Water under the bridge

1968 — Fisherman Curt Olsen is not superstitious, he said, having sailed out of San Francisco and Los Angeles for the past five years on a boat named Deep Six by a former owner. He was worried last week, however, when several logs struck the stern while the vessel was tied up at the Astoria dock.

10 years ago this week — 2008

After two deadlocked votes, the Newport City Council delayed its decision on selecting a company to provide air service to Newport and Astoria.

The council, which is one member short, voted 3-3 to reject the two proposals from Cape Air of Massachusetts and Air Azul of Florida and start the bidding process over.

Then it voted 3-3 to collect more information on the two proposals before picking one. Mayor Bill Bain declared an impasse and suggested members revisit the issue Sept. 2.

The only things that seemed out of place amid the fog were the modern cameras.

Seaside beachgoers this weekend were transported back 202 years in a program called “The Saltmakers Return to Seaside.” Actors portraying members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition camped on the beach off Avenue U and tended a bonfire to boil water from the Pacific Ocean into salt.

This living history first-person interpretation allows modern visitors to interact with members of the Corps of Discovery. The actors slept and lived as if it were Jan. 9, 1806. Buckets of seawater boiled over a campfire until just a residue of salt remained. Nearby, a tent provided meager shelter from the elements.

Pvt. William Bratton (Don Laky) cooked a small bird on a large stick over a fire, while Pvt. Rueben Field (Aaron Webster) boiled eggs in the seawater. The menu was neither extensive nor varied, although there was salt available for flavoring.

Four Astoria musicians helped the Oregon Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps win the respect of the judges and the hearts of the crowd at the 2008 Drum Corps International World Championships. The competition, which began last week in Michigan City, Ind., brought together 23 Open Class corps with members from North America, Europe and Japan, vying for slots in the finals round at Memorial Stadium on the campus of Indiana University.

Masen Bowers, Jessica Nokelby, James Strecker and Jasmine Thomasian brought home finalist medals, an honor earned by only 12 corps in each of two divisions nationwide.

The Crusaders placed fourth overall.

50 years ago — 1968

The 46-foot pleasure craft Glady sank off Clatsop spit after the vessel struck Buoy 12 in the lower harbor in a dense fog.

Owner J.M. Hardy, Portland, radioed the Coast Guard at Cape Disappointment station that his boat was sinking. Crewmen from a 44-foot rescue boat took nine persons from the vessel.

An expedition from Maryland finished retracing the 1805 Lewis and Clark expedition’s route under cloudy skies near Chinook, Wash., where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean.

“My knees are shaking,” said Mrs. LeRoy Jensen, head of the biology department at Charles County Community College, La Plata, Md.

Mrs. Jensen, her husband, two daughters, a teacher and three students brought two canoes down the Columbia River to the sandy beach near Chinook at 9 a.m. The trip began June 18 in St. Louis, 3,400 miles away.

Tuna tonnage coming into Astoria and Warrenton is setting a record pace, a Bumble Bee Seafoods official said.

“This year, if the season lasts long enough, could beat the record. This remains to be seen,” said Lew Wright of Bumble Bee’s production department.

“Roughly speaking, we’re three times ahead of what we had last year.”

Wright said the cannery is operating nine hours a day, six days a week. The facility would be operating longer hours but for the fact that the women workers also have to operate households and can’t easily put in the time.

75 years ago — 1943

With 93 percent of America’s total rubber supply sources in the hands of the enemy, drivers of staff cars, jeeps and trucks at Fort Stevens have been giving the vehicles they drive the infinite care that is normally accorded to a fine watch.

Each driver’s name is proudly pasted on the windshield of the vehicle he drives and these men have become finished specialists in the art of check and double check.

With the slogan of “Rubber Speeds Victory,” these drivers take a pride in being ever prepared for a “check” by automobile experts especially selected by Col. C.S. Doney, commanding officer, harbor defenses of the Columbia.

The daily tire check is not a matter of simple routine, but these drivers continually examine their rubber for tell-tale signs of irregular wear. Faulty wheel alignments and unequal brakes are especially watched for.

The kickoff in the local Legion’s 40 et 8 organization’s free cigarette drive for the boys overseas and on casualty trains is all set, sponsors of the drive said.

More than 100 money “buckets” have been placed in Astoria and Clatsop County business establishments for the convenience of citizens desiring to help the cause, according to Oswald Gustafson, chairman of the 40 et 8 committee.

Vanport City, the nation’s largest single war-housing project, was completed today.

The giant project will shelter 40,000 residents, stepping into fifth place in population among the cities of the Northwest. It is the most extensive mass housing experiment of all time.

Bob Duke is the author of the weekly Water Under the Bridge column in The Daily Astorian. Contact him at beachduke@gmail.com

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