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The first picture I am sharing is of The Country Store, which was located on the east side of Highway 101 just south of Bandon. This picture was snapped over 40 years ago, in 1975. Today it is home of Bully Garden Supply, and is no longer a service station. In the background you can see some of the storage units owned by Leo Lewandowski.

I love this second picture, taken in 1966 of Jim Curran, when he was a science teacher at Harbor Lights Junior High (I don't think it was known as the middle school at that time). It's hard to believe that this picture was taken over 50 years ago, and today Jim and his wife Flo are as sprightly as ever. Although they live in Coquille, Jim and Flo often shop in Bandon, and just this afternoon I ran into them at The Dollar Tree. Jim, who is 93 years old, often visits old-timers in area rest homes to cheer them up. He also writes a column for the Coquille Sentinel, and is an ardent history buff. He recalls that at the time of the Bandon Fire, he was a lad of 12, who was selling papers on the streets of Marshfield (now Coos Bay). He remembers well how quickly the "Bandon Fire" issue sold out.

Jim and Flo raised their family in Bandon, and, today, son Jim, his wife Patty and son Jimmie still live in town.

I love the third picture, which was taken in 1981, when the dredge Yaquina was working in the local channel. Dwarfed alongside the huge vessel is the Kelori, owned and fished for many years by the Erdman family.

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As I write this, I am waiting for Karl Maxon to come and get the $2,000 bicycle that is sitting in my garage. No, I have not taken up biking, but for some strange reason, I ended up with it.

It seems that a man and his wife, who were visiting for the weekend from Roseburg, rented the bike from Karl's employee and said he was told that he could return it after 11 a.m. on Sunday. But they are not open on Sunday, which the guy pretty quickly found out.

Back to how I met the guy. My boyfriend and I were eating dinner at Edgewater's Friday night and sat behind the couple. The next day I saw them at Pacific Blues and introduced myself. For some reason, I gave him my card (he lives next door to former Bandon resident Doug Giles and his wife Marilyn). At any rate, when he got ready to leave town Sunday, he realized that there was no one at the bike shop to deposit the expensive bike. And he ended up calling me to see what I could do. I told him to leave the bike in my garage and I would get in touch with Karl, and now he's on his way over to pick it up.

That is probably the closest I will ever come to having a $2,000 bicycle ... or riding one. But it does look nice in my garage.

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I was sad to learn that Dean Conyers died last Monday at the age of 79. Dean was well-known in the community as a consummate volunteer, who was and had been very involved in Bandon for many years. He was a very talented musician, and I can still remember his many contributions to Bandon Playhouse musicals through the years. He was also involved in many community organizations, including the Bandon Historical Society, having served as board chairman for several years. He was also an active member of Lions International for years. Among his survivors is his wife Trish.

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In my column last week, I said that Betty Baird was more than a year away from celebrating her 100th birthday when she died on New Year's Eve. Actually, Betty was only three months away from the century mark. While going through some of my old negatives, I found a picture which had Betty's mother Jessie Bullard, Ruth Lennon and Alta Corrie in it, and I had sent it on to Betty's daughters, Sally Johnston and Susie Webber, and it was then that I learned of Betty's true birthday. Sorry for the mistake.

* * *

Last week I mentioned that the Wheelhouse/Crowsnest had sold, and that all of the employees will be required to apply for a position with the new owner, Yong Suk Ko. Now I've learned that as soon as their lease is up, at the end of March, the Art By The Sea Gallery has to move out of their front spot in the same building.

I have talked with several members of the art cooperative, who feel that something will work out for them, and I know they are looking at several options, including renting a back spot in the same building. It certainly won't have the foot traffic that their current location enjoys by opening onto the street (Chicago), but I know that wherever they land, they will beautify the space and will be a real asset.

* * *

The Bandon Community Youth Center received some extremely good news several months ago when they were advised that they would receive an Oregon Community Foundation and Ford Family Foundation grant in the amount of more than $50,000 a year... for the next three years to fully staff the youth center.

This will pay the salaries of their program director Charissa Stokes and their half-time after-school program director Dakotah Girard, according to board treasurer Bill Stenberg, a retired college administrator and faculty member.

Chairman of the board is Lisa Trottier, wife of Bandon native Wade Lester, who holds an MA in Education.

The grant is part of the national K-12 Student Success: Out-of-School Programs. Other board officers are Jackie White, vice chair, and Kim Russell, secretary.

Board members are also pleased to report that they will be working closely with the Bandon School District on the after-school program.

John Towne, who volunteers at the center, says: "The youth center is thriving," and that is good news.

* * *

Sheri McGrath, of Coos Curry Consulting Services, has purchased Mother's Natural Grocery, according to news I saw on Facebook this week. Mother's Grocery has been operated for many years by Pete Radabaugh and his wife, Susan Tree.

Before Sheri went into the land use consulting business, I remember when she worked part time for Jason Tree at Pacific Blues, and that is why I think her new venture will be a very "good fit" for her.

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In other news tidbits, I've learned that Tracy Wood, Bandon High School Class of 1988, is the new police chief for the City of Gold Beach.

In other news, Renee Armstrong, owner of Esscents Candles, has changed the name of her business to Esscents Candles & Floral as she has purchased the beautiful floral inventory from Auntie Em's, who has moved to Idaho ... so we can continue to buy fresh flowers in Old Town.

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Among the locals who were in Hawaii when an emergency management employee mistakenly sent a text to 1.4 million Islanders' phones warning them that a ballistic missile was heading toward the Hawaiian Islands were Tara and Kevin Shaw, owners of Coastal Mist.

According to their Facebook post, they were enjoying breakfast when the message went out advising people to seek shelter as the missile was expected to hit the islands "in the next few minutes," adding "this is not a test."

You can only imagine the panic that hit islanders and hundreds of thousands of tourists before it was finally announced 38 minutes later that it was an accident.

Now, Hawaiian officials are not only trying to get to the bottom of how an employee could have hit the wrong button, but why it took so long to advise the public that it was an error.

People are understandably on edge because of repeated threats by North Korea ... and this certainly did not calm those fears.