The first picture I am sharing was taken in January of 1957 on the hill overlooking the Coast Guard Station and the Coquille River. It was known as the skywatch building, where people who were members of the GOC (Ground Observer Corps) would take turns observing activity on the river and beyond.
I have no idea when it was torn down, or why, but I guess it made way for the Coast Guard's trailer installation that sat for many years in that location after the Coast Guard building was shuttered. Later, as we all know, the Port of Bandon took possession of the Coast Guard building and restored it to its previous glory.
The second picture, taken in 1975, reminded me very much of this year's Cranberry Festival. That section of Second Street, between Delaware and Chicago was filled with food vendors, tables, the stage and many people. The Saturday Street Sale also drew lots of people to town. As you can see, things have changed a lot in that short block, as the Bandon Shoe Repair Shop (formerly Tuttle's fountain) and the Bandon Theatre are both things of the past, and those properties are pretty much the vacant lot between the Washed Ashore/Broken Anchor building and the Bandon Coffee Cafe.
I just happened across this great picture of "Mr. Peewee Baseball" Ernie Luther, as he watched a little league game in 1970. Ernie and his wife, Dona, owned the Beach Junction Grocery south of town, but every spare minute of his time was spent at the little league baseball park or working behind the scenes to ensure that the program was successful. He was a real treasure ...
* * *
Wow. If ever the weather cooperated for a Cranberry Festival ... after days of unhealthy smoke, some rain and lightning and a lot of clouds ... it was Saturday. I can't remember there ever being such a gorgeous day for the parade and the Saturday afternoon events. It was perfect and the town was crowded. Unfortunately, the mist moved in Saturday night, but it did not stop a huge crowd from enjoying the street dance. And Sunday was also bright and beautiful ... but a bit windy.
The Chamber group that puts on the festival, headed by Julie Miller, deserves a huge vote of thanks.
Because of the Open Burning Proclamation, issued by me at the request of Fire Chief Lanny Boston and City Manager Robert Mawson, at least four of the regular food vendors could not set up downtown Saturday because no open flame/barbecue or propane was allowed.
Julie said she understood why it was necessary, and that they would help reimburse the vendors who had already bought a lot of food in preparation for the festival ... when they learned on Thursday evening about the fire safety restrictions.
It was also great to see people that I hadn't seen in years, including members of the Class of 1967 who met Friday night at the museum as part of their 50-year reunion. Saturday night I went out to The Barn to visit Cathy Strycker Staten, her husband Dee and other members of the Class of 1977, who were celebrating their 40-year reunion.
* * *
I did take time out from the Festival Saturday afternoon to go home and watch the Oregon Ducks host Nebraska. Talk about the tale of two halves: this was it. Oregon roared to a 42-14 lead by halftime ... and then failed to put up a single point in the second half, while Nebraska came within a single TD of tying the game, which ended with the Ducks eking out the 42-35 win.
It was another heartbreaking loss Saturday night, in rainy Corvallis, as Oregon State fell to Minnesota 48-14. It could be a long season for the Beavers in spite of efforts by Coach Gary Andersen to shore up the program. In his three years as head coach, he has yet to win a game on the road. He replaced long-time head coach and Corvallis High School star Mike Riley, who is now the coach at Nebraska.
An interesting tidbit: Riley led the Corvallis Spartans as the starting quarterback to consecutive state title games in 1969 and 1970. They lost to the Medford Black Tornado in 1969, but won the state title against the same club the following year.
* * *
I was sad to learn that Debbie Winters Llewellyn died this week after losing her valiant struggle with cancer. She was a member of the Bandon High School Class of 1975, and she and her husband, Chris Llewellyn, operated a very successful real estate business here for many years. Later they built a beautiful home in Mexico and enjoyed life to the fullest. She became an accomplished wildlife photographer, which was just one of her many accomplishments.
Among her survivors are her mother, Edith Winters; and brothers, Barry and Dan. Another brother, Steve, died years ago as did her father, Roger Winters.
Debbie made friends wherever she went, but none were as close as her Bandon High School classmates, who remained her dear friends to the end.
Even though she was quite a bit younger than I, we were always good friends and I remember a special Thanksgiving that I spent with Debbie and her family many years ago. She will be missed by all who knew her.
* * *
It didn't surprise me to learn that Speakeasy 33 had closed its doors. Although their specialty drinks were a real treat, their prices were high, and people balked at the fact that 18 percent was added to each bill.
Personally, I would have preferred that they just add the cost of doing business to their drinks and food, rather than tack it on as a fee.
Since a lot of people leave a 20 percent tip, they might have generated more income had they just charged the price on the menu ... and let people add the tip.
I am sure that in a larger market and in a more visible location, they will probably do very well, and I wish them well in their next venture, whatever and wherever that may be.
* * *
Earlier I referred to the proclamation involving open burning, which is effective until further notice. It basically prohibits any outside open burning and, of course, fireworks.
Prohibited are all open fires, including barbecue appliances, charcoal, cooking fires and warming fires, outdoor patio and yard fireplaces, fire pits and smokers, decorative and ornamental fires, ceremonial and recreational fires, and any other open flame fires.
It does allow people to use lawnmowers and tractors, chain saws and other power saws for cutting, grinding or welding between the hours of 7 a.m. and noon.
In spite of the fact that we did have rain (and lightning) last week, the fire chief says fire danger remains very high.
* * *
Sunset Magazine had an article recently titled "Top 14 Unsung Beach Towns," and Bandon was listed as No. 1.
The others listed in order were Astoria, Sequim, Wash., Capitola, Calif., Seabrook, Wash., Depoe Bay, Cayucos, Calif., Westport, Wash., Cannon Beach, Newport, and Cambria, Carpenteria and Elk, Calif., and No. 14, Port Orford.
Here is what the writer had to say about Bandon, condensed a bit: "As any upstanding Oregonian knows, the real old school Oregon coast lies down south, in quintessential Oregon beach towns like Bandon. You expect festivity: seaside carnival barkers, maybe a roller coaster. But actually ... nothing is happening in Bandon. Tourists schlump down the street sipping coffee at the mouth of the Coquille River. Seagulls squawk on the Boardwalk, and a few sprightly old ladies sample the gratis cranberry candies at the Chamber of Commerce. The world slows down, and you notice things. Like the vibrant green algae growing on the rocks and look down, for Bandon's best beachcombing is here. Bandon's beaches can seem otherworldly, like a backdrop to a Maurice Sendak story. Stairs lead you down to the sand. Here is a little cave that someone has turned into a lean-to, lining thin driftwood logs across the front."
People might not have thought nothing happens here if they were here for the Cranberry Festival . . but we knew what the writer meant about Bandon being a special place.
* * *
Found an interesting bit of history in an April 1937 Western World. Bear in mind this was only seven months after the Bandon Fire of Sept. 26, 1936, but I still thought it was interesting.
Here is what it said: "Only Two Beer Retail Places for Bandon. No more beer sales places will be allowed to open in Bandon as long as the present two retail establishments are operating, according to action at the last meeting of the city council. The council decided to limit the number of taverns in Bandon to two."
Not sure what the reason was for the council's action but it seems a bit heavy-handed to me.
I decided to go back to the Centennial Banquet program of Feb. 18, 1991, which lists everyone who has ever served on the council and what years they served.
I learned that Lynn Osborne (Nancy and Donny Goddard's grandfather) was police chief; John Fasnacht was city manager, and Ed Capps (Maud, Emily and Bruce's grandfather) was mayor.
Members of the city council were Charlie E. Schroeder, Ralph T. Moore (of the family that founded Moore Mill), Clay Garoutte, W. R. Ward, J.F. Kronenberg (Jean Kronenberg Ritenour's father) and Otto Shindler (the grandfather of Bo Shindler and his siblings).
I looked in Dow Beckham's book and he lists the names of the councilors at the time of the Fire (a few months earlier) and he says George Kronenberg was on the council. But according to my research, George served on the council from 1944 to 1946, and it was, in fact, his brother, Jack, who was on the council at that time.
That's enough of a history lesson for one day.
* * *
A special shout-out to the people who stopped me during the Festival to tell me how much they love my column, and especially the old photos of Bandon which appear weekly at Bandon.tv and in Western World.
Thanks, your comments make it all worthwhile ....