduation experience for Bandon High School seniors for more than 30 years.

*           *           *

A big crowd came to the museum Saturday to honor Judy Knox, who has served as our executive director for 20 years. I prepared a proclamation in her honor, with a little help from our museum president Jim Prohel, who also provided the picture that accompanied it.

I think around 120 signed the guest book, and since not all of us signed in, I know there were even more than that. Two museum board members, Nancy Goddard Murphy and Donna Mason Thorn, put together a wonderful wall of pictures, going all the way back when Judy was a little girl growing up in Bandon. She was extremely touched by everything and tears flowed freely as she is still gaining her emotional strength back after the loss of her beloved husband, Ron, who died last May.

Although this was not a retirement party, Judy has let the board know that she will be retiring sometime before the end of the year. Not sure if this will be a part-time position (as it is now) or full time, but Eileen Scott, who now works Mondays and Fridays, likes her job and is not planning to retire.

I love history and it would be a perfect job for me .... if I were looking for a job, which I am not. Fifty-five years in the newspaper business is about all the "work" I can stand. Being mayor has kept me extremely busy during the last year, and within the next few months, we will once again be beginning the search for a new city manager, so that will take up a lot of time. We are so fortunate that Matt was willing to come out of retirement. I know it was not his choice since he was loving retirement, but we needed him ... and he answered the call.

*           *           *

Now that I am sharing a space in the Continuum Center with potter William Davidson, I am spending a lot of time printing out some of my historic photos, which seem to be what people are interested in.

I have sold two of the 36x12 Moore Mill & Lumber Co. panoramic photos on canvas, which makes me think that people are more interested in historic photos than they are scenics, which may go better this summer.

After two years of owning a printer capable of printing 13x19 photos, I finally figured it out shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday morning, and was actually doing a dance in my office. I did not realize that I had to change the settings on my computer before my printer could handle large format photos. Now I know and the "sky's the limit," although demand may actually temper my enthusiasm.

I had already mastered printing 8x10s, so I have a big stack of those, but what I really wanted were the large sizes.

Actually the cost of ink and paper may slow me down, but right now I am just so happy to have mastered my printer that I will be blithely printing away.

When you have more than 30,000 negatives (just on my computer alone), to choose from, there is no end to what I can print.

*           *           *

The high-end electric car company Tesla has actively been looking for a charging station in the Bandon area, and now it appears that they will soon have two ... but neither of them will be paid for by city of Bandon taxpayers.

Tesla first contacted the City in mid-January and talked with the then city manager, who explained to me in an email part of what we would be required to do to lease them eight parking stalls across Third Street from Face Rock Creamery. "The downside is they're not offering to pay anything for the lease. Their argument is that since they'll pay for the required electric service improvements, the space should be free. They think they bring value to the location, as Tesla drivers are desired visitors. I agree. As long as we're not doing anything else with that space now, I think this would be a nice addition, even if they don't pay a lease. It would literally put Bandon on their map," said the city manager, asking that I look at the contract.

The first thing that jumped out at me was that the city would be required to pay the electric for the vehicles being charged. I notified the city manager, who said that "is contrary to what Mr. Wimer from Tesla told me."

I then continued to read the contract, and by the time I was through I had outlined nine things that benefited Tesla, ranging from the city losing control of the property for 15 years, providing an additional 200 to 400 feet of landscaped space for equipment, paying all the utility bills, being responsible for maintaining the common areas of the property, including for garbage collection AND, this is a big one, using "commercially reasonable efforts to actively monitor the premises to ensure that use of the supercharging stalls is not impaired." To me that could mean a night watchman or an extra patrolman.

The ninth thing I found in the contract was that "the public can park in one of the extra four spots ... but only for 30 minutes." That is until they decide to convert the other four spaces to be dedicated spots again with "our written approval (the city), which cannot be withheld, conditioned or delayed."

The man from Tesla did call me, and I said that rather than talk to him over the phone, I would simply email him my concerns, which ended with "and now let's see how this contract will benefit the City of Bandon: 1. It won't."

I also suggested that they might want to look at executing a lease with someone like the Bandon Shopping Center.

At any rate, I did not hear back from him.

I have now learned that "Bandon Crossings has installed a Tesla destination charging station, offering a FREE charge for customers with either Tesla or Universal adapters. Times can be reserved to ensure your car can charge while you golf."

Apparently Tesla is also looking into a charging station at the shopping center. Both of these locations are desirable, and the best thing is that neither will be paid for by the taxpayers of Bandon.

*           *           *

As more and more law enforcement agencies are becoming aware of the crisis of distracted driving, and the terrible toll in lives that it is taking, it's good to read about stepped-up enforcement.

Marion County law enforcement agencies teamed up April 22 for Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The enforcement effort was focused on Highway 22E (east of Salem).

Studies show that many drivers will talk and text when they're alone, but think twice about it when they have a passenger. Yet nearly all drivers think it's dangerous to do so, passengers or not.

The carnage on Oregon highways, which has increased 34 percent over the last three years, continued Saturday on Highway 101 in Clatsop County when a Hyundai SUV, driven by a 64-year-old man from Manzanita, crossed over the centerline just after 3 p.m. and crashed head-on into a Chevrolet Tahoe. The driver of the Hyundai and his wife were both killed; the other couple, in their 50s, received non-life threatening injuries.

As usual, the police report simply says: "cause of the crash is still under investigation."

In the meantime, Oregon continues to be second in the nation for the increase in the percentage of fatalities on our highways ...

I know the law often takes away the driving privileges of the drunk driver ... maybe it's time to consider taking away the Smartphone from the texting driver. It's just a thought!

*           *           *

I saw an obituary in the Register-Guard last week for J.T. (Thomas) Vedder, 28, who attended Bandon High School with the Class of 2005. In the 2004 annual he is listed as "Jerald Vedder," but I always knew him at JT. The obit said he died in his sleep on April 10. His survivors include his mother, Karen Vedder, and sisters, Ayla-Mae Vedder and Mandy Vedder. It does not mention his father, but I am pretty sure he was the son of Rusty Vedder, and the grandson of Carole and Leonard Vedder from Bear Creek.

The obituary said he won many cross-country meets in his youth and was valedictorian of his high school.

Charitable contributions can be made to the Epilepsy Foundation in his name.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

April 20, 2016

I have been going through a lot of historic photos and newspapers from the estate of my late uncle, Lou Felsheim, and one of the things I found this week was a picture of the Fifield, a steam-schooner which went aground on the beach near the South Jetty 100 years ago (Feb. 29, 1916).

The Fifield, 1916
The Fifield, 1916

The first picture I am sharing shows the Fifield after she ended up on the South Jetty beach. She had a crew of 21 and carried three passengers on that fateful day. As the ship entered the bar, the south-running current slammed her against the rocks on the south jetty. The waves carried her off and suddenly she again hit the rocks. By that time the ship was helpless and drifted around the end of the jetty where the mighty breakers carried her on the beach south of the jetty. No one was injured. Captain Johnson of the U.S. Life-Saving Service had his crew shoot a line aboard. They brought the crew and passengers safely to the beach in a breeches buoy.

Salvage operators brought in one of Moore's team logging donkeys to pull the Fifield up on land. They planned to take out the sand, repair the hull and then launch the ship again in the river.

But the work failed and the Fifeld soon tore apart in the relentless breakers, according to information compiled by Dow Beckham in his book, "Bandon By-The-Sea."

The second picture was taken during the Cranberry Bowl football game on Oct. 1, 1961.

Cranberry Bowl football game, 1961
Cranberry Bowl football game, 1961

The reason I am sharing it is because of the wide angle of the picture, which has a great view of the high school (which burned in 1974), the music room and shop, and the building, which now houses the district office. You can see the Episcopal Church in the background at left, as well as the top of the Presbyterian Church just east of that.

I don't have a date for the third picture, but I do know that The Golden Rule was one of the first stores to rebuild after the fire by owner D. R. Norton, and moved from its previous location on the south side of First Street over to Second Street.

The Golden Rule
The Golden Rule

It was operated for many years by Robert "Bob" and Margaret Norton (parents of Barbara McMahon) in the building which now houses the Continuum Center. Judging by the sedan, which is barely visible at right, this picture was probably taken in the '40s, but I am sure a car buff can come closer to the year. (More of the car can be seen in a reflection in the window).

*           *           *

The Bandon School District has received just under a million and half dollars ($1,498,212) in state seismic funds to retrofit Ocean Crest Elementary School.

Forty-one schools around the state, including several others in Coos and Curry counties, received part of the $50 million in grant money. Also scheduled for seismic work are Kalmiopsis Elementary in Brookings, $1.5 million; Gold Beach High School, $1.5 million; Driftwood Elementary, Port Orford-Langlois School District, $1.47 million, and Southwestern Oregon Community College for Randolph Hall, $624,550.

A 2007 survey conducted by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries listed more than 1,000 school buildings in Oregon at high or very high risk of collapse in a major earthquake.

At first it was believed that Ocean Crest (where I attended grade school) might be in the inundation zone (because of its close proximity to Gross Creek), but apparently that is not the case, and upgrades will make it a lot safer.

I recently saw a special on OPB highlighting the work of a tiny Washington state school district in Ocosta, whose residents had approved a $2 million bond to build a structure designed to survive a massive earthquake, and designed to hold 2,000 people. This will not only provide a safe place for the children, but also for townspeople who are able to reach it.

Earthquakes are on a lot of minds this week with the news that two hit Japan, including a 7.0 Friday, and Saturday's 7.8 which struck Ecuador. At last count, 41 died and 1500 were injured in the two Japanese quakes, and nearly 250 died and another 2,500 were injured in Eucador. but the count is expected to rise in both countries.

This is, of course, a good time for people to evaluate their emergency supplies, with the reminder that people will basically be "on their own" when the Big One hits.

*           *           *

Judy Knox, a Bandon native and the 20-year executive director of the Bandon Historical Society, will be honored this coming Saturday, April 23, at the museum from 1 to 4 p.m.

The event will also honor several other anniversaries: 40 years as a historical society and the 20 years in the building (at Fillmore and Highway 101) where the City Hall stood after the Fire and before it moved to his present location.

The museum recently celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the wreck of the Fifield and will observe the 80th anniversary of the Bandon Fire later this year.

"People are invited to stop by Saturday afternoon, have some cake, sign the guest book, congratulate Judy and enjoy the museum that she has left such a mark on," said museum board president Jim Proehl.

This is not a retirement party, although Judy has advised the museum board (of which I serve as vice president) that she hopes to retire some time before the end of the year.

The museum is served by a number of faithful volunteers, who sit at the desk, welcome visitors and share our history. Among our newest volunteers is Bandon native Paula Colgrove, who has taken over the ordering for the gift shop, and she's doing a bang-up job. Also for sale at the gift shop is Hazel's Cranberry Catsup, which Paula continues to make from the recipe of her late mother, Hazel Colgrove.

Not the least of what you will see when you come to the museum to honor Judy is a chance to view our latest displays. We are very proud of the museum, which many who visit say is one of the best they've seen. And we think so.

In charge of displays are two more natives (and cousins), Nancy Goddard Murphy and Donna Thorn Mason.

Believe me, you don't have to be a Bandon native to be part of the museum, but a lot of us seem to be taking an interest in our history ... the older we get.

*           *           *

Irish furze (better known to us as gorse) has been blamed by many for causing the Bandon Fire, while others realize that while the fire started at a logging camp east of Bandon, it was definitely spread by gorse.

While reading the Oct. 15, 1936, issue of Western World (printed less than three weeks after the Fire), a headline caught my eye.

"To Eradicate Irish Furze," it read, and quoted Fire Chief C. S. "Curly" Woomer, who tried his best to save the town. He was a long-time friend of my father and I remember him fondly.

The article reads: "Complete eradication of that arboreal oddity, Irish furze, is a program which C. S. Woomer will start as soon as plans for rebuilding Bandon permanently back on the map begin, he said today.

"Describing the blazing furze as: 'just like waves of fire. Exactly the same as the waves breaking over the bar and rolling forward to consume everything they touched,' the fire chief blamed the weed for much of the headway made by the fire as it advanced on the city."

Woomer quoted a survey by the state fire marshal's office which called it: "A shrub . . . which when dry burns with the speed and heat of gasoline."

The article adds: " 'Flaming brands of the furze, whipped loose from the stems by the fire's own suction, whirled aloft in high waves to come to earth and start new fires behind the retreating fire lines,' Chief Woomer says he observed."

" 'A complete plan of eradication with CCC help if we can get it is our plan when Bandon rebuilds,' the fire chief said."

The story also explains how it got here, which we pretty much already know.

"The weed was first planted in this area by George Bennett, immigrant from Bandon, Ireland, who named a townsite and sentimentally planted the seeds of its future destruction along the cliffs which reminded him of his native Ireland."

One needs only drive around Bandon, or fly over in a small plane, to realize that Curly's dream of eradicating Irish furze (gorse) never happened. My guess is that today it is worse than ever, and Sunday's extremely hot day reminded me a lot of what the weather was like on that ill-fated day in 1936 ... but without the extremely low humidity, which dropped to seven or eight and made the entire area one giant tinderbox.

*           *           *

I ran a picture of Mike Breuer, the old cobbler, in last week's column, but was not sure how old he was when the picture was taken or what year. A great-nephew, Richard Hancock, wrote to say that was Mike's 90th birthday, which I believe would have been in about 1949. "And he was still hard at work," said Richard.

*           *           *

The Bandon Rotary Club's annual cheese and wine auction continues to be The "social event" of the season, and Saturday night was no exception. I am not sure how many years the club has been putting this on, but I know for certain I have never missed one ... and this year's seemed to be bigger and better than ever.

There were a number of tables with nothing but different cheeses, and the food, catered by Coastal Mist, was absolutely fabulous. Rotarians go to a lot of work on this ... their largest fundraiser ... and they deserve a big vote of thanks for giving us a reason to dress up.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

April 13, 2016

I was running out of fresh ideas for the history part of my column, in spite of the fact that I still have thousands of pictures to share. But this week, the museum received two boxes of old pictures from Western World, which had been in the garage of my late uncle Lou Felsheim for many years. Some of the things were from before the fire, including a Glee Club program from 1932, which listed my mother (Martha Virginia Felsheim) as one of the singers.

I spent many hours at the museum poring over these boxes, and what I found is beyond explanation. The three that I am sharing this week all came from the boxes. The worst thing about the find is that almost none of the pictures have either identification or dates on the back of them. Many of them are photos from the negatives which I saved back in 1980 ('50s, '60s, '70s era), and a lot of those negatives at least had a date on them, which made it easier to search through bound volumes of the paper to find out who they are. But the really old pictures, many of which I am sure were taken before the fire, are not identified and many of the old-timers, like my mother (who died three years ago at 96 and my uncle who died last summer at age 92) are gone. We are hoping that other natives, like Don Goddard and Marjorie Bullard Stephenson, will be able to shed light on some of the pictures.

One of the finds was a complete folder of Bandon Chamber of Commerce letters (my grandfather L.D. Felsheim was vice chairman of the chamber and that may be why they were in his possession) from just after the fire . . . including one letter written three days after the fire. Most of the letters came from men across the Pacific Northwest who were out of a job and looking for carpentry work, believing that rebuilding the town was already underway.

Each request was answered by a personal letter from the chamber secretary explaining that the WPA and the Red Cross had built temporary structures and tents for the residents, but rebuilding of the town would not start until spring.

As I Googled WPA I learned that it stands for Works Progress Administration, and it was an act passed in 1935 ... the year before the fire. It's purpose was recovery. It put men to work on jobs of public usefulness. It was said to be the Federal Government's most ambitious undertaking yet to provide employment for the jobless.

But obviously from the number of letters received from out of work men desperate for any work, there were still many people seeking employment in the Great Depression days, even though it was seven years after the stock Market Crash of 1929.

One letter, dated Sept. 29, 1936, came from a woman in Boulder, Mont., and my guess is that she did not even know the town had burned three days earlier.

She refers to an article in the N.W. Poultry Journal about Bandon, written before the fire, and asked about "wages for women . . . all kinds of work: teachers, office help, domestics and others.

"Also I would like to know the prices on sugar and flour, coffee and gas etc., and grain. I would not care to live right in town (little did she know there was no town to live in) but within a few miles of town, and close to highway. Would a woman have a reasonable chance at work (any kind of labor) this fall and the wages? I have had quite a lot of experience with children and as a practical nurse. I would be willing to work in town." Sincerely, Mrs. Sadie TenEyck.

In answer, the chamber said: "As you no doubt know, Bandon was completely destroyed by fire on Sept. 26th, and as yet plans for rebuilding are very indefinite. Food and tent shelter has been provided for our citizens by the Red Cross, and although a few temporary structures are being erected, permanent building awaits government decision on many points.

"For this reason we are unable to advise you as to moving to this district or are we able to forward literature."

The chamber secretary then refers to the article in the Poultry magazine and says that the writer did not overstate the possibilities of the poultry industry "and under normal conditions, we would not hesitate to say that the opportunity for a good living was here for anyone interested in this line of agriculture."

I have discovered so much good information that I want to share, but now it's time to get back to the photos.

The first one is familiar, but this is a much better ... and older picture ... than the one I shared last week of the theater. This is a picture of the New Bandon Theatre, which was probably taken not long after the fire, maybe 1937 or 1938.

New Bandon Theatre
New Bandon Theatre

Of interest is the double feature billing, with the first one showcasing Will Rogers, Peggy Wood and Mary Carlisle in Handy Andy, which was released in 1934. The show bill on the right side of the theater advertises Singing Marine, released in 1937 and featuring Dick Powell, Doris Weston and Lee Dixon. Next to the theater you can see Fred Tuttle's soda shop.

I literally love the second picture. It is Mike Breuer, hard at work in his shoe shop on First Street, in the building which survived the fire just east of what is now Edgewaters Restaurant.

Mike Breuer
Mike Breuer

I have often referred to him, in reference to the building, and in the Felsheim collection was this wonderful 5x7 print of old Mike, just as I remember him as a child. This picture, however, could easily have been taken before the fire.

The third picture came from a post card, which simply says "white cedar, Bandon, Ore.," and shows white cedar posts (bolts) on the port dock, probably waiting to be shipped to other markets.

White cedar
White cedar

But this is a great view of the lighthouse and the lighthouse tender's house, which clearly shows the distance between the two. In other photos, including one that was sent to me several years ago by a descendant of the lighthouse keeper, because of the angle the photo was taken, it looked as if the lighthouse and the house were very close together. Obviously that was not the case as you can clearly see in this photo.

The White Cedar Lumber Co. was incorporated in Bandon by J.H. Dalen (of Dalen Manufacturing), banker T.P. Hanley (who I believe was the father of W.J. Sweet's wife Theresa) and J.F. (Jack) Kronenberg (father of Jean Kronenberg Rittenour). Among the collection, I found a picture of my grandfather and Jack Kronenberg pictured with two men in front of a large load of timbers, but not sure what the occasion was or when the photo was taken. I promised Jean I would scan it and send it to her.

*           *           *

The narrative part of my column is going to be short this week because I took up so much space for the history portion.

I did see a post on Facebook titled "16 charming ocean towns in Oregon to visit this spring."

And guess who made No. 1. You guessed it. Bandon was the top town on the Oregon Coast to visit. Others were Newport at 16, Coos Bay at No. 13, Brookings No. 10, Port Orford No. 6, Florence No. 5, Cannon Beach No. 4 . . .and Bandon No. 1.

It adds: "Bandon-by-the-Sea is a beautiful town in Coos County with unique scenery, world class golf courses, acclaimed restaurants and an unbeatable small town charm.

Hard to beat this kind of positive publicity ...

*           *           *

With the beautiful weather we had this week, we are all beginning to think about spring and what's in store for our area.

A friend of mine from Powers asked me if I would spread the word about the Tour de Fronds, billed as a spectacular bike ride in Southwestern Oregon, which is set for Father's Day weekend, June 18. The seven scenic rides range from 30 to 101 miles, and include Daphne Grove, 30 miles; Agness Pass, 45 miles; Eden Valley, metric century; Arrastra Saddle, 77 miles, and Cruiser/Dutch Henry, Century.

Registration fees range from $40 to $70 and include a continental breakfast, a variety of tasty snacks/drinks and a delicious post-ride meal. The Tour de Fronds is sponsored by the Powers Lions Club. For information people can email: or call 541-439-2418.

*           *           *

Jeanie Strain Laub, who celebrated her 90th birthday with an open house in late March in Bandon, died April 5 at RiverBend Hospital in Springfield. She was the last of the four Strain sisters, who included Agnes Wilson Moffit, Nellie Biggar and Margaret Gorman.

Not sure what happened, but it must have been sudden because I had seen her several weeks earlier and she looked great.

*           *           *

Saw a neat article in the Brookings paper recently about an album that was soon to be released by Jessie Goergen, titled "Drop A Line" by Jessie G. Jessie is the granddaughter of Bandon native Peggy Hunt Goergen and the daughter of her son, Willy, and his wife, Mandy.

Peggy tells me the single was released April 4, and she says people can listen on ITunes for a preview.

She will tour the West Coast this summer to promote her new album. Peggy is a cousin to the Winters' "kids" (Barry, Dan and Debbie Winters Llewellyn).

*           *           *

I am so glad tax season is over . . . or at least for me it is. As a new member (and vice president) of the Bandon Historical Society museum board, I offered to do their taxes this year after learning that they had paid $1800 to have them professionally done last year.

How hard could it be? I thought . . .

Since I am used to the ease and speed of Turbo Tax, I can only tell you that there is no software available for non-profits like the museum, who are required to file a 990EZ (not really easy) if they have gross revenues of over $50,000, which they did ($54,000).

But I was determined to do it, utilizing the 2014 taxes as a template. Many, many hours later, I finally completed the taxes ... but now Judy and I (and anyone else down there who wants to help) have to file an almost-as-complicated set of questions from the U.S. Census Bureau. The last time the museum was required to fill out that form (whose "victims" are selected randomly) was about five years ago so we have no template. And they wanted it filed by early March. I told Judy to tell them that when we got the taxes done (which aren't due until May 15 for non-profits), we would use that information to work on the Census form.

Unfortunately the questions are posed differently, so it may be just as hard as the taxes, but it's all part of not having to pay taxes.

I can still remember fondly the "good ole days" when I worked for a living . . . and received a paycheck (no matter how small).

Today, the workload is pretty much the same . . .but the "rewards" are a bit different.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

April 06, 2016

Since a lot of us barely remember what a mill looks like, I am sharing a couple of mill pictures this week. This first was the new Perry Brothers Mill on Rosa Road, taken July 24, 1969. Employee Al Lively is pictured inside the mill.

Perry Brothers Mill, 1969
Perry Brothers Mill, 1969

The second picture is much like one I featured a couple of weeks ago, but this shows more of Moore Mill & Lumber Co. than just the barge Pacific, which is preparing to leave the dock in March of 1958 with a very large load of lumber.

Moore Mill & Lumber Co., 1958
Moore Mill & Lumber Co., 1958

I recently had this picture blown up as a panorama (36x12) on canvas, and you cannot believe how well it turned out. You can read the Moore Mill sign on the tower and see the smoke coming out of the wigwam burner. I purchased two of them, and sold the first one (for $100) as I was hanging it in my new shop in the Continuum Center (which I share with potter William Davidson). This would be the perfect gift for a family member who used to work at the mill, or just someone interested in what the landscape here used to look like.

Not sure when the third picture was taken but it features Alice Stadelman, her son, Tim, and younger son, Tom, (behind Tim) as they visit Santa (Bob Hiley) under the marquee at the Bandon Theater.

Under the marquee at the Bandon Theater
Under the marquee at the Bandon Theater

My annual confirmed that Tim was a sophomore in 1968, so this picture was probably taken in the mid to late '60s. I Googled the names on the show bill (Connie Stevens, Maureen O'Sullivan and Jim Hutton) and determined that the movie showing that night may have been Never Too Late, which came out in 1965, and also starred Paul Ford.

*           *           *

By now most people are aware that our city manager, Chris Good, submitted his resignation last Tuesday. There have been a lot of questions because Chris was well-liked, and people are wondering why he resigned, and I guess that is something you will have to ask him.

Although there is not much I can say, as mayor, I will say that he did not resign as a result of any council action. He was not asked to resign; this was strictly voluntary on his part.

We had really hoped that his employment would work out, and we are sad that it did not.

*           *           *

A friend of mine posted on Facebook Sunday after an incident which occurred when she was out walking her dog. And this generated a lengthy thread of comments. Here is what my friend said:

"I was walking my dog at the end of 8th street this am, heading for the path to Coquille Pt. when a man started backing up his van just as we were behind him. He only saw us when I started walking around to the front, to tell him to stop talking on his hand-held phone and pay attention to his driving. He told me to stop being such a grouch, and went right back to his conversation."

A recent article in the Oregonian was titled "Recession, distraction to blame for traffic deaths." It tells a chilling story of the huge increase in traffic deaths in Oregon, many of them attributed to the elephant in the room: "distracted driving." And we all know what that means as we see people every day who are texting, talking and driving . . . and who are seemingly unaware of anyone around them.

While the number of people killed on U.S. roads in 2015 increased eight percent over the previous year ... the increase in Oregon, which was second from the top, was 27 percent ... higher than any state except Vermont.

"Vermont, with a population about the size of Portland, saw a one-year spike. In Oregon, however, the trend has continued during the past three years. Oregon road fatalities since 2013 have jumped 41 percent, among the highest in the nation."

Oregon also saw a spike in the number of pedestrian deaths, which a state official said was likely tied to distraction from cell phones.

"People," said the official, "are interacting with smartphones not only when behind the wheel, which is bad, but when walking in public spaces."

I wonder how high the death statistics have to go before Oregon takes serious action.

Just before I began writing my column, another person was killed in Oregon in a head-on collision. The cause, according to the state police report: "distracted driving is being considered as a contributing factor."

It used to be that when we drove in the middle of the night, we needed to be on the lookout for the drinking driver. Now it is more dangerous in the middle of the day as more and more accidents occur for no apparent reason when one driver simply drifts into the other lane.

Instead of telling us whether or not the driver was wearing a seat belt, they need to tell us whether he or she was texting or talking on their phone.

*           *           *

Marsha Levrets posted on Facebook last week that her mother, Norma Levrets, died March 21 in Phoenix, Az. The Levrets family lived in Bandon for many years. A memorial for Norma will be held Wednesday (April 6) at 3 p.m. at the Amling-Schroeder Funeral Chapel in Bandon, with a meal to follow at the Assembly of God Church. Son Larry Levrets will lead the service.

*           *           *

On March 5, Jeanie Strain Laub was honored at a party in Bandon celebrating her 90th birthday, but this week I learned that Jeanie is very ill in Sacred Heart Hospital in Springfield, according to a post by her daughter, Susan Laub Lozano. Susan also posted a photo of a very badly wrecked car, which belonged to her son, Wil Lozano, (a 2014 graduate of Bandon High School), who was involved in a six-vehicle pileup on the California freeway as he was on his way to visit his mother and grandmother. Fortunately, he was not seriously injured. Someone passed when they shouldn't have and a semi truck's trailer rolled over him and several other cars.

*           *           *

I attended productions of both Bandon Playhouse and New Artists Productions over the weekend. It always amazes me to see the caliber of community theater that we are exposed to in our community.

Friday night, in a small venue at the Inn at Face Rock, Playhouse president Bobbi Neason directed Agnes of God, which some of you may recall from years ago when Anne Bancroft and Jane Fonda starred in the controversial film. Starring in the local show were Johnna Hickox as Dr. Martha Livingston; Cathy Underdown as Mother Miriam Ruth and Cynthia Mohorko as Agnes.

This is decidedly thought-provoking adult drama, described as "mystery, murder, motherhood and madness."

The show continues for the next two weekends (Friday and Saturday nights and a Sunday matinee) and I urge people to attend this outstanding production.

Saturday night I went to the Sprague Theater to see "Granny's Big Bad Bakery," which is an extremely well-done, fun, entertaining show featuring 28 young people, ranging in age from 6 to 17.

Dan and Anita Almich always seem to get the best out of the youngsters ... no matter the ages, and this is such a great way to give young people confidence as they perform "on the big stage," to an appreciative audience. It was worth the price of admission to see the little six-year-old boy.

The parents play a big role in helping stage these productions, and there is no better way to spend an evening than watching this kind of family entertainment.

There is still time next weekend (April 8-10) to see Granny's Big Bad Bakery.

I wonder if people realize just how much work the actors, directors and producers go to in bringing quality entertainment to the people of Bandon. And the best way to ensure that it continues is for community members to show our appreciation by supporting them.

*           *           *

Apparently there is a sign on the door of the Harborview Events Center indicating there will be a grand re-opening on April 15. But Jessica Neal, who is working hard to get the former McFarlin's space open by May 1 as Broken Anchor Bar and Grill, said that it may be that the reopening sign is for Washed Ashore, which is located in the same building.

At any rate, we are anxious to see what Jessie has in store for us, and are looking forward to a new bar and grill in town.

*           *           *

Speaking of events, everyone is looking forward to the Bandon Rotary Club's annual Wine and Cheese Extravaganza, to be held Saturday, April 16, in the Community Center/Barn. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at several locations, including Bandon Mercantile.

The annual Project Graduation benefit, Bash for Cash, is set for Saturday, April 30, also at The Barn/Community Center.

Right now they are seeking monetary donations or items to be raffled or auctioned at the event. Not sure who to contact, but I do know that Amy Moss-Strong is working on donations for both events.

Previous columns by Mary Schamehorn