As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

September 24, 2014

I am even more excited than usual about Bandon's history, having just come from the museum's annual Bandon Fire Anniversary program. I read the nine-page letter from my mother's Godmother, Erma Boyle Best, with a picture of Erma and her husband, Bill, behind me on the slide-show screen, which had been written a month after the Fire. There was an enthusiastic crowd there, including several survivors. Among them was Thomas "Sparky" Adams, who was born about 4 o'clock on the afternoon on the day of the Fire (Sept. 26, 1936) and five hours later became separated from his mother, who was hoisted onto one of the ships that were taking people across the river to safety. The oldest survivor was Marjorie Stevenson, who was 22 at the time of the Fire, and has recently celebrated her 100th birthday. She is an amazing woman and shared her memories of the Fire with the audience, as did Edith Hunt Winters, who is 90. She and her twin sister, Edna, were 12 and remember the Fire very well. Edna wasn't able to attend as she is in the hospital. The son of Dr. Walter Dodds, who was practicing dentistry at the time of the Fire, also attended and shared his memories. He was 7 at the time of the Fire. Although she lived in Langlois at that time, Mary Boice Capps (whose father-in-law Ed Capps was mayor) came into Bandon that night and has plenty of stories to tell. Mary recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Harvey Hiley also shared his survivor story, and both Carol Howard Acklin and I shared our fathers' stories (Howard Tucker and Bill Dufort).

Now onto this week's old pictures. The first one shows the Standard station owned by George Chappell and Ralph Young, who sold Atlas Tires and Batteries. Next to it, in this picture taken during a flood in the early '40s, is Ralph York's machine shop. Behind the service station is the former Campbell house (owned by my uncle Clyde Stearns at the time of the Fire) and next to it, barely visible, is the house I grew up in, which was owned by the Yorks at that time. Although the houses both survived the Fire, neither the station nor the machine shop are there today; instead one is the vacant lot across from Face Rock Creamery, and the other is the yard of the people who own the two houses.

1941 flooding
1940s flooding

The second picture, also taken during that flood, is looking east. Barely visible at the right is the old Bob Otto Court, which survived the Fire. It's now the Shell station. Across Elmira, where Bandon Mercantile is now, was Ed Gallier's plumbing shop. You can see the roof of the Coast Lumber Yard, which survived the Fire. On the right side of the highway are Farmers Liberty Market and Liberty Cafe. These have long since been torn down and that's now the site of Driftwood Motel, which sits alongside Brewed Awakenings. The building to the east of the cafe and market was the City Hall, which is now the museum.

1941 flooding
1940s flooding

The third picture, which was probably taken sometime in the '70s, is looking west into town. At the far left you can see the sign for Ray Hallinan's Bandon Book & Stationery (now Gibson Graphics), and across Fillmore is The Old City Hall restaurant and bar (which previously was Bandon's City Hall and is now the museum). On the right side of the picture you can see the Standard sign for George Chappell's Chevron Station (vacant lot across from Face Rock Creamery). You can mostly see the signs for the various businesses, including Lighthouse Real Estate, which was located alongside Coast Lumber (now a vacant lot across from the Station Restaurant). The Bandon Theater sign is prominent in the middle of the picture, and judging from the big crowd in the street, this picture must have been taken during some kind of celebration (maybe the Saturday Street Sale).

Bandon 1970s
Bandon 1970s

*           *           *

Two weeks ago I mentioned that Dr. Roger Sims, the long-time and only periodontist in Coos Bay, was no longer practicing because of "a medical reason." Since I was scheduled to undergo periodontal surgery in mid-October, I called the office and left a message. Someone from his office called me last Monday morning to say that periodontists from Roseburg and Portland would be taking care of his appointments, but the answering machine message made it clear they would be taking no new patients. I asked the woman on the phone if she thought Dr. Sims would be returning to his practice. She said "no." I then asked her if he had cancer and again she said "no."

I wish I knew what happened, but it is certainly sad that such a well-respected man is no longer able to practice.

*           *           *

For some reason the other night I was thinking about Michael Francke, the head of the Oregon Dept. of Corrections, who was murdered in Salem not long after he moved from Alaska to assume the position. I had met him during many trips I had made to Salem, and had gone to dinner with him on several occasions. I was shocked when he was murdered, and even more surprised when a small-time criminal from Coos Bay, Frank Gable, was sentenced to prison for his murder.

Francke's brother had talked to Michael not long before his murder and he said Francke had uncovered some kind of illegal drug scheme working out of the prison. He was convinced, as were many others, that Gable did not kill Michael Francke and began a lengthy investigation, which ended with a 1995 movie titled "Without Evidence."

I Googled that movie and found, much to my surprise, that Ernie Garrett, who moved with his family to Bandon over 10 years, had played the small role of Michael Francke in the movie. The Garrett family still owns Wilson's Market, although I understand Ernie no longer lives here. Ernie also played a thug in the 2001 movie "Stuck On You," as well as bit parts in other movies. It's amazing what you can find on the Internet.

I also noticed the name of Phil Stanford in connection with the movie, and I remembered that he was a well-known Oregon author/journalist. I emailed him to ask about the case, and he said that while he had not written any books about the case, he had written a series of articles for the Portland Tribune and suggested I Google those articles. "I did a series there that sums it up pretty well," Stanford told me.

I certainly plan on reading more about that several decades old murder case.

*           *           *

I understand that Hugh McNeil, long-time commercial fisherman and port commissioner, is now residing at the Myrtle Point Care Center on Ash Street in Myrtle Point.

He has not been doing well since he and his wife, Betty, were in a wreck last November. Both were at Heritage Place (now Pacific View) for awhile, but Betty is now home and doing fine. Hugh turned 94 in May.

*           *           *

I have learned that Diana Brown, who moved to Bandon several years ago and had been embroiled in a controversy with the City over a drainage issue at her Delaware Avenue home, died last week after having been diagnosed with a brain tumor. I know that Diana has two sons, but neither lived in the area.

*           *           *

You don't often think of golf as a dangerous sport, but Julie Miller's husband, David, who was playing in the 2014 (Chick) Evans Cup of Oregon, held Sept. 18 at the Portland Golf Club, was hit in the head by a golf ball, which resulted in him having to have a couple of stitches. I watch a lot of golf on The Golf Channel, and it's not unusual to see a spectator get hit by a stray ball, but it's not usually another golfer.

A scholarship fund was set up by Charles "Chick" Evans, Jr., and it has become one of the nation's largest privately funded college scholarship programs. There have been several Evans Scholars in Bandon, including Audrey Moss-Strong, who recently graduated from the University of Oregon.

*           *           *

It seems like way too often there is another bicycle-involved crash on an Oregon highway, which kills or seriously injures the bicyclist. The latest was last week on Highway 131 between Netarts and Tillamook on the Oregon Coast. Again the rider, a 67-year-old man from San Diego, was struck from behind ... this time by a 2011 Ford F350 pickup driven by a 74-year-old man from Oceanside. He was flown by air ambulance to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland where he is in critical condition.

I came upon a cyclist a couple of days ago, riding with his back to the traffic (as is the law), but judging from the ear buds, he was busy listening to music, which would provide him no opportunity to hear anything unusual coming up behind him.

I don't care whether it's the law or not, way too many people are getting killed when they are struck from behind, and I, for one, would probably take the chance of getting a ticket before I would ride in an area where there was relatively no shoulder . . . with my back to the traffic.

And then I would go to court . . . .

*           *           *

I have never before "unfriended" anyone on Facebook, but after seeing three separate ads for sunglasses, which a woman had posted to my Facebook page (even though I had requested that she not do that), I had no choice. I was advised that I should block her posts, but since I didn't know how to do that, I settled for "unfriending." It sounds a bit childish, but I do not want a lot of ads littering my Facebook page.

*           *           *

On the Bandon, Oregon, Facebook page last week there was a thread of people commenting on how few mosquitoes there were this year (which is music to my ears). But one woman said they had all flown to Northwest Indiana, where there was a terrible problem. Since I own two homes on Indiana, one on the south side and the other on the north and had seen no mosquitoes, I immediately posted that information.

You can imagine my surprise when someone posted that the woman actually lives in the state of Indiana . . . not on Indiana Avenue in Bandon. Boy, was my face red ...

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

September 17, 2014

A recent issue of the magazine "The Week" contained a short article in the business section about the heirs of Aunt Jemima, who are suing Quaker Oats. And then I remembered that I have several old negatives, dating back to the '50s, when "Aunt Jemima" visited Bandon. Pictured with Aunt Jemima were Nancy and Donnie Goddard. I asked Nancy if she minded if I shared the pictures with my readers, and of course she said it would be fine.

Aunt Jemima in Bandon
Aunt Jemima in Bandon

It seems that the descendants of Anna Short Harrington, the Quaker Oats employee who appeared as Aunt Jemima on pancake batter and syrup labels beginning in the 1930s, filed a $2 billion lawsuit against Quaker, accusing them of exploiting Harrington's image for profit. The heirs also accuse the company of stealing more than 60 original recipes from Harrington and of falsely claiming it could find no employment records or images of her in company vaults. Quaker said it does not believe there is any merit to the suit. I am not sure if this is the original Aunt Jemima who visited Bandon, but it certainly could have been.

The second picture features the 1972 Cranberry Queen Michelle Goodbrod, who is escorted by Wayne Stolz. The children in her court were Maria Stadelman (now Merriam) and Rocky Kistner. I always like to see if I can identify others in the picture, and I think Tom Rock and Jeff Hess are seated behind the late Dale Terp, who are in the audience. Two years later, Michelle's sister, Cindy, was queen . . . and they followed in the footsteps of their mother, Joan DeCosta Goodbrod, who was also a Cranberry queen.

1972 Cranberry Queen Michelle Goodbrod
1972 Cranberry Queen Michelle Goodbrod

The third picture shows the boat basin back in probably the '60s, although it could have been in the early '70s. You can see the Masonic Building (now Cobbler's Bench and Spirit of Oregon) on First Street. Across from it is M&L Grocery (now the parking lot for The Minute Cafe). Behind the grocery store was W. H. Johnston's bookkeeping office (now a real estate building owned by Ed Landucci). The lot where The Arcade Tavern now sits was vacant at that time.

Bandon Boat Basin 1960s
Bandon Boat Basin 1960s

*           *           *

I take back everything I ever said about the Bandon weather. As I write this, we have had four of the most glorious days I can ever remember (and I go back a long ways), and to have them come on Cranberry Festival weekend was a real gift.

The town was crowded with people for the 68th annual festival, which just seems to get better and better.

Although I missed it because I was entertaining family (including four children) on my sun-filled deck, I understand the street dance, held in the street near the visitor center, was a roaring success. They estimate that at its peak, there were 400 people enjoying the music or dancing . . . and that included people of all ages. The food and beverage vendors were busy throughout the dance, which began at 7 and continued until 9:30.

The only complaint I heard was the parking situation. If you were able bodied, you managed to find a spot, even if it was in the grass south of Face Rock Creamery or along Riverside Drive. But if you were elderly or disabled, it may have been a different story. There were places to park close to the events, but they filled up quickly, particularly on Saturday.

My hope is that next year, festival organizers can find a way to set aside some of the nearest parking for people with a handicap sticker. I know it can be worked out.

But outside of that, it was an extremely successful event and the chamber crew of volunteers deserve a big vote of thanks. They work hard throughout the weekend, not to mention months and months prior to the festival to make sure everything goes as planned.

The one thing they can't control (remember it rained on Saturday of the festival last year) is the weather.

Hopefully, we can look forward to many more years of this kind of September weather . . .

*           *           *

It was good to see that Bandon Pizza has reopened in uptown Bandon, in the building that was formerly known as the Fern Park Business Center. Donna and Jim Jones bought the long-time business from Bev Worden after she and her late husband, J.C., has been in Bandon Shopping Center for over 20 years. But their lease was not renewed by the new shopping center owners and they had to find another place to locate.

Now the Joneses have refurbished and brightened up the Fern Park complex. The building, located on Baltimore between 10th and 11th, is across from the Sweet's Farmers Insurance business and is a real asset to the neighborhood. I love the new gray paint, but then I am partial because I just painted my house dark gray with white trim and I think it looks classy.

I understand that Tim Belmont, the popular hair dresser, and Evelyn Sweet, a nail technician, are leaving (or have already left) Hands and Tans and will also be relocating in the Fern Park Center. They will open in the east end suite, which at one time was the site of the late Nancy Peters' hair salon.

It will once again be a thriving hub of activity.

*           *           *

Always a popular program, the Bandon Museum will host its annual Bandon Fire Anniversary observance this Sunday, Sept. 21, beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the museum.

Although I was born several years after the Fire of 1936, my parents both lived here at that time.

I will be taking part in the program this Sunday because my sister and I found a nine-page letter, dated several weeks after the fire, written by my mother's Godmother, Erma Boyle Best, to my grandmother, Grace Felsheim, outlining everything they had gone through the night of the Fire and what it felt like to lose everything. But they were at least able to save a few belongings because they were home when the Fire roared through town. My grandparents were not so lucky. Along with my uncle, Lou Felsheim, who was in the high school at the time, they were spending the weekend in Florence. My mother was away at the University of Oregon, where she had just started her sophomore year. They saved nothing.

I am not sure why none of us ever saw the letter, but it was found, still in its envelope, in an old scrapbook of my sisters, where mother must have put it for safe keeping.

The letter is in pristine condition after nearly 80 years, and Erma's handwriting was beautiful and easy to read. It was such a treat to find this interesting piece of history and to be able to share it with those who attend Sunday's program.

*           *           *

It was good to see old timers Linda Luther Smalley and her husband, Tom, who were in Bandon for the festival and to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with family and friends.

I was happy to obtain email addresses from them because I have many pictures of Tom's father (Clyde Smalley, who worked for the telephone company for many years) and Linda's parents, Dona and Ernie Luther. I love to share these old pictures with family members . . . when I have their email addresses.

One of the pictures I have of Clyde features Bette Garoutte Scotti's grandmother, Leah Garoutte, who won a rotary dial telephone, and Clyde is showing her how to use it.

Some of these are priceless . . . and they certainly bring back memories of the proverbial "good ole' days."

*           *           *

A friend of mine was with a woman in Portland the other day when the woman received a phone call saying that Sherwood High School authorities had located a "hit list" containing the names of 23 students, and the woman's son was on the list. The school told her they had not yet told the students who were on the "hit list," but they had apparently expelled the student who drafted the list. They wanted her to come to the school and tell her son he was on the list.

Apparently the school had involved the police, but when they went to the student's house, they could find no evidence that he intended to carry out the threat. As a result they did not file charges. If I remember correctly, the nut that shot Gabby Gifford had his weapons hidden at another location.

But the scary part is that they would not tell the students or their parents who devised the list . . . so parents are living in fear that this unnamed student may well carry out his threat and they will have no way to protect their child because they don't know who the enemy is. Authorities did tell the students the names of all those on the list, and some of them do not even know each other.

This sounds to me like another example of political correctness run amok, and if my child were on the list, I'd be moving him or her out of the Sherwood School District with lightning speed.

I contacted Steve Duin, the Oregonian's top columnist, because I never saw anything in the paper about the incident, although several TV stations carried it. And I wondered what he thought about it.

So far he has not answered me.

*           *           *

A neat article about Bandon and Bandon Dunes came out in the Sunday edition of the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune, quoting Matt Winkel, Julie Miller, Hank Hickox and me. I was interviewed at length by the writer, who wanted to know what the golf resort had meant to Bandon because Mike Keiser is building two (I think) courses in their area.

The article can be accessed here.

If you can't find it that way, maybe you can just Google Wisconsin Rapids Tribune.

Happy reading . . .

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

September 10, 2014

I've been wanting to share an old picture of the Breuer Building for quite some time, and recently I found information from the National Register which prompted me to look for that old picture, and here it is.

the Breuer Building
The Breuer Building

As you can see, although it survived both fires, it was in pretty much a state of disrepair before it was upgraded and turned into a beautiful vacation rental dwelling. It's due west of the old Coast Guard Building, now owned by the Port of Bandon. The small building on the west end was Mike Breuer's shoe repair shop when I was a little girl. I still remember him sitting there in the window hunched over the latest shoe he was working on.

A man named Dick Hancock wrote about the building on his website, "The Crow's Nest."

He reports that Mike Breuer was born in what is now Slovakia, "deserted from the Kaisers army at the age of 21 and migrated to the US, settling first in Bridgeport, Conn. From there he headed west and homesteaded on Indian Creek on the Middle Fork of the Coquille River.

"He saved his money and brought all his brothers and sisters to the US, one by one. In 1894 he started a cobbler shop in Bandon, walking overland every week from the ranch. The present Breuer Building was started during that time and finally finished about the turn of the century. For over a half-century he worked at his bench there, amidst the smell of leather, boot polish and sometimes the tempting aroma of salmon smoking on the big wood stove."

The second picture was taken from the hill overlooking the downtown area (now Old Town) probably in the 60s.

Downtown Bandon in the 60s (now Old Town)
Downtown Bandon in the 60s (now Old Town)

At far left is Croxall & Perry Grocery (now Dave's TV and Radio); across the street was Erdman's Meats and Groceries (now Lloyd's), the first and smaller version of Lloyd's, the Pastime Tavern (now Sweets & Treats), Dunham's Hardware Store (now Bandon Card & Gift). The storefront next door was probably Jack Smith's cardroom, which later became Ray's Pharmacy (and is now a gift shop owned by Lynn Davies). At the end of that block was Merritt J. Senter's insurance agency (now Lynn's toy store). Across Chicago Avenue is Capps Motor Co., and next to it was the Bandon Theater. Behind Capps was the building which housed Bandon Plumbing (and is now The Wheelhouse and The Crow's Nest). The big white building across the street houses Cranberry Sweets, and at the time of the 1936 fire was the Stephan Hotel. In the background, you can see the Moore Mill Truck Shop, and the mill itself, complete with wigwam burner and lots of lumber stored along Riverside Drive. Behind the Meats and Groceries building is Larson's Cleaners (now the Raven gift shop). Also note that Second Street was one-way, with parking on both sides of the street.

The third picture was taken at a fire in the wigwam burner at Perry Bros. Mill in October of 1958. The mill was located in the area of Eleventh and Rosa Road, and was owned by the brothers, Bub (Carl) and Sid Perry.

Perry Bros. Mill 1958
Perry Bros. Mill 1958

*           *           *

The Cranberry Festival opens Friday and in addition to the usual throngs of people coming for the festival, I know there are several class reunions scheduled for the weekend.

I heard from my long-time friend Jean Albrich, who taught school here in the '80s, that her son, Liam, is coming for his 30th reunion. He and his significant other work at the University of Kentucky Hospital. Jean visited recently and said she wished she could be here, but she is leaving this week for a three-week trip to Ireland.

I also learned that Dayton Turner will be here from Portland for his 55th reunion. I contacted Dayton Sunday after reading a letter to the editor in the Oregonian, which I think made several good points.

He says: "For the life of me, I cannot figure this out. When the Koch brothers spend thousands of dollars supporting conservative candidates whose philosophies they (editorial writer) agree with and who will support legislation they agree with the Koch brothers are trying to 'buy an election.' When unions and other liberals spend millions of dollars supporting liberal candidates, this does not constitute trying to 'buy an election.'

"The sad thing is that money buys misleading ads for both sides and elections are won by the side that can best 'sell' the most misleading information rather than honest presentations of the candidates' approaches to the issues."

Well said Dayton (but I think he might find that both sides spend millions). He worked in the sports department of the now defunct Oregon Journal for many years after graduating from BHS. His parents, Bob and Amy, worked for my grandfather and later my uncle at Western World for as long as I can remember.

*           *           *

I was told by someone at the museum that a woman (who happens to live in my neighborhood) stopped in there last week with a business card indicating that she is a psychic. She told them she was "Mary Schamehorn's psychic." Unfortunately one of the women believed her, and cautioned me that she might be revealing some of my secrets. I nearly fell over in disbelief. I am sure there are reputable psychics and that some people believe in them, but I am NOT one of them. So, in case this person stops you on the street and says she is my psychic . . . please run the other way. I have talked to the police about this, but there really isn't anything they can do and I personally do not feel like engaging her.

Matt and Brian thought it was pretty funny . . . . I did not.

*           *           *

I know that Martin Ruiz was in town this week and although he plans to return to Mexico for a couple of months to be with family, he does plan to open his popular Mexican restaurant, La Fiesta, in late November. Several people have asked me lately if I knew when he was going to reopen . . . and now you know as much as I do.

The restaurant has been closed for most of the year after his sister was killed in an auto accident, which seriously injured her husband and two children. He left immediately to be with the family.

*           *           *

I learned this week that long-time Bandon resident, Ruth Brown Elliott (wife of Bob Elliott and mother of Gayla) died Sept. 2 at the age of 81. Ruth had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease. My guess is that Ruth may have been a native of Bandon, but I'm not sure about that. I know for sure they lived here for many years and that she attended school here. Bob owned and operated the Shell Station (where the Station Restaurant is now) for a number of years.

*           *           *

I was the guest speaker a couple of weeks ago at the Bandon Kiwanis Club and was greeted warmly, as always, by Lorna Salt. But several days later, Lorna fell in the yard at their home and broke her right leg and bruised her ribs. She has been in Southern Coos Hospital since her fall, and husband Chuck said she will soon likely go to a rehab facility before she is ready to come home.

Lorna has had her share of health problems and we wish her a speedy recovery. Both she and Chuck have been consummate volunteers and they are always ready to lend a hand when needed.

*           *           *

I don't know how many of my readers have had dental work done by Dr. Roger Sims, Coos County's only periodontist, but, even if you have an appointment, you will have to see another dentist.

I was scheduled for periodontal surgery in mid-October after having had a full-mouth set of dental x-rays and going through two consultations with Dr. Sims.

But I have learned that he has retired due to a health problem. No one seems to know what has happened. Matt said he had his teeth cleaned by Dr. Sims two weeks ago and he was fine.

I called their office and the message said: "You have reached the office of Dr. Roger Sims. We are closed until further notice. If you are trying to make an appointment, you should contact your general dentist for other options. We will be checking our messages periodically. You can leave a message and we will get back to you when we can."

Whatever happened, it certainly must have been sudden. It does seem strange that the office would not be open for a few weeks to let his patients know what has happened, and what they can do to obtain copies of their x-rays.

I am somewhat phobic about the radiation from x-rays, so it was not without a lot of soul searching that I agreed to have them taken . . . and now since I have to find another periodontist, I certainly hope those x-rays can be transferred.

Dr. Sims (who played Captain Von Trapp in the Bandon Playhouse production of Sound of Music) has a large following of patients and former patients who will definitely miss him.

*           *           *

It was nice to see the Cranberry tab supplement in Saturday's World. A lot of work went into that and Amy is to be commended for all her hard work.

But I was a bit surprised to see that none of the parents were mentioned in the profiles of the four princesses.

I do know that Paige Smith is the daughter of the late Diane Smith (the teacher who died of leukemia) and Mark Smith. Liza-May Skeie is the daughter of June and Owen Skeie.

I called June Skeie to see if she knew the names of the other parents, and she shared that information with me. Annmarie Pickett is the daughter of Bo and Jennifer Pickett. Mackenzie Basey's parents are Kelly and Sam Basey. It was interesting that the article contained the names of Mackenzie's pigs (Ralph and Otis) and Annmarie's dog (Lily Lemonade), but not their parents.

I am not sure why this important piece of information is omitted from the profiles because that is one of the first things I look for . . . .

But I guess I am from the "old school."

For all I know in this day and age of extreme political correctness it could be some kind of privacy issue . . . like HIPAA.

*           *           *

This brings me to another issue. A friend of mine read in my column that Hugh McNeil was at Heritage Place (Pacific View) and he called ahead of time to make sure he was there before he went down to visit. He was told that yes, Hugh was there. So he stopped by and was told which room Hugh was in. He went upstairs and knocked on the door, but no one answered, so he figured he might be in another part of the facility.

It turns out that Hugh was in the hospital after suffering from a fall, and he is no longer at the facility.

My friend was concerned, so I forwarded his message onto the new director, and she apologized, but said that giving out information about a resident is considered a HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) violation and they should not have told my friend whether or not Hugh was there.

Doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Glad he wasn't coming from a long distance to visit . . . .

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

September 03, 2014

The first picture that I am sharing this week was The Gull Cafe during the big Christmas flood of 1940. I remember when I was in my 20s, Jack Parsons and his mother Mabel Jenkins operated it as Bandon Cafe. It is about where Dan Farmer's State Farm Insurance office is now located.

The Gull Cafe during the big Christmas flood of 1940
The Gull Cafe during the big Christmas flood of 1940

The second picture is of Natureland, described in this postcard as "a fairyland of beauty and art - located on Bandon Beach Loop Road." Natureland, built by the Dornath family, survived the Fire of 1936, but later fell into disrepair. I think several of the buildings still remain on the site, which is less than a mile south of the old Face Rock Golf Course. For many years it was an artistic showcase.


The third picture was taken during the Cranberry Festival parade of 1963 in front of McNair's Hometown Hardware, which burned in 1974 during a burglary. It was often the staging area for local area radio stations, who would broadcast the parade from the mezzanine. Silver Martindale (father of Bob Martindale) is at right on the deck. Walking with her class is Lucy Jacobs, long-time Bandon elementary teacher and, I think, principal at the Bandon Heights quonset hut.

McNair's Hometown Hardware 1963
McNair's Hometown Hardware during the 1963 Cranberry Festival parade

Before the fire, McNair Hardware (which was built in 1898) was on the north side of First Street between Oregon Avenue and Alabama Avenue (across from the port parking and now a vacant lot) where much of the business district of town was located in the early days.

After the fire, G. R. McNair, built a new hardware store next to where the Page pool hall was located. I am pretty sure the pool hall later became the Arcade Tavern. The building is now owned by Bill and Louise Moore and houses their Inner Garden shop and Sea Star Bistro. Later, Mr. McNair bought the Safeway building where the hardware store that is pictured here was located. Although it is no longer a hardware store, the building is known as the McNair Building and houses Blackhorse Boutique, Old Town Pizza and Pasta, and the Comspan office.

*           *           *

I had hoped that what I'd heard was a rumor, but I have now confirmed that is not the case. I learned this week that the popular pharmacist at Rite Aid, Tony Arriola of Bandon, is no longer with Rite Aid. I can't begin to tell you how helpful he has been to me (and others) over the years, and he will definitely be missed.

He has worked as a pharmacist for Safeway for many years, and even while working for Tiffany Drug Store and later Rite Aid, he worked several days a month for Safeway.

And he will now be working at Safeway's Coos Bay store . . . when he's not harvesting the family's cranberry bog.

And least he hasn't gone far . . .

*           *           *

I wonder how many bicyclists have to be killed (another one Saturday) before lawmakers reconsider whether they should be riding with their backs to the traffic. As Mike pointed out last week, it's the law. Of course, I know it's the law, but that doesn't make it right . . . or safe for bicyclists.

The OSP report, which just came out, said the 34-year-old driver who struck the 74-year-old bicyclist, was reading a text message and he "drifted" onto the shoulder.

And that, my friends, is what makes it so dangerous to ride a bike with your back to the traffic . . . not to mention loaded logging trucks on narrow coastal highways like we have south of Bandon.

I remember a fatal accident involving a bicyclist, who was riding on the almost non-existent side of the road near the Dew Valley Clubhouse some years ago . . .. again hit from behind.

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I was saddened to learn of the death of Wilfried Schroeder, 80, husband of my friend Carolyn Sorenson. Apparently Wilfried, a native of Germany and a long-time resident of Bandon, fell down the stairs in their home Sunday. It was then determined that he had suffered a massive stroke. He was taken to Riverbend Hospital in Eugene, where he died Wednesday evening.

I have gotten to know Carolyn well through her assistance with CyberLynx Oregon, the free computer classes that many of us take. She's also a dedicated volunteer at the Bandon Museum.

Bandon lost an old-timer last week with the death of Ervin P. "Buster" Jacobs, who died in North Bend at the age of 91 on Aug. 26. He had lived in Bandon many, many years and I am pretty sure he attended school here. He was also a Bandon police officer at one time.

Buster was 13 at the time of the Bandon Fire and was one of those interviewed by the late Bobby Sutherland in 1990 for his documentary cassette about the fire for the Bandon Centennial Commission.

Buster's father, Ervin Jacobs, was written about in Dow Beckham's book about the Fire, "Bandon-by-the-Sea, Hope and Perseverance in a Southwestern Oregon Town."

As his home was about to be engulfed in flame, Mr. Jacobs "rushed into the house and looked for something valuable he might save. About that time he heard his cow, Bessie, tethered near the barn, give out a long despairing bellow. Jacobs abandoned the house to hustle the cow to the beach where his wife and seven children were huddled. The next morning the Jacobs children and all those around him had fresh milk to drink."

Buster's wife, Sandy, worked in the library at the high school before she retired some years ago when they moved to North Bend.

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I read something in a Western World article this week that concerned me. The engineer hired by the school district to examine their buildings in relation to their condition after/when "The Big" one hits the Cascadia Subduction Zone indicated that the new maps, being distributed by the City of Bandon as part of Bandon Prepares' education program, clearly show the areas that would be expected to be affected by the tsunami. But the engineer said these maps were based on the "worst case scenario" and "are being circulated to motivate people into action regarding earthquake and tsunami awareness and preparedness."

Then he adds: "I have 100 percent confidence that water would never exceed the lines on that map."

Wow. He must have special powers that no one else has. Even in Japan, where they were accustomed to large earthquakes, the greatest minds could not predict the magnitude of the huge tsunami three years ago that swept out their seawall like it was made of cardboard. And seismologists are telling us that the subduction zone off the Pacific Northwest coast is much like the Japanese coastline, and we had better prepare (as best anyone can) for a magnitude 9.2 or 9.3 quake.

The last thing we need to tell people is that these maps aren't legitimate and are simply being circulated to basically get their attention. I did notice that the maps that are being distributed in the city's booth at the Old Town Marketplace were revised in 2011, so I think there may be an even later map available (or at least "in the works"). The map shows that both Harbor Lights and Ocean Crest are in the inundation zone, as is City Hall (and the police department). Thankfully, the fire department is predicted to be outside the flood zone as is the high school and the community center (although that doesn't make much sense considering the close proximity of the high school and the middle school).

Believe me, it's not just the schools that are in danger of collapsing in a huge earthquake . . . it's pretty much every building in Bandon unless it has been built to strict seismic standards.

Regardless of where you stand on the "Ocean Crest School" issue, you need to be preparing for the worst ... and hoping for the best.

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It's not just local residents who are concerned about the schools. Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney recently called on the state to take on $200 million in debt to help prepare school buildings "for the devastating quake that scientists say could come at any time."

A 2007 analysis of Oregon's school buildings found that more than 1,000 were at a high or very high risk of collapsing in a major quake.

That stats that accompanied the state article show that all three of Bandon's schools are in the "very high" seismic zone. The collapse potential ranged from "high" for Bandon High School to "moderate" for Harbor Lights and "very high" for Ocean Crest.

"The $200 million Courtney is requesting would fund grants up to $1.5 million per school through an existing seismic retrofit program. It would be a significant increase over the $34 million that lawmakers have allocated to school retrofits since 2005," according to the article.

It adds: "Some schools can be retrofitted for less than the $1.5 million grants, while others have required significantly more money. A school's size, soil and construction material have a big impact on its vulnerability and the price tag for stabilizing it."

The seismic study can be accessed at
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Although we had a little rain on Saturday morning, the weekend was absolutely gorgeous and I am just praying that it will stay that way for the Cranberry Festival, scheduled for Sept. 12-14.

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I breathed a sigh of relief when Aug. 27th rolled around . . . and I was running unopposed for mayor. Two year's ago I had some pretty stiff competition, and had to run a real campaign. It's a hard thing to do and not something that I relish. Now I can concentrate on helping the council hire a new city manager and the passage of a ballot measure, which would restore authority to the council to raise utility rates up to 5 percent a year. (For example, a family that uses 5,000 gallons of water a month, would pay 87 cents more a month on their water bill).

Four people are running for three council seats, including incumbents Chris Powell and Mike Claassen; also filing are Peter Braun, owner of The Cobbler's Bench and active on the chamber board, and Madeline Seymour, who is on the city's water resource and budget committees.

At the council meeting Monday night, Sept. 8, we are holding a public forum to give people the opportunity to talk about the qualifications and characteristics they would like to see in a new city manager.

And if you don't want to speak in public, you can always send a letter to the council, in care of city hall.

previous columns by Mary Schamehorn