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The first picture I am sharing this week shows Santa (who looks a lot like long-time city employee Bob Hiley) crossing Second Street headed to the Bandon Theater for the annual Christmas for kids celebration. The small building on the corner of Second and Highway 101 was the home of Van Auken Real Estate and possibly an art shop at that time, and earlier had been Paul Detert's jewelry store. Today it is the Bread & Wine shop across from Bandon Coffee Cafe.

The second photo was also shot at Christmastime, and pictures the city hydro-electric truck erecting the community Christmas tree on the property where City Hall is now located. I don't have a date for this picture, but it was obviously taken sometime in the 1960s. In back you can see Capp Motor Co. (now the building which houses Washed Ashore and Broken Anchor) and across the river, Moore Mill & Lumber Co's wigwam burner.

The third picture was taken in May of 1975 as little Ingrid Clausen (now Mrs. Shane Wakeley) walks in a high school fashion show. Ingrid works at Alloro Wine Bar and Restaurant and is the daughter of the late Phil and Jackie Clausen. Her husband is a checker at Ray's.

* * *

The election for city officials in Brookings got a little heated, but no more so than most elections across the country. But when incumbent mayor Jake Pieper was re-elected over his opponent, Teresa Lawson, he basically fired two volunteers (including Lawson) from their city positions the day after the election.

At any rate, Mayor Pieper asked city budget committee member Lawson and tourism advisory board member Candice Michel to resign from their posts.

Lawson's "crime" was apparently saying, during the campaign, that the "city budget needs more detailed review from the committee."

In his letter to Candice Michel, the mayor wrote: "Over the past several months, on more than one occasion, you have made public comments at city council meetings that were inappropriate for a city committee appointee."

Ironically, it was Pieper who initiated the appointment of both women.

I've heard of a "sore loser," but a "sore winner?"

Unbelievable!

* * *

I love the historic tidbits that I pick up as I read through the old Western Worlds. The headline on the front page of the paper of March 9, 1939, reads: "Investigating anonymous letter."

My grandfather writes: "Someone in Bandon ... who styled himself 'Citizens League of Bandon' is apt to be tapped on the shoulder by a G-Man at some time in the near future, when he will be held to answer charges of libelous statements made in a letter addressed to G.E. Anderson, contractor, who is building the grade school here."

Authorities believe the letter was prompted by jealously on the part of some who failed to get employment on the local job.

This was two and a half years after the Fire destroyed Ocean Crest grade school, along with most of the town and residential district. Elementary students had been going to school in the old east Bandon gym, next to the high school (which did not burn).

Even after the grade school was completed (in its present location) and the new high school opened around 1950, the old gym still served high school students (like my class) who were bussed across town for PE. I believe it was finally burned in a "burn to learn" by the fire department sometime in the '80s.

* * *

Bandon High School graduate (1973) Colleen Donahue Russell has written a book, "Feminine Path to Wholeness: Becoming a Conscious Queen," which I bought last week on Amazon.

It is a great book, made even more interesting by the story of Colleen's growing up in Bandon with six sisters and two brothers (her father was city manager in the 1970s) and the struggles she faced as a single mother en route to becoming a "conscious queen."

She was in my photography class at Bandon High School, which made her book, interspersed with her wonderful art, even more special to me.

* * *

I learned that the storage building at The Crossings Golf Course was struck by lightning during the Thanksgiving week storm, causing extensive damage to 15 of the 51 golf carts which were plugged in that night.

An ardent golfer said the damaged "carts lost their brains. I called it brains but it is the control module much like the computer on a car."

* * *

I was so proud of myself for being able to identify everyone in the Lions March of Dimes picture last week. But my pal Dayton Turner had to burst my bubble. It was Larry, not Jerry, Quillen in the photo ... and Jim, not Carl, Claiborne. Oh well, I was close.

* * *

I've seen some discussion about the "road diet" and the role it might have played in some residents of Paradise, Calif., not being able to get out of the burning area.

A man wrote into the Register-Guard with an opposite viewpoint.

"While it might seem that with more lanes traffic would flow more quickly, drivers fleeing a fire are likely to switch lanes any time there's a gap rather than wait patiently if the other lane begins to move faster. This chaos of weaving cars itself would slow traffic. And as panicked drivers jump from lane to lane they are very likely to cause an accident which could shut down one or both lanes.

"Studies show that 'road diets' can maintain traffic flow while reducing crashes, injuries, and deaths," said the writer.

* * *

Had it not been for the last two weeks of November, the rainfall would have been minimal, but we ended up with 7.01 inches compared to 3.15 inches for October. Last year's two-month total (October and November) was 18.89 inches, compared to a whopping 30.06 inches for the same two-month period in the 16-17 rain year (the year we had 102.04 inches). Last year's rain-year (October through September) total was 67.13 inches.

* * *

I have been putting together some fabulous books of people and places in Bandon ... mostly during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. If you're interested in learning more about them, email me at marys@coosnet.com or call me at 541-404-7291.

* * *

Don't forget the annual Holiday Light Parade at 5:15 p.m. Saturday, following a nog/cider walk from 3 to 5 p.m. in Old Town Bandon.

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