Tag: Jo-Brew

Memories of U.S. Highway 99

By Pat Edwards

While I was attending Queen Anne Grade School in Lebanon, Oregon during the late 1940s and early 1950s, my father owned the Smith-Kuehl International Harvester dealership there.

I vividly remember that our family recreation in those days, during the summer months, was to go to area stock car races each week. We’d all load into Daddy’s red International pickup truck. He and our mother sat in the cab and my brother, sister and I climbed into the open truck bed. Each of us would bring along a blanket and a pillow. We used them as seat cushions as we made our way north on Highway 99 to the Salem area where our favorite races took place.

During the usually hot summer afternoons, we gloried in the feel of the wind whipping our hair into our faces and mouths whenever we tried to talk – at least my sister and I did – our brother always sported a crewcut.

By the time we made our way home after a long day of dusty car races and destruction derbies, darkness had usually descended and we’d wrap ourselves into our blankets and lay our sleepy heads on the pillows which did not do a whole lot to cushion the bumps. My older brother and I laid there singing ‘Ninety-nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall’ at the top of our voices while our younger sister invariably fell asleep in her little cocoon between us.

We always stopped at a drive-in near Albany to get an ice cream cone before heading east towards our home in Lebanon. My brother and I were very careful not to wake our little sister who usually slept right through the stop. Then, mean kids that we were, we teased her about missing her ice cream treat the next day.

We moved away from Lebanon in about 1954, but later returned in 1958, where I graduated from Lebanon Union High School in 1960. Sometime before my sixteenth birthday, my mother would frequently take me out to practice driving so that I could get my driver’s license. Our favorite practice spot was on an unopened section of the new Interstate 5 freeway that was being built through the Albany area. I had miles of smooth pavement to drive on with no other traffic. I’m not sure that it was legal at that time, but we never got stopped or fined for doing it. It turns out that I flunked my first driving test, though… I couldn’t parallel park!”

Included in OREGON’S MAIN STREET: U.S. Highway 99 “The Stories” by Jo-Brew (2014)

Sweet Lorane Community News, March 29, 2018

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
March 29, 2018
By Pat Edwards

For the past month (and a little more), I’ve pretty much stayed at home. I had a virus that held on for much too long. I still am dealing with residual symptoms of it as well a painful shoulder that I injured last August, and, most of all, the loss of my friend and colleague, Jo-Brew. I’ve been quietly occupied much of the time, working on writing projects, painting our guest bathroom and taking a lot of naps, but I haven’t tried to get out much.

Contributing to my general ennui, we rehomed one of our sweet Blue Heeler dogs because I realized that Nora really needed to be the only dog in the family. She is now with a couple without children who absolutely worship and spoil her rotten, playing her favorite game of fetch several times each day. We both love and miss her, but we knew that we were being selfish to continue to keep her with Toby who has declared his ownership of Jim and me and resented the attention I, especially, paid to her.

All of this adds up to what I feel was a minor bout of depression. I feel, however, that I’m beginning to step out of the fog I’ve been in and I’m ready to experience more of life again.

It’s time to make plans and to get outside more. I’m making a list of the plants I need to get in the ground soon and to fill two petunia planting boxes I made a couple of years ago for our daughter, Michele, and me. I’ve begun taking notice of all of the small limbs that need to be picked up from this winter’s brush clearing that we had done and the fact that the grass is growing a lot right now. I want to take Toby on some more walks and let the still-crisp air fill me with new energy and life.

Yesterday, I was sent information on a writer’s “summit” that is taking place at Sunriver over Memorial Day weekend. I don’t usually participate in these types of things, but it is offering classes and topics on things that really interest me as a writer and I’m hoping that I can work out a way to go… hopefully, with another good friend and colleague, Jen Chambers.

I’ve also decided to take on a new book project about Capt. John O’Brien that I’ve been hoping to write for quite a few years as part of my Early Lorane Settlers series. I published one on the Bailey family of Bailey Hill last year, so this will be the 2nd in the series. I have already gathered a great deal of information on this fascinating Civil War veteran, newspaper publisher and long-time union organizer. All I’ve needed was an incentive to begin it. I’m finally feeling it! It’s time.

This column is supposed to be about Lorane events and people, but there’s little news to share right now and I feel that by talking about my own experiences occasionally, I am able to let others, who are experiencing the same types of things, know that they are not alone. We all have our bouts of the doldrums occasionally and I’ve learned that it’s ok… it’s part of life. We need to learn to deal with the downs in our lives as well as the joy. Each balances out the other and makes life much more interesting!

And just to make sure this column isn’t totally about me this week, I need to remind everyone about the upcoming annual RAC/Lorane Grange-sponsored Talent Show that will be held on Sunday, April 8 at 3:00 p.m. If you want to participate, give Lil Thompson a call at 541-952-5701.

Happy Spring everyone!

Sweet Lorane Community News, March 8, 2018

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

Jo and RobinI apologize for the abrupt ending to last week’s column. I was dealt a huge blow in learning about the death of my colleague, Jo-Brew, while I was trying to write it.

Jo, for many years, was a columnist for the Creswell Chronicle and was quite proud of being able to share her essays with its readers. In her recent memoir called Ripples in the Water that I helped her publish just before Christmas 2017, she told about her time there:

When Helen Hollyer, a woman I’d known as a good realtor, but was now the publisher of the Creswell Chronicle, contacted me, I was curious. She asked me to help the Creswell library by bringing my books to sell at a special event featuring local authors. I was thrilled and eager to go. I’m not sure if I sold any books, but I was glad to be there with some of the authors I’d taken workshops from or with.

Helen asked me to consider writing an occasional column for the Creswell Chronicle. I decided to try it and sent one in. Getting a copy of the paper in the mail with my column in it spurred me on and I hurried to send in another. Somehow I kept sending and she kept publishing, weekly, for seven years until she sold the paper.”

For those of you who knew her, the family is planning a celebration of Jo’s life at the Community of Christ Church on March 25, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. It’s located at 1485 Gilham Road, Eugene and all are welcome.

In lieu of flowers, Jo would have encouraged memorial donations to the Lane Library League. Contact information can be found on their website at http://lanelibrary.org/

Randy RampCongratulations to Randy Ramp, son of Monte and Tiny Ramp of Crow, for his nomination as “Administrator of the Year for OCCA” from Sherwood High School where he serves as Athletic Director.

Randy grew up in Crow, graduated from the Crow schools and then was the head girls’ basketball coach at Crow High School during the time our daughters, Michele and Kelly, played there.

A fundraiser is being planned at Papa’s Pizza Parlor Thursday, March 29 beginning at 11:00 a.m. for our hometown hero, Michael Matchulat, who has been battling Stage 4 colorectal cancer for the past couple of years. The purpose is to help defray some of the huge medical expenses he and his wife Amber are facing. Michael’s most recent blog gives you an inside view of what he’s facing.

Michael MatchulatWhy do I act like a five year old at the dessert buffet? Because I love pie… and cake… and Jello. There’s a scan on Monday and as much as I know faithfully as proven fact (hope and pray) that the chemo is working, I have no idea what’s going to happen once the rays go into the Scantron 4000 and it tells someone how much less cancer I’m still fighting.

The five year old is the gauge I have to use now after a painful conversation with one of the pediatric oncology transplant nurses who was being my angel for the day. Kids don’t know anything differently than going to the hospital and getting poisoned in order to live. They go, they soak up the chemicals, and they have a better shot at being a kid longer. And many of them die.

Love your important stuff like a child. Live like that nurse around those children she helps every day so they can smile one more time at whatever they want. Love like that child with the one indicator of pain being the wash of joy from their being. At the bottom of the pile of ashes is what you’re hiding from yourself. It’s always going to be there.

And visit your dessert bar. I’m the first in line. Thank you, Michael.

Reminder: A series of meetings called “Mentoring Ideas to Plans” geared to help us learn how to sharpen and hone our life skills are being offered at the Lorane Grange every Tuesday until May 1 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Everyone is invited to participate.