The "Events and Activities" for the month are below these featured stories!
Here’s the subject of this month’s historical interview, Jan Mejdell, as a youngster dressed up for a day with her dad watching baseball at the Portland’s Vaughn Street Park – or possibly a night at the movies. Behind her is the home her grandfather Ephram built, at 53rd and S.E. Holgate. (Courtesy of Jan Mejdell Elliott)
SOUTHEAST HISTORY A century of memories: Growing up in Woodstock
By DANA BECK Special to THE BEE
Portland has seen its share of changes over the past 90 years: The opening of the St. Johns Bridge in 1931; the dedication of the Portland-Columbia Airport in 1949; and the election of Portland’s first female Mayor – Dorothy McCullough Lee.
On a larger scale, Americans had to endure the grim days of The Great Depr ession, and watch as their young men went off to fight in the Second World War. Jan Elliott, our interview subject this month, who has lived most of her years in the Woodstock neighborhood, has witnessed many such pivotal events during her lifetime.
Jan’s grandparents on her mother’s side, Ephram and Hilma Liljeholm were the first of her family to settle here. The Portland Census reveals that the Liljeholms arrived from Sweden in the early 1900s.
Emigration from Europe to the United States was just reaching its peak by the 1920s, and Portland offered new opportunities for those looking for employment and affordable housing in their new land. Boarding houses and cheap apartments attracted to Southwest Portland many Norwegians, Italians, Swedes, Germans, and other Eastern Europeans, along with those escaping religious persecution.
But some of these seeking a new life in America found their way into Inner Southeast Portland, too – especially the Woodstock, Creston, Brooklyn, and Kenilworth neighborhoods, where space was more abundant – space they could use to grow their own food, and could start a garden, and where they could avoid the dirty streets and big city noise that came with living downtown. In a community like Woodstock, schools were close by, and shops were within easy walking distance.
The arriving Liljeholm family were both excited and apprehensive when they chose Woodstock as their new home. Ephram was an accomplished woodworker, and he built the new family home himself at 53rd and S.E. Holgate Boulevard. But he was not limited to building construction; Ephram also hand-made beautiful violins as a hobby, and a violin of his own for family gatherings.
Music was important in the Liljeholm household, and in the evenings and on holidays everyone gathered in the living room to play, sing, and dance to popular tunes they’d known in their homeland.
The Liljeholms went on to raise three children – Arthur, Ruth and Erma.
Ephram got a job as a janitor at Riverside School in the Dunthorpe neighborhood. It was his responsibility to keep the furnace stoked, clean the classrooms, and make repairs when needed. He even, at times, mowed the grass and trimmed the shrubs along the school building. Every student knew who Mr. Liljeholm was, and he knew the name of every child in the school. He even seemed to have more authority than the Principal in warning kids getting into mischief to mind their manners.
Meantime the matriarch of the family, Hilma, took a job cleaning houses for many of the influential families who lived in Portland’s West Hills. The Henry L. Corbett family was one of her clients; Henry Corbett was a successful businessman, a civic leader, and a politician who served as an Acting Governor of Oregon. In 1914, a large two-story house of over 7,000 square feet was built in Dunthorpe for the Henry Corbett family. A servant’s wing was added to the house, which Hilda may have used as a base of operations on the days she was there cleaning. The house is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
When she wasn’t working in the community in cleaning jobs, Hilda busied herself raising her three children, and also working at the Church of Christ Scientist Church in Portland.
In those early years, the Liljeholms had to rely on the Woodstock streetcar for transportation. Few people could afford to buy or maintain a car; so when the occasion came to purchase a new automobile, that was a big event for family and friends. On the day Ephram brought home their first car, Hilma became the full-time chauffeur for the family. After driving her husband to his job at Riverview School in the morning, Hilda would take her granddaughter, Jan, to Franklin High School, and sometimes would also pick her up in the afternoon. Jan was one of the few students at the school who had such an automotive escort service, which gave her status among her friends.
Erma, who was eventually to be Jan’s mother, and her siblings, enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere found in the Woodstock neighborhood in those early days. Erma attended Creston School, and later enrolled at Franklin High School, the same school that Jan would one day attend. With Portland’s high schools filled to capacity, and the population in Inner Southeast Portland booming, a new high school was needed here, and that was to be Franklin.
Erma was one of the first students to attend Franklin High School, which opened in 1917. Its dramatic “Colonial Revival” brick building was, and is, situated at 54th and S.E. Woodward Street. In the June 27th, 1915, issue of The Oregonian, Erma Liljeholm was listed as being on the Honor Roll of Creston School.
Barely out of High School, Erma – only 17 at the time – married John G. Mejdell. John was a tall, handsome red-haired man with freckles, and who was twelve years her senior. While Emma’s daughter Jan doesn’t remember exactly how her parents first met, it was common for young people to attend the many social events offered around the city. Monthly dances were prominent in every neighborhood, and the Midsummer Scandinavian Festival – held, even then, in Oaks Park – or possibly one of the many local church functions, were ideal places for young people to meet each other.
Up to this point, John had had quite the storybook life: Born into a Norwegian family, he lived in a home next to the Royal Palace in Oslo, Norway. But, while he was still in his teen years, his mother died – and, when his father remarried, John didn’t care to live with his father and new stepmother, and he ran away at the age of 16 to be a sailor.
He found the salt spray of the ocean on his lips, the wind in his face, and the day-to-day challenges aboard ship, were more to his liking. And it was the Clipper Ship route from England to Australia and New Zealand, where he found himself – but when the captain of his ship decided to spend most of his time just sailing around northern Australia that John decided it was time to move on to another profession.
Once he sailed into Seattle, John said good-bye to his life aboard ship. Jan who heard the many stories of her father’s adventures, shares why he quit the sea: “My dad had just seen enough of Australian life, and he’d tasted more than enough of its cuisine! He once told me, ‘When I settled in America, I swore never to eat lamb again’.”
So Jan’s father and mother, John and Erma, were married on July 23, 1921, and they eventually settled at 5313 S.E. 45th Avenue in the Woodstock neighborhood. After marrying Erma Liljeholm, John forever traded in his adventuring to become an auto mechanic at the Portland Gas and Coke Company. Erma and John would eventually have three children – Jan, Tom, and Elizabeth.
Jan, growing up on 45th Avenue, says she and her father John became inseparable. He shared his passion for baseball with her, and their evenings in the summer were filled with a trips on the streetcar to Vaughn Street, to watch the Portland minor league baseball team. When the father-daughter duo were not in the grandstands or fishing, weekends at the movie theater were a favorite pastime for them.
“I’d always enjoyed movies, and my dad and I went to the picture shows at the Oregon Theater on Division Street, or the ‘Ames and Bob White’ on Foster Road,” remarks Jan. “The old Woodstock Theater, at 46th and S.E. Woodstock Boulevard, mainly hosted live vaudeville shows – and was open from 1912 to 1917. A new two-story Spanish-style building was built by H.J. Schwanberg, the local druggist, in 1923. That became the new Woodstock Theater, and it lasted about seven years; and once it closed its doors, Foster Road became the popular place for most Woodstock movie enthusiasts.”
In the 1930s, Woodstock had two major schools – Our Lady of Sorrows’ Catholic School, and the Woodstock Elementary Public School, which had students from first grade to eighth. Jan was a student at the old two-story wooden Woodstock School, back before it caught fire – the blaze destroyed the second floor, and caused the entire school building to be replaced. (There is a pulic photographic display about that disaster in the lobby of today’s Woodstock School.)
When Jan attended class there, the Art and Science classes were upstairs, and the “home rooms” were downstairs. Jan, who was an avid reader, spent most of her time on the second floor in the library. Miss Lena Wallace was the librarian, and she and Miss Albrig were, for Jan, two of the most memorable teachers during her time there
Widespread prosperity in the mid-1920s made it easier for residents in Woodstock to shop locally, instead of having to make the trip downtown to the big department stores. Automobiles and paved streets led to the expansion of the commercial district along Woodstock Boulevard, then extending from Ray Putnam’s Cleaners at 44th Avenue to the Polyfair Hardware store at 47th. And, like other neighborhoods, Woodstock enjoyed having everything close at hand – barber shops, confectionaries, pharmacies, and doctors’ offices – as well as their own fire department and Post Office.
But, as Jan Mejdell candidly points out, by the start of the 1930s vendors were still delivering goods to households by horse and buggy – and, by then, prosperity had ended, and the Great Depression had begun. Italians from the Brooklyn neighborhood paraded by Woodstock homes with carts of vegetables and fruits offered for sale for dinner; the snorting of horses and the creaking of wagons could be heard blocks away when the ice delivery wagon was on the way, or the milkman’s horses were drawing the wagon on his early-morning runs.
“We had a junk man who looked kind of scraggly,” recalls Jan, “And my mom always threatened me that, if I didn’t behave myself, she would sell me to the junk man.”
Jan remembers that Ephram and Hilma did most of their shopping at the Hubel Grocery Store, about six blocks from their home. Items bought there could be charged to their account; and at the end of the month, when Jan’s father got paid, he would go to the store to pay off the monthly bill.
That store was run by Mrs. Hubel and her daughter: “We would bring our flour sacks to the store, and the girls behind the counter would fill them with flour from a wide-mouth barrel,” remarks Jan. Often these cotton flour sacks weighed between 50 to 100 pounds, and it took a “good husky boy” to deliver them back to customers.
“The Dry Goods store was on the same block as Hubel’s, and my mom and I would ‘buy yardage’ there for whatever occasion it was needed. The candy store was across the street,” says Jan. The Portland City Directory of the time listed Hubel’s Grocery at the corner of 55th and Woodstock, on the south side of the street. M.B. Cantor’s Dry Goods Store and A.P Howison Confectionary were located a block east on 56th.
Warm and fresh baked bread was always sold out, early in the morning, at the Woodstock Bakery – but, as Jan reflects, “We couldn’t afford to go to a bakery – and anyway, why would we? Since my mom and grandmother were such great cooks, and liked to bake!” Jan also looked forward to her mom’s buttermilk cookies, which she still swears were the best in Portland.
During the Holidays, Jan and her family would spend Christmas Eve at the Liljeholm household with her uncle and aunt, along with plenty of Scandinavian cookies. The Christmas Tree was decorated with bright paper chains, and strings of dried cranberries. Erma played the piano, and had taught her daughter Jan how to play – so, during the Holidays, family members gathered around the piano to sing traditional Swedish songs of the season, and other favorites. Christmas presents were few during the Depression; but on the occasions when they had a little extra money, John and Erma would buy something special. “One year I was really excited when I received a Shirley Temple doll for Christmas. My sister got the doll dirty, and then broke it when she threw it down the stairs. I never forgave her for that,” frowns Jan.
The Great Depression between October of 1929 and the beginning of World War II was a time Jan remembers well. Thousands of men were out of work, or had been laid off, and many of them resorted to begging for food from door to door. Men would traipse through the alleys of Woodstock – and would knock on the back door of the Mejdell home, asking for a sandwich. “My mom would usually make a sandwich for them; but you have to remember, we didn’t have much money or food either, so sometimes my mom had to tell them we didn’t have anything to spare.
“They always came to the back door; never the front. I remember an elderly gentleman who said to my mom, “M’am, could you spare a bite for a poor old man?”
To earn extra money, Erma Mejdell would iron clothes for the people who lived in the Dunthorpe area. These customers would bring the clothes they wanted to be ironed and drop them off at their house in Woodstock – coming back a few days later to pick up what they had left with Jan’s mom for ironing.
And, to help support his growing family, John took a side job as a chauffeur for Charles F. Adams, who was then President of the First National Bank in Portland. When Jan turned 16, she hired on with Mr. Adams as a maid, and spent the summers working at the Adams Mansion. That house was situated at 23rd and N.W. Flanders, and it was Jan’s first time engaging with people of considerable wealth. She says that she wasn’t impressed.
Her duties as maid included walking the Adams’ dog – a Boston Terrier; changing and washing the bedsheets; and serving meals (which involved learning which side of the table from which to serve food). All of the Adams’ servants had to eat downstairs in the kitchen. The Adams also had a private nurse who did the cooking for the family.
World War II brought the Great Depression to an end with all the wartime military spending, and brought new prosperity to the City of Portland. Shipbuilding became a major industry here; companies like the Commercial Iron Company, the Albina Shipyards, and Henry Kaiser’s Oregon Shipbuilding Company in St. Johns, all began producing large quantities of military ships for the American war effort. Thousands of people from around the country were drawn to these well-paying jobs in Portland, and many of them moved to Inner Southeast neighborhoods like Woodstock. Jan found that she could make more money than she had as a maid just by working as an office clerk, which helped her to raise enough money to attend Reed College.
Workers living outside North Portland had to rely on city buses or Portland’s streetcar system to travel to and from the shipyards. In Woodstock, the streetcar service was ended by the 1940s due to low ridership, so employees like Jan then had to rely on second-hand buses purchased by the shipyard companies to haul commuting employees to their destination. “These old green buses with smoke belching out of the exhaust pipes took us out to the shipyards,” remarks Jan, “And we had to walk from wherever they dropped us off quite a ways to our jobs.”
Not only that, but the long ride to the shipyards was particularly uncomfortable – because there was no padding or cushions on the bus seats.
Working for the Engineering Department of a shipbuilding company on the east side of the Willamette River, Jan was an office clerk, which included typing and writing out repetitious supply orders – and, at other times, operating the office telephone switchboard. Occasionally work was stopped and everyone gathered for the christening of one of the new Liberty Ships that had just been completed and were ready to head across the sea to one of the war fronts. Welders, pipefitters, and office staff turned out for these great celebrations.
“Yes, some bigwig’s wife would be asked to break a bottle of champagne across the bow of the ship during the dedication,” commented Jan wryly, “And we would wait while it took her six or seven tries to break that bottle against the ship. Then we would clap and cheer like crazy.”
With few small-order diners or coffee shops anywhere near where Jan worked, she and most of the rest of the office staff had to pack their own lunches, and bring their own beverages to work. While office duties were often tedious and boring for a Reed College student, as Jan already was, the pay was excellent and helped finance her education.
After World War II had ended in 1945, and all the wartime jobs had ended, Jan hired on at the Pope and Talbot Steamship Company; at about that time a cousin of John Mejdell in Europe had contacted him asking if he could come to America and learn about the building of steamships. “My dad didn’t want anything to do with his family, so my dad’s cousin became kind of my responsibility,” recalls Jan: “He came over as part of the U.S. Lend Lease program, and my dad’s cousin was thrilled to be shown what a real American town looked like.”
Jan was also still pursuing her studies at Reed College, where she eventually found her future husband, Robert Elliott. They were both working at Reed in the coffee shop and book store, and she later discovered that he had served in the U.S. Army Air Force during the war. They married and started their own family, moving to the coast at Astoria, where Robert worked at the Paramount Optical Lab.
Astoria in the 1960s was full of surprises – that was when the new Astoria-Megler Bridge was being built. Jan spent much of her time raising her children, and reuniting with her father, who took numerous trips to the coast to visit her and her family. “My parents finally were able to afford to buy a vacation home in Ocean Park, Washington, and we spent a lot of time there digging for clams!”
Much has changed in Woodstock across the last ninety years. Cars and delivery trucks jam Woodstock Boulevard where once only the hoofbeats of horses drawing delivery wagons and the ringing of the Woodstock Streetcar bell could be heard. People today do their grocery shopping at New Seasons or Safeway, stopping for lunch at one of the many restaurants or food carts, or perhaps enjoying the afternoon at a local coffee shop.
But, in many ways, life in the residential district of the community is really not all that different. Bungalows, four-square houses, and a variety of small and large craftsman houses still line the streets, with green lawns, blooming flowers, and native shrubs out front. Children still walk to Woodstock School, or to Woodstock Park for baseball or to kick around a soccer ball. Scooters, now boasting motors, coexist with bicycles.
Having seen it all, and remembering it all, and still enjoying life at an advanced age, is Woodstock native Jan Mejdell Elliott!
A joyful throng fills S. E. Reed College Place as the Eastmoreland Independence Day Parade is underway. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
July 4th still offers a massive parade in Eastmoreland
By DAVID F. ASHTON For THE BEE
As has been the tradition since at least the 1990s – only missing a year in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic – Eastmoreland volunteers put on their big Independence Day Parade in the late morning of Monday, the Fourth of July. (We have a brief VIDEO of the event for you, below.)
Long before most of the revelers arrived, Jerry Eichentopf of Otto's Sausage Kitchen, along with his family and crew, were stoking their grills – getting them ready to prepare “1,800 buns and ‘a lot of hot dogs’ that we brought to the parade,” he said.
By 10:30 a.m., vehicles were lining up along Reed College Place near Duniway Elementary School, and members of the Portland Police Bureau’s “Motorcycle Team” were arriving (the “Traffic Division” has officially been disbanded).
“This parade, put on by the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association, has been going since 1994,” neighborhood historian Joanne Carlson told THE BEE. “This event started as a bicycle parade; now we have cars, bicycles, and lots and lots of people on foot!
“And, we’re so grateful for the Portland Police Bureau motorcycle officers coming every year,” she said. “Especially this year; we understand they’re simply volunteering to be here. And, we also appreciate Portland Fire & Rescue allowing firefighters from Station 20 in Westmoreland to come back this year to be part of our parade.”
She also extended gratitude to the Eichentopf family from Otto’s, as well as sponsors Woodstock Safeway, Bi-Mart, and Trader Joe's.
“It is amazing: A quarter of an hour before the start, you would think there wouldn’t be a parade,” observed Carlson. “But by the time it starts at 11 a.m., a thousand people appear!”
And, so they did. Riding, biking, and walking in the parade – many of those on foot with an American Flag in one hand, and an Otto’s hot dog in the other.
Now, relive this year’s parade in this brief BEE video:
Original props and recreations from motion pictures “The Abyss” and “Titanic” are on display. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
OMSI currently offers two different exhibitions
By DAVID F. ASHTON For THE BEE
In April, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) opened a substantial exhibition called “The World of Leonardo da Vinci”.
For those who haven’t yet seen it, doing so now is one reason to visit OMSI. Another reason is a second, newer exhibition – “James Cameron – Challenging the Deep”, which opened in June.
Although it’s in a smaller hall at the museum, the space given it is large enough to immerse visitors in an underwater environment – without getting wet – using large-screen projection, artifacts, and specimens from the expeditions of the Academy Award-winning director and deep-sea explorer James Cameron. (We have a brief VIDEO for you later in this article.)
Visitors to the new exhibit enter through a recreation of a MIR submersible. Inside they’ll see artifacts from Cameron’s personal collection, including some from the design and construction of his DEEPSEA CHALLENGER diving rig.
And, guests can view the original film props and costumes from his hit movies “The Abyss” and “Titanic” – including the iconic “Heart of the Ocean” diamond.
“We’re excited to showcase how Cameron has merged creative and technical achievements in deep-ocean science, engineering, and exploration,” said OMSI President and CEO Erin Graham.
“James Cameron – Challenging the Deep” will be on display through September 25th.
Access to the new exhibit is included in OMSI general museum admission at no extra cost; the da Vinci exhibition does require an additional fee. To learn more, or to purchase tickets online, go online – http://www.omsi.ed
And, for you to preview your trip to OMSI to see this exhibit, browse the press preview with THE BEE in this brief video:
Creators of teddy bears for an independent project for Ukrainian children are, from left: Alice Hiser, Jeanette Stout, Bri, and Nanci Shaughnessy. Standing is Chyanna. (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff)
Southeast makes Teddy Bears for Ukrainian Children
By ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF For THE BEE
Millions of people around the world were feeling helpless watching Ukrainian mothers and children saying good-bye to fathers, as the men headed off to war on and after February 24th, when the Russian Ukrainian war began.
Since that time, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Sellwood, the Milwaukie Community Center, and the Ukrainian Bible Church in Fairview have helped with a Teddy Bear project that is uplifting the spirits of some in Inner Southeast Portland.
“The idea came at the end of February, watching images of Ukrainian children holding their mothers’ hands, walking away from their fathers,” Nanci Shaughnessy told THE BEE.
Shaughnessy, who ran “Tendergarden Preschool” in Southeast Portland for nine years, and is currently an adult caregiver, has a tender heart and felt a burning passion to comfort some of those Ukrainian children.
When she saw the children on television reports, she flashed back in time and remembered the Teddy Bear that was a treasure to her preschool children over those nine years. She knows, from many years of experience with preschoolers and with her own children, that a Teddy Bear can provide comfort as much as a live pet can bring calm and contentment to a child or adult.
“I rummaged around, and found the [treasured preschool] Teddy Bear. I thought it would be just the right size for Ukrainian children.”
On March 8th, Shaughnessy shared her idea with her daughter Chyanna, granddaughter Bri, and her friend and Reed neighborhood resident Alice Hiser. They all shared her enthusiasm for the project.
Then Shaughnessy went to the Milwaukie Community Center to talk with her longtime friend Jeanette Stout, who volunteers in the gift shop there, and is an excellent seamstress. “I have this passion. I want to make Teddy Bears,” she told Stout.
“You have such a big heart, how can I say no?” responded Jeanette. Nanci showed her the preschool’s Teddy Bear. Jeanette found a pattern online and then on March 12th she called Nanci. “Do you want to come see?”
“[I went there and] and my heart leaped,” reports Nanci. “The Teddy Bear was just what I had imagined. Jeanette had sown a beautiful Teddy Bear, and I said, ‘How can we do this’?”
From there the project took off, involving over fifty Inner Southeast Portland women who knew how to sew – or who didn’t know anything about sewing, but could make runs to fabric stores, deliver the fabric, cut the fabric, sew on the eyes, assemble sewing kits, or knit or crotchet scarves for the bears’ necks.
Jeanette has the intricate job of making all of the bears’ heads. Nanci is the project coordinator and official “cutter” of the fabric.
The project has grown by word of mouth – “people to people” – using no social media. Signs with information for potential volunteers were made and posted. One such poster wound up at a community center in Mission Viejo California, near Los Angeles, where Alice Hiser has relatives. A resident there, Donna, became involved in the project, and has hand-sewn heads to bodies by the dozens and sent them to Portland by U.S. mail.
Amy, from Michigan, was sent a photo of the volunteer sign, and she and her family began making bears, and then recently she flew to Portland to visit the volunteers and deliver bears.
When 47 teddy bears were completed on April 28th, Hiser contacted the Ukrainian Church, and the one in Fairview facilitated the shipment of the first group of bears that were included in a shipment of medical supplies going into Ukraine.
Since then, the war has escalated, so the most recent 50 bears will be sent to a refugee camp in Poland on a container ship and will take more than a month to arrive. The church in Fairview is packing and shipping those bears in boxes with clothing and medicine. “We’re looking for shippers all of the time,” remark Nanci and Alice.
“It is very humbling,” Nanci muses. “I started with a broken heart for those children. And so many people here were just waiting to do something [helpful]. The gray, brown-and-tan bears are nubby and huggable, and Jeanette has made all of the faces with smiles. They are so lovable, you have to hug and touch them.”
“We now have 125 finished bears, and some are ready to complete – for a total of 350 still in Portland. We asked ourselves at the beginning, ‘What if we can do 500?’” She says it looks as if that goal may be met, and will be exceeded if there is help from others joining the project.
If you’d like to join in this effort as a volunteer, or just would like more information, send an email expressing your interest to – Ukraineteddyhugs@gmail.com
Volunteers from the Woodstock Community Church – here including Tevor Wyndham, Greg Burnett, and pastor Patrick Grant – led the volunteer effort to construct planters, and then plant vegetables in them, at the new “food garden” next to the Brentwood-Darlington Community Center. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
New ‘food garden’ at Brentwood-Darlington Community Center
By DAVID F. ASHTON For THE BEE
Thanks to the help of volunteers from a church that meets in the Brentwood-Darlington Community Center, a project to create a food garden there – started on April 20 – was completed on July 9.
The project was organized by the staff of Impact NW, a nonprofit organization that operates through, and has programs at, the Community Center, which is situated at 7211 S.E. 62nd Avenue.
“Our first step is to build and fill the raised planters, which is what we’re doing here today,” said the project’s organizer, Kathryn Sechrist, the Impact NW Science Program Manager, and Co-Chair of its Sustainability Committee, when contruction began back in April.
“We got a $2,800 grant from Southeast Uplift; the purpose of which is to create a community garden space here,” explained Sechrist. “Today, we are building eight-foot garden bed boxes along the fence here. We’ll also be planting several blueberry bushes in the yard, outside the boxes.
“The idea is that the space will provide families, and children, a place to learn about gardening, to grow their own food, and to assure that food is available for all community members,” Sechrist told THE BEE.
In addition, they still plan to plant a variety of organic vegetables – including tomatoes, kale, spinach, onions from seeds; and strawberries from starts.
“What’s made this work is the donations from our community partners – Portland Nursery, Brown Lumber, and Mount Scott Fuel – to leverage the grant,” Sechrist pointed out.
After that construction day in April, the garden boxes sat empty until Saturday morning, July 9, when the pastor and volunteers from the Woodstock Community Church – they meet in the building each week – shoveled and wheelbarrowed soil from a pile in the parking lot into the planting boxes.
After only a couple of hours of hard work on that day in July, the planters were ready to grow vegetables.
Here are half of the ten Inner Southeast authors of the new book “Reading Together”. From left: Ann Delahanty, Michelle McCann, Ronan McCann, Owen Lowe-Rogstad, and Dana Lowe-Rogstad. They were photographed at the book’s launch party on July 16th. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)
Ten Southeast moms and teens collaborate to write new book
By RITA A. LEONARD For THE BEE
Sellwood's award-winning children’s author Michelle McCann has worked as a book editor and writer for over thirty years. Over the past decade she has also teamed up with five local moms and their kids in a monthly book club – encouraging them all not only to explore books and love reading, but also to believe in their own personal writing skills.
McCann remarked to THE BEE, “Portland’s famous author Beverly Cleary began her career in fourth grade, when a teacher encouraged her to enter a writing contest sponsored by a local grocery store. She won the contest, and learned that anyone could succeed if they put their mind to it. We have a very literate neighborhood here – both of readers, and of writers.”
The moms in the local book club include Professor Ann Delahanty, social worker Kristin Doherty, lawyer Lissa Kaufman, former teacher Dana Lowe-Rogstad, and author Michelle McCann, all of whom live in Inner Southeast. The “kid authors” involved are: Noah Brown, Dominic de Bettencourt, Luci Doherty, Owen Lowe-Rogstad, and Ronan McCann.
The group's new book – and it is a real book, published by Chronicle Books, in July – is entitled, “Reading Together: Share in the Wonder of Books with a Parent-Child Book Club”. In it, the authors follow a group of five local moms and their teenagers who met together monthly. McCann reported, “We met when our kids were in Kindergarten at Winterhaven School, where classroom book discussions were a favorite part of instruction. We continued until they graduated from Cleveland High School, and went on to college”.
Some of the young authors met at McCann's home in Sellwood recently to talk with THE BEE. Owen remarked that what he liked was, “The encouragement to read new books that I wouldn't ordinarily have chosen.” Ronan enjoyed the discussions in the club, and “having the ability to discuss my favorite parts.”
And from among the five moms, Ann told us, “I loved watching the kids develop over the years”, and Dana revealed, “We moms first ran the club, but the kids developed engaging discussions, and eventually they ran the show. [In writing the book,] we talked about lists of things we had done, what worked, and what did not. All ten authors contributed to the writing!” McCann reflected, “Sharing all these amazing books and discussions and deep talks was a gift I was not expecting.”
Filled with insight and inspiration, the new book includes details of organizing and structuring book club meetings, tips on locating diverse books, choosing titles to spur discussion, common book club challenges and how to overcome them, and more. McCann observed, “We've also included curated booklists and recommendations. Kids have very distinct tastes. We walked through a list of 100 books, commenting on which we liked or didn't, and why.”
“Reading Together” promises a stronger parent-child bond – and can be a perfect gift for bookish parents, and parents of bookish children, but also for parents trying to encourage reluctant readers. The book’s launch was held July 16 at the “Trackers Earth” facility at 4617 S.E. Milwaukie Avenue in Brooklyn. It’s available through any bookseller.
Neighbors enjoyed a fun and leisurely afternoon at the first-ever Portland Moose Lodge #291 “block party” at S.E. 52nd and Flavel Street in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
Brentwood-Darlington Moose Lodge hosts July 4th party
By DAVID F. ASHTON For THE BEE
For the first time, Brentwood-Darlington neighbors were treated to a block party on July 4, presented by Portland Moose Lodge #291 at S.E. 52nd and Flavel.
Throughout the afternoon, there was live music, arts and crafts, games, and a free barbeque for the community.
“Until the City of Portland passed an ordinance banning fireworks, every year before that, the lodge has had a fireworks sale as a fundraiser for the lodge,” reminded lodge member, and one of the event organizers, Dunja Marcum. “But now, with ‘Vibe of Portland’ offering arts camps through the Lodge, those rental fees help to make up the loss of income from the firework sales.
“We applied for, and received, a grant from Moose International to put on this block party, because the Moose organization is about ‘building community’,” she explained. “These days, after people have been living such separated lives due to the pandemic, it’s really important for people to reconnect – and what better way to do that than with a block party!”
Hearing the Pete Petersen Quartet performing pop standards and jazz favorites caused many who were just driving by with their windows down to stop, stay, and enjoy the party.
“When people come together, they become more invested in the community,” observed Marcum. “We’re just giving back to our community for all the support they’ve given us over the years.”
Sellwood businessperson and resident, former SMILE Vice President, and Clatsop Square re-designer Ayomide Nikzi shows the update of the Clatsop Street intersection design – called “The Sharing Seed”. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)
Clatsop Street intersection repainted, postponing Share-It Square
By RITA A. LEONARD For THE BEE
The annual street repainting of Share-It Square was planned for a sunny June 25. Neighbor Mark Lakeman and other volunteers cleaned up the site earlier at S.E. 9th and Sherrett Street, and also repaired the cob beehive newspaper kiosk on the northeast corner, there, which needed enlarging.
But, it wasn’t sunny after all. The unseasonably cool and rainy weather in late June resulted in unsatisfactory painting conditions on Sherrett Street on the planned date, so Sarah Heath, painting coordinator for Share-It Square, rescheduled the repainting there for Saturday, July 23, and we’ll have a report on it in the September BEE.
Meantime, paint coordinator Liz Stanhope, who oversaw the smaller and newer street painting at nearby S.E. 11th and Clatsop Street – a blue and purple snowflake design –was able to complete the update of that smaller project on June 25, with a crew of about 30 volunteers. Sellwood’s Miller Paint store provided the traffic-marking paint at a discount, and the paint was purchased by neighbors.
The Clatsop Square painting, a new tradition begun in 2016, was redesigned this year by Ayomide and Kaio Nikzi, adding new details in black to represent figures holding hands around the edges. The new design is called “The Sharing Seed”.
Stanhope indicated that all ages were welcome to paint at Clatsop Square, and indeed people came and went regularly during the day-long City Permit for the work. Since it was a smaller project, only free water had been offered to volunteers, but a neighbor made and shared a tray of cupcakes for those volunteering that day.
Showing THE BEE a flat of freshly picked red raspberries at the Demonstration Garden in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood, here’s Sally Campbell. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
Master Gardeners start summer harvest in Brentwood-Darlington
By DAVID F. ASHTON For THE BEE
Lingering COVID-19 restrictions on volunteers, and a cold spring, didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the Multnomah County Master Gardeners who’ve been busy tending their Demonstration Garden in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood.
“It’s been a slow start, because we had such awful spring weather; but so far, we’ve already donated 200 pounds of 100% organically-farmed berries and vegetables,” reported the Demonstration Garden’s Co-Manager, Heidi Nichols.
“The ‘Dry Farm Area’ is really prospering; we’ll have melons growing for the first time,” grinned Nichols. “We have all sorts of vegetables, like peas, that are just about ready, and it won’t be long till the beans are coming on.
“We are having squash producing now, and the tomatoes are starting to ripen at long last,” Nichols told THE BEE during our mid-July visit.
And, this year, they’re looking forward to a bountiful crop of grapes, of the Interlochen and Jupiter table grape varieties, she told us.
Hosting public event on August 20 After being cloistered during the pandemic, Nichols said they’re looking forward to hosting a free “Open Gardens” for the public on August 20, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in their Demonstration Garden.
“We will also hold a Master Gardener Clinic – with volunteers who can answer questions about annuals, perennials, food crops – and how to take care of these things in your home garden!” enthused Nichols.
AUGUST 4 Ardenwald Concerts in August: Every Thursday night in August, the Ardenwald-Johnson Creek Neighborhood Association hosts family-friendly outdoor concerts at Ardenwald Park, 3667 S.E. Roswell Street in Milwaukie, across from Ardenwald School. Concerts are free; food and drink available for sale. All concerts begin at 7 p.m. and end at dusk. But tonight only, for National Night Out, the evening begins at 6 p.m. Tonight’s band is “The Nu Wavers”, a cover band presenting college radio classics, alternative and mainstream.
AUGUST 5 First concert in “Wm. Byrd Festival”: The 23rd annual William Byrd Festival, sponsored by Cantores in Ecclesia, begins this evening at St. Philip Neri Church, 2408 S.E. 16th Avenue at Division Street, just north of the Brooklyn neighborhood. At 7:30 p.m. the name of the concert is “Tallis – Lamentations and other works”. The concert is directed by Blake Applegate with Mark Williams performing at the organ. Tickets $25 general admission; $20 for seniors and students. Advance ticket sales at 1-800/838-3006, or online at – http://www.brownpapertickets.com – ten more concerts take place, mostly in Northeast Portland, this month. The final concert is August 21 at St. Philip Neri again; see listing below.
AUGUST 6 Golf fundraiser for Cleveland High School today: This year, the annual fund raising CHS Alumni golf tournament, presented by the CHS Alumni Golf Committee, will be held today, at the Eastmoreland Golf Course. Tee times begin at 7:30 a.m., continuing until all golfers are scheduled (no SHOTGUN start). Cart, range balls, lunch, prizes, and more will make this day a special one – to thank you for helping Cleveland High School students. A huge Warriors thank you goes out to “PDX Sliders” for sponsoring the tournament again. To register to participate, go to the tournament portal – http://2022chsalumni.golfgenius.com – and, to ask questions, email: email@example.com
SMILE free Summer Concerts continue tonight: This month in Westmoreland, the weekly free SMILE concerts are on Saturdays, 6:30 until 8:15 p.m. The August venue is the parking lot on the south side of the Windermere Building parking lot, at S.E. 16th Avenue at Rural Street. Performing tonight: Red Bird (soulful Americana). Bring a chair and something to eat, or buy something from a neighborhood restaurant to enjoy during the concert.
AUGUST 11 Ardenwald Concerts in August: Every Thursday night in August, the Ardenwald-Johnson Creek Neighborhood Association hosts family-friendly outdoor concerts at Ardenwald Park, 3667 S.E. Roswell Street in Milwaukie, across from Ardenwald School. All concerts begin at 7 p.m. and end at dusk Tonight’s performance is by the Seymour Baker Band – offering Folk, Blues, Americana, Rock, Country, and Gospel.
AUGUST 13 SMILE free Summer Concert tonight: This month in Westmoreland, the weekly free SMILE concerts are on Saturdays, 6:30 until 8:15 p.m. The August venue is the parking lot on the south side of the Windermere Building parking lot, at S.E. 16th Avenue at Rural Street. Performing tonight: Jet Black Pearl (“live-looping accordion songstress”). Bring a chair and something to eat, or buy something from a neighborhood restaurant to enjoy during the concert.
AUGUST 14 Kids’ Day today at Woodstock Farmers Market: Today is Kids’ Day at the Woodstock Farmers Market, on the parking lot behind KeyBank at 46th and Woodstock Boulevard, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free kids’ activities, crafts, and live music!
AUGUST 17 Refugee Art Show today at All Saints Episcopal Church: This afternoon from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m, you are invited to: “Uprooted: An Art Collection Inspired by Refugee Identity and Resilience”. It’s presented by Lutheran Community Services Northwest, and held at Woostock’s All Saints Episcopal Church, 4033 SE Woodstock Boulevard. The Artists featured in this exhibition are all refugees who have resettled in the Pacific Northwest. Their art gives visual representation to their stories, dreams, and experiences. Several of the artists will be in attendance to discuss their work. Everyone welcome; drinks and appetizers will be served. For more information, email – firstname.lastname@example.org
AUGUST 18 Ardenwald Concerts in August: Every Thursday night in August, the Ardenwald-Johnson Creek Neighborhood Association hosts family-friendly outdoor concerts at Ardenwald Park, 3667 S.E. Roswell Street in Milwaukie, across from Ardenwald School. All concerts begin at 7 p.m. and end at dusk Tonight’s band is “Big Plans” – a band described as offering “blues, rock, rhythm & blues, a little “swamp feel”, and country”.
AUGUST 19 “Labyrinth Walk: Finding Your Center” tonight in Woodstock: This evening at 8 p.m. you’re invited to All Saints Episcopal Church in Woodstock to join others in “a transformational and spiritual journey, by walking a labyrinth”. There will be refreshments, music, introspection, and possibly deep transformational change. This will be take place on the green at the church, at 4033 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard. All are welcome.
AUGUST 20 Free “Open Gardens” event at Demo Garden: The Multnomah County Master Gardeners’ Demonstration Garden in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood is hosting a free “Open Gardens” today from 10 a.m, to 2 p.m. for your self-guided tour through the one-acre educational Green Thumb Community Orchard. Open to all, and no RSVP is necessary. Learn about small fruits and vegetables, native and perennial plants, shrubs and more. Get your gardening questions answered at the ‘Ask a Master Gardener’ booth, and bring home free educational materials, and directions for interesting garden projects for all ages. The pedestrian gate for access to the Demo Garden is on S.E. 57th Avenue, about 500 feet south of Duke Street, next to the orchard. For questions about this event, or any gardening questions, email – email@example.com
SMILE free Summer Concert tonight: This month in Westmoreland, the weekly free SMILE concerts are on Saturdays, 6:30 until 8:15 p.m. The August venue is the parking lot on the south side of the Windermere Building parking lot, at S.E. 16th Avenue at Rural Street. Performing tonight: Padam Padam (“French Cabaraet, tangos, latin, and original music”). Bring a chair and something to eat, or buy something from a neighborhood restaurant to enjoy during the concert.
AUGUST 21 Final concert in “Wm. Byrd Festival”: The final concert in this year’s William Byrd Festival, sponsored by Cantores in Ecclesia, begins this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. with a pre-concert lecture by Dr. William Mahrt, at St Philip Neri Church, 2408 S.E. 16th Avenue at Division Street, just north of the Brooklyn neighborhood. At 4 p.m., after the lecture, the final concert begins – “Tallis & Byrd – a Celebration of England’s two finest Renaissance composers”, performed by Cantores in Ecclesia, directed by Mark Williams. Tickets $25 general admission; $20 for seniors and students. Advance ticket sales at 1-800/838-3006, or online at – http://www.brownpapertickets.com
AUGUST 25 Ardenwald Concerts in August end tonight: The Ardenwald-Johnson Creek Neighborhood Association hosts its final family-friendly outdoor concert this year tonight at Ardenwald Park, 3667 S.E. Roswell Street in Milwaukie, across from Ardenwald School. Concerts begin at 7 p.m. and end at dusk Tonight’s band is Kathryn Grimm and the Blue Tools, performing Sultry Electric Blues.
AUGUST 27 “Over the Hill Gang” Car show today: Proud of your car? Show it off at the Over the Hill Gang NW Car Show, all day today at the Mt. Scott Park Community Center parking lot. All years, makes and models are welcome. A variety of trophies will be awarded. Registration is $15, and starts at 8 a.m. at Mt Scott Park Presbyterian Church, 5512 S.E. 73rd Avenue. For more information, call 503/771-7553.
Final SMILE free Summer Concert tonight: This last of this summer’s free SMILE concerts is tonight, 6:30 until 8:15 p.m. The August venue is the parking lot on the south side of the Windermere Building parking lot, at S.E. 16th Avenue at Rural Street. Performing tonight: Rich Layton & Tough Town (“swampadelic roots rock”). Bring a chair and something to eat, or buy something from a neighborhood restaurant to enjoy during the concert.
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.
"Next Generation TV", in the incompatible ATSC-3 format, is currently duplicating (in the new format) KATU, KOIN, KGW, KOPB, KPTV, KRCW, and KPDX on channels 30 and/or 33; you will need a new TV or converter box capable of receiving the new ATSC-3 format in order to see these broadcasts.