About Thebeerchaser

Retired Chief Operating Officer at a large Northwest regional law firm. Attended Oregon State University in the late '60's and went to Portland State University for graduate school. Have resided in Oregon since our family moved here in 1960.

Beerchasing Miscellany – Looking Back……

Darwin’s Theory Bar in Anchorage (see below)

(Welcome back to Thebeerchaser.  If you are seeing this through an e-mail, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking on the title above so the post is not clipped or shortened.)

While we’re not technically still in a lockdown, by no means have things returned to normal based on the pandemic.   And for me, Beerchasing is on a hiatus other than Happy Hours on our back deck and one trip to the Benedictine Brewery in Mount Angel. Janet and I could easily social distance outside in a wonderful environment.

Visit the St. Michael Taproom in Mount Angel at the Benedictine Brewery

The Evolution of Darwin’s Theory

One of my favorite Dive Bars in the nine years of Beerchasing is Darwin’s Theory in Anchorage, Alaska.  It’s owned by an Oregon State graduate and we visited it in 2014 at the start of an Alaskan cruise. To that point, I had pretty much restricted my blog posts to Portland establishments.

My wife and I were doing a lot of retirement traveling, however and I thought, “Why not expand this project to other venues than Portland?”  Darwin’s was one of the first and we loved this little two-room dive bar with great nooks and crannies and which only served beer in bottles.   We each had a beer and left at about 10 PM to walk back to our hotel – but – it was still totally daylight and I said, “Since it’s this light, I’m going back to have another beer.”

Lincoln Town Coupe – plenty of passenger room, but more important, spacious fenders….

At the crowed bar, I ordered a PBR and sat next to Bill – an Alaskan fisherman.  He told me about his work driving repeatedly across the US from LA to Washington DC in the 70’s.  Bill said he had a Lincoln Continental with big fenders.    I’ll leave it to your imaginations what he carried in those fenders….

When I told him about my hobby reviewing bars he advised me to be very careful in downtown Anchorage because there had been several murders in watering holes during the past year.  I thought he might be exaggerating, but when I got back to the hotel, I checked it out on-line.  He wasn’t!  Three men were shot and injured outside the Anchor Pub less than a year before – three blocks from Darwin’s.

Jon and Nancy Magnusson and Bob and Stephanie __

My daughter’s wonderful in-laws, Jon and Nancy Magnusson, from Seattle, were traveling to Alaska with their good friends Bob and Stephanie Thompson in January to see the Northern Lights and their first stay was in Anchorage.   They asked if I could recommend a good bar….  And you can see from the picture below that they loved Darwin’s as they did the dog-sled ride they took the next day.

Homespun wisdom from Darwin

Darwin’s also publishes a monthly newsletter I still receive and I got a chuckle out of this rhetorical question on page 3 of the June edition.  After being closed for ten weeks during the pandemic, the bar reopened on June 1.

“I always wondered what a job application is like at Hooters.  Do they just give you a bra and say, ‘Fill it out.’?”

Speaking of Darwin and looking for some more lighthearted topics in response to a global crisis, I was reminded of the Annual Darwin Awards.

“How did my work evolve to this ridiculous award??”

The judges use five criteria and to win, “Nominees must significantly improve the gene pool by eliminating themselves from the human race in an astonishingly stupid way. All races, cultures, and socioeconomic groups are eligible to compete.” 

I was struck by the reference to a winner in a 2014 article in the Arizona Independent Network which quoted a study by researchers in England.  One of the 413 winners from 1995 to 2014 was the the terrorist who posted a letter bomb with insufficient postage stamps and who, on its return, unthinkingly opened his own letter.

High School Memories Continued….

Vortex 1 – August 1970

In two recent Beerchaser posts, I mentioned Dr. Cameron Bangs and the story of this late and fabled Oregon physician including his role as supervising physician at Vortex I.  It was the only state-sponsored rock concert in US history held at McIver State Park near Estacada, Oregon in August, 1970.

Matt Love, a very talented and prolific writer who has his own publishing house on the Oregon Coast – the Nestucca Spit Press – wrote a book on Vortex I from Dr. Bangs’ 20,000 + word diary.  Several articles Matt wrote for Vortex Magazine are also fascinating and particularly relevant at this time because of the 60 + days of protests now occurring in downtown Portland 50 years later.

And through a few conversations and checking out his website, I also discovered that Matt wrote a serialized chronicle entitled Pioneer Pride – An Oregon City Memoir.  It was fascinating to me because we both graduated from Oregon City High School – I was in the class of 1966 and Matt in 1982.

I would suggest that the recollections of sports, high school love and unforgettable teachers – both terrible and terrific – among other interactions in Matt’s great narrative make it one you should read regardless of when and where you graduated.

And it made me start to reflect…….I thought about our senior prank.  Around ten of us managed to hoist an old berry field outhouse on to the roof of the high school.

Oregon City High School as it was in the 1960’s

This was not fake news in 1966 – unfortunately….

Principal Vern Larson scared the hell out of us the next day when we were called into his office to “property chastise” us as referenced in the article to the left in the Oregon City Enterprise Courier.

Now I joke, however, about how he told us to shape up and even “said a little prayer” for us in his office at the end of our session – “If you ever do something like that again, God Help You….!”

“I’ll Say a Little Prayer for You…..said Vern Larson

And there were the highs and lows of high school romance.  I recently played about ten times consecutively and now cannot get the hit tune which epitomizes this topic out of my head, “There’s  a Moon Out Tonight” by the Capris.

“Dated Up” just like he “Married Up”

It reminded me of Ginger, my first girlfriend.  The Capris – a doo-wop group out of New York City, were a one-hit wonder, but one member is still living and the group continues to perform.  (The flip side of the 45’RPM was “Indian Girl” which never hit the charts and would also not be politically correct in this time.)

 

————

The Capris – “There’s a Moon Out Tonight…”

The Jet’s – the OCHS dance team

I was a junior and Ginger was a senior and I couldn’t believe that a member of the Famous Oregon City Dancing Majorettes would go out with a younger guy.

We met in a study hall and I finally got up the nerve to ask her out.  We kidded Ginger because KISN – a Top Forty Radio Station had a contest – Mrs. Brown’s Daughter – named after the Herman’s Hermits 1965 number 1 single on the Billboard Top 100“Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter.”

Senior Picture

She had been nominated and her picture was one on display in the window of their studio on W. Burnside in Portland.  Ginger was embarrassed and I assured her that it wasn’t me who nominated her; however, nobody would have been surprised if she won.

And nothing beat a date after the Friday night football game (even though OCHS did not have its own field and played home games at Thora B. Gardiner Jr. High’s cow pasture gridiron).  Getting a cheap burger in my VW Bug at Dick’s Club 19 in Gladstone – that’s right, burgers were only $.19 – was a chance to see classmates and plan the weekend.

Matt’s memoir was a great catharsis.  On three consecutive days when I was drinking a Buoy IPA (7.5 ABV and 70 IBU) on our back deck, I was also harkening back to what a great place Oregon City had been to live and be educated.   I moved here from Cincinnati, Ohio, the summer before 7th grade.

For a few years, I had an Oregon Journal afternoon paper route and every day would park my bike on the Promenade overlooking downtown and take “the only outside municipally owned elevator in the US” down to Main Street to deliver to my customers.

Oregon City was the first incorporated city west of the Rocky Mountains and when I delivered the paper to the County Clerk’s office, I would see the original Plat of San Francisco –filed in OC.  It was first filed in 1849 and rediscovered in a vault in 1904.

Flash Forward…..

After college and the Navy I came back to live and work in OC and eventually was appointed to the City Planning Commission (for almost eight years).  I met my wife (now of forty years), Janet, at one of those meetings in 1979 after she was appointed the Neighborhood Involvement Coordinator on an LCDC grant.  She  subsequently became the Assistant City Administrator for the City of West Linn in 1981.

One of my favorite teachers in junior high was Mrs. Maxine Stroup, who taught Oregon History .  She made us realize we were living right where countless celebrated Oregon events took place over the years.  Mrs. Stroup brought those to life.  She was a dedicated and enthusiastic teacher and historian.  She made a lasting impression on all her students.

Historic Willamette Falls at the south end of town

I had not seen Mrs. Stroup in almost twenty years until she showed up at the final hearing in 1979, where after six-months of agonizing debate and testimony, we were set to adopt the controversial Historic Preservation Ordinance.   Sentiment on what type of control the City should have on historic property was very polarized. (sound familiar….?)

Janet in 1981 after she became Assistant City Administrator for the City of West Linn

After three hours we finally took the vote and it was adopted with one dissent.  As the hearing ended, I saw Janet (we had been dating for several months but nobody new it) talking to Mrs. Stroup and a very outspoken Neighborhood Group representative advocating for strong controls and who was not pleased with the final ordinance.  The conversation went like this:

Beerchaser:   “Hi Mrs. Stroup.  It’s so good to see you and I remember well your wonderful classes from many years ago.”   I then turned to Janet and the neighborhood rep and said, “Mrs. Stroup was my seventh grade Oregon History teacher.”

Neighborhood Rep“Well it’s too bad that she didn’t teach you a damn thing about it.”

Flash Back

And each day when I delivered papers on Main Street, I would look to the Willamette River and see the beautiful and historic Oregon City (Arch) Bridge, built in 1922. (Some classmates walked the arch before the game with arch-rival West Linn right across the river)

We first lived on Center Street right across from the historic Barclay House.  (I learned in Mrs. Stroup’s class that Dr. Forbes Barclay, after working for the Hudson Bay Company, moved to Oregon City and built the house in 1842.)

The Barclay House – right across the street from our house on Center Street

“(He)…… served as physician for local settlers and townspeople, and served as Clackamas County coroner, City School Superintendent, Oregon City mayor, and city councilman.”

Now, according to Wikipedia, the house is purportedly one of the haunted locations in Oregon – “The apparition of a red-haired boy has been seen on the property.”  

The Barclay house is in the same block (right next door) as the historical  McLoughlin House (Mrs. Stroup taught me that Dr.John McLoughlin was the Superintendent of the Hudson Bay Company and the Father of the Oregon Territory…..)

My summer job was watering the (expansive) lawn each day and mowing each week for a total of $20 per month.

A big lawn for $20 per month…..

Now even in the 1960’s, it seemed like a paltry wage.  However, on reflection, I guess it could buy 104 burgers and a large order of fries at Dick’s Club 19.

There were some astoundingly bad moments in high school like in the middle of Mrs. Westwood’s Latin 1 class (they still taught it back then….and she was another outstanding educator) in 1963, when we heard a shaken Principal Larson announce that President John Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas.

Excellent Latin and French teacher

I loved my senior Modern Problems teacher, Mr. Larry Austin who was also my Senior Advisor.  I had an A going when I missed one afternoon class because we had an away golf match.

One week later, Mr. Austin decided to give us a quick oral quiz and told us to write two pages on what we thought were the most salient points in the film he had shown us the week before about the “Census.”  

Just one of the five “Census???!!”

Well, it was spring term my senior year, I was thinking about the fall when I was going to enter Oregon State University and without giving much thought to its relevance to a Modern Problems Class, I produced an eloquent stream of consciousness essay on the “Five Senses.”

“It’s been interesting……”

He gave me a D and wrote at the top of the test, “I  suggest next time, you focus more on hearing…..” 

Perhaps that’s why when he signed his picture in my yearbook, he ended with the sentence, “It was interesting having you in class this year.

Wasted Willie?

Another teacher – this one in my junior year for Algebra II and Trig was Wayne Bauer – he was also the varsity baseball coach.  The following incident took place his 29th year of teaching at OCHS.  Mr Bauer’s classroom routine for the fifty-minute period was pretty basic – lecture for ten or fifteen minutes, give the next day’s assignment, tell the class to work on our homework and then sit back in his desk chair and read what I assumed were coaching magazines until the bell rang.  (Alternatively, he would leave the room altogether for the Teachers’ Lounge.)

Admittedly, I was somewhat immature (as were a number of my classmates) and getting the homework done was not a high priority.  We usually just chatted or read our own magazines.  But I made a mistake one day when Mr. Bauer came back and heard me yelling across the room to a classmate as he opened the door.  He walked to the center of the room, paused for effect and then said in a stern and emphatic tone:

“Williams.  You have a lot of potential.  Too bad it’s wasted.”

On 30th anniversary with OCHS – “(HIs) ability as a teacher balances his skills in coaching.”

Well, two of my teammates on the JV Basketball team were in the room and by the time I got to practice that afternoon, my fellow hoopsters had adopted the moniker “Wasted Willie.”   And it stuck through High School.  (Even Ginger in her message when she signed my yearbook, referenced “Wasted Willie.”)

Now perhaps, Wayne Bauer, had some foresight because my nickname from my freshman year in college (and to this day as you will see from my blog header above) is “Dirt”  – a derivation of “Dirty Donnie” — that’s another story.   I guess both “Waste” and “Dirt” could be considered Salt of the Earth!   But his comment did at least motivate me to shut up and do my homework in the 80% of the period available each day from then on.

Basketball at OCHS

Things have changed since the ’60’s.  To make the varsity (or for that matter a JV squad) these days, one generally has to start playing AAU or club sports in grade school and go to summer camps.  The physicality of most contemporary varsity athletes is amazing.

In Ohio, there were no grade school team sports and junior high was therefore the first time I tried out for basketball.  After getting cut in seventh grade, I made the eighth grade team but got cut in the ninth.   I was devastated – so my dad put up a lighted basket in our driveway. (Probably no longer permitted in the historic neighborhood…) I spent many hours practicing.

Knowing the chances were not good because the JV Team is made up of both sophomores and juniors, I still tried out and made the JV Team as a sophmore.

Notice the athleticism of the guy on the far right..  1964 Sophomore Year *1

Then the next year, I was one of the three juniors to play JV (guys who would make varsity their senior year but would get more playing time as a JV.)  I loved it.

*1 A heartfelt expression of gratitude to Joe Gabriel, the Manager in the picture above, one of our classmates along with my best friend, Gary Kestler, both of whom made the ultimate sacrifice for his country in Viet Nam.

Inspirational Coach

I started every game and Coach Dick Arbuckle, who was also the head varsity football coach, was the best coach I ever had – a real motivator.

He went on to be head football coach at Sheldon High School and then had an outstanding career as an assistant coach at a number of Pac 8 Division 1 schools including Oregon, Oregon State, Cal and Arizona.

He inspired us as a team and even the last guy on the bench knew he might get called and to be ready at any time.  I learned that first-hand my sophomore year when towards the end of the first half of the season we played West Linn away.

I had hardly played at all that season and only if the game was out-of-reach.  In the first quarter, the starters and sixth-man guard were just dragging and Coach looked down at the end of the bench and said to my surprise, “Williams!”

I was in pretty good shape and got two steals right away and played most of the rest of the game ending up with three steals and going 7 for 8 at the free-throw line.  The next week, a local sportswriter, started his column with:  “Sometimes its not the stars of the game who make it interesting to watch.  Such was the case when Don Williams, who couldn’t weigh more than 120 pounds dripping wet……”

Coach Arbuckle years later

I also still remember in my junior year what Coach did after we lost our first two games and then went on to win eight straight only to lose in a lackluster Friday night effort at McMinnville. (Janet’s home town.)

On the next Tuesday night, we were suited-up and ready to play Forest Grove and as we were gathered for the pre-game talk, he said,”

“After last Friday, none of you deserve to start.”   He handed the score-book to the manager and said, “Manager, you pick the starting line-up.”  He did and we won the game by the largest margin that season.

While most of my hardwood experience in my Senior Year was on the bench, it was always a thrill to come up from the locker room for game warm-ups to a packed spirit-filled gym.  The pep band was stationed on an elevated platform in one corner of the gym and except for the cross-river rival West Linn Lion’s game when they played “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” the group would play the memorable four stanza pep-song “OC – OC – OC High!”   It had stunning lyrics sung by everybody in the gym:

“OC – OC – OC High

“OC – OC – OC High

“OC – OC – OC High!  (OC High)

OC——High!

And one of the most thrilling highlights for our class during our senior year was winning the TYV League Basketball Championship and a trip to the OSAA State Tournament held at the Memorial Coliseum in Portland. 

Although we lost our first round game to Lincoln High of Portland, we beat Wyeast in the second round before losing to Thurston High in overtime to be eliminated.

I will never forget that experience even though I did lose my chance to score in the State Tournament when in the Lincoln game, I missed an uncontested lay-in after intercepting a pass at half-court.  We had a cracker box gym in OC and there were rows of spectators behind the basket at the Coliseum.  Oh well….!

The first time in 20 Years!

Pioneer Pete

At the end of our senior year, our class gave the School a big plywood rendering of Pioneer Pete – our wonderful school mascot – to hang at the entrance to the gym which it did for years until a new school was built in 2003. 

Fortunately, in 2001 when a few activists wanted to “emasculate” our mascot by “photo-shopping” out his musket, the ill-conceived move was resisted.  One suggestion was to replace the musket with a flag pole.

And I covered this story in a 2012 Beerchaser post, because it was quite interesting as reported in this excerpt from the December 12, 2001 story in The Oregonian:

” A burly guy with a coonskin cap, Pioneer Pete stands like a sentinel throughout Oregon City High School. He stares from hallway murals, the backs of varsity jackets and walls in the gymnasium and football stadium.

A musket in his grip and a knife slung off his hip, Pioneer Pete is catching some flak these days. Some students and administrators say his weapon-toting ways break rules that apply to students. He’s even been booted off the cover of a brochure advertising the search for a new superintendent.”

A rich history from 1885

Well, the District Administration got quite irate about the flack this article created and sent the following message:

“Please note that this was not about Pioneer Pete , the OCHS mascot. It was a clip-art picture that was to decorate a brochure to advertise our superintendent position nationally. Our preference, with the covered wagon on the cover, was a couple of pioneers, not a mountain man with a gun.

The story in the newspaper was inaccurate. There is no conversation about changing Pete at the high school. The Oregonian reporter has certainly heard from us today about the misleading story and we have asked for her to clarify that this was not a discussion about Pete. On a slow news day, this story has taken off. We have been barraged with angry people over our decision to change a clip art picture on a brochure……….”

Current logo from OCHS website

I, personally am all in favor of most gun control legislation, but Pete, who used his musket and Bowie knife primarily to put meat on his family’s table should not be a victim of revisionist history.

And I’m proud to see that the current logo on the OCHS Website still has Pete carrying his musket.  In fact, in a June 2019 Oregonian story entitled, Oregon’s Top 10 High School Mascots, Pioneer Pete (with musket) was No. 5!

At our 50th class reunion in 2016, we got a good laugh when a classmate – rather than taking away from what Pete was carrying – added something in his left hand for a more mature Pete to help “walk the trails.” He also gained a receding hairline.

And Finally

I guess a certain amount of penitence on my part is required for those of you who logically come to a blog entitled Thebeerchaser expecting to hear about bars and beers and instead, read my embellished memories of high school and living in a great Oregon community.

Stay Tuned….

But rather than apologize, I want to thank Matt Love for his Oregon City MemoirIt was so well written and enjoyable and it compelled me to take some time to recollect some times in the past we tend to take for granted.

And remember, I currently can’t go to most bars or breweries now anyway.  But that will come.  In fact, in the next post I will feature Matt Love’s Oregon Tavern Age – a fifty-four page tabloid that is filled with wonderful stories on his 22-years writing about dive bars on the Oregon Coast.

In closing, my fellow Beerchasers, Sgt. Phil Esterhaus (the late actor Michael Conrad) used to close every episode of Hill Street Blues with the now famous admonition, “Let’s be Careful Out There!”

Well, I think the good sergeant, if he were still on duty would change that now to:

PS:  Thanks to my friend Mollie Larson Cook for the pins she sent me shown here.   Mollie, also known as The Jazz Cookie, is a talented writer and painter now living in Corvallis. She has two outstanding blogs which you should check out:

Art and Tulips        and       I Thought There was a Pony    

Beerchaser Miscellany – Lockdown Version III

(Welcome back to Thebeerchaser.  If you are seeing this through an e-mail, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking on the title above so the post is not clipped.)

Pandemic Age Procedures

Whether it’s a simple trip to pick up groceries, getting a haircut or even an overdue appointment at your friendly urologist….formerly routine tasks and activities are a lot different during the Pandemic.  They require more planning, enhanced awareness and even paradigm changes especially on those where group gatherings used to be the norm.

The new normal…..

I know a slew of people who are primarily or exclusively working from home – another example requiring changes in ingrained routines ranging from attire, work companions i.e. wife and family members and work furniture to on-the-job accouterments – for example, having a mug by one’s side.

An April 23 (even in the earlier stages of this crisis) Oregon Live article entitled, “Almost half of Oregonians are drinking while working at home during coronavirus pandemic survey says.” talks about a new phenomenon.

It’s 10 AM somewhere…..

Multiple national surveys affirmed this trend and it’s probably not surprising that:

“Advertising and marketing agency employees had the highest percentage of employees answering with ‘Yes’, with 49.14%” and “North Carolina, Oregon and Connecticut were the biggest drinkers, each with 47% partaking on the job.” 

Of course, this raises other questions such as:

“Will growlers in the refrigerator, replace the water cooler during breaks?” and “Will employers need to install breathalyzers as a supplement to passwords before computers can be accessed” and “Will growlers and the contents thereof qualify for a home office deduction under the Internal Revenue Code?”

This would really be safe!!

So many questions, but unfortunately, so much time…..

The Legion of Zoom!

And Zoom, Microsoft Teams or other video platforms which are now main (live?) stream are a blessing although not without their negatives.   I  have attended services at multiple churches – even noon prayer at the Mount Angel Abbey, Happy Hours, book club sessions, non-profit Board meetings and even had a routine physician visit by Telemedecine – all of which went pretty well and were safe.

(And since I am on the Abbey Foundation of Oregon Board, I will put a plug in for the short and inspirational video messages by Abbot Jeremy Driscoll.   Regardless of one’s specific faith or lack thereof, the Abbot conveys messages of hope and comfort that are superb.)

Abbot Jeremy Driscoll – a wonderful Man of God

But two June International Rotary Club presentations on the nine-year story of my blog, Thebeerchaser, were quite different and a lot more challenging than the two I had done in prior years at Rotary Chapters in Lincoln City and West Linn

For the separate presentations at Lake Oswego and Bend, Oregon, I pre-tested the technology to ensure my PowerPoint would be visible to the audiences which averaged about eighty attendees.

Since everyone except the speaker(s) is supposed to mute their microphone, Zoom results in no audio feedback from the audience – something which normally helps to encourage or alert the presenter that things are either going well or he/she is crashing and burning.

Note:  There have been some embarrassing incidents where a participant forgets that “mute rule.”  The most publicized was when the US Supreme Court was hearing oral arguments by phone and livestream and in the midst of the proceeding, during a pause, a toilet was heard flushing.  The case was Barr v American Association of Political Consultants regarding the issue of robocalls.

He dealt  a straight flush?

This led one analyst to opine, “I bet that was one of the guys….”   Later speculation was that Associate Justice Stephen Breyer was the offender although there was no rationale for that conclusion.

However, in an article in Slate – an online publication associated with the Washington Post: “Investigation: I think I Know Which Justice Flushed,” the author presents a “scholarly” and exhaustive case as to why Breyer appears to be the culprit.

With the absence of auditory cues on Zoom, I decided to get some visual calibration on Rotary Club attendees’ reactions by looking at one of the four panels on the right of my computer screen in which I could gauge the ongoing response by the expression on their faces.  I focused on one middle-aged guy and about half-way through, I got concerned because he seemed totally passive – no reaction when I mentioned an historic dive bar, nor a smile or even a grimace when I told one of my bar jokes.

Notice the panels on the right of some attendees

Then I realized that the guy was using a photo as his “background” – some people use landscapes or photos,etc. rather than appear live so they can multi-task without appearing rude….I learned a lesson.

This PowerPoint slide from the computer of a friend who “attended” – shows the number of Internet views for the blog each year since its inception.

Dr. Cameron Bangs continued……

Dr. Bangs in his younger days.

In my first Lockdown Miscellany post, I ended the post with my own story when he was my personal physician and some of the remarkable history of his medical career and adventures.  He was an icon in the Oregon medical profession.

Dr. Bangs said, “I have never treated more sunburned breasts and penises or LSD overdoses

Cam Bangs was the supervising physician at  Vortex 1: A Biodegradable Festival of Life held at McIver Park near Estacada in 1970.

As stated in the previous post, Vortex I hosted between 30,000 to 100,000 protesters – against President Richard Nixon, who was scheduled to appear at an American Legion Conference to be held in Portland. “……it remains the only state-sponsored rock festival in United States History.”  (Wikipedia) 

It would appear that today’s political leaders at the national, state and local level, could learn some useful lessons from the creativity, courage and cooperation evidenced exactly fifty years ago in light of the ongoing violence and ham-handed (or perhaps that should be small handed) tactics to quell it in Portland for the last 50 + days!

Listening to rock music rather than destroying property…….

Oregon writer, Matt Love, wrote a book entitled “The  Far Out Story of Vortex 1″based on Bangs’ “entire 20,000 word-in-the-moment diary of Vortex.”   (More on Matt Love and his publishing house on the Oregon coast below.)  He also wrote an article for Vortex Magazine (Vortex I – A Strange Oregon Trip) of which every Oregon Baby Boomer or student of Oregon history or leadership should read.   Some  excerpts:

 “McCall, a Republican, was facing a tough a re-election vote later that fall. When he approved the festival, he said, ‘I’ve just committed political suicide.’ He won a second term by a landslide and became an Oregon legend for his visionary leadership.”

 “The state’s most powerful corporate executive of that era, the Cascade Corporation’s Robert Warren, drove a pickup truck full of licorice out to the park.”

“Several Oregon National guardsmen stationed around the park stripped off their uniforms and swam across the Clackamas River to join the party.”

Governor Tom McCall – The epitome of leadership….

“At the festival’s end, McCall visited the park, hugged some hippies, and then joined them holding hands in a circle. They chanted ‘oms’ for a few minutes and then recited the Lord’s Prayer and a few lines from William Blake.”

Dr. Bangs medical career including his research on hypothermia and his long involvement and activities in mountain-rescue medicine saved many lives.  This 2015 Oregon Live obituary gives a full account of his contributions to medicine and society.

And I have been fortunate for my friendships with two other physicians who are in the same category as Cameron Bangs – Oregon medical profession icons – both now retired and living in Portland – Dr. Fran Storrs and Dr. Doug Walta.

Dr. Doug Walta

Doug is now retired but founded the Oregon Clinic and served as CEO of Clinical Services for Providence Health & Services.   He has dedicated many years to serving others outside his time as a leading Northwest gastroenterologist. 

Doug served on the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners,has been active in legislative efforts to combat big pharma and has championed efforts to expand affordable medical care at both the state and national level.

He has been a board member for the Oregon Transition Projects advocating for the homeless and most recently spent many hours working on the successful campaign to pass the Metro Housing Bond Measure at the Primary Election.  Doug has always worked in a low-key but influential manner behind the scenes, and is known for his effective advocacy.

He is also an avid hiker, outdoors-man, skier and international traveler.

Dr. Fran Storrs   

Fran was the daughter of two physicians and she graduated from Cornell University’s Medical School. She is a charismatic woman who is known as a trailblazer – the first to complete a residency in dermatology at Oregon Health Sciences University.  She later joined the OHSU faculty and is now a Professor Emerita.

A life-changing incident in her career occurred at Portland’s Arlington Club in 1971:

“When she was asked to leave a meeting of prominent dermatologists being held  (at the) males-only establishment, Storrs got mad. ‘I had a curtain going up (on my consciousness) …. For me, it was a dramatic experience with being excluded for an irrational sort of reason. It changed my life.'” (OHSU Blogspot)

Fran, in a 2007 interview stated: “Through these experiences, a lifetime of conservative influence dissolved, and I saw the world through a suddenly opened window shade. I got to feel what it was like to be an outsider…..I also learned that in my community I couldn’t be ‘prominent’ because I had no penis.”  (The Dermotologist – April 2007)

Site of Fran’s epiphany – The Arlington Club – Males only bastion from 1867 until 1990 – that’s 123 years!

After that incident, she became passionate about civil liberties joined and became a board member of the ACLU.

She was elected President of the City Club of Portland in 1997-98 which is where I first met her when we served on the Board together.

Interestingly enough, the City Club, founded in 1916 excluded women from membership until 1993.  (Unlike the Arlington Club, it only took them 77 years to come to its senses.)  Her creative and colorful introduction of Friday Forum speakers was another example of creativity and dedication to excellence.  And her impersonation of NPR reporter, Sylvia Poggoli in one of those introductions was one for the archives.

Fran served as chair of a citizen’s committee for the City of Portland that resulted in a ballot measure and creation of an oversight committee for the Internal Affairs Division of the Portland Police Bureau.  While her immersion in other civic activities and non-profits such as Outside In, Planned Parenthood of the Columbia-Willamette and the Portland Baroque Orchestra, are remarkable, (she is evidently a woman with poor refusal skills…) it is her achievements in the medical field which deserve more comment.

“Her skills in the classroom have earned her many teaching and service awards. She is known nationally and internationally for her work in contact dermatitis and discovering new workplace allergens. She has received virtually every honor her specialty can bestow.”

Dr. Storrs’ mentoring, especially for women emanated, in part, from the Arlington Club incident and “It is the teacher and mentor whom generations of OHSU residents celebrate.” (Fran Storrs M. D.- A Lasting Legacy”)  In fact, my current dermatologist, Dr.Patty Norris,was a mentee of Fran’s.  Each time I have a visit, we spend the first five minutes telling Fran Storrs’ stories.

“She takes pride in the mentorship program of the Women’s Dermatology Society that she initiated. It pairs young men and women with senior women dermatologists. Almost 400 young dermatologists have participated in the program and most other dermatology sub-specialty societies have since copied it.” (OHSU Women in Academic Health and Medicine)

David Brooks, in his remarkable book The Second Mountain has a chapter entitled “What Mentors Do,” and states:

“Good mentors teach you the tacit wisdom embedded in any craft…..they give us the freedom to not fear our failures, but to proceed with a confidence that invites them, knowing they can be rectified later on….Finally, mentors teach how to embrace the struggle–that the struggle is the good part.” (Page 104)

And my younger daughter, Laura, got to witness Fran’s influence first-hand in 1997, when Fran, notwithstanding her incredibly busy schedule, spent an hour with her on a fifth-grade school project where she was researching Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell – another female trailblazing physician who was the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States.

The interview had an impact on Laura who is now a Pediatric Emergency Department Nurse at Randall Children’s Hospital in Portland.

Sixth grade school project in 1997 had an impact.

All three of these physicians (Cameron Bangs, Doug Walta and Fran Storrs) knew each other and I have been the beneficiary of their friendships.  I had dinner with Doug Walta in January and a beer with Fran Storrs at the Gemini Bar and Grill in Lake Oswego in early March – right before the lock-down.  Both radiated enthusiasm and had insights that make me yearn for the end of the pandemic and another round…..

Oregon Tavern Age and Oregon City Pioneer Memories

I quoted prolific Oregon writer Matt Love, both in this post and my previous one regarding Cameron Bangs.  I first became aware of Matt’s work in 2011 when I started Thebeerchaser blog and I discovered his blog Let It Pour.net – a wonderful blog on his adventures in bars on the  Oregon Coast.  It was both an inspiration for my own exploits and a great resource which I cited often.

I reconnected with Matt while doing the post on Dr. Bangs.  He now is the owner of a small publishing company on the Oregon Coast, The Nestucca Spit Press. Matt is an incredibly talented writer and anyone who enjoys good narratives and essays on Oregon, ranging from a chronicle on the filming of Ken Kesey’s novel Sometimes a Great Notion to poetry and fiction should check out his website.

I am ordering The Bonnie and Clyde Files – How Two Dogs Saved a Middle Aged Man, after vociferously digesting two other publications I just received and will cover in my next blog post.  Matt states about this book:

“In 2017, at the age of 53, I experienced an extinction of self. For the first time in my life, I could not get a job, I was nearly broke, and I had no freedom of movement or conscience…..I learned important lessons of faith, friendship, family, face-to-face encounters and the timeless remedy of nature, lessons I intuit can enlighten others who experience a cataclysmic personal event.”

The “Oregon Tavern Age” should be read by any person who appreciates the history, rich character and the legacy of the regulars in these unforgettable (and endangered)  watering holes on the Oregon Coast.  And the pandemic exacerbates this unfortunate trend as stated in a July 14th e-mail Matt sent me stating, “The OTA joints where I am are teetering.  It really is dire.”  The 64-page tabloid was so interesting and compelling that I used a yellow highlighter when reading it so I could come back and review.

I was also delighted and surprised when I discovered one work – “Pioneer Pride:  An Oregon City Memoir” written in 2020 about Matt’s time at Oregon City High School.  (He graduated in 1982) Nostalgia washed over me as I’m also an OCHS alum – although sixteen years before Matt.

His account of sports, classroom antics and the days when many Pioneer grads went to work at one of the two paper mills – Publishers in OC and Crown Zellerbach in West Linn – also will elicit smiles and recollections of the travails of adolescent education.

Cheers and Stay Safe

Beerchasing Miscellany – Lockdown Version II

We can still enjoy a pint a home – Ryan Keene exemplifies…

(Welcome back to Thebeerchaser.  If you are seeing this through an e-mail, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking on the title above so the post is not clipped.)

In the last post, I covered a number of miscellaneous categories – most of which were not related to bars or breweries, but since my Beerchasing expeditions to new venues are temporarily on hold, please pardon my editorial license

But

As I mentioned in the last post, rummaging through some of my old files has uncovered some “treasures” and elicited some laughs when I harken back.  Consequently, I have reviewed some older Beerchaser posts in light of current events.

The First Tuesday After the First Monday……

One of my first jobs out of the Navy was in the Clackamas County Elections Department where we administered not only the Primary and General Elections, but hundreds of school and special district measures.   Understandably, most citizens have no comprehension on the amount of detail, technology and legal compliance required to manage an election.

On election nights, I still have some empathy for election officials who are trying to maintain the integrity of their systems while concurrently being pressed by print and broadcast media and candidates to give them immediate returns.

While the initial data are always qualified as preliminary and un-audited, that disclaimer is often forgotten.

Back in 1976, when my hair was almost as long as it is now (No  haircut for 4.5 months. ) Norma Paulus then served two terms as SOS.

Oregon Law (ORS 254.056) states the General Election is held as stated on the day in the caption above in even numbered years – and that, my friends is only 109 days away.

Since this is a blog about bars and beer, I typically refrain from political topics, but unless one has been living under a rock for the last 18 months, it’s difficult to stay above the fray.

A Precursor to the “Digital” Age  (Excerpted, in part, from Thebeerchaser May 18, 2017)

And we know from the 2020 Primary, campaign divisive politics will be unceasing and brutal going forward.  It causes wishful thinking about the civility and at least reasonably bipartisanship approach of leaders from past decades that characterized Oregon politics e.g. Tom McCall, Norma Paulus, Hector MacPherson, Vera Katz and the US Congress e.g. Senator Mark Hatfield, Speakers of the House Sam Rayburn and Tip O’Neill.

Senator Mark Hatfield in his DC office in our visit in 1993

Wendell Wyatt – Statesman and Lawyer

And don’t forget my late friend and law firm colleague, Wendell Wyatt, who served from 1964 to 1975 and was an effective Congressman, a wonderful person and skilled attorney at Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt.

 

Yet, based on the nature of the beast, there were times years ago – even in a more refined era (without 24-hour cable news coverage) when emotions overcame propriety – something which lent some humor and excitement to the news.

Such was the case on September 16, 1976, when Vice President Nelson Rockefeller was campaigning with Sen. Bob Dole, who had been selected to be President Gerald Ford’s running mate.

A student in a group of hecklers gave the finger to the VP and he immediately reciprocated the gesture — with gusto!  I’ve kept the picture below from the newspaper for all these years thinking I could use it at some point and the excerpt below describes the incident: 

At the time, Rockefeller’s finger flashing was scandalous and the gesture was referred to thereafter as ‘The Rockefeller Salute.’  Rockefeller refused to apologize for his outburst. ‘I was just responding in kind’ he said, neatly avoiding the point that the apology was not expected to go to the hecklers but to the general public.”

Statesman and war hero with a dry sense of humor

Bob Dole was asked by a reporter why he didn’t join Rockefeller in “the salute”.  “I have trouble with my right arm,” the wounded WW II veteran replied. (Rarehistorical photos.com October 16,2016)

This Beer Really Hops….

And since limited activity during the pandemic results in time to free-associate, seeing that image brought back the memory of one of my business trips in the late ’80’s which I recounted in Thebeerchaser on February 8, 2013. (Excerpted below)

Laura loved frogs in 1990

Thebeerchaser’s youngest daughter, when she was in grade school, had a wonderful frog collection – ceramic amphibians, posters, stuffed frogs, etc.

Each time I had a business trip, I would seek out and bring home an addition to that collection, which grew to be almost 100 in number.

The remnants of a once great amphibian collection…..

On a business trip to Chicago, I consumed an excellent light-colored amber beer from a brewery in Michigan and decided that the empty bottle with the amazing Bad Frog Logo would be a unique supplement to the group of cold-blooded amphibians in my daughter’s room.  The bottle survived a suitcase ride home and my daughter liked it.

Now married and a pediatric ER nurse

Thebeerchaser’s spouse, however, had better judgment – much better! – and you will probably understand why.  She refused to accept my assertion that our young collector did not yet understand the underlying message conveyed by this rebellious frog. 

Jim Wauldron, the founder, was not a brewer, but a graphic artist and t-shirt designer, who created the image and merchandise – but initially – no beer.

The Bad Frog story is quite interesting and you should visit this link to their website to see their story and perhaps even purchase a sweatshirt:

“Well we did learn about beer and started brewing in October 1995.  Then the whole thing went BESERK!  We’ve expanded to 25 states and overseas.  We were BANNED in 8 states.

The banning of the Beer and the non-stop legal battles with each State prevented the expansion of the Beer, but BAD FROG fans all over the world still wanted the BAD FROG merchandise.  We’ve been featured on CNN, CBS, NBC, FOX, and ABC. BAD FROG was even featured in PLAYBOY Magazine TWICE.”

From the Bad Frog Brewery

The legal challenges resulted because of the frog’s none-too-subtle extension of its middle digit.  Liquor Commissions in multiple states banned the beer.  Eventually the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the New York State Liquor Authority‘s ban on selling Bad Frog Beer in an interesting and extremely entertaining  First Amendment case Bad Frog Brewery, Inc. v. New York State Liquor Authority 134 F.3d 87 (1998).

Lawyers would love the language from the court opinion which has some great footnotes and includes,“…..(The logo) is patently offensive’ and presumably a suggestion to have intercourse with oneself.”

It appears that one can still purchase Bad Frog merchandise, but the beer disappeared a number of years ago, in part, because of the problems associated with all the legal issues.

The Pandemic

While current headlines are shattering, we can also view many wonderful acts of kindness, sacrifice and charity to help those who have been affected by the virus and these unselfish deeds continue to occur.

A novel of suspense (and spice….)

And though all of this, we need to maintain a sense of humor and optimism and realize that life is filled with joy and tragedy.  I thought a good quote to reflect the ups and downs, was from Joe Lansdale’s novel Bad Chili which I mention in my post entitled Books and Brew published in November, 2018.

The action is innovative e.g. an early encounter with a “vicious, angry, bloodthirsty, rabid squirrel.”  The author’s dialogue is unique and rich with quotes such as this one from Jim Bob Luke, a primary character:

Texas Chili – tasty and spicy ….

“Life’s like a bowl of chili in a strange café.  Sometimes it’s pretty tasty and spicy.  Other times, it tastes like shit.”

Now while the next quote has nothing to do with the pandemic, it always causes me to smile and at least it’s related to bars.   I originally covered it in a 2011 post about one of my first Beerchasers-of-the-Quarter.

James Crumley was a Montana author who taught at both the University of Montana and Portland’s Reed College.  Some critics describe his final book The Last Good Kiss as “the most influential crime novel of the last 50 years.”

Crime Novelist James Crumley

Others maintain that initial sentence of the book is the best first-line ever written in an American crime novel.

“When I finally caught up with Abraham Trahearne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts in a ramshackle joint just outside of Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon.”

Fireball Roberts ??

At the time, I suggested that you could toast Fireball Roberts with a pint of In-Heat Wheat Hefeweizen from Flying Dog Brewery in Denver.

It appears that this beer is no longer available but they certainly have some of which Fireball would approve.  (For example, Raging Bitch Belgian IPA at a robust 8.3% ABV – strong enough for any mongrel….)

Cutting to the Chase

With the lockdown, many of us have transformed wardrobes to sweats or “quarantine casual wear” especially when working at home. Even when one has a Zoom meeting, there’s always the tactic of using a landscape or photo as background rather than a live shot.

Second from left in 1968 in Washington DC with then Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird

But it is entertaining to see the impact that the absence of haircuts or styling for about four months has wrought.   From the requirement to have “stunted” hair during high school basketball and then during NROTC all during college, my locks have undergone a number of transformations over the ensuing years.

I even tried the beard and mustache route in the late ’70’s because of a misguided belief that it was cool.

Last week, I was scheduled for a haircut and as I pulled into my guy’s parking lot, he called my cellphone with this information:

“Don, I have a story for you.   I got a call one hour ago from a couple whose hair I cut last week.  They have Covid, so I’ve been exposed.   I get tested tomorrow.”

I thanked him for the call and reflected on the good timing and decided to let things stand for awhile.  This sentiment was reinforced after I saw some former male colleagues in a Zoom meeting this week who are of about the same demographic.  One looked like a Mountain Man and the other essentially had bangs, but both looked good.

Go for five months??

My daughters are urging me to continue to let it grow, but for both time management and economic purposes, I’m seriously contemplating returning (maybe regressing) to the crew cut and black Chuck Taylor Converse All-Star High Tops.

According to the Converse website the Chuck ’70 has:

“More cushioning, tougher canvas, same versatility…..is built off of the original 1970’s design, with premium materials and an extraordinary attention to detail…… No reason not to wear them all day, every day.” 

And Finally…..

Even before all of us are able to frequent bars and breweries again when it is safe and permitted, we can still support these establishments by buying their products and using takeout options – many of which are innovative.

A friend with strong knowledge of the hospitality industry stated in an e-mail about watering holes on the Oregon coast:

“The joints are teetering. It really is dire.”

The Old Oregon Tavern in Lincoln City – a classic dive bar

And even in Portland, one of my favorite breweries Old Town Brewing, which I reviewed last year, was forced to temporarily close their Old Town location since many people are not traveling downtown because of the violence occurring with the continuing protests.

Entrepreneur Adam Milne

Owner Adam Milne showed innovation and collaboration with other breweries early on in the pandemic by hosting a Brewers Market  at their second location and brewing headquarters on NE Martin Luther King Blvd.

It’s a weekly assembly of booths offering various breweries’ beers to-go in a drive-thru meets farmers-market setting.  Adam turned the parking lot there into a mashup of a drive-thru and a brewer safari.However, as reported in a July 12th Willamette Week article:

“‘The moment of a temporary closure became, sadly, clear on Thursday when our revenue for the day was $18.75,’ he says. ‘I spent the last week trying to get a rent reduction from our landlord, but was unsuccessful. We really need help from the city. Downtown businesses have been hit especially hard with the high density, vandalism and tents in front of our business.'”

This is just one example and all of us can help support OTB and other small businesses.

Cheers and Be Safe!

 

Beerchaser Miscellany – Lockdown Version I

Image created by and courtesy of Pam Williams

(Welcome back to Thebeerchaser.  If you are seeing this through an e-mail, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking on the title above so the post is not clipped.)

Since my exploits to new bars and breweries are essentially locked-down temporarily, the next several posts will be entitled “Beerchaser Miscellany” – tidbits I wanted to share – some related to beers and bars and others which, in my opinion, deserve to be told.

We salute the medical providers during this crisis.

The pandemic causes us to reassess priorities, relationships and future goals.   We are all adapting to new restrictions, routines, ruminations, regimens (dietary) and responsibilities – to do our part to stay safe, to help others who are struggling and to use the time we have as productively as possible.

Having two daughters who are nurses, I salute all the healthcare providers and pray for their safety.  Also for parents struggling to balance work and childcare and business owners who face financial jeopardy.  (And speaking of healthcare providers, see the end of this post for a narrative and pictures of one Oregon physician who left a lasting legacy.)

But I’ve been trying to move forward by reading – new material rather than my standard escapist trash fiction, exercise daily, reach out to friends and former colleagues to check on them, expand the scope of movies and documentaries I watch (will still not watch soccer…..), listen to new music genres and even do jigsaw puzzles – we did four 500- piece and then tried a 1,000 piece enigma –  named “The Pottery Shed.”  (Going through old files has also been productive – see below.)

Pontificating on Puzzles

The Potting Shed – Agony or Ecstasy?

I checked on Google to see how long, on average, to complete a 1,000 piece puzzle and the first cite stated 3 to 4 hours which is absurd in my opinion. After reading another post by the Puzzle Warehouse that opined 10 to 24 hours, it made our collective approx. 40 hours over two weeks seem more reasonable and I reflected:

1. After agonizing over the features of a bunch of flowers which predominated, I am comfortable with my intent never to have gardening as a hobby.

2. If one assumes an average reading speed of 70 pages per hour, I could have, for the same investment of time, read each of the books in the photo below which are still unread on the shelves of my home library.

A Must Read!

(“On Bullshit,” is not unread and worth reading again and again – 27 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List in 2005! And if you want more of a justification of that last assertion, check out this former Beerchaser post)

https://thebeerchaser.com/2020/03/12/bs-revisited-if-only-i-had-known-in-2012/

3. After spending several hours and telling me “I’m done!”, Janet was eventually lured back and we finished it together – time we spent together which would not have been the case if we had read separate books.

2,860 pages of great reading….

Bar and Brewery News

Fly Boy’s Artistic Logos (And the Pilot’s Peach is a great beer….)

Fly Boy Brewing and Cascade Brewing – I was pleased, but not surprised because of his entrepreneurial spirit, when Mark Becker joined three partners to buy Cascade Brewing, known throughout the Northwest for its sour beers.

Mark, who began brewing in his parents’ house while still in high school, founded FlyBoy with his wife, Kristi, in 2014 and it was featured in Thebeerchaser in 2017:   https://thebeerchaser.com/2017/05/25/navigate-a-course-to-flyboy-brewing/       

Mark Becker – followed his high school passion and took risks

FlyBoy is one of my favorite breweries in the Portland area and Mark is an engaging guy.  Although I had been to the Cascade Barrel House, in 2017, I was not as enamored with its ambiance and sour ale – although I’m in the minority on the beer. I’m looking forward to returning to see what the new owners concoct.

 As  reported  in  BrewPublic  (April  2, 2020)

“(Cascade founder Art Larrance) helped pass Oregon’s Brewpub Law, paving the way for scores of pubs since. He founded Cascade Brewing in 1998, and in 2006, worked with his brewmaster, Ron Gansberg, on an aging and blending program that would lead to countless awards and an entirely new style of beer known as the Northwest Sour Ale.”

Flat Tail Brewing in Corvallis – As I reported in my last post, I was sorry to hear that the cherished Corvallis Flat Tail Brewery appears to have permanently closed – not because of Covid 19 – but because of a dispute with their landlord over their lease as chronicled in a BrewPublic.com post on June 15th entitled “Flat Tail Brewing Closes its Doors in Downtown Corvallis.”

Rooting for its return in a new location

It showed its mettle when it took on Bend’s 10 Barrel Brewing on use of Flat Tail’s slogan “Dam Good Beer.”

“(Dave) Marliave was dismayed when he learned that 10 Barrel Brewing Co. — a Bend brewer now owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, the largest brewing company in the world and the maker of Budweiser and Bud Light — had taken the slogan for itself.   A semi-trailer from 10 Barrel with the phrase even drove right past the downtown Corvallis brewery earlier this week, Marliave said.”

“Dam” pleased with their slogan…..

We certainly hope the ten-year old brewery with the slogan “Dam Good Beer,” finds a new location and reopens in the near future.

Renner’s Bar and Grill – This historic dive bar in Multnomah Village – opened in 1939 – which closed after a disastrous fire in April 2018, just reopened in June as reported in Portland Food and Drink.com   

Just around the corner from another one of my favorite bars – The Ship Tavern, I reviewed Renner’s in 2017 and unlike the stereotypical dive bar, it has great food.

Re-opened. Go check out the food!

As stated by co-owner, Josh “Uncle Stumpy,”“My goal is to maintain the dive bar experience, but offer superior food from scratch and a neighborhood bar charm.”

And the food is inexpensive and delicious with a surprisingly varied menu.  And, of course, a short walk to The Ship, which made my list of Best Dive Bars in Portland in 2019 is also a must for a nightcap.

One of Portland’s Best – especially if you go on a Sunday during a Packers’ Game

The Standard – This classic made the list as my top dive in the 2019 post for a reason best stated by Mathew Korfhage, former Willamette Week columnist, when he stated:

“The bar is cheap, no-nonsense fun in a way that takes all comers and yet is loving towards its long-time regulars.  These days in Portland that makes The Standard not very standard at all.  It makes it a GD treasure.”

Gone but not Forgotten

Fortunately, The Standard reopened on June 19th.  Unfortunately, it’s trademark Happy Hour and all-day Wednesday $1 Hamm’s Drafts are gone but not forgotten – thanks to their insurance company and its lawyers.

WWeek told the story in a July 2019 article, “A Beloved East Portland Dive Bar is Being Forced to End One of the City’s Cheapest Beer Deals.”

Owner Reed Lamb said, “After over 11 years with no claims, zero OLCC violations, & a spotless payment history, they chose not to do business with us anymore.”   Hamms’ Drafts are now $2, but they could be twice that and The Standard would still be a must.

And Speaking of Lawyers

Although not an attorney, I worked with lawyers for over forty years in three different organizations and loved Legal Management and the lawyer personality. The Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt firm from which I retired in 2011, after twenty-five years, was a wonderful firm with lawyers who were skilled advocates and with great character. (Okay, there were some exceptions, but very few…  You’ll have to wait for my book to see the specifics….)

I was therefore surprised when the Oregon Supreme Court in a 4 to 3 vote, approved waiving the bar exam – not just temporarily, but permanently, for any 2020 law grad in the State of Oregon.   The Washington “Supremes” took the same action for grads to the North – a benefit that the State of Wisconsin has long offered their grads.  Law School Deans lobbied for this course of action which was opposed by the State Bar.

I have not talked to any of my friends, but it would not surprise me if many practicing lawyers – who went through the long and arduous prep and grueling two-day exam (with an average pass-rate of 75%) have the same opinion as a July 1 Oregonian editorial entitled, “No bar exam – no problem – except for the public.”

And Files to Go Before I Sleep

Since a good part of my career involved communication – most notably with lawyers who were trained in the nuances of the language and relish analyzing and attacking, others’ oral and written discourse, I saved many e-mails, memos and articles from my 40+ years working with attorneys.

For future social science classes??

Also pictures and memories from college days, civic work, grad school papers, newspaper articles on travel and entire newspaper editions on significant events such as the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001, the OJ Simpson Trial in 1995 and the Impeachment Trial of Bill Clinton in 1999.

I also saved a number of Newsweek Magazines from events of similar magnitude.

From the garage archives….

And at a charity auction, I even paid a relatively handsome amount for the January 1, 2000 Editions of seven notable US Newspapers – the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, the Boston Globe and the Miami Herald.

I can’t remember if I told her how much I paid, but it did have a Certificate of Authenticity!

My wife, Janet, insisted with good reason during the lock-down, that I start going through and recycling at least 50% of the eleven file-cabinet drawers and multiple boxes I have filled with this (junk?)  She even helped me and one day when I was in doubt, she said, “Don, we are not going to use an 1998 article about a brewery in Des Moines for a future road trip.”

Just part of the “collection” in the garage…

And when I asserted that our grand kids could use the historic newspapers in their future social science classes, she just rolled her eyes and laughed.  (And the Kodak carousel trays with slides from my Mt. Hood climbs and Scout backpacks had to go since I had not looked at them in over fifty years.)

Janet wouldn’t let these slide…..

 

So with some diligence, I began attacking this mass (mess?) so our kids would not have to in the future……  Some of the job-related material I’ll save for the aforementioned book, but even the bulk that I recycled gave me a good chuckle that was welcome during a pandemic.   One of my favorite examples is below and I’ll save some others for the next post.

An Oregon Medical Icon – Dr. Cameron Bangs

Cam Bangs, who passed away in 2015 at the age of 78, was a unique individual and physician who practiced for thirty years in Oregon City.  I had the privilege of having him a my primary-care physician for a number of years.

I loved Dr. Bangs and one of my most prized letters was from my home medical records file following a physical exam in 1990 when I was 42.   But, first, a few words about Dr. Bangs.

Mountain Man and Medical Expert

In his younger days, he had the appearance of a Mountain Man – a big red beard and long untamed hair, and he usually wore wilderness duds.  That’s because he essentially was a Mountain Man – climbing major peaks all over the world and developing the expertise to become one of the worlds’ expert in mountain medicine and hypothermia.

Not Dr. Bangs but a similar experiment

In fact, I remember one time that I saw him, he had just participated in a hypothermia research project in which he immersed himself (I think with a companion researcher) in a tank of freezing water so his bodily responses could be monitored.

Southcoast Today 10/31/2015“……with a renowned expertise in mountain medicine, cold weather injuries and treatment, and mountain rescue. He participated in more than 50 rescues of climbers and skiers on Mt. Hood, in Oregon, and set up the local hospital’s frostbite and hypothermia treatment facility.

In the 1970s, he was given national recognition for his work in mountain medicine and was awarded Oregon Doctor of the Year.”

Photo by Don Williams on backpacking trip

Dr. Bangs was generous with his time – helping others and also a non-conformist, of sorts, who railed against the establishment and ostentation as evidenced by this article from People Magazine in 1977:

“The 40-year-old internist is a member of Oregon’s mountain rescue service. Usually working as part of an Army National Guard helicopter squad (nicknamed the “Flying St. Bernards”), he has helped save an estimated 75 lives in 55 rescues over the past nine years, and has treated hundreds of cases in hospitals for climbing injuries and exposure…..‘I deplore the kind of thing where a doctor joins this or that because he might pick up a few referrals. And frankly, many of my colleagues bore the hell out of me.’” (emphasis supplied)

And any Baby Boomer Oregon resident will remember the 1970 rock festival held near Estacada – Vortex 1: A Biodegradable Festival of Life at an Oregon State Park that hosted between 30,000 to 100,000 protesters – against Richard Nixon who was scheduled to appear at an American Legion Conference to be held in Portland.

Based on the courageous decision of then Governor Tom McCall’s – a Republican who showed remarkable foresight and integrity throughout his term – it remains the only state-sponsored rock festival in United States History.”  (Wikipedia)

And Cameron Bangs was the supervising doctor for all medical care at Vortex 1 as written in the Clackamas Review by his friend, Matt Love, to whom Dr. Bangs gave his “entire 20,000 word-in-the-moment diary of Vortex” for a book this prolific author wrote  entitled “The  Far Out Story of Vortex  1″                                       

Not your average Doc. In younger days at Vortex. (Courtesy of Matt Love)

“Dr. Bangs joined me at several events to promote the book and charmed audiences with his candid and humorous memories from the festival, particularly his assertion that he had set a world record for treating the most sunburned breasts and penises in a single time period…..

A lot more people should know what Dr. Bangs and many other Oregonians did at McIver Park 45 years ago. It was so much more than just a big party to avert potential violence. And Cameron Bangs was so much more than just a doctor.”

A State-sponsored Rock Festival!

He also served on the Portland Trailblazers’ medical staff during the ’70’s and had a 45-acre farm outside Oregon City where he raised a variety of farm animals.  His herd of cows started when he took a pregnant cow as payment for a medical bill.  https://www.oregonlive.com/portland/2015/09/cameron_bangs_hypothermia_and.html

So what story do I have that can contribute to the engaging accounts above.  Well, in 1990, I was having a lot of intense migraine headaches.  My wife and I both had demanding jobs and were the parents of two fantastic young girls in grade school.

Migraines and out of shape….

I got little exercise and hadn’t had a physical exam in awhile, so I made an appointment with Dr. Bangs, knowing this visit would be a lot more pleasant than our previous appointment.

It should make any person who complains about the current prep process for a colonoscopy think of one word and thus be thankful for progress in medical technology i.e. “sigmoidoscopy” but that’s another story……

Not Thebeerchaser – I was only 42 at the time!!

He decided I should have an electrocardiogram – a treadmill test – after the rest of the exam and lab tests.   (Keep in mind that I was 48 years old.)

Afterwards we went into his office and he said, “I’ll send you a letter, but I can tell you now how you did on the treadmill.”  Our conversation went like this:

Dr. Bangs:  Your results compare to an average 35-year old male.

Beerchaser:  That’s encouraging news.

Dr. Bangs:  That’s one way to look at it.  Personally, I wouldn’t be satisfied with average anything!

Beerchaser: Dr. Bangs – this advice from a guy who just got back from a trip to Asia where he climbed several peaks over 15,000 feet and ran a marathon before that?

Dr. Bangs:  (Smiles) Get out of here!

So a week later I get a letter – excerpted as shown below. (Note that this was before e-mails, when a mailed letter took a lot more time and effort).

When I saw the P.S. above I started laughing, but the next day joined the 24-Hour Fitness near my office and began a regular exercise regimen (and subsequently lost seven pounds).

Well Beerchasers.  I hope you had a Happy Fourth of July. Stay safe, wear a mask and catch more Beerchaser Miscellany in the coming weeks..

A Monumental Day for America!

Beerchasing in Corvallis with the King(s) II…!

Brian and Nancy King outside the historic Squirrels Tavern in Corvallis

Followers of Thebeerchaser know (or could have guessed) that the lockdown since mid-March curtailed both singular Beerchasing visits and group BC events which have been a hit in the past.  This is the final post on my 2017-18 trips to Corvallis – the home of my college alma mater – Oregon State University.

An aerial post of the Memorial Union and the beautiful OSU campus

The first post can be seen at https://thebeerchaser.com/2020/04/15/beerchasing-in-corvallis-part-1/

In reflecting on the absence of watering holes in my life for the last 3.5 months, it both reminded me and made me lament on one of my favorite quotes – used several times in prior blog posts – by 18th century English man-of-letters, Samuel Johnson.  And it’s supplemented by a new one that reinforces his original assertion.

If you can’t drink a draft in a saloon, there are good alternatives

The latter I discovered reading one of David Brooks’ marvelous books (The Road to Character) yesterday afternoon during my Happy Hour on our deck drinking a great can of Bend’s Breakside Brewing’s Sweet As Pacific Ale.

Brooks gives a remarkable and insightful narrative on Johnson – the complex individual known as a “poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor, and lexicographer.” (Wikipedia).  However, he loved watering holes.

“There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.”

and

“I look upon every day to be lost in which I do not make a new acquaintance.”

A complex personality “….a mass of contradictions: lazy and energetic, aggressive and tender, melancholic and humorous, common-sensical and irrational, comforted yet tormented by religion.” (David Brooks – page 221 The Road to Character)

These quotes epitomize the rationale for Thebeerchaser’s Tour of Bars, Taverns and Breweries initiated upon my retirement in late 2011 and until the pandemic, the inspiration for visits (and reviews) of 375 watering holes during the last nine years in Portland, throughout Oregon and the US and even in Europe – also why I’m looking forward to the end of the lockdown.

The Kings Treated me Like 
Royalty

On the first trip in October 2017, I was privileged to be the overnight guest of former Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt law firm colleague, Brian (Brain) King and his wife, Nancy.   Brian had a notable career as an environmental litigator – first in the corporate sector and then with two large law firms.   Before his retirement in 2016, he “anchored” Schwabe’s one-person Corvallis office after working in the Portland office for several years. The link below explains why I credit him as a primary inspiration for starting this blog in 2011.

https://thebeerchaser.com/2020/04/24/beerchasing-in-corvallis-and-stanley-idaho-part-ii-drinking-with-kings/

On a 2016 Beerchasing to Mummy’s – a Portland classic

(Brian has been on many prior Beerchasing expeditions in Portland, and for me, will always retain the moniker Brain.”  He will correspondingly label me as “Dan” although the humorous and true account surrounding those names will have to wait for the book I plan to write on law firm management.)

To demonstrate both his priorities and commitment, Brian even took a bus from the downtown Portland office after he drove up from Corvallis in 2016 to Beerchase at North Portland’s wonderful Billy Ray’s Neighborhood Dive Bar.

Schwabe colleagues Brian Flanagan and John Mansfield celebrate “Brain’s” (left) arrival by Tri-Met.

Professor and attorney, Nancy King

Nancy King, Brian’s wife is also a lawyer and until her recent retirement was a professor at OSU and earlier at Willamette University College of Law.  During her academic career, she taught graduate and undergrad business law courses including MBA courses on law and ethics for new businesses and emerging technologies.

She received a 2008 Fulbright Fellowship in European Union Affairs to conduct comparative law research on privacy and data protection issues related to mobile advertising enabling her to work on her research with law and technology experts at a University in Belgium.  Earlier in her career, she distinguished herself as an employment lawyer for the Bullard Law, a firm in Portland.

Now in the first Corvallis post, I related our visits to Cloud and Kelly’s and Block 15 Brewing.   The other establishments on this trip described below, included Squirrel’s Tavern, The Caves, and The Peacock.

Squirrel’s Tavern

Bustling on a weeknight.

The Loft at Squirrel’s

The Kings recommended Squirrel’s for dinner and I could see why.  It had great food and on a weekday evening was hopping, so to speak.

Since there were no seats available on the main level, we ended eating in the loft, which was a very good substitute.  And for $8, the Squirrel Burger would be a treat wherever you consumed it:

 (“Beef patty topped with fried egg, grilled ham slice, cheddar & swiss cheeses, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, mendocino mustard & ketchup. Potato chips & pickle slice on the side.”)  It lived up to its reputation!

The “Squirrel Burger” – no rodent aftertaste!!

Squirrel’s has an interesting history as related in this story in The Corvallis Gazette Times on the tavern’s 40th anniversary in 2014.  A great tradition is their hosted Annual Labor Day Party at a nearby park since 1976 – it always draws several hundred people.

Owning and operating a tavern for 45 years – especially in a university town, is a real accomplishment and Greg “Squirrel” Little, the owner, is known as an outstanding business man and citizen in Corvallis.

The bar obviously closed during the pandemic and will open again in July starting with curbside service.   As stated on their website, Look, it took a pandemic to get Greg to take cards!!!! 

And besides a number of bottled beers, Squirrels has seventeen beers on tap.  Of course, what better way to consume a Squirrel Burger than with a draft PBR.

Looking down from the loft

Squirrel’s has great ambiance, from the cordiality of the staff and regulars to the interesting and idiosyncratic art, to the pictures, sports memorabilia and cool rodent-related accoutrements such as mounted squirrels….

The bar is also known for its popular live music gigs.  The length of this post limits the number of social media reviews I can show, but this one (Yelp 10/22/19) does an apt job of summing up Corvallis’ sentiments:

“You cant beat Squirrel’s. Unpretentious. Good ordinary food at a good price. Really nice people. We’ve lived in Corvallis for over 40 years and Greg has been part of so many experiences for us. Off nights are best. You’ll get more of a local feel when it’s not so packed.”

According to Facebook, their plan is to reopen on July 6th, once safety protocols are tested and physical changes made to keep patrons safe.  Drop by and show your support for a business which deserves your patronage.!

The Peacock

A Corvallis watering hole since 1929

The Peacock Bar and Grill has been operating since 1929 – it’s birth was even before either Brian’s or mine and the history of this bar made at least a short visit on my trip mandatory.

After all, how many late night visits to the Top of the ‘Cock did we make when we were undergraduates and the second floor of this historic bar was always rocking and thereby lured us away from cramming for our Western Civ midterm the next day.

Unfortunately, based on the predominant sentiments in Yelp reviews from the last several years, the legendary $1.99 Early-bird Breakfast and quality burgers, don’t appear to overcome repeated concerns about rude and surly staff and bouncers such as (8/11/18):

“Don’t go to this bar for a good time on the weekend. The confrontation-happy bouncers will throw patrons on the ground as you walk out of the restroom.  They will beat up patrons, and throw your girl in a ditch. After doing reviews on the peacock they are consistently calling the cops on these patrons.”

The Top of the “Cock” in better days. Will it ever be the same?

Two dudes looking for conversation not confrontation….

Fortunately, Brian and I were in no mood that evening to engage in either a physical or mental confrontation, and we just stopped in to survey the surroundings and departed.

And while the description above may be exaggerated, it appears that you can now assess the Peacock’s service yourself as:

“Benton County was approved to enter Phase 2 starting Friday, June 5. The Peacock Bar & Grill is open for dine in 7am-midnight daily, starting June 5. We will continue to be open for take out, curb side and delivery 7am-1am daily.”

Caves Bier and Kitchen (Les Caves)

We ended the night with class although Brian had to convince me that he wasn’t taking us to a crypt with dead OSU alums buried there.

Ready for a nightcap with patrons who are still living…

The Kings and I stopped at this delightful European bar and bistro for a nightcap as they advertise – probably correctly:

“….Corvallis’ largest selection of draft and bottled beer from around the world with artisanal pub fare served in a cozy atmosphere.”

The pub is comfortable and with an upscale ambiance.  Although they describe their menu as “artisanal pub faire,” it seems very suitable to someone with a discriminating palate and accustomed to more sophisticated culinary faire in contrast to a Squirrel Burger (which tantalized my taste-buds earlier that evening….)

The prices seem very reasonable for such items as Chicken and Apricot Tagine, Moules Frites, Chana Marsala and Elk Ragout.

A cozy, upscale ambiance with a classic bar

“From a distance the bar top looks like a nice but somewhat standard wooden bar with a nice shiny finish, but once you pony up to it and grab a seat its beauty is immediately apparent.

Underneath its shiny polish are oak barrel staves from some of the Northwest’s best barrel-aged brews that have been re-purposed, cut up, straightened, and aligned meticulously for the bar top. Other than just being beautiful, it really speaks to the love of oak barrel-aging….”

Friendly and knowledgeable

Unlike the description of staff at one establishment above, our server was a very friendly and knowledgeable young woman who went through their robust tap list and let us sample a number before ordering:

“On tap you will find a selection of twenty beers brewed around the block and around the world. Our bottle list boasts over 130 unique bottled beers, stored in our temperature – and UV light-controlled beer cooler. All bottles are opened tableside and served in glassware appropriate to the style.”

The owners of Block 15 Brewery opened Caves in 2011 and its named for the cellars under Block 15’s brewery and Les Caves itself, which house more than 100 barrels of beer.  They feature several of Block 15’s excellent beers.  Brian and Nancy split a pint of their Alpha IPA (“6.5% ABV – Northwest style IPA with notes of citrus, fruit, and pine delivered by a robust blend of four NE grown hops.”)

Brian, knowing that in my undergrad days, I only drank in sips from the Fountain-of-Knowledge, suggested I down a pint of the Effect of Education Farmhouse Ale (also appropriate for an ag college).

It’s a collaboration with McMinnville’s Allegory Brewing (“8.2% ABV – Ransom whiskey barrel aged mixed culture Farmhouse Ale with local, hand-picked cherries.) A collaboration with our friends at Caves Bier & Kitchen.”)

Shoyu deviled eggs -floating on your bowl of ramen….

Caves is worth a return trip to test their kitchen and would also merit some research on their World Bier Passport“Take a trip around the world of artisan beer, guided by Caves’ World Bier Passport. By the time you complete your journey, you’ll gain a deeper, more nuanced understanding of regional beer styles, timeless traditions, and emerging brewing techniques.”

Going with the flow…….

We returned to the King’s and Brian and I had a nightcap in their living room.  Nancy excused herself when I encouraged Brian to summarize his presentation a few years earlier at a local government symposium entitled, “How to Prepare for Your MS4 Inspection.”  He was duly impressed that I knew MS4 is an acronym for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System.

But when he declined and then got us some snifters of brandy, upon returning he did open up about the book he co-authored when I asked about it.

I have always respected Brian’s position on environmental issues and remembered reading an article in the Portland Business Journal shortly before he joined the Schwabe firm:

“Despite the upheaval of his now-defunct firm (Bogle and Gates), Brian King, also found the time to co-write a book published last month called “Fundamentals of Environmental Management.”

King said the book couches environmental compliance as a combination of law, science, politics and public relations….Despite company complaints, there is time and money to not only meet current regulations, but to exceed them.”

Available at Amazon

But the kicker was a summary of said tome which I had read from an unknown reviewer in Idaho which stated, in part: Fundamentals of Environmental Management with stimulating chapters such as ‘Air Emission Inventory and Analysis”’or ‘Ozone-Depleting Chemicals (ODCs).’ (Environmental lawyers are not a real popular group in Idaho….)”

I thought his book could lead to a stimulating conversation that would help me fall asleep that evening (or possibly while we were still chatting…)

For those of you interested, this legal thriller is still available new on for $13.92 – a savings of $136.83 off the list price – but hurry there is only one left in stock at Amazon.

Lawyer, author, environmentalist and prefers beer to Bloody Mary’s

Now if you do a Google search for this book, be careful not to get confused and order by mistake a volume by prolific author Dr. Brian King.   This Brian King has written less weighty manuscripts including ” The Art of Taking It Easy: How to Cope with Bears, Traffic, and the Rest of Life’s Stressors  and also  “A Field Guide to the North American Bloody Mary.”

Dr. Brian King, has an entirely different background from my friend according to his bio:

“…..trained as a neuroscientist and psychologist and for the past decade has traveled the world as a comedian and public speaker. By day he conducts seminars, presented nationwide and attended by thousands of people each year, on positive psychology, the health benefits of humor, and stress management. By night he practices what he teaches in comedy clubs.”

While “Brain” and “Dan” will always do a lot of mutual kidding, I would suggest that any person would be richer for knowing both him and his wife Nancy.  Brian has a wonderful and dry sense of humor and was respected and liked by both his colleagues and adversaries in the courtroom.

A wonderful couple who are great hosts

Note:  As a closing note, I was sorry to hear that it appears that the cherished Corvallis Flat Tail Brewery has permanently closed – not because of Covid 19 – but because of a dispute with their landlord over their lease as chronicled in a BrewPublic.com post on June 15th entitled “Flat Tail Brewing Closes its Doors in Downtown Corvallis.”  We certainly hope the ten-year old brewery with the slogan “Dam Good Beer,” finds a new location and reopens in the near future.

Hoping for a quick return….

 

The Oregon State Giant Killers and Billy Main – Part II

Note:  If you are reading this on your mobile device, click on the title above so that you will see all of the images in the proper format.

In the first post on the story of the newest Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter, I related how Billy “Rabbit” Main, who had his sights set on playing college football for the California Golden Bears, ended up instead as an Oregon State Beaver and member of the 1967 OSU Giant Killer Team.

He was a starting wingback from 1967 to 1969 for the Beavs and their beloved coach, Dee Andros – The Great Pumpkin – whose 5’10’ frame carried 310 pounds.

The first blog post highlights Billy’s outstanding football career – not only as a running back, but a pass catcher, blocker, kick-off return specialist and even holder on PATs and field goals.

Rabbit – not just a runner but a pass catcher – one of eight against the Dawgs in 1969….

The prior post also features a tribute Billy wrote for Duane “Thumper” Barton, his football teammate, our shipmate in the Navy ROTC program at OSU and my SAE fraternity brother.

https://thebeerchaser.com/2020/05/11/tucker-william-billy-main-beerchaser-of-the-quarter/

But as I mentioned in the first post, Billy wanted to emphasize the team aspect rather than his own story – a key attribute of the members of that team:

“Don, please make sure you focus on my other teammates as we go forward.  I remain to this day, in awe of many of them; Jesse (Lewis), Dude (Hanneman), Enyart, Preece, Foote, Vanderbundt, Houser, Didion…the list goes on and on.”

And if you want to learn more about the Giant Killers, check out the wonderful, comprehensive narrative with great pictures and historical documents developed by OSU alum and long-time friend of Billy Main’s – Jud Blakley.    https://www.oregonst67giantkillers.com/

Jud as Student Body President at OSU

Beaver alums remember these years as part of the rich tradition of Oregon State Football including the Civil War Game with the University of Oregon – it goes back 126 years to 1894.

 

 

 

 

Thebeerchaser also covered this story in May, 2018 at https://thebeerchaser.com/2018/05/20/the-1967-osu-giant-killers-beerchasers-of-the-quarter-part-i/      .

Gone But Not Forgotten

So, we will start by remembering the fifteen players and coaches from the 1967 team – including Coach Andros who passed away in 2003 at the age of 79 – who are deceased but still remembered in the hearts and minds of their teammates – brothers – who defeated two nationally ranked top ten teams (No. 2 – Purdue and No. 1 – USC) and tied the number two team (UCLA) .

“In a four-week period, the Beavers became the only team to ever go undefeated against three top two teams in one season since the inception of the AP Poll, earning the nickname ‘Giant Killers.”

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1967_Oregon_State_Beavers_football_team

Players

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coaches

 

 

 

 

 

 

Besides instilling the commitment to team, Dee Andros also demanded individual accountability. This was a key factor contributing to their success on the gridiron and also why so many of the members of those teams went on to meaningful careers after graduation.

He illustrated this accountability with a narrative entitled “Man in the Glass” which you see below. This was a poem originally entitled “The Guy in the Glass” written by Peter Dale Wimbrow in 1934 – an American composer, radio artist and writer.  The Great Pumpkin’s version is slightly different and reads:

The late Coach Dee Andros (19– 200 “The Man in the Glass”

Billy Main – Part II — After College

As I mentioned above, Billy, did want to focus on himself in this or the previous blog post and I’ve tried to honor that request.  Nevertheless, he is an integral part of the overall story of the Giant Killers.  So I asked GK historical expert and Main’s friend, Blakely, for his advice in structuring the posts. Jud e-mailed me the following:

Oregon Sports Hall of Fame member, Dr. Bob Gill, Blakely and Main outside the Angry Beaver in 2018

“Don, the Giant Killers did what they did because they were ‘All for One and One for All.’ They may not have all ‘liked’ each other but they sure as hell all did love each other. And so, no member of that brotherhood will single himself out for acclaim or for attention.

Steve Preece – Fox

The GKs had leaders on both sides of the ball – Preece was alpha leader on offense. Steve will never endorse that.  He will name other guys whose leadership was essential. 

Same on defense –  Lewis, Sandstrom, Easley––each of them will name other guys. Like them, Main will deflect and Main will diminish his role.  Do not buy it.  Tell the story.” 

Jess “Froggie” Lewis – Giant Killer and always to be remembered for “the tackle” of O..J. Simpson

Therefore, read on:

Besides football, Billy was also enrolled in the two-year Navy ROTC program.  I would see Billy in the Navy Armory because both of us were in NROTC.  He was in the two-year program and one-year ahead of me.

After playing Rook football in 1965, he was red-shirted the next year and when his military deferment was eventually continued because of NROTC, it enabled him to play in the 1969 season.  He was then scheduled to report for Navy flight school in the spring of 1970.

Billy said: “Between NROTC, football and regular academics, those were the most intense two years of my life.”  

One benefit of NROTC which he used for both work and leisure for many years afterwards, was getting his pilot’s license at the nearby Albany Airport – the Navy paid all of it.  “I love to fly and I flew for over 25 years – over 2,000 hours logged.” 

The account below of his college experience as a midshipman below is interesting and worth reading, as is the Appendix at the end of this post – a remarkable and entertaining account of the culmination of summer training at the end of his junior year at the Naval Air Station – Pensacola.

“As I look back, 50 years ago to the 1960’s, I can say with total clarity and perspective that the Vietnam War was probably the single factor that most affected my life, the career path I chose, and the quality of life I enjoyed.

My draft board was in Richmond and at that time the Army desperately needed recruits to replenish the pipeline of daily fatalities in Vietnam. I was a sophomore at OSU and was redshirted in 1966 because of Bob Grim, from Red Bluff, maybe Oregon State’s greatest wingback, my mentor, and a spectacular athlete and role model.

Bob Grim

Then one day I received my induction notice from the Richmond draft board, and my life changed forever. I had one week to respond, and was expected to report at Ford Ord, CA. at some point. My OSU football career was over. I called my Pop and he suggested I talk to the Navy ROTC. 

The CO there in Corvallis was a Navy Captain named John Hitchcock, who, as fate would have it, was a huge football fan.  In a matter of days, I took the oath and joined the Navy ROTC program, allowing me to graduate in 1970 as an Ensign, subject to (2) summer camps in Los Angeles and later, Florida. I could continue playing football.

After taking the proverbial oath and effectively ducking the Richmond draft board, ROTC classes represented one 3-hour college-credit class a week and it quickly became serious business. I was very impressed with the organization, the structure, and the discipline, which was completely aligned with my experiences in football, from High School through college

Current-day Oregon State NROTC middies drilling

We had drill one day a week for 3 hours, in full uniform. I remember vividly marching with my weapon around Gill Coliseum parking lot adjacent to the football players’ entrance.

I’d finish drill around 3PM, and then go to football practice.   I was one of a few players in ROTC – Tight-end, Nick Rogers, was in the Army ROTC with a similar draft board story, so we were able to commiserate. (Duane Barton and Rus Jordan were also NROTC and played football.)

Eventually, the day when all the 50+ ROTC members at OSU were called in to a meeting room to declare their preference.   My time to declare arrived and my subconscious mind overwhelmed my conscious mind!  Without realizing it, I said, ‘aviation.” To this day, I cannot reconcile how it happened.  For the record, Pop (who served in World War II on the USS Porterfield) was pleased with my choice and I think he was proud as hell of me.

NROTC Armory at Oregon State

When we went to Pensacola the next summer, there were 15 midshipman in our aviation cohort. We were then asked by the US Marine Corps Gunny Sergeant, who was our “shepherd” during that training, to declare what division of aviation we preferred – Fixed Wing, Helicopters or Jets.

Fixed-wing preference

Thinking fast, I preferred Fixed Wing (propellers) like the E-2 radar picket planes. Jets, of course were sexy and being a ‘jet jockey’ was appealing. (The later movie “Top Gun” with Tom Cruise brought back many memories of my summer cruise as a Midshipman on the aircraft carrier, USS Lexington)

So, the Gunny says…’How many of you opt for Jet’s?’  9 hands go up enthusiastically.   Next, ‘How many of want Fixed Wing?’  6 more hands go up enthusiastically – mine included.   Finally, ‘How many of you opt for helicopters?’  No hands go up.

(Remember, the Vietnam War was losing a lot of US helicopters on an ongoing basis and horrible stories were circulating about POW pilots being tortured by the Viet Cong.  One of the 15 in our group – Bill Scott – actually flew in Vietnam and he is a good friend to this day.)

Then the Gunny smiled broadly, and said the words I will never forget:  ‘Well, gentlemen, you are all officially going Helicopters, that’s where the action is.’  And my life changed forever.   As we filed out of the room, stunned and disillusioned, the Gunny said…’Welcome to the US Navy, gentlemen!'”

“You will go helicopters. And you will enjoy it!”

After the 1969 football season ended, Billy took a number of courses in upper level economics and graduated with an Econ degree which he said had an impact for the rest of his life.

To fulfill his military obligation for NROTC, he was set to go to Navy Flight School back in Pensacola and prepared to serve six years as a Navy pilot after commissioning.  But the winding down phase of the Viet Nam War in 1970, meant the Navy’s need for pilots was significantly less.  His dream was to fly and when given the option to serve aboard a ship or return to civilian life, he chose the latter and the remainder of his service obligation was waived.

Based on his athletic achievements at OSU, he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers and went to training camp in the fall of 1970.  They wanted him to play running back and wide receiver and he made it to the last cut. 

He then was a member of the taxi squad for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League for two weeks but was never activated – also not enamored with the $12,500 annual salary.   Main also felt that he’d been a football player long enough and retired even before his NFL career got going.

When he returned to Corvallis, reality set in.   He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with the rest of his life, but needed a job to eat and pay the rent.   Fortunately, Kenny Ross, the owner of the fabled Beaver Hut – the favorite watering hole of many OSU students and especially athletes (Still operating for take-out orders and growlers) hired him – as a night janitor or “swamper” where he cleaned the Hut between midnight and 4 AM each morning.

Still operating on NW 16th Street in Corvallis

After a while he started bartending and really enjoyed it and thought, “This could be a great business.”   But he didn’t want to work for anybody else, so he returned to his home state. 

Main’s mixologist skills were refined in San Francisco.   He planned a bar in Chico.  The idea was to create the Beaver Hut concept for the students at Cal. State University – Chico.

A Corvallis concept in Chico?

Unfortunately, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union did not want to see another bar in the city and one near the college campus – even one owned by an All-Pac 8 football player and opposed the license.  It was never opened.  Main was not one to give up easily, however and Jud Blakely continues the story:

“Soon enough (1973), he opened his own seafood place in Half Moon Bay named The Shorebird and made a big success of that venture, and was off and running in the world of food…this time with no blockers out front clearing the way.”

This successful venture led to another establishment named The Sandpiper in Chico, which he opened in 1979 and sold in 1986.  Billy then opened his hospitality consulting firm, Bill Main and Associates and Blakely continues the career story:

“Sought after for his advice in the hospitality (ie, food and drink) business, The Rabbit is sought after, too, as an expert witness when the owners of a restaurant—or restaurant chain—get tangled up in a dispute that lands in court where millions of dollars and countless jobs are at stake.  His diagnosis of the issues is highly prized and reflects the impeccable arc of his long career.” 

Consultant and expert witness

And as you might expect based on his upbringing, Billy was also a family man.  He married Nancy in 1992, a registered nurse with a Masters Degree, and while he was managing restaurants and consulting, she was working as a pediatric RN and teaching nursing at the college level.

Jud Blakely with granddaughter, Nylah Rose

Consistent with the previous years you’ve read about, nothing was ever dull or routine in Tucker’s William (Billy) Main’s life and I’ll wind down the story with a final quote from Martin Jud Blakely:

“Billy “The Rabbit” Main – #22 in your program but #1 in being a great and unwavering friend of so many—was the cover boy for Street & Smith’s 1969 West Coast football preview.  He was second-team as a Pac 8 all-star, a record-setter on the field…and then (one remarkable day in 1995 (when he was 44 years old and his wife was 42) they became the parents of triplets (WHAT!)”

Sierra Exif JPEG

Nancy, passed away from cancer in 2010, but they raised a wonderful (and great looking as you can see below) family.   The triplets are now 24 and all are embarked on promising careers.

Jack Main – second from right – on break from Special Forces training with colleagues

His son, Jack, graduated from the US Naval Academy and is now in Special Forces training.  Daughter, Kim, is following in her mom’s footsteps and is scheduled to graduate from Azusa Pacific University in nursing and will be commissioned as a Navy nurse.

And son, Steve, is following his dad’s footsteps while living in San Francisco.  He went to bartending school and now has a great job in a San Francisco restaurant and bar.  Billy stated, “He’s an idea generator and has a passion for process.   He can be a great success in that industry.”

Steve, Kim and Jack Main

And so Beerchaser followers, this ends my characterization of the Billy Main story and the continuing legacy of the 1967 Oregon State Giant Killers.  But stay tuned, there are a lot more wonderful stories surrounding this fabled team you can read about in future posts of Thebeerchaser.

Appendix – “Nine Yards and In!”

My first summer camp as an ROTC Midshipman was at UCLA in Los Angeles, the summer of 1967. There were about 60 of us from all over the western US universities. Duane Barton (nickname Thumper) was my OSU football teammate and was also going Naval Aviation.

Thumper – Naval aviation colleague

He was #2 fullback behind Bill Enyart, (Buffalo) and a real character. That 10-week summer in Los Angles was heavily classroom and PT oriented and was intended to fast-track flight school.

Flight School was normally 18 months in Pensacola, but the US was losing pilots in Vietnam so fast that the Naval Aviation ‘new pilot pipeline’ had to be accelerated while still allowing the NROTC guys to stay in school and complete their degrees.

One particular event that summer sticks vividly in my mind. We were assembled on the football practice field and told to ‘pair off’ by weight. We were assembled in a long line, smallest guys first. Then a Gunny went down the line, asked each candidate their weight, and then re-ordered accordingly.

After this process was completed, I found myself, at 190 lbs, being #59. The biggest guy, at 230, was last. He was a big baby-faced guy from the University of Washington, I think, and a very nice guy named Kyle.

All of the 2-man teams were then paired off in the end zone. The Gunny then instructed us on how to do the ‘battlefield carry’ – meaning, placing a wounded man over your shoulders, cross wise, and carrying him to the medic.

I began to sense a ‘feeling’ among the candidates that resulted in them staring at me…and then I understood…I would be carrying a guy 45 pounds heavier that I was. Now the ‘battlefield carry’ was 100 yards, from one end zone to the other.

My stomach turned, and I felt a bit light-headed with all the candidates looking at me curiously. So, it started, one pair at a time, with everyone yelling and cheering; the emotion was palpable. Finally, my turn came. Being last, I looked down the field, 100 yards away, and saw all my fellow midshipmen lined up anxiously awaiting – watching me carry a guy 100 yards that was much bigger than I was.

Nine Yards and In??

As 1 of 3 college football players of the ’60’s, I can honestly say that we were somewhat of an anomaly and that the other midshipmen were very supportive of us (both) playing football and being in the aviation program.  The adrenaline rush I had was reminiscent of the rush I always had standing in the end zone, waiting for an opening kick-off, in front of a stadium filled with 50,000 people.

So, I threw Kyle over my shoulders, and started the slow jog towards the other end zone. I have never felt more physically challenged, and after 50 yards I was afraid I was going to collapse. I kept readjusting Kyle slightly to balance the weight on my lower body. After 80 yards I started feeling light-headed but kept going, my vision blurring, heart pounding, and breath gasping. The other midshipmen were yelling and cheering me on, but that was just a blur in my mind.

At 90 yards I remember stumbling and Kyle and I went down fairly hard, hitting the turf, my breath gasping. I remember thinking “don’t quit” but realized I was too spent to ever get Kyle back on my shoulders, so I quickly grabbed him by the wrists and dragged him the last 10 yards across the goal line on his back. Then I collapsed to a knee, gasping for breath, with dozens of my fellow midshipman around me.

Gunny – “Gentlemen, what say you about Mr. Main?”

Then the Gunny assembled us all together and informed the group that they had all passed the exercise except me. Technically, I had failed…it was 100 yards, not 90 yards. He then said…’gentlemen, with a your approval, I will ‘pass’ Mr. Main for this component of the exercise….only if you all agree’…there was a huge roar of agreement by the midshipmen, and dozens of guys slapped me on the back as if I had just returned a kickoff for a touchdown.

During my time at Oregon State, during the season, we had a ritual called ‘9 yards and in’ which simulated the red zone game specific circumstances. Needless to say, that term always had special significance to me based on my Navy experience dragging poor Kyle the last 9 yards

Training for the Buddy Carry!

 

Tucker William (Billy) Main – Beerchaser of the Quarter

The 1967 Oregon State Beaver Giant Killer Player Recognition Awardees – “Brothers and Timeless”

Rest in Peace – Duane “Thumper” Barton

After the initial publication I am adding to this post.  I am saddened to report that my fraternity brother and member of the 1967 Beaver Giant Killer Team, Duane “Thumper” Barton, passed away at the age of 73 on May 14th from Alzheimers Disease.

Duane played fullback and his brother, Gary, later played quarterback for the Beavers. They were star multi-sport athletes at Baker High School and both graduated from OSU as did their younger brother, Ronnie.   Duane was enrolled in the Navy ROTC program and flew for the Navy after commissioning and then had a career as a pilot for Alaska Airlines.

Gary and Duane, besides being great athletes, had wonderful voices and were key members of the SAE team that won or placed highly in the annual Inter-fraternity Council Sing for several years.

Duane and Gary – first row – second and third from right at the IFC sing.

Gary stated that memorials for Duane can be made on behalf of the National Alzheimer’s Association.

Our newest Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter, Billy Main, was not only a football teammate, but both were enrolled in the aviation division of NROTC and got their private pilot licenses while in college.

Billy (Rabbit) wrote this this tribute to “Thumper” yesterday and it eloquently conveys why Duane was loved by his teammates.

Duane Barton was the back-up fullback to Bill Enyart in 1967 and 1968. He knew Buff well in that they were roommates when the team traveled.

He was physically very different: Enyart was 6’4, 235 Duane was 5’8 and 210. Duane came from Baker, Oregon and was one of the great players from eastern Oregon that were part of that GK team

He was nicknamed “Thumper” ‘…..the provenance of that nickname is unknown

Duane was the purest essence of the spirit and ethos of those teams…TEAM

He was a skilled and proficient runner and blocker, and had Buff gotten injured, we lost very little. Absent Bill Enyart, Duane was a solid replacement in the backfield. Under different circumstances, he would have probably had a more extensive football career. He was loved and respected by all of his teammates.

My real friendship with Thumper was grounded in the US Navy ROTC Flight Program in which we were both enrolled. As I remember, there were the only 3 members of the GK team roster in the Navy at that time. (Rus Jordan was the other.)

Duane and I learned to fly together at the Corvallis airport. We also were in the summer Navy summer camps in Los Angles and Pensacola. We were together on Aircraft Carriers that summer: the USS Randolph and the USS Lexington.

During that summer in Pensacola and when we had a few days leave, Thumper suggested we jump a freight train and see where it was going. He was always pushing to try something new. (I talked him out of it)

USS Lexington (CV-2)

He was a skilled pilot and eventually flew on active duty, followed by a career with Alaska Airines.  Thumper had an outrageous sense of humor and was constantly pinching your ass when you weren’t looking, then laughing like hell.        RIP, Thumper

Gary Barton gave this account of how Duane got his nickname:

“The Thumper nickname came from the Disney movie Bambi.  If you recall there was a cute little cottontail named Thumper living in Bambi’s forest.   Among the burly football jocks at OSU, Duane was like their Thumper, both in size and perhaps even more so in personality.  (However, he also gave one a memorable ‘thump’ when he hit you on the football field….)

******

Some readers might ask, “Why don’t you stick to the bar and brewery reviews on your blog and what’s this Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter?”   The response – pretty easy.   I have loved writing about the history, bartenders, regulars and distinguishing characteristics of each of the 375 watering holes I’ve visited and reviewed since starting Thebeerchaser in August, 2011.

The memories cheer me up during this lockdown and make me yearn for the safe reopening of these establishments.  And all of them deserve and need our patronage and support.  That said, another joy derived from this hobby is telling the story of some remarkable individuals or groups – most of whom I’ve known personally or met through this blog.

Attorney Jack Faust

These former Beerchasers-of-the-Quarter, besides their memorable stories, have contributed to society through their heroism, athletic achievements, civic work, dedication to their careers or otherwise.   All of them possess either a great sense of humor or noteworthy personal traits that have made them or would make them great Beerchasing companions.

Rugger, Rafter, Rider and Lawyer, Jay Waldron

I’ve highlighted my former law firm colleagues like Jack Faust and Jay Waldron.

The Godfather – Dwight Jaynes

Then there’s NW media personalities such as Amy Faust and Dwight (The Godfather Jaynes) and SOLV co-directors Jack and Jan McGowan. 

The list also includes military veterans with exemplary service to their country like the late Col. Terry McKinsey (USMC Ret.), Viet Nam era heroes such as Doug Bomarito, Steve Lawrence and Jud Blakely and my brother Capt. Rick Williams (USN Ret.).

The late Retired Colonel Terry “Spike” McKinsey

There’s even the legendary crew of the USS Constitution for their 1798 War Cruise and for you Seinfeld fans, don’t forget the “celebrated” corporate tycoon, Art Vandelay.

Art Vandelay – A Legend in Latex….

Click on the links over the names to see the individual stories noted here or on the tab “Beerchasers-of-the-Quarter” right below the blog header above.

2020’s Second Quarter “Honoree”

The newest BOQ has something in common with one of the former – Craig – The Dude – Hanneman.  Both were Pac Eight Football stars for the Oregon State Beavers under legendary coach, Dee Andros.

The Dude – on the right during the Everest climb

The Dude achieved new heights in 2012, when he became the first former NFL or NBA player to successfully scale Mt. Everest.

Since in 1967, freshmen did not play on the varsity, Craig was on the Rook Team while Billy Main was a key figure in the renowned OSU Giant Killers team – one of the most fabled stories in the annals of NCAA Football history.

As an OSU sophomore, I had the thrill of seeing the Beavs beat an OJ Simpson – led USC Team 3 to 0 when the Trojans were rated No. 1 in the nation.

Bye – Bye,  OJ…

But that was only a small part of the overall narrative – notice the moniker is Killers rather than the singular.

The full story can be seen by either reading my blog post in which I paid tribute to that team’s achievements

https://thebeerchaser.com/2018/05/20/the-1967-osu-giant-killers-beerchasers-of-the-quarter-part-i/

Or you can read another former OSU alum and Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter, the aforementioned, Jud Blakely, who put together a wonderful website which would make any sports historian tip his or her hat.

The picture at the left is Blakely receiving his 1967 promotion to Captain and the Bronze Star for valor in Viet Nam from General Garretson, Deputy Commandant of USMC and on the right is Col. Bronars’, Jud’s CO during his first six months in Vietnam..

https://www.oregonst67giantkillers.com/

“Tucker William (Billy)”

Billy Main made his mark at Oregon State through his athletic achievements and his other activities.  He also had a very successful career in the hospitality industry (which started as a “swamper” or night-time janitor at the Beaver Hut – a legendary watering hole for OSU students.)  But how did he get to Corvallis from his roots outside San Francisco in Lafayette, California?

Billy was named after his Uncle Bill who played for the Cal Golden Bears and went to the 1948 Rose Bowl under College Hall of Fame Coach Pappy Waldorf.   His dad also played football for Cal.   Waldorf coached at Cal from 1947 through 1956.

Legendary Coach Pappy Waldorf

The 1946 team of his predecessor went 2 and 7 and Waldorf’s first year, the Golden Bears compiled a 9 and 1 and lost only to USC.  The next two years, his teams went to the Rose Bowl and although losing both times, the turnaround was remarkable.

Memorial Stadium at University of California

He started the tradition of commenting on the game and complimenting the crowd for their support after every home game in the balcony over the northwest gate of the stadium. He continued this tradition through his last home game in 1956.

Billy was an excellent high school athlete playing basketball and football and for the first seventeen years of his life, there was no doubt in his mind that his college home and athletics would be at Berkeley.

“I played basketball like I did football,” Billy told me.  “I was always the first guy to foul out, but they always had me guard the other team’s best player.”

His desire was to go to Cal when he graduated from Del Valle High School in Walnut Creek in 1965, and Jim “Truck” Cullom the Offensive Line Coach recruited him.   Cullom had played football at Cal and remembered Billy’s dad and uncle.

However, the Cal Athletic Dept. advised him to go to junior college first because his grades didn’t meet the standard. (Actually, he met the criteria for an exception, but Cal. messed it up – something they undoubtedly bemoaned from 1967-69.)  His dad told him to look at other college options, so he made a trip up to Pullman to check out Washington State.

Coach Paul Valenti

Fortunately for the Oregon State Beavers:

Main’s basketball coach, Doug Pederson was a friend of Oregon State Basketball Coach, Paul Valenti, that contact got the Beavers in the door.”   (They both played basketball for OSU in 1942)     (The Civil War Rivalry by Kerry Eggers. Page 237.)

Assistant Football Coach Sam Boghosian showed up at one of Billy’s basketball practices.  “I saw this fierce looking guy looking at me practice from across the gym,” Billy said.

A visit in the gym from Assistant OSU Coach Sam Boghosian

Dee Andros had been an Assistant Football Coach at Cal and started his tenure as Head Football Coach at Oregon State in 1965, where he became known as “The Great Pumpkin.” (He was 5’10 and weighed over 300 pounds.)

Boghosian came to the Main’s house to recruit him for the Beavers.  Billy then took a Greyhound Bus up to Corvallis.   “Wayne Valley, a tackle on the team showed me around campus and I really liked it.”

A great read by Kerry Eggers

Another quote from Kerry Eggers, wonderful book The Civil War Rivalry demonstrates the respect and love Andros’ players had for their coach.

(Eggers, an OSU alum, was a columnist in Portland for 45-years, is the author of six books and a five-time winner of the Oregon Sportswriter of the Year Award.  Any OSU or U of O fan should read this book!)

“‘I sat down with the Great Pumpkin, and it was one of those moments,’ recalled Main…..’We chatted about my pop who was on a destroyer in World War II.’  Dee said, ‘Billy we want you to come to Oregon State.  I committed on the spot. The Pumpkin had a special gift.  He inspired us in that it is difficult to define.  It was magic.'”  (Page 237)

Main was red-shirted for the 1966 season – with a November birthday, he was young and they wanted him to use the extra season to “bulk-up” and help the scout team scrimmage against the Varsity during practice.   Billy also explained:

 “I was a sophomore and was red-shirted  because of Bob Grim, from Red Bluff, maybe Oregon States greatest wingback, my mentor, and a spectacular athlete and role model.”

Bob Grim – mentor and role model

But the year of the Giant Killers in 1967 has to be the most memorable.  Quarterback Steve Preece and Billy were fraternity brothers and best friends at the Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji)  house, but the entire  team was an extremely close knit group.

Fox and Rabbit – Fiji Fraternity house at OSU

According to Preece, “Dee convinced us that we’d only win if we were a group playing as one…Everybody believed it.” (Eggers – The Civil War Rivalry – Page 195)

The option – Preece and Main – frat bros and teammates..

That team attitude was deeply ingrained and made a lifelong impression.   In one of the last e-mails we exchanged for my research for this post.

Ingrained a Team Attitude

Billy wrote:

“Don, please make sure you focus on my other teammates as we go forward.  I remain to this day, in awe of many of them; Jesse (Lewis), Dude (Hanneman), Preece, Foote, Vanderbundt, Houser, Didion…the list goes on and on.”

(Note:  This request is honored if you view my past post about The Giant Killers and will be the case as future posts on Thebeerchaser will continue the story of the Beavers of that era.  That said, this post is primarily about Billy Main and you will understand why as you continue reading.)

Jud Blakely – At Dee Andros’ parents’ gravesite in Oklahoma in 2005

Based on his extensive knowledge of the Giant Killer Team, I asked Jud Blakely to write a few paragraphs about Billy and the team.

Jud first met Main in 2003 when Blakely was considering writing a screen play on the Giant Killers and he used Billy as a resource.  A long-time friendship developed which continues as evidenced by our trip to Corvallis in 2018.

“Okay, so, Bill Main…who entered this world listed as Tucker W. Main…and…you guessed it; the W. stands for “William. Then William made the predictable journey to being ‘Bill’ before it made the slightly less predictable journey to being “Billy”…and Billy Main is how Tucker’s vintage pals know him and address him.

By “vintage pals,” I mean legends in their own right such as Steve Preece, Jon Sandstrom, Mike Foote, Tom Greerty, Jess Lewis, Gary Houser, Louis Armstrong, Bobby Mayes, Mel Easley, and the Rest-In-Peace squad of Bill Enyart, Roger Cantlon, Donnie Summers, John Didion, etc.  Thing is, though, they mostly called him “Rabbit”…and (mostly) they had nicknames, too…

…and so, Preece was “Fox”…Cantlon was “Deer”…Sandstrom was “Grape Eyes”…Bill Enyart was always “Buff” and never “Earthquake,” and on and on.  This was the nature of OSU’s 1967 Giant-Killer football team that caught lightning in a bottle…the fabled and legendary squad on which Billy “Rabbit” Main electrified fans as a star wingback when he was but 18 years old.

(Billy got the name “Rabbit” and Preece got the nicknames “Fox” from their fraternity brother Jeff Wissler.)

Blakely continues about his friendship with Main:

“Bottom line—I’m blessed to be one of Billy Main’s 14 thousand-2 hundred (and 52) friends…

but

I’m estimating here because the count goes up every week.  When it comes to friendship, Billy Main is, like, nearly the size of a South-Pacific atoll that morphed into a nation.  The reason he’s so rich in friends?  It’s as simple as hearing, ‘Hey, I’m thinkin’ about you. ‘How are you?'”

(Note:  I asked my friend of fifty years, Blakely to write a short paragraph or two to use in the posts about Billy.  You will see from this post and the next that’s comparable to asking him to read and summarize a magazine article resulting in him sending a synopsis of Winston Churchill’s six-volume The Second World War.  What he wrote was eloquent and with feeling, but when I kidded him about the length, he responded, “Once I got going, I was too lazy to stop.”)

Janet Williams and Larry and Mariellen Rich in 2019. They celebrated their 50th anniversary in  2019

I was the beneficiary of friendship and living with eleven of the members of the team during the Giant Killer era in the SAE House at OSU.  They included my 1970 classmates, defensive back starters, Larry Rich and Don Whitney.

Other SAE’s footballers during those years were Craig Hanneman, Jim Scheele, Chris Wahle, Clyde Smith, Don Welch, Jim Blackford, Roger Cantlon and Gary and Duane Barton.  They were not only great athletes but outstanding individuals.

Oregon Alpha Chapter of SAE in 1967

Billy’s solid family roots which were a key to his character can be demonstrated by this story on radio broadcasts while he played for OSU.  He told me:

“They didn’t broadcast OSU games in Lafayette, so my Pop and mom drove up I-5 to Etna, California (near Weed) several times each season .  Pops went into the radio station which didn’t carry the games either and asked the manager, ‘Where’s your tower?’  It was up in the Siskiyou Mountains near the Oregon/California border.   They drove up high enough to get the KEX broadcast from Portland and had picnic lunches while they listened to the game.”

At 5′ 11″ and weighing 188 pounds when he was a freshman, Billy was not a big guy compared to his many, if not most of his teammates, but he had a reputation for being a  fierce competitor.  (“I was born in November so was always smaller than my teammates in school which helped shape my attitude.”)

One of Main’s eight catches against the Huskies.

In the Andros Power T Offense, he was a running back and wide receiver who was named to the Coaches’ Second Pac-8 Second Team.  Notwithstanding his size, he was also a skilled blocking back for his fullback Buffalo Bill Enyart. 

A true utility man, Main even was the holder for field goals and extra points for part of the 1968 season.

He became holder, when safety Larry Rich was converted to the kicker after the regular kicker, Mike Haggard was injured. Starting in the Washington game, this newly initiated duo went 5 for 5 in PAT’s in the Beaver victory.

Newly converted holder and kicker, Rich and Mains

Kerry Eggers relates an incident in his book during the 1968 Civil War game with Oregon to show Rabbit’s toughness. The Beavs won that home game 41 to 14 at Parker Stadium.

In the Civil War the year before at Autzen, the Giant Killers, who were nationally ranked, had to make a fourth quarter comeback to beat the Ducks who went into the game with a 2 and 8 record.  Billy Main said of the ’68 game:

“‘We’d remembered what happened (in the Civil War) the year before when we had our heads up our ass and almost lost.   Everybody was ready before the game. You could feel it….’

Fox calling a play

Oregon was poised to “take out” Preece on Oregon State’s patented option play.  Preece had broken a shoulder the previous season, and opponents that year took shots at it.  Early in the game, U of O defensive end, Dennis Gassner cold-cocked him.  Main saw it.

“Billy told me, ‘Run that play again,'” Preece recalled.  “I ran it again and Main goes flying by me and hits (Gassner) so hard I thought he was going to kill him.  He’s standing over him screaming, ‘Don’t touch my quarterback again.”  (Civil War Rivalry – Page 196)

Eggers: Award-winning reporter and author (and OSU alum…)

Given the scenario above, one has to chuckle at Billy’s description of his demeanor in the continuing description of this incident in Kerry Eggers’s book:

“’We had a slight altercation,’ Main acknowledged.  ‘I was uncharacteristically agitated – I was more of a lover than a fighter (emphasis supplied) – and Gassner was pushing because Fox (Preece) has the marginal shoulder. 

It came close to shoving with lots of mouth.  I was ready for a dust-up.  But we were seriously restricted by the Pumpkin’s code of behavior – no fighting, just do your job.”

Main – the portrait of a Lover – not a Fighter….!

So Beerchaser followers, you have the first part of the Tucker W. Main story.  Stay tuned for the next post and the story of Rabbit’s naval service, return to Corvallis and subsequent career and family life.  You can see it at:

https://thebeerchaser.com/2020/05/25/the-oregon-state-giant-killers-and-billy-main-part-ii/

Giant Killer Duane Barton

Beerchasing in Corvallis (and Stanley, Idaho) Part II – Drinking with Kings….

As mentioned in my last post, I am “catching up” on a number of bars and breweries visited during the last few years which never got written up – something which makes sense now when watering holes are closed except, in some cases, for pick-up.

The last post was Part I of two trips to Corvallis.    The most recent in 2018, in which I talked about our trip to the Oregon State vs Washington State game and a visit to the outstanding sports bar – The Angry Beaver Grill.  We met with former Beaver Giant Killer, Billy Main, who got us fifty-yard line seats. The link to that post is https://thebeerchaser.com/2020/04/15/beerchasing-in-corvallis-part-1/

One year earlier, in October of 2017, I was the overnight guest of Brian and Nancy King at their Corvallis residence.   During the day and one-half I was there, Brian and I hit several watering holes and in the evening, Nancy joined us briefly at Block 15 Brewery and Tap Room south of town and then we had dinner at Squirrels Tavern and in the evening, a nightcap at Caves Bier and Kitchen .

Gracious hosts in 2017 – Brian and Nancy King at the Block 15 Brewery

Brian and I also hit the following establishments:

Cloud and Kelly’s,  The Peacock

Those of you who follow my blog know that in my twenty-five years at the Schwabe Williamson firm and prior to that, six years at the Oregon State Bar, although not a lawyer, I loved working with them in my legal management role.

And my general affinity for the lawyer personality was characterized by Robert Elfers, a lawyer himself and my mentor/boss for over twenty of those years in both organizations, as a “pressing need for ongoing psycho-therapy…”

Thebeerchaser and “Brain” on 2017 visit

I have many wonderful attorney friends both at Schwabe and all over the country, but Brian (Brain) King, an environmental lawyer from the time he passed the Bar in -1980, until his 2016 retirement, is one of my favorites.  He epitomizes why I hold most lawyers in such high esteem.

He has also been on a number of Portland Beerchasing expeditions including the memorable Mummy’s (along with Schwabe colleague, Margaret Hoffmann and Billy Ray’s Neighborhood Dive Bar (with lawyers, Carson Bowler, Brien Flannigan and Cheryl Rath).  This also occurred in 2016.

Before social distancing – in 2016 at Billy Rays. Brian is holding the can of Tecate…

Before talking about the Corvallis saloons, I need to tell you why I make the assertion above.  Brian has a wonderful dry sense of humor and notwithstanding the accolades he garnered in his professional career as both corporate counsel at Boise Cascade, the Bogle and Gates firm and then at Schwabe, he does not take himself too seriously.

He was a skilled advocate and extremely knowledgeable in his specialties, but also an attorney held in high esteem by not only his firm colleagues, but those who were on the opposing side of the legal issues in question.

Thebeerchaser at the Rod & Gun

Now I also may be biased because he was a primary factor in the motivation to start this blog when I retired in 2011.  I’ll write another post to finish the Corvallis visits, because I feel compelled to offer this background.

Based on his own experience, Brian insisted on my 2004 sabbatical road trip to Idaho and Montana, that I visit the Stanley Rod and Gun Whitewater Saloon in Stanley Idaho.

The Sawtooths on the edge of Stanley city limits.

When he served as corporate counsel in Idaho, he spent time in Stanley at the foot of the beautiful Sawtooth Mountains and told me, “You need to stop at the Rod and Gun Whitewater Saloon and say hello to the owner and notable musician, Casanova Jack. You can find the bar at 44 Ace of Diamonds Street in downtown Stanley.”

The musician had a reputation throughout the West having at one time played with Marty Robbins and his band.   Jack’s bar also has a colorful history:

“Tall Mary, at 6-foot-4, ran the Rod and Gun Club with Casanova Jack, and a French woman served whiskey and great hot sandwiches all night long at the Kasino Club. (That’s just a block away and also on Ace of Diamonds Street.)  ”  (“Winter 2010 Sun Valley Guide”)

While visiting Stanley years ago, Brian even took the stage and was lead vocal on “Blue Suede Shoes” with Jack.

So while staying at Stanley on the road trip, I spent hours at the bar on Karaoke Night.   I made sure to ask if Casanova Jack was in and my conversation with the female manager went like this:

Beerchaser:   “One of my colleagues made me promise that I would say hello to Casanova Jack.  Is he in tonight?”

Manager“No.  And for your information, Casanova Jack died in 1990.”

Beerchaser:  “I’m sorry to hear that.  I’m sure that he lived a colorful and active life.”

Manager:   “Not really.  He was a raving a-hole….”

My wife and I returned to the bar on a road trip in 2016.  The bar is now owned by Jack’s brother, Johnny Ray and his wife of thirty-eight years, Eve.

The personable Johnny Ray on our 2016 trip

Johnny Ray played the bass guitar and sang in Jack’s group and spent a good amount of time filling me in on his story and that of the bar.

For Johnny Ray’s interesting version of the bar’s history, check out this link: https://www.facebook.com/155766471164/posts/casanova-jack-ran-the-rod-gun-club-from-1971-until-his-untimely-passing-in-1990-/10154619946136165/

After the notable experience at both the Rod and Gun and Lumpy’s Landing in Dundee, Oregon, I decided that visiting bars and breweries would be a fantastic retirement hobby which led to commencement of Thebeerchaser in 2011.  More about Brian and his wife in the next post.

Cloud and Kelly’s 

See narrative below re. the women at the left side of the bar…….

This spacious bar downtown has an interesting story as evidenced by this excerpt from a Corvallis Gazette Times article dated June 30, 2017 entitled, “Tiki Bar Stirs Up Cocktail of Accusations”:  (Pardon the length but the story is compelling)

“The Hapuna Kahuna Tiki Bar & Kitchen — until recently, the location was Cloud & Kelly’s Public House, an Irish pub — will close Sunday and reopen Sunday night as an extension of the Downward Dog, an adjacent bar that Davidson owns.  Hapuna Kahuna started its short run on June 22.

Davidson said that residents of Polynesian ancestry, including those with the Oregon State University Asian and Pacific Cultural Center, complained about a combination of factors such as the use of a Hawaiian name, traditional iconography displayed in a cartoonish way, and how plastic leis were handed off to customers.  Some Hawaiians and other Polynesians liked the Tiki-themed bar and didn’t want him to change it, Davidson said.

Culturally inappropriate?

A local Facebook forum also had numerous comments about the situation, including questions of whether it was appropriate for chefs to cook ethnic food that wasn’t from their ancestry, such as a Korean chef running a sushi joint, since the cuisine is Japanese; discussion on the origins of Tiki ‘culture’ as an inauthentic fantasy mashup of tropical influences, and how there are Tiki bars in Hawaii; and comments on the evolution of Hawaiian cuisine to include items from numerous cultures, including those of Asian and Western countries.

The Tiki bar also made more financial sense than Cloud & Kelly’s, Davidson said, as the price of Irish cheddar, heavy creams, butters and lamb was rising. There also are rather obvious limitations to Irish cuisine, he added.

‘It all came down to the cost. … I know it had a good reputation but I felt I was at a crossroads and I was willing to try something new,’ he added.”

Now, since I don’t know the entire story in detail, I will refrain from making comments other than the cultural appropriation issues laid out above seem to pale considering the global health and economic issues we’re now facing.  And the story didn’t end there as set forth in two additional local news stories.

Downward Dog still has a campus location

The downtown Downward Dog, Cloud Davidson converted, closed in late 2018.   What is a sad commentary is David’son’s understandable sentiments in the November 24, 2018 article:

“I’m OK with letting it go, but I’ll always have an ill feeling about how it happened…I took a big risk doing Cloud & Kelly’s and it took off like a rocket ship,” Davidson said…..From the middle to the right to the left, I couldn’t do anything right…..It’s beyond rhyme or reason. But it all just blew up in my face,”

Morgan Orr

We wish Davidson, who appears to have done everything he could to assuage the objections, the best as a small business owner, since he still owns the Downward Dog location near the OSU campus.

The good news is that Morgan Orr who was his right-hand person for years, is now the owner of The Brass Monkey: A Public House, which is operating out of Davidson’s former downtown space.  The campus DD is still open for takeout and the BMPH is temporarily closed during the lockdown.  Both have received great social media reviews.

Brian and I hit the former Cloud and Kelly’s in the early afternoon on a weekday and one of only two other customers was the dark-haired woman you see sitting at the left end of the bar in the photo above.   She evidently listened to us telling some stories and laughing and then went into the bathroom.  We had finished our beers and were ready to leave when she came out carrying a small paper bag. Walking boldly up to me with a big smile she said,  “You deserve a present,” placed the package in front of me and walked out.

“Calm down and lower your voice, Beerchaser!”

Well, inside the bag were four marijuana gummy bears in the original package.   I was astonished and started to say  in a loud voice, “Hey Brian, those are ……..,” whereupon Brian in his best lawyerly voice said softly, “Lower your voice, Don and let’s split.”  

Even though marijuana edibles are legal in Oregon, I harkened back to my NROTC days at OSU when even inhaling second-hand marijuana smoke was probably enough to lose my scholarship …..Brian, as usual, was giving good advice.  The package hit the next garbage can on the way to our car.

Block 15 Brewery

Having opened their initial brewpub in downtown Corvallis in 2008, Block 15 Brewery and Taproom is south of town in a very attractive building with a beautiful view of Mary’s Peak.   They also opened a European-style pub—Caves Bier & Kitchen downtown which we hit later that evening after dinner.

Two of my favorite Oregon beers are Astoria’s Buoy Brewing IPA and Block 15’s Sticky Hand Ale. (Both with fairly high ABV at 7.5 and 8.1 respectively)

A great IPA and my opinion was not influenced by the glass!

Block 15 is known for its “barrel-aged rarities and one of the Northwest’s most extensive wild & sour programs.”  According to an 8/29/19 Oregonian article

….Block 15 remains fresh and innovative with ten years of brewing under its belt….From its well-known Sticky Hands Ale to a near-perfect pilsner, Block 15 has few holes in its game.”

An impressive tap list of creative brews

Although we did not eat there, the social media reviews on the food are very good, as exemplified by this recent 1/7/20 Trip Advisor review:

Great beer and perhaps the best sandwich I’ve ever had!   Every summer Block 15 has a sandwich called the ZATS – zucchini, avocado, tomato and sauce, on a french roll. I love this sandwich, and along with one of their hoppier beers I’m as close to heaven as I’m ever likely to get.  Also, their hamburger may be the best ever, as well. ….. ‘Nuff said.”

Note:  I’m happy to report that all three of the establishments covered above – Block 15, the Downward Dog and the Brass Monkey are continuing to offer safe options where you can still support them through takeout or home delivery.

Well Beerchasers, stay tuned for the third and final installment of Corvallis Beerchasing and some final comments on my wonderful hosts – the Kings.

Cheers (Image created by Pam Williams)

 

 

Beerchasing in Corvallis – Part 1

As I stated in my last post on Thebeerchaser blog, with all Oregon and Washington watering holes closed except for takeout, I ‘m going to “catch up” on some great bars and breweries that I visited in the  last few years, but just didn’t write up because of my formidable Beerchasing agenda……

And what better place to start then two trips to Corvallis, Oregon – home of my undergraduate alma mater – Oregon State University.  The next Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter will also be introduced to Beerchaser followers in the following post and is part of an OSU legend.

Ariel view of the Memorial Union and the Quad

As a precursor, I can state that OSU was a wonderful place to live and learn for four years.  Although some refer to OSU as simply an aggie school, it has nationally recognized programs in Ocean Sciences, Engineering and Forestry. 

It was also one of the first colleges in the country to initiate a Fermentation Science degree in 1996, which still ranks among the best in the country – certainly dear to the heart of Thebeerchaser.  It comprises about 50% of the students who are pursuing a degree in Food Science and Technology.

West Coast IPA has been one of the fastest growing styles of craft beer and “the hop that launched this revolution was an Oregon-grown variety called Cascade, developed at Oregon State University by the USDA hop breeding program.”

Fermentation Science at OSU

The two Beerchaser posts on Corvallis will be on ventures back to my undergrad stomping grounds:

In October, 2018:  I accompanied my fraternity brother and former Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter, Jud Blakely and his friend, Dr. Bob Gill when we drove down to see the Beavers play the Washington State Cougars.

If you click on the link above you will also see the compelling story of my friend of 50 + years, Jud, ranging from his time – albeit abbreviated – as OSU Student Body President, to his heroic service during the Viet Nam War and beyond.

Dr. Bob Gill, Jud Blakely and Billy Main

Thanks to the generosity of former Beaver Giant Killer, Billy Main, who played running back on that fabled 1967 team, we also had 50-yard line complimentary tickets and attended a reception for alumni in which new Coach Jonathan Smith appeared about an hour before the game for a ten-minute inspirational briefing.

Coach Smith inspiring the alums right before the game with WSU

Indeed, Billy Main epitomized that Giant Killer football team which is one of the great sports stories – not only in Oregon, but in American college football lore.   For those who want to know more about that legendary team check out my own post:

https://thebeerchaser.com/2018/05/20/the-1967-osu-giant-killers-beerchasers-of-the-quarter-part-i/

Or for the most comprehensive and impressive chronology and documentation, check out the aforementioned, Jud Blakely’s website.  It is a labor of love by this OSU alum and I consider it the War and Peace equivalent of sports websites:  https://www.oregonst67giantkillers.com/

I knew Billy as a fellow NROTC midshipman – one class ahead of mine.  His college football and subsequent professional career in the hospitality industry are stories that deserve to be told and are inspiring as you will learn in the next post.

On the first trip back – also in October one year earlier – I was privileged to be the overnight guests of former Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt law firm colleague, Brian (Brain) King and his wife, Nancy.

Brian was an environmental litigator in the corporate sector and then with two large law firms.  Nancy King – also a lawyer – after her career in private practice – served as a professor at both Willamette University College of Law and in the Oregon State School of Business.

Gracious hosts in 2017 – Brian and Nancy King at the Block 15 Brewery

Before his retirement in 2016, he “anchored” Schwabe’s one-person Corvallis office. In the second post on Corvallis, you will learn more about Brian’s notable legal career and why I credit him as a primary inspiration for starting this blog in 2011.  Nancy also retired in 2016 although she taught during the summer at Aarhus University in Denmark in 2017.

Why Would One Go to College in Corvallis?

NROTC Class of 1970 at OSU

Not to belabor the point, but Corvallis is not only a wonderful community, but an ideal college town.  Now perhaps, I was slightly parochial in 1966, but as a recipient of the NROTC scholarship, I had the option to attend any of the fifty or so US universities that offered that program (and to which I could get admitted which, of course, narrowed the list quite a bit….) 

College recruitment and selection is a lot different these days (maybe not going forward) but I only visited OSU, loved the campus and also the opportunity to pledge the SAE fraternity.

Oregon State SAE House at 29th and Harrison

Corvallis has a population of 59,000 – 85 miles south of Portland, it was founded in 1845 and has the motto “Enhancing Community Livability.”   (We earnestly tried to live up to this standard while we were students….)

In doing some research for this post, I did find one interesting statistic (and perspective) from a real estate blog: (https://www.estately.com/blog/2016/06/15-things-you-should-know-before-moving-to-corvallis-oregon/

“Corvallis has the lowest percentage of children of any of the 20 largest cities in Oregon. This is great news for those of you don’t enjoy the sounds of screaming children while dining out, seeing a movie, riding public transport, meditating in the park, or playing video games at an arcade. On the other hand, if you have small children the city might feel a little devoid of other youngsters.”

Now during my college years (1966-70), there were no breweries and just a few notable bars – classics if you will including the SAE’s favorite – Price’s Tavern.  Also Don’s Den and The Peacock Bar and Grill.   The Peacock and it’s iconic rooftop pavilion – “The Top of the Cock” – is the only one surviving to this day.

Corvallis now offers a great variety of bars – including nine sports bars, breweries , distilleries and even a meadery to suit just about anyone’s preference.   In fact, the Corvallis Visitors’ Bureau offers a brochure entitled the Mid-Valley-Sip Trip listing seventeen establishments – all within the City limits.

On my two trips, I hit the following:

2018:  The Angry Beaver

2017:  Block 15 Brewing, Caves, Squirrels, Cloud and Kelly’s, Flat Tail Brewing and The Peacock

What you Should Know about Bob Gill

The trip to Corvallis was the first time I met Dr. Bob Gill – who attended and played football at both OSU and then Portland State after starring at Jefferson High School his senior season in 1953.   He was selected for the Shrine All-Star game and got a scholarship to OSU.

All-star Quarterback

He was a successful Portland dentist for many years.  But like many of Jud’s friends (other than Thebeerchaser), Bob also has an outstanding Oregon legacy as both an athlete and in the annals of athletics for the State of Oregon.

Click on the link to read his full bio when he was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame  in 2019 along with two former Beaver Basketball players from the ’80’s Mark Radford and Ray Blume.

Among his achievements to garner this honor:

  • Bob’s research led to the publication of “It’s in Their Blood,” a history and legacies of 53 Oregon football coaches.
  • As a historian, Bob successfully nominated Tommy Prothro, Neil Lomax and Ad Rutschman into the National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame. For 14 years, he presented the “Walk of Champions” award to champion high school coaches.

  • In 1998, Bob Gill provided the early leadership to return the North-South All-Star Football Game to Portland establishing the Les Schwab Bowl.
  • In 2010, Bob offered to write the story of Oregon and NFL legend, Mel Renfro. After 5 years of research and writing, he authored the biography “Mel Renfro: Forever A Cowboy.”

And from spending a day with him, I can also state that he an amazingly humble and classy gentleman.

When we got to Corvallis, we had lunch at the Angry Beaver Grill where we met Billy and were also joined by Giant Killer Quarterback, Steve Preece and his wife, Karen.

After college, Steve played in the NFL for nine seasons – as a defensive back and his last year, in 1977, he started for the Seattle Seahawks.  After football, he has been a successful Portland commercial real estate broker and developer and is a member of the Beavers’ radio broadcasting crew.

From left – Billy Main, Jud Blakely, Don Williams, Karen Preece, Steve Preece, Dr. Bob Gill

The Angry Beaver Grill is a bastion of Oregon State sports history, co-owned by former Beaver football running back Randy Holmes (#31) who averaged 3.7 yards per carry during his four years at OSU.  Randy was a great host to our group and is a wonderful story teller.

Holmes – an expert in the kitchen

He was also known for catching a 12-yard touchdown pass from Beav quarterback, Ed Singler to make the score 28-14 against Fresno State in the 1981 season.   The Beavers after being behind 28 to 0 in the first half, won 31 to 28 and ended a 14 game losing streak.

According to Wikipedia, “With the win, Oregon State had set the record for the biggest comeback (28 points) in major college football history at that time.”

And the Angry Beaver is a great venue – especially on game day although according to the OSU student newspaper – The Barometer – it was the best live music venue in Corvallis in 2020.

The Angry Beaver Reuben

For lunch we had burgers and their outstanding Reuben sandwich, but Randy made his mark for years as a chef and according to a 2/2/18 story in the Corvallis Gazette Times

“………..resurrected a bit of Corvallis’ culinary history with the Angry Beaver, which opened in January 2018. For more than a decade, Holmes was the chef at The Gables, which was known as Corvallis’ premier restaurant for years before it closed.

‘I literally made the croutons and chicken bisque soup every day,’ Holmes said. Angry Beaver chef Mike Adams also worked at the Gables.  Naturally, that signature chicken bisque soup with croutons is featured on the menu, as is a prime rib with Danish whipped potatoes special on Friday nights, and that also was a Gables’ staple.” 

Retired Coach Jimmy Anderson

After lunch, Jud wanted to stop by former OSU Head Basketball Coach, Jimmy Anderson’s (from 1989-95) house.   Jimmy was coach of the freshman basketball team in 1961 and Jud got cut in the final round of tryouts.

They ended up playing together on the Truax Oilers AAU team and have maintained a friendship since.  (Of course, Jud told Jimmy he made the wrong decision by cutting him.)

The Beavs on their way to the locker room before the game.

Then we moved on to Reser Stadium for the early evening game.   However, Billy insisted that we be his guests at the Alumni Reception – and it was in the beautiful quarters above the north endzone.   Bob, Jud and I joined about 150 people and soon realized that they were all former OSU athletes and their guests.

And among them were a number of former Pac (8-10-12) all stars and a both current and former pro-athletes – which made me feel a little out-of-place although my size when compared to most of them meant that my presence was not conspicuous.

Scott Barnes OSU AD

We heard the great talk by Coach Jon Smith and then affable OSU Athletic Director, Scott Barnes, closed the affair and understandably started making the rounds shaking hands with those who attended.  He stuck out his hand to me and said, “Thanks for coming back.”   Given the presence of all the other athletes, I almost could not resist responding to his greeting with “Don Williams, SAE Intramural Basketball 1966 – 70.”

Well, although it was a pretty good game for three quarters, Oregon State lost 56 – 37. In retrospect, sitting there in a crowded stadium on a lovely fall night even when your team loses, seems like a wonderful future scenario.

Go Beavs!!

And although the Angry Beaver Grill is now closed during the pandemic, when bars and restaurants reopen, be sure to stop in and say “hello” to Randy and his friendly and effective staff.   You will enjoy the great atmosphere, the good tap list and the great food.

Get a Read on the Rose City Book Club – Even Now!!

Explanatory Note

I was ready to publish this post on March 15th, but decided in light of world events, that perhaps I should suspend Thebeerchaser.com. for some period.   Offsetting this sentiment about being insensitive were quite a few comments from followers and family that by providing narratives that are on the lighter side right now might be appreciated and provide a diversion from the news.

With that in mind, I will do a few posts about some establishments that I visited months and maybe even a year or two ago, but never had the time to write – not the situation now….. You’ll also see updates on some bars and breweries that are adapting and still doing a good job of serving their customers now – in creative ways that comply with the Oregon’s regulations.

Such is the case with Rose City Book Pub, where owner, Elise Schumock, who you will meet below, is still open for “take out food, growler fills, and book sales.”  Her new hours are 11 am until 10 pm.  Check out the introductory paragraphs in her website which convey what she is doing and some great options you should consider not only for your own enjoyment, but to support a small business owner during this crisis.  (I visited Rose City three times in the last year.)

And if you have any thoughts about if and where Thebeerchaser should “go” in the next weeks – other than to have a draft beer in your favorite watering hole, leave a comment.    Don Williams aka Thebeerchaser

Cheers!

I have to admit that when I read about bars that have a dual function e.g. a tap room and also serve as a cycle or record shop, etc. it evokes reservations.   The bars and watering holes I love (all 367 in the last eight years) are almost always characterized by patrons – especially the regulars in dive bars – engaged in active discussions and interaction.

At home in a tavern…..

Two quotes by Samuel Johnson reinforce this idea although I have used the first on this blog before:

“There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.”

and

“’As soon,’ said he, ‘as I enter the door of a tavern, I experience an oblivion of care, and a freedom from solicitude : when I am seated….wine there exhilarates my spirits, and prompts me to free conversation and an interchange of discourse with those whom I most love.’”

Philosopher opposed nukes….

Would a book pub be one where patrons immerse themselves in 500-page volumes of Tolstoy or quietly ponder philosopher and historian, Bertrand Russell’s views on nuclear disarmament with only an occasional sip of a brewski while deliberately refraining from any typical barroom banter?

Thus, I had some skepticism about the announcement of the new Rose City Book Pub (hereafter RCBP) when it opened in November, 2018. Part of that was from the fond memories I had at a Beerchasing event in 2012.

I joined colleagues who were members of the Schwabe Williamson law firm Environmental and Natural Resources group when County Cork was located in the same space on NE Fremont.  It’s a charming space in a wonderful old building built in 1927.

Schwabe Environmental lawyers toasting the EPA in an Irish Pub

We had both cheerful and weighty conversations and we liked the pub’s Irish theme.  Brien Flanagan, who is now the leader of that group, a Notre Dame undergrad before law school, even told the joke about the Irish boomerang: “It doesn’t come back. It just sings songs about how much it wants to.”

Why Should You Visit the Rose City Book Pub?

After three visits and a great interview with the cordial and interesting owner, Elise, however, my reservations disappeared and I will return.  The concept works quite well.

And since on two of the three visits to the new establishment were also with lawyers who are Beerchasing regulars (former Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter, Jim Westwood – and Bernie Stea), the company was equally stimulating at both County Cork and RCBP.

Elise, Bernie and Jim

I say this as a non-attorney who worked with lawyers for forty years and as one family member said, was a victim of the curse, “May your life be filled with lawyers.”  I loved my career in legal management, however, and as evidenced by these three examples, still spend a lot of time Beerchasing with lawyers – voluntarily…..

The RCPB has a very nice physical layout and ambiance.  And in spite of my concern that it might tend to be a bunch of bibliophiles burying their faces in books, it was exactly the opposite.

Although there are some nice niches where one can cozy up with a book, most people are reading, socializing or working on computers at tables or booths which are an  integral part of the large comfortable and bustling room or chatting at the bar.  The book shelves on each of the far sides provide nice “bookends,” if you will, sitting against walls which are attractively painted.

And the bar with about ten barstools fronts the kitchen where the jovial staff has ongoing interaction with customers.   There’s also some nice art by local artists scattered throughout.

Bar opens to kitchen

What About Elise?

We should talk a little bit about Elise, who based on her outgoing personality, her entrepreneurial spirit and her interesting background deserves accolades.

Elise – “temporary” hiatus in LA….

This Portland native, who attended Grant High School, and then Whitman College, where she majored in Education.   She graduated during the recession and there were no jobs teaching Latin in the NW – her career choice – so she moved to LA in 2001.  She then worked at an elite K-12 private school in which the annual tuition was $40,000.   Her second week as a teacher started with the attack on the Twin Towers in New York City.

The neophyte educator tutored and taught Latin, which started a great conversation since Jim Westwood’s mom, Catherine, was both Jim’s and my Latin teacher for two years at Oregon City High School in the ‘60’s.   I threw out the only two Latin words I remember – “pulchra puella” which means beautiful girl.

Caeser – Bloody in Canada…

So Jim and Elise started talking about the Roman Empire and to keep it in context he informed us that a Bloody Caesar is the Canadian version of a Bloody Mary except it includes clam broth.

Her goal was always to return to Portland and after seventeen years, a friend, Matan Gold, had an conceptual idea about a “book pub” in Portland and she thought, “I could do that!”   After a six-month search, she found the building “which perfectly matched my parameters.

Is this used book store and pub the only such combination in Portland?  Well, according to critic Michael Russell in Oregon Live:

As noted by Eater PDX, which broke the bar news last week, this will be Portland’s first such establishment, joining Boston’s Trident Cafe, the Spotty Dog in Hudson, or Afterwords in Washington, D.C.”

They opened on November 3, 2018 and after starting months that saw packed houses,  the first part 2019 “was pretty lean.”  Since that time things have gone very well.  (With that said, Elise, who goes by the title of Book Publican, like any small business owner is concerned about the long-term economic impact of the Corona Virus.)

So does the RCBP have the feel of a typical pub or of a bookstore that just offers some alcoholic beverages.   Let’s look at Willamette Week’s well-stated description in January, 2019:

“It has all the makings of a Portland cliché: craft brews, staged poetry readings, rows of old, obscure books. But don’t be deterred by appearances. The simple bar manages to fuse two of the city’s trademarks—beer and used books—without a drop of pretension…..

This isn’t a bookstore you enter seeking something specific. It’s a humble, well-curated selection, presented for carefree browsing and happenstance discovery. Plus, the bar’s inviting atmosphere and free-flowing beer taps are a recipe for a rare Portland occurrence: chatting with strangers.” (Emphasis supplied)

What’s to Drink?

They have fourteen rotating micro and two nitros on tap in addition to two ciders and Kombucha.  As you can see from the image below, the beers are diverse and comprise 3 IPA’s, a couple amber ales, a Kolsch and Pilsner and a sour ale.  Elise reports, however, that her top single seller is the house red wine – one of four.

You can also have a cocktail as well. And the next time I go back, I will definitely supplement my beer and with a root beer float for $5.

Bernie Stea, a member of the elite law school honorary, Order-of-the-Coif and not to be outdone by Westwood’s erudition in his reference to the Roman Empire, made a point of ordering one of Camas, Washington brewery Grains of Wrath‘s beer.  He then quoted  John Steinbeck – thinking we might see the connection:

“There is nothing in the world like the first taste of beer.”

And his preference for beer from the Camas brewery is understandable since Bernie and his wife, former Portland radio personality, Debb Janes, have a successful high-end residential real estate practice there – View Homes of Clark County.

Grains of Wrath – A good Camas brewery option…..

What’s to Eat?

Elise on her website describes their menu as, “….cafe and bistro style with hearty, whole ingredients and bold flavors.” 

And while I didn’t eat there, it appears to be pretty robust and offers more options than one would expect ranging from sandwiches, salads, appetizers and even some entrees such as roasted chicken and pork shoulder – the latter at reasonable prices of $12.50 and $16.00 respectively.   Also deserts and a kids’ menu.

One Yelp reviewer commented that they should have more vegan options and Elise replied:

Our vegan options are Mediterranean Sandwich, Quinoa Bowl, Pasta Puttanesca, Hummus Plate, Fries made in our gf and vv fryer.  One of the rotating soups is always vegan, and several of our snacks are vegan, including olives, Chex mix, gf pretzels, hummus and carrots, apples and peanut butter, and ants on a log. 

The term “pub crawl” doesn’t apply to this snack.

Elsie asserted the need for diversity in her menu by also stating, “Vegans have friends who are not vegan.”

(BTW,I didn’t know what “ants on a log” were and was relieved when I learned the snack is made by “…spreading cream cheese, peanut butter, ricotta cheese…..on spreads of celery and placing raisins on top.” (Wikipedia)

For those put off by the title, it’s better than one of the variations “ticks on a stick” – substitute black olives for the raisins.  Elise asserted that ants on a log goes very well with a shot of whiskey.

She and her staff (Christine, Amy and John, the cook) are very friendly and helpful in explaining the food options and a very impressive tap list for a small, new establishment.

Christine and Amy are great ambassadors for the pub

One thing I have noticed in the eight years of my watering hole travels is that the bars that appear to be successful and radiate a welcoming vibe are those that have become a “community” of sorts, not only within their neighborhood but for those who gather socially from other parts of the City.

Elise promotes this approach stating:

“We host all kinds of events: readings and live music, book clubs, fundraisers, and stuff for kids, We aim to build a community, and become a hub of sharing, discussion, and good times.”

Stuff for kids…

And the Calendar-of-Events on their website is filled with gatherings such as Trivia Night every Wednesday from 7:00 to 9:00, affirms it.  Live music also brings in patrons on the evenings its offered.

They also have a very nice back patio.

What’s to Read?

The inventory of books on the shelves and in niches throughout the large space is about 5,000 (with about another 100 boxes in storage)  and Elise’s specialty is literary fiction.  They also have kids’ books.

How are the Reviews?

Certainly, one way to get a feel for how things are going besides personal visits and talking to the owner, is checking out social media reviews.   I always try to see if there are themes and if their are trends to the comments.  Also, if there are any crazy reviewers which is often the case.

My son-in-law, Ryan Keene orders from Christine

In the first year of operation, one would expect some negative reviews but other than one reviewer who complained that she thought it was too loud and another that he thought that it was too quiet and they needed music, many of the reviews were almost effusive (see below).

I was impressed that whenever there was a comment with even a mild criticism or some suggestions for improvements, Elise always responded – a smart move for any business owner.  And I did find one from 12/7/19 that seemed at least at little bit crazy:

Everyone here seemed nice, but snobby. I found myself to be the only one of 7-8 people grooming the book shelves in search of a life changing event. Most people keyed away on their laptops or tablets.

I really just didn’t like the kind of people in this place. Maybe it’s that I don’t fit in. I felt like I was surrounded by angry feminists and judgmental leftists. I was wearing business attire and the glares I got were uncomfortable. I just didn’t feel like I fit in. Otherwise this would be a 5/5”

I hope this person had a life-changing event other than the one all of us have experienced in the last few weeks, but in contrast, the comments below describe the ambiance of the pub:

“This place feels like a comfortable mix of a Powell’s and your favorite corner bar. People were sitting alone reading and sipping beer, playing games with family, meeting up with a friend or having a glass of wine while they worked on their computer.  I got lucky enough to meet the owner, Elise, who is as charming as this pub. She has made a place that everyone can feel welcome.”   (Yelp 12/29/19)

Beautiful space with friendly ‘barbarians’ and a warm atmosphere. Will definitely be back!” (Yelp 3/11/20)

“I stopped in for the first time on my latest trip to Portland and absolutely fell in love!  This place is basically Portland in a pub.”    (Yelp 9/12/19)

“Only in Portland will you find a place as cool as this. Where east meets west, the place that defines PDX. If you thought Powells was cool, this place trumps it in all aspects.”   (Yelp 7/22/19)

What’s Holding You Back?

And finally, another one that is more evidence that you should drop by and say “hello” to Elise and her staff:

“This place is pretty awesome! Do you ever have a book and want to read? Do you ever want to read with beer and or wine, maybe a cocktail? Not a bar, not some scene place, but some place where you can actually read. I’ve long wanted one and this is it.

It’s a mash up if you’re favorite small bookstore had food and drinks, this is what would happen. We came here for bookclub and it was so fun. We had a great discussion, their selection of beers on tap is extensive and they have several food options.”

And if you feel so inclined, you can even bring in and post some original writing or poetry for patrons to view which occupy one wall and add another nice community touch.  This photo  shows  their  “Take a Poem/Leave a Poem” feature.  Some are original works, some are copies of published works.  Another nice touch. (And by the way, if you want to help, the RCBP also takes donations of books.)

Rose City Book Pub     

1329 NE Fremont