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The first photo I'm sharing this week was taken in 1980, and is such a great view of what the waterfront and vacant lot along Alabama Avenue looked like in those days. There were lots of fishing boats in the basin, and a logging operation is going on in the lot that is now leased by the City from Fred Gernandt and Kirk Day for parking. This photo was taken from the hill behind the Masonic building, which can be seen in the lower right-hand corner of the picture.

M&L Grocery is already gone, and the W.H. Johnston building (now owned by Ed Landucci and leased to Olivia's Cottage) has been remodeled, and the "new" Arcade Tavern is on the corner of Alabama and First Street across from the boat basin.

I love the second photo, which was probably taken around the turn of the century, in the early 1900s, as the boat Antelope brings a load of salmon to the Timmons Cannery. There are several references to the Antelope in Curt Beckham's book about the Fire. It was one of 21 steam sternwheelers that became stranded at the mouth of the river between 1896 and 1905. In the 1880s the Panters formed the Myrtle Point Transportation Company with William Russell Panter as president. After the turn of the century the Panters enlarged their fleet of river boats by adding eight sternwheelers, including the Antelope.

The boats hauled milk, other freight and passengers.

It is particularly interesting to see that several of the men in the picture are wearing three-piece suits and ties.

The third picture was taken in October of 1977 as Chamber of Commerce president Mike Lybarger shakes hands with Brendon Reilly, son of Jim and Donna Reilly, who was the local paper boy. Brendon was honored as a representative of National Newsboy Week, which was being observed at that time.

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I want to tell people how much I appreciate all the positive comments about my column ... it helps make it worthwhile when I sit down at the computer every Sunday evening to pick out the photos and figure out what I will share each week. If I were better organized, and weren't so deep in city business and budget meetings, I would write a little bit each day .... but so far I don't do that and it doesn't seem likely.

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It certainly seems like we have lost a lot of people in our community in recent weeks. I was shocked to learn two weeks ago that builder John Parks, owner of John Parks Construction, has died. It hadn't been that long since I'd waved to him while driving through town. I didn't know him well, but he had a great reputation as a quality builder and a great guy. I do know that he was 69. His survivors include his wife Maddie and two grown daughters.

I also saw an obituary this week for Kristen Johnson, 69, who with her family moved here when she was nine years old after purchasing the Laurel Grove Grocery ... a business Kristen co-owned and operated until 2018.

Her brother Marc Johnson (who served for a number of years as a Bandon Police Officer) is the only one of the four siblings remaining, as brother Nord and sister Linell Jackson (Mrs. Al) died earlier.

They were a close-knit and loving family, who were active at Pacific Community Church, where memorial contributions can be made in her name.

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I got an email from Bob Fisher this week letting me know that a Remembrance for his son, Jim Fisher, will be held at Bullards Beach State Park Saturday, May 11, in the picnic area. It will be a potluck gathering of friends .... "low key as was Jim," said his dad. It will start at 11 a.m.

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During a casual conversation with a friend Friday, he happened to mention that his wife had purchased a brick from the city planning department some years ago, which was supposed to have been engraved and placed in the park.

I had forgotten about it, and I think it was a project spearheaded by Michelle Hampton several years ago. Michelle was here for a few weeks filling in for Megan Lawrence, who was out on maternity leave.

So I called Michelle ... just as she was on her way out of town, to find out what had happened to the brick project and how many we had sold. She thought we had sold five, but the project had never taken off because not enough bricks were sold. I suggested that she might want to give the current planning employees the information so people could get their $35 back. I will talk to someone in the department this week and see if refunds can be made.

If the project is once again on someone's radar, people can be notified and buy another brick.

I do know that there is a pallet of bricks at the engravers in Myrtle Point.

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My rain guy, Gerry Terp, said he recorded 9.13 inches for April, compared to 8.74 for the same period last year. May has started out with no rain so far, so maybe it will be dry like last May, when Gerry recorded less than an inch at 0.20.... a big difference from May of 2005, when we got 8.45 inches of rain.

I wish someone had a wind gauge because I can't help but feel that

April and May have been windier than usual for this time of year.

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