Parades, Old Guys, & Yogurt

Yesterday was the opening ceremony for the Scappoose Summerfest aka Sauerkraut Festival aka Scappoose Pow Wow. I add all those “aka’s” to give you a bit of history for the event from its beginnings. The entire time I was growing up, for those village events I remember, it was the Scappoose Pow Wow Parade. The reference, of course, was to the Scappoose heritage that has a distinct Native American association. Our High School mascot was always an Indian caricature fondly called Ichabod. With all the bru ha ha going on about offending Native Americans, the focus changed from that heritage to another one of Scappoose’s finest exports, sauerkraut. The exports were from the Steinfeld’s Pickle plant which was located conveniently across Highway 30 from the Scappoose Elementary School making it an easy target for school field trips. Seinfeld’s did well in Scappoose and I remember seeing their products for sale at many Navy commissaries during my Navy career. Most notably was on the island of Guam.

Anyway, Steinfeld also made sauerkraut so that became the theme for a while but the company was sold, the pickle plant was torn down, and big homes were erected ending the era of Steinfeld forever. Now it’s just another neighborhood that older residents point out to new comers with the caveat “that’s where the old Steinfeld pickle plant used to be.” An interesting point is that even during Summerfest events you can still find Sauerkraut Ice Cream for sale. Not something I’d buy unless I happened to spend a considerable amount of time at the ever-present beer garden first.

Last year I marched with 9 other old guys at the front of the opening parade down 1st Street, all of us wearing our VFW and American Legion hats, and each of us bearing one of the following flags – American, Oregon State, POW/MIA, VFW, American Legion, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The prime requirement for flag bearers was that they had to be able to walk half a mile. Those who couldn’t, rode in a flag bedecked trailer pulled by a beautifully restored Bronco owned and driven by one of my golf partners, Junior. We did OK during that parade, even though we didn’t do well keeping in step, but we got it done.

We did the same thing again this year and were blessed by the presence of a Marine recruiter, SSgt Copeland, who knows everyone in the county. Having an active duty Marine with us was great because he wore his uniform and made us look especially good as we marched smartly down the street. While lining up, I made sure I got next to SSgt Copeland for the trip because I was pretty sure he was well-trained in CPR and could toss me in following trailer should the need arise. It didn’t, but it’s good to be safe.



SSgt Copeland is holding both the Navy flag (mine) and the Marine Corps flag so I could exit ranks to snap these shots. What a great guy.IMG_2007

I’m happy to report that everyone made it through the parade in fine fashion and we did a respectable job of remaining in step thanks to the efforts of a young Afghanistan survivor who called cadence for the entire trip. He was the left man in the back row so, unfortunately, some of those in the front ranks couldn’t hear well enough to appreciate his efforts. Our back row did an exceptional job, making up for those who were audibly challenged this day.

After the parade we disbanded and went to the Scappoose Veteran’s Park where numerous vendors were plying their wares. The American Legion group was there to sell raffle tickets in an attempt to make a little money for us to assist veterans, our primary purpose. One of the items is a Mossberg 500 Tactical Shotgun. We had a discussion about where to get the raffle tickets printed at one of our meetings and me, not having learned raising one’s hand during such discussions sometimes results in situations involving a lot of work. Consequently, I created the tickets, printed them, perforated the tear off portion, and cut them all up. There were 500 of them that are being sold for $5 each. The raffle drawing will happen on Veteran’s Day, 11/11, at 11:11 am. If you want one, let me know. The raffle will continue until all 500 tickets are sold, or the drawing date arrives. Second prize is $200 and third prize is $100.

My ticket format, which I plagiarized from the quilt raffle tickets I made for Diane, allowed me to get 10 to a sheet. Perforating the stubs, and cutting out each of the tickets required 15 trips to the paper-cutter for a total of 750 manual evolutions. It took a while. This is what the progression looked like during one of my mandatory rest periods …

One of the fun things that happened in the vendor line was when I encountered Terry & Jen in their Yo Place Frozen Yogurt Wagon. You can check out their ‘real’ Yogurt Shop here. They coached Lydia’s softball team for a number of years so we got to know them well. This wagon is unique to the West Coast and was designed by Jen. She is truly an entrepreneurial pioneer. It was good to visit with them and enjoy their product on this 100 degree day.IMG_1994

On another note, I believe our multi-talented hydrangea is on the verge of blooming. IMG_1992Have a great week !

Father’s Day 2015 & Other Stuff

I suspect that many people will wind up here because of the generic title of this post, not because they know me and are interested in seeing what will be revealed this day from my half-wit age-adled memory banks. So, let’s get to it …

Father’s Day began yesterday with a trip to the beach with Diane, my lovely bride of umpteen-eleven years. Jennifer, Diane’s oldest Daughter, and Jeran, her youngest Son, filled the remaining seats in the Impala as we ventured forth at the un-godly hour of 0800 on our trip to Cannon Beach to join the crowds near Haystack Rock for the 50th Annual Sand Castle competition. It’s something we’ve never done before and we deemed it was time. Besides, it’s been a while since we’ve been to the beach and it’s one of our favorite destinations. Another reason for the trip was to watch a soccer match between Lydia’s tournament team play against the Astoria Varsity team.

First, the trip … it is my custom to relinquish my front seat navigator’s position to company whenever we have any because that’s just the way I am. Another reason I do that is so the new passenger can sit closer to the conversation she is undoubtedly going to have with the driver. It’s a safety thing, ensuring the driver isn’t engaged in a heated discussion with someone in the back seat.

Jeran joined me in the back seat and we were very comfortable during the entire trip. Everyone was being so good that Diane stopped at the Berry Patch Restaurant in Westport, one of our favorites, where we ate a hearty breakfast. Once our tummies were loaded, we continued our trek to Cannon Beach.

As the first Cannon Beach exit from Highway 101 loomed in the distance, Diane and I had a brief discussion about whether or not we should continue south to the Tolovana exit. Before we ended the conversation Diane had made the decision to take the first exit that also leads to Ecola State Park. Instead of turning right at the first stop sign after exiting all those frantic drivers on Highway 101, which leads to ECP, Diane went straight ahead into town. It was a good choice. She made another one of those when she didn’t cruise down the main street of town looking for a place to park. Instead, she took a parallel street, went south a few blocks, and pulled right into a vacant space.

Across the street was a pretty incredible art gallery that we couldn’t pass up because it had a bronze statue of a little girl holding a cabbage patch kid and it reminded Jennifer of her youth when she got a new cabbage path doll every time I went to sea when she was small. The statue even looked like her. Sadly, I didn’t take a photo of that or of anything inside the gallery. Amazing stuff.

The beach was only a few blocks from where we parked and looked a lot like this when we got there … that’s Jennifer in the middle of the photo taking the long way around to all the people gathered closely around the roped off areas where sand castles were being created.

Diane, Jeran, and I took the short cut to begin, but Jeran bailed on us and headed over to his Mom who was walking on firmer sand. They beat us to the displays for some reason. It didn’t make sense.IMG_1931

This is the first area of about 10 that were roped off so artists could work without interference from the masses of people watching their progress. We arrived shortly before 1130 when the judging was supposed to commence, but none of them were anywhere near finished. Sadly, we couldn’t wait to see the finished products because we needed to get to the soccer fields on Ridge Road which defines most of the eastern boundary of Fort Stevens State ParkIMG_1932 IMG_1935

On the way back to the car we stopped for a short rest and photo-op where Diane took this photo to commemorate the day. Had I been more aware I would have sat straiter which would have allowed my stomach to retract a bit into the cavity from which it was seeking escape as she snapped the shutter. But, it is what it is.IMG_1955

Lydia’s soccer team played extremely well beating Astoria 8-1. Lydia played the first half and a newly acquired 2nd goalie played the second half during which Astoria’s only goal was scored. This pleased Lydia.

I must interject to report that next year, Lydia’s Junior year, she has been designated as the varsity goalie for the school team. She’s really stoked about that and is looking forward to the experience. So are we.

On the way to our perch on the hill surrounding the field on which the girls played we encountered what most people would call a “mole hill” in most parts of the world. Here at the beach, however, I figure this one should be called a “mole dune”. It’s all sand so what else could it be?IMG_1956

Before leaving Warranton, we stopped at Duggar’s restaurant for a late lunch. We weren’t sure Lydia was going to make it there because she only had one sandwich to fill the void for that 2 mile drive. It was a really good lunch and the trip home was restful for all of us, even the driver, Diane. She got to go 100 mph more than once.

I don’t think I mentioned that I assisted Daniel with his task of replacing the disc pads on his commuter car on Friday. Apparently it was a dirtier effort than I had anticipated. I even wore gloves!

This morning Diane was up and rolling at 0700 making a cassarole thing for the Father’s Day brunch the ladies were putting on after church. I even got to help and was glad to do it. Helping my bride with any task is my destiny. I’ve learned, however, that it’s prudent to wait until asked instead of barging in a taking over as I’ve been known to do historically. Lots less stressful on everyone concerned.

Now the light is fading from the sky on this longest day of the year, and I hear Diane dialing up an on-demand movie from our stunning array of entertainment available due to a free weekend of on-demand HBO & CINEMAX.

It’s been a great weekend and I must now bid you farewell till another day.

OH! And Happy Father’s Day to all you Dad’s out there.

Cedric Dean Bradley & Cousin Don

Here it is Saturday already and I was just getting used to Friday. That’s not true, of course because, as you all know, I tend to fib once in a while. Friday was a serious day of work for me because it was a nice day and perfect for mowing the yard one more time before it all dies for the summer. Seems kinda dumb, I know, since it’s going to die anyway, but I have this lawn mower I like and it’s just relaxing for me to ride around the yard, and the field, motor going full speed, listening to the mower deck snip the tops off all the dandelions at the speed of sound, going a little bit more deaf each time I do it. I keep thinking I should wear my ear protectors but I almost always forget. Before mowing I did a couple other of my favorite events this time of year … weed whacking and black berry vine demolition.

Weed whacking always winds up ruining my shoulders, mainly the left one, so I probably shouldn’t claim it as a favorite event, but I do like making grass confetti. There’s just something about being in control like that, able to destroy pretty much anything I get next to, but having the willpower to be careful and not allow it to happen. Willpower is sometimes trumped by cockiness that results in a prized rose-bush to join the disembodied grass shreds. Thankfully, Diane cannot be outside when stuff like this is going on because she’s so allergic she can’t breathe. Now, I’m not thankful that Diane breath because of this, but thankful she can’t be outside to witness this senseless distraction. I’ve discovered that a simple solution to such events like this is to just mow down all the rose bushes I encounter. The deer eat the buds anyway, and who wants budless roses? I’ve been mowing them down for so long that I believe Diane has forgotten that we ever had roses.

Now, back to Saturday … this is “birthday” day for some prominent relatives in the area.

First, the oldest is Cousin Don W. who rings up 68 years today. To celebrate, he and a friend, Art, are participating in a race event over the next week, starting today, during which Don will race his car at a different track each night on tracks all the way down to into California and back. We got the lowdown on that yesterday when we stopped to wish him an early birthday. He was putting the final touches on his car in preparation for loading it in his trailer which would be hooked up to Art’s fancy RV. They will have a terrific time, I’m sure. Can’t wait to see how things went.

Second, is our Grandson Cedric who turned 18 today. He’s with his church’s Youth Group at Fort Stevens State Park in Warranton, Oregon for the weekend so I know he’s having a good time. He’s a very spiritual young man who has some pretty special gifts. We’re very proud of him and all he’s accomplished to this point in his life and have no doubt he will just continue that trend going forward. He wants to join the Navy and be a Religious Programs Specialist (RP) which is most definitely right up his alley. He has a plan.

This afternoon we went shopping at Fred Meyer in Scappoose. As a result I’ve been told I need to go throw away all my old underwear. That’s because Diane bought me new ones. I’m not sure if she just didn’t want to wash the old ones any more, or if she just didn’t like them for other reasons. Anyway, I got new ones, and it isn’t even Christmas.

Guess I better go get busy on that …


Golfing & Stuff

Last Friday I joined three friends in the annual Portland Rose Festival Blue Jacket Golf Tournament. None of us had ever participated in this event previously, so it was a bonding event. We had no expectations of winning anything with our stellar play, but what the heck. We gave it our best shot. Besides, it was a scramble, meaning a best ball event where we all hit then chose which one of the four was best, then we all hit from that place. The selection process continued until someone dropped their ball into the cup. Fun stuff. With a little creative math, and the use of purchased Mulligans, we finished at even par for the event.

Now, the negative side of this is that it was 90 degrees on Friday and just brutally hot. Our hottest of the year so far. The weather tradition for this time of year, Rose Festival, is for chilly days and typically rain, especially during the Saturday parade. Not this year. Consequently, I lost a lot of sweat that day, sweat that I don’t normally release into the atmosphere, but I really didn’t have a choice.

The tournament was held at Heron Lakes Golf Course which, as everyone knows, is located pretty close to the Portland International Raceway. It’s also close to the Portland Expo Center. And Marine Drive. Down by the Columbia River. Here’s why it’s called Heron Lakes …

If you look closely, there’s a Blue Heron even with Doug’s hat. This was common.

They could just easily called it “Goose Lakes Golf Course” …IMG_1877

but that doesn’t sound quite as classy.

Here’s the group who weathered the weather and survived the day.

Left to Right: Doug, Me, Lyle, & Jim.

We’ve already talked about doing it again next year but who knows what next year will bring. Then, there’s Clyde Lewis, “Ground Zero” talk radio, telling everyone the world as we know it will end on October 7th. I have no idea what that means, but it makes me wonder if I should be making plans for next year.

For today, I’ll just plan on getting to bed a little earlier than normal so I can wake up in time to accompany Diane to the parsonage for another marathon day of transforming they place. While I was golfing last Friday, she spent the entire day working on this by herself. She’s a trooper and I’m blessed to have her in my life.