Welcome to our annual Oregon Coast history issue. During the winter, when our readers like to snuggle by the fire with a good book or magazine, we line up a selection of stories that bring the "good old days" to life. As usual, we have a fine selection this year, many of which were written by people with close ties to the tales they tell.
Art Redman's "Four Hundred Johnsons of Clatsop County," with a wonderful illustration by our own Paula Korte, takes us back to the early days of Astoria, when immigrants arrived with all sorts of unpronounceable names.
Paul Pintarich's story on Dan DeSart's love for dory boats is brought to life with black-and-white photos from Dan's own photo album. Brian Ratty writes of his grandfather's daring rescue off Tillamook Rock after a violent storm in 1934 and also provides photos from the family album. Elsie Moore reminisces about how farmers helped out with lumber and food when the railroad was being built between Eugene and Coos Bay in 1913, and William Lewis tackles the mystery of the World War II radar site on top of Cape Perpetua.
Cheryl Wanner shares her research on the ongoing "Beeswax Ship" project, and Jo Pomeroy-Crockett lets us in on all the sights of Astoria, the coast's most historic city.
In case all this reading makes you hungry, we've scoped out a selection of coastal restaurants where you can get a good, satisfying steak. And should you have the urge to venture out on a winter shopping expedition, check out Judy Fleagle's story on the antique shops of Lincoln City. With more than 100 dealers to choose from, you're sure to find something that you can't live without.
I also wanted to mention a great dinner I had at the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute at Southwestern Oregon Community College in Coos Bay. The students, under the direction of head chef Shawn Hamlin, prepared a four-course meal featuring wild salmon and elk. The Dungeness Crab Commission taught us how to crack crab and get out the maximum amount of delicious meat, HV Cellars provided wonderful Oregon Coast wines, and Brandon Williams of Rugged Coast Seafood in Charleston cooked up several kinds of local clams, including Empire clams, an absolutely wonderful variety that I’d never heard of before.
OCCI offers culinary luncheons as part of its externship program every Friday afternoon at noon. Visit occi.net/programs for more information. You can support the students and have a great meal all at the same time.
In the meantime, enjoy the winter!
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