Sweet Lorane Community News, February 8, 2018

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
February 8, 2018
By Pat Edwards

Lorane Country Cafe

Goodbye to the Lorane Country Cafe. Thanks for the memories!

We had a major event take place in Lorane this past week. We said goodbye to a piece of Lorane’s recent history when the Lorane Country Café was used for a practice burn by the Lorane and South Lane fire departments. I think that most agreed that although it was sad for those of us who have such good memories of stopping by for a delicious meal, usually cooked by Bette Giles or her son Dale, it was time. It had sat vacant for several years now, only being used occasionally by a private individual. Then the property was sold to Brian and Doug Coombs and veteran brewer, Matt Van Wyk of Alesong Brewing and Blending who built a nice new brew-pub building on the hillside above it. The café was deteriorating rapidly and when representatives of the fire groups contacted Alesong about using it for a practice burn, the owners felt it was the best option. In doing so, it provided the Lorane and South Lane Fire Departments much-needed practice on procedures they may face in real-life situations. There are pictures of the burn posted to the Lorane, Oregon Facebook page. Thank you to the participants for giving its demise a sense of purpose.

Mark your calendars: The Crow Booster Club is having a Bingo and Soup Dinner Fundraiser at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 10. Everyone is invited to attend.

A Little Bit of Lorane History: Lorane Country Café (written in 2006)
After seven long years of working after work and on weekends, Dale and Bette Giles opened the doors of their new restaurant, the Lorane Country Cafe. They located it next to their home and adjacent to the entrance to King Estate Winery on North Territorial Road. The property that had at one time been part of Bette’s family’s homestead. Dale had always promised Bette that someday he would build her a restaurant if she would run it and after moving back to Lorane from Alaska in 1979, they began the fulfillment of that promise. The bright and airy building seated 45 patrons and the full set of windows on the front overlooked fields and vineyards. They catered to local patrons who preferred good basic foods and in doing so, attracted others from Eugene, Cottage Grove, Veneta and other parts of Oregon looking for a good meal in a beautiful setting. They offered 3 daily specials and homemade pies, biscuits and soups. It was always difficult to find help at the store because of the rural location. Bette employed local people and in the summers she hired high school students. But she always believed that it is important for teenagers to participate in school activities during the school year. In an article for the Lane Electric Ruralite, Bette was quoted as saying, “I hate to see them tied up with work. Their high school years should be a special time in their lives. There is lots of time left for work.”

The Giles ran the restaurant for 17 years with the help of their two sons, Dale “Ben” and David, and their daughter Deeann Giles Brewer and eventually closed it in 2003 after not being able to find a buyer. In 2005, Richard Boyles purchased the land and building and at this writing, it is standing vacant, awaiting a new infusion of life. The Giles sold their home and other property at the same time and moved to Arizona where they have chosen to retire. Their daughter Deeann Brewer remains in Lorane with her husband Jeff and son Christopher Davis Brewer, and Dale, Jr. is currently living in Lake Havasu with his family. Their son, David, passed away in 2008. (From Sawdust and Cider to Wine, 2006)

Sweet Lorane Community News, February 1, 2018

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
February 1, 2018
By Pat Edwards

I can’t remember when the first day of February has been so encouraging. Usually, by this time of winter, I am sick of the rain and the mud. Historically, February has always been my least favorite month of the year and I’m usually ready to seek out some sunshine. We may regret it later, but this year we have been blessed with much less rain, more strings of dry—and sometimes even sunny—days. We’ve had some sub-freezing temps, but not an unbearable amount and no snow or electrical outages.

As I write this, a strong winter sun is shining through the trees on the hill outside my window. The winter blues have not set in this year, and I’m enjoying our lengthening days of daylight… and yes, I know—I may eat those words this summer.

This week, our grandson called and said he had just completed the first of two planters he is building that will reside outside our store in Lorane. He asked me if I would bring home some flowers from town to plant in them. My first thought and comment, was… “This is not the time of year to plant flowers, Kev. If we have a major freeze, they won’t survive.” But, then I thought of the hardy, tough primroses that seem to survive whatever Mother Nature throws at them in my own flower beds. And, even though it’s too late to plant my favorite spring bulbs—daffodils, tulips, crocuses and hyacinths—I found some sturdy-looking potted hyacinths in a garden shop that were ready to bloom. They were outside and looked like they would at least put up a good fight if we have another freeze. I came home with enough to fill the new planter, and we shall see…

So, for me, this is proof that I can feel positive in February. The winter doldrums that frequently rob me of a lot of possibilities are not present this year. I’m thankful for that.
Now, on to some Lorane and Crow news…

The Lorane Christian Church will be hosting its annual “Friendship Banquet” on Sunday, February 11, at 5:30 p.m. This year, it will be held at Izzy’s on West 11th in Eugene, next to Fred Meyer. Everyone is invited and encouraged to come and share a social evening with neighbors and friends.

The Lorane Bread Basket group wants to remind anyone in the community who is in need to contact them as they offer food baskets all year round—not just during the holidays. If you know someone who could use one, please call 541-520-3643 or 541-952-7752. They will be glad to help.

Next week, February 5-9, is Spring Homecoming Week at CHS. Each day will be assigned a theme so students can dress-up each day according to the theme. Thursday is going to be Dress as Your Favorite Staff Member Day, and it ends with Spirit Day on Friday; the Homecoming Dance is that night. I personally want copies of pictures from anyone who chooses to dress up like teachers, Michele or Brian Kau, especially. If anyone does, please send them to me at paedwards42@yahoo.com for a special project I’m working on.

The project is no secret, as I had to tell our daughter, Michele, about it earlier, but I’m working on a 50th birthday album for her and hope to have it printed in time for her birthday on March 7. Anyone who would like to send a birthday greeting, memory or photo for me to include, should get them to me by February 15. I know she’s got many friends and former students out there who have some fun memories that will bring her joy when she reads her book.

Happy February, all!

Sweet Lorane Community News, January 25, 2018

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
January 25, 2018
By Pat Edwards

Community news is a bit sparse this week, but there are a couple of things I’d like to comment on.

I am exceptionally pleased with the direction the Lorane community is taking in recent years. There is a kind of “rebirth” in community involvement happening that I haven’t seen for some time.

When our kids were in school at the Lorane Elementary, there was a strong parental and community involvement. Most of us—young and old—took part in and/or supported the Lorane P.T.C., the annual school carnival, the holiday music programs, the Lorane Tigers baseball and basketball games, the end-of-the school year picnic, to name only a few. In 1987, we held our huge 3-day Lorane Centennial which drew people from all over the country to help us celebrate. All of the clubs and organizations in the area were alive and well. There was a strong Grange, I.O.O.F./Rebekahs, and church presence with their smelt and community dinners, Lane County Fair displays, haunted houses, bible clubs, vacation bible schools, old-timers’ picnic and 4-H, Scouts and community clubs.

Then, things quieted down a lot—especially when we were told that the school would be closed. We seemed to lose much of our identity. Oh, we still had our yearly celebrations and the organizations kept a membership, but much of the vitality seemed to leave when the school, which had been our community’s hub, closed.

Now, I am seeing a new vitality. New groups are forming. The Grange, Rebekahs and, to an extent, the Lorane Deli are supplying much of the space needed for meetings and events. Once again, there is fresh new leadership that has taken on the job of creating interest, excitement and is promoting multi-generational involvement in our community.
The newest group, called “Birth to Beyond,” is only one example of the direction we are taking. It’s credo reads:

“We are a not-for-profit meet up to mentor and bring resources to the children and their guardian(s), parents and families. We seek to bring together circles of multigenerational interaction for play, conversation, encouragement and nourishment. We saw a need in our community and this is our solution. We come together to see the needs and connect resources to those needs. We now open the Grange doors on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or later. We create play spaces for children and playmates of ALL ages! From trains to sewing machines! Clothing exchanges and food boxes… We have recognized the need for a weekly meet-up to share space, time and support. We offer a chance to connect, sit, eat, play and enjoy being together.”

Their first meetings have appeared to be a success and I hope they continue. Contact Misty Burris or the Birth to Beyond Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/gatherandalign/ for more information.

I’d also like to comment on the trend our schools, including our Crow-Applegate-Lorane district schools, are taking these days. Instead of making each child feel they are failures in life if they choose or aren’t able to attend four years of college, the tendency is to once again provide some career education classes. These can be in the form of mechanics, welding, computer science, carpentry, business management, early childhood development, robotics, engineering and cooking, among others. These classes are vital in maintaining interest in education among all students—not just the ones heading for a 4-year college and huge student loan debt. More students are going to stay in school and feel confident that they can improve their lot in life. By doing so, we all benefit.

Sweet Lorane Community News, January 18, 2018

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
January 18, 2018
By Pat Edwards

Bill Becker of Crow notified us that his brother-in-law, Jerry Robertson, recently passed away. Jerry was from Crow originally. His brothers, Gene and Alva, also from Crow, preceded him in death. He was married to Bill’s sister, Caroline Becker, also of Crow. Jerry and Caroline moved to La Grande in 1967 and have lived there ever since. Our condolences go out to Jerry’s family.

Remember: Lorane Grange Dinner and Bingo Night is to be held on Saturday, January 27, 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., respectively.

The Oregon Department of Forestry, Western Lane District, is announcing its “Fuels Reduction Grant Program” that offers to provide defensible space around your home, reducing the risk of wildfire on your property. They still have room for landowners to sign up for the program. It currently centers around the Lorane area (Coyote Ridge Communities) and maps are posted on the Lorane Facebook page so you can see if your property is eligible.

Best of all, it will be done at no cost to the landowner. The Fuels Reduction Crew will create a 30′ to 150′ safety buffer around your home and surrounding structures to increase the chances of saving your home in the event of a wildfire.

You are encouraged to contact their Fire Planning Coordinator, Casey Smith, with any questions or to schedule an on-site evaluation visit (541-935-2283 x244 or email, Casey.A.Smith@oregon.gov)

Lorane resident, Shane Kronberger, commented that “This is a great program. ODF and Lorane RFPD have already utilized this program on one property in the community and it turned out great!”

In a column last June, I included a message from Michael Matchulat who wrote about his 2-year-long battle with Stage 4 colorectal cancer. Last Wednesday, he took another significant step in his continuing battle with the disease. He’s been on a bit of a hiatus this summer while a new program and new strategy was worked out by his team of doctors at OHSU. Wednesday was the beginning of what Michael described as a “chemically-induced hell” to rid him of the tumors that have been growing in his lungs.
Afterwards, he reported that the new direction in his treatment was rough. “As my crushed body observed joy in everything at home, surrounded by my community, family and church, I was forced back to why I started this journey in the first place… Love. I’m living in a microscope again and I have to be careful of the petri dish of the mind and physical world around me. My thoughts must focus on goodness and optimism, which are easy goals right now as opposed to feelings produced by the ‘I-don’t-want-to-go-there’ thoughts. The list of things I can do has shrunk, but it will be replaced with another list of how to do things a new way.” (I’ve paraphrased a bit.)

In the meantime, Michael’s family, friends and community—those who have been with him from the very beginning, have, indeed, continued to reach out to him, offering up prayers and positive thoughts and, most of all, love. Even if you don’t know Michael, please add yours, as well. He is a fighter and I so respect the grit and determination that he has used to face his enemy head-on while sharing with us the real fears and uncertainties that every warrior has felt during life-and-death battles throughout history.

Sweet Lorane Community News, January 11, 2018

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
January 11, 2018
By Pat Edwards

I just heard that a beloved former Lorane resident, Delores Corcoran, passed away recently. She and her husband Vince lived on a 20-acre farm in the Mill Camp area south of Lorane until a few years ago when they decided to downsize. Our daughters, Gloria Edwards and Michele Kau, helped them locate a new and smaller home in town and I’d like to use some of Gloria’s words in this column today.

Delores Corcoran

Delores and Deanne Corcoran

“Sadly, we lost yet another long-time resident of Lorane—Delores Corcoran. Michele and I were blessed to get to know her and we grew to absolutely love both Delores and Vinny (Vincent). I see this picture with Delores and her daughter Deanne and it makes my cry… it is SO reflective of her. She had a beautiful soul and was married to the love of her life. There was no doubt they were each other’s best friend for the 52 years they were married. It brought me so much joy to personally spend time with them during our house hunting adventures! She will be dearly missed. Rest in peace Dolores Corcoran—you were definitely one of the good ones!”

Then, from the Crow Booster Club comes this request for donations: “On December 7, 2017 our high school Cougar Jacob Brown was playing basketball with the Crow High School team at Lowell and suffered a season-ending injury. He required ambulance transportation to the hospital where he was found to have a tibia-fibula compound fracture to his leg (both lower bones in multiple breaks). This required surgical repair, hospitalization, prolonged healing with severe limitations on use and function, multiple medical visits with many more to come to be able to return his prior level of function.

“We have also learned that unfortunately, many of the medical bills will not be covered by their medical insurance.

“The Crow Booster Club is initiating a fundraiser for the Brown family to help them through this time. We are collecting donations through the end of January. One hundred percent of all donations designated to the “Jacob Brown Fund” will be provided to the family.

“Any and all donations will make a difference. Checks should be made out to Crow Booster Club and sent to Crow Booster Club, P.O. Box 1228, Veneta OR 97487 or given to a Crow Booster Club member. If you have any questions please send an email to crowboosterclub@yahoo.com or reach out to any Crow Booster Club member.”

Another local fundraiser for the young Veneta boy, Hunter Heineman, who was killed in a recent motor vehicle accident was held at Yukon Jacks in Veneta this past weekend. I have no doubt that our communities will reach out to the families of these young residents. It is so heart-breaking when our children are lost or hurt. We never know when it could be our own.

RoryOn a happier note, I have been spending a few days this past week puppy-sitting our little 2-month-old “grandpuppy” named Rory. She belongs to Michele and Brian Kau who recently brought her home from Roseburg. This beautiful, happy, not-so-little soul is a combination Akbash and Border Collie. The Akbash is a large white guardian dog similar to a Great Pyrenees that are used by sheep farmers to guard their herds. She currently looks like a black and white fluff-ball with huge tan eyebrows and she enchants each of us who have gotten to know her. Like all grandkids, we occasionally get her during the days, but can send her home with “mom and dad” at night. It’s been a win-win for now until she’s old enough to be able to spend her days in the big fenced yard around Michele and Brian’s home with Duke while they are at work.

Happy January, all!

Sweet Lorane Community News, January 4, 2018

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
January 4, 2018
By Pat Edwards

Well, it’s time we leave behind “holiday mode” and return to some kind of normalcy. Our family had a busy-but-great Thanksgiving and Christmas together, but there’s something about settling back into a routine within our comfort zone following the holidays that always appeals to me.

The November and December weekends spent in the company of Joe and Saundra Blakely and Jen Chambers in our Holiday Market booth was very special. We’ve become good friends as well as “Oregon Author” colleagues and we met a lot of people and sold a lot of books, to boot! I was amazed at how much demand there was for my new The Baileys of Bailey Hill book and I ran out of them at the end. I’m trying to get them distributed to local bookstores and libraries now.

The bad part of this holiday season was that so many of us came down with some type of cold, flu or other bug. I was one of them who was a bit quiet on Christmas day. I managed to get the house in order for company, but thank goodness I had a huge volunteer crew of cooks and “bottle washers” on hand to allow me to kick back and watch the dinner and celebration unfold.

I’ve finally got a few things to tell you about that are coming up this month in Lorane, so let’s take a look.

On Saturday, January 13, the Lorane Movie Night, sponsored by the Rural Art Center, will be showing the movie,”Sita Sings the Blues” (2009). It is an animated film which has “received rave critical reviews.” It’s been described as “a tale of truth, justice, and a woman’s cry for equal treatment” created by Nina Paley. It’s the story of Sita, an Indian goddess, combined with parallel scenes from Paley’s own life and features music by jazz singer, Annette Hanshaw.

For times, prices and program events, go to the RAC website at https://www.ruralartcenter.org/movie-night

The Lorane Grange’s Dinner and Bingo Night will resume on Saturday, January 27. Dinner usually begins at 5:30 p.m. and bingo follows at 6:30 p.m. It’s a fun evening for the whole family.

Jim and I have been observing the recent 40th anniversary of the Lorane Family Store by providing a history of not only it, but of the Lorane Service Station, aka The Mitchell Store, that preceded it. There have only been two owners of the grocery store—the Mitchell family and the Edwards family—through its history. We purchased the store in December 1977 from the Mitchells who established it in 1934.

I have included a couple of stories about the history of the store on my website. The first is a story of the Mitchell Store written in 2008 by Bill Mitchell’s great-grandson, William Olsen. It is followed by the history that I included in From Sawdust and Cider to Wine which I have updated a bit for this purpose.

They can be found on my website at https://allthingslorane.com/lorane-interests/. Also, there are several old pictures of the store posted on the Lorane, Oregon Facebook page for those who enjoy the nostalgia.

Happy New Year, All!

Sweet Lorane Community News, December 21, 2017

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
December 21, 2017
By Pat Edwards

The community of Lorane has lost one of its most beloved residents—Dennis Mitchell— this past week. His death impacts the whole community. The Mitchell family goes back several generations in Lorane. Each of them—Dennis and Lorena, especially—have made an impact over the years. They have both been long-time community members who have helped bond the families in the area into a true “community.” Dennis was not only an astute businessman and logger, he was caring, active and respected throughout his life. He served for 15 years on the Lorane and the Crow-Applegate-Lorane school boards and was an active member of the Oregon Loggers’ Association which named him “Oregon’s Logger of the Year” in 2002.

He and Lorena were married for 67 years.

Some of the comments posted to the Lorane Facebook page include:

  • “He was a very nice man who always waved at us in passing. What a loss for sure.”
    “Blessings to the Mitchell family during this difficult time. He’s sawing logs with the angels.”
  • “He had a great impact on so many.”
  • “Dennis Mitchell and Joe Brewer where the first two neighbor’s my wife and I met when we moved to Lorane. Both were caring people and now both are gone. A personal loss as well as a loss for the community. Godspeed, Dennis, and thank you for being so kind.”
  • “I remember him taking his left hand off the wheel and pointing off into space with his little stoic grin as he drove by my mom’s farm when I was a kid… every single time. Definitely will be missed.”
  • “The hello waves were a constant. His presence and influence in the area is a blessing that will not fade.”

Dennis will definitely be missed, and Jim’s and my sincere condolences go out to Lorena and the rest of the Mitchell family at this time.

Happy New Year to all! Best wishes for a bright future as individuals, our communities, our country and our world!

A Little Bit of Lorane’s History: (written in 2006)
“In 1942, Charlie and Lucille (Mitchell) bought the ranch belonging to her father, Ed Addison, and later bought the land adjoining it to the southeast. Charlie raised sheep and registered Hereford cattle on the ranches. In the 1940s, he began logging for himself, eventually going into partnership with his son, Dennis. Charlie and Lucille had three sons, Dennis, Gary Addison and Russell D. Mitchell.

“Dennis married Lorena Tew and they had four children, Bob, Debra, Lloyd and Carol. Two of them still reside in Lorane. Bob Mitchell and his wife Emily had two children, Cory, who works in the logging business with his dad, and Callie. Lloyd also makes his home in Lorane on the Mitchell farm, as does Bob and Emily.

“Dennis and Lorena’s two daughters have moved from the area. Debra lives in Anchorage, Alaska, and Carol resides in Cottage Grove where she runs The Flower Basket floral business that she owns jointly with her mother.

“After Charlie’s death in 1970, Dennis bought out his father’s share of the business and is still running the logging operation in partnership with Bob and Lloyd.”

From Sawdust and Cider to Wine (2006) by Pat Edwards