A few more recollections about the Seaside Library

<p>Claire Lovell</p>

In her earlier column about the Seaside Library, Esther Moberg was misinformed on a couple of points.

It was not quite clear to me which place she called the Dresser Building. According to Gerry Beardsley, her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jandrall, told her the Wascher-Dresser Building was on the northeast corner of Holladay Drive (then Seventh Street) and Broadway. When it was no longer in business, the J.C. Penney store was built in that spot.

The Dressers lived in the Kurtz house on the second lot northwest of Fourth and Seventh avenues. I remember a picture of their son, Billy, among my sister Vera’s snap- shots.

The first library I knew had its entrance on Broadway, about where Arvin Sabey later had his insurance office, next to the river. Adjacent were the only public restrooms besides those at the Turnaround.

It did not expand in that spot or have an upstairs, but rather moved to the Manzel Building next to the stairway where someone from the fire station lived – like Chief

Clarence Owen and later, Clem Schmidt. There was an upstairs with railings in the space.

Gary says it’s where he read the Popular Mechanics magazines. In 1935 or 1936, Elizabeth McKay was the librarian. She kept a watchful eye on book choices for all of us. I loved that library and never did warm up to the oth- ers, though I have a sizeable one of my own. The new facility is a walk too far.

For all of us, looking back can be chancy sometimes. The details may fade over time. In those days, one had to be quiet in the building, too, with occa- sional signs to that effect. In some places, whispering was in order. Isn’t that a good system, especially if study is on the agenda?

There was another reticular cloud over Tillamook Head one Friday. At least it was so described in a book I read. However, in looking it up, the definitions don’t agree.

It’s a cloud that hovers over a mountain in certain weather situations. A friend, Priscilla, took some lovely professional photos of the display. She also had some of a large group of sand dollars, very unusual. I didn’t know they got together like that.

There are other things happening on the beach that are not so pleasant. There is a lot of signage with instructions on how to deal with the ocean.

I think we have a dog problem. When I was able to walk on the sand, I was intimidated by large dogs running free. A neighbor’s miniature dachshund was grabbed by a big dog, which shook her very

badly. Fortunately, John was able to retrieve his dog before she was hurt beyond repair.

Shouldn’t these threatening animals be on a leash to protect the smaller ones – or even people who are trying to take a walk?

A look back in history is always fun. I especially like it when it’s about someone I knew, as in the “75 years ago” section of the Daily Astorian.

Robert Bracken, graduate of Seaside High, grew up here. He lived next to Central School on Third Avenue and joined the Coast Guard as an adult. I had never heard the story of him being washed off the lifeboat, Triumph, and bouncing around the sea for 15 minutes in a storm.

Bob was one of the many successes of our local population. Eventually, he rose to command in the Coast Guard. I never learned his final rank, but during his Astoria tour he was in command of the cutter Onondaga. When last I saw him at a reunion, he was in a wheelchair. I also remember Bob reaching for the peanut

butter in my mother’s kitchen cupboard. He and my brother, Tommy, were in the Boy Scouts together, Troop 248.

Due to the change of ownership at the Signal, many of the situations I wrote of in March have not been used and may never see print. To those of you who don’t see your stories, I apologize. There was just too much copy.

I’d like to offer a big thank you to all the great drivers who open up traffic lanes when I cross the highway at the newspaper office. I’ ve always relied on natural open- ings but people do stop for me, and I appreciate it. My kids worry. I could use the wrong side of the street and walk the “railroad track,” except that I’ve waited as long as three turns to get a walk signal at the 12th Avenue light. I prefer to face traffic.

Q: How do you fix a broken pizza?

A: Use tomato paste.


Claire Lovell lives in Seaside and can be reached at (503) 738-7215. 

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