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About The Siuslaw news. (Florence, Lane County, Or.) 1960-current | View Entire Issue (May 27, 2015)
❘ MAY 27, 2015
P.O. Box 10
Florence, OR 97439
RYAN CRONK , EDITOR
❘ 541-902-3520 ❘
EDITOR @ THESIUSLAWNEWS . COM
1 2 5 T H A N N I V E R S A R Y F L A S H B A C K
T HE W EST
F LORENCE T IMES
T HE S IUSLAW O AR
T HE S IUSLAW N EWS
S IUSLAW N EWS
his year marks Siuslaw News’ quasquicentennial, our 125th anniversary, a remarkable achievement for any business in a small
community like Florence. To commemorate this milestone, throughout the year we’ll feature some of the town’s history as origi-
nally published in the newspaper, including historic articles and photos from more than a century ago. —Editor
Florence inspired Kesey
O RIGINALLY P UBLISHED M AY 24, 1979
T HE S IUSLAW N EWS , V OL . 19, N O . 21
Ken Kesey, a key figure in American litera-
ture and this year’s grand marshal of the
Rhododendron Festival, stopped by Arlene Lee’s
Bookstore on Bay Street last Saturday to auto-
graph copies of his book “Sometimes a Great
The stop was unscheduled, heralded only by a
small sign outside the store.
A group of about 20 people filtered into the
store to get autographs and hear the author
espouse his philosophy on writing. One bearded
young man had come from the midwest just to
see and hear Kesey.
Just when some were beginning to believe he
might not show up, Kesey popped into the store.
After introductions, he seated himself behind
a table and began autographing copies of his
Kesey has a rather unique way of autograph-
ing his books. He leafs through the pages and
chooses six words at random, linking them
together in a sentence that is both sense and
“It’s the speech rhythm, the way language
flows,” said Kesey.
He explained that the words make no sense,
yet the sentence sounds as if it does.
“We are losing our speech rhythms,” said
Kesey. “Our kids will have speech rhythms like
Big Bird (a television character).”
As he swigged from a metal container filled
with gin and tonic, Kesey explained,
“‘Sometimes a Great Notion’ was an attempt to
break up our speech patterns. A lot of us in the
’60s were doing it.”
He cited musical lyrics by John Lennon and
Bob Dylan as examples of a writer’s attempts to
break up speech rhythms.
“English teachers now are suffering from the
wrenching of the language in the ’60s,” he said.
Kesey, 43, said this is the first Rhododendron
Festival he has attended in the past 15 years. He
said that he used to come to the festivals when
he was younger.
He said he envies Florence for its festival.
Pleasant Hill, where he lives, has no festival.
“The only thing like it is the Pendleton
Roundup. Everyone has an equal chance to
come participate,” he said.
Kesey said he lived in a cabin on Mercer Lake
in the early ’60s while working in his brother’s
creamery. He spoke of drinking and playing bil-
liards on Bay Street as music by Bob Dylan
drifted across the street from the Beachcomber
Inn. He spoke of exploring the old Sanburn
house, located on an island in the Siuslaw River
A painting of the house had been the back-
drop at the Rhododendron Festival Pageant the
day before he visited.
“The house stands for resilience and stead-
fastness in the forces of nature,” he said.
“My brother and I chased a bear out of the
living room of that house,” Kesey said.
He explained that the house and the bear
more or less served for the inspiration of the
I would like to address a com-
ment made by Al Pearn in a letter of
support for candidates running for
the Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue
board (“Vote Carnahan, Phillips,”
While I fully support Mr. Pearn’s
right to publically support the candi-
dates of his choice, I feel it is
important that when making public
statements about our fire district that
factual information is provided.
He stated that during recent
months 18 of our 36 volunteer fire-
fighters have resigned. The truth of
the matter is that we currently have
33 volunteer firefighters on our ros-
ter, and since December we have
lost four. Three have moved out of
the area and one is on a leave of
We have a recruit academy
scheduled for June 6 and have eight
new prospective volunteers we hope
B Y J IM L ANGBORG
F IRE C HIEF , S IUSLAW V ALLEY F IRE AND R ESCUE
to train and bring on board.
Like most volunteer fire depart-
ments, we struggle to recruit and
retain volunteers. Our records show
that over the past six years our dis-
trict has averaged the recruitment of
16 volunteer firefighters per year.
Unfortunately, during this same time
period, we have averaged a loss of
20 volunteers per year.
Why the disproportion? Many
move or find that the demands of
being a volunteer firefighter are
more than they can fit into an
already busy life. Being a volunteer
firefighter is like no other volunteer
job. The time commitment and
physical demands are tremendous.
L ETTERS TO THE
E DITOR P OLICY
The Siuslaw News welcomes letters to the
editor concerning issues affecting the
Florence area and Lane County.
Emailed letters are preferred. Handwritten
or typed letters must be signed. All letters
should be limited to about 300 words and
must include the writer’s full name, address
and phone number for verification.
Letters are subject to editing for length,
grammar and clarity. Publication of any letter
is not guaranteed and depends on space
available and the volume of letters received.
Libelous and anonymous letters as well as
poetry will not be published.
All submissions become the property of
Siuslaw News and will not be returned.
Copyright 2015 © Siuslaw News
Publisher, ext. 327
General Manager, ext. 318
Editor, ext. 313
Advertising Director, ext. 326
Office Supervisor, ext. 312
Wednesday Issue—General news, Monday noon; Budgets, four days prior to publication; Regular classified ads, Monday
1 p.m.; Display ads, Monday noon; Boxed and display classified ads, Friday 5 p.m.
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1 p.m.; Display ads, Thursday noon; Boxed and display classified ads, Wednesday 5 p.m. Soundings, Tuesday 5 p.m.
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WHERE TO WRITE
Published every Wednesday and Saturday at 148 Maple St. in Florence, Lane County, Oregon. A member of the National
Newspaper Association and Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. Periodicals postage paid at Florence, Ore.
Postmaster, send address changes to: Siuslaw News, P.O. Box 10, Florence, OR 97439; phone 541-997-3441; fax
541-997-7979. All press releases may be sent to PressReleases@TheSiuslawNews.com.
The challenge of recruiting and
retaining quality volunteers is not
unique to our district. It’s also a
problem in the state of Oregon and
throughout our nation.
Our volunteer firefighters are our
greatest asset and we rely on them
to provide service to our communi-
ty. Recruiting and retaining volun-
teers is a top priority for our district
and I have taken many steps to
address this challenge.
Of most significance, I have bud-
geted for a part-time volunteer coor-
dinator to be funded at 20 hours per
week. In the past, the district has
funded this position at four hours
I also have submitted a grant to
FEMA to fund a full-time volunteer
coordinator that if approved would
not only support SVFR, but would
also provide service to Mapleton
and Swisshome/Deadwood fire dis-
tricts. The volunteer coordinator’s
primary responsibility is to focus on
recruiting, training and taking care
of our volunteers.
In closing, I would like to remind
our public of what your volunteer
firefighters do for you. They self-
lessly give of their time and regular-
ly put themselves in harm’s way to
They get up in the middle of
night while you’re asleep to respond
to your emergency needs, but they
still show up for work in the morn-
ing just like you.
Please join me in appreciating
and thanking the volunteers we have
for all that they do for us.
Stampers, the main characters of his book.
“That old bear was a lot like Hank Stamper,”
Kesey said. He also gives credit to this area for
another inspiration: “A lot of the speech
rhythms in my books come from here.”
He said that fishermen and loggers provided
him with most of the speech rhythms.
Now, he is working on a movie version of his
book, “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test,” the
story of a cross country trip made by Kesey and
some friends in 1964.
He said he shot some of the footage himself,
and that part of the work has already been edit-
ed. The film is currently stalled in production,
and it may be some time before the public will
be able to view the movie.
“The Demon Box” is the title of Kesey’s lat-
est literary endeavor.
“I’m doing a lot of writing, but it hasn’t been
put together in a cohesive unit,” he said.
Kesey said the work is a collection of plays
and stories which have been written over a long
period of time.
Pres. Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
TTY/TDD Comments: 202-456-6213
Gov. Kate Brown
160 State Capitol
900 Court St.
Salem, OR 97301-4047
Governor’s Citizens’ Rep.
Message Line 503-378-4582
U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden
221 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley
313 Hart Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
State Rep. Caddy McKeown
900 Court St. NE
Salem, OR 97301
U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (4th Dist.)
2134 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
State Sen. Arnie Roblan (Dist. 5)
900 Court St. NE - S-417
Salem, OR 97301
West Lane County Commissioner
125 E. Eighth St.
Eugene, OR 97401