As I See It
by Mary Schamehorn
Feb 28, 2018
The first picture I am sharing this week was probably taken in the mid-to-late '70s, but unfortunately I didn't record the date on the negative envelope, so I'm not sure. The only person I recognize is John Cribb, one-time publisher of Western World, who has a camera slung over his shoulder. This looks like it may have been taken during one of the Saturday Street Sale events, which were held in the mid-'70s.
Saturday Street Sale, '70s
I love this picture because it clearly shows what Second Street (between Delaware and Chicago) looked like in those days. The Bandon Theater is at far left, and next to it is what was Fred Tuttle's shop after the fire, but was probably a shoe repair shop when this picture was taken. And the small building next to it, which had been the home of Bum and Reta Gartin and her sister, Alda Mars, who operated the liquor store out of the front, was Grains & Goods Natural Food Store when this picture was taken. Not sure what was in the largest building to the right, but it is now Bandon Coffee Cafe.
The second picture was taken just after the Perry Brothers (Sid and Bub) opened the new Perry Mill along Rosa Road, south of 11th Street. Elmer Lively is pictured looking over the equipment. This picture was taken in July of 1969.
Perry Mill, 1969
The original Perry mill was built by Sid and Bub's father, F.S. (Frank) Perry in 1910 in a building on the waterfront at the end of Pacific Avenue. For several weeks Perry had threatened to move to another town before the city council conceded to extend Pacific Avenue across the mudflats alongside of Perry's building, according to historian Dow Beckham. He said the council figured the cost to the city was worth having the industry remain.
The names of many of the streets in Bandon have changed over the years, so I am not sure where Pacific Avenue was, but it probably was what we know as Delaware today.
Perry Veneer survived the fire of 1936, as did other industrial buildings on the waterfront, and served as the temporary city hall for a short time. It burned the following year.
The third picture features Father Ervin Vandehey, priest at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, during the building of the church rectory in 1958.
Catholic church rectory construction, 1958
In August 1956, Father Vandehey became the first resident priest since the 1936 fire; he lived at Table Rock Motel until the rectory was completed. Father Vandehey started the Verboort Dinners in 1959, and in 1960 an addition to the church was built. In 1961, he oversaw the building of the convent, and four nuns from Graymoor, N.Y., came to live in Bandon and serve the South Coast. Father Vandehey left Bandon in September of 1964 to go to North Bend. Later he went to St. Joseph's in Portland.
A few weeks later, The Rev. Allen Kennedy arrived to serve as the Holy Trinity pastor.
* * *
At the last meeting of the Bandon Planning Commission, several decisions were made by the commission that will ultimately result in utilizing one empty building and another section of a building that has been used as storage for many years.
The Commission unanimously voted to recommend to the City Council that a residential care facility be allowed as a conditional use for that specific building in the light industrial zone, which will pave the way for the large building between Elmira and Fillmore, built by Eugene Hill, to be sold by a Texas couple, who also own a home in Bandon. Dan and Mary Wilson, who own Westwind Court, hope to open a residential care facility there, once they have full approval from the city.
Shortly after it was built, the building housed several medical offices, but it has been empty for several years.
In the second decision, the commission (on a 4-2 vote) approved a request by the Port of Bandon to remodel the east end (annex structure) of the Old Town Market building, which was used for storage purposes over the years. Once completed, the building will be leased to Lori Osborne, owner of The Beverage Barn, who will sell liquor, food and Made in Oregon products.
The two commissioners who voted against the motion, Harv Schubothe and Sheryl Bremmer, made it clear that they were voting against the motion only because it required a section of the parking lot to be paved, and they preferred to leave it natural. The staff had recommended full paving of the lot, but the majority of the commission finally agreed to pave a portion, including access into the parking area and alongside the upgraded part of the building.
* * *
I saw an obituary this week for Mark Edward Handsaker of Bandon, who died Feb. 16 in Portland at the age of 51. He was born here April 6, 1966, to Earl and Norma Handsaker, and was the father of MacKenzie (Mack) Handsaker, who won the $10,000 "Bandon Fifty Years Later" scholarship during graduation exercises last June.
Mark graduated from high school in 1984, and growing up he attended Pacific Community Church, but at the time of his death, he was attending Langlois Community Church.
In addition to his son Mack, he is survived by his daughter, Megan Handsaker; mother, Norma; sister, Sandra; brother and sister-in-law, Lance and Sue. He was preceded in death by his father, Earl; stepdaughter, Alyssa King, and son, David Handsaker.
The family suggests memorials be made in Mark's name to the Bandon Historical Society Museum because of his love of Bandon.
* * *
I also learned that former long-time third-grade teacher, Miss Jean Shine, died Jan. 14 at the age of 91. She taught school at Ocean Crest for many years and lived in a small home on Garfield Avenue, but also had another place out in the country.
* * *
I am sorry to say that I lost two friends in one day last week, both from cancer, with the death of long-time Bandon bookkeeper Catherine Kahn and former Bandon city recorder Marie Ducharme, both of whom died Feb. 22.
Catherine was 67.
I am not sure how old Marie was, but I do remember that when she worked for the city (since I have been mayor) she was honored by being named Oregon City Recorder of the Year. Knowing that she was getting the honor (which she did not know about), a group of us from the council, along with then city manager Matt Winkel, went up the coast to where she was being honored and surprised her. Marie is survived by her husband, Bob.
* * *
On a happier note, I attended a birthday party Thursday, celebrating the 104th birthday of Marjorie Stephenson, put on by her daughter, Carol Fugere, at the First Baptist Church's Alexander Hall. She is truly an amazing woman. Among relatives joining her were her late sister's two daughters, Sally Baird Johnston and Suzie Baird Webber. Their mother, Betty, who was Marjorie's sister, died recently at the age of 99.
* * *
I received a letter this week from Linda Maxon, CEO of Coast Community Health Center in Bandon, announcing that the health center has received "a significant gift from Umpqua Bank that will positively impact the Port Orford community for many years to come."
The bank has donated its recently closed bank building in Port Orford to the health center, which will further the work currently being done to bring health and wellness services to residents in Port Orford and North Curry County.
Maxon added: "As Umpqua Bank continues to maintain a local banking and community presence through strategic services and partnerships, its leadership assessed options for how its Port Orford building could be used in the community to benefit local residents. Umpqua executives entertained a presentation by our health center and quickly understood the valuable work we have done for the past nine years in expanding healthcare services to this significantly underserved region of the southern Oregon coast," said Maxon.
"With us being a rather young Federally Qualified Health Center that has grown thoughtfully and carefully, the gift of this building allows us to invest even more in our expansion into Northern Curry County, where we will soon break ground to build a community health center. A second building will bring an even greater presence to a community that has lacked a pharmacy for 22 years, dental services for over 10 years, and (has had) continued fragmented medical and mental health services."
* * *
I may have mentioned this earlier, but in case I didn't, I want to mention the movie "The 15:17 to Paris" that is now playing at Pony Village Cinema in North Bend.
It is the true story, directed by Clint Eastwood, of three Americans (including one from Roseburg) who thwarted a terrorist attack on a train to Paris. The three, Alek Skarlatos of Roseburg, Spencer Stone and Anthony Sadler, both of Sacramento, played themselves in the movie.
The three, and another man, received France's Legion d'Honneur for their actions. It is well worth seeing.
As a side note, on Oct. 8, 2015, three months after their heroic actions and before they starred in the movie, Spencer Stone was with a group of people in downtown Sacramento when a young man, James Tran, 28, got into an altercation with the group, and then returned with a knife and stabbed Stone repeatedly in the back. He was later charged with attempted murder. Stone suffered life-threatening injuries, but after a week in a Sacramento hospital, he was released.
As I See It
by Mary Schamehorn
Feb 21, 2018
The first picture I am sharing this week is a copy of a postcard that was mailed from Bandon in 1953 to Lancaster, Mass.
Postcard mailed from Bandon in 1953
While the date stamp is 1953, the photo very well could have been taken a few years before that, and I am sure some of my car-enthusiast readers will be able to identify the year of some of the cars parked along Second Street or alongside M&L Grocery on Alabama.
This is such a clear picture of what downtown Bandon looked like over 50 years ago. For a point of reference, if you don't know where this is, the Masonic building (Peter Braun's Cobbler's Bench business) is in the bottom right of the photo. Across the street, where the grocery store once stood, is The Minute Cafe's parking lot. Behind it is the building owned by Ed Landucci, which houses Olivia Andor's neat shop, Olivia's, although when it was W. H. Johnston's bookkeeping office, the door opened onto Alabama. Now it opens onto the Pedway, which was simply an alley in those days. As you can see, the lot where The Arcade is now was only bare patches of grass, across Alabama from the storage lot for Moore Mill's lumber. Today the part that you can see in the picture is a public parking lot; to the west of it is a large lot leased by the city for public parking, but owned by Fred Gernandt and Kirk Day and for sale for $1.9 million. Speaking of property for sale down there, I just learned that the pole house property, which sits across First Street from the Old Town Marketplace building, has been listed for $1.2 million. In my day, you could have pretty much bought the whole town for the asking price of those two properties today. I have also learned that the building which houses Coastal Mist and Second Street Gallery has been lowered to $599,000 from the former price of $799,000. When this picture was taken, there were several small buildings on that property. If you are viewing on the screen, versus in the paper, you can blow up the image to get a good look at various parts of downtown.
And now for my people picture. This was taken in November of 1958 during a Boy Scout Court of Honor.
Boy Scout Court of Honor, 1958
From left are Bud and Florence Anthony and son, Mike; Mike (also went by Art) Dobney and his parents, Grace and Art Dobney.
It has been a few years since I've seen Mike Anthony, although I believe he still lives in Portland. I tried to find out more about Art from his sister, Claudia Dobney Powers, but did not hear back from her. She is an attorney in Portland.
The third picture was taken in 1973 of the building on the corner of 11th and Highway 101 when it was owned by Ken Dennison Realtor.
Ken Dennison Realtor, 1973
It later housed several other realtors, including Modina Worden and Larry Means. The building is now owned by David Reed and is the home of a circuit workout business, Core 10 Fitness. If you look north down the highway you can see signs for Gerry's Home Made Ice Cream, La Kris Motel and the Arco station.
* * *
The second annual Gorse Blossom Festival was a huge success, as evidenced by the number of people who enjoyed themselves during the three-day event.
The big draw was once again the Bloody Mary Walk, which had 300 people sign up to go from store to store throughout town for condiments for a Bloody Mary drink, before ending up back at the Old Town Marketplace, home of the festival, for the vodka.
I saw many of them running around town, with smiles on their faces, and trying to brace from the squalls Sunday morning that occasionally carried small shards of ice (a bit like snow that doesn't stick).
Live music throughout the three days added a lot to the festival, which was built around the theme: "Stop Gorse." There were several large gorse bushes for those who may not know what it looks like, and an information booth staffed by knowledgeable people, including City Manager Robert Mawson, County Commissioner John Sweet, Jim Seeley of Wild Rivers Coast Alliance, Coos Forest Protective Association official Robert Franson and Donut Hole property owner Hedley Prince, who spent time educating people on how to best protect their property from gorse and fire. Throughout the building there were pictures of past gorse fires, as well as the Bandon Fire, with many of the photos coming from my collection.
A lot of work went into making this a great event, and for sure I need to mention Harv Schubothe, Dana Nichols, and Rushel Reed and her husband. There were many other volunteers who helped out, but I believe those are the main people responsible for the festival's success.
I'm already looking forward to next year ...
* * *
Every time I hear about another big earthquake in another part of the world (the latest being in Mexico), my thoughts turn to the potential for "The Big One," which will someday strike the Pacific Northwest.
The public is invited to an informal Q&A presentation on earthquake and tsunami preparedness on Wednesday, March 7, at the Community Center/Barn in city park from 10 to 11 a.m. Althea Rizzo from the Oregon Department of Energy Management will be available to answer people's questions.
* * *
I've learned that one of the most popular wineries at the Gorse Blossom Festival is opening a tasting room in Bandon. John Olson of TeSoAria Vineyard and Winery of Roseburg is remodeling the building next to Face Rock Creamery, formerly occupied by Speakeasy 33.
John told me that he plans to have a "soft opening" in March, probably on St. Patrick's Day (Saturday, the 17th), and will then have an official opening later.
Helping out in his booth during the Festival was his fiancée, Rachel Beissel, Chief Nursing Officer at Southern Coos Hospital and Health Center.
* * *
The Bandon Police Department lost the second of its newest officers last week with the resignation of Davin Winchell. Earlier, John Evoniuk, resigned. Both officers had joined the police department late last year. Sgt. Larry Lynch explained that they had apparently determined that maybe police work "just wasn't for them."
Neither man had gone to the police academy, but both were riding with more seasoned officers before they determined if they wanted to continue in police work, at which time they would have been sent to the police academy for more training and certification.
Not sure what career path they will pursue, but both are fine young men and I know they will do well at whatever career they choose.
* * *
I talked with former long-time BHS wrestling coach Mickey Hurley this week. He asked if I were still writing for the paper, but I told him in a way I am because my column appears each week in Western World. He wanted me to share with my readers some recent successes of the sons of former BHS star wrestlers. Hurley coached the Tigers from 1968 to 1992.
Jeff Butler's son is wrestling for Stanford University, and Mick said at 6-7, 285 pounds, he is one of the top-ranked heavyweights in the nation at the college level. Jeff, a three-time state champion for Bandon High, and his family now live in Kansas City, Mo. He went on to wrestle for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he became the school's outstanding wrestler and outstanding scholar-athlete. Jeff is the son of Ken and Phyllis Butler.
Sean Brunson's son, Zac, who wrestled for Churchill High, Eugene, graduated from the University of Illinois, where he is now a volunteer assistant coach. Zac was a 2017 All American and won many honors during his years at Illinois, including being a four-time NCAA qualifier.
* * *
The nation is still reeling from yet another school shooting. The next day I talked to one of my good friends, a proud conservative, and I once again broached the subject of gun control. Wouldn't you be in favor of outlawing AR-15-style semiautomatic weapons, I asked him. At first I saw a glimmer of hope, but then came the rhetoric I've learned to expect: "But that would just be the beginning before they would take all our guns." And that was the end of the conversation.
I had a computer problem this afternoon and my neighbor, Takashi Haruna, who recently became a full-fledged citizen of the United States, began to talk about the Second Amendment to the Constitution, and what it meant to him.
But he didn't just talk about it, he pulled his copy of the Constitution from his coat pocket and read the Second Amendment to me.
"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
We all know what it says, but not everyone agrees on what it means.
For the life of me, I can't figure out why anyone needs to own an AR-15-style weapon, unless they are attached to the military.
But I am sure there will be plenty of people ready to "educate" me. Maybe they will also share with me what they think should be done to stop this carnage.
I would be the first person to protest if someone tried to confiscate my gun ... but then I don't own a weapon capable of mass killings. Nor should I . . . .
As I See It
by Mary Schamehorn
Feb 14, 2018
The first picture I am sharing this week was taken in 1966 during the Boy Scout Court of Honor.
Boy Scout Court of Honor, 1966
Myron Spady, who was an attorney in Bandon for many years, presents pins to Gary Wallace, left, an unidentified boy and Carl Williams (far right). Myron was honored recently by the Bandon Lions Club, who have named the dining room at The Barn/Community Center after Myron, who is the only charter member of the club still living.
I am not sure where this was taken but I can see a couch on the stage, so maybe this was at Ocean Crest School, which might have also been the scene for a school play.
The second picture was taken in 1972 of Soltair Motel, at the intersection of Highway 101 and 42 alongside The Snack Shack on North Avenue.
Soltair Motel, 1972
Today that is the Lamplighter Motel, next to Rancho Viejo Mexican restaurant and a car wash. What I find most interesting is the fact that you could rent a room, with color TV, for as low as $6. At least that is what I gather from the sign, as I am pretty sure people would not have to pay $6 extra for color TV, so that must be the room rate.
The third photo is Red Carpet Realtors of Coquille, Bandon Branch, in the building at Fillmore and Highway 101 that now houses The Laurel.
Red Carpet Realtors, 1973
The reason I love this picture, taken in 1973, is because you can see both the Shell Station and Chappell's Chevron Station, which are long gone. The Station Restaurant is now on the property where the Shell Station stood for many years. The property where the Chevron station sat remains undeveloped.
* * *
This weekend is the second annual Gorse Blossom Festival, which opens at 3 p.m. Friday, and continues Saturday (noon to 10 p.m.) and Sunday (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) at the Port's Old Town Marketplace building. The popular Bloody Mary Stroll starts at 10 a.m. on Sunday, at a cost of $20.
Entry into the festival is $10 Friday and Saturday and $7 for Sunday. For this, you will receive a commemorative glass to be used for beer and wine sampling along with tokens for three free samples. There are also other events, including a free science pub at 7 p.m. Thursday at Bandon Brewing Co., a pub crawl from 9 to midnight on Friday and special dinners on Saturday.
A number of bands will also play throughout the festival, which should make it a great way to spend the Presidents' Day weekend.
For more information visit the website at gorseblossomfest.com or send an email to email@example.com.
* * *
Last week I mentioned the new marijuana business that was going into the county just south of Bandon. I've learned that the owner Jim Deatherage also operates cannabis businesses in Charleston and Coos Bay. Not sure when Herbal Choices Cannabis will open, but there has been a sign on the building, formerly owned by the Stadelmans, for several weeks.
Earlier the city had been advised that Scott Vierck might be putting in a dispensary just off Seabird Lane on property he owns behind Billy Smoothboars, but I haven't heard anything more about it since he came to a council meeting before Christmas.
There are several areas of the city where marijuana businesses can be sited, but so far, none has opened inside the city limits.
* * *
While I was shopping at Rite Aid the other day, Julie Miller's father, Art Roberson, asked me some questions about the sites around town where people are supposed to go in the case of a Cascadia Subduction earthquake. He had been advised by the county's Emergency Preparedness Director Mike Murphy that the locations, including the Barn and the VFW hall, do not have food supplies on site.
I turned to Carol Acklin, a member of Bandon Prepares, for information.
"You are right to tell him to shelter at home if he is there, and that the gathering places are for people cut off from home or tourists," said Carol. That also includes people who may be in the inundation zones and must get to higher ground.
"Mike is correct that there is NO FOOD and not much water in the containers at City Park; food would spoil and bring rodents (they will chew through plastic). There are some blankets and tarps, but won't provide for many people. The new container at the VFW site won't be seated until a concrete pad can be poured, as insisted upon by the VFW, and supplies won't be started until fall. Bandon Prepares doesn't receive much money each year, and by the time we have paid our insurances and fees, there isn't much left over.
"In addition, the mission of Bandon Prepares is ONLY to inform the public about Cascadia and preparing THEMSELVES for a disaster. The containers are really outside the scope of our mission, but the first one was started at the insistence and leadership of a member no longer in the group. Personally, I feel it gives people false hope," Carol said.
"What can be done? There would need to be many containers, and those are expensive to acquire, and they do rust. And it would take LOTS and LOTS of money to outfit them and many volunteers to stock and then rotate/replace the supplies. I'll bet Mike Murphy would tell you that no city has been able to cover their population with supplies.
"It isn't a pretty picture, as I'm sure you can see what Avery has been trying to tell us," said Carol, referring to Avery Horton, who has been warning people through the public forum that we are ill-prepared for "the Big One."
What Carol really wants to emphasize is that if you are out of the inundation zone (and there are maps at city hall that can show you how far the tsunami is expected to travel), people need to put aside food, water, medicines and other supplies to take care of their own families as we have been advised that help could be weeks away.
Thanks to Art for asking the question ...
* * *
For several months I have been handing out my new city business cards so that people can contact me with problems or questions. Unfortunately, I did not bother to look at the personal information on the back of the card, which is how I recommend people get in touch with me. In printing a new batch of cards, someone picked up a 12-year-old phone number and changed my personal email (where everyone uses to communicates with me) to a city email which no one ever looks at. I couldn't believe it.
The best way to get in touch with me is through email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by cell phone at 541-404-7291.
I contacted our city recorder and have been advised that they have printed up cards with the correct information.
I guess there is a way I could access that "mayor" email from home, but I had never bothered to try since I did not know it was on the back of my business cards.
Sorry if someone tried to call my old phone number or email me at city hall. That's not the way I do "business."
* * *
This weekend, Saturday and Sunday, no fishing licenses or tags are required to fish, crab or clam anywhere in Oregon. Although no licenses or tags are required, all other regulations apply, including closures, bag limits and size restrictions.
Under statute set by the Oregon Legislature, ODFW can offer eight days of free fishing each year. The six other days are June 2-3, Sept. 1-2 and Nov. 23-24
* * *
There has been a lot of discussion about the swimming pool issue on Facebook in recent weeks. I addressed the council's position at the Jan. 25 planning commission meeting and again last Monday night, Feb. 5, at the council meeting.
At that meeting, the city council voted 5-1 (Peter Braun opposed) that the council go on record that the city will not enter a private-public partnership with the swimming pool committee, nor can we allow the pool to be built in city park because of the possibility that the city could someday be responsible for operating and maintaining it. That would be virtually impossible with a property tax rate of 46 cents a thousand.
For those of you who would like to see either meeting on streaming video, go to coosmediacenter.viebit.com. I looked at it several days ago and the council meeting had not yet posted, but I am pretty sure it will be there now.
It's hard to explain exactly what was said that night, so the best way is to view the meeting on line.
As I See It
by Mary Schamehorn
Feb 07, 2018
While going through a stack of old magazines, which I have kept over the years for one reason or another, I found a nearly 30-year-old copy of Pacific Northwest Magazine (Oct. 1988) which contained a lengthy article titled "When Kennedy Came to Coos Bay" in 1959. The author, Jacques Lowe, writes: "In Oregon in 1959, few people cared about the earnest young senator from Massachusetts."
Pacific Northwest Magazine, Oct. 1988
The photographs that accompanied the article pretty much tell how well he was NOT received in the working-class enclave. One picture is captioned: "In a union hall in Coos Bay, Jackie joins the longshoreman audience as the candidate addresses a glum, sparsely attended, nearly hostile union meeting."
Another shows the Kennedys, with long-time longshoreman and SWOCC founder Henry Hansen, seated on folding chairs in the high school gym. A photo taken at the waterfront is captioned: "Even on a barge in the middle of Coos Bay's industrial harbor, it was tough for Jack to get anyone to listen to his views on the region's economics."
"Jack explained that these were tough and perhaps chilling moments for a candidate to endure. Few people in Coos Bay were interested in the most dashing couple ever to stroll down Central Street. Jackie was virtually ignored at a society ladies' tea. Jack had trouble finding anyone to listen to his stand on the issues. And neither was asked to sign a single autograph."
There is a great photo of a group of matronly looking women seated next to Jackie, captioned: "While the candidate speaks, the mostly Republican society women scrutinize Jackie and exchange forced smiles."
Another shows Kennedy arriving at the airport. "The year is 1959 and Jack is met by three supporters. In time, this lonely scene became the President's favorite photograph."
That was the same year that I began working at Western World as a reporter, but sadly I wasn't assigned to cover their visit, but it is interesting to see how the author recalls what happened during their visit.
The second photo, taken in 1970, shows Shindler's Rexall Drug Store, owned by John and Eileen Fetterman, who continued to use the Shindler name, which had been synonymous with the drug store business since before the Fire of 1936.
Shindler's Rexall Drug Store, 1970
Druggist O.C. Shindler was a community leader and a member of the city council at the time of the Fire. After the Fire he rebuilt in downtown Bandon where Winter River Books is now. After the Fettermans bought the business, they built a new store at this location, adjacent to McKay's Market. The last owner, Steve Wilson, closed the store several years ago and went to work for Rite Aid, leaving the town with only one pharmacy. The building is now empty and apparently available for lease or sale.
I love this third picture taken in March of 1965 of Cindy Goodbrod (now Schafler), left, and Jerene Fraser (now Shaffar) as they perform at a local talent show.
Cindy Goodbrod and Jerene Fraser, 1965
Cindy and her husband recently sold their home in Bend and have moved to Mesquite, Nev. Sunday morning, Cindy participated in her first competitive 5K race where she finished first in her age group and seventh overall. Cindy is the daughter of Pete and Joan Goodbrod, who make their home at Pacific View. Jerene and her husband, Bob Shaffar, live in Bandon. She is the daughter of the late Trudy and Gerry Fraser, who owned Fraser's Restaurant for many years.
* * *
Wow, what a difference a year makes. Unless you spent the winter basking in the sun as a snowbird, you probably remember what last winter was like. It pretty much rained non-stop, and most rain gauges recorded at least 100 inches of rain, while at least one other recorded closer to 150. But that's all a memory now.
Someone mentioned to me a couple of weeks ago that February was our rainiest month last year, so I was prepared for it to start raining ... any day now.
Gerry Terp, who lives close to town, recorded 21 inches of rain last year in February alone en route to a total of 102.04 inches for the rain year. As of Saturday, he'd recorded 0.02 inches. Okay, you might say, but that was only the third of February. True, but the weather man last night said there is hardly any rain forecast for the next two weeks, so we may go from the wettest February in many years to the driest.
Actually, Gerry recorded 45.55 inches of rain for February, March and April, so it may well be that we see a lot of rain this spring, but I doubt it.
I decided to look at the month of December for the last couple of years: Gerry recorded 21.40 inches of rain in December of 2015, 8.95 inches in December 2016 and 4.62 inches for December 2017. Last month (January 2018) saw us get 13.49 inches of rain, compared to 9.19 the previous year and 13.39 the year before that.
Gerry has been keeping track of the rainfall since January of 2005, and over those 12 years, the average rainfall has been 65.33 inches ... so you can see that if you complained that last year was wetter than usual... you were absolutely right.
As I write my column and prepare to watch the Super Bowl, the sun is shining brightly and the camellias and daffodils (okay just one daffodil) are blooming.
Last winter is only a bleak memory . . .
* * *
I was shocked earlier this week to learn that long-time Chamber executive director Julie Miller has resigned and will be stepping down at the end of the month. She sent a message to all the Chamber volunteers "before they heard rumors," (which they had heard nothing) and were as shocked as I am to hear the news.
Julie and I have always worked well together, and I hope that continues with whomever her replacement may be.
In some cases, I wish we could go back to the "old days" when there were nine membership dinners a year, a big Christmas party and lots of opportunities for members to get to know each other, but that, of course, is up to the board of directors.
I was Chamber president in the mid-80s and I remember a sit-down dinner for 220 people at Harbor Hall (where Second Street Gallery and Coastal Mist are now).
Those were the days ....
I haven't heard what Julie intends to do, but I certainly wish her well in her new venture.
* * *
I knew it would happen sooner or later. I saw a sign on a building just outside the south city limits, on the east side of the highway, owned by the Stadelman family, that says Herbal Choices Cannabis is coming to town.
Someone asked me about it, and I assured her that the building is outside the city limits ... just as is the toilet (that sometimes spews yellow-green water for more effect, if that's possible).
I understand the company owns several marijuana businesses in other parts of the county.
Might not be how I would envision welcoming visitors to Bandon, but it's outside the city limits and out of our jurisdiction.
* * *
One of my classmates made the news this week ... but not in a good way. This is not the first time that Betty Huff Harris has been beaten up by her son. He beat and tied her up at her Myrtle Point area home, but she was able to escape and run to a neighbor, who took her to the emergency room in Coquille.
Her son, Ronald E. Schuler, later turned himself in and is now being held in the Coos County Jail under $312,500 bail.
Apparently he had become suicidal in the night and tied up Betty because she would not provide him a firearm so he could take his own life.
I remember several years go, when I was editor of The Herald, a similar thing happened to her.
She's 79 years old and suffering from what she told me at our reunion this summer is the beginning of dementia. I pray that he gets the mental health and drug-addiction treatment he needs so that Betty will be safe.
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I've learned that Janice Cline Lathen of Grants Pass, who attended school in Bandon until moving to Gold Beach her senior year, died recently at the age of 72. Janice taught elementary students in Grants Pass for many years. She has a brother, Jesse, and a sister, Judi, and her husband had four children and nine grandchildren.
Services were held at the Mormon Church, and among those attending were sisters Sally Baird Johnston and Suzie Baird Webber, who live at Elk River. Sally estimated that 300 people attended Janice's celebration.
I remember when she was a cheerleader at Bandon High, and also a Job's Daughters queen.
Previous columns by Mary Schamehorn