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About Cannon Beach gazette. (Cannon Beach, Or.) 1977-current | View Entire Issue (April 19, 2019)
A4 • Friday, April 19, 2019 | Cannon Beach Gazette | CannonBeachGazette.com
Views from the Rock
From editor to civilian in Cannon Beach
community newspapers are best served
with a weekly continuity.
Lady Gaga slept here
t’s hard to write a farewell column
when I’ve only been here four years.
That’s less than the lifespan of some
My ﬁ rst experience in Cannon Beach
was at Bill’s Tavern.
I was sitting at the bar after an inter-
view in Astoria for the job of editor of
the Gazette and Seaside Signal. A gentle-
man was sitting next to me; we struck up
a conversation. I told him I was thinking
of moving here to edit the paper. He said,
“Do it!” As I was leaving I was informed
that “Jim” was the owner of Bill’s.
My ﬁ rst City Council meeting in Can-
non Beach owes a great deal to Police
Chief Jason Schermerhorn. As the meet-
ing was about to get underway, I heard a
voice address the room: “Does anyone in
the audience have a car parked in front
with New York plates? Your lights are
Yes, that was my late, lamented Audi
A4, vintage 2004 that somehow survived
the cross-country trip. I gratefully thanked
the chief for saving me the opportunity
of meeting the Moons of Gary’s Service
Center that same night.
I’ve got to number this beached whale in Falcon Cove as a highlight in my Gazette career.
I was lucky to have some real live Can-
non Beachers to show me the ropes. Pri-
mary among them was my predeces-
sor, the brilliant and accomplished Nancy
McCarthy, now a city councilor.
She was, and is, tuned in to almost
everything in Cannon Beach. From the
start, she gave me the 4-1-1 on the “pres-
idential streets,” Tolovana bunnies, the
Coaster Theatre, dory ﬁ shing.
Nancy introduced me to the local scene
at Wave Crest and informed me the real
dialogue was happening at Cheri’s.
Elaine Murdy at the Cannon Beach
History Center and Museum made avail-
able her archives and her considerable
wisdom, helping to bring the charac-
ters alive outside of the bound volumes
of back issues I pored over those ﬁ rst
Rex Amos, the city’s very unofﬁ cial
artist-in-residence (and that’s going some,
considering the great talents in town) pro-
vided an ongoing angle on the characters,
customs and styles of this unique city —
including the great author Ursula K. Le
Guin, whom I was fortunate enough to
have corresponded with before her death
I love Sleepy Monk’s Rachel and
Rebecca and Jason at Sea Level. For any-
one to get the ﬂ avor of the community, get
My friends Laura and Gregg introduced
me to all the great restaurants in town and
provided convivial dinner dialogue.
Of course I’ll still be eating with them
and in the same restaurants, I just won’t
be snapping photos of the appetizers.
My wife says it will be a relief walking
Lady Gaga and friend in Cannon Beach, as
posed on Twitter.
Courtesy Rex Amos
Rex Amos, among the artists and literati that
make Cannon Beach great.
Rita Goldfarb/For Cannon Beach Gazette
Kindergartners get a tour of Haystack Rock. What a treat in Cannon Beach!
into Cannon Beach and not having to hear
someone say, “This is off the record.”
But it’s not like I’m moving away.
I’ll still be in the same ofﬁ ce on North
Roosevelt in Seaside as the Signal goes
weekly on May 10.
I see that as a tremendous opportu-
nity, a goal from the start — I believe that
My mother, ever the ghostly prankster
couple of weeks ago, my husband
misplaced his glasses. His very
expensive prescription glasses, I
might add, not his cheap drugstore read-
ers. After turning the house upside down a
few times looking for them and engaging
in some Marie Kondo-level tidying, he pro-
claimed the eyeglasses hopelessly lost and
said he was going to order new ones.
Not so fast, I said. They must be in the
A few days later he was pouring himself
a bowl of cereal as an after dinner snack.
“This box is pretty much empty,” he
said, preparing to ditch it in the bin under
the sink. “Nothing left in here but crumbs.”
I took the box from his hands, making some
noises about the value of recycling. The box
seemed a bit heavy.
“This doesn’t feel empty,” I said. I
removed the cellophane bag inside the box,
which did indeed hold crumbs. Between the
liner and the cardboard walls of the box,
guess what I found?
“Aha,” I said, holding up the glasses.
“This is your mother’s doing,” my hus-
My mother left the planet 32 years ago
Jeremy Feldman John D. Bruijn
What is best about Cannon Beach is its
level of discourse, quality of life and com-
munity, with a populate as eloquent, ele-
vated and inspired as the denizens Santa
Fe, Aspen or Jackson Hole.
And like those cities it carries with it
an international cachet and its own brand-
ing, courtesy Mother Nature: Haystack
Rock. No wonder “Lady Gaga slept here.”
But that’s just Cannon Beach from the
outside. The only way to get to know a
community is to cover it on a day to day,
week to week, year to year basis. I had
the rare opportunity of following this for-
ward-thinking community as they led the
way — and lead the way — in address-
ing threats posed by the Cascadia Subduc-
I have watched the struggle to provide
affordable housing for an ever-growing
workforce in the midst of a countywide
crunch. I’ve witnessed the Cannon Beach
Academy grow from the seed of an idea
to a full-ﬂ edged, accredited elementary
school program meeting a critical need for
families in the community.
I’ve seen the city’s status as a haven for
craft beer, wine and spirits from the local
scene to the national stage — from Pufﬁ n
to Pelican to Public Coast.
Whether in Cannon Beach for a life-
time or if you’ve come for a few days,
everyone has the feeling that the city is
“their own.” People will make “must
stops” at galleries, bookstores, boutiques
and now, cannabis shops. I’ll be able to
say, one day, “I remember when Cannon
Beach voted to permit dispensaries.”
Gerry would have loved Cannon Beach. Here
she is with friend Charlie Cotton in Atlantic
City in the mid-1960s.
this April. It was a few months after her
boyfriend of 10 years succumbed to liver
cancer. She was already talking about tak-
ing a cruise and getting a facelift. On the
day she died, she was all set to meet a
friend for lunch. She never made it out of
her apartment due to a sudden and con-
clusive cardiac episode. I doubt she knew
she had heart disease, or if she did know
something, she wasn’t talking. For as long
as I can remember, she wasn’t shy, how-
ever, about talking about death. One of her
favorite things to say on the topic was that
when she was gone, she wouldn’t really be
gone. She intended to show up for annoying
My mother is an effective ghostly pres-
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ence. Sometimes I hear her voice in my ear,
and I’ve deﬁ nitely felt her energy. If she’s
going to make herself known to me, I wish
she’d relay useful information, like stock
tips. Instead she seems to enjoy amusing
herself playing harmless tricks and prank-
ing my husband. My mother and my hus-
band only met a couple of times in real life
before she passed away. Not that I was ask-
ing for her blessing, but she made it very
clear at the time she didn’t think he was
the husband she had in mind for me. Years
ago, during a period when he wasn’t exactly
being the best husband, he was in a car
accident that could have turned deadly. I
remember when I picked him up at the hos-
pital, the ﬁ rst thing he said was, “Right
before the car ﬂ ipped over, I saw your
mother in the passenger seat.”
“Did she cause the accident,” I asked,
“Or did she save your life?”
“I’m not sure,” he said.
Every year I try to pay special atten-
tion to my mother’s death anniversary. On
that day, I post her picture on Facebook and
recall her favorite things. She liked Chinese
food, real jewelry, and going to the mov-
ies. I get a sense she likes to be remembered
more on her death day than her birthday.
She wasn’t keen on getting older and didn’t
really like her birthday.
What she loves is playing naughty tricks,
like hiding car keys or expensive and neces-
I’ve learned you don’t have to believe in
ghosts to be haunted by one.
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It was cool to experience it from the
inside. But like an open-ended drama,
Will Cannon Beach build a shadow city
at the Southwind site or elsewhere?
What will be the result of dune grad-
ing discussions — a topic debated since
How will Cannon Beach’s popularity
with tourists balance with critical environ-
Of course these questions won’t be
answered tomorrow and probably not the
That said, it’s going to be bittersweet
for me. I know the Gazette is in good
hands with publishers Steve and Carol
Hungerford, editor Joe Warren and his
They do a stellar job in Tillamook
County and newspapers throughout the
Northwest. Joe’s a longtime newsman and
understands the community’s heartbeat.
The Hungerfords owned the Gazette
previously — they know and love Can-
non Beach. They’ll be taking stewardship
of this beat — and it is a stewardship —
as the city moves forward. You’ll see new
faces holding reporter’s notebooks at the
meetings and maybe some of the familiar
ones as freelancers or staff.
As a newsman, I can’t help but wonder
what I’ll be missing.
But then I can always read about it, in
print and online, in the Gazette!
Cannon Beach Planning Commission, 6 p.m.,
City Hall, 163 E. Gower St.
Friday, April 26
Emergency Preparedness Committee, 9 a.m.,
163 E. Gower St.
Tuesday, May 7
Cannon Beach City Council, 7 p.m., City Hall,
163 E. Gower St.
Thursday, May 9
Cannon Beach Academy, board meeting,
5:30 p.m., 3781 S. Hemlock, Cannon Beach.
Monday, May 13
Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District
Board of Directors, 6 p.m., 188 E. Sunset Blvd.
Tuesday, May 14
Cannon Beach City Council, 5:30 p.m., work
session, City Hall, 163 E. Gower St.
Thursday, May 16
Parks and Community Services Committee,
9 a.m., City Hall, 163 E. Gower St.
Cannon Beach Design Review Board, 6 p.m.,
City Hall, 163 E. Gower St.
Monday, May 20
Ecola Creek Watershed Council, 4:30 p.m.,
City Hall, 163 E. Gower St.
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