I am not sure how well the first picture I am sharing will show up because of the dirt being caused by the U.S. Coast Guard helicopter as it begins to take off from the parking lot at Alabama and First Street. This photo was taken in September of 1973 after the copter and its crew landed across from the dock. I remember taking a series of pictures with a telephoto lens (trying to keep away from the dirt), so it makes it look as if the Masonic building is right behind it, but it's actually not that close.

I took the second photo in the early (or maybe mid) '60s in front of what we then called the "new hospital," which at that time was on the bluff overlooking the lighthouse and the river. Members of the Bandon Lions Club, from left, George Kronenberg, Eddie Waldrop, (unidentified hospital employee), Howard Tucker, L.A. "Dutch" Reichlein and Bill Ellis unload a washer and dryer which the Lions are donating to the hospital.

The views from the hospital rooms, most of which faced the river, were spectacular and I am sure they went a long ways toward helping people get well. This building replaced the old Leep Memorial Hospital which was on First Street, between Delaware and Chicago, on what is now a vacant lot behind Bandon Coffee Cafe and east of The Wheelhouse.

I happened across this photo of the charter for the Bandon Lions Club, which was formed in 1951. This photo was taken in November of 1970, so maybe they were preparing for a 20-year celebration. Just not sure about the occasion. I can read (and knew most of) the names of the charter members, although not sure about the spelling of a couple of them.

Charter members included Warren Albertson, Charles Barrows, E.R. Bashaw, Melvin Boak, Robert Boak, Edgar Capps, George Chappell, N.W. (?) Chenoweth, Bernard Clark, Paul Detert, Art Dobney, George Dow, Walker Dunn, Leonard Ensele, Bud Garoutte, Keith Goldhammer, Dr. Ben Grant, Raleigh Greene, U.S. Harrington, Max Howe, W.H. Johnston, Howard Kehl, George Kronenberg, Carl Lorenz, Harris Martindale, Fred Moore Jr., Jack Morgenson, Bob Norton, Leonard Pike, Ron Riley, Chuck Ritchey, Myron Spady, Jesse Tucker, Howard Tucker, E.C. Van Eaton, Lloyd Waggoner, Eddie Waldrop, W.R. Ward, Ernie Wehner and Lester Wold.

To my knowledge, the only charter member still living is long-time Bandon (and City) attorney Myron Spady, who recently moved to Pacific View Assisted Living Facility, but still attends Lions meetings on a regular basis.

The Lions have done so much for Bandon that it would be impossible to enumerate everything they have been involved in, but I think it's safe to say that they cared for The Barn for many years and were responsible for building the Sprague Community Theater.

* * *

Facebook has been alight with concerns by locals, who were upset when they discovered that there was no big tree to light during the Festival of 10,000 Lights Saturday night, which was sponsored by the Greater Bandon Association.

There was some finger pointing, but out of fairness, I will say that most people just wanted to know what happened and what could be done to make sure there was a large tree at the Visitor Center next year.

I read a post from Chamber Executive Director Julie Miller and received an email from GBA Chairman Harv Schubothe, which should help clear up what happened.

Julie said she was out of town celebrating her stepmother's 80th birthday.

"In the past the Chamber has gotten a tree donated. I can tell you there is a lot more involved besides the tree. And a tree the size we have had in the past seven years poses extra cutting and transportation challenges. I know GBA did their best. From what I understand it was a very successful evening with a great wine walk, 800 donated cookies, awesome lights and fun photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

"If you love this event stop by GBA and volunteer. Four business people work really hard to bring people to town for this event," said Miller. In response to an earlier post, which simply said "fail," Miller said "I don't consider it a fail. I consider it an opportunity to improve it if the community can pitch in. Great job GBA."

One local posted: "What an embarrassment. Especially considering posters went up last Tuesday announcing the tree lighting."

That appears to be part of the problem as right up to the day of the event, the posters and other publicity mentioned the tree lighting. But when the GBA was unable to procure a tree, volunteers lighted the bushes and trees around the Visitor Center, with the lights turned on at the appointed time. But it wasn't the big tree that everyone had hoped for. Harv had advised people on Facebook, and I mentioned it in my column, that they might not be able to get a tree. But they tried right up to the last minute.

Part of the confusion is that the holiday event is basically broken into two parts: one was Small Business Saturday, which was Nov. 25, and included a wine walk, Santa and kicking off the shopping season.

On Saturday, Dec. 9, Schubothe said that Santa will come on a fire truck for the Christmas Light Parade. He comes by boat (or fire truck if the seas don't cooperate) for the Port of Bandon the following Saturday and goes to the Old Town Marketplace, Dec. 16, at 2 p.m.

He said the "two-event idea came about separately. The first event, Night of 10,000 Lights has always been scheduled for Small Business Saturday, which is the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The second event, the Christmas Light Parade, came about a couple of years later driven by the downtown merchants wanting another event to bring in the local shoppers. It was run initially by Kim Jonas of Kimberly's Book Nook, but was taken over last year by Dana Nichols as Kimberly's daughter was expecting." Nichols has been associated with GBA since arriving in Bandon and she is now a planner with the City of Bandon.

He explained that the Night of 10,000 Lights has been a joint effort over the last four years with four major partners and local volunteers stepping up to help. The four: GBA who purchases the lights with their Alive After Five proceeds and does the wine walk; the Chamber, which provides the site and helped with the tree initially; the City of Bandon Electric Department, who helped put lights on the tree; and the Port of Bandon, who does the other lights.

"It was Bandon Rental's Tim Lyon that put the first tree up, secured it and spent days with Kevin Shaw getting the lights up. He commissioned the star for the top of the tree and provided lights for it as well," Schubothe said. "Tim also purchased all the lights and donated them. Since then, GBA has purchased more lights and replacement lights for the tree and Visitor Center area with proceeds from Alive After Five.

"Anthony Zunino stepped forward last year and made it happen as a Chamber board member. Even then the Chamber and for that matter GBA began advocating for GBA purchasing a live tree and transplanting it on the site. Dana pitched that to the city last winter but was told they did not want to go there," Schubothe said.

"This year, no one started the committee, so Margaret Pounder, Tara Shaw and myself stepped forward with Dana's help to try to save the event," he explained.

"But we have been living on borrowed time. This time the Pounders thought they had a tree in their yard that would work, but after one major wind event concluded that it would be too frail to handle all the lights. Anthony Zunino found a tree. Dana arranged for the city crew to help with the lights. But this tree was larger than the past ones and he could not find a way to transport it. We posted the transportation issue but got only one offer to help Anthony's search, and that vehicle could not handle the tree. The day arrived for the city crew but there was still no tree.

"The crew and port inmates and Steve Pounder decorated the Visitor Center the best they could featuring a live tree, the shore pine, on the lot.

"But for those who want a tree lighting, a smaller tree has been volunteered by the Schmidt family, who will also build a platform for it."

I also talked with Olivia Andor, who has arranged for the tree that Harv refers to, which will be in the Pedway Garden adjacent to Olivia's Cottage, known as the Lasting Memory Garden. People are urged to bring an ornament for the tree or memorabilia to remember a loved one. Each year Olivia will put it on the tree.

"The true spirit of Bandon will live forever in this special place of reflection," said Susan DeSalvatore, who is assisting Olivia with the tree lighting, to be held at 5 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 2.

For more information people can call 541-329-1019.

I think the idea of a tree being planted at the Visitor Center site is a great one, and I will certainly find out who at the city did not "want to go there." Certainly no one asked the council, or I am pretty sure we would have supported the idea.

I think the important thing here is to remember that most of the work that goes into putting on the events that we love ... is done by volunteers. They work tirelessly to make Bandon a better place, but sometimes even "the best of plans go astray," and that is what happened with the tree.

We need to say thank you to the volunteers who have done so much work over the years and pledge to lend a hand next year. They just need to ask ....

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