Bob McEwan turned 95 years old Sunday, Nov. 12. He celebrated his birthday at a gathering of family and friends. Among the chatter and well wishing, McEwan was relaxed, smiling often. Guests were treated to a display of meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables, cupcakes galore and a caked baked by local resident Shannon Smith.
Smith, along with a collective group of family members, neighbors and friends who met regularly for coffee, organized the birthday party at the Sweet Shop in Gearhart.
Recovering from back surgery in August, McEwan looked fit and happy, enjoying the company of 50 or so people from around Clatsop County who came to celebrate the birthday of their longtime friend, one of the oldest residents of Gearhart. McEwan has lived in this oceanside town for more than half a century.
Conversations centered, among other things, on McEwan and his much anticipated buggy rides in the Fourth of July parades, and the sight of him driving his buggy around town led by his trusting donkey Pancho and accompanied by his black lab Pearl who always rode shotgun.
The sleigh bells tied to the buggy were a regular sound around Gearhart. Upon hearing them, residents would often come to the edge of their yards and wave as the trio rode by, or if McEwan stopped, as he often did, they would excitedly approach McEwan for a chat and give Pancho a loving pat on the neck.
After McEwan blew out his candles, he smiled thankfully and graciously accepted a piece of cake — chocolate, of course — his favorite.