Community Features

The "Events and Activities" for the month are below these featured stories!

Sellwood history, soda fountains, candy stores, prohibition, Barto's, Portland, Oregon
This is a picture of a confectionery called “Kiddies Corner”; in the early 1900s it was on the northeast corner of S.E. 17th and Tacoma. Kiddies Corner must have been a busy place; there are four clerks waiting on customers here. By 1910 it was operated by the Barto family – Emery, Clarence, and finally Charles. It was known to locals as Barto’s Grocery for over 50 years. Later there was a service station there; then it became Pine Street Mini Mart, and it is now a 7-Eleven convenience store. (Courtesy of SMILE History Committee)

Confectionaries, soda fountains, and sweet treats of days gone by

Special to THE BEE

On January 1st, 1916, the Legislative Assembly of Oregon implemented a statewide prohibition on the selling and serving of all alcoholic beverages, and Oregon officially became a dry state. Saloons, beer joints, and drinking clubs had to start serving non-alcoholic beverages – or close down altogether.

With little in the way to offer as a substitute for beer, wine, and liquor, some taverns offered soft drinks; others just gave up and shut their doors. And a few bartenders decided to sell alcoholic drinks secretly to clientele they could trust to keep quiet about it.

It was a time when sodas and flavored drinks became popular, and soda fountains became a part of American history. These emporiums began showing up in family neighborhoods, in pharmacies around town, and as lunch venues in big department stores in the centers of big cites.

As sales began to decline in local pharmacies, druggists looked for new products or inventive ways to attract new customers. Waiting for prescriptions was time consuming, and anyway, proprietors wanted their pharmacy to be more than just a place to pick up cold medicines on dreary winter days. They began stocking their floors with consumer products, such as greeting cards, magazines, and even the latest sheet music from the hit charts.

The Sellwood Pharmacy welcomed visitors to drop in to see and hear that most perfect of all musical instruments, the Cheney Phonograph. But what patrons really wanted was to taste the tantalizing new drinks known as “flavored carbonated sodas”. These fizzy beverages were a mixture of soda water and flavored syrups, combined with a touch of phosphoric acid to give customers a little bit of a kick.

Mixing sodas gave druggists, who were already proficient at mixing liquid medications in clients’ prescriptions, a chance to concoct their own beverages for customers of all ages to enjoy. You could say that druggists became medicinal bartenders. The varieties of flavors to mix were endless, and some pharmacists even went so far as to tout these soda drinks as remedies for queasy stomachs, pounding headaches, or just something to pick up a customer’s spirits.

As the fascination with these drinks grew, druggists knew they would have to make a hard decision: To keep up with the competitive market, they would have to make a major investment, and install a decorative lunch counter. And, probably, also update store fixtures, to attract customers passing by the store.

The more eye-catching and appealing they made their interiors, the more customers would come. Marbled counter tops, bright-colored swivel chairs, and matching booths became the standard decor of many fountains. Polished goose-neck fountain dispensers and large decorative mirrors behind the counter completed the look that many patrons still fondly remember – of what soda fountains used to look like.

Patrons enjoyed ordering the soda of their choice, or choosing from the list of suggested flavors offered by the establishment from a sign on the wall. No two drinks were the same, since they were hand-mixed, and consumers began visiting other drug stores to taste what appealing new non-alcoholic drinks they might have to offer.

The most popular flavors were cherry, lemon, lime, strawberry, and orange – but other ingredients like ice cream, chocolate, and egg creams could be added, to spice up the drink. Special blends had special names, such as the “Black Cow” (root beer, chocolate syrup, vanilla ice cream, plus a cherry on top); or the “Lime Rickey” (lime juice, simple syrup, Angostura Bitters, and club soda). Some soda fountains even offered a “celery carbonated soda”, which was advertised as a health drink for those who wanted to avoid sugar. (It is not among the drinks fondly remembered.) A trip to the soda counter became like a visit to a tavern, except without the alcohol.

Over in the Brooklyn neighborhood, pharmacist Paul Brinkman, who then was co-owner of the Brooklyn Pharmacy, was of the first merchants to have a lunch counter and soda fountain installed in his establishment – which was located in those days at the corner of Powell Boulevard and Milwaukie Avenue (where the Arco Station is now). His partner, Michael Dardis (just now retiring as the owner of the business, as reported last month in THE BEE), remarked that the soda fountain took up three times the space that the pharmacy once had commanded with its shelves of medicine bottles and remedies.

Multnomah County operated an auto inspection station across the street from the Brooklyn Pharmacy, and anyone who owned a car had to bring the vehicle in there for a yearly inspection. “We had to make sure that the pharmacy was open by 6 a.m., as employees from the auto inspection station came in for their daily coffee and breakfast,” Dardis remembers. The customers who were having their cars inspected stopped in at the pharmacy for lunch and a cool soda, too.

Soda shop owners tried to locate their stores near places where young people gathered to socialize – usually near a movie theater, a ball park, or a school. “Dell and Dollie’s Soda Shop” was situated just north of Sellwood School (today, Sellwood Middle School). When classes ended for the day, students made sure they’d saved a penny or two for an after-school treat. During the summertime and weekends, when school was out, sales slumped, which forcing the owners to move the store to the busy commercial district on 13th Avenue in Sellwood.

Kay Blackmore (Bechtold), who grew up on the south side of Sellwood, recalls what became “Dell and Dollie’s Restaurant” as a favorite meeting-place for herself and her high school friends during the 1950’s. When the new Sellwood Theater (today the Columbia Sportswear Outlet Store) began showing first-run films near the corner of Tacoma Street and 13th , the owners of Dell and Dollie’s, Walter and Opal Steele, relocated a third time – to be the soda fountain to serve all the hungry movie enthusiasts before and after the shows.

Westmoreland had its own share of soda fountains. When the Westmoreland Theater opened in 1925, someone needed to feed the hundreds of moviegoers, and Harper’s Restaurant was right next door. As proclaimed in THE BEE back then, residents of the neighborhood were welcome to come in and dine at one of the finest art tile counters, and taste one of the many famous sodas made with one of the newest mechanical refrigerated fountains around. Quite exciting, for a dining place that had only just recently opened. Light lunches, ice cream, and “high grade candies” were also available for diners.

Concerned that they would lose loyal clientele to Harpers, The Westmoreland Pharmacy and the Monarch Pharmacy installed soda fountains in their respective businesses nearby at the corner of Bybee and Milwaukie. While Harper’s drew the movie crowd, the dual pharmacies were hoping to get the attention of the afternoon lunch crowd. They specifically targeted ladies’ social organizations, midday shoppers in the area, and Reed College students needing a break from demanding studies. Besides the sodas, candies, and ice cream at the Westmoreland Pharmacy, you could buy tickets for the streetcar, mail packages, and buy stamps.

Confectionaries, candy stores, and sweet shops have been around Portland since as early as the 1880’s, and were just as popular as soda fountains at their peak. Candy makers and their delightful treats could be found in ’most every neighborhood, especially where children might gather. Those who’ve lived in Inner Southeast for years might still remember Barto’s Confectionary on 17th Avenue in Sellwood, or Creston’s Confectionary at 47th and Powell. There were also the Lupton Candy Company on Woodstock Boulevard near 40th, and Marie Denboer’s Candy Store on Milwaukie Avenue in the Brooklyn neighborhood.

In the early years, candy stores in Sellwood included the J.W. Maulding Confectionary on Umatilla Street, and Julius Hoard – who probably just sold sweet treats from his house on Tacoma Street. Julius was also a janitor at the Sellwood School in 1905, where he no doubt found a welcoming throng of young candy lovers to support his business.

Sellwood elite businessman William Strahlman was known for his opening of the Isis Movie Theater at the corner of Spokane and 13th. The two-story Stralhman building (which is now a parking lot) was a center of action – with a dance hall, and lively parties and sorority meetings in the hall upstairs. Few people remember that another one of his ventures was a confectionary between the Star and Isis movie houses, but that’s part of Southeast history also.

Confectionaries and sweet shops offered a new treat for consumers not available in groceries or bakeries: These new shops were usually found along busy commercial districts, and sold candies, soft drinks, as well as high-quality cigars for men. Small pieces of hard candy, later called penny candy, were appealing to children and the working class, who had little money available to enjoy the simple pleasures of life.

Archie Woolworth’s Confectionary was a popular spot for Sellwood students who bypassed Dell and Dollie’s soda shop. Inside the store was a wooden glass display case with thousands of sparkling and colorful unwrapped pieces of candy. For a penny, youngsters could point to the small morsels they wanted, which were placed in a brown paper bag for them by the proprietor, to take home or enjoy on their walk around the neighborhood.

Woolworth’s was located along 13th Avenue, just across from the fire station on Tenino Street (today’s SMILE Station). The Sellwood Post Office was right next door in 1910, so customers picking up their mail might have been enticed into the shop by the smell of fresh candies being made. Too, idle firefighters might meander over for a sweet bite between calls, as might the barbers and other merchants along the busy strip.

“My mother knew more kids at my school than I did,” grins Westmoreland resident Marv Price; his mother ran the confectionary store next to Vestal School, near 82nd Avenue. Mrs. Price had “the patience of a saint”, he recalls, waiting on youngsters who had only a few pennies in their pocket, and who took an eternity to choose the best buy for their money.

While widely-distributed wrapped candy bars like Almond Joy, Mounds, or Snickers might cost a nickel in those days, it was the candy drops, rock candy, and unwrapped sugar pieces in the glass display case that were the bargain. You might even get two pieces for a penny – which would last any young boy or girl for a couple of hours at least.

For Sellwood resident Kay Blackmore, it was the fake waxed lips, wax moustaches filled with colorful juices, and candy cigarettes, that made children feel like grownups during their childhood. Kay’s favorite dessert was ice cream, bought at Patti’s Ice Cream shop along 17th Avenue. The cost for a single scoop was a shiny dime – fifteen cents for a double. Her sister Darlene worked behind the candy display, and customers could take home quarts and pints of Rogers Ice Cream, distributed from the old Mt. Hood Brewery Cold Storage unit in Sellwood.

To make their products more appealing to the public, the Fleer Company included a baseball card, if you bought a pack of their chewing gum. Fleer’s Bazooka Gum was first marketed after the Second World War with a small cartoon included with the stick of gum for youngsters to enjoy while they chewed away. Clove gum and Chiclets could be purchased for just a few cents, while Wrigley Chewing Gum was considered to be of finer quality.

During his early childhood, Westmorelander Marv Price tells us he favored Dubble Bubble gum, because of his ease in blowing some of the largest bubbles in the neighborhood. During intermissions at local movie theaters, young boys would gather at the front of the movie screen, and a contest was held for who could blow the biggest bubble. And all this time, their parents had thought they paid their dime just to see the main feature and cartoon!

After a full day of exhausting swimming in the historic Sellwood Pool in the summertime, every boy and girl made sure they had enough loose change to buy a candy bar or a bottle of grape or orange Nehi Soda at the snack stores at either end of Miller Street and S.E. 7th. The Soder Brothers Grocery Confectionery, and the Pleasant Corner Confectionary, were advertised as sweet-treat stops for youngsters to spend their money – although both shops could be more accurately considered to be early “convenience stores”, like today’s 7-Eleven or Plaid Pantry.

Hard to believe perhaps, but The Leipzig – now a Tavern, at S.E. 13th and Spokane Street – was originally a confectionery. Pete and Helen Leipzig started the candy shop in 1923 in Sellwood’s theater row, along Spokane Street. As the times changed, so did “The Leipzig”. During the depression years it became a lunch stop for workers at the Eastside Lumber Mill down the street by the river. Later, after Oregon’s Prohibition ended, it was renamed the Leipzig Tavern, where locals stopped in for a beer, and to find out which sportsmen caught the biggest fish along the Willamette in the yearly fishing contest.

Drugstore soda fountains lost their appeal to the public when the automobile became more affordable, and teenagers became more interested in owning a car, cruising the streets, and meeting new friends. Drive-In restaurants like the Speck, Tik-Tok, and Waddle – with their bright neon lights, and pretty girls dressed as car hops – were exciting to visit; certainly more so than lonely lunch counters run by older adults.

The Drive-Ins had more space where large groups of teenagers from other parts of the city could socialize and mingle, and they didn’t have to worry about bumping into their parents or younger siblings. Brand-named soft drinks like Coca Cola, Dr. Pepper, R.C. Cola, and Pepsi finally replaced lemon and lime sodas mixed by a soda jerk at the lunch counters. It also became the cool thing to do, to hang out at the local Drive-In.

By the ’60s and ’70s, soda fountains were things of the past, replaced by names familiar today: McDonalds, Dairy Queen, Herfy’s, Whiz Burger, Arctic Circle, and Polar King, offering menus that were cheap and fast – so appealing to teenagers, busy housewives, and the rest of the working class in Portland.

Confectionaries were pushed to the wayside when name-brand candy bars became dominant. Brand-name candy makers were distributing chocolate bars with attractive wrappers, promoted by commercials on television, and ads in magazines and newspapers. You could buy a Nestle’s Crunch Bar, Payday, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, or Mars’ Three Musketeers at the local grocery store, and bypass the penny candy at the sweet shop down the block. Even movie theaters had their own brands of candy and popcorn and soft drinks in the lobby, so families needn’t be spending time at a sit-down counter down the street from the theater.

Long before the start of the Twenty First Century the last remaining soda fountain – the Westmoreland Pharmacy – had closed for good; and those gooey, chewy small pieces of candy at Rodgers Five and Dime Store, just across the street, were no longer available either, for school-age children.

The last of Westmoreland and Sellwood’s lunch counters and candy stores are now just faded memories – good times of the past.

Woodstock Farmers Market, Southeast, Portland, Oregon
Happy to be there shopping at the last Woodstock Farmers Market of the season were Colin Allrich and Rachel Desilets; here, they were buying from Greenville Farms. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Woodstock Farmers market flourishes; will return in spring


The nonprofit Woodstock Farmers Market burgeoned with shoppers visiting a full complement of vendors on its last regular day of the season, on October 29.

“Oh my gosh, this market has had a great season – and yes, I know I say that every year – but this year, even more so!” chirped the first, original, and only Market Manager – Emily Murnen.

“It’s wonderful seeing the community coming out every week for the last seven seasons, but especially rewarding on the last day this year – and it’s our first ‘Hallowe’en market’ when it wasn’t raining!” Murnen told THE BEE with a big smile.

Feedback from the 35 or so regular weekly vendors has been very positive all season long she said. “One of our farm vendors said our market has been a ‘life-changing thing’ for them, because they were able to hire on an employee, and buy some equipment, because of how well the community is supporting them here at this market every Sunday,” reported Murnen.

About 90% of their vendors have already signed up for the 2018 season she said; some of those not returning have said they’re simply shifting their business model away from farmers markets.

“With 1,500 to 2,000 people coming weekly, I would consider this a mature farmers market now,” Murnen commented. “And, what helps is that we have a very strong volunteer base; many of them of been with us since the very beginning,” she added.

“The vendors, our volunteers, and I will miss our weekly get-togethers, but we’re already planning to make the 2018 season better than ever,” Murnen said.

Moreland Monster March, Westmoreland, Halloween, Portland, Oregon
Having won the right to carry the Monster March banner, at the annual Llewellyn Foundation auction, the Wright family sets off east on S.E. Tolman Street from the school, heading for Milwaukie Avenue. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Monster March again parades through Westmoreland


During most recent years, soggy participants in the Moreland Monster March braved rain showers, downpours, and high winds.

But, Mother Nature smiled on this year’s event, the 17th annual edition held on October 29, with bright sunshine, bringing out a record number of walkers.

Sponsored by the Sellwood Moreland Business Alliance, SMBA Board Member Tom Brown agreed that this is just a fun, silly event. “Silly is good!” Brown exclaimed. “We continue to host this parade, because it is a great family-friendly neighborhood community event.”

Brown was laying out the cookies and placing the jugs of apple cider donated by the Westmoreland QFC Market at the playground of Llewellyn Elementary School, as the Sellwood Middle School Marching Band warmed up on S.E. 14th Avenue. Llewellyn is both the starting point and the finish line of the parade, and the refreshments are for those completing the march.

The 14-block-long parade was led by Portland Fire & Rescue Westmoreland Station 20’s engine crew, followed by the fine-playing, high-stepping SMS Marching Band.

After the fire engine and band passed, the parade march again turned into a “mosey”, as hundreds of family and friends strolled along the streets, many in Hallowe’en costumes, and some in street clothes.

With many families moving into the joyous procession along the route, by the time the head of the parade returned to the school, the tail was just setting out onto the route.

Again this year, people along the way tossed wrapped candy for the kids to pick up, in the spirit of the Hallowe’en season.

Woodstock neighborhood, Halloween, The Joinery, Woodstock Neighborhood Association, Portland, Oregon
At The Joinery, puffy dinosaur David Ratzlaff welcomes trick-or-treaters Vika Czinger and Hadley Miller – who are “treated” by “Riding Hood” Sally Griffith. (Photo by David Ashton)

Hallowe’en fun again travels down Woodstock Blvd.


While trick-or-treating on some dark neighborhood streets without sidewalks has lost appeal for parents, the annual Hallowe’en celebration up and down S.E. Woodstock Boulevard, in the Woodstock neighborhood, continues to grow.

Dry, fall-like weather on October 31 brought out families in droves, many of them who started the afternoon with “Not So Scary Stories” once again at Woodstock Branch Library, then continuing west along the boulevard at many businesses signaling that they were open to trick-or-treating.

Many of the revelers ended up at the Woodstock Community Center for more treats, games, crafts, and live music at the neighborhood Hallowe’en party.

“In addition to the fun at the library and along the street, we also have some great raffle prizes donated by about a dozen of our merchants,” exclaimed this year’s organizer, the Woodstock Neighborhood Association’s Events Coordinator, Justin Schmidt – who added he’d taken part of the afternoon off from his job down the street at Otto’s Sausage Kitchen to help with the party.

“What can come from having an event like this is that it brings neighbors together to meet one another, and hopefully become involved in their neighborhood association,” Schmidt said.

“This is my first year of being involved with the neighborhood association, and it’s been really fun so far – learning about transportation, zoning, and land-use issues, and seeing the businesses that are coming in,” Schmidt told THE BEE.

He had a lot of volunteer help organizing this year’s Hallowe’en party, Schmidt said. “Most of the Board Members from the neighborhood association pitched in, and also a handful of my friends also came by to help me out, too!”

Throughout the late afternoon and evening, costumed kids, often accompanied by Hallowe’en outfitted parents, had a safe and enjoyable celebration of the day.

Brentwood Darlington, Halloween, Trunk or Treat, Southeast, Portland, Oregon
The theme of this witch’s car trunk, “Nightmare Before Christmas”, is the creative work of Esther Crowell-Duncan of the Lane Middle School PTA. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

‘Trunk-or-Treat’ a highlight of Brentwood-Darlington Hallowe’en


Fun and games were afoot when the Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood Association (BDNA) hosted its third annual “SpookTacular” party on the afternoon of October 22.

Inside the Brentwood-Darlington Community Center, neighbors were dining on pizza and pot-luck goodies.

“In the side lot, about a dozen vehicles parked, and opened the backs of their vehicles (decorated for Hallowe’en) for our now-annual “Trunk-or-Treat’; that is, instead of kids going door-to-door, they ask for candy up and down the line of cars. We just love providing a fun, safe, free community event,” grinned BDNA Chair Chelsea Powers.

“All of volunteers who put this on are glad to see it’s really well attended, in fact, far better than the last years,” Powers told THE BEE. “And this year, we had our Trunk-or-Treat decoration competition. It’s a very friendly competition where we have a silly trophy that is awarded for the best display and theme!”

This year, Erik Benton and Thom Schoenborn won that trophy for their interactive “scare box of candy”; the runner up was Grant and Berta William, for their spookily decorated SUV hatchback.

Before the afternoon was over, some 100 folks came by to enjoy this fun and not-so-scary event.

Michelle McCann, “More Girls Who Rocked the World”, Sellwood, Portland, Oregon
Sellwood’s Michelle McCann has just published her eighth book: “More Girls Who Rocked the World”. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

Sellwood author publishes new children’s book


Award-winning Sellwood author Michelle McCann in October published a sequel to one of her earlier children’s books: The new tome, “More Girls Who Rocked the World”, is available in book stores, and is featured at Westmoreland’s Wallace Books. McCann, who has worked as a book editor and art director for 26 years, is also assisting Brooklyn’s Trackers Earth with their current series of wilderness skills and fiction books. 

McCann has written ever since she was a child, she tells THE BEE, and hopes with the new book to encourage other young writers to follow their own passions. This is the eighth book she's written, although she has edited dozens more. “You don't have to be a grownup to pursue your dream,” she advises, “Do it while you’re young, and have the energy. Live your life with honesty, exuberance, and passion.”

To this end, “More Girls Who Rocked the World” is a compendium of 45 short chapters about girls who have had positive impacts in their lives. Chapters span the gamut from Cleopatra to Nadia Nadim, the Portland Thorns soccer player who is a refugee from Afghanistan. “She's one of the only professional athletes in the world who is also attending Medical School,” McCann reveals.

The 310-page sequel was inspired by McCann’s earlier book, “Girls Who Rocked the World”, published in 2012, which featured about half as many profiles. “My publisher, Simon & Schuster, suggested about 150 more names to me, and I chose 45 that I loved. It was exciting research, since I read at least four or five books about each person.

“For the girls in this book,” she continues, “I chose a balance of girls from across the world to show that anyone can excel. Some of the surprising facts I learned were these: African-American dancer Josephine Baker was also a famous spy for the French in WWII, and received a Legion of Honor award.

“Portland's own Beverly Cleary began her career in fourth grade, when a teacher suggested that she enter a writing contest at a local grocery store. Cleary won the contest, and learned that anyone could succeed if they choose to ‘go for it’. In more recent times, Venus and Serena Williams grew up in [the Los Angeles suburb of] Compton, which had much gang violence. Their Dad used to take them to local tennis courts to practice, where they occasionally used to dodge gunfire. In spite of their success, they have fought much racism; but they have responded with attitudes of courage and healing.” 

This fall, McCann has a whirl of public relations meetings, TV interviews, and book signings to promote the new book. “Last year, Simon & Schuster held a national contest for young girls to write essays about how they planned to 'rock the world’,” remarks McCann. “About thirty were chosen from a field of a hundred to have short paragraphs of their plans published in this book.

“Of those thirty, thirteen were from Portland. Three of them live in Sellwood, two in Brooklyn, and one in Woodstock. They all go to book signings with me, since their writing is also part of the book. I’m very proud of them. We have a surprisingly literate neighborhood here!”

Woodstock Park, Southeast, Portland, Oregon
October 25, 2017, was D-Day for an old brick storage building and covered picnic area in Woodstock Park, which had been determined by Portland Parks & Recreation to be unsafe. (Photo by Becky Luening)

Successful Parks Bond brings changes at Woodstock Park


The Parks Replacement Bond overwhelmingly approved by Portland voters in November of 2014 authorized spending for repair and replacement projects in parks citywide. It renewed the old parks bond, which was set to expire, and granted $68 million towards some of the most critical infrastructure needs across the PP&R system.

Among those were needs identified in Woodstock Park. A brick storage building with adjoining covered picnic area that had long stood near the children's play area in the southwest corner of the park has just been demolished and removed. A chain-link fence erected around the site to prevent public access stood for about a year, before heavy equipment finally showed up on October 25th to take down the structure.

Contacted by email, Mark Ross, spokesman for Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R), explained, “The last approximately 100 years saw a battle between that structure and a tree, [and] the tree won. The roots were lifting the structure, causing it to lean – and, with unreinforced masonry, it did pose a potential safety issue. Portland Parks & Recreation staff made the decision to fence the building, and to remove it.” Ross said there is no plan to replace the structure at this time, but the brick restroom will remain.

The decision to remove the old building was made through an “assets-at-risk process” the city uses to determine the fate of park facilities that appear unsafe or pose a potential risk to the public. The process takes into consideration the cost to repair or rebuild, whether similar facilities exist nearby, any historic or cultural significance, and how heavily the facility is used by the public. After reviewing all this criteria, Ross said, “PP&R staff made a recommendation to senior management to remove the shelter in May of 2016.”

More Changes to Come
In the Parks Bond’s Phase 2 Project List, Woodstock Park is also identified among twenty others in need of play equipment repair or replacement. In some cases, the replacement is because of older equipment testing positive for lead-based paint.

Pointing to this list, Ross told THE BEE that Woodstock is, indeed, in store for some new play equipment, but he added that it is too soon to know how many pieces, or which ones, will be replaced.

Updates on Parks Replacement Bond project’s spending may be found online –

Barbara Kerley, Oregon Spirit Award, Sellwood, Southeast, Portland, Oregon
Sellwood author Barbara Kerley won an Oregon Spirit Award for her pictorial children's book, ‘Brave Like Me’ – and a second award for a story of hers in a children’s collection. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

Sellwood author wins ‘Oregon Spirit Book Award’ – twice!


Among the many Inner Southeaast published writers, Sellwood author Barbara Kerley has had special success – having recently received an Oregon Spirit Book Award for her pictorial nonfiction children’s book, “Brave Like Me”.

The award is given annually by the Oregon Council of Teachers of English to the author of a distinguished contribution to children’s or young adult literature that engages and encourages readers’ understanding, while “reflecting the spirit and values held by Oregonians”.

“Brave Like Me”, published by National Geographic in 2016, is a 40-page photo essay accompanied by verse. The book is a poignant look at children’s feelings when a family member is deployed elsewhere for military or government duty. The photos are ethnically diverse, and include people from a variety of military branches, addressing feelings of love, fear, and a resolve to stay positive. There are also tips for caregivers and a map in the back of the book.

Another Oregon Spirit Award was presented to Kerley in the Anthology category for SMART (Start Making a Reader Today) – Oregon Reads Aloud: A Collection of 25 Children’s Stories by Oregon Authors and Illustrators. Kerley had a story in that collection as well; a tale entitled “A Really Good Present for Dad”. The story describes two young boys trying to choose a special Father’s Day gift. The result is a family photo, taken after a hike at Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge.

Kerley has been writing professionally for 23 years, and has published over a dozen kids’ books. Her simple yet expressive stories offer well-balanced adventures that have proven appealing to both children and adults. Her latest is a board book called “Portland Baby”.

“Mostly, these books were generated from my own ideas, but ‘Brave Like Me’ was a book idea that came from the publisher,” she tells THE BEE. “I get my inspiration from reading, when I'm curious about something. I read a lot of histories and biographies, which often hold the potential for a story.”

The author admits she's been writing ever since she was a kid. “I now belong to two Writers Groups,” she reveals. “The Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) is an active national group that offers classes, conferences, and social hours. I just returned from an ‘author fest’ in California. I also belong to two critique groups in Portland.

“Next spring I have a new children's novel, ‘Following Baxter’, coming out. It's fun to expose children to new ideas through nonfiction.”

Southeast Events and Activities
Third Sunday of Advent in Westmoreland:
As part of the 9:30 a.m. Worship Service, the Moreland Presbyterian choir, with brass quintet, perform “Gloria” by K. Lee Scott. The Moreland Presbyterian choir, with brass quintet, perform. Come to the regular morning service ("Gloria" is 20 minutes in the 60-minute service); no charge; no RSVP needed. Followed by a Wassail Party at 10:30 a.m. Everyone invited. 1814 S.E. Bybee Boulevard.

Eclectic Band Concert at Reedwood Friends Church: At 7 p.m. tonight, you are invited to be in the Worship Center of Reedwood Friends Church, 2901 S.E. Steele Street, just north of the Reed College Campus – for an Eclectic Christmas Band Concert, bringing a diverse mix of musical styles to Christmas music, from jazz to pop, bluegrass to blues. Eclectic Christmas, entering its fourth season of concerts, helps create space and community during the Christmas season. Featuring Nathanael Ankeny, Nate Macy, Aaron Pruitt, Nolan Staples, Melissa Thomas, and Frank Verhoorn. Eclectic Christmas is helps you get into the Christmas spirit. Bring friends!

Sellwood Library helps teens make their own Franken-animal:
Here’s something just a little different for the Holidays – create your very own Franken-animal or creature, by hacking apart stuffed animals and reclaimed materials, then putting it all back together using needle, thread, and hot glue. For the final touch, add in animatronics, to make it one of a kind. Free, for teens in grades 6-12, this afternoon 4:30-6:30 p.m., at the Sellwood Branch Library, S.E. 13th at Bidwell Street.

Pageturners Book Group for adults at Sellwood Library:
Read “The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan” by Jenny Nordberg; then come to the Sellwood Branch Library this evening 6:30-8 p.m. to engage in stimulating conversation about books with other adults, and get to know your neighbors. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Free, but space is limited, so come early. The library is on the corner of S.E. 13th and Bidwell Street.

Holiday choir concert on S.E. Woodward Street:
“The Healing Voices Choir” presents its Winter Concert: “Alleluia!” Which draws from different traditions and languages, this community choir will share inspiring choral works by Palestrina, Lewandowski, Sweelinck, Handel, Leonard Cohen, and others. “This concert will feature an exciting new work by local composer Patrick Rooney, as well as some thrilling solos and chamber selections.” The concert is this evening, 7-9 p.m., at Waverly Heights United Church of Christ, 3300 S.E. Woodward Street. A suggested donation of $15 ($10 students/seniors) will be gratefully received at the door.

Christmas Eve in Westmoreland:
Three events on the calendar today at Moreland Presbyterian Church – at 9:30 a.m., an informal Advent Worship; at 4 p.m., Intergenerational Family Worship; and at 11 p.m., Candlelight Worship. Open to all.

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service on S.E. 73rd:
Pause the Holiday bustle to attend a traditional candlelight service of music and worship, 5 p.m. this afternoon at Mt. Scott Presbyterian Church. “Celebrate the spirit of the season and still be home by dinnertime.” The address is 5512 S.E. 73rd Avenue.

Woodstock puppet show features “The Snowflake Man”:
Puppetkabob’s “The Snowflake Man” swings family audiences into historic 1920 through creative storytelling, intricately designed Czech-style marionettes, and a striking pop-up book of watercolor scenery. Come chill this winter, and learn about American inventor W.A. “Snowflake” Bentley, pioneer of “snowflake photography”. This award-winning show combines art, science, and a little-known piece of American history, to magical effect! Free. It’s 11-11:45 a.m. this morning, in the Woodstock Branch Library, S.E. Woodstock Boulevard at 49th Street.

Happy New Year from THE BEE!

“Canva for Cards, Posters, and More” in Sellwood:
Are you looking for a fun and easy way to design beautiful cards, invitations, or flyers? Do you wish your social media posts looked snappier? Do you want to explore alternatives to PowerPoint for your presentations? Come to a free class at the Sellwood Branch Library this afternoon, 1-3 p.m., to learn about “Canva”, a free online design studio. Please sign up for a Canva account before coming to class. Free class, but registration is required; register in the library, or by calling 503/988-5123. The library is on the corner of S.E. 13th and Bidwell Street.

For teens – Video Gaming: Analog Style in Woodstock:
A storm knocked out the power, and now the batteries in all your devices are dead. What are you and your friends gonna do? Why not play a video game ... analog style! Using materials often found at home – such as paper clips, bottle caps, string, and wire – can you make a video game that doesn't require power? Of course you can! Come to the Woodstock Library this afternoon, 2-5 p.m., and tinker with us and make a “no plug required” version of your favorite video game – or one that you invent entirely on your own. For added fun, Tinker Camp will show you how to wire up LEDs and buzzers to coin cell batteries so your game can light up in the dark. Free. For teens in grades 6-12. The Woodstock library is on the corner of S.E. 49th and Woodstock Boulevard.

Adults – make Chinese Dumplings at Woodstock Library:
Learn how to make delicious home-style Chinese dumplings to celebrate the Year of the Dog. Includes how to make dough from scratch, and different ways to wrap a dumpling. Take home a recipe to impress your family and friends. This 2-3:30 p.m. program this afternoon is presented in Mandarin! Free, but registration is required; register in the library, or by calling 503/988-5123. The Woodstock library is on the corner of S.E. 49th and Woodstock Boulevard.


For adults -- resume help at Sellwood Library:
Do you need some help with your resume? Are you unsure about your choice of words? Struggling to describe your accomplishments? Today, 6-7:30 p.m., come meet with an experienced volunteer for one-on-one help. If you have a paper copy of your resume, bring it along. Free, but registration is required; register for your own 30-minute session in the Sellwood Library, or by calling 503/988-5123. The library is on the corner of S.E. 13th and Bidwell Street.

"Truth AND Dare" Stories and Improvisational Comedy in Sellwood:
This evening and tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m., at the Sellwood Playhouse, 901 S.E. Spokane Street, nonprofit “Rogue Pack” presents “Truth AND Dare” – brave girls ages 10-18 in the foster care system offer an evening of storytelling and improvisational comedy. Rogue Pack teens from Boys & Girls Aid give voice to their truths and dare to improvise, taking the stage and sharing their honesty through their writing, daring to peel away society's labels and face the unknown, as they collaborate with the audience. Tickets are $10 online at – $15 at the door, and $12 for students and seniors.

For adults – silhouette art in Sellwood:
This afternoon, 3-4:30 p.m., create trendy silhouette pictures with “your local reuse-repurpose artist, Sally”. She’ll bring a variety of stencils that you can trace, cut out, and mount on book paper, for a one-of-a-kind piece of art. Free, but registration is required; register in the Sellwood Library, or by calling 503/988-5123. The library is on the corner of S.E. 13th and Bidwell Street.

For adults – make a “Leatherwork Minimalist Wallet”: In a hands-on workshop 3-5 p.m. this afternoon at the Woodstock Library, presented by Purpose Handmade, you will learn to make a minimalist wallet design. With your pre-cut leather pieces, you will learn to edge dye, wax, burnish edges, chisel stitch, and saddle stitch to complete your leather wallet. Free, but registration is required; register in the library, or by calling 503/988-5123. The Woodstock library is on the corner of S.E. 49th and Woodstock Boulevard.

Open House this morning at preschool co-op:
Nonprofit Brooklyn Cooperative Preschool, in the Reed neighborhood, is holding its annual Open House this morning between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. “Visitors are free to come and go at their convenience; kids can explore activities, and play in the three classrooms, while parents meet our teacher Merry, and visit with current co-op parents. This is a great opportunity to get first-hand answers to all your questions about the world of preschool and joining the co-op community.” The school is situated in the back of Reedwood Friends Church, 2901 S.E. Steele Street, just north of the Reed College Campus.


     Useful HotLinks:     
Your Personal "Internet Toolkit"!

Charles Schulz's "PEANUTS" comic strip daily!

Portland area freeway and highway traffic cameras

Portland Police

Latest Portland region radar weather map

Portland Public Schools

Multnomah County's official SELLWOOD BRIDGE website

Click here for the official correct time!

Oaks Amusement Park

Association of Home Business (meets in Sellwood)

Local, established, unaffiliated leads and referrals group for businesspeople; some categories open

Weekly updates on area road and bridge construction

Translate text into another language

Look up a ZIP code to any U.S. address anywhere

Free on-line PC virus checkup

Free antivirus program for PC's; download (and regularly update it!!) by clicking here

Computer virus and worm information, and removal tools

PC acting odd, redirecting your home page, calling up pages you didn't want--but you can't find a virus? You may have SPYWARE on your computer; especially if you go to game or music sites. Click here to download the FREE LavaSoft AdAware program, and run it regularly!

What AdAware doesn't catch, "Malwarebytes" may! PC's--particularly those used for music downloads and online game playing--MUST download these free programs and run them often, to avoid major spyware problems with your computer!

Check for Internet hoaxes, scams, etc.

Here's more on the latest scams!

ADOBE ACROBAT is one of the most useful Internet document reading tools. Download it here, free; save to your computer, click to open, and forget about it! (But decline the "optional offers" -- they are just adware

Encyclopedia Britannica online

Newspapers around the world

Stain removal directions

Convert almost any unit of measure to almost any other

Research properties in the City of Portland

Local source for high-quality Shaklee nutritionals

Note: Since THE BEE is not the operator of any of the websites presented here, we can assume no responsibility for content or consequences of any visit to them; however we, personally, have found all of them helpful, and posted them here for your reference.


Local News websites:
The news TODAY

Local News

KATU, Channel 2 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 43)

KOIN, Channel 6 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 40)

KGW, Channel 8 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 8)

KPTV, Channel 12 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 12)

KRCW, Channel 32 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 33)

KPDX, Channel 49 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 30)

KPAM 860 News Radio