As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

June 29, 2016

The first picture I am sharing this week was taken in 1981, and is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Yaquina dredge, which was stopped at the port dock while dredging out the channel.

Yaquina dredge, 1981
Yaquina dredge, 1981

In front of it you can see Melvin Erdman's boat, Kelori," as well as other smaller fishing vessels in the harbor. If you look closely, you can see people fishing off the crab docks. I was reminded of this picture when I ate at Edgewaters Restaurant the other night and saw a dredge working in the channel.

The second picture was taken in 1940 when Ferry Creek overflowed its banks and flooded much of the downtown area.

Ferry Creek flood, 1940
Ferry Creek flood, 1940

At this time, the Coast Lumber Yard, located on Fillmore Avenue across the highway from what is now the historical society museum, was a going concern, as was the Southwestern Motors sales room (next to Ed Gallier's plumbing shop and now Bandon Mercantile). The small building has been undergoing a real facelift and will soon be opening as an antique mall. The Coast Lumber Yard survived the fire of 1936, but was torn down probably in the late '80s or early '90s and is now one giant parking lot.

The third picture was one of the popular "watering holes" in downtown Bandon. I am guessing this picture of the Pastime Tavern was taken sometime in the '70s when it was owned by Frank and Linda Jarvis.

Pastime Tavern, '70s
Pastime Tavern, '70s

It is now the home of Bandon Sweets & Treats. I believe that Rudy Backlund, who grew up in Bandon and was the mayor back in the late '40s, also owned the tavern at one time.

*           *           *

I'm having a hard time getting in the mood to write my column today (Sunday) because I spent the afternoon with my two sisters, and two of Maggie's grandchildren, swimming up Sixes. Although we could see a huge bank of fog hovering over the ocean as we left town shortly before noon, we knew it would be warm and sunny up the river ... and we weren't disappointed.

I really love to swim (dog paddle would be a better word for it) and I can't wait until Bandon has its own swimming pool. This group of dedicated volunteers is pretty serious about building a pool in Bandon, and I certainly hope they are successful.

*           *           *

So much of our outside activities here in Bandon hinge on the weather, and everyone is hoping that we will have a warm, windless (is that too much to ask for) day on the Fourth of July as there are lots of things planned.

Dawn Dixon is working hard to encourage people to ride in the parade, which will take place at 10 a.m. Now that Matt is back as interim city manager, he has agreed to drive his classic car in the parade, so I can ride along.

In the afternoon, people can enjoy the annual Bandon Lions Club beef barbecue in city park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the Port of Bandon cardboard boat races on the waterfront, set to begin at 3 p.m. Councilor Peter Braun won the event last year, and I know he's preparing to enter an even bigger and better "boat" this year. But I hear he will have some real competition, so it should be a fun event.

There is a lot going on in Old Town, including music from noon to dark in front of the Old Town Marketplace. The parking lot will be roped off so people can bring their lawn chairs, enjoy the music, take advantage of the food court (or patronize any of the merchants who will be serving food that day), as well as craft beers and wine.

Among the bands or individuals performing during the day are Dune Fourgerolles (country jazz with a French twist), The Rogue Rebellion, Allen Giardinelli (gypsy jazz, delta blues and beyond), T Bird and The Part Timers, Coos County Fire Tribe with Andrew Giardinelli, and Morgan Alexander, a singer/songwriter from Nashville.

Lori Osborne from the Beverage Barn is coordinating the music, and if the weather will cooperate, it should be a great day to sit back and enjoy some great entertainment.

Old Town merchants will stay open late for the second Alive After Five Wine Walk, from 5 to 7:30.

The day will be capped off at dusk with the big fireworks display.

*           *           *

While going through a 1941 issue of the Western World which I found in my late uncle's garage, I was intrigued by a "24 Years Ago" column with segments from the March 22, 1917, paper.

Three of the items follow:

"A New Era Club dance is to be given for the benefit of the woolen mill on Saturday night at Dreamland pavilion. The funds are to be used for repairing the wharf and other purposes in connection with putting the premises in shape for occupancy."

Another reads: "A rumor has been spread that the local Ladies Thimble Club is planning on entering city politics so that women would run the city. The club has asked Western World to officially deny this rumor."

The third reads: "Plans have been completed by the State Highway department for the construction of three wooden lift bridges for Coos County."

On the same page, an item from March 19, 1925, says: "The Golden Rule store was entered by a burglar Thursday night. So far the only article missed has been a leatherette coat, size 36. He entered through a basement window leading into the furnace room."

*           *           *

I was shocked to read that Governor Kate Brown had refused to debate Dr. Bud Pierce at the annual convention of the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association, which is a long-standing event during an election year.

I have felt that she has been a weak governor since she was first elevated to the job last year after Governor John Kitzhaber resigned ... and this just cemented those feelings for me.

The ONPA convention is a golden opportunity for a candidate (sitting or not) to meet with the publishers and editors throughout the state. According to The Register-Guard she is the first sitting governor and only the second candidate in the last 30 years to decline the ONPA debate.

Not a good decision . . .

*           *           *

I have used credit cards for many, many years, and have prided myself on my good credit rating (which at last view was 845). Unfortunately, it may have taken a big hit in the past week with several fraudulent transactions and another one, which double billed me for over $400.

It all started when I got an email alert from Chase Credit Card services, questioning two charges on the same day: one for $404 and the other for $418. I had ordered a year's subscription to the Salem Statesman Journal, which was supposed to be $404. Unfortunately (for me), the first charge was for $418. I have called them repeatedly urging them to remove it, and although they admit someone made a "mistake," it was still on my account over a week later.

In the meantime, while looking at my credit card account to see if it had been corrected, I noticed two very strange charges ... one for $84 and the other for $98, which I had not authorized. I immediately called the fraud division of Chase again, and this time they knew all about the company that had charged my card, and they cancelled the card, and declined an $84 charge to Macy's, which was still pending. (There goes my credit rating). I then called Macy's and told them what had happened, but they could not determine that I owed them anything.

But back to the two big charges. In early June, what appeared to be a survey from Comspan (accompanied by a list of free gifts, from which you could pick two) came in my email. It looked very legitimate, so I filled out the survey and decided to try out a couple of products, one of which was some kind of skin care product and the other was the weight loss product Garcinia Cambogia extract. But when the products came, there was also a "premium cleanse" along with the Garcinia, and I was charged those huge amounts for each of them in spite of the fact that I received email receipts for the postage for the two products I had actually ordered.

I called the Garcinia company, and ranted and raved about their illegal business practices. They offered to discount it 35 percent, but said if I would return the two unopened bottles, they would refund my money.

I could not believe that I could possibly be charged $84 for one 60 capsule bottle of extract, which was supposed to be a free trial.

But the fraud department of Chase said they would refund the purchase price and not to send back the product, while at the same time they were canceling my credit card. Two days later, while again looking at my credit card, I saw that the company had credited back both amounts. But the bank said that would not keep them from charging me again later so it was best to just get a new credit card.

Then I unloaded on Comspan. It was at that point that I learned they had nothing to do with the survey, which I had filled out and sent to heaven only knows who/where.

I would like to know if others were sent the same survey, and if you did fill it out and order your two "free" gifts, were you, too, scammed?

Now I am waiting for the Salem Statesman Journal to refund my $418 . . . or I will have to begin making calls again first thing Monday morning.

To say that this has been a learning experience is an understatement, and I am still waiting to see what the fallout will be in terms of my credit score.

The old adage, "you're never too old to learn" certainly applies to me.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

June 22, 2016

The first picture I am sharing this week is in honor of a very popular Bandon woman, who just celebrated her 90th birthday. June Korenko was working in the office of Kronenberg & Waldrop when this picture was taken (with George Kronenberg) 45 years ago (in 1971) when June was 45.

June Korenko & George Kronenberg, 1971
June Korenko & George Kronenberg, 1971

She is still as beautiful today as she was all those years ago. I was sorry that I was not able to attend her birthday party, but she understood when my sister told her that was the same afternoon I was giving the program on the 1914 Fire at the museum.

The second picture, which I found among my uncle's things, is the launching of the Steamer Telegraph by the Myrtle Point Transportation Company, which was owned by the Panter family, whose roots run deep in the Bandon area. The picture was taken Feb. 22, 1914, in the river at Bandon.

Steamer Telegraph, 1914
Steamer Telegraph, 1914

In the late 1800s and after the turn of the century, the Coquille River was the lifeline of transportation for communities, like Bandon, which built on its shores. In the early 1900s, the Panters enlarged their fleet of river boats by adding the Venus, Liberty, Antelope, Coquille, Myrtle, Echo, Telegraph and Dora, all of which were steam sternwheelers, according to Dow Beckham's book "Bandon-by-the-Sea."

The boats hauled milk, other freight and passengers.

The third picture is not that great as I copied it from the Jan. 11, 1940, issue of Western World, but what really adds to this photo of Bandon's "New Coast Guard Station" are the vehicles lined up along First Street.

Coast Guard Station, 1940
Coast Guard Station, 1940

The caption reads: "Representatives of the federal government are expected in Bandon within a few days to make inspection of the new Coast Guard building just completed by the Quinn Construction Company of Portland in view of acceptance from the contractor. It is one of the most modern structures of its kind on the Pacific Coast." Tom Soterion, who operated a photo studio out of his home on Elmira Avenue (just south of where Goddards Standard Oil plant is located today) took this picture. I believe he was the father of long-time resident Barbara Mallory, who still lives here today.

I owe a big apology for leaving out the name of Jerome Johnson, one of my classmates in 1957, who still lives here. George Trott was quick to point out my mistake, and even though I looked through the annual to jog my memory, I failed to list Jerome.

*           *           *

Not sure why we need two dollar stores in Bandon, but it appears that may soon be the case ... and the new one will be situated just across Second Street from The Dollar Tree (in the Bandon Shopping Center).

I understand Dollar General has applied to the city for permission to build a store on the same side of the highway on the lot across the street, which sometimes accommodates a produce vendor, fireworks or other short-term businesses. There is presently a trailer house on the back part of the property, which is owned by Beverly Becker and others. The county website lists the assessed value at $138,000 and the real market value at $117,000.

People who have shopped in Dollar General say that prices start at $1, and go up from there.

They are also known for putting up brightly colored metal buildings, but that probably won't be the case here as Bandon has some fairly strict design standards for "big box" stores like this, which, in some cases, may seem punitive, but in other instances, like Dollar General, it is probably a good thing.

I don't believe it's a "done deal" yet, as they are still working on some setback issues, but it certainly appears that they are planning to locate here.

Back to the design standards. They were put into effect when BiMart indicated they wanted to build a store here, along Seabird Drive.

Ironically, they had no problem with our requirements, or much of anything else, but decided, instead, to build a store in Brookings ... and that was apparently the end of their plans to locate here.

*           *           *

There has been quite a bit of discussion among the merchants about the city's plans to redo Second Street later in the year (probably late September or October), particularly as it relates to several days of having to completely close off the street, in the middle of Old Town.

But City Manager Matt Winkel was quick to point out that the sidewalks will not be affected, so people will be able to park outside of that area and walk to their favorite businesses. Matt has assured us that the city will make every effort to accommodate the businesses ... and the community.

There has already been quite a bit of construction work in that area in preparation for building the new street, which Matt says is absolutely necessary. If the work is not done, there will soon be big potholes in the pavement ... and no one wants that.

If the street looks half as good as the newly rebuilt and paved Grand Avenue Street (between Ninth and Tenth), it will be a real asset.

But I definitely understand the concern of the merchants. The summer season seems to be getting shorter and shorter, and no one wants to impact the businesses during their best months of the year. (Think of our Indian Summer weather, which often comes in October).

*           *           *

I read a very thought-provoking letter to the editor in the Salem Statesman-Journal last week, written by a Portland man.

He says: "Let's face it. We are a society infatuated with guns, and we are a nation awash in them. We can put in place whatever common sense gun control laws we want, which I support, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Until we address the myriad reasons for the ongoing demand for guns (and there will always be suppliers), until we instill in our children a deep sense of respect, tolerance and acceptance of others, and until we look deeply at our culture's disturbing overall infatuation with violence, we will continue to sadly bear witness to horrific mass shootings and other acts of senseless mayhem."

I thought this was worth sharing ....

*           *           *

Just a heads-up to people who live in the Bandon Heights area of Sixth Street NE: there appears to be a thief in your neighborhood.

A friend of mine recently moved from Division Street less than a mile away to 6th Street NE. First she had a pair of Keen sandals stolen from her front porch, and last week, a package was stolen from her mailbox, which is at the end of the block. The mail carrier remembers putting the package in the mail box, but she never got it.

"At my old address I could leave anything out on my porch, and even sometimes put free items out at the curb and they wouldn't be taken unless I put a free sign on them. If you live in the area off North Avenue, be warned, there are people stealing whatever they can find."

She said she will be getting a post office box and she will no longer order anything that is small and has to be delivered by Fed Ex or UPS.

I surely hope they find whoever is doing this.

*           *           *

I have learned that the funeral service for the Rev. Barbara "Rev. Mum" Mudge will be held Saturday, July 9, at 10 a.m. at St. John's Episcopal Church, with Bishop Michael Hanley officiating.

EAT president Allison Hundley honored Rev. Mum at the last EAT (Everyone At Table) dinner as she was instrumental in starting the program, which has served the community for 12 years.

*           *           *

A memorial service was held Saturday at the VFW Hall for Russ Stewart, who died the weekend of June 10-11 at his home in Bandon. Russ had been in the hospital for a lengthy stay, but was apparently getting better and was allowed to come home.

Friends say his wife, Mary, fixed him a nice dinner, and later he lay down for a rest, and died in his sleep.

Russ and Mary owned and operated the Bandon Boatworks restaurant and lounge for several years, but have been retired and were well known for their colorful birdhouses and feeders, which they sold at local craft fairs.

*           *           *

In 1925, the Golden Rule was located on the south side of First Street across from the waterfront.

After the 1936 fire, it was rebuilt in the downtown area, and is now the Continuum Building.

*           *           *

The Old Town Marketplace has big plans for the Fourth of July weekend. The market, generally open Fridays and Saturdays, will be also be open Sunday and Monday (which is the Fourth). Market hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. But on the Fourth, the parking lot in front of the market will be closed off and as soon as the parade is over, four bands will begin playing (in two- or three-hour slots) until at least 7 that evening.

People will be able to bring their lawn chairs into the area, sit and listen to the music and enjoy food and beer and wine.

Also that night, the second wine walk, sponsored by the Greater Bandon Association, will be held between 5 and 7.

Friday night's first wine walk of the season was successful, with sponsors selling 167 glasses, and the fact that the weather was absolutely gorgeous contributed to the success of the event.

*           *           *

I was sorry to learn of the death of Joan Marie Lakey, who died at the age of 70 on June 11 in Monroe, Michigan, where she had lived for many years since graduating from Bandon High School with the Class of 1963. She was the daughter of Fay and Hazel Lakey, long-time residents of Bandon.

She is survived by two children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Two of her four siblings, Kathy Lakey Phillips and Tom Lakey, both live in Bandon. Her other sisters are Debbie Lakey Brokaw and Carol Lakey Cochran.

The family is planning a service in Bandon sometime in August as she wanted her ashes to be scattered in the ocean, which she loved.

*           *           *

A man posted on Facebook last week asking that whoever is stealing his dad's blueberries to please stop. "He is 92 and the berries are one of the few things that he is still able to do and picking them and giving them to his wife makes him happy. So if you read this or know who the culprit is, please stop."

Rather than put the name of the couple in my column, I am just urging people to make sure they have permission before they pick blueberries that do not belong to them.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

June 15, 2016

Among the old (and I do mean old) negatives that I found in my uncle's darkroom recently were a group from commencement exercises for the 1957 Bandon High School graduating class, of which I was a member.

I had tried to remember where graduation was held, but as soon as I looked at the pictures, I recognized the old (still in use) Ocean Crest gymnasium. The junior high gym was dedicated in the fall of that year, but it was not yet ready when we graduated. And we used the old gym in east Bandon for PE and ballgames.

The picture I am sharing shows John Sweet and me walking down the aisle with diplomas in hand.

1957 Bandon High School graduating class
1957 Bandon High School graduating class

Little did we know that one day I would be mayor of Bandon and he would be a Coos County Commissioner. We were both headed to Oregon State (where he graduated four years later, but I spent only one year preferring to begin what turned out to be a very long career in journalism). At right I can see Principal Alvin Mullikin, school board member and Baptist Church pastor Paul White and school board member John Goodwin.

The only members of our class, besides me, who still live in Bandon are Larry Sabin and VFW Commander George Trott. Wayne Campbell, Chuck Goodwin, LaDonna Holman Hinerman, Bill Hughlett and John live in the Coos Bay area. And there may be several others, but I am just not sure.

The second photo was taken in October of 1962 as Officer Harry Franson and Police Chief Donald "Big Mac" MacDonald remove the parking meters from Second Street.

Second Street, 1962
Second Street, 1962

Note M&L Grocery (now an empty parking lot owned by the Minute Cafe, pictured next to the grocery store), and the Golden Rule Department Store (now the Continuum Center). On the right side of the street, you can see the sign for Carr's Variety, operated by Elsie Hamilton, which is now the Bandon Baking Co.

The third picture was taken before the Fire of 1936, looking down the planked First Street, toward the west.

First Street before the Fire of 1936
First Street before the Fire of 1936

The only building in this picture that survived the fire was the Stephan Hotel building, front left, which housed Paul Stephan's Seaside Bakery. The cement building, which is on the corner of First Street and Chicago Avenue, now houses Cranberry Sweets. Note the grade school building on the hill overlooking the river, which also burned. This gives you an idea just how densely located the businesses were on both sides of First Street/the waterfront.

In Dow Beckham's book, "Bandon By-the-Sea," he recounts that the Seaside Bakery survived the fire "and immediately started baking. The bakery produced hundreds of loaves for the temporary kitchen in the Coast Lumber Building. The U.S. Postal Service opened an office at the Stephan Building. Soon, however, they moved to the Coast Lumber Building."

For those of you who don't know, the Coast Lumber Yard operated for many years after the fire, and was located on what is now a vacant lot on the west side of Fillmore Avenue between First Street and Highway 101 (Second Street).

The first week in June, I posted a picture of a group of men standing in front of the bank building which housed Western World. The only person I recognized was Ed Capps, who served as mayor at the time of the fire (according to Dow Beckham; however, other accounts say K.I. Franklin was mayor). At any rate, Wayne Campbell, nephew of Mary Capps, sent me a note, along with some pictures, that indicate the man standing next to Ed, was in fact Governor Charles Martin, who was on his way to Port Orford for a gala celebration on Labor Day in 1935 at their new dock.

Among those attending that celebration was Judge Allen Boice (Wayne's grandfather and Mary's father).

*           *           *

As we were trying to figure out how many chairs to put up for the 1914 Fire presentation at the museum Saturday, I realized the competition was pretty stiff ... with lots of graduation parties and June Korenko's 90th birthday party, so we decided 30 chairs would be enough.

Wow. Were we wrong. They just kept coming, and we squeezed people in everywhere we could find room. By the time it was over, we estimated that nearly 100 people had attended the program, and we were thrilled.

And I will have to say people were very appreciative of the program I presented, along with the photos that accompanied it, put together by Jim Proehl.

Some have asked why we don't present programs like this across town at the Barn or the library meeting room, and Jim and I have talked about it. But one of our goals is to bring people into the museum and show them what a group of volunteers has been able to accomplish.

But if the audience gets much larger, we may have to break it into two different programs, which is always an option.

But these are good "problems" to have ....

*           *           *

Members of the Bandon Library Friends & Foundation are forming a brand new book club, and are inviting people to join them Monday, June 20, at 7 p.m. in the library's Sprague Room for their first "The Book was Better than the Movie" night.

This month they are reading "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett, and on June 20 they will watch the movie and discuss them both.

For more information, to RSVP, or for help getting a copy of the book, you can contact Sabrina Johnston or Karen Thomas at

The book for July is "The Long Way Home" by Karen McQuestion and the August book is "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgernstern.

*           *           *

I heard from Hugh McNeil's daughter, Sheila, Sunday, and she was hoping that some of her father's Bandon friends would call or visit Hugh, who lives at Myrtle Point Care Center. The phone number is 541-572-2066 and he is in room 14.

She said she tried to cheer him up Sunday, but he was pretty depressed, and she thought visits or calls might really be appreciated.

Hugh was a long-time commercial fisherman, operated the meat market at M&L Grocery, and was on the Port of Bandon commission many years.

*           *           *

I learned recently of the death of Mary James, widow of Terry James, who formerly lived in Langlois.

Mary James
Mary James

She was a faithful member of St. John's Episcopal Church and was the mother of Pam James, who also lives in the Langlois area. She had moved out of the area several years ago to live with another relative.

I understand that a service may be held for her sometime this month, but I don't know the details.

*           *           *

I try pretty hard to keep my property on Harlem Avenue looking nice ... especially since the house next door (to the south) has been vacant for nearly two years and high grass and dandelions cover the yard. I remember that a representative of the bank (not sure which one) hired some guy to cut the grass last year . . . but either they've forgotten about it or they are waiting for a letter from our codes enforcement officer.

In recent weeks, not only has the right of way in front of my house been "decorated" with orange, green, red and white paint, but one outfit (I think it was Charter or maybe Comspan) sprayed big swaths along the edge of my lawn. Orange paint and green grass aren't a great combination ...

Several days ago, a guy pulled up in front of my house with some pretty heavy-duty equipment. He said he was going to dig a ditch across the right of way directly in front of my house, but would drill rather than dig so he could go beneath the two concrete driveways to the south of me. He drove off and left his equipment parked on both sides of my property, indicating he would be back the next morning to do the actual work.

But when I went out the next morning all I saw was more orange paint, and the Charter guy and his equipment were gone.

But this afternoon, along came another guy, also applying orange paint. He said he was doing the locate for Charter and Frontier. I said, in a not too pleasant tone, that I hoped he was not planning to add more paint, and he agreed not to, but he seemed surprised that Charter had already been there. He said the latest orange paint was put there by Comspan (something about the color identifies the utility).

I was led to believe that this colorful mess (which I would guess will remain until the next big rain) was necessitated by someone in my neighborhood wanting to hook up to Charter ...and it not being available for a short stretch in front of my house.

The irony of this is that when we bought this house five years ago, I wanted to hook up to Charter, but they came out and said it was not available.

It would have been better had they buried the cable at that time before we re-did the front of the property with pavers, gravel and new grass.

But I guess it's called "progress."

And we wonder why it costs so much for cable TV!!

(P.S. After I wrote this, and had gone outside to relax in the sun ... along came Tim Lakey (from the City of Bandon) with two spray paint cans to refresh their earlier locates.

All I could do was laugh ....

*           *           *

I sometimes marvel at the mistakes in headlines, especially when I see them in major newspapers.

I saw one on a Steve Duin column in the Washington Argus which I am positive he did not write (the headline not the column).

The story was about a woman who had bilked veterans, and the headline read: "Fleecing vets bring just deserts in court."

Pretty sure the headline writer meant "just desserts," and not deserts, but who knows! Even correct, it's a pretty strange headline.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

June 08, 2016

I am often asked why the community center in City Park is called the Barn. I knew it had been used to stable horses during the war, but I didn't know much more than that ... until I read a special history section, which appeared in the Western World Nov. 27, 1985.

An interview with the late Art Dobney, written by reporter Steve McCasland, told me what I was looking for.

Art and Grace and their two children, Mike and Claudia, lived here for many years. In 1943 Art returned to Bandon from overseas duty to take command of the "new" Coast Guard station, which had been built after the fire of 1936. It had a crew of 188 men.

"The Barn (in the present city park) was our horse barn," he said.

The Barn
The Barn

"We had 42 horses there and 42 more at another barn on the Evans farm (now Bullards Beach State Park). We got cowboys to take care of the horses, and we had a barracks and a cook at Whiskey Run for the Coast Guardsmen," Art said.

"At that time, they knew the Japanese were going to hit (this coastline), so we patrolled the beach on horseback 24 hours a day. We had four men on patrol at a time, and covered the area from Simpson's Reef (just north of Whiskey Run) to Cape Blanco, where the Port Orford station took over. Those patrols lasted for about eight months.

"The Coast Guard operated the Bandon Lighthouse, which was lit by a kerosene 'Aladdin' lamp with a huge reflector," he added.

"During that time, there was a coal dock on the west side of the river opposite Moore Mill. We used a small rail line to transport drums of kerosene and 100-pound bags of coal from the dock to the lighthouse."

This 30-year-old paper contains a lot of interesting information, which I will continue to share in coming weeks. But I had better get back to my second picture for this week's column.

I love this second picture, especially since three members of the Little Miss Civic Club court, including the queen, still live in Bandon.

Little Miss Civic Club, 1957
Little Miss Civic Club court, 1957

This was taken in March of 1957 with Queen Debbie Johnson (now Debbie Stewart of Debbie's Hair Station) surrounded by members of her court. From left are Arlene Moore (who still lives here), the late Laurie Felsheim (my cousin), Maud Capps (who works for Dr. Gail McClave), Cathy Donahue, Kay Gould, Ann Marie Waldrop (who I think lives in Coos Bay) and Roxanne Sypher, who lived in the Langlois/Port Orford area.

The third picture was taken in July of 1957 during a big gorse fire along Highway 101 south of Bandon.

Gorse fire, 1957
Gorse fire, 1957

I think I may have shared this earlier, but maybe not this specific picture. Note the man climbing the pole on the left side of the picture . . . and how the car coming out of the smoke looks so tiny compared to the huge column of white smoke. And in the foreground, people are trying to decide if they want to go through the smoke to head south on the highway.

This area is now pretty well developed (just south of town), but in those days, all that burned was the gorse, although I believe the story in Western World said it threatened at least one home.

The community is still pretty much surrounded by gorse, and the longer it is allowed to grow unchecked, the bigger the potential danger.

*           *           *

I learned last week that long-time Ocean Crest teacher Sue Hopper died in April after a lengthy illness. Sue, who was in her early '60s, taught at the elementary school for at least 20 years before retiring some years ago, according to friends.

A memorial service was held Saturday.

From my days at Western World, I remember Sue as a dedicated and much-loved teacher.

*           *           *

Don't forget the museum's program about the Fire of 1914, scheduled for this Saturday (June 11) at 2 p.m. I will be narrating, with Jim Prohel providing pictures of Bandon before and after Bandon's "first" big fire.

Not many communities ever experience one fire of this magnitude, let alone three like Bandon has (1914, 1936 and the high school in 1974).

There is no charge to visit the museum any time Saturday. I know it's graduation day and there are already a lot of things going on that day, but I think you'll enjoy the program and it should only last about an hour.

*           *           *

I meant to write about this several weeks ago, but didn't remember it until after I had hit "send" for my column.

I was extremely suspicious when I learned that Oregon would be the leader in what is known as the "motor voter" law, which automatically registered anyone with a driver's license .. hailed by some (but not by me) as a way to increase voter participation.

My thought is, and will continue to be, that it has always been very easy to register to vote, but if you don't care enough to register, you probably won't familiarize yourself with the candidates or the measures ... if you even bother to vote.

But there was a hitch.

In order to vote in the May primary, the newly "registered" voters had to pick a party. Under the new law, Oregonians 18 and older are registered to vote automatically while renewing or applying for a driver's license or state ID card, but they can't pick a party at that time.

They are then registered by default as nonaffiliated, and after a few days they can choose a party or opt out on a form sent by mail.

But surprise, surprise. Those same people who did not care enough to register did not care enough to send in their form or pick a party.

As a result, three-quarters of the some 52,000 motor-voter registrants were not able to vote for a presidential candidate in the primary election.

Even if they don't bother to choose a party, they can still vote in the November general election.

That's just what we need . . . another 50,000 voters who did not care enough to register, pick a party or return a form . . .sending in their ballot ... which will just happen to appear in their mail without them lifting a finger. Or indicating that they have any desire to vote.

You can lead a proverbial horse to water, but you can't make him drink. And I think that analogy pretty much fits this scenario.

Maybe the Democrats figured they would bolster their numbers with this ridiculous bill . . . but it appears to have backfired, as I hoped/figured it would!!

*           *           *

I was in Powers recently to visit my friends (Jerry Lambert and his sister Jean LeCuyer) who have opened a trading post business in Jean's former Office Too restaurant building.

He mentioned that the previous day another friend, Celia Kay Claybourn, 56, had suffered some trauma when her elderly dog was run over by a pickup backing out of her driveway. The dog lived, but was having some health problems. At any rate, he said, "oh, there is Celia now" and I looked out the window and saw this slender, attractive woman, but I did not see Celia . . . until the woman waved at me.

I had not seen her in over two years, since I left the Herald, and was blown away at what I saw. The Celia that I remembered probably carried nearly 350 pounds on her 5-6 frame.

She came into the business and of course I told her how wonderful she looked. She told me her story, which she said she did not mind if I shared. Worried about her health because of the relatively early death from heart disease of her mother and her own high blood pressure, she decided to enroll in CHIP (Complete Health Improvement Program) at Coquille Valley Hospital. And that was the beginning of her transformation.

At first she gave up white flour and sugar, but later she eliminated most fats from her diet. After losing 181 pounds, she now pretty much eats only vegetables (and, I believe, fruits) for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I think she said she eats about five pounds of veggies a day, cooked every imaginable way, enhanced with all sorts of spices.

She is extremely enthusiastic about her new diet and she certainly has the results to show for it.

She put it this way: "I lost one whole self plus a 25-pound sack of flour."

A pretty inspirational story ...

And my guess is she will have better long-term results than many of the candidates from TV's popular reality show, "The Big Loser," many of whom have put back most or all of the weight they lost.

*           *           *

Some of my friends are huge country music fans, and they were extremely upset to learn that this would be the last year for the Cape Blanco Country Music Festival, held the past two years on the Puhl and McKenzie ranches at Sixes.

A press release and Facebook posts from the organizers explain that the logistical challenges (primarily access and traffic on Highway 101) of the property have made it necessary to move the venue. So this summer's event, set for July 29-31, will be the end of the Cape Blanco festival. It will be renamed Country Crossings Music Festival and will be held in Central Point on I-5 near Medford, beginning in 2017.

Last year's event drew an estimated 20,000 people to Curry County, and a like number of tickets have been sold for this summer.

The Medford area is notoriously hot during the summer, and compared to the mild weather (OK, sometimes requiring a coat) of coastal Curry County, I can't imagine sitting outdoors in the 100-plus heat to listen to anyone ... let alone country music.

But it definitely drew a lot of people to this area . . .

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

June 01, 2016

The first picture I am sharing this week came from my uncle's collection of old pictures. This is a picture of the "new Bandon" theater (in some books it was spelled theatre), built shortly after the Bandon Fire of 1936.

New Bandon Theater, 1937
New Bandon Theater, 1937

The two features scheduled for showing, both of which were released in 1937, were "Men in Exile" featuring Dick Purcell and June Travis, and "The Emperor's Candlesticks," featuring William Powell, Luise Rainer, Robert Young and Maureen O'Sullivan. This is similar to a picture of the theater that I posted several months ago, but I thought this one was especially interesting because of the 76 service station just to the west of the theater building. That location later became the Capps Motor Co. Ford showroom and garage, which is now the Harbortown Center (Washed Ashore, Broken Anchor Bar & Grill and the Century 21 Best Realty office).

The second picture, which I think was taken in the late '50s or early '60s, shows members of the Bandon Fire Department fighting a fire on the roof of the Bandon Food Center (just south of town).

Bandon Food Center
Bandon Food Center

I can see Ralph Davison (in white) and to the right, John Gerber. I think one of the others is probably Ernie Wehner. The Bandon Food Center was owned by Cliff George and his sons, Don and Dick. Note the old house which stood just south of the building along Highway 101, and is now a parking lot for the building owned by Larry Hardin, where Brian Vick has an office.

The third picture shows a group of Bandon businessmen standing in front of the Western World in the First National Bank (now the Masonic building), which survived the Fire of 1936.

Bandon businessmen standing in front of the Western World
Bandon businessmen standing in front of the Western World

The only person I can identify is the man in the middle which is local businessman Ed Capps (father of the late Edgar L. Capps), who served as mayor several years before the fire. The man at right is holding a Western World, and I can read the headline "Bandon ...." in large letters, which would indicate this was taken soon after the fire. In the window above the sign I can see my grandfather, L. D. Felsheim.

*           *           *

VFW Commander George Trott asked me to remind people that there will be a Memorial Day Service this morning (Monday, Memorial Day) at 10:30 a.m. at the VFW Cemetery.

George has been trying for years to revive the annual Memorial Day services that were held in years past, and he promises there will be a rifle shoot and taps, and he's hoping to have speakers, as well.

"I just want young people to realize what Memorial Day really means," George told me. "It's not just another three-day weekend."

I wrote about this two weeks ago, so hopefully people put it on their calendars.

*           *           *

Now that I've been bitten by the history "bug," I am excited about the next program at the museum ... set for Saturday, June 11, at 2 p.m.

With the able help of museum board president Jim Proehl, who will be providing photo backup, I will be narrating the program to highlight the 102nd anniversary of the Bandon Fire of 1914.

When my mother died just over three years ago, we found a mint condition copy of the June 11, 1914, Western World in her garage. Until I read the extensive account of the fire, I really hadn't heard that much about Bandon's "first" fire. We missed what would have been the 100th anniversary, but Jim and I felt that "better late than never," so that will be the focus of the 2 p.m. program on June 11.

The program will pretty much consist of reading from that old paper (or at least from copies I made from the paper), which tells the very interesting story of the fire and how they finally stopped it. Unlike the disastrous fire of 1936, none of the residential area burned, but much of the business district was destroyed.

There is no charge to attend the program, or to visit the museum any time that day, so come on down and join us.

*           *           *

I was sad to learn of the death of the Rev. Barbara Mudge, long-time Episcopal priest, lovingly referred to by all who knew her as "Rev. Mum."

A service for Rev. Mum, who was 85, is tentatively set for July 9 at St. John's Episcopal Church. Parishioners are hoping that the Bishop will come down from Portland for the service, and that is why the date is tentative at this time.

*           *           *

Bandon Showcase outdid themselves last week with their final show of the season, "The Kingston Trio," which drew a very appreciative sold-out crowd.

The program advised that during intermission, Edgewaters would have a no-host wine bar, and punch and cookies, sponsored by Bandon Inn, would be served along with special treats provided by Coastal Mist.

Unfortunately, The Kingston Trio did not get the message ... and after over an hour of non-stop songs, it became apparent to some of us that they were not planning to take an intermission.

And that is what happened. After an hour and a half of music, they waved goodbye and left the stage. No one was sure what had happened, thinking perhaps that there would still be an intermission ... until the singers came back for an encore.

The lead singer then mentioned something about an intermission . . .but he clarified it by saying until they return to the area.

Although they were extremely surprised, to say the least, Showcase leaders Ann Patrick and Peggy Backholm handled it well as people streamed out of the theater . . . a few grabbing some goodies but most just heading home. They decided to share the left-over goodies with Sweet Speeches, which was held three nights later.

The singers were extremely apologetic, and one told me that sometimes they stop for an intermission while other times they sing right through ... and this was one of those nights.

But as far as entertainment was concerned, this was a wonderful top-notch program and one that we will remember for a long time.

Thanks to Bandon Showcase ....

Scheduled for the 2016-17 season include Quattrosound (Sept. 24), William Florian "Those Were the Days" (Nov. 17), Artrageous (Feb. 14), Women of the World (March 16) and Mike Strickland (May 25) .

Season tickets will be available July 1.

*           *           *

I read something in the Curry Coastal Pilot last week that I had not previously been aware of. It appears that a house in Brookings was destroyed in a fire recently that started when the mist from "bug bombs" came in contact with an ignition source.

And, according to the fire department, this is the second house fire that they attribute to bug bombs, which people often set off in their homes to get rid of pests.

The fire department spokesman said that even if ignition sources are cut off, appliances such as refrigerators and fish tank mechanisms can provide enough heat to ignite a blaze.

In both fires, the homes were a total loss.

I have never heard of this and have used these kinds of devices in the past (up at my Powers home) without giving a thought to the potential for fire.

*           *           *

I was interested in the featured article in the May 2016 Home & Garden section of the Register-Guard titled "Row River R&R."

Complete with pictures, the story was about Cindy Armstrong's Cottage Grove dwelling along the beautiful Row River.

While reading along, I noticed a reference to the owner's late husband, Don, with whom she started planning the residence in 2003.

I wondered if this could be Don Armstrong, a member of a large family who attended school in Bandon many years ago.

And it turned out it was one and the same.

I had appealed to two good sources: Jill Chappell Sumerlin and Sharon Ward Moy, and Sharon quickly responded with the information I was looking for.

According to an obituary in the Oregon State Bar Bulletin, Donald K. Armstrong, a Eugene attorney, died June 6, 2015, after a year-long fight with pancreatic cancer. He was 72. He was born May 5, 1943, the youngest of nine children. His family moved to Bandon when he was 4, and he graduated from Bandon High School in 1961 (although the obit said 1955). His sister, Mary Armstrong (class of 1959), still lives in Bandon. One of his brothers survives, but I am not sure which one that would be.

Don and Cindy had been married 15 years.

*           *           *

An article in the state's largest newspapers said Portland Police Chief Larry O'Dea seemed nervous, was shaking and had bloodshot eyes after an April 21 shooting during a hunting trip in Eastern Oregon.

And now it turns out why.

Not only did Chief O'Dea lie about who shot his friend, but he never told the investigating officer from the Harney County Sheriff's Office that he was a police officer ... let alone the chief of Oregon's largest city.

It appears that O'Dea, several other retired officers and several more men were sitting in lawn chairs, drinking beer and shooting squirrels ... when O'Dea reached for a drink and accidentally shot his friend in the back when he picked up his rifle.

But he told the investigating officer that the victim had accidentally shot himself. Four days later, he told Portland's mayor that he accidentally shot his friend with a .22-caliber rifle, but it was not made public at that time.

The friend was airlifted to the hospital and was later released, with the bullet still in his back.

O'Dea's involvement in the shooting did not emerge publicly until the Harney County sheriff interviewed the victim, Robert Dempsey, nearly a month later.

The chief stepped aside last week (a month after the shooting) after multiple agencies launched investigations.

What amazes me is that he was not immediately stripped of his position ... for lying, if nothing else.

Can you imagine going into court with this guy???

*           *           *

But probably the most disgusting story of the week was the damage to Slaughterhouse Island off Shasta Lake caused by a large group of partying University of Oregon fraternity and sorority members, who some said numbered about 1,000.

An article on the front page of the Register-Guard Thursday said that a group of UO students volunteered to clean up the mess that their classmates left ... but they couldn't do so because "the site was too much of a biohazard with feces and used condoms, a US Forest Service spokesman said."

The debris that they left behind was littered among their Oregon-branded products (shopping bags, hats, flip-flops and other gear) that covered the ground.

The mess went viral when a woman posted pictures on Facebook, which drew hundreds of outraged comments and thousands of hits.

The article explains that "UO fraternities and sororities were already under scrutiny, since an independent report in April found blackout drinking, sexual assault and hazing are, to varying degrees, rampant at UO fraternity houses."

In this case, a picture is worth a thousand words ... and it tells an ugly story.

Previous columns by Mary Schamehorn