The first picture I am sharing is the cover of a booklet published by the late Bob Sutherland, featuring copies of articles mostly from the pages of Western World and the Coos Bay Times highlighting the years of the Bandon Miller's semi-pro baseball team. Those in the cover picture include Bill Burgher Sr., (top right) Billy Burgher (the bat boy) and at right, Rudy Backlund, the manager.
Many are from the early '50s, when I recall going to the games with Pete Goodbrod (who played for the Bandon Millers) and his wife, Joan, a good friend of mine. I was only in junior high, but it was a real thrill to follow the Bandon Millers.
While poring through the book the other night I saw a familiar name: Chuck DeAutremont, who played for the Millers in 1952 and 1953. But most of all I remembered the DeAutremont name because Chuck was a younger half brother of the infamous DeAutremont brothers, twins Ray and Roy, and older brother Hugh, who spent years in prison for a botched train robbery.
I found an item on line, which told the story about their ambush of Southern Pacific train #13 in southern Oregon, just as the train was emerging from a tunnel on Oct. 11, 1923.
"The trio's goal was $40,000 in gold they believed was being carried in the mail car. The car's railway clerk, Elvyn Dougherty was in the secured mail car when the boys approached. Unable to force their way inside, they decided to blow the door open using dynamite and a detonator they had stolen from a construction company.
"The boys had no idea what they were doing and used far too much dynamite. The blast destroyed the car, killing clerk Dougherty and obliterating most of the mail. During the robbery the boys also shot and killed the train's conductor, engineer and fireman, not wanting to leave any witnesses. There was no gold and the three fled the scene with nothing. They managed to elude authorities for three years."
All three were found living under assumed names, and were convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Hugh was paroled in 1959 and died two months later in San Francisco. Roy was given a frontal lobotomy while in prison and was paroled in March 1983. He died three months later in a nursing home. Ray was paroled in 1961 and died on Dec. 22, 1984, in Eugene after working for years as a custodian at the University of Oregon.
The guy I watched play baseball in Bandon was the good brother! He was an all-star at Southern Oregon College in Ashland, and coached at the former University High in Eugene.
I've chosen the second picture of Bandon's Life Saving crew practicing in the harbor to illustrate the second item, which appeared in the Bandon Recorder July 6, 1915, and was headlined "Answering a Sick Call."
"One of the passengers on the last Speedwell was Mrs. Lattin of Eureka who was hurrying to a sick mother on South Slough. She made the trip from Eureka in less than 24 hours. She was rowed out over the Eureka bar and caught the Speedwell at 5 o'clock Sunday evening. Responding to the wireless call Bandon life savers rowed out (in a boat like we see in the second photo) over the Bandon bar Monday noon and brought her in. She promptly took an auto stage for her destination."
It's hard to imagine what it was like to travel in those days.
The third picture features John Fasnacht talking about gorse in a photo which appeared in the Portland Oregonian in 1966 when he was city manager, or in those days, as the position was known, manager of utilities.
I am using that photo to illustrate a story which appeared in the Jan. 12, 1933, Western World, headlined "Irish Furze Taken to Sand Island."
"Some of the Irish Furze from this section has been transferred by the U.S. War Department to Sand Island in the Columbia river for the purpose of holding down the drifting sands of that island. In October 1932, two 100-pound sacks of seed and some sprouts were planted on the island."
While the seed had not yet sprouted the article did say that the small plants appeared to be growing and should survive the winter season.
"Bandon has regarded Irish furze as a more or less beautiful menace and it is interesting to know that the government has put it to a practical use. Some people have stated that if planted in blow sand it will make six inches of soil in eight years.
"The first Irish furze was brought here from Bandon, Ireland, by George Bennett, better known as 'Lord' Bennett, who named, Bandon, Oregon. He lived at what is now called Bennett's beach. In the old country the furze is used as a hedge and makes an effective fence but unless ground around it is cultivated it rapidly spreads over it. Hundreds of acres of former grass land has been covered by it in this vicinity because the ground was not cultivated."
Three years later, it became painfully obvious just how much gorse was in the area as it helped fuel the spread of the disastrous Bandon Fire of Sept. 26, 1936.
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There is no indication that all the votes have been counted in Coos County, or elsewhere in the state, so it could mean that close races have not yet been decided.
Figures I saw Sunday night showed that in the race for Coos County commissioner, incumbent Melissa Cribbins was trailing challenger Rod Taylor of Bandon by 160 votes (14,142 to 13,982).
Gabe Fabrizio is apparently the winner in the race for sheriff, with 72 percent of the vote, while his opponent Mike Kinnaird had 27 percent. The jail levy appeared to be going down 16,168 to 13,048.
In the local races, I received 959 votes for mayor, while write-ins received 164. Elected to the council, running unopposed, were Josh Adamson, 837; Chris Powell, 831; and Madeline Seymour, 821. They will join remaining members of the council, Brian Vick, Geri Procetto and Geoff Smith, whose terms do not expire for another two years.
The city measure which will allow the council to establish System Development Charges was approved 833 to 793.
A Bandon High graduate, Wlnsvey Campos, 27, of Beaverton was handily elected to the new state senate seat for District 18 as a member of the Democratic party.
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I have learned that a long-time Bandon resident Vicki Sanders died Nov. 6 after suffering from cancer. Vicki worked in the Bandon city office and in a local bank during her long working career. Among her survivors is her husband Steve.
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For some reason, the Bandon police report that was in Saturday's World was only for five of the seven days between Oct. 31 and Nov. 6, but here is what I found.
Included in the report were three accidents Nov. 2, on Highway 101 at milepost 249, at Fillmore Avenue and 2nd Street (the highway) at 8 a.m.; and another in the 60 block of Michigan Avenue at 1:36 p.m.; another in the 800 block of Oregon Avenue SW, shortly before noon on Nov. 5; and an accident on Highway 101 at milepost 280 on Nov. 6 shortly after midnight.
The report also included a burglary in the 1800 block of Beach Loop Drive; a disturbance in the 900 block of 11th; a reported theft on Caryll Court; a disturbance in the 1600 block of Harvard Street; a tree down on Beach Loop Drive; an assault in the 900 block of Beach Loop Drive, and the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in the 200 block of Highway 101.
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Bandon Playhouse is presenting "By-the-Sea Variety," a coastal-themed variety show featuring "The Folly of the Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter." The show opens this Friday, Nov. 18, at 7 at the Sprague Community Theater, with shows Saturday at 7 and Sunday at 2 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults and teens, $10 for youth 12 and younger, and $10 for seniors, with tickets only available at the door.
The melodrama is written and directed by Bandon thespian Corrie Gant. The cast includes Mike Dempsey, Brendan Fisher, Corrie Gant, Nameer El Kadi, Natasha Keller and Laurie Kreutzer.
Throughout the program, audiences will enjoy music and dance numbers, directed by Geneva Miller, and including Isaac Braithwaite, John Cotrufo, Tyler Eickhoff, Hallie and Nena Minkler, Merle Morrigan, Harlan Morse, Amy Moss Strong, Merri Seegrist, Christine Roberts and Sandra Woodside. Accompanying at the piano is Jane Suppes.
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Former Coos Bay resident, Jeremy Thomas Robertson, 42, was sentenced to 26 months in prison after being found guilty of Criminally Negligent Homicide in the death of Amber LaBelle, who died Sept. 24,2021, after being attacked by a Pit Bull/American bulldog mix dog that weighed 120 pounds. The dog belonged to Robertson. Two children, 8 and 5, were in the Myrtle Point apartment at the time of the attack.
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I have learned that there is an offer pending on the Dave's Radio & TV building on the corner of Second Street and Baltimore Avenue in Old Town, which has sat empty for some years. I do not know the details, or who made the offer, but if it's true, it's good news.
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A big crowd of friends and relatives gathered at Lord Bennett's Saturday night to say goodbye to our friend Don Lynam, who died recently. The event was hosted by Don's partner, Julita Fong, and many who attended had played Bridge with Don over the years. A retired pharmacist, Don had served on the Bandon City Council at one point in his career.