Periodically, Thebeerchaser posts a “Beerchaser Miscellany” item on this blog – not a review of one specific tavern or highlighting the contributions of Thebeerchaser-of-the-Quarter. Just a compendium of brief interesting items, a rant by the author, significant events of which Beerchasers should be aware, etc. You get the idea…..
This following includes a pitch for the forthcoming 6th Annual Beerfest in The Dalles, an update on a former high-profile sportscaster on KATU, a great bar and grill in Lincoln City, the latest exploits of Jay Waldron – the most recent Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter and a public appearance by Thebeerchaser. Read on……
The Sixth Annual Beer Fest in The Dalles
Former Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter (read about his story in the post of May 29, 2014) and Mayor of The Dalles, Steve Lawrence, sent this recent e-mail which bears noting:
“Mr. Beerchaser. Wanted you to know our Beer Fest is bigger and outdoors this year. With a new brewery and three new brew pubs, we should have a good turn out.”
And just reading about what’s planned for an amazing $5 admission fee (waived if you spend $10 at a merchant in the City), it’s clearly worth a beautiful drive through the Gorge to participate:
“With more than 50 beers from 25+ breweries from Oregon and beyond, we’re committed to providing a taproom experience for attendees. Each brewery has been asked to bring at least two types of beer.”
Check out the Beerfest website and say “hello” to the Mayor if you attend.
Last week, Janet and I met my Oregon State SAE fraternity brother, Larry Rich and his wife, Mary, at this quant little bistro in the Nelscott area in the south end of Lincoln City. (Milepost 117 on Highway 101)
Larry and Mary reside on the shore of D Lake at the beach and their recommendation was a good one. Since Larry was a starter on the 1967 OSU Giant Killer Football Team, we left the parking spot designated for Beavs to his car. I guess since Janet was a Duck, we could have opted for that one.
A very nice ocean view and menu with “….items, ranging from fresh made burgers, seafood, home-made vegetarian chili, home-made chowder, delicious salads, incredible Reubens…..” We each had one of their great burgers. They also have an impressive breakfast menu.
No draft beers at this time, but a great selection of bottled and beers and wine and Jesse, our friendly server, is a beer aficionado. Besides the good food and nice atmosphere, Jesse is the reason for a shout out in Thebeerchaser.
When he came to our table, he looked at me and said, “I think I know you.” When I asked if we knew each other from OSU, he said, “no,” and we just moved on. When he checked back, however, he asked:
“Wait a minute. Aren’t you Dirty Don from Thebeerchaser Blog? I recognize you from the picture after I came across your blog on a Google search.”
Of course, I was thrilled and my dinner companions were surprised…… Macadangdangs has only been open about two years, but it is definitely worth a stop when you are at the coast.
Tell them that Thebeerchaser sent you!
Rod Luck – An Award-winning Sportscaster – Where is he Now?
Through the connection of another frat-bro (followers of this blog know Jud Blakely – shown above in the photo with Mayor Steve Lawrence, the designer of Thebeerchaser logo and also Thebeerchaser of the Quarter in September, 2013), I had a conversation with Rod Luck.
For many Portlanders, that name will resonate because he was a colorful and award-winning evening sportscaster on KATU television during the early ’70’s.
He had a fascinating broadcasting career with more stops than my “misplaced” luggage on our last airline flight to the East Coast. He worked at stations in Dillon, Helena and Missoula, Montana; New Orleans, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Orlando, Portland and San Diego – not necessarily in that order.
If you check out his website – now somewhat outdated – you will see that he was born in Cleveland and moved to Montana when he was five. He was a standout athlete – football, track and baseball and the Big Sky State was where his dream to be in sports broadcasting became a reality:
“I did the play-by-play for the local high schools and Carroll College (Helena). I also broadcast Montana State University and University of Montana football and basketball games on T.V. I was named the Montana Sportscaster-of-the-Year at age 20 My career ‘took off’ and I later moved on to Portland, Oregon. While in Portland, I broadcast the nightly sports on KATU-T.V., and did TV play-by-play of Oregon State University basketball and football.”
“……I became the only man to ever pitch in, manage in, and umpire in a major league baseball game…….With special permission from the Baseball Commissioner’s Office I pitched in the Brewers final spring training game in 1978 against the California Angels, as part of a ‘special’ I produced.”
He won a UPI award for “Rod Luck – Rookie Manager” and there was also an award for “Rod Luck – Rookie Umpire”:
“The plan was to umpire one game at home plate, another ‘on the bases’ for the ‘special.’ That season, however, the umpires went on strike and I was asked to umpire 6 games to help out. It made for some interesting moments and confrontations with players and coaches.”
And, if some of this sounds far-fetched, the website has a video where you can actually see Rod’s “favorite sportscaster” wing-walking on a Stearman Bi-plane at 3,500 feet – part of another special entitled, “Rod Luck – Flying High!” He repeated this stunt several years later at the Daytona Beach Air Show on a Waco Bi-plane.
While he obviously enjoyed relating the highlights of his professional career, Rod was also quite candid with me when he told me about falling out of “Luck” and his struggles ranging from bad investments, addiction, legal problems and medical issues.
He is out of broadcasting and now living in San Diego, but is working on a book. Rod makes occasional school appearances as a motivational speaker and offers warnings about addiction:
“I can speak about those things, because I was an abuser. Now 6 1/2 years ‘addiction free,’ I feel obligated to go into the community and ‘spread the word’ and, hopefully, save a life or two or more!”
(Note: That’s now 8 years as of May 10, 2016)
Like any colorful personality, there are those who will think Rod Luck’s ego got the best of him, but based on my long conversation, I thought he has gained humility from reflecting on the highs and lows in his life.
AA and religion have helped him get back on track and he has a riviting and worthwhile story to tell. You might even want to send him an e-mail and say “hello” at firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out his website at http://rodluckonline.com/index.html
An Update on Beerchaser of the Quarter, Jay Waldron
My 3/29/16 post entitled “Jay Waldron – Rugger, Rafter, Rider and Lawyer” profiles the interesting story of my colleague at the Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt law firm.
Raft trips including the Upper Yangtze in 1996, as well as adventures in the courtroom, on the rugby field and bars (most notably, Jake’s) after the matches, sparring with Ray Lampkin Jr. when he was the world’s #1 ranked lightweight and motorcycle trips on several continents.
Well, Jay, who recently celebrated his 70th birthday, just completed another motorcycle trip – from Portland to Key West, Florida – 4,528 miles in fourteen days. He was accompanied by Portland lawyer, Ivan Gold.
I asked him for a summary and you can tell that it was another one for what should be Waldron’s eventual book……:
“We enjoyed Bryce Canyon and the surprising beauty of the Ozarks. We didn’t enjoy 26 degrees and sleet in Telluride or a snowstorm at 11,300′ at Monarch Pass.
A state trooper stopped us for going 80 in a 50 zone on a remote mountain road, but old age and white hair avoided a ticket. (Jay didn’t say whether it was his or the trooper’s….)
Ivan crashed near Memphis, escaped with soreness, but totaled his bike. He soldiered on to Key West via rental car and jet boat.
Beale Street in Memphis was unsurpassed, but seeing an armed guard at the entrance to a fancy New Orleans restaurant was disconcerting. Key West is still a margarita mix of Jimmy Buffet and Ernest Hemingway.”
Thebeerchaser at the West Linn Rotary Club
On May 4th, I had the pleasure of speaking to the West Linn Rotary Club about my experiences since Thebeerchaser’s Tour of Bars, Taverns and Pubs commenced in August, 2013.
After reviewing 75 Portland establishments and another 100+ watering holes in Europe, Alaska, Hawaii and several states including those in the Southeast and don’t forget bars visited on trips in my home state – ranging from the coast to central and eastern Oregon, one acquires some stories worth telling – at least in my unbiased opinion!
They were a good audience and also liked the bar joke that, Dave Booher, my brother-in-law, supplied (and encouraged laughter after I delivered it.)
“I was drinking at a bar last night, so I took a bus home. That may not be a big deal to you, but I’ve never driven a bus before.”