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About The Siuslaw news. (Florence, Lane County, Or.) 1960-current | View Entire Issue (June 3, 2015)
❘ JUNE 3, 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
Those were the good old days
O RIGINALLY P UBLISHED J UNE 7, 1940
T HE S IUSLAW O AR , V OL . 13, N O . 1
After 12 years in one spot, it often brings
an old time phrase, “those were the good old
days.” To the Oar family, they were good
days. It was when we turned the first wheel
of the press to make a newspaper here, just
12 years ago.
There have been so many changes since
that June day in 1928 that one who spent all
these days here cannot well recount.
Yet in the weekly issues of the Oar, which
has carefully preserved copies of every page,
the history of Florence development is accu-
rately laid, and are held as valued treasure.
Before the Oar, there were other papers.
The West was first, and except for a few
skips of its earliest editions, in our keeping
there are historical records dating back to
Ralph Moore established The News in
1924 and The Times in 1926. It didn’t pay.
There are records of other ventures in the
newspaper game here but all failed. Moore
lives here still because he likes it. Despite his
advanced years he occasionally drops in to set
a few sticks of his polished phrases.
Another step or two in the town’s advance-
ment and the Oar will have to use more
equipment, more speed.
In all these years it has never tried to fool
itself nor anybody else. A plain honest-to-
goodness building up for the general welfare
of a stable, beautiful, remarkable country.
“And what is so rare as a day in June,”
reads an old poem. This is especially so here
on the Oregon coast, where the ozone is
swept by the cool breezes off the broad
Pacific, and June days do not mark the start
of torrid summer heat. Along about this time
of the year, we have what many would call
rare indeed — an ideal state.
June! The month which sees the time of
festivals swing into full procession. We
humans, in our age-old desire to obtain
respite from our cares of the work-a-day
humdrum and from the world of stark reali-
ties, observe the world of make-believe of
Along with the festivals, flowers brighten
the shining month of June.
Speed and spray on Siltcoos
B OB J ACKSON
N EIGHBORHOOD C ORRESPONDENT
For the Siuslaw News
irst off, I cannot remember any
great ball games, probably
because of a lack of interest. I
do, however, vividly recall a lifelong
obsession with speed, and it started
on the magical surface of Siltcoos
Perchance I have mentioned this
before — Siltcoos, about 7 miles
south of Florence with a residual and
mostly stable 3,164 acres, is the
largest lake on the Oregon coast, and
has attracted a wide variety of
boaters over the years.
My brother Fritz was two years
younger than myself, but early on we
were both mesmerized by the visit-
ing boat clubs who came down in
the summer on excursion trains from
the Willamette Valley. They were
mainly small, flat-bottomed “pump-
kinseed”-type racers with ridiculous-
ly small motors when compared to
today. But they made a lot of noise
and threw up spectacular “rooster
tails.” To a couple young boys living
in an isolated logging community, it
brought uncommon excitement into
Dirt poor, to get out on the lake,
we borrowed rowboats from boat-
builders Perry Richardson and
“Papa” Stevenson. Eventually we
had managed to acquire a five-horse
Champion outboard that we mounted
on someone’s small skiff. It had an
open exhaust that added to the
excitement. With such a small motor,
it required a lot of bouncing on the
bow to get the boat planing and cre-
ate even a small rooster tail, but for
us, it was a happy start.
It is strange how our perspective
changes over the years. I remember
that Floyd Wampler had a boat
called a “sea-sled,” with a square
bow and a strange inverted bottom.
Because it had a big 10-horse
Johnson, we thought he was a dare-
devil as he showed off by making a
series of sharp turns.
For a short time, the Eugene yacht
club had a float house headquartered
at Westlake. One of the members had
a speedboat, and we were fascinated
watching him as he came in with the
throttle wide open, and time after
time he would round a piling with
increasingly closer inches to spare.
A famous race car driver once
remarked that nothing quite matched
the exhilaration of speed on the
water. As for myself, there was the
spanking sound of the bottom
pounding the wave tops, the long
slick behind, the prop wash, the
spray, the boat itself seeming like a
living thing. I can remember hitting
the big ocean-like whitecaps on
Siltcoos so hard that my vision
turned red, but strangely with my
twisted mind, it was an euphoric,
Speed is a relative term, some-
times lesser speeds can be a memo-
rable experience. Memories of driv-
ing my varnished mahogany inboard
Century runabout are a good exam-
ple. The underwater exhaust gur-
gling, then turning to a roar as the
propwash shoots out behind and a
wall of spray builds up alongside.
This wasn’t a Spartan “hang on for
dear life” raceboat experience. With
a big American flag flapping on the
stern, and a Century pennant waving
on the bow, you were in the lap of
luxury, feeling equal to any movie
It was only a few years ago that I
was offered a ride back in Westlake
in a friend’s modern bass boat. I
wondered why we needed a crash
helmet and racing life jacket. I soon
discovered why. This skinny, low
freeboard boat was powered by a
250 horsepower Mercury outboard,
which spells “GO” in anybody’s lan-
guage. It was approaching noon, and
the notorious northwest wind was
beginning to build when we left the
county dock at Westlake.
Before I could even blink, we
were alongside the sheltered western
side of Booth island, where it was
smooth as glass. The big black
Mercury behind me was screaming,
and I was thinking “this is not so
bad.” But then we rounded the
southern end of the island and head-
ed out into the open lake, which was
pounding rocky point with rolling
whitecaps. We were in the trough of
the waves and our speed was reading
somewhere near 70. I was thinking
about a time when I was horsing
around and threw another guy and
myself out of a boat, when we
weren’t going half this fast. “Oh
well, this would be an exciting way
to die!” I had thought.
We went through the narrow tule
pass at Summer island and headed
into the northwest chop, which at
this speed was just a bone-jarring
blurr. I kind of figured he was trying
to scare me — and I have to admit to
being a little nervous. Unbelievably,
we were back at the dock in around
two minutes (less time than it would
have taken me to start my old 15
horse Neptune back in the 1940s).
My friend Hoss has gone off to try
scaring the angels now, but I will
always be indebted to him for that
short but incredible ride in a modern
Humane Society works wonders
L ETTERS TO THE
E DITOR P OLICY
Many of you knew Jerry Copeland. He would stand on the
corner of Highway 126 and Highway 101 and wave his flag
for peace. This was a man who was a Marine and fought gal-
lantly in World War II on Iwo Jima. He died and I was left
with the caring for his cat, Priscilla.
She was becoming a feral cat and the best I could get from
her was a hiss. I fed her for seven months until Barbara Hall
(Barb) from the Florence Area Humane Society called and
said they could take her.
That was not an easy task, but finally we were able to trap
her. Such howling you have never heard. She refused all
comfort and I thought that she would surely die. We waited
a few days before we went back to the Humane Society and
I could not believe it. Barb was on her hands and knees and
here came Priscilla wanting to be loved and with a big purr.
Barb had her in seventh heaven.
Oh what wonders they do at the Humane Society!
David W. Johnsen
The Siuslaw News welcomes letters to the editor
concerning issues affecting the Florence area and
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Libelous and anonymous letters as well as poet-
ry will not be published.
All submissions become the property of Siuslaw
News and will not be returned.
Write to: Editor@TheSiuslawNews.com
USPS# 497-660 Copyright 2015 © Siuslaw News
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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.
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