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I love the first picture I am sharing. My uncle (Lou Felsheim) must have realized that at the time this picture was taken (March of 1962) this was the largest load of lumber ever to leave the Port of Bandon because he took an unusual number of photos. The barge Pacific 3 had just left Moore Mill's dock, being towed by the Antioch (barely visible in the picture) with the smaller Fearless tug behind it just as they pass the lighthouse.

The crew members of the Fearless were all from Bandon: Bob Fisher, Jim Knox and Ron Olson. Bob (who is in his mid-80s) and I communicate regularly, and I have learned so much from him.

You may remember that this was only a year to the month after Bob and Red Pedersen capsized at the mouth of the Coquille River in the tug Rebel. Bob remained with the overturned hull of the vessel which eventually floated around the end of the north jetty where he was rescued by his friends and relatives, who waded in to bring him to safety. Pedersen's body washed up sometime later.

Bob believes that the barge carried four million board feet of lumber. "As you may remember at this time, things were changing rapidly from steamer shipping to barge shipping. I don't know how much lumber the steamers carried, but the barges started out with old surplus vessels (LST and other castoff Navy stuff that carried only small amounts) so we often towed two of them. They only carried a million to a million and a half board feet, but grew quickly in size. The coastal steamers were outdated. Instead of a crew of 25 or 30 with much expense, the tugs were cheaper, almost as fast and carried much greater loads. Before I retired I was towing barges from Portland to Los Angeles/San Diego in six days containing 10,500,000 board feet and oil barges containing 100,000 barrels of oil product. And that was 20 years ago. God only knows what is going on in the towboat industry today," Bob said.

The second picture was taken in May 1960 of the grand opening of Bandon Appliance, which I believe was owned by Bill Ellis. It is the building across the highway from what is now Asian Garden, and is now the home of Bandon Video. The shop at the south end of the building is empty, but at one time housed a heat pump business, and years earlier was Larson's Cleaners, owned by Ronnie and Gladys Larson. As you can see this is before the bank (now Banner but originally Western) was built just south of this building, on the corner of 11th and Highway 101.

The third photo was taken in 1978 in front of Harbor Lights Middle School, and was the junior high girls basketball team, coached by Claire Bennett, at left, who died in March at the age of 84.

Although I can't identify all of the girls, with the help of Suzanne Albrich (now Endsley), front right, I do know some of them. Standing next to Mr. Bennett is Tracy Van Leuven, and on her shoulders is Judy Stafford Allen. Suzanne thinks the tall blonde with glasses in the front row is Kelly Walton, and the girl next to her is Tina Woodward, but we're not sure who is on her shoulders. Next to Tina is Lisa Lindahl Murray, and although we don't know the girl standing directly behind Suzanne, she has Lisa Cox on her shoulders. I also think Shari Koski is in the picture, but I'm not sure.

Suzanne commented on her embarrassing permanent (hair) and hoped that I could Photoshop it out of the picture ... No photo-shopping; that's what makes sharing history so much fun!

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A celebration of life for Charlie Hofsess Crew, who died Nov. 29 at the age of 95, will be held Saturday, June 16, at 95609 Sixes River Road up Sixes River at 1 p.m., followed by a military service at 2.

Charlie's wife, Velma, died some years ago. His survivors include a son, Greg, of North Bend, and his daughter, Linda.

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I have learned that someone has been pulling up plants from flower pots around Old Town, with several thefts having occurred from the beautiful garden next to Olivia's Cottage on the Pedway.

Patti Curran, who planted a number of the pots, said she puts them in as deep as possible, but that doesn't seem to stop whoever is determined to plant their garden ... with someone else's plants. It's a shame when people go the extra mile to beautify an area, only to have their efforts thwarted by others.

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I understand that plans by the Port of Bandon to build a restaurant for Lori Osborne (owner of the Beverage Barn) to operate on the site of the former storage building, which was recently torn down adjacent to the Old Town Marketplace, have come to a standstill.

The Bandon Planning Commission gave the go-ahead to the project several months ago, but the port has learned that in order to put the required restroom in the building it would be necessary to dig through an Indian burial ground, which could cost as much as $100,000 to mitigate.

At the present time, the project is on hold.

Port manager Jeff Griffin told me recently that the commissioners have asked him to evaluate other utility routes to see if he can somehow find an alternative route that avoids the sensitive areas and isn't cost prohibitive.

"Not sure if we have an option like that but I'll look. Also looking at moving the potential building to the other side of the gravel lot," said Griffin.

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I have become so disheartened by the weeds and high grass at the post office, but was happy to learn that someone had been hired to clean up the grounds.

That was until I saw the massacre of the rhododendron and the small hedge on the south side of the post office. But even worse than that is the fact that someone sprayed most of the weeds in the area with a strong weed killer; now instead of green, thriving weeds ... we are faced with looking at the brown, dried-up remains poking up through the sidewalk and the rock garden.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out why the postal department cannot simply hire a landscaper to clean up the grounds .. and be done with it. It got so bad last year that the City of Bandon sent some of its summer workers up there to clean up. But I suggested that before we bail out a federal agency, we let our employees help people in our own community who might need an assist with their tall grass.

In case you don't know what I am talking about, take a good hard look at the area around the outside mail box, alongside Baltimore Avenue, and you will see ... or gaze at what used to be an attractive rhodie adjacent and west of the entryway.

The front-desk employees that I have talked with are just as upset as I am about the condition of the grounds ....

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Pacific Blues, which was the creative wine and vegetarian food cafe of the late Jason Tree, is closing down at the end of June, and most of the merchandise has been sold. It really signals the end of an era as Jason was in the Continuum Building for over 20 years and was the only original tenant still there.

To say that Jason will be missed is an understatement. People who may be interested in that space can get in touch with me as I manage the building for Chris and Bob Webb.

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