The first picture I am sharing this week was taken in 1960 at the dedication of the newly opened Highway 101 between Bandon and Coos Bay. Mayor Eddie Waldrop is at left in front of the mic, I am the only woman in the picture, in the middle, taking notes as one of my first jobs as a cub reporter (and news editor) for Western World. To my left is Ralph Swenston and at right is Ernie Wehner and next to him is Max Howe (both of whom are wearing hats). Most of the men in the photo are dignitaries from the Oregon Department of Transportation except for the KCBY cameraman at far right.
The second photo was taken as youngsters are lining up for the Cranberry Festival parade in 1957. I think this was taken off Filmore about where the museum parking lot is now as I can see the Standard Oil tank in the background. My cousin John Felsheim is dressed as a clown and his neighbor Bruce Capps is dressed as a cowboy. Behind them is Rosalie Welch, and just to the right of her I can see the Ingram twins, Lilla and Laura.
The third picture was taken in 1981 during one of the visits of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredge Yaquina, which is parked at the port dock. In front of the Yaquina you can see Erdman's boat, Kelori. If you look closely you can see people fishing off the dock ...completely dwarfed by the massive size of the dredge.
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It was sad to learn that Linda Graham, a long-time employee of Cardas Audio and a beautiful woman both inside and out, died Tuesday morning as she and her husband, Robert, were headed to California so she could visit relatives. She had battled cancer for the last couple of years and the doctor's finding was that she died of a heart attack, more than likely due to the stress of chemotherapy.
Bob told friends that the day before her death she had gotten to go outside and enjoy a beautiful evening. Bob is correct: "The world is a lesser place without her ...."
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It's been nearly 60 years since tug captain Red Pedersen and his lone crewman, Bob Fisher of Bandon, saved 12 people from almost certain death after the Elizabeth Olson capsized while crossing the Bandon bar in November of 1960.
Bob joined Reg Pullen and I last year to present his story at the Bandon Museum, and because of that, the grandson of the Elizabeth Olson's 2nd Mate Norman Deniston, spotted it on the Internet and wrote to me seeking contact information for Bob. He said he learned by reading the article that I had also been at the scene that day, which was true. I wrote a story that ended up on the front page of The Oregonian about the subsequent wreck of the Rebel in March of 1961, which resulted in the death of Pedersen and the rescue of Fisher.
The grandson, Levi Deniston, is an active-duty Marine.
"Red and Bob saved my grandpa and his men, forever changing the course of our family member's lives. Norman, my grandpa, went on to remain in the tug boat business (with Peter Foss) in the Long Beach and Southern California areas until his retirement in 2000 at the age of 73. He also supported the Department of Defense numerous times while leading the Hero, a ship that he would sail to Antarctica and western South America in the '60s and '70s for DoD/scientific research.
"My grandpa had four children and 14 grandchildren (one child and two grandchildren born after this incident that never would have come to be). He lived a happy, fruitful life. This was all possible because of Bob and Red's valor," said the grandson.
Bob later emailed me to say that he had communicated with the grandson, which I know was a heart-warming experience.
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I don't often travel, and I'm beginning to understand why.
My friend Kathy Simonetti, the mayor of Coquille, led a tour group to China in April, but while she was there, she suffered a heart attack and ended up spending the rest of the 10-day trip in the hospital, and another week longer in China than did the others before she could fly home. Another friend, who was on the trip, said Kathy received wonderful care in a hospital there, but will need to have further medical followup now that she's home.
Outside of Kathy's health problems, I guess it was a great trip, highlighted by a trip to the Great Wall of China.
City Attorney Fred Carleton and his wife, Gina, had an interesting trip to Hawaii, when not only did the volcano erupt on the Big Island of Hawaii where they were staying, but there were two fairly large earthquakes. The 6.9 quake that hit the island of Hawaii Friday was said to be the largest in over 40 years. Fred was kayaking on the other side of the island when the earthquake hit, and fortunately it did not generate a tidal wave.
He said that after he left the park, he decided to go the other way to see how a subdivision on the east side the mountain had fared, "But I did not go in, which was smart, because fissures started to open up."
Fred and Gina flew to Honolulu Sunday morning to catch the flight home. but before they left, he texted me again to say, "Now we are learning of toxic air," referring to the toxins from the erupting volcano. "At least the flash flood on Oahu never materialized. Fun times ...." he added.
I'm hoping their trip home was uneventful.
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Anyone who thought that last year was one of the rainiest on record was right. Depend on who you talk to, our rainfall ranged from over 100 inches to as much as 150 inches for the fiscal year (October through September)
The rainfall for the 2016-17 fiscal year, according to Gerry Terp, was 102.04 inches, compared to the same months for 2013/14 when we had only 41.71 inches of rain. The total for 2014/15 was 61.03 and for 2015/16 he recorded 64.04. For March of this year, he recorded 13.74 inches compared to 12.95 the previous March.
While going through the 1916 papers on line, I noticed that the March rainfall was 12.49, compared to 3.76 inches for 1915. Captain O. Wiren, who was stationed at the Coquille River lighthouse and was the "official" weatherman, recorded an average of 5.01 inches of rain for a 10-year period for the months of March between 1906 and 1916.
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The excitement of the opening day of the Old Town Market was dimmed by the loss of Steve Chamberlain, "the coffee guy," who was one of the first tenants when the market opened seven years go. He was a definite favorite of those who sell their wares as well as his many customers. Steve died of natural causes while on an overnight hike near Agness, where he made his home.
Peggy and John Towne, who manage the market, were manning his booth opening weekend, and have a donation jar set up on the counter for anyone who would like to contribute to help his family with funeral expenses.
Steve's daughter is expected to decide what will happen to her dad's equipment and the future of his shop.
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After I wrote this, I saw on Facebook Sunday that Buck Rogers died, but I don't know any details. He and his wife, Nadya, who preceded him in death, moved to the Eugene area several years.