As I See It
by Mary Schamehorn
September 30, 2015
The first picture has special significance for me because the darling little girl in the black coat would later marry my uncle and become my aunt. Pictured are Mary Jo Smiley, Anne Sweet (Felsheim) and her older brother, Don Sweet, in front of Queen Anne Cottages, owned by Anne and Don's father, W.J. Sweet, the day after the Fire of 1936. Anne was 10 years old at the time of the Fire.
The day after the Fire of 1936
Although I don't remember the details since I did not take this picture, I found this negative from September of 1957, which shows the wreck of the Star, which occurred near, I think, the South Jetty. There's not much left of the small fishing vessel.
The 1957 wreck of the Star
The third picture was taken in March of 1973 when the City of Bandon was working in First Street about where the Bandon Bait Shop is located today. The building in the background is, of course, the green Port building where the farmers/craft markets are held Fridays and Saturdays.
First Street, 1973
* * *
We were thrilled by the huge turnout for the Bandon Fire program on Saturday. There were a lot of things going on that day, including the 100th birthday celebration for long-time Langlois resident Wilma Jensen, an 80th birthday surprise party at Holy Trinity Catholic Church for Elaine Caldwell and a grade school football game. Judy and I figured if 30 people showed up for the program, we would be lucky.
Well, guess what, they just kept coming. It really went well, and it was great to hear the stories from those who survived the Fire ... 79 years ago ... or members of their family.
Among the survivors who spoke were the Hunt twins, Edna Wilson Paulsen and Edith Winters, who were about 12 at the time of the Fire. Also speaking were Harvey Hiley, Bob Elliott, Bill Dodds (whose father, Floyd Dodds, was a dentist at the time of the fire), Mr. Timmons, Mr. Wooden (who lived south of Bandon on a ranch) and Jim Curran, who lived in Marshfield and was a delivery boy for the Coos Bay Times. He remembers that it didn't take long to sell out his papers the day after the Fire.
I am including a picture of the survivors, taken by museum supporter Andy Christensen after the event. In the front are Mr. Timmons, Edna Paulsen, Edith Winters, (unknown), Bill Dodds. In back, Harvey and Betty Hiley, Mr. Wooden, Bob (Yost) Elliott and Jim Curran.
As a special touch, local glass artist Heather Bouher presented each survivor with a unique piece of glass from the Fire, which she obtained from a friend. She had taken the glass, which was in many shapes, and polished it beautifully. It will be a nice souvenir for the survivors.
One man who attended the program told me later, after he had gone through all the exhibits, that ours was the best museum he'd ever visited. So if there are still people out there who have never been in, it really is a treat ... and at a cost of $3, it's a real bargain.
* * *
Last week I told readers that my aunt, Anne Felsheim, had died the previous week at the age of 89. For those who may not have read it in the paper, her service will be Saturday (Oct. 3) at 2 p.m. at the Restoration Worship Center, across Highway 101 from the Bandon Shopping Center. It is the same church where the funeral was held six weeks ago for my uncle, Lou Felsheim, who died at age 92. Lou and Anne had been married for 65 years, but shortly after Lou's death, Anne was diagnosed with late stage leukemia and died at home surrounded by her family.
* * *
Speaking of my uncle, one of those attending Saturday's museum program was my cousin, John Felsheim, and his wife Renee, from Coquille. After the event, John told me he had been cleaning out his dad's desk when he found an uncashed check, dated April 13, 1973. It was written by me (Mary Dufort Harris) to Lou some 42 years ago for $53.12. I guess I must not have balanced my checkbook in those days or I surely would have asked why he didn't cash the check.
I have no idea what it was for but I worked for him in those days, so maybe it was a small loan. Who knows, but I plan to frame it to remind me of our wonderful years working together at the Western World. Not only was he a kind and gentle soul, but he is the one who taught me to take pictures, which meant he was also very patient.
Actually, I had never worked on either the yearbook or the school paper in high school, but shortly after I went to work for the paper, he placed a Rolliflex camera in my hand and in spite of my protests, he said, "you will learn to take pictures." And over the years, I have done just that . . . and then some!
Recently, while going through the old negatives that Jim Proehl and I are scanning into the computer, I found a note on one of the envelopes, dated in the early '60s, from my uncle urging me to roll the film several times before taking my first picture as way too often, the first picture would be missing or only half there.
Fortunately, these days film is a virtual thing of the past and I don't have to load it into the camera . . . or remember to wind it several turns before I take my first picture.
* * *
Although I wasn't able to attend because of the museum program, which I narrated, Wilma Jensen celebrated her 100th birthday Saturday at Emanuel Episcopal Church in Coos Bay. If you'd like to send her a card, address it to 1855 Ocean Blvd., Apartment #226, Coos Bay, Or 97420.
She and her late husband, Charlie, lived just south of Langlois for many years. Charlie died 10 years ago at the age of 103. It isn't often that you find both a husband and wife who reach the century mark, but the Jensens are a remarkable family.
* * *
I received an email Sunday reminding people of a special Travel Night program at the Bandon Library tonight (Monday) beginning at 7 o'clock. Hosted by Bandon Library Friends and Foundation, Inc., the program will feature former long-time port manager Alex Linke. Eight years ago, Alex bought a lot in Puerto Lopez Mateos, a small fishing village in Baja California, Mexico.
He designed and participated in building a home there. At the end of this three-year process, he'd become part of the community.
People are invited to hear Alex. There is no cost to attend and refreshments will be served.
* * *
Speaking of the Port, the Port of Bandon and The South Coast Ports Coalition are hosting the annual conference of OPPA (Oregon Public Ports Association) Thursday and Friday. Thursday night will be a reception and dinner at Edgewaters Restaurant. Friday's program will be at The Barn, and will feature three speakers: economist Mark Roberts, Director of Advisory Services for SDAO ) Special Districts Association of Oregon) David Ulbricht, and Kirk Jarvie, senior policy and legislative analyst for the Oregon Department of State Lands.
* * *
I think I mentioned earlier that Hugh McNeil, long-time resident of Bandon, had been selected to take part in the Honor Flight program. His daughter, Sheila (Tallie Rose) McNeil, hopes to accompany him, and has set up a gofundme account to help make the trip possible. The link is https://www.gofundme.com/HMcNeilVetMemorial. For those who would prefer to simply send a check, her address is: 951 North 18th, Springfield, OR, 97477-4208. Her phone number is 541-744-0004.
Hugh resides at Myrtle Point Care Center. His wife, Betty, lives at Heritage Place (Pacific View). Their three sons, Rich, Bill and Steve, live in Bandon.
Hugh is in his mid-90s and I know how much this trip would mean to him.
* * *
A local area landowner, who lives in California, has made the news again. The item reads: "State Compensation Insurance Fund v. Michael D. Drobot Sr., et al, SACV 13-0956 AG (CWx), (07/28/2015): A federal judge postponed until next summer the sentencing hearing for Michael D. Drobot, who pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to defraud a federal health care program and admitted to bribing a California state senator.
As I See It
by Mary Schamehorn
September 23, 2015
The first of my history photos was taken in December of 1966 and shows workers surveying Highway 101 in front of Bandon Auto Repair, which is now the building owned by Freedom Graphics.
Surveying Highway 101, 1966
The sign says Fisher Body Shop and Auto Painting. Before that it was Chick's Garage, owned by Chick Girard, who lived in the house behind the shop. They may have been surveying to widen the highway.
The second picture was taken in March of 1963 in The Barn, which in those days was pretty much the only meeting place for large groups, unless you used the backroom at Lloyd's.
Cub Scout event in The Barn, 1963
This was probably the annual Blue and Gold Cub Scout dinner or at least some kind of Cub Scout event. Among the people that I see in the picture are the Clayton Duvals and the Wally McMahons, Edna Wilson Paulsen and her daughter, and at the back table, Bill and Fan Hopson and several of the Hopson boys. In the foreground are Laurie, Carol and Jim Felsheim.
The third picture was taken in August of 1962, and the envelope is titled "cave-in on Third Street.'
Cave-in on Third Street, 1962
This would be the street that leads up the hill from Face Rock Creamery. In the background you can see the old foundry, owned by the Philpotts, which was torn down some years ago after it had survived the Bandon Fire. There was also a foundry/machine shop in the front yard of the home where I grew up across Highway 101 from the cheese factory. It, too, along with the house, survived the Fire, but was torn down sometime in the '40s. I wasn't aware that it had survived the Fire until I saw a picture, taken in 1941, which clearly shows both our house and the foundry in the yard.
* * *
Last week I told you I would share another story involving a graduate of Bandon High School. This appeared in the Port Orford Beacon, owned by Amy Moss Strong. The story involves Bo Shindler of Gold Beach, who was raised in Bandon. It was shared on a Facebook page by Joe McCarthy, who was with Bo and his wife, Kathy.
Here's the story: "I've been unsettled for a week and a half since seeing Bo Shindler save two drowning people on the Rogue River," says McCarthy, trying to figure out how best to share the heroic act, which occurred in August. "Bo and his wife Kathy were taking Patti and I upstream in their boat ... making good time, when he suddenly steered toward two swimmers in the center of the stream, 60 yards from us. Bo yelled, 'GET READY TO GRAB THEM!.' I thought, WHAT? I had barely noticed them, let alone make out there was any sign of trouble. We were in a wide section of the Rogue River, just downstream from its confluence with the Illinois. Looking closer, I felt sick, Both girls were exhausted slipping beneath the surface. The oldest (maybe 15) was trying to pull her friend's head up for air but wasn't doing much better, herself. She was screaming, 'HELP US.' Bo pulled in alongside the girls and hollered out instructions, Kathy grabbing under one's arms while I grabbed the other. They were both choking, holding on to us. It was clear to me they wouldn't have lasted another minute in that situation. They were just too far out into the river and had spent all their energy. As we were hauling them to the shore they broke down shivering and crying, thanking us. In a minute we were back on our way to have lunch at Cougar Lane as if nothing had happened. Bo is probably fine with this just remaining between us. But I can't stop thinking about it, wanting to remind Bo and Kathy's children: your folks are heroes."
What a great story . . . .
* * *
I learned something very interesting last week while going through the 1915 and 1916 issues of the Bandon Recorder.
Although the Bandon School District lost 95 students between 1914 and 1915, we were still the largest school district in the county, with 865 students. Marshfield was second with 784, North Bend was third with 653 and Myrtle Point had 355. There were no figures available for Coquille, save for a footnote: "The newspapers of Coquille are discrete about the exact figures but admit that the loss of pupils in that city during the past year is about 100."
We can only guess how large Bandon might be today had it not been for the Bandon Fire of 1936 that wiped out all but 11 homes and businesses, forcing many people to move away to seek employment or housing.
* * *
I am sad to report that my aunt, Anne Sweet Felsheim, died last week, only six weeks after the death of her husband and my uncle, Louis Felsheim. Anne was in her late 80s and was a 1944 graduate of Bandon High School. She and Lou were married for 65 years and were inseparable all those years. Only a few days after Lou's celebration of life, Anne was diagnosed with late stage leukemia. After spending time in RiverBend Hospital in Springfield, she chose to return home under the care of Hospice and her loving family. A service for Anne has not yet been scheduled, but a family member said it would probably be in early October. In addition to three children and their families, John, Jim and Carol, Anne is survived by two brothers, A. W. Sweet of North Bend and Don Sweet, who, I believe, lives in California, as well as a local area niece and nephew, Sue Sweet of Langlois and John Sweet of Coos Bay (son and daughter of Anne's late brother, Piercy). Her granddaughter, Hannah Davis (daughter of Anne and Lou's late daughter Laurie), lives in Coos Bay with her husband and daughter. A niece and nephew, Elaine Mayes of New York and Bill Mayes of Laughlin, Nev., also came to spend time with her. They are the son and daughter of Anne's late sister, Helen Sweet Mayes.
* * *
Vandals struck at the Port of Bandon Boardwalk last week. Sometime during the night last Sunday, vandals threw into the bay seven or eight of the large art boards that have been hanging there for the enjoyment of everyone who walked along the Boardwalk. When sponsors of the art show went to pick them up Monday morning, they discovered seven or eight of them floating in the water. Men from the port's inmate crew retrieved them.
* * *
While reading the Brookings paper this week I saw that Matt Schlem, son of long-time Bandon residents, the late Doug and Judi Schlem, had died at the age of 40 on Sept. 9. While living in Brookings, Doug was manager of the local Ray's Food Place and Judi was active in local real estate circles.
The obituary did not say how Matt died, but indicated he is survived by two children, who live with their mother. Also surviving is his sister, Meegan, whose address is: Meegan Moore, 704 Plumas St., Susanville, CA 96130.
* * *
During the recent all-school reunion, I had the pleasure of talking to Ron Sutherland, a BHS graduate and retired coach/teacher from The Dalles. He said he had a human interest story for me, and last week he sent it to me.
Ron says, "Back in 1973, I finally saved up enough money to buy myself a class ring from OCE (Oregon College of Education) even though I graduated in 1967. During a trip to Bandon in 1974 to visit my folks, I took off the ring to show to my brother Bob's stepdaughter. I got back to Newport the next day and realized I no longer had the ring on my finger. I called Bob and had him check with his stepdaughter, Heather, but she had no recollection of what could have happened to the ring. Every time I came to Bandon I looked all over the place, especially the front yard where we were sitting and visiting. Even borrowed a metal detector from Buck Kiefer but the ring was never found.
"Last fall I got a call from Bill Smith. He said he had stopped at the old Sutherland home on 10th and Chicago and visited with Harold Mast from Myrtle Point who had purchased the home and was fixing it up. During the process of digging in the flower beds, he came upon this ring from Oregon College of Education in 1967, with the initials RJS in the band, and Bill told him it had to be me."
He got the ring back, but all the black antiquing was gone from sitting in the rain all those years and the blue stone was faded but otherwise in fine shape.
"The ring was originally purchased from John Roberts, which was bought out by ArtCarved Class Rings." They said the warranty was still in effect and he sent it back to them. "I did and the ring came back looking like new. So, after 41 years I have my ring back, thanks to Bill Smith and Harold Mast."
All of us old-timers remember Ron's dad, long-time and highly successful football and baseball coach Dick Sutherland.
And I have very fond memories of Ron's late brother, Bob, who could best be described as the town's historian. He wrote sports stories for Western World when I was editor. He was a terrific writer and a great guy . . .
* * *
Here's an interesting item from the Bandon Recorder of April 6, 1915, titled "Oh, Fie! Fie!."
It says: "Last Sunday morning ... and it was Easter at that ... in broad day, walking boldly on the public street of Bandon, was a young man with his arm, shoulder high, about a confiding young thing the two clasping hands on the off side. Now wouldn't that make you tired? It did us and we sat down to rest and reflect. Maybe they were married but that made no difference. They should have known better. The example to their juniors is not commendable. Most cities have special ordinances for the public gusher, masher and spooner and those otherwise irrepressible."
Wow. Would the writer ever turn over in his grave if he could walk among us today . . . one hundred years later.
* * *
Speaking of history. If you're interested in learning more about the Bandon Fire, you won't want to miss the program Saturday afternoon at the museum, beginning at 1 p.m. We'll be there earlier, and encourage people to visit the museum before the program if you haven't been in lately.
There will be a slide show of pictures of what the town looked like before the Fire, and I will be narrating the program and encouraging survivors and their families to share their stories.
* * *
The Coquille Police Department is warning citizens about a new scam that is surfacing in Coos County. According to police, unknown individuals are hacking into phones and computers, taking "hostage" of your information unless you pay money, usually $500, to release your information.
They are using a heading and letterhead with the FBI Cyber Crimes on it. They stress that it's not being sent by the FBI.
People are urged to contact local authorities and to not pay the ransom.
* * *
I think we've found Molly's beloved cat, Catman. Well actually we pretty much know where he is, but we haven't been able to bring him home yet. We've been communicating with some of Molly's former neighbors, who live in the Sunset City area along the beach south of town. They are very familiar with him because he used to come into their yard and interact with their dog. They've seen him three times, including twice in the last week. I've heard of cats traveling great distances to return to their former home, and this appears to be the case as he has gone back to the Mars Lane area where he lived for three years before he and Molly (and Blue Angel) moved to a home near the hospital.
Our next step is to find a live trap and see if we can entice him in. The neighbors who have seen him said we can put it in their yard. That way they can monitor it and either release some unsuspecting animal or call us if it's Catman.
We are just so happy to hear that he is alive, having been gone over two months. And when we are able to find him, my guess is he will become even more of an indoor cat without a lot of outdoor privileges ... unless we're right there with him. The day that he left, four strange cats had come into the yard and apparently he did not appreciate the company because he left that night with several of them, and while they occasionally return, he has not.
We have posted pictures of him around town, and several people have called us, thinking they may have seen him.
Just as I was writing this, the neighbors called to say he is in their yard and they are giving him treats. My sister is on her way out there, but my guess is it will take a live trap to bring him home . . .
NOTE: My sister just called me. They were able to get him into a cat carrier with dried salmon treats . . . and he is now home. We are extremely relieved to have him home . . ..and want to thank everyone who asked about him or helped us.
As I See It
by Mary Schamehorn
September 16, 2015
The first picture I am sharing this week was taken in May of 1970 during the building of the city's sewage treatment plant on the west side of Fillmore Avenue/Riverside Drive.
Building Bandon's sewage treatment plant 1970
In the background you can see the old city hall, which was decommissioned around that same time after the new city hall was built, where it sits today along Highway 101. The large building on the north side of the highway is Coast Lumber Yard, which has long since been torn down and is now pretty much a large parking lot. In the center of the picture, on the south side of the highway, is the old second hand store, and across from it was a Texaco Station. This area of town looks very different today.
The second picture, taken in 1978, is the old Leep Memorial Hospital, which sat along First Street across from the boat basin.
Leep Memorial Hospital 1978
Although not in the picture, today you can still see the cement arch which was along the sidewalk. The old building was used for various things, including as a residence, after the first "new hospital" was built on the hill overlooking the river and the lighthouse. Here, a man is responding to a chimney fire, which forced the evacuation of the old man living there.
The third picture was taken in the late '50s, apparently during Christmastime, judging from an unknown, but very tall, Santa in the background.
The majorette in the front is Sandra Gibson. At left, in back, is Peggy Ward, and in front of her is my second cousin, Christine Stearns. This was taken in the street between Capps Motor Co. and the used car lot across the street, and you can see the Bandon Theatre and Sadye's Fountain Lunch further down the street. I think I can see Paul Detert's jewelry sign on the south side of the street in the small building now owned by Nancy Evans. And next to that is Tom McGinty's bookkeeping service in a building which now houses Nancy's Hickory Museum.
* * *
I am not sure how long there has been a Shindler Drug Store in Bandon, but that long-standing tradition is soon coming to an end. I've learned that Steve Wilson, owner of the Shindler Drug Store adjacent to Price 'n' Pride, will close his doors on Oct. 8.
One of Steve's employees told a friend of mine that he would be "merging with Rite Aid" where he will work as a pharmacist. He has many customers in Bandon, and although they were upset to learn he was closing the store, they were relieved to know that they could follow him across town, and I am sure many of them will.
In an old '40s annual, I found an ad for "Fuhrman and Shindler (Otto C.), druggists and stationers, Kodaks, Eastman films and supplies, Second Street East, Telephone 381." I do know that Mr. Shindler's Rexall Drug Store was one of the first businesses to reopen after the Fire. I am just not sure how long he had been in business at the time of the Fire. I remember both him and his wife, Geneva.
A relative is here this week from Grants Pass and she said the same thing is happening there as the last of the small independent pharmacies had just been taken over by Rite Aid.
I guess it's a sign of the times . . .
* * *
Although I don't know the details, I've learned that Lon Custer (the partner of well-known local chef Bob Sims) died recently. I wish I had more details, but I don't. Both men have lived in the community for many years.
* * *
On another sad note, I've learned that former Bandon Police Department officer Ron Wampole died recently in New York. Stories about what happened have been a bit conflicting, but Chief Bob Webb said he was contacted by Ron's ex-wife, Ginny Kitzke, about a month ago saying that he had been injured in an accident and was requiring extensive medical help. She said he was in a financial bind and asked if the police department would start some kind of a fundraiser for him.
Webb said later he learned that Wampole had died. He was 64. When he lived here, he was married to Sgt. Lisa Wampole, a member of the Coos County Sheriff's Department and a member of the Bandon City Council, who died in a car crash in July of 1999. He received a large insurance settlement, and later married Kitzke, who worked for the Coquille Police Department. I believe they have been divorced for some years, but apparently remained friends.
* * *
A man came up to me on the sidewalk during the Cranberry Festival Saturday and told me a humorous story. He and his wife are from Colorado and they recently purchased property in Bandon. Apparently they have been reading my column for some time, and happened to be sitting at the bar at the Loft Friday night alongside a couple of locals.
The man struck up a conversation and said how much he liked the Bandon.tv website and asked the couple next to him if they ever see it.
Several laughs later they learned that they were sitting next to Steve Buck (Mongo) and his partner Rita Riggle. And all of us who read Bandon.tv know that is Mongo's website.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank him for providing a great forum for my column week after week and never complaining no matter how many pictures of mine he has to deal with.
* * *
I continue to read lots of comments about Kim Davis, the Kentucky elected official (county clerk) who refused to marry same-sex couples. One poster said it best: "No one's being jailed for practicing her religion. Someone's being jailed for using the government to force others to practice her religion."
* * *
It's too bad the weatherman didn't cooperate, but there were large crowds here for this weekend's 69th annual Bandon Cranberry Festival. But at least it wasn't raining, and even though it was foggy and overcast Saturday (and a bit misty Saturday night), the wind wasn't blowing.
Sunday the sun decided to come out, and along with it came a breeze, but not enough to keep people from enjoying themselves.
Credit goes to a lot of people who work hard every year, under the auspices of the chamber of commerce, to put on the festival, and it seems to get bigger and better every year. Several new events were held Sunday afternoon in Old Town, including remote controlled cars and something called, I think, cornhole where you throw a bean-bag filled with corn through a hole on a raised platform called a cornhole board. It brought a lot of people down to Second Street and everyone seemed to be having fun.
Darby Underdown was crowned queen with Autumn Moss Strong as first runner-up.
* * *
This isn't the first time this has happened, but Comspan's loss of ABC over the weekend may be the proverbial "last straw" for many, who have endured what often amounts to poor television quality and a lack of information when something does happen.
The opening weekend of Pac 12 sports (Oregon and Oregon State) saw the games available only on the Pac 12 Networks, which is carried exclusively on the Dish satellite.
So sports fans were thrilled to learn that three important games (Oregon State/Michigan, the Notre Dame game and Oregon versus Michigan State) would all be carried on ABC, one of the major networks, on Saturday.
But the anticipation rapidly turned to disappointment, and later anger, when Comspan customers learned that ABC was off the air ... and no one seemed to know why.
I know of several men who started making phone calls. No one answered the Comspan phone locally because it was the weekend, so they finally connected with someone in the Roseburg office, who failed to give them an explanation as to if, or when, the channel would be up and running again. I know that as late as Sunday morning, it was still off the air.
And the previous week, something had happened to the email server, and in spite of numerous attempts to reach someone at the local office, all they got was a busy signal.
I know at least one man, who has had Comspan since it first came into the community some years ago, who said he would be looking for a new TV provider this week.
It's a shame because their high-speed Internet is tops, but even when they are fully on the air, I understand that another of the major networks, NBC, often is of poor quality, either the audio on one channel or the visual on the other.
One man said he thought the City of Bandon had something to do with Comspan, and I quickly advised him that we do not. They do, however, rent space at City Hall for their equipment and their office has recently returned to its former space after a year in the McNair Building downtown.
I can assure you there were a lot of upset viewers after the Saturday debacle, and if I were Comspan, I would make every effort to explain in detail what happened . . .and what the chances are that it won't happen again when an important game/event is scheduled.
* * *
People are reminded that Alive After Five returns to Bandon this Friday (Sept. 18) from 5 to 7:30, featuring art, music, food, refreshments and other activities. To participate in the wine walk, commemorative glasses and walking maps will be on sale for $10 in the Port of Bandon's boardwalk picnic shelter when the events starts at 5, according to a spokesman for the Greater Bandon Association, who organizes the event.
* * *
Harv Schubothe posted an appeal to help him get the word out that as mentioned in the Western World, he and Kelle were scheduled for a presentation of their Africa trip at The Barn this week.
"We have had to cancel as Kelle and I are still processing many photos. We will present in both Bandon and Coos Bay in October and December," Harv advised.
* * *
The Bandon Historical Society is hosting an open house and program to remember the Bandon Fire on Saturday, Sept. 26, at 12:30, with the program to begin about 1. It will be held at the Bandon Museum on the corner of Highway 101 and Fillmore Avenue.
I will be moderating the program, which will feature stories and memories of the survivors and their families of the Fire, which occurred 79 years ago.
Both sides of my family (the Felsheims and the Duforts) lost everything, and I often tell people that had it not been for the Fire, I might not be here today. My mother was starting her second year at the University of Oregon, but was forced to return home where she met and married my dad, who was 6 years older, and a couple of years later, I was born.
So even if you don't know much about the Fire, this is a good opportunity to see pictures and hear the stories of the event that changed the face of Bandon forever.
* * *
I have a couple of neat human interest stories involving BHS graduates, but I can see that my column is getting too long, and I haven't even picked out the photos yet, so I think they will have to wait until next week.
* * *
Last week, I wrote about the death of former Bandon Dunes employee Jamie Fay, who was killed in Washington when his vehicle was hit by a falling tree.
Several days after my column came out I learned that he was married to a Powers woman, Jennifer Morgan. They have two daughters, ages 3 and an infant, who survive him. This is so sad . . .
As I See It
by Mary Schamehorn
September 09, 2015
The first picture I am sharing this week was taken during the 1973 Cranberry Festival with C.E. "Eddie" Waldrop as grand marshal.
1973 Cranberry Festival parade
Even though it may be Barry Winters' car, I am pretty sure that is Gordon Texley driving. You can see Sadye's Confectionery, along with Ottilie's Beauty Shop, Reta Garten and Alda Mars' liquor store and Bandon Shoe Repair (and the top windows of the theater) in the background.
The second picture was taken in December of 1960 to celebrate the opening of Highway 101.
The 1960 opening of Highway 101
Holding the ribbon is Eddie Waldrop, who was the mayor of Bandon at that time. In the middle of the picture you can see "yours truly" (with the weird white glasses) taking notes as the cub reporter for Western World. The five in front, at right, are Ernie Wehner, H.M. "Max" Howe, Bob Norton, Merritt J. Senter and his daughter, Karen, probably representing the Bandon Chamber of Commerce as all four were businessmen. I can also see George Kronenberg peeking over Ernie's shoulder, and next to him is probably Roland L. Parks (as he would never have missed an event like this). I can also see Melvin Boak behind Bob Norton.
I apologize if I have already shared this picture (and if I have Brian will let me know), but the third picture shows the post office in 1973 when it was downtown on Baltimore Avenue, now the home of Foley's Irish Pub.
The 1973 downtown post office
* * *
My love of history expands every time I find a new set of pictures or read an old story. Last week, several of us from the museum went out to Edna Hunt Wilson Paulsen's house, which was being cleaned out for an estate sale by her daughter and son, as the house has been sold. Edna, who graduated from BHS in the early '40s, lives at Pacific View.
Her daughter allowed me to borrow her photo album, and although most of the pictures had only first names beneath them, I could quickly pick out my late uncle, Lou Felsheim, Don Goddard, several of Chas. Waldrop's aunts and uncles, Velma Howard Crew and a host of others. Then I found two football team pictures, and I recognized the coach, Elmer J. (Jerry) Allinger, and three of the players (Jim and Tom Gant and Tom Conn). Also in the picture, which I later found Ids for in an annual, were (among others) Jim Scott, Raymond Culver, Ken Loftin, Harry Harris, Sheldon Storm, Merlin Pepion, Martin Guchee and Jim Whitsett. I spent the evening scanning many of the pictures into the computer for the museum and then spent hours poring over the '40s annuals searching for last names.
I have also found a website where I can bring up old issues of the Bandon Recorder, which was one of two newspapers here in the 1913-1915 years. The other was the Western World, which was owned by my grandfather, but those papers do not seem to be on line, so I have spent many nights looking through the 1913-1915 Recorders.
I will share some of the stories I've found . . . maybe this week (depending on how much copy I have) or certainly in future columns.
* * *
I mentioned that Jim Whitsett was in the football team picture. He was the father of former Bandon mayor Joe Whitsett (2002-04), who died Sept. 2, at the age of 64 in Springfield.
I knew Joe had not been well for quite some time, but his wife of 20 years, the former Darla Bowman Harris, called her former neighbor, Mary Franson, asking her to let people know that Joe had passed away.
Former Bandon mayor Joe Whitsett
He is also survived by his mother, Winifred, and step-father, Cecil Dufault, of Poulsbo, Wash., and brothers Jerry of Renton, Wash., and Jim of Poulsbo, Wash. He was preceded in death by his father and step-mother, Jim and Violet Whitsett of Bandon. I also remember his grandparents, Harold and Glenna Whitsett.
Joe graduated from North Bend High School in 1969, participated at the national level in debate, and attended Willamette University. He became a certified inhalation therapist, leading to employee representation. In his mid-20s, he was a founder of the first union for non-certified medical employees in the state.
He served as a Merchant Marine working with Sause Brothers ocean going towboats.
A memorial will be held at a later date, with his ashes to be buried at sea by Sause Brothers due west of the Bandon South Jetty.
Joe chose not to run for mayor again in 2004, and that is when I went down and filed, running unopposed. He was a great mayor and I always admired his intellect and his caring ways.
Former Bandon mayor Joe Whitsett
* * *
I had heard that an official of Chambers Bay Golf Course in Washington had been killed during the recent storm, when a tree hit his car in Gig Harbor. But I did not realize that it was Jamie Fay, 36, who spent six years as sales and marketing director at Bandon Dunes before transferring with KemperSports to Chambers Bay in 2008 where he was an assistant manager under former Dunes employee Matt Allen. His little 3-year-old daughter was in the car, but she was not hurt. He is also survived by his wife and another daughter, who is an infant.
As soon as I saw the picture of him in an article on the Internet, I instantly recognized him. Jamie was pivotal in setting up the 2006 Curtis Cup and the 2007 Mid-Amateur events at Bandon Dunes.
What a terrible tragedy . . .
* * *
Since I spend my late nights poring over the computer, I don't get up very early . . . so I awoke with a jolt Sunday morning when I heard an unfamiliar ring tone on the phone that was on the charger beside my bed ... at 7:34 a.m. and discovered it was an Amber Alert out of Eugene. It just gave a license number and a color of a BMW 328 Sedan, and nothing else.
After I got up, I saw that someone had posted on Facebook that the alert had been lifted after a four-year-old child, who had been kidnapped by her non-custodial mother and her boyfriend (who assaulted the child's father), returned the child.
This is certainly a good way to get out emergency information . . . no matter the time of day . . . or night.
* * *
Thankfully, many of the fires which have been burning in the Pacific Northwest are now under control, but not until a lot of people lost their homes and millions of dollars have been spent fighting these blazes.
What a shame that the trees could not have been harvested, provide jobs for people, revenue for our counties and lumber for the market ... rather than have all that go up in flames!!!
What a waste of a renewable resource.
* * *
I wish I had gone to The Spitfire Grill the first weekend . . . rather than the last so I could have encouraged others to see it. But even though it's too late for my readers to see this top-notch Bandon Playhouse production, I want to say that I was thoroughly entertained by the "Grill," which was directed by Kathie Lecce and produced by Ron Lecce. It was an extremely moving story, which, truthfully, reduced me to tears a couple of times.
The roles of Percy and Joe were played by a husband and wife from Port Orford, Kalee Britton and Frank Shores, and they did a wonderful job ... as did the entire seven-member cast, including Perri Rask, Jill Cyr, Gareth Williams, Nick Cobbinah and Amy Moss Strong.
But it was my long-time friend Amy who really "stole the show" for me. She has the most beautiful singing voice and is really a talented actress.
I am not sure what their over-all attendance was, but Friday night there weren't that many people there (OSU football started at 5), but those of us in the audience thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. And the standing ovation that we gave the cast proved that ....
* * *
By now all of you have read about the Kentucky clerk, who was jailed for refusing to marry same-sex couples.
I posted something I found on Forrest Munger's Facebook page, which indicated that the woman, Kim Davis, had been married four times, including twice to the same man. She also had twins out of wedlock while married to husband number one.
The caption says: "I believe her Bible frowns on adultery and divorce," since she gave her religious views as the reason she could not perform the ceremony.
One person commented that she was just a clerk, and should have just let someone else handle the marriage ceremony. The issue of the people refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex couple also became part of the Facebook thread. But if I am not mistaken, she was the county clerk which, at least in Coos County, is an elected position. Linda Kistner (a 1976 graduate of BHS who married Steve Clausen several weeks ago) put it best: "You know, I think you're right about the bakery, but it has nothing whatever to do with a public servant refusing to adhere to the law of the land. No one is stopping her from having her beliefs, her job requires her to issue same sex marriage licenses, if she has a problem with that she needs to resign."
Well said, Linda. . . .
* * *
We have had the most gorgeous weather this week, and I am just hoping that it holds out for this weekend's Cranberry Festival. There are so many events going on that it would be impossible to mention them all.
I'll be riding in the parade with my pal, former city manager Matt Winkel, which is always fun.
As I See It
by Mary Schamehorn
September 02, 2015
The first picture I am sharing this week was taken during the parade at the 1971 Cranberry Festival. The girl riding the horse is my cousin, Carol Felsheim, who was here recently from Nevada to attend the funeral of her father, Lou Felsheim. You can see the Bandon Shoe Repair shop right next to the Bandon Theater. The shoe repair shop housed Fred Tuttle's Counter (newsstand, confectionary) when I was growing up.
1971 Cranberry Festival parade
The second picture was taken in December of 1960, and features three Campfire Girls (Diana Fraser, middle, and Carolyn Mullikin, right) selling Christmas Seals in the alcove between the office of Kronenberg & Waldrop (previously George's Electric) and the door to Dr. E.F. Lucas' office. The Kronenberg building is now The Sassy Seagull, at left, and Winter River Books occupies the space at right. Not sure who the little girl on the left is.
Campfire Girls selling Christmas Seals, 1960
The third picture was taken during a big flood in February of 1961, which was the result of Ferry Creek overflowing its banks. I can recognize manager of utilities/city manager John Fasnacht standing on the steps of the City Hall (now the Bandon Historical Society Museum) as the water laps at the bottom step and below the door of the fire department, at right. Across Fillmore was a service station (now the Gibson Graphics building).
Flood, February 1961
* * *
When I saw that I had a call from the city manager Saturday morning, the first thing I thought of was that we had suffered a power outage in Friday night's storm. But that wasn't it.
Actually a six-inch water line at North Avenue and Highway 42S had broken, leaving people in that area without water for several hours. After the line was fixed, it was necessary to flush the lines, and as late as noon, someone mentioned that they saw water pouring out of a fire hydrant on the other side of town as the crew cleaned out the lines. Although I did not notice any problem with the water on my side of town, I am sure lots of people had cloudy water for awhile, without knowing what had happened.
Fortunately, the winds did not reach the 50 to 70 mph gusts that were predicted for our area ... but they reached far beyond that Saturday morning on the northern Oregon coast around Seaside.
My nephew Brian Lowery and his wife Rose were among 22,000 people who were running the Hood to Coast, which ended in Seaside, and from what I heard from my sister, it was pretty scary trying to run in winds that reached 90 miles an hour, according to a local area TV station. Add to that the sheets of rain, and it was not nearly as much fun as they had anticipated for the late August event.
* * *
I was happy to learn that the Southern Coos Hospital board of directors agreed to extend the contract of their CEO Charles Johnston for a year and a half, which essentially means he will be here for at least another two years.
In other news coming out of the health district, the board recently signed a contract with Amy Wood (family nurse practitioner) to work in the district's clinic as a primary care provider.
The hospital continues to show an upward trend in patient utilization and an increase in patient revenue. Of special note is the patient load of the Primary Care Clinic. With Wood, the new FNP, working full time, the clinic saw 236 patients in August.
The board has also been busy trying to recruit a new doctor.
The board members praised Scott McEachern, the Foundation director, who they say is doing a great job planning and managing the fundraisers, with the Golf for Health Classic netting $30,432 for the Foundation.
The board also noted the outstanding work the 25 members of the hospital auxiliary do for the hospital. Members donated 2,607 hours over the last year, most of them in the gift shop. They also provide ready volunteers for various projects, when requested, including Women's Health Fair, the drive-through flu shot clinic, the art show reception, and the golf tournament.
Bandon is indeed fortunate to have a thriving, healthy hospital ...
* * *
A "drop-by" celebration for Ray Kelley, who died Aug. 18 at the age of 92, will be held on the Sunday of Cranberry Festival, Sept. 13, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Barn. Son Kingsley extends an invitation to those who want to reminisce and celebrate Ray's life to stop by during those hours.
A retired teacher from the US Air Force Academy in Colorado, Ray also served as mayor of the City of Bandon from 1981 to 1987.
Because I served on the City Council during most of those years, I have a lot of fond memories of the wonderful parties hosted by Ray and Marge at their home. Marge was a gourmet cook and Ray was the gracious host and bartender.
Those were the good ole' days . . .
* * *
I recently became a member of the Bandon Historical Society Museum's board of directors, and the more I see of our local museum, the more impressed I become.
Anyone who wants to learn about Bandon's history, which has sadly been punctuated by two major fires (1914 and 1936), should visit the museum at their next opportunity. It only costs $3 and is a real bargain.
Of course it probably means more to someone like me, as both sides of my family have lived here for over 100 years, but anyone who has come to love Bandon will enjoy seeing the hundreds of pictures and wonderful exhibits, ranging from Cranberry queen dresses to maritime, cheese, logging and cranberry exhibits.
While I'm on the subject, the Coos History Museum on the waterfront in Coos Bay will officially open its spacious new building with a party Wednesday, Sept. 9, with Governor Kate Brown expected to appear from 1 to 2 p.m.
Public events will run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with free admission all day.
Scheduled singers, groups and bands include Lynda Cole, Allie West, North Bend High School marching band, Bay Area Brass Quintet, Happy Five Polka, Just Jensens, Oregon Old-Time Fiddlers, District 5, DooDad Shanty Boys and Done Deal.
* * *
That night, Sept. 9, the Men of Worth duo of Donnie Macdonald and James Keigher will perform at the Sprague Community Theater in Bandon, with the show to begin at 7 o'clock.
If you love folk music from Scotland and Ireland, you won't want to miss this concert. I've heard them four or five times, and never tire of their wonderful music and upbeat tempo.
I haven't seen any publicity about this concert, but I got this information from their website. I am sure tickets will be available at the door.
* * *
My old friend Jerry, who moved to Chicago 10 years ago from Powers, is spending a few days with me in Bandon while he does some projects for my sister and me.
Unfortunately, while I was out for awhile on Saturday, he tried to turn on my satellite TV (Dish) without success. And when I tried to turn it on a little while after arriving home, I realized it wasn't coming on . . . and he confessed that he had hit a few buttons trying to get it on. And then I remembered, when he was here a year ago, the same thing happened, but after a short time had been able to get it back on. But not this time. After trying everything I could think of and working hard to keep smiling, I called the Dish troubleshooting line where a young woman spent at least 30 minutes on the phone with me, walking me through every possible scenario. Finally, in desperation, she said to put it on HDMI-1 . . . and on came the picture.
But to even get to talk with her, I needed my 16-digit account number and a four-digit security code . . . which I finally found after a thorough search of my password notebook.
What happened to the old days when you could just turn the power on, and on came the TV. I'm even afraid to use my DVD player for fear I won't get it back to TV when I'm through, so I pretty much stick with my DVR player. I have at least mastered that . . . unless someone tweaks the settings!
* * *
I also remember the days when the only phone I had was a simple little land line, which was originally a three-digit number (yes, I am going back a ways to remember that).
But in February I finally purchased my first Smart Phone, and now I can't figure out how I ever did without it.
Because I was in a museum meeting Tuesday, I put it on silent, but later I made a couple of calls and didn't give it any more thought. It was such a beautiful evening out that I sat out in front of my house, with the phone on the arm of the chair and listened to music on the phone. But when I got ready to go to bed hours later, around 2 a.m., I realized I could not find my phone. The first thing I did was to call myself twice. Nothing happened. I even raced outside thinking it must have dropped on the ground. Then I realized that the chair where I had been sitting was directly under the garage light, so I was sure someone had walked by and picked it up. I went so far as to call it and leave a detailed message, including the fact that I would give a large reward to whoever may have found it in the street (didn't want to say I thought they had stolen it). But I was sick thinking about all the phone numbers that I could no longer replace if someone decided not to return it.
I had already turned off my computer, but decided to turn it on again and email everyone to say not to bother to call me because I had lost my phone. Just as I started typing, I looked over at the printer, and there was my phone. Of course I hadn't heard it, because it was still on silent.
I was so happy to see my phone that I actually kissed it . . .
I have since learned that my phone contacts are all in the computer system of my carrier, US Cellular, so even though I would have had to buy a new phone, my numbers would have been available.
All this new technology is a bit too much for me ....
previous columns by Mary Schamehorn