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The first picture I am sharing was taken in the spring of 1970 not long after Ray Kelley, his wife Margie and their son Kingsley arrived in Bandon. I always knew him as Ray, the consummate volunteer, mayor, cubmaster, etc., but the caption below this picture in Western World identified him as Lt. Col. R. H. Kelley, ret. I do know that he taught for 25 years at the Air Force Academy in Denver before they moved to Bandon. But it's what he did after he arrived in Bandon, and before he died at 93, that so much impressed me. I served alongside him as a councilor when he was mayor back in the early 1980s, and remember fondly the many dinners that he and Margie hosted for the council. Ray was one of the Bandon Lions who played a significant role in the design, funding, development and construction of the Sprague Theater, along with Dan Almich.

But what is going on in this picture? It was a patriotic pageant for the retiring of unserviceable flags, written by retired Ocean Crest teacher Mrs. Dorothy Ross (pictured) that was the occasion. Flag bearers for the program were three members of Boy Scout Troop 313, Randy Hall, Kevin Kent and Russell Anderson. Doug Kranick, a BHS student, played Taps in the background. Jeff Digby was in charge of pulling the stage curtain, and seventh grader Kay Waldrop performed an impressive pantomime of the Star Spangled Banner. Kelley presented a patriotic talk, and a prayer for peace was presented by Pastor Earl Bissett of the First Church of God.

The second photo was taken in February of 1970 during an inspection of the local Coast Guard station. During the inspection a Unit Commendation ribbon was awarded to BM2 Daniel McLain by Lt. D.L. Porter, group commander from Coos Bay. The article says that McLain is married to the former Connie Gray of Bandon, sister of Wayne Strong of Bandon, and he was stationed in Honolulu where he became eligible for the ribbon.

I chose this picture, which was taken at the east end of the Coast Guard Station, because it so clearly shows the stairway that led up to the top of the hill, where the original crew quarters for the U.S. Life-Saving Service were located. In 1915 the Life-Saving Service merged into the U.S. Coast Guard. A fire in 1921 destroyed the Bandon crew quarters.

The third picture was taken in July of 1966 after a Millard School student had been freed from a sand cave-in in the Bradley Lake area, where the school was located on the former Tanglewood property. Bandon Fire Chief Bob Schultz, barely visible at left, brought the City's Civil Defense Rescue Truck to the school in response to a call for help from Mrs. Esther Millard, owner of the school, at left. The student, Steve Schiele, had been trapped for more than 30 minutes, sometimes with only his face uncovered while school associates dug furiously to rescue him. He told the chief that the only injury he suffered was a bump on the head from a rescuer's shovel.

Mrs. Millard will best be remembered by many of us as one of the best English teachers ever to teach at Bandon High School.

* * *

It is now official. Lloyd's Cafe has been sold. We had been hearing for some months that the couple who own the Blue Moon Saloon and Cafe in Coos Bay had purchased Lloyd's. And now we know it's true as this week there was a liquor license application posted on the front of the building, which has been vacant in Old Town for several years.

The new owner, Mike Collins, has applied for a full on-premises sales license through the OLCC.

I left word with one of the Blue Moon employees last week, asking that they call me so I could get more information to share about their plans. But they apparently did not get the word ... so I don't have specifics.

When I find out more I will let everyone know.

It's been a shame to have such a large building in the heart of Old Town shuttered ... but that's about to change. I certainly wish them the best of luck in their new venture.

* * *

I saw an article recently in The World indicating that Herbal Choices, a marijuana business with several locations in the area, including south of Bandon, has sued the city of Reedsport for $315,000 for an alleged violation of the First Amendment regarding a depiction of a marijuana plant on its sign.

According to the article, "In March, Reedsport revoked Herbal Choices' license for 90 days after it violated a city ordinance that states proposed development cannot display signage or advertisements that show photos or illustrations of a marijuana plant. The business put up a sign depicting its logo -- a cannabis leaf -- outside its would-be storefront on Winchester Avenue."

The suit is for lost profits and attorney's fees.

Jim Deatherage of Bandon is listed on the Oregon Secretary of State's business license for Herbal Choices.

Since marijuana is now legal in Oregon, it's hard to see why a marijuana leaf would be objectionable on a sign, but I don't know how the ordinance reads.

* * *

It was interesting to see that Winter Lakes High School, a charter school headquartered in Coquille, had 81 students graduate this year, which is nearly twice as many as graduated from Bandon High School last year. I read the article about the decline in enrollment at the local school district, particularly in the high school, which caused me to wonder how many of those 81 graduates were from Bandon.

I remember when Winter Lakes first opened with a handful of students, mainly from Coquille and Myrtle Point, but its enrollment continues to soar, which is not necessarily good news for the school districts who are losing students to Winter Lakes.

I do know that when it comes to state report cards, Bandon is one of the top schools in the area, along with North Bend and Pacific High, so it would be interesting to know why the enrollment continues to decline.

* * *

I subscribe to the LA Times digital (full paper) version, and there have been quite a few articles lately about "Road Diet" proposals, which make it very clear who these lane-reduction proposals benefit; and it's not vehicles. It is bicyclists.

California does not try to hide the fact that while lane reduction may make it safer for bicyclists, they definitely cause added congestion for vehicular traffic.

Locals are getting a good look at the kind of headaches the Road Diet would have caused as we try to navigate the detours in uptown Bandon ... just trying to get to the post office or out onto the highway.

Thank heavens we dodged the "Road Diet" bullet ....

* * *

I subscribe to the South Coast Gospel Mission's monthly newsletter, and the April mailing contained some interesting information from the executive director Jennifer Palmer.

"We can't change hearts, or force anyone to take medication, nor can we force them to stay and change their lifestyle. This explains these staggering statistics form the U.S. Department of Housing HUD: Oregon again ranks high in the total number of homeless people who are NOT sheltered. California is first, Oregon is second and Nevada is third.

"Coos County has about 1,300 homeless, nearly a 38 percent increase from last year. Why do you think Oregon ranks so high? Our facility isn't full, even though there's more homeless. It boils down to 62 percent of Oregon's homeless either choose to live by no man's rules, or have severe enough issues that they can't get into regular shelters. Most of our residents who decide not to check in, or leave within a couple of days, voice their reason for leaving. It's always the same -- they refuse to work for their bed (chores) or anyone else (job), or, marijuana is more important to them than a bed or a shower."

She adds: "Thank you for your prayers for those we're trying to help."

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