Posts Tagged ‘Port Orford Library’

This year’s Fourth of July celebration theme was “An Old Fashioned Fourth.”

If my childhood Fourths served as the model, the festivities would have begun with a fried chicken picnic dinner on a blanket while watching fireworks across the town pond. This would have been followed by excitedly forbidden (if not downright illegal) bottle rocket blasts set off by my best friend’s father in their backyard, with all the neighborhood parents standing around alternatively saying “Now Lew, that’s not really legal is it?” followed by appreciative oohs and aahs as colored sparks filled the sky.

If it were my husband’s and his pals’ “Old Fashioned Fourth” it would have included rice-paper wrapped, LA Chinatown procured, firecrackers placed by each dad next to the breakfast bowl of shredded wheat. Another delightfully questionable walk on the wild side for a solidly middle class, definitely law-abiding neighborhood citizenry.

And at Port Orford’s 2013 Parade? We had: horses, fire engines, the local ambulance sporting fake body parts, a flock of motorcylists, a large group in matching red T-shirts riding on a flatbed, a woman in the back of an old convertible wearing a beaded wedding dress, and a float featuring a loin-clothed “Indian”, Uncle Sam, a colonially-costumed guy reciting the Declaration of Independence (I think he was meant to be Ben Franklin), a young man in full dress military uniform, and someone wearing a chef’s toque holding a dog on a leash.

As you can see here in Port Orford we all imagine our “Old Fashioned Fourths” differently.

For our Fourth, the Friends of the Port Orford Library decided to honor our librarians past, present and future. For the Parade we dressed up as Port Orford librarians of yesteryear, although somewhat mysteriously to me, we carried name signs of today’s librarians. (I guess we were doing double duty and/or channeling past lives.) And our entry included kids (representing future librarians) riding a pick-up and chanting “Read Books! Read Books!” all the way from the start at the Crazy Norwegian’s Restaurant on the south end of town, to the terminus at the “God Bless America” liquor store 14 blocks north. For this amazing entry we netted “Best of Class.” I’m not certain how many classes there are or who our competition might have been. Still a prize is a prize.

One thing that doesn’t change is we throw candy to the kids lining the streets. Now that’s a new fashioned Fourth I can get behind.

And here’s a Fourth of July band I can never get enough of; .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODu888i14-I

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Today October 15 is Blog Action Day, a day when around the world thousands of bloggers consider one topic. This year’s is “The Power of We.” Of course there will be as many takes on that idea as there are bloggers out there answering the call. Here’s a post from each of us.

We the People:  Who are the We?  by Stan

I am of the age when fourth grade class was opened with the Pledge of Allegiance. Pictures of George Washington and Lincoln decorated the wall. My childhood patriotism was of the heroic kind. But then came college history classes and the debunking. We know many of the Founding Fathers speculated in western lands. Those who signed the Constitution were generally well-to-do, some downright rich. George Washington was undoubtedly in the one percent. Lincoln was hardly rich, but as a railroad attorney certainly in the upper middle class in today’s terms. The two Roosevelts came from rich and distinguished families.

Hope for the Future © SR Euston

I know all of these things, as well as that the founders delivered a Constitution more than amiable to property rights, and even to slavery. But some of the old childhood reverence for my early political heros remains, the belief  that our common history is, all said and done, a remarkable testament to understanding what the welfare of “We the People” means.

We still live in a Democracy. Barely. Today, corporations, with their immortality and their newly bestowed personhood dominate the ailing Republic as the person of Washington dominated the politics of the early Republic. Washington, privileged though he was, was emblematic of a leadership beyond the material, a leadership evolved under extreme trials of sacrifice for the welfare of the commonweal. As the Republic grew, leaders, rich and poor, began to defend the “We” against the powers of economic domination and injustice—crystalized by the rise of populism, the Progressive Movement, labor unions, the conservation movement, the New Deal, the Great Society, the environmental movement. But now, somehow, We the People in 2012 find corporations without borders or patriotism or apparently soul, and some strangely motivated mega-rich individuals converting endless dollars into votes into power into privilege into dollars ad infinitum, overwhelming one after another of those hard won institutions and laws and ideals that have evolved since Washington’s time to protect the interest of the commonweal, of the “We”.

Like good parents, we as a nation try so hard, we spend so much money, to teach democracy to non-democratic countries we little understand.

It is a strange world.

Small Towns Do Big Things  by Ann

We live in Port Orford, a tiny hamlet on the southern Oregon Coast. The entry sign puts our population at 1190. Sometimes it seems there are at least 1190 different opinions on any given local issue.

But Port Orford is also a town where real people get real things done. Case in point—our public library.

In 1995, the library was bursting at its seams. Its actively used and overflowing collection was housed in a room in the City Hall. A group of dedicated citizens got together and began to dream. The donation of a central site on our main street coupled with a sizable bequest started the ball rolling. Countless local contributions large and small, bake sales, art sales, and you-name-it-the-community-tried-it fundraising events later, the state and county as well as private foundations joined the effort, culminating, 13 years later, on July 5, 2008 with the grand opening of the Port Orford Public Library—a multi-functional community center. Most impressively, the two million dollar plus library was debt-free when the doors opened!

Welcome to Our Library!

On annual visits, we watched and heard the story of this library as it grew from a community dream, to a muddy construction site, to the final exceptional finished building, to my eye the most beautiful in town. A community committed to books—it’s one of the main reasons my husband and I re-located here. I’ve heard others say the same.

We enter the library by passing through two art galleries whose changing monthly shows highlight the plethora of professional artists who call this area home. In front of the circulation desk, a larger-than-life sized bronze statue of a girl holding up the sign “Imagine” welcomes all patrons. Those patrons are busy at the many free-use computers, perusing the stacks, reading the magazines and newspapers. Two smaller conference rooms act as meeting spaces for book groups, community boards, meditation hours, bridge get-togethers. The large “Freedom of Speech” room hosts everything from yoga classes to Oregon’s Poet Laureate. The Friends of the Library sponsor giant fundraising book sales each year and run a store off the lobby. The Foundation Board works with the Oregon Community Foundation to keep the library solvent for the future. A small staff and an army of volunteers ensures that Our Library is Open Every Single Day of the Week. 

A Tiny Slice of October’s Book Sale

As Foundation Treasurer Joyce Spicer-Kinney notes, the library has become “our town’s living room.”

Now that’s the power of we.

For more info on our library visit: www.polibrary.org/

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The Hunger Games Poster

We may be a small town (1190 the sign says) but we sure know how to throw a weekend-long party.

If you could stay up that late, Friday night/Saturday morning at 12:01 am you could have joined the crowds (who across the US turned out for the most popular midnight opening of all time) to view the premiere of The Hunger Games, right here in our own Savoy Theatre. Showings continued throughout the weekend.

Artists Talk

Saturday all day long you could have attended the “Artists Round-Up” sponsored by the Port Orford and Langlois Libraries. The free event featured local artists who displayed and sold an amazing array of paintings, photos, notecards—there was even a scrimshaw artist! Musicians played and writers read from their works which were also for sale. Lunch was catered by local culinary luminary, Joyce S-K who introduced “Curry Burritos” to the hungry art-loving public.

Author Ginny Atherton

Late afternoon you could have moseyed over to Elaine R’s and Karen A’s TriAngle Square Gallery for Happy Hour and a presentation about the latest doings in the Main Street program (and to look at their just-opened show featuring incredible artist locals, sculptor Janet Pretti and potter David Woof).

Main Street invite

Then you could have dined on your favorite pizza at Siren’s Cove before attending the concert of Duo Flamenco, Grant Ruiz and Terry Longshore, who entertained the appreciative crowd with two hours of amazing flamenco music.

If you still hadn’t filled your craving for artistry after grabbing brunch at Redfish (the smoked salmon hash is an all-time favorite), you could have headed up to Roaring Sea Art Gallery, Donna R’s lovely gathering place for a Sunday afternoon filled with readings and music by accomplished local talent. And you could have filled your plate with amazing delectables too.

Want to know more about our galleries, our lodging, our dining, our fun? Check out: www.enjoyportorford.com.

Bet you wish you lived in our town…and we invite you to join us soon! The Aleutian geese are beginning to head north—I’ve been told that’s a sure sign spring is here and the rains should soon be over.

But no matter, there’s always something happening here in Port Orford.

Surfing Port Orford © SR Euston

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