Some things stand out in my memory, and the first picture I am sharing is one of those events. This was taken in 1956 when fire hit Jack Kronenberg's office along the highway just up from the cheese factory. I was still in high school and we lived just two houses west of here, and in one of the negatives I can be seen watching the fire.
But in this shot, which I love because of the age of the fire trucks, you can see George Chappell, far left, whose service station was just west of here, and Police Chief D. S. "Big Mac" MacDonald, in the center of the picture. A big crowd had gathered, some to assist and others to watch.
Today that is the property on which Dr. Dowling's office sits.
When I was young, it was the home of Ben and Rachel Huntington and their daughters, Denise, Margaret and Merle. Ben was the Bandon School Superintendent in the 1940s before they moved to Vida where he served as superintendent of the McKenzie River School District for many years. Ben was followed by Keith Goldhammer, who was only here for a year or two, and also lived in the house. Not sure when Jack bought the building for his office or what condition it was in after the fire because I am pretty sure it was a concrete structure, but was badly gutted inside.
I love this second picture of the Port of Bandon boat basin before it was upgraded to what it is today. The Port's tug Active is docked among many smaller vessels in this photo, taken in 1971.
Back in the '70s, we never missed an opportunity to take pictures of new signs or a host of other "events" that we find pretty trivial today. This photo was taken in 1978 of a new sign installed by Fraser's Restaurant, advertising that cocktails were available in their lounge, which was an addition to the original building (known as Gerry's) as was the dining room. Before the Fraser family bought the business, it was known as Ralph's, and was much smaller than the building you see in this picture. Today this is the home of The Asian Garden.
In the background you can see the building that housed a real estate office (probably Larry Means and before that Ken Denniston's office) which was on the corner of Highway 101 and 11th. Today the building is owned by businessman Dave Reed and is home to a workout center.
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Many in Bandon are mourning the loss of long-time businessman and friend Jason Tree, owner of Pacific Blues, who died Wednesday at the age of 64 after a long battle with cancer.
Jason had operated a business in The Continuum Center for over 20 years, and his vegetarian restaurant was extremely popular with those of us who loved his special flair for gourmet cooking.
A Celebration of Life for Jason will be held Saturday, June 2, at 2 p.m. at The Barn/Community Center. Among his survivors is his wife, Judy, whose father, Buck Rogers, died the previous week in the Eugene area. Jason is also survived by his father, Christopher Tree, who lives in Bandon, as well as a number of adult children and grandchildren, several of whom live in the Eugene/Springfield area.
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The town was crowded with people on Saturday, with hundreds enjoying the weekend anniversary celebration at Face Rock Creamery, others enjoying the Bandon Old Town Market, the stores in town, and baseball and softball games at several local diamonds. It looked like the middle of summer ...
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There is a new gallery in Bandon. Works by 11 local artists are now on display at Oregon Community Gallery, which is Realtor Herb and Brooke Yussim's office on the bottom floor of Bill and Louise Moore's building in Old Town at the corner of Second and Chicago.
People are invited to join the artists for an opening celebration on Thursday, May 17, from 5 to 8 p.m., with music by Crystal Landucci on the baby grand piano and Heidi Connolly on her silver flute from 6:30 to 7:30. The artists who will be showing their work include Vicki Affatati, Ken and Jan Ayers, David Black, Johnny Butler, Susan Gifford, Christine Hanlon, Mike and Yvonne Ousley, Victoria Tierney and Dorothea Tortilla.
I was sad to learn that one of my favorite people, Pearl Grisham, had fallen recently and broken both of her ankles. After undergoing surgery at Bay Area Hospital she is now recuperating at Lifecare in Coos Bay and doing well. She makes her home with her daughter and husband, Kay and Max Pollin, in Bandon.
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The issue of scams, mostly involving older people, continues to surface in this area. I understand that a Bandon woman was scammed out of $4,000 relating to a call she received from someone claiming to be her grandson, who said he was in jail and needed money. She bought a credit card on eBay for him and then got a call from a fake attorney and sent more money. I understand her daughter was able to recover about half of the money, but it looks like the rest of it went to Guatemala and Honduras.
Many people have been victims of this scam, which is so successful because the "grandchild" cautions the grandparent not to contact his parents as he doesn't want them to know he's in jail. Of course, if the victim did call the parents, they would soon learn that Johnny is actually home with them and not in jail.
I read recently about an Oregon woman who fell for what is dubbed the "sweetheart" scam, and before she figured out that she was a victim, she had sent $35,000 in a two-week period to a guy who was supposedly on an offshore oil rig. Even after her bank tried to stop her, she withdrew $19,800 in cash from her bank account and mailed it to an address in either North Carolina or Texas.
I know of a similar situation right here in Bandon where a woman had supposedly fallen in love with a guy on an oil rig and was routinely sending him money through Western Union even though friends tried to convince her it was a scam.
Victoria Tierney told me that she had been contacted through the oregonprisonart website by a man who wanted to buy one of her paintings for his wife. After several emails he chose one, then sent her a check for $1,190 for a $375 painting. Apparently he wasn't sure exactly how much it cost, so he wanted her to send him the painting along with a check for the difference. She immediately contacted authorities who gave her a number for the consumer protection service of the Oregon Attorney General's Office, where they told her there was really no way to track the guy, adding that they probably weren't even in the country. Later that afternoon, Victoria received a call from a man in Westminster, Calif., who said his name was Mike Evans, but who had a decided Spanish accent. He texted her two more times still keeping up the pretense of wanting to buy art and overpay. She then told him she knew it was a scam, and that was the last she heard from him. She says she may collage the check into her next painting.
I have my own story of trying to send money this week through Western Union, and it didn't have a very good ending. I tried to send some money through the mail to a man in California, who is part owner of the building that I manage for him and his father. It was his money and it was a completely legitimate transaction.
I went to Ray's to send the money through Western Union. The teller knew me and the person I was sending the money to.
But an hour later I received a call from my friend; they refused to give him the money until they talked to me. I immediately called Western Union and no matter how many questions they asked, I answered them truthfully. The end result was: no, they would not transfer the money. They were "kind enough" to give me a number so I could get my money back, as well as the $50 it cost me to send it. But I was furious. I assured them I was not being scammed, that I knew the man, and that I had seen him face to face (one of their questions) three weeks ago. I then set up an app on my phone and within an hour, the money had gone to his bank account. No problems ... no questions asked.
Then Western Union had the gall to send me a survey. You don't want to know what I said, but you can guess the rating (from one to 10) that I gave them.