As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

July 25, 2012

While looking through one of my boxes of mostly old negatives (yes, those things that I don’t know what to do with) I found a yellowing old newspaper from Sept. 27, 1957. It was the Oregon Journal (published in Portland) and carried a 60 or 72-point headline (that’s huge) about the Cranberry Festival opening for a three-day run. But the thing that surprised me the most (and probably the reason I kept it) was because the article was written by my late grandmother, Grace Felsheim, who was the “Journal Staff Correspondent.” My grandfather owned the Western World for 50 years, but I don’t remember my grandmother being a writer.

There was a seven-column picture of the princesses (Pat Moore, Theresa Ackerman, Judy Harris, Barbara Carlson, Dolores Domenighini, Jean Denham and Judy Newman) at the top of the page.

I’ve obviously been saving that paper for nearly 55 years, but probably never bothered to read further down the page.

But a headline screamed out at me: “Integration’s 2d Day uneventful.”

It had a Little Rock, Ark., dateline and was an extremely important part of history.

“The ‘Little Rock Nine,’ six Negro girls and three boys, returned to Central high school in a guarded army convoy again today, passed through a line of bristling bayonets and completed an uneventful second day of integrated classes before being escorted out again by armed paratroopers.

“There were no crowds today, hardly a cluster of bystanders. Paratroopers from the 101st airborne division – on guard by order of Pres. Eisenhower – manned stations again around the big school. But they had little to do.”

The story told of a white man, identified as a second lieutenant attached to the air force base at San Antonio, who was said to be carrying a .38 revolver in a shoulder holster and a .30-30 rifle in the trunk of his car. But they later determined that he had no “hostile intent.”

The article adds: “Earlier, they escorted a white girl, who was weeping bitterly, from the school and to a parked automobile. ‘She’s just tired and wants to go home,’ said a male student with her. ‘Leave us alone.’”

As those of us old enough to remember know, many of the white students stayed away from Central high, but by the second day of the integration, the enrollment rose to 1350. The maximum enrollment at Central high was 2000.

“They (the nine Negro students) rode again in an army station wagon with a jeep in front and another following. An officer and three soldiers were in each jeep.”

It’s hard to believe that the Bandon Cranberry Festival article had top billing over that powerful integration article.

But it did!!

*           *           *

I’m still reeling, like the rest of the nation, over the random act of violence in Aurora, Colo.

I know this again heats up the cry for doing away with guns, but I do not believe that is the answer. We all know that someone hell-bent on killing someone can obtain a gun (look how hard it is to stop the flow of illegal drugs).

I agree with one letter writer that had there been someone in the theater with a concealed weapon permit, the firearm’s training required in many states, and a weapon, the killer at least might not have had the freedom to reload.

At any rate, it is a horrible tragedy and one that has been repeated far too many times in this country over the last decade.

*           *           *

A friend of mine was walking along the beach between Tish-A-Tang and Face Rock Wayside recently when he counted 45 dead baby Murres on the beach. He reported them to a grad student who is watching the colony at Coquille Point. She said she had found 86 a few days earlier.

We understand that a day or two later, someone found more than 100, and said that it appears that although it is normal to find dead Murres at this time of year, this was more than usual, and she told a friend that it could have “been due to the fireworks.”

That may be true – but I seriously doubt that it was the City of Bandon fireworks display, shot off way east of the lighthouse (far away from Coquille Point) on the Fourth of July.

But in reading the police report, I saw several complaints about illegal fireworks that were shot off throughout the community, including along Beach Loop.

The answer may well be trying to get a handle on the illegal fireworks displays, although, judging from the number I saw that night (and a few days earlier), that might be a herculean task.

*           *           *

I always have to share an item or two from last week’s sheriff’s office report. They range from incredibly sad (a young girl taking her own life) to a Bandon man going to the sheriff’s office to say that he would be leading a large rally in several Coos County communities to protest the indictment against “a midwife for murder by the DA.”

There was no name mentioned, but after making a few calls I learned that it was a Bandon midwife, Marcene Rebeck, who had been indicted.

Amy Moss Strong wrote a fair and balanced article on the case in last week’s Western World although the district attorney refused to release any information until after the arraignment. I am sure that if the case goes to trial, and once Marcene has been arraigned, more information will follow.

*           *           *

On a lighter note, a man apparently called the sheriff’s office shortly after 5:30 p.m. on July 20 from North Bend to advise that his female rider had “fallen off the back of his motorcycle somewhere between Reedsport and the Hauser Scales.” The information was given to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon State Police.

The disposition: “Female located, male left her at a gas station in Reedsport.”

There must be more to that story ….

*           *           *

The annual Coos County Fair starts Tuesday (July 24) and runs through Saturday night at the fairgrounds in Myrtle Point. It’s always fun to view the many exhibits and the 4-H animals. One of the neatest features is the birthing area where people can see baby farm animals.

This year’s theme is “A Century of Fun for Everyone” as the Coos County Fair is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

Several years ago, the Fair Board stopped bringing in a professional rodeo company; instead there will be an open rodeo, which means that anyone can compete. It begins at 7 p.m. on Friday with kids events beginning at 6:30.

Unfortunately, the Curry County Fair is also this coming weekend, which tends to dilute the attendance at both events.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

July 18, 2012

The city has received quite a few complaints from people wondering why we removed the big dumpster at the South Jetty parking lot. Anyone who saw the mounds of household garbage stuffed into the dumpster and alongside it should not have to ask that question. People obviously used that dumpster in the place of paying to have their garbage picked up. Unfortunately, the crows and seagulls generally got to it before Bandon Disposal did, and garbage ended up being strewn all over the parking lot and blown into neighbors’ yards.

I am still not sure whose idea it was to put a huge dumpster there in the first place, as public receptacles are supposed to be for coffee cups and an occasional Styrofoam fast-food container … not a week’s worth of someone’s garbage.

The area is much cleaner now that the dumpster is history. And unless you like to see garbage all over the parking lot, I’d think you’d appreciate the fact that it’s gone.

*           *           *

I received an “interesting” email this week from someone named Boyd Byrne ( The subject line reads: “Speed limit violation camera shot.”

It’s titled “Traffic police notification center” in fairly large type. The message follows: “hello, your vehicle has been identified on Shandon Boulevard as violating the red light traffic signal (hey, I thought it said it was a speed limit violation) on 6/8/2012. Please find the camera shot of your vehicle attached to this notice. You can comply with this Violation notification as follows: Pay the sanction and surcharge, claim you are not the driver, or contest involvement. Sun, 15 Jul 2012 20:43:53+0200.”

Of course I didn’t open the attachment, but I am amazed at how many different scams I’ve been receiving lately.

Are others receiving these kinds of email? Or do I have a virus?

*           *           *

I made an overnight trip to Patrick Creek Lodge on Highway 197 south of Brookings and east of Crescent City this weekend. I wasn’t prepared for the 90-plus degree heat that greeted me when I arrived around noon Saturday, but a swim in the river cooled me down.

As I wandered around the grounds, headed down to the river, I noticed that one of their star attractions ‑ a flock of seven ducks ‑ were nowhere to be seen. That’s funny, I thought, because I was there three times last summer … and so were the ducks. But now they were gone and their beautiful pond was empty.

I finally asked my breakfast server and she said that last Thanksgiving, the employees had arrived early to prepare the big holiday feast only to discover all the ducks were gone. All that remained were lots of feathers and blood everywhere.

About a year or so earlier, right in front of a dining room full of guests, a cougar had come out of the woods and killed one of the ducks.

Apparently he came back and got the other seven. They were like family pets to the lodge owners – who have decided to try again and they’ve ordered two pair from a local area feed store.

I think my next purchase would be a gun … before the prey becomes someone’s prized animal or God forbid, a child.

*           *           *

Just below Port Orford, there’s a massive highway project being undertaken by ODOT … and they’ve installed a traffic light to guide drivers through the one remaining open lane.

After sitting on the north side for probably 10 to 12 minutes and watching cars stream through from the south, the light turned green and less than 30 seconds (and maybe five or six cars) later (I was eight or 10 back), it turned red again.

I could feel the frustration on those drivers, like me, who had already been sitting there for way too long. The next time it turned green, everyone drove as fast as they could (sort of like musical chairs) to make sure they got through before it turned red again.

It’s hard to determine the logic behind the timing of those lights … but at least we finally made it through.

And on Sunday, when construction crews weren’t working, flaggers were guiding traffic through and it was just a nominal wait, which made a lot more sense.

*           *           *

Small county fairs, like Coos and Curry, are struggling … and the thing they need most is increased attendance. Where do people come from who attend the Coos Fair in Myrtle Point and the Curry Fair in Gold Beach – mostly from the two counties.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why, for the second straight year, the fairs have been on the same weekend (last weekend in July). The Coos Fair is July 24-28, opening on Tuesday, while Curry’s fair may not start until Wednesday, but Saturday is always the big day for both.

You’d think that for the sake of both fairs, their boards could get together and figure out a compromise, which would practically guarantee an increase in attendance for both events. Last year I thought it might be a fluke; but now I see the dates are the same again this year.

I guess that pretty much mirrors politics in this country: both sides unwilling or unable to compromise.

*           *           *

Nothing explains what has happened to mortgage rates in the last 40 years like my copy of “Comprehensive Mortgage Payment Rates,” which I’ve kept in my desk for many years.

I’m thinking about selling my property in Powers and decided to look at the amortization tables, but when I turned to the page where I thought the 6 percent table should be, I discovered they started at 7 percent and went all the way up to 16 percent.

I think it might be time to buy a new mortgage payment book with more realistic interest rates.

*           *           *

I spoke with Dr. Jim Smith at the Farmers Market Saturday and learned that the “baby buffalo” that had been stolen from their front yard on Jackson Avenue has now been found in someone’s yard … and returned to the Smiths.

I’m not sure of all the details, but I understand someone close to law enforcement knew the wire figurine had been stolen and saw it in another’s yard. And that’s how it came to be returned.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

July 11, 2012

My Facebook page – yes, that one that I swore I would never have – has become quite popular, particularly with people who grew up in Bandon. I have posted a great many old photos, some as far back as the ‘50s, and as soon as I figure out how to scan negatives, I will have lots more.

Last week I found a neat picture of Dr. E. F. Lucas, who brought a lot of us into the world during the many years that he practiced medicine here in Bandon. We all loved “Luke” and his office nurse, Gladys Conrad, mother of the late John Conrad, who was the sports editor of the Eugene Register-Guard when he died a few years ago after suffering a heart attack in his 50s.

The pictures that prove to be the most interesting are those shot at various Cranberry Festival parades … where you can see the old Bandon business district (now known as Old Town) which for years had three grocery stores, several taverns, various pharmacies and insurance offices … but few, if any, gift stores.

I found a picture today that clearly shows the Shell Station, which was located where the Station Restaurant is now. On the same side of the highway, but across Fillmore, was Bandon Plumbing and Heating. But for the life of me, I can’t see the old two-story Coast Lumber Building, which should have been prominent in the picture. I talked with Virginia Weaver at Black Horse who’s been here even longer than I have and she’s sure that Coast Lumber Yard was on the now empty lot between First and Second (the highway) and Fillmore. I plan to post the picture so some of the “old-timers” can figure it out. Or maybe I’ll just take it up and show my mother. I’m sure she’ll remember …

*           *           *

After days of bad weather, it was beautiful for the Fourth of July and the town was packed for both the parade and the fireworks display. I rode in Matt’s car and threw candy along the parade route, and I think there were just as many people there on Wednesday as there is for the Cranberry Festival parade. We owe a big thank you to the VFW for hosting the parade.

The Day in the Park, hosted by the Bandon Lions, also proved popular, and by nightfall, it looked like everyone in the county was in Bandon for the fireworks. I watched them from the old hospital property among hundreds of people – most of whom I had never seen before – and it was fun to hear all the positive comments about the fireworks. The weather was great; I took a jacket, but ended up sitting on it … unlike past years when it was bitter cold.

One thing that amazed me was the number of illegal fireworks that were shot off before and after the big fireworks display, and, in our neighborhood, for several days before the Fourth. Someone in this neighborhood set off something that sounded like a loud sonic boom. It brought people out their doors to see what had happened, but we could never tell where it was coming from … only that they set them off five or six times leading up to the Fourth.

The good thing is that apparently there were no injuries … and no fires, which is always a worry because so many of our firefighters are busy shooting off the fireworks on the north jetty.

But knowing Lanny, the town is still well covered.

*           *           *

Melody Juarez and I attended “Alice in Wonderland,” presented by the New Artists Productions at the Sprague Theater Saturday night. It was a grand undertaking, with 51 young people, ranging in age from 6 to 17, taking the stage during the evening. The youngsters did a great job in memorizing their lines, and it always amazes me how comfortable they seem to be up on the stage.

New Artists Productions was founded 12 years ago by Dan and Anita Almich, and they continue to produce shows that delight and entertain the audience.

There is still time to see Alice in Wonderland: Friday and Saturday at 7 and Sunday at 2 p.m.

I know the youngsters appreciate the community’s continued support.

*           *           *

Too often I am hearing stories about unleashed dogs attacking other dogs, which are being walked by their owners on a leash. On the Fourth, a friend of mine was walking her small dog along 11th Street toward City Park when a dog came out of an apartment complex and attacked her dog.

She began kicking at the dog, hoping to get it away before it harmed her little dog. A woman came out of one of the apartments and yelled at my friend to “stop kicking her dog.”

Some people simply don’t get it ….

*           *           *

We’re sad to see her go, but the City was notified last week that long-time police office specialist Rachel Shaffar Panter has resigned, and will be moving to Florida where she already has a job. It wasn’t long before her job was filled – from within. Another long-time city employee Sarah Lakey will be moving downstairs to take that job; it’s something she’s always wanted to do and she will be great at it.

The city is now accepting applications for a full-time billing clerk job in the finance department (to take Sarah’s place). I already know two people who are planning to apply and I’m sure there will be a lot of applications for that job. The pay isn’t that great, but the benefits are terrific.

The City is a good place to work and these jobs don’t come open very often.

*           *           *

My friend just returned from South Dakota, where he’d flown a helicopter to another job after fighting fire in Colorado. He’s recently purchased an I-phone and it came in handy when he was driving through South Dakota and came upon a huge herd (an estimated 500) of wild buffalo strolling along the road. It’s certainly something you don’t see every day … and never in Oregon.

But it made a great picture.

*           *           *

One of our city councilors remarked at last Monday night’s meeting how nice it was that there’d been no vandalism in City Park recently. But she spoke too soon.

Someone decided to light a fire under the slide at the playground Thursday night, which burned some of the rubber matting material and melted the end of the slide. Police and fire were dispatched and the fire was put out. Public Works crews came in Friday and replaced the matting material and repaired the end of the slide so the City didn’t have to close the playground for the weekend.

It’s hard to imagine the kind of people that would do that … but from the amount of vandalism we’ve had in City Park over the last year, they are obviously out there and still getting a “high” over destroying public property.

It would surely be nice to know who they are, and if they are apprehended (regardless of age) I hope the paper will run their names.

If they are old enough to destroy other people’s property, they are old enough to have their names in the paper.

At least that’s the way I see it.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

July 04, 2012

My brother-in-law, Jack Johnson, who lives in Vancouver, Wash., is always sending me interesting tidbits that he finds on the net.

A lot of them are humorous and many are political, but he always has a strong message to send me.

This week I received a good one: “I’ll buy the notion that corporations are people when Texas executes one.”

Well said …

*           *           *

If you haven’t been to the new Farmers Market, which opened a couple of weeks ago in the old blue building (new green) on the waterfront, owned by the Port of Bandon, you’ve missed a real treat. And even if you have been there, you need to go back . . . and back . . . and back. Don’t forget it’s open Fridays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays, their hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. And I just found out that they will also be open on Wednesday for the Fourth of July holiday.

Each time I visit the market, there are new vendors, new samples to taste, new wares to look at and new people to meet.

There were some delicious cherries there from Winston, and soon they will have Winston peaches. And I’ve heard raves about Susan Christiansen’s cheesecakes.

Last week, there was a man there from Medford with the most wonderful strawberries I’ve tasted in a long time … organically grown. I only bought a couple of boxes thinking that if I liked them, I’d go back Saturday. Yes, I loved them and planned to get a few more boxes, but he wasn’t there and he wasn’t there again on Friday of this week.

Apparently he goes to a number of farmers markets, and we were just one of his stops.

Hopefully he’ll be back as I heard that a lot of people were asking about him.

There’s already some local produce, but with the rainy weather that we’ve been having, it will probably be at least mid-month before things like berries get ripe.

I can’t wait … but in the meantime I’ll probably visit the market each day that it’s open just to see what surprise it holds in store.

*           *           *

For the last few years, Kirk and Elizabeth Day have hosted an art party for the community at their Harbortown Events Center. It was held Friday night and there was lots of food, music, drinks, ping pong for the kids (and a few adults) and lots of art adorned the walls of HEC. It was a fun event and there was an eclectic mix of people there, all having fun.

Since it was open to all ages, it was fun to watch parents dancing with their young children.

Thanks Kirk and Elizabeth, who were assisted by their daughter … and by one of the town’s best-known artists, Victoria Tierney. Victoria is also hosting an art open house at the hospital on Sunday, July 8, from 1 to 3.

*           *           *

I’m not sure how many incidents involving vicious dogs have to occur in Bandon before we finally decide to do something about it (and by “we” I mean the City Council.)

Any time anyone mentions “breed specific” legislation, people come out of the proverbial woodwork to fight anything of that nature.

Maybe we’d just better call it “vicious dog” legislation. That way it won’t target any specific breed, but we all know that when it comes to vicious attacks by dogs (whether against people or other dogs), it’s generally a pit bull or a Rottweiler or some mix of those breeds that’s involved.

The latest occurred on Edna Lane last week. My friend was walking his dog when a Rottweiler attacked and grabbed his chow by the throat. My friend was able to kick the dog away and it ran back to its owner, who drives a red Saturn station wagon. Apparently she didn’t even bother to apologize, but she did leash the offending dog and call the other one to her.

It’s a sad day when a person doesn’t feel safe to walk his or her dog in Bandon … or even walk alone for fear of being attacked by someone’s vicious dog … without some kind of protection.

Maybe it’s time to say: “enough is enough.”

*           *           *

A friend told me last week that his pickup was pretty much running on empty, but he wanted to wait until the price of gas came down more before he filled up. I started laughing … as I envisioned his pickup parked in his driveway, with weeds growing a foot high around it.

It wasn’t long before he decided it was time to fill it up … regardless of the price.

It doesn’t seem fair that even as the price goes down here, it’s still a lot lower in most other parts of the country.

Can someone explain it for me?

*           *           *

Don’t forget that Bandon will be celebrating the Fourth of July Wednesday with a parade, beginning at 10 a.m., and a host of activities in City Park. The Farmers Market will also be open in the big green building at the port that day, and there will be a big fireworks display at dusk

I know the rain has been pretty depressing, but look at it this way: we could be in one of the searing hot states that are burning up, both figuratively and literally, and in some places it’s too dangerous to allow fireworks this year.

So let’s be thankful for what we have.

previous columns by mary schamehorn