As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

March 25, 2015

I've gone back to the '50s for this week's history photos, with the first taken during the 1956 Cranberry Festival parade. But it's the buildings that are more interesting, with the Golden Rule (department) store in the foreground and Croxall & Perry Grocery at right. Even though you can't really see their faces, I am sure some of my readers will recognize themselves or their friends in this group of youngsters marching along the parade route. (Note that most of the girls are wearing skirts or dresses).

1956 Cranberry Festival Parade
1956 Cranberry Festival Parade

The second picture was taken in the next block, in front of the Bandon Theater, which is now the vacant lot between Harbortown Events Center (formerly Capps Motor Co) and Bandon Coffee Cafe. Just down from the theater is Sadye's fountain lunch and across the street is Paul Detert's jewelry store. My first two jobs while in high school were at Sadye's and Paul's Jewelry. I loved the first job . . . not so much the second. You can also see the woman and two men standing on the theater marquee. At first I thought it might be me, but then I remembered that although I lived in the apartment above the theater for seven years, I didn't move in there until late 1969 and I don't think I ever ventured out onto the marquee.

1959 Cranberry Festival Parade
1959 Cranberry Festival Parade

I've chosen the third picture because I have so few pictures of M&L (Moore and Lorenz) Grocery next to the Minute Cafe, also in the picture. It was a wonderful old family grocery store, run for many years by Fred Moore and Carl Lorenz, and I believe Hugh McNeil was a butcher in the meat department in the back of the store at one time. I can't remember why the store was torn down, or if it burned, but it now provides parking for Minute Cafe customers. This photo was taken, again during a festival parade, sometime in the mid '50s.

M&L (Moore and Lorenz) Grocery
M&L (Moore and Lorenz) Grocery

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I find articles in Governing magazine both factual and impartial. They are not affiliated with either political party . . . which is a good thing.

An article in last week's issue talked about the high usage of food stamps in Oregon.

"In Oregon, many people who use food stamps are working but can't find full-time jobs. Years after the Great Recession officially ended, food stamp usage in Oregon has nearly doubled. Recent data released by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that Oregon recorded the highest percentage of households receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in 2013," said the Governing article.

It makes you wonder how other states fare considering that Oregon has one of the highest minimum wages in the United States ($9.25 an hour).

It adds that in 35 states, including Oregon, participation remains more than one and a half times what it was in 2006. Nationwide, more than 47 million people received benefits in 2013 a historic high for the program translating to a federal cost of nearly $80 billion.

"Those numbers went down slightly in 2014, but the sustained growth in SNAP since the recession has prompted a review of the program by the U.S. House Agriculture Committee.

"Oregon has had a higher proportion of households on SNAP than the U.S. as a whole since 2000. So even though reliance on SNAP grew almost everywhere after 2006, it grew faster in Oregon. Why?"

The bottom line, said the article, is that the numbers reflect a state economy that hasn't bounced back. "Oregon's unemployment and poverty rates are both above the national average. But the high usage is also a function of state officials making an effort in the past 15 years to increase access to SNAP."

*           *           *

It's too bad that we have to lose someone before we see friends that we haven't seen in many years, but that was the case Saturday when a big crowd gathered at the spacious Bandon Christian Fellowship church to say goodbye to long-time Bandon resident, Bob Butler, who died in early March at the age of 68 after a battle with esophageal cancer.

Many of those that I hadn't seen in years were members of his BHS Class of 1965, of which my sister Molly was a member. Among class members (and other BHS grads) attending the memorial service were Molly, Faye Groshong Bohles and her husband Butch of Albany, Rosalie Smith Welch (sorry I don't know her new married name) from Phoenix, Or.; Marvin Levrets, Rex Nuttbrock, Nona Dodrill and her husband Jerry Calame, Sally Baird Johnston, Carol Smalley Hultin and her husband Jerry, Ray Johnson (who moved when he was in the 8th grade), Bill Burgher, Bo Shindler, Rick Howard, Debbie Winters Llewellyn and husband Chris, Larry Doss and his wife, and a lot of others that I probably didn't see. Classmate Stu Cameron, who lives and works in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, sent some pictures and memories of Bob to his widow, Sandi.

His large extended family filled the front part of the church. Bob was one of six children, including Ken, Earlene, Sharon, Claudia and Bert, all of whom grew up here.

Pastor Matt Fox conducted a beautiful memorial, with he and another church member singing a number of songs, while Pastor Matt accompanied on the guitar.

He then asked if people wanted to share memories of Bob, which a number of people did. Sally Johnston remarked that Bob had been a faithful member of the committee that was planning their 50th reunion, to be held in August, and how much they had hoped he would be able to attend the reunion. Most people spoke from their seats, but Marvin Levrets went to the front of the church, sat in Pastor Matt's chair and proceeded to spend quite a bit of time sharing humorous and touching stories of growing up with Bob.

It was heart-warming to hear the stories of people whose lives had been touched by Bob ...

*           *           *

Since Mongo advised me Saturday that he wouldn't be posting my column until Tuesday, it gave me time Sunday evening to watch two NCAA games: the Oregon State women losing to Gonzaga and the Oregon men losing to No. 1 seed Wisconsin.

Sad to see the two Oregon representatives lose in fairly close games, particularly since Gonzaga was a No. 11 seed and OSU was a No. 3 seed. It was interesting to see the Oregon State men's basketball coach Wayne Tinkle cheering for Gonzaga . . . even though the game was at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis. His daughter plays for Gonzaga, and Tinkle put it this way: "I've been with Oregon State for 10 months and I've been with Elle for 21 years," and I am sure everyone understood. Another daughter, who was also in the crowd, was a standout basketball player at Stanford, and both Tinkle and his wife were also star players in their day.

*           *           *

The article about me in the Oregonian has generated wide readership from people who used to live in Bandon and probably saw it after Amy so graciously posted it to Facebook. One former resident, Steve McCue, who now lives in Ohio, saw the picture of me holding one of my Bandon history books ... and ordered all three of them.

Speaking of my books, now that they are for sale at the Art By The Sea Gallery in the Continuum Building, I was in the building Sunday afternoon and saw Lori Straley and her daughter Kelly in the area where my books are. They had been going through the MarLo dance books and were thrilled to find pictures of themselves. It was fun to watch their reaction ...

I think I did six of MarLo productions, including two of the Nutcracker, Snow White, Cinderella and several others that I can't remember right now. And I also did four or five of Bandon Playhouse productions, including Chicago, My Fair Lady, Beauty and the Beast, On Golden Pond and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

*           *           *

It's been all over Facebook this week that the Coquille Point stairs to the beach have been reopened by US Fish and Wildlife Service. They were closed in October after concerns were raised about their structural stability due to geologic shifting and instability of the headland.

Following the closure, USFWS awarded a contract to a structural engineering firm to inspect the stairway and provide a report outlining long-term options for repair or replacement.

According to a USFWS press release, the report concluded that there was no evidence of imminent large-scale slope instability that would cause sudden failure of the stairway.

"However, it is anticipated that the slopes and staircase will continue to be subject to slow, long-term creep and shifting. Reopening of the stairs was determined to be safe at this time."

That's welcome news to locals and visitors alike . . .

*           *           *

I can still remember the time that my old friend Gordy Hayes and I were driving into the hills to look at land he owned above Powers when we drove directly into a swarm of bees. Fortunately we were able to get the windows rolled up quickly enough so that neither of us, nor his dog Maggie, got stung.

A trucker from Harrah, Okla., who was driving north on US 97 near Culver, wasn't so lucky. The 50-year-old man had been traveling just over 60 miles an hour, when a bee flew in his partially open window and landed on his neck. As he attempted to swat it off, he knocked his glasses off his face. When he began to look for his glasses, he realized he was off the roadway. He tried to get back onto the highway, but his 53-foot trailer caused the combo to roll. The Oregon State Police cited him for failure to drive within lane.

Judging from the pictures, which show the huge truck and trailer on its side, it was definitely not one of his better days.

Anyone who is frightened of bees can certainly empathize with him . . . and I'm one of them.

I can still remember the afternoon last summer when I looked out my sliding glass door to see my backyard had turned black ... with a huge swarm of bees. I hurriedly called Pat Reed who came over that night, took the birdhouse (which they had chosen for their hive), loaded it into his car and took it home. I saw him a couple of days ago, and he said the swarm never left the birdhouse even as he encouraged them to move into fancier and larger digs ... but I'm just happy they chose to live on his property rather than return to mine.

*           *           *

Amy posted an apology on Facebook not long after last week's Western World came out because she had used the word "Peddlers" when referring to cyclists rather than "Pedalers." But the truth of the matter is, and several people agreed with me, we thought it was a clever play on words .... which seems to be more prevalent these days in the art of headline writing.

I'll have to admit that I have seen several lately in the police report, including wasteband for waistband and borders for boarders . . .but I agree with Amy, spellcheck might have changed these . . . or maybe the proofer just missed them. But it's fun anyway . . . and it keeps us on our toes. Now If I can just get who and whom straight and stop using other colloquialisms ...

But I did feel vindicated when I read the article in the Wall Street Journal last week titled "There Is No 'Proper English.' " It adds: "Never mind the grammar scolds. If people say it, it's the right way to speak."

I actually felt like the article was speaking to people like me ... but I don't think they were referring to incorrect spelling or punctuation.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

March 18, 2015

As promised last week, the first picture I am sharing this week is the old ferry that crossed the Coquille River at Bandon for many years before the Bullards Bridge (in the background) was dedicated in, I think, 1960. Bill Smith's grandfather, F. S. Younce, operated the ferry and lived in the ferryman's house back in the '40s and '50s right up until they built the bridge.

Bullards Ferry
Bullards Ferry

I still remember the time I was riding the ferry with my grandmother, Grace Felsheim, to visit friends across the river ... and the ferry broke down in the middle of the river. I was pretty emotional in those days and was sure we were doomed . . .but grandmother brought me back to reality with the news that we probably would eventually make it across the river ... and we did.

The second picture is one I took from the cemetery overlooking the river, and it shows so clearly the back side of the old Moore Mill truck shop, with the lighthouse in the background.

Moore Mill truck shop
Moore Mill truck shop

The third photo is Sailor Joe's Galley (later the Bandon Boatworks restaurant) taken in October of 1973. The building has been empty for a number of years. East of the building is the site of a proposed house to be built by the property owner. That land use issue is the subject of a City Council hearing on March 24 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

Sailor Joe's Galley
Sailor Joe's Galley

*           *           *

I've been reading the hard-hitting columns of Oregonian columnist Steve Duin (pronounced Dean) for many years, but little did I know that someday one of those columns would be about me.

Steve came to Bandon to interview me last Tuesday, and one of the things we talked most about was how I had saved three decades of Western World negatives in the early '80s as they were headed for the dump. I didn't really understand what an important part of Bandon's history I had saved that day; I only knew that my grandfather, my uncle or I had taken most of those negatives and I couldn't let them be carelessly thrown away by the owner (who lived in California and could have cared less about Bandon or our history).

I kept them stored in the basement of my home across from the cheese factory for nearly 30 years (even when I had it rented for four or five years, the negatives remained there) until 2010 when I moved up near the hospital and once again carted the negatives with me.

And now, thanks to Jim Proehl and me, they are coming back to life. It's so much fun to realize what you have when you get them scanned into the computer and then can blow them up and really see what you have.

And that is pretty much the story Steve Duin tells in the Sunday Oregonian. The printed version simply has a picture of me (in my mid-20s) sitting on a stump at a Moore Mill logging site where students had gone to plant trees . . .and I had tagged along as the Western World news editor.

But the online version, which can be found at or by Googling Mary Schamehorn photography, has more then 30 of the pictures I took during my long career at Western World (except for a couple which pre-date me). There is even one of me (the only one in color) holding one of my 8.5x11 black and white photo books, which contain a lot of those pictures out of the past. (They can be purchased for $50 plus postage by writing to me at PO Box 521, Bandon.) Two of the three books I've published are more about buildings and places, while the third one is more about people.

I've spent so many years writing about people and places . . . and it's nice, for once, to be the subject of an article . . rather than the writer. And I have to say he did a tremendous job of capturing the essence of my story.

*           *           *

Speaking of my photo books, I have a funny story to tell. I mailed one to Jill Chappell Sumerlin on March 2 (more than two weeks ago) expecting that it would take only a couple of days as had the first one that I sent her.

But no, she wrote to me late last week to say that it never arrived. I immediately went to the post office, and even though they had asked me if I wanted to pay for tracking, I declined. Then, long after I'd thrown the receipt into the wastebasket at the post office, they told me that they might have been able to track it had I saved the receipt. (Call it a learning experience).

And Jill went to her post office in Tillamook and they said since it was sent book rate, it might take two weeks (an idea that was rejected by our postal people, who kept saying it would turn up).

I was all prepared to send Jill a new book (the one with people, including her parents and her sister), when I received a sheepish email from her. She'd been cleaning out her car and discovered a key (to an overflow box for packages) tucked inside an ad supplement. She instantly knew what she'd found: the key to her book.

We were both quite happy.

I didn't even realize that post offices now do that until I got a key in my box a couple of weeks ago, with the instructions to go to a box in another part of the post office, open it, take out my packages and leave the key with the box. I'd never heard of such a thing, but in some cases, it replaces the yellow slip and it makes it easy to retrieve packages (as long as they are small enough to fit into the box) on evenings and weekends.

Now, both Jill and I know about it.

(It does seem a bit strange that her post office did not notice that one of their keys had been out for two weeks . . . and when she asked about her book, they might have thought about it, but apparently it's new for them, too).

*           *           *

I love stealthily proofing newspapers, and this week I thought I had caught my friend Amy in a mistake. Even though I checked on the internet to make sure I was right, fortunately I didn't say anything to her.

The word was macaron, and it was used to describe the delicious sweet treats from Coastal Mist at Bite of Bandon. Ha, I knew it, I gleefully laughed, it should be spelled macaroon.

Not true. Today I Googled it again (must have been a boring day) and discovered it could be spelled both ways ... but it represented two different sweet treats. The first, which was what Amy was describing, was indeed a macaron; next to it was a picture of a coconut macaroon . . . both sweet and delicious, but two different cookies and two different spellings.

See, you're never too old to learn something ...

Thanks, Amy, for keeping me on my proverbial toes.

*           *           *

I love the new colors that Moxie Black has painted her Captain Black's corner of the Harbortown Events Center building at Second and Chicago. The colors are absolutely gorgeous. I would describe them as a deep sand, with panels of light purple (or mauve) and accented with olive green trim. Those may not be the actual colors, but that's how it looks to me and it is such a welcome contrast to the drab blue (not my favorite color) of the overall building.

One merchant asked me if she had permission from the City for the purple color, and I was stunned. I couldn't imagine anyone questioning such a beautiful, tasteful paint job. And yes, she did come to the City although we did away with the Architectural Review Board some years ago.

*           *           *

I had nearly forgotten about Anthony Levrets, who starred in basketball during his years at Bandon High School, until I saw his picture in The World talking with a basketball official.

Apparently he had just been fired as women's basketball coach at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City after five seasons. He apparently hadn't won enough games.

Before serving at Utah, Levrets was an assistant men's coach at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, where he also was SOU's director of recruitment, player development and scouting.

Levrets played at SWOCC in Coos Bay during the 1992-93 season and then at Lane Community College during the 1995-96 season. He also coached with legendary Lane coach Jim Boutin, a graduate of Powers High School and a star for the Powers Cruisers.

*           *           *

I know there has been more concern about lead poisoning in recent years, but I was surprised to see that the Oregon Military Department has closed all 12 of its indoor gun ranges at armories throughout the state because they are worried about high levels of lead dust.

And one of those ranges was in Coos Bay.

I understand the closures came after several armories, at Forest Grove and McMinnville, exceeded the allowable limit set by OSHA.

The article added that even though Coos Bay, Portland, Salem, Baker City, Ontario, Roseburg, Springfield, Pendleton, Bend and Ashland armories were closed, testing at those facilities were within the acceptable limits for lead dust.

A spokesman for OSHA said more testing will be conducted to see what needs to be done so the ranges can reopen.

*           *           *

Politics in Oregon continues to get weirder and weirder . . . if that's possible. First it was the Governor, and now it's the top federal prosecutor Amanda Marshall, a former Coos County assistant district attorney, who spent quite a bit of time in Bandon when she lived in the area.

Earlier this week, there was an article in the Oregonian, which said that Marshall stepped away from her duty as Oregon's U.S. Attorney for health reasons.

But the next day, a different story began to emerge for the 41-year-old attorney. She is being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department for a possible inappropriate relationship between she and another attorney in her office, Scott Kerin. Marshall is married to a Circuit Court judge in Yamhill County; Kerin is married to another federal prosecutor.

The Oregonian was told that Kerin had tried to break off the relationship, but became so concerned about her reaction that he contacted his Justice Department superiors. Marshall was reportedly driving by his home and sending multiple texts, including several sent telling him she knew what he was doing at the time.

A Portland attorney representing Marshall said Kerin is the focus of the investigation, not her, but at least for now, she has stepped down from the office.

It's interesting because her office had just been handed the Kitzhaber-Hayes case, which was taken away from the state's attorney general, Ellen Rosenblum, who is married to the publisher of Willamette Week (which has released some interesting emails involving Kitz and Hayes).

Oh the tangled webs we weave . . .

It's hard to tell who is investigating who . . . and who is not being investigated, but it's not a particularly proud period for our state.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

March 11, 2015

I am sure some of my readers will remember that fateful day in February of 1971 when a student drove the driving training car over the bank near the top of Coast Guard Hill (Edison Avenue), just east of Franklin Avenue. The guy standing there with his hands on his hips watching a wrecker drag it out of the ravine is the driver training teacher and long-time basketball coach Butch Neff. I'm sure this was not the highlight of his day. I don't remember who was driving, but I don't think anyone was injured. I think the student was gone before I arrived on scene to take this picture for the paper.

Driver's training accident 1971
Driver's training accident 1971

The picture I posted last week, which I said could have been one of the ferries in the area or "something else," did indeed turn out to be "something else." Bill Woodward, a long-time log truck driver, recognized it as the log dump at Al Peirce Mill, which is gone now, but used to be located along Highway 101 south of Millington. This picture is indeed a ferry, and I believe it is the old Riverton Ferry. I also have some neat pictures of the Bullards Ferry, sent to me by Bill Smith, which I will share next week. His grandfather operated the ferry for many years.

Riverton Ferry
Riverton Ferry

The third picture is the front of the Arcade Tavern, as I remember it when I was growing up here. This picture was taken, I believe, in 1958. The building is now owned by Bill and Louise Moore and houses their Inner Garden business, as well as the neat cafe, Sea Star Bistro. It was previously owned by Mel Dahl and was known as "The Dahl Building," long after it was the Arcade.

Arcade Tavern 1958
Arcade Tavern 1958

Note the trash in the street and the parking meters . . . and the curtains on the windows so us kids couldn't look in. I also think it was a place where not many women frequented . . . if memory serves me.

*           *           *

Since I only stayed for a little more than two hours Saturday night, I'm not sure how much money the Bandon Youth Center made at their annual "bite" event, but it was surely successful.

It's funny because a friend told me that a week before the event they had only sold about 30 tickets and were very worried. No need . . . most people in Bandon do like I do . . . wait until the last minute to buy their ticket. The event was sold out, which should be a reminder to people to get their ticket for next year's event, and for the upcoming Rotary (in late April) wine and cheese event, early. The same could be said of Bandon Showcase tickets for the famed Irish Tenor Anthony Kearns. Believe me, when people figure out just who is coming to the Sprague Theater, they will rush to buy tickets, and even though he's not coming until May, you should be purchasing your ticket now.

The "bite" was fun, as usual, with so much great food available for the sampling, and no one complained if you found something you really loved and came back for seconds. There was plenty of food . . . and fun. Some people felt it was a bit long, and left before the oral auction started, but by that time, they'd filled up on fantastic food, bid on silent auction items and talked with friends and neighbors.

The new Youth Center board seems to be an enthusiastic group, and that was evidenced by all the work they did to organize the event, and make sure it ran fairly smoothly.

It's too bad that the acoustics are so bad in those two rooms, or maybe it's just the fact that people didn't stop carrying on their own personal conversations while board chairman Angie Gonzales-Smith was talking. Had I been closer to the front, I would have pretended like it was a council meeting and tapped on a glass to get everyone's attention. I'll give people the benefit of the doubt: maybe they didn't realize someone was addressing the crowd in another part of the room, but what she had to say was informative and from the heart. Everyone should have listened as they would have learned a lot more about the Youth Center and the people they honored.

It was a first-rate event and one that I look forward to every year.

*           *           *

While sitting in the sun in front of Pacific Blues eating lunch Sunday, a young man wearing a Riddle football shirt walked by. I didn't recognize him because he was wearing sunglasses, but I asked him if he was in the area to attend the 3A state basketball tournament, held in Coos Bay.

But he said he was the head football coach at Riddle High School, and was here with a group of 6th grade boys who played basketball against Bandon's 6th grade team Saturday.

Then he told me he was a graduate of Bandon High School and, as soon as he took off his sunglasses, I recognized him. It was Rocky Rodgers, a 1999 graduate of Bandon High School, who played for the Tigers during Coach Don Markham's last year here ... and he runs Don's offense at Riddle. In fact he says hardly a week goes by during football season that he doesn't talk to Don on the phone.

I told readers some months ago that Don Markham was no longer coaching football while he battled prostate cancer, but apparently he's doing a lot better because Rocky said Don is now getting involved in politics, and he loves it.

I guess he probably won't be continuing to use Don's offense much longer because they have elected to play 8-man football next year after dropping to a roster of only 11 boys this year. It's hard to play teams with as many as 40+ kids with 11 on a squad . . .hence the decision.

It was good to see Rocky and meet his son, who was a member of the 6th grade basketball team. The lad stopped on the sidewalk long enough to ask his dad for $10 to buy "a giant jawbreaker."

I can't imagine what a jawbreaker that size would be . . .but his dad only gave his $3, so he probably had to settle for the $3 size, whatever that would be.

*           *           *

I'd forgotten how much I love daylight savings time . . . until I was still cleaning the garage and working in the yard at 7:15, with writing my column still hanging over my head.

I dutifully changed all my clocks last night when I went to bed about midnight . . . well I thought I had. This afternoon, after spending what I figured was most of the afternoon in Old Town, I was happy to see that it was only 3:30 and I still had plenty of hours before it got dark to do my outside work. That was until I got home and every clock in the house screamed that it was actually 4:30. A bit of a letdown, but I still had plenty of daylight to get everything done ... except write my column.

I keep thinking that each week will be my last until I remember how many old photos I still have to share, and at three a week they will definitely outlive me.

Yes, I have that many.

*           *           *

Was sad to learn that two BHS graduates, Bob Butler and Ruthie Reichlein, died last week. I know Bob has been battling cancer for quite a while, and I just saw on Facebook that Ruth had died, so I don't know the details.

Bob was only 67 and was in my sister Molly's class.

His wife, Sandi Iddings Butler, retired last year after many years with the City of Bandon. They have one son, Chris, and two grandsons, who I know will be a big comfort for her, as will her church family.

People wishing to send cards to Sandi can address them to her at P.O. Box 1941, Bandon.

*           *           *

I learned that Judy Knox, the executive director of the Bandon Historical Society museum, took a bad fall Tuesday and broke her left arm between the elbow and the shoulder.

She has been caring for her husband, Ron, who recently underwent surgery, and this accident definitely makes it more difficult for them because Judy can't drive until the doctor says it's OK.

I guess there is no surgery for a break like this, so she will have to keep her arm in a sling until it heals, and then she will need to undergo therapy to regain her mobility.

Judy has had a lot of health problems over the years, and this will only be a temporary setback for her. She always bounces back . . .

My heart goes out to Judy and Ron. This is a classic case of "when bad things happen to good people."

*           *           *

Lisa Rios will be reopening her popular Gypsy Wagon business in her new location at 120 Second Street above the Esscents candle shop. It's beautifully remodeled with a great staircase leading up to her space. She will be getting lots of light from the big windows, so it should be a great space for her to showcase her brightly colored clothing, tapestries, jewelry, scarves and handmade bedspreads.

She's busy moving out of the Continuum Center building this month.

*           *           *

I've heard from several reliable sources who said they have spoken to Martin and he's definitely going to open LaFiesta very soon. So watch for activity at his business across First Street from the boat basin.

He's definitely been missed, and I know he will be surprised by the number of people who will be visiting him as soon as he reopens. They've been waiting more than a year . . .

*           *           *

I'm joining the Art by the Sea Gallery and Studio in The Continuum building, and although it doesn't become official until I meet with them Tuesday and pay my dues, people are welcome to stop in and look . . . not only at my work but also the work of all the other artists who are part of the co-op.

I recently sent away for two 16x20 prints on metal, and the quality is beyond my wildest dreams. One of Face Rock, with a dynamic foreground, is one of the best photos I've ever taken (and I've taken literally thousands), even if I do say so myself (and others have agreed). The other is the old lighthouse, with large pieces of driftwood in the foreground, and a bird flying through the bright blue sky and white clouds.

I also have a number of my photo books at the gallery . . . so stop by and take a look (they're closed on Tuesdays).

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

March 04, 2015

The first picture I am sharing this week is an aerial which was probably taken in the mid-'70s, although there is no date on the envelope. You can see McKay's Market in the center of the picture, and on the east side of the building (now the produce section) housed the Western World. You can see the cars pulled up right in front of our office, which is a different parking configuration than exists today. We had a large printing press in the back operated by our pressman Pat Reed (who now has his own successful printing business).

Aerial photo of Bandon from the mid 70's
Aerial photo of Bandon from the mid 70's

The second picture was loaned to me by Marc Johnson's wife, Jeannie, and appears to be one of the ferries (either crossing the Coquille River at Bullards or at Riverton). She has no idea when the picture was taken or where, so if anyone recognizes it, let me know. Or it could simply be some little shacks on a pier.

Coquille River ferry
Coquille River ferry

The third picture was probably taken in the mid-'70s from First Street, and shows the area behind the Sea Star Hostel (now Alloro, and west of it the Bandon Coffee Cafe.) Note all the junk lying around and the overall condition of the area. It's much different today ...

Old Town Bandon in the mid 70's
Old Town Bandon in the mid 70's

*           *           *

I hated to drag myself off the deck because it's so warm and wonderful, but since a group of friends and I are going to dinner at Edgewaters tonight, I need to get my column done early.

Speaking of The Edge, as we now lovingly refer to Edgewaters, I've been eating there a lot lately and have had some fabulous dinners. They've had a special of chipotle-rubbed sturgeon, which is one of the best fish dinners I've ever had.

Their view is to "die for," but it's even better now that the property owner (The Picerne Group) has torn down the ugly rusted old concrete building just to the west of Edgewaters (at the city's "suggestion").

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The questions I most often receive when it comes to eating establishments are: "when is LaFiesta going to open?" and "what is happening with Lloyds?" which, for many years, was the anchor tenant in Old Town (and even back when it was simply "downtown.")

I know there is a rumor floating around that Martin does not plan to re-open LaFiesta, which has been closed for over a year after his sister was killed in an automobile accident in their native Mexico, but I spoke with his father last week and he indicated that it might be only a "few weeks" before the popular restaurant on the waterfront is once again open. But don't hold me to it as I understand that he's still trying to get his liquor license renewed and may have to stick with just beer and wine until the details can be worked out.

As far as Lloyd's is concerned, a friend of mine spoke with Janice Davis (she and her husband Jonathan are the owners) and she told her they do not plan to reopen, but are hoping to sell or lease it. They have a very successful catering business in California, and have been spending a lot of time there. They spiffed it up a lot, which should make it easier to sell. It's always been a very popular spot for locals, and I know it will be again. But it just needs to be open.

Behind it is the two-story building, formerly rented by Danielle Benjamin, who lived there and operated her Raven business (now in the former Youth Center Thrift Store building on Highway 101), which is also empty. I've heard that it may have sold, but, again, that's just hear-say, so I don't know if it's true. Across the street, Foley's has been closed for a month or so, but I believe they are planning to reopen sometime this month.

Also "new" to Old Town is Captain Black's, newly opened in the same location by the former owner of McFarlin's, Moxie Black, who has put her own stamp on the business, and I've heard it looks great in there.

I know some people have expressed concern about the number of businesses (mostly eating establishments) that close down for a month or so during the winter, but for the most part they are so swamped in the summer, and are often staffed by their owners, that they deserve a vacation . . . and January or February seems to be the slowest months.

But don't tell that to the Dunes, who has had some tremendous days this winter, mostly because of the summer-like weather, which lures people from Portland and the valley to play their favorite course . . . at winter rates.

Some great eateries, like Billy Smoothboars, stay open year-around to cater to their locals, who are extremely loyal. That also goes for Jason Tree's Pacific Blues, which has wonderful vegetarian (and vegan, too) food. If you haven't tried his stuffed red peppers, you're missing a real treat.

Alloro is under new ownership, and I believe they plan to remain open year-around, but right now, just like Edgewaters, they are closed at least one day a week. The Wheelhouse and Crow's Nest is also closed for a few weeks.

The Bakery (Bandon Baking Co.) took January off, but they've been swamped since reopening, and I think Chris said it was their best ever February. Lord Bennett's also took some time off, but now they're open again.

I know that the Best Western Inn at Face Rock has sold, but when we talked to them a few months ago, they said they would be concentrating on upgrading the motel before they open the restaurant to the public.

The Asian Garden is pretty much always open, and they've upgraded their bar into a very comfortable lounge.

I know this sounds like a restaurant guide, but I do eat out quite a bit and really do get a lot of questions and comments about places to eat and why they're not open.

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I like to poke fun at myself once in a while (saves my enemies a bit of time), and here's my latest fiasco. I am always concerned that my bangs are thinning, so I am careful not to comb them too hard in case a hair or two will fall out.

But this afternoon I washed my hair and decided to air dry it out on the deck. But, like I used to do, I anchored my bangs with some "hair tape" so they wouldn't curl up on the ends.

But apparently, I used the wrong kind of tape, and the heat from the sun basically stuck it to my bangs so hard that I had to pull each clump of hair off the tape by hand . . . and when I was through, my bangs were thinned out... based on the amount of hair left on the tape.

I immediately threw the tape into the trash to make sure I didn't try that stunt again.

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Although I don't listen to "hate radio," I understand that I am often mentioned on the Jim Bice radio show, which seems to be a favorite of several Bandon men, and my name often comes up (and not in a particularly positive vein).

A lot of the animosity stems from a radio spot I cut for my long-time friend John Sweet, which I think I already told you was written by his campaign committee. It basically used the word "fixed" when referring to the mosquito problem.

Frankly, I don't know what you would call the fact that two summers ago we received scads of calls about mosquitoes; last summer, neither anyone at City Hall nor I received a single complaint.

Yes, there are still mosquitoes around (not at my house) and it will be a long-term effort to make sure they never return in the levels that they were for the summer of 2013, but I can only say that John Sweet worked tirelessly to help us, but that is just one of the reasons that I supported him for county commissioner.

He is a caring, decent, human-being with the manners, diplomacy and tact of a true gentleman... and I understand that may be hard for some people to grasp.

John sent me an email that he received from a Coos Bay man (after his vote on the gun rights issue), which is so far beyond vile that I am embarrassed to even read it to people ... and certainly would not put it in print.

I'm sure if you tune into "hate radio" you'll find it . . . or similar sentiments (and now probably more of them will be directed at me).

It's one thing to disagree with a decision . . . but this was totally over the top.

Whatever happened to civility?

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On that same subject, it was sad to see that the Missouri state auditor, who had announced he was running for governor, apparently could not handle the attack ads by fellow Republicans, who called him "weak and more like the Sheriff of Mayberry."

He called a press conference to discuss the head of the Republican party in that state and the woman who was running against him in the primaries, but minutes before it was to begin, he ended his life with a single bullet to the head.

Anyone who says that words don't wound should closely read this story . . . and weep for his family and our country, in general.

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A friend of mine sent me an email recently about the city's TOT (transient occupancy tax).

He made reservations for a room at a motel in Reno for one night this week as he heads to Las Vegas and Phoenix. The room rate was $47.99. But the tax, "resort fee," and "city fee," totaled $22.10, which brought the bill to $70.09. He pointed out that this is a room tax rate of 46 percent . . . "which doesn't seem to stop people from staying there. Makes Bandon's 6 percent look pretty puny."

I know Curry County is considering instituting a room tax in the unincorporated areas of the county, and in a recent article in the Curry Coastal Pilot, one of the county commissioners is quoted as saying that "Coos Bay is considering the same thing."

I am sure she meant to say "Coos County, but when you consider that Bandon Dunes is in the unincorporated area of the county, it would surely make sense from an economic standpoint.

previous columns by Mary Schamehorn