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About The Siuslaw news. (Florence, Lane County, Or.) 1960-current | View Entire Issue (Aug. 26, 2015)
❘ AUGUST 26, 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
Local fisherman snags blue shark
O RIGINALLY P UBLISHED A UG . 17, 1988
T HE S IUSLAW N EWS , V OL . 26, N O . 33
Just when you thought it was safe to go in
the water again, “Jaws V” made an unsched-
uled appearance off the Florence coast on
Saturday night. But the this time the shark
lost and the character (played by) Roy
Scheider was not even in the script.
Forrest Faye, 35, a third hand on the fish-
ing boat Pacific Wave, landed a 6-foot, 4-
inch, 120-pound blue shark 60 miles off the
Oregon coast at about 7 p.m. Sunday.
Faye has been fishing commercially for
about 6 months.
“The line had been in the water three to
four minutes when the shark struck,” Faye
said. “We weren’t doing any chumming
either. I put the line in and let it drift away
from the boat. It had sunk to about 30 or 40
“It was a surface fight all the way and he
never sounded on me at all. I struggled with
him for about 20 minutes. ... I never would
have been able to land him if it hadn’t been
a team effort on the part of the crew.”
Faye, who lives in Deadwood, has been
sport fishing for most of his life. He special-
izes in catching the “big one” and has caught
an 8-foot sturgeon in the Smith River, a 7-
foot spoonbill catfish in Keystone, Okla., a
38-pound catfish in Farm Pond, Okla., and a
7-1/2-foot alligator in Houston.
“I was in ninth heaven,” Faye said. “I was
exhausted and shaking when it was all over,
but I was in ninth heaven.”
The Pacific Wave, which has been home-
ported in Florence for the past 18 months,
specializes in catching black cod and can
carry up to 60,000 pounds of fish in its
The vessel is 60 feet long at the waterline,
draws eight feet of water and carries a five-
The first hand is Jim O’Brien, the second
hand is Mark Metzer, Faye is the third hand
and Mike Phippen is the fourth hand. The
ship’s master is Codie Evans.
The Old Whoopie — Part IV
B OB J ACKSON
N EIGHBORHOOD C ORRESPONDENT
For the Siuslaw News
remember that the rusty, old,
long-deserted “Old Whoopie”
had many problems. I couldn’t
drive it far because water poured out
of the radiator like a sprinkler system.
Mike Brown, who had the little, one-
pump gas station in Westlake,
dumped rolled oats into the radiator,
saying, “It will plug the holes!”
From then on, as soon as she got
hot — which was almost immediate-
ly — a cloud of steam would rise into
the stratosphere as the cooked rolled
oats would boil over, spattering a dis-
gusting patina of “mush” over the
entire engine and the firewall, as a
sort of breakfast smell filled the air. It
was quite a sight, and it didn’t help
my view of the road either.
One day I decided to show off by
making a visit to my old high school
in Gardiner, which was an almost
unthinkable 13 miles away. That took
some advance planning, like parking
a while in the lake’s edge, hoping that
the wood-spoke wheels would swell
enough to stay in the rims. Mike
Brown’s son Bobby agreed to go
along with me. This was foolhardy!
The Old Whoopie had no license, she
had hardly any brakes and hardly any
usable gas in the rusty, leaking tank
— and I had no driver’s license.
Bobby, being the son of a business-
man, quite naturally had the inborn
soul of an entrepreneur. Dark brown
“Stubby” beer bottles littered the
roadsides, and were worth a penny
when turned in to a store that had a
beer and wine license, and so he
came up with a money-making idea.
One of us would get out while the
other drove on down the road a ways.
The idea was to pick up bottles until
you caught up with the Whoopie
parked alongside the road, then crank
her up to catch up with the other guy
and his bottles, and then repeat the
process. Eventually we had our
burlap sacks bulging with bottles, and
we were pretty proud of ourselves.
It was noon when we got to the
school in Gardiner. With hardly any
brakes, we decided not to drive up the
steep street to the school. The rolled
oats steam from the Whoopie was ris-
ing higher than the tall poplar trees,
and we were the center of attraction
as students streamed down the hill to
laugh and point at my suddenly igno-
minious pride and joy.
We filled our water jug and the
nearly dry radiator with muddy water
from a roadside ditch, and made an
anticlimactic departure, having
impressed no one.
Back then, in the 1930s, the high-
way to the top of what we called
Gardiner mountain was a torturous
series of sharp switchback curves,
and when we reached the top, the
engine block was popping and snap-
ping, while frying the bits of rolled
oats sticking to the spark plugs. I
decided to shut her off, put it in neu-
tral then coast down the other side,
thereby saving gas and cooling the
engine at the same time.
After the first downhill curve, what
little brakes we had faded and we
were picking up speed. Already going
too fast to drop it into a lower gear
without the engine running, we still
had some of the worst turns coming
up. We didn’t have a tailgate, and as
we rattled around the sharp bends at
twice the posted speeds, the gunny-
sacks in back, began to lose their con-
Soon, our path around the sharpest
curves was marked by broken, brown
stubby beer bottles. Bobby was hang-
ing on for dear life and cussing loud-
er and louder as each precious bottle
popped on the asphalt behind us. By
the time we reached level ground,
every last bottle was gone.
When we re-started the engine at
the bottom of the hill, it seemed our
troubles were over, but then it started
coughing and spitting until we came
to a shuddering stop. The violent ride
down the steep grade had stirred up
the rust in the tank until it was clog-
ging the carburetor.
I discovered that by covering the
throat of the carburetor with the palm
of one hand, it would suck enough
gas to run briefly, but then it would
soon be flooded and before we could
get going it would die again. I then
had Bobby drive, while I laid on the
front fender, hanging onto the head-
light with one hand while choking the
old girl with the other.
When it would start bucking, I
would lay off until it needed another
act of resuscitation. It had been a
risky affair, but we had finally gotten
The adventures with the Old
Whoopie were soon to come to a
close. One day as I came tearing
around a curve on the gravel road
through Westlake, a Terraplane sedan
backed out of a driveway, completely
blocking my way.
Until this time I had always been
able to double clutch her down to a
stop, but time had run out for me and
my Old Whoopie. I managed to
swerve onto a rough wood ramp Papa
Stevensen had built to a garage over
his boat shop on Siltcoos outlet. We
were briefly airborne as we came off
the other side, but landed on the
shoulder of the road intact.
The Terraplane’s owner accused
me of hitting his fender and estimat-
ed $7.50 to have it repaired. True he
had a dent in his fender, but there was
not a mark or any of his paint on the
Whoopie. Without a driver’s license,
I was scared to death and sold my
first car for $7.50 to pay for the dent
in his fender.
In retrospect, the other driver must
have had an estimate made for repairs
prior to this and when he saw how
scared I was, figured I would be an
easy mark for a little cash.
Sometimes we get our lessons
early in life!
Florence is one of the great retirement coastal
cities with potential entrepreneurial explosive
capital formation and competitive opportunities
in the West and maybe across the fruited plain.
With all the amenities of a fantastic library,
business and educational possibilities, including
Lane Community College and an up-and-com-
ing Chamber of Commerce linkage, the poten-
tial is endless for capital investment.
Economic development is the hub of city
growth and is necessary to improve the quality
of life of a thriving metropolis or even town-
ship. Florence needs to think in a more expan-
sive nature to attract employment opportunities
by marketing this wonderful city and its culture
to outside corporate interests or midsize com-
Of course the environment must stay pristine,
but in order to match the marvelous events cen-
ter possibilities, many must witness the fasci-
nating entertainment and activities available.
The mayor and city council would benefit by
developing the Florence economy and making
that vision a No. 1 priority.
Past prejudices need to be disregarded so that
the fresh air of development and progress reign
supreme. Even nationally, when economic
growth is solidified, all boats rise and debt can
be paid off and programs can become affordable
as wealth is created through the entrepreneurial
Florence is a community that should be
shared by many and they should be attracted to
come here both for work and play. This is a
vibrant community that can be made even more
so with potential for technological companies
looking to advance their outlook.
It is and will be an extraordinary thing for
others to discover such a place as Florence, a
diamond in the ruff. With good economic devel-
opment, all things are possible.
Joel R. Marks
L ETTERS TO THE
E DITOR P OLICY
The Siuslaw News welcomes letters to the edi-
tor 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
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phone number for verification.
Letters are subject to editing for length, gram-
mar 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.
Write to: Editor@TheSiuslawNews.com
USPS# 497-660 Copyright 2015 © Siuslaw News
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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