The first picture I am sharing was taken in 1941 during one of the times Ferry Creek overflowed its banks in those days. Pictured is the Bob Otto Court, which survived the Fire of 1936 and was pressed into service for many uses. No one knows why the Bob Otto Court survived the Fire, but I guess it's not surprising since the big building just east of it, the Coast Lumber Yard, also survived. The Court was on the corner of Elmira and 101 where the Shell station now sits, while the Coast Lumber yard was on the corner of 101 and Fillmore, both on the north side of the highway.

In his account of the fire, Lowell I. "Chile" Giles (father of Doug and Jeff Giles) recalls that after the Fire, "the term 'going downtown' now meant going to the Bob Otto Court, a service station and a few motel units. One could always find someone who knew what new buildings were being constructed - or information on friends not yet seen. The Court also maintained a bulletin board for messages."

It also served as a triage center after two nurses from Myrtle Point joined Dr. Mast in rushing to the aid of the burned and injured victims of the Fire.

According to a passage in Dow Beckham's book, "When they arrived on the hill overlooking the town, they had to stop as it was too dangerous to drive down into the inferno. When it was safe they drove to Bob Otto Court that had miraculously escaped the fast-moving fire. They quickly set up a work space where they began treating burned victims with dressings and ointment and also helping to clear smoke-filled eyes. They worked throughout the night. She noted that Bandon's Dr. Lucas was there, but Dr. Wilson was out of town."

The book also notes that "The West Coast Telephone Company crews worked most of the night stringing wires and putting up burned-out poles. By 7 a.m. it had an emergency switchboard and lines at the Bob Otto Court."

At the time of the Fire, the telephone company office was in the U.S. National Bank building (now the Masonic building). Although the cement building survived the Fire, the wood roof was on fire. Evelyn Manciet, the telephone operator, was finally persuaded by Fire Chief Curly Woomer to leave her post at the switchboard. Even when the windows of the office blew out Evelyn continued working. She received a meritorious award for her bravery.

"Within weeks after the Fire, the winter rains came . . . The Ferry Creek bridge burned during the fire. The replacement bridge did not have adequate space for the flood waters to escape. On Feb. 6, 1937, torrential rains flooded the downtown area with two feet of water around Bob Otto Court, the city's temporary quarters, the tents for many of the homeless, and some city businesses."

And the problem had still not been taken care of when this picture was taken in 1941.

I love the second picture featuring Dave Elliott, owner of Dave's TV and Radio Shack, posing for an ad photo in 1966. I love the console TVs and the turntable, which many of us still remember. The shop remains open in Old Town Bandon today and is run by his daughter, Geri.

The third picture was taken during the cranberry harvest in 1970 at the bogs of Dr. Bill Soper and his wife, Jean. Dr. Soper, who is pictured here, practiced dentistry in Bandon for many years, and was much loved by his patients.

* * *

I knew that earwigs had taken over my flower beds, but I had no idea just how prevalent they were until I was cleaning off my desk this morning and found one behind my computer.

For years, I had battled slugs and snails who were destroying my dahlias before they even had a chance to grow. The minute they peeked through the ground, they were fair game for the slimy predators. But I learned to control them with slug bait, etc., and then came the earwigs. No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to get rid of them.

The only thing that stops them from gnawing holes in dahlia leaves and eating around the perimeter of the blooms is diatomaceous earth, but sooner or later they get immune to that, too.

The earwig that made his way into my office probably was hiding in one of the dahlias I displayed in my kitchen. They hide deep in the blooms so they can sleep during the day and wreak havoc at night.

I have grown dahlias at my house downtown and at the house I used to own in Powers, but never did I have earwigs.

But they found me in east Bandon and I don't know how to get away from them.

I'd love to hear from anyone who knows how to control them or how to get rid of them completely.

(Two days after I wrote this, I was cleaning the slop sink in the utility room and found two more earwigs under the soap dish. I guess I will have to enjoy my dahlias outdoors, because I won't be bringing them into the house any more.)

* * *

I recently saw a link on Facebook about a Bandon High School graduate who is now a surgeon with Longview (Wash.) Orthopedic Associates. Dr. Jake McLeod is the son of J. J. and Penny McLeod. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of Portland before earning a medical degree at Midwestern University in Glendale, Ariz. He then completed a three-year surgical residency program at the Highlands Foot & Ankle Institute in Denver, Colo.

More recently he finished a foot and ankle sports medicine and surgical fellowship at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. While at Virginia Mason, his clinic treated professional athletes from the Seattle Sounders FC., Seattle Reign FC, and the Seattle Storm.

He and his wife have two young children.

Jake was a great athlete ... and a great scholar at Bandon High, and it's not surprising that he is so successful today.

* * *

Recent news that Bank of America is continuing to shut down its branches, particularly in rural areas and small towns, didn't surprise me, considering that they closed their doors in Bandon several years ago.

An article in the Wall Street Journal said the bank has shut 1,600 sites since the financial crisis, including all of its branches in Indiana four years ago. Now they are returning to that state, but this time they are targeting affluent customers in the state's largest city, Indianapolis.

"The reductions are roughly equivalent to shutting all the Citi-group Inc. and Capital One Financial Corp. outlets in the United States"

I guess they've given up their slogan "Bigger is indeed better."

* * *

I saw a familiar face in the obit column of the World last week, but I did not recognize the name. It was Joanne Campen Ferber, who worked in seafood stores for many years in both Charleston and Bandon, and then as a manager at Second Street Gallery in Bandon.

And that's where I remember her . . .

* * *

Saw a letter to the editor in the Wall Street Journal recently that said exactly what I have been saying all along: "Have all states apportion their Electoral College votes in proportion to votes cast for each candidate to fulfill the promise of one person one vote. Nebraska and Maine already divide their electors."

Hard to understand why this can't be done ...

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