About 30 of us gathered at the Arcadia Beach wayside Sunday morning. Drawn by Louie Opatz’ July 4 article about the largest tree in Oregon, we would join Christopher Smith of the North Coast State Forest Coalition on a hike to see the biggest known tree in Oregon, a 152-foot tall Western red cedar.

As we bushwhacked our way through the forest, I gained a new appreciation for my reporter and photographer who gave us a July 4 story on this topic. This was not a run-of-the-mill assignment to walk down the street to City Hall.

Most of us of a certain age need a nudge now and then to get out in the forest that is all around us. With us on the hike were a young couple and their two small children. The kids did just fine.

It makes abundant sense for the state Board of Forestry to trade for nearby parcels, to give this island of public ownership more protection.

•••

If you are a fan of lox and bagels, you probably know which restaurants serve it: Urban Cafe, T. Paul’s Supper Club, Bagels by the Sea, Astoria Coffeehouse and Josephson’s.

Local purveyors either serve lox from Josephson’s Smokehouse or Costco. But except for Bagels by the Sea, none of them offer a great bagel.

Now we have a new entrant, and it is the stand-out winner. The 14th Street Coffeehouse in Astoria offers Josephson’s lox and bagels from Marsee Baking of Portland. The combination is sublime.

•••

Following our hike from Arcadia Beach on Sunday, we dropped by the Cannon Beach Hotel, hoping that our old friend Claudia Tuckman was the restaurant’s new proprietor, identified in our recent news story as Claudia Toutain-Dorbec. Voila. There she was. It was fabulous to reconnect with Claudia and meet her husband Pierre, a photojournalist with Vietnam War credentials.

If we needed proof that the fare was excellent, in walked the restaurateur John Newman and his wife. The chicken with brie sandwich and the croque madame were delicious. Cupcakes are the drawing card of the cafe’s companion, the Olio Cupcake Bar. We tried two of the miniatures and found them to be exquisite.

•••

My late Grandmother Aldrich had three lives. One was as a school teacher in places such as Clifton. Then she became the wife of the editor of The East Oregonian in Pendleton. Upon her husband’s death in 1951, she embarked on a new life that ended in 1983. Over almost three decades she became a world traveler. In San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and London, she took in theater, musicals, ballet, opera and orchestral concerts.

My cousin Kathryn recently gave me a passel of grandmother’s theater programs. One of them, from the Royal Danish Ballet, included a page devoted to a familiar face. It seems the conductor of that May 1964 performance was Theodore Bloomfield, who would spend his retirement in Surf Pines. I knew Ted briefly until his death in 1998. Ted’s widow, Marge, is one of the most remarkable cultural pioneers in our region – an advocate of the Liberty Theater’s restoration as well as the Astoria Music Festival.

Of all the local music events I have missed, I most regret not being at the night when Ted conducted the North Coast Symphonic Band. Jo Robinson was there and she said that Ted brought the band to a new level of performance.

— S.A.F.

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