Cannon Beach gazette. (Cannon Beach, Or.) 1977-current, May 08, 2015, Image 4

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    4A • May 8, 2015 | Cannon Beach Gazette |
Destination: Cannon Beach
hank you for welcoming
me into your community.
I’m the new editor at the
Cannon Beach Gazette and I’ve
come a long way — 3,011 miles
to be more precise.
What is remarkable about
communities is they can be very
far apart and yet very, close.
What constitutes the news in
one small town will parallel
that of another: a heroic rescue,
a fiercely contested election,
the fight for preservation of
a historic building, or the tri-
umph of a spelling bee contes-
tant. Community news comes
from the heart and soul of a
town, and I have made that my
mission on the East Coast for
the past 18 years. During that
time, we were able to focus on
tough issues: a changing demo-
graphic, the lack of affordable
housing and diversity, and the
erosion of our natural resourc-
es. At the same time, we boast-
ed an involved community that
supported sustainable energy
initiatives, cultural and artistic
endeavors, and a cosmopoli-
tan population who valued the
natural beauty and the historic
character of the region.
I anticipate these values will
easily translate to the Cannon
Beach scene. From my early
wanderings, my eyes have been
Cannon Shots
wide with the breathtaking
beauty from every angle. The
beaches are as wide and clean
as any strip from here to Mexi-
co. The natural rock formations
not only serve as a remarkable
gift from nature, but also pro-
vide a restful and healing calm
that inspires the thousands of
visitors drawn here. The thriv-
ing downtown community and
shops offers essentials to local
residents and lures visitors,
whether for the first time or
for generations. Cannon Beach
is both romantic and down to
earth. And one sunset is worth
the price of admission.
I look forward to meeting the
artists, the business owners, the
students and teachers, the civic
leaders and founding families.
If in my early apprenticeship I
make some rookie mistakes —
and I will — please forgive me.
I am fortunate to have the tal-
ents of an experienced Cannon
Beach reporter, Erick Bengel,
to guide me, as well as inter-
im editor Dave Fisher and my
predecessor, Nancy McCarthy,
who will serve both as a re-
source and remain a fixture in
the Cannon Beach scene. We
will be steered by Publisher
and Editor Steve Forrester and
Managing Editor Laura Sellers,
the staff of The Daily Astorian,
and are excited by the many
print, digital and social media
opportunities ahead.
Refl ections on the Past: Adventurer Mary Gerritse
Last week, I was going
through some old notes
and happened upon infor-
mation on a local woman
named Mary Gerritse. I’ve
written about her before,
although it was about three
years ago. As I was reading
about Mary, I started think-
ing about another woman
from history that I think was
pretty amazing, Gertrude
Bell. For those who have
not heard of Gertrude Bell,
she was a traveler, explorer,
and mapmaker, and at times
an accidental policy maker.
She was also a woman his-
tory books often forget. Ac-
cording to Georgina How-
ell, who wrote “Gertrude
Bell: Queen of the Desert,
Shaper of Nations,” Bell
was acquainted with Law-
rence of Arabia (T.E. Law-
rence), and did or helped
do many of the things that
he is thought to be respon-
sible for. I will never forget
one of the beginning scenes
of “The English Patient”
where the soldiers desper-
ately peer over a large map.
They are desperate for es-
cape so another soldier pulls
out the Bell maps, he points
to a pass marked on this map
that is unfamiliar to him and
the other soldier says, “Let’s
hope he was right.” HE!
Mary Gerritse, to me, was
Oregon’s very own Gertrude
Bell. Mary would not have
thought of herself as an in-
trepid or courageous wom-
an. She was a woman who
did what needed to be done.
She did, however, have a lot
in common with Bell, they
were both fond of traveling,
both were fond of going
where most women were not
expected or even allowed to
few feathers along the way.
Mary enjoyed quiet moments
to herself with the wind rus-
tling her hair with her horse,
Prince, by her side.
Not unlike Gertrude Bell
who ventured into the Saudi
Arabian desert by camel-
back. Mary plunged through
the wilds of the Oregon rain-
forest, braving northwestern
squalls, changing tides, and
narrow cliff hugging trails to
deliver the mail from 1897
until 1902. Mary was fear-
less. Once while delivering
the mail she came upon sev-
eral men on the trail she fre-
quented. They waved at her
not to come. The trail was
rather narrow and they were
afraid that she would not be
able to pass. Without hesita-
tion she plunged onward. As
one man became so afraid he
clambered up the opposite
Cliffside clinging to grass
while she rode past, she
commented in her journal: “I
felt sorry for him. The other
side of the trail went down
400 feet to the ocean. I did
not know how to be afraid.”
On more than one oc-
casion Mary held herself
together when most would
have struggled with fright.
Whether it was coming
face to face with a bear or a
cougar she held her ground.
When Prince, Mary’s be-
loved horse was close to
skittering down a cliff into
the sea, she remained calm,
slid down the 150 feet to
where Prince teetered on
the edge and soothed him
back onto the trail. Despite
Prince’s cracked ribs, and
Mary’s own slide, the mail
was saved!
In her journal she recalls
that summer tides often
forced her to rise earlier to
deliver the mail. She would
arise at 3:30 a.m.! On these
days she would return to the
location of one her old cab-
ins, though the cabin was no
longer there (perhaps lost in
and nap while Prince grazed
on clovers growing nearby.
Prince was the ideal horse,
as much of a friend to Mary
as a human being.
There were two trails that
she would often take to de-
liver the mail, one was the
back trail — it went over
the mountains and through
the woods, the other was the
front trail and went along
the shore in some spots. It
was along the front trail on
one frightful occasion when
Prince was lost to a change
in the tides. The loss devas-
tated her. Mary blamed her-
self for the death of her fa-
vorite horse — and yet she
plowed on. She rode a new
horse, this one not nearly as
kindhearted as Prince. The
horse was so temperamental
that few could control him.
feathers. She refused to ride
sidesaddle, as was custom-
ary of women at the time.
She felt that she was do-
ing man’s work, so should
be able to ride like a man!
Mary says, “When I carried
the mail, I rode astride on
a saddle. I got a lot of crit-
icism because, because it
was not lady-like.” Under
a thin skirt she wore boots
and overalls. She hoped
that this would appease the
naysayers and as she says,
“What was the difference? I
was not doing a lady’s work
Mary was also accom-
and hunting. After a close
encounter with a cougar,
she demanded her husband
teach her how to use a gun.
He armed her with a 32-cal-
iber pistol. A year or so lat-
er a bear wandered onto the
Gerritse property. In order
Mary Gerritse
to protect the livestock she
ran out to face the bear. “I
knelt on the ground and
took sight across my knee,
waited until he (the bear)
was about 50 feet away,”
Unbeknownst to Mary
the pistol was not loaded.
Lucky for her the bear was
frightened by the sound of
the gun clicking and took
Mary Gerritse grew up
in the Manzanita Nehalem
area and stayed there for
most of her life, living in
one place or another. She
spent many hours of ev-
ery day in the deep woods
alone, walking trails that
many found too hazardous,
and taking on work that
many women would scoff
at. The Gerritse mail route
took her from Nehalem to
Seaside and back once a
day or once a week. Along
muddy narrow trails she
and her horse trudged on.
Like Gertrude Bell, Mary
did not think of herself as
doing anything overly cou-
rageous. She was doing
what made sense.
I love sharing Mary’s
story with visitors and
sometimes even when I
give lectures. It is easy to
look at historic photos or
to talk about history and
lose sight of the people
who were there. Knowing
about these people human-
izes this information and
makes it more memorable
for all. I hope you enjoyed
this unique local history as
much as I did.
A glass of wine always tastes better with some cheese
In the three years we
have owned The Wine
Shack, we have worked
hard to make our little wine
store the very best it can
be. The store is focused on
excellent local wines, but
also includes iconic wines
from California, France
and Italy. We listen to our
customers and bring in the
wines they ask for, invite
exceptional wine makers to
do their thing in the Tast-
ing Room and try to make
customers happy with each
time they visit The Wine
Shack. We’ve really tried
to create an amazing lo-
cal wine shop, in a tourist
town, where about 90 per-
cent of our customers are
just passing through.
Last November, as
things were beginning to
slow down and I was look-
ing forward to some catch-
up time following our bus-
iest time of year, I received
a call from our landlord,
Mike Clark. The space next
to The Wine Shack would
be available in 2015. Mike
asked if we were interested
in taking that space. Yes, we
were! Maryann and I started
looking at possible uses of
the space … expansion of
The Wine Shack? Or a new
store to complement The
Wine Shack? We thought a
lot about it and asked local
friends and regular custom-
ers for their input. It didn’t
take long to decide we
would create a new store
offering food products that
pair nicely with wine. Con-
cept in place, check. The
to-do list grew quickly.…
create a name for the new
store, begin remodeling the
space, get a liquor license,
get a city business license,
get business insurance,
meet with the Department
of Agriculture and Design
Review Board, and build
a products’ list. We had to
do all of this while run-
ning The Wine Shack. The
quiet winter months that I
looked forward to was re-
placed with the long to-do
list as well as meetings, in-
terviews, phone calls and
emails regarding the new
One by one, we checked
things off the list. The new
store would be named “Pro-
visions 124.” I’ve always
liked the word “provisions”
and our street address is
124 N. Hemlock. The new
name tells customers what
we sell and where we are.
Progress on other things
the wall was opened up be-
tween the two spaces, ev-
erything began falling into
The Wine Shack and Provi-
sions 124 really help to cre-
ate a seamless appearance
between the stores. We also
added outdoor seating on
our deck. You can now sit
outside and enjoy a cheese
platter with a glass (or bot-
tle) of wine. We’ve want-
ed to offer outdoor seating
since purchasing The Wine
Shack, but weren’t able to
before now. This is already
a crowd-pleaser as our deck
two weekends.
Similar to what we did ships we’ve established.
with The Wine Shack, the 7KH QHZHVW 3XI¿Q SURG
products in Provisions 124 uct isn’t a wine, its coffee.
are focused on small region- 3XI¿Q³0RRQGDQFH´FRIIHH
DO SURGXFHUV <RX ZLOO ¿QG is an organic, medium to
local cheeses, salami, crack- dark roast blend, made by
ers, spreads, olive oil, vine- our friends at Sleepy Monk
gar and choc- o l a t e s . Coffee Roasters, exclusive-
Some prod-
ly for Provisions
1 2 4 .
been brought
in from far-
ther away. In
those cases,
in either
w h o l e
very best
beans or
and high-
est quality
and we of-
fer it in half
we could
pound bags.
f i n d .
With the
goes better
with wine
than cheese
we qui-
and a fresh
e t l y
No, it’s not a Puffi n wine la- Provisions
bel, but one for coff ee.
124 is proud
124 on Fri-
to carry Sea
day, April
17. Customer feedback has Level Bakery’s demi ba-
been very positive and sug- guettes. We pick up fresh
gestions for new products baguettes daily and they
have been great — we wel- are so fresh that they’re still
warm when we pick them
come yours too!
We are most proud of up. We only order enough
the local business relation- for the day, so if you want a
baguette, you need to get to
our store early.
We’re looking to add to
our local relationships and
are talking with a couple
other businesses about car-
rying their products. Stay
tuned for some fun things
that are in discussion. I’ll
keep you updated as we
move forward with those
Maryann and I would
like to thank everyone
who has helped us open
Provisions 124, including
Coaster Construction, Da-
vid Kiedrowski, Jim Entler,
Doug and Emmas Lindsay,
Todd Rowley, Ron Jaber,
Alaina, Marty and Chance
Giguiere, Sleepy Monk
Coffee Roasters and Sea
Level Bakery. We appreci-
ate all of your work and in-
spiration. Also, we’d like to
thank our staff, Joe Lebold,
Lee Roberts and Marlene
Reynolds for the additional
work we’ve asked of you
during the expansion and
for your support, sugges-
tions and the great care you
take of our customers!
We hope all of you enjoy
our new store, Provisions
to go with that wine!