Community Features

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

Leon Hanset is shown in the foreground – who, according to Mark Hanset, enjoyed making brooms more than dealing with selling, and talking with customers on the phone. A special phone, visible here on the wall, was installed just for Leon – so he could answer any questions from the clerk staff, as he made brooms.
Leon Hanset is shown in the foreground – who, according to Mark Hanset, enjoyed making brooms more than dealing with selling, and talking with customers on the phone. A special phone, visible here on the wall, was installed just for Leon – so he could answer any questions from the clerk staff, as he made brooms. (Courtesy of Hanset Brothers)

The sweeping story of Hanset Brothers’ Brooklyn broom factory

Special to THE BEE

[Dana Beck is on vacation this month; we’re repeating his story from the May, 2014, BEE]

There’s a certain amount of satisfaction one receives when one has hand-crafted an item that another person desires.

Emil Hanset learned the art of broom-making, and was able to share his passion with other family members – a passion that would support generations to come of the Hanset family.

Emil J. Hanset emigrated to the United States from Belgium in the 1880’s to avoid being drafted into the military. And it was while working the harvest fields of a cotton plantation in Blossom Prairie, Texas, he met and fell in love with the owner’s daughter, Palmyra Bosse. The plantation owner was Eugene Bosse.

After their marriage in 1884, Emil and Palmyra moved to Green Bay, Wisconsin, where many Belgians had settled previously. Their stay was short-lived; Emil received word that his mother was in poor health and so, with family in tow, they returned to the small village of Opprebaise, Belgium, to care for Emily’s mother.

After Emil’s mother’s death, the Hanset family returned to Green Bay in 1896, and Emil operated a broom factory for the Wisconsin State Prison (he was not a prisoner), where he began to learn the trade of broom-making.

Excerpts from the Hanset family biography reveal that Emil and his family followed his father-in-law to Salem in Oregon, in 1904. Eugene Bosse opened a flax plant near Mill Creek that Emil was in charge of for a short time. But his passion for broom-making was too strong, and he accepted a job operating a broom factory for the Oregon State Prison. Between “25 to 30 dozen brooms were processed per day for use by the state offices”.

Two years later, the Hanset family relocated to Montavilla, a neighborhood that was then a separate community east of Portland. Emil hired on at the Standard Broom Company at 73rd and N.E Glisan. He continued to enhance his expertise in broom-making, and shared his skills with other workers when he later transferred over to the Portland Broom Company. 

Emil taught his sons Joseph (Joe), Homer, and Leon the craft of broom making, and when they were experienced enough, they all hired on with the Portland Broom Factory until they were drafted into service during the First World War.

In 1919, the Hanset Brothers Broom Business became a reality when the three boys began manufacturing hand-crafted brooms in the basement of Joe Hanset’s home, across from Madison High School in Southeast Portland. The operating machines were powered by belts and pulleys powered by Leon’s Excelsior motorcycle – which he once raced around the neighborhood.

During the early days of the new business, their father Emil was still assembling brooms by hand using a foot treadle machine. By using Leon’s innovative process with a motorbike engine, the boys were able to save considerable time in manufacturing brooms.

The young men sold their brooms door to door throughout the neighborhood. They honed their sales skills by signing exclusive contracts with local stores and merchants to carry only the Hanset Broomcorn in their shops.

Once the Hanset Brothers’ broom business was booming, the brothers made the decision to deal in the wholesale market only. In the following few years, the Hanset family transferred their business from their brothers’ basement to a warehouse at N.E. 4th and Hancock. Emil was beginning to realize his dream of working together with his family, when he became President of the Hanset Broom Company in 1921. Son Homer was Vice President, and Leon was the Secretary and Treasurer.

From sorting the bundles of cornstalk to flattening and sewing in place broom heads, every family member hired on at the Hanset Brothers factory, and learned the broom-making business from the bottom up. Recalling his younger years, fourth generation grandson Mark Hanset, who is now in charge, said, “I was about eleven or twelve when I spent my summers learning to craft a broom, working among the other workers, and earning a few bucks for college”.

Broomcorn (a type of sorghum grass) was shipped to the Hanset factory in large bundles or bales. Mark would be taken to various parts of the factory by an experienced worker, or a relative like Joe Hanset – and was taught many of the required skills. He would watch as the Broom Sorters grouped stalks according to the length of the grass and color; and he learned that broom corn was wetted before use, so it would be more pliable for the shaping of a broom. He also became a popular Rousty (a boy who got supplies ready for the broom makers) among the workers.

Back in the 1920’s there were only a handful of broom and brush manufacturers in Portland, and competition among them for customers and orders was stiff. Companies depended on the loyalty of their employees to survive in the marketplace. Many employees who hired on at Hanset Brothers spent their entire careers there, retiring well into their 70’s and 80’s – a testament to the stability of the company. 

On August 15th, 1927, the Hanset Brothers expanded their business by building a new two-story factory at 12th and Division. The Oregonian announced that Hanset Brothers was one of the largest manufacturers of brooms in the northwest, with an annual production of over $50,000 annually.

Believing that the present company was not able to support all of the family members, Homer Hanset ventured north to Seattle, where he obtained his own broom manufacturing business by buying the existing Sunset Broom Company. Following the lead of his father Emil, Homer’s own sons Herbert and Virgil learned all phases of the broom production, and helped the Sunset Company become one of the leading broom distributors in Western Washington.

With Homer’s departure from Portland, younger brother Eugene Hanset took over many of the duties and responsibilities left vacant by Homer’s absence.

Gaining the knowledge and confidence in the business world from his time at Hanset Brothers, Eugene quit his position as sales manager to make a start at owning his own company. Eugene was very creative, and in 1930 he patented the wire broom hanger that could be attached to the end of mops and brooms. He later invented the “Plasbod System”, a special resin that he formulated for manufacturing corn and plastic fibers, and which was in use for many years.

Even with the loss of his other brother’s experience, Leon Hanset and his dad continued their success at Hanset Brothers with the added help of Leon’s son David. The Hanset broomcorn broom became one of the top-selling items in their warehouse, because of the high quality of fibers used in its production. Unlike plastic fibers or broom heads made from synthetic materials that simply push the dirt around, broomcorn stalks absorb the dust and dirt, and outlast any other type.

Broom factories, however, were sometimes hazardous places to be for workers and employees. Occasionally, careless workers might end up losing fingers by getting caught in machinery; and leftover grass shoots and seeds after cuttings posed a fire hazard when they accumulated on the factory floors. In the early years, a few other of Portland’s big broom factories caught fire and burnt down.

The start of the Depression in 1929 forced many companies to close. The Hanset Brothers also felt the pressure; the brothers decided to sell their 12th Street building to Mason’s Supply Company, but at least were able to lease it back at a more manageable cost.

Joe Hanset returned briefly in 1941 to continue his position at Hanset Brothers, but four years later opened the Acme Broom Company on North Mississippi Avenue. To avoid conflict with his own family members, he sold most of his products to merchants and stores in eastern Washington, where Hanset Brothers Brooms had not been a presence.

According to family documents, Acme Broom Company produced from 40 to 50 dozen brooms per day until Joe Hanset retired at the age of 82. In retirement, he took a broom winding machine home – and continued making fancy whisk brooms in his basement.

In 1950, the Hanset Brothers purchased their existing concrete building at 11th and S.E. Woodward; but times were changing, and brooms were no longer the big seller that they once were. Now vacuum cleaners were faster, easier, and more convenient for cleaning up. Hanset Brothers began making and marketing aluminum rakes, dust mops, plant supports, tapered and treated garden stakes, and the like.

The North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994 lifted the tariff imposed on most imported trade goods from Mexico, and pretty much signaled the end for small companies like American broom factories who could not compete with the cheaper labor south of the border. Only 15 broom manufacturers were left in the United States.

Consequently, Hanset Brothers discontinued the production of brooms in 1995, ending a tradition of manufacturing and selling handmade brooms of over 80 years. A celebration was held for the factory’s last broom-maker, Don Devore, when he retired after many years as a loyal employee.

Mark, Diane, and Ron Hanset have successfully continued the tradition of the family-owned business started by their great-grandfather Emil Hanset over 90 years ago. While the famous “Brown Beauty Hanset Broom” is no longer manufactured in their warehouse, you actually can still order the Hanset Broom through their catalogue. 

Hanset Brothers today, near the east end of the Ross Island Bridge, is still an historic business in Inner Southeast Portland. Now it specializes as a master distributor for Rubbermaid Commercial Products in this region – and the company is also a top-line seller of janitorial supplies and a variety of other cleaning products. And it’s still going strong in the 21st Century!

One of the “Warrior 5K Walk” organizers, Leigh Nunez, says these raffle prizes were actually purchased this year – to help support the neighborhood businesses who have graciously donated items to the raffle in the past.
One of the “Warrior 5K Walk” organizers, Leigh Nunez, says these raffle prizes were actually purchased this year – to help support the neighborhood businesses who have graciously donated items to the raffle in the past. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

CHS Alumni fundraise with ‘Warrior 5K Walk’ in the Morelands


This year there have been challenges for any organization planning even an outdoor event, due to changing regulations and recommendations for health safety in this COVID-19 pandemic – particularly with the rise of the Delta Variant. But that didn’t stop the Cleveland High School (CHS) Alumni Association from coming up with a fundraiser.

“Welcome to the starting point of the inaugural ‘Warrior 5K Walk’, here at the Eastmoreland Golf Course overflow parking lot,” greeted Kristin Cole, CHS alum and a current CHS parent, on Wednesday morning, August 18.

The alumni association took a “year off” from its annual summer auction in 2020, Cole conceded. “But we didn’t want another year to go by without doing something for our school. At the same time, the committee wanted to increase its overall exposure in the community.

“Therefore, we decided that a celebratory, fun, outdoor walk through a two of our neighborhoods is exactly what our community might be needing,” Cole told THE BEE.

So, with the help of Karen Genzer, Evy Bishop, Leigh Nunez, and JoAnne Cheechov, as well as others – the first annual “Warrior 5K Walk” was created.

The route looped through portions of Eastmoreland and Westmoreland, doubling back across the Bybee Boulevard Bridge.

Using an online application called “plot-a-route”, Cole developed the five kilometer (3.10 mile) course – primarily on safe residential streets. “And we thought it would raise the interest of people driving along S.E. Bybee Boulevard, seeing our start/finish line there, and wondering what kind of festivities Cleveland had going on,” she explained.

Unlike their annual CHS Fall Auction-Banquet which THE BEE has covered in the past – which gathered funds primarily for the high school’s staff – the money raised from this new event, as well as at the CHS Golf Tourney held on the following day, was earmarked to help a variety of the school’s needs.

These needs include computers, whiteboards, replacement of 50-year-old pianos and 30-year-old choir robes, kilns for ceramics classes, materials for the wood/metal shop, and facilities for the culinary arts programs. The money raised will also help pay entry fees for the school’s award-winning Speech and Debate teams, plus uniforms and equipment for most of its many sports teams.

“Over the years, the Alumni Association has donated over $440,000,” Cole told us. “This includes annually awarding five $2,500 scholarships to deserving seniors.”

By the way, this year, instead of asking them for donations, the organization chose to purchase its raffle prizes from Sellwood-Westmoreland stores, thus supporting the local businesses who have always supported the CHS Alumni Association in years past.

For more information about the CHS Alumni Association, go online – – or visit their blog –

Part of “Nordic Week”, at Tucker Maxon Summer Arts Camp, found the campers making their shields – as these kids proudly show.
Part of “Nordic Week”, at Tucker Maxon Summer Arts Camp, found the campers making their shields – as these kids proudly show. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Tucker Maxon Arts Camp engages neighborhood kids


Although regular school classes were closed for the summer, kids were seen coming to Tucker Maxon School, on Holgate Boulevard in the Reed neighborhood, from late June until the end of August.

“We call it ‘Tucker Arts Camp’, and this summer’s theme is ‘Traveling the World’, during each of our eight weeks of programs for children in grades kindergarten through 5th,” said the school’s Executive Director, Glen Gilbert.

Asked how the summer camp came to be, Gilbert explained, “We have this beautiful campus; but it wasn’t being used during the summer. In 2014, we decided to create a summer ‘arts camp’, because there isn’t anything like that anywhere in Southeast Portland.”

Over the years, it has grown in popularity. “This year, it’s overwhelmingly successful, despite COVID-19, because parents see the need for their kids to get outside, and get together with each other, and do creative things together, in a safe environment.

“During the first week in late June, when the temperatures were soaring, parents said they were incredibly happy that all of our buildings have air conditioning – in fact, some of the adults joked with us, asking of they could come to camp along with their kids, to get out of the heat!” related Gilbert.

We took a tour of the grounds with Camp Director Joe Fie, who told THE BEE that it has been hosting 60 campers a week, for eight weeks. The “campers” are divided into six groups of ten kids each. “Some youngsters come for the entire summer, some come for a week.”

Over the six weeks, campers explore the art of storytelling through music, movement, and visual arts. Each week focused on a different culture: African, Pacific Islander, Nordic, Chinese, South American – ending with Greek and Roman myths.

The groups of ten students rotated through different spaces on the campus -- some in the tree house; others with the resident goats; some in the gym; and other enjoying art projects under the shade of large trees. All looked to be having a wonderful time.

For more information about Tucker Maxon School, or the arts camp when it returns next summer, go online --

In the narthex of All Saints Episcopal Church in the Woodstock neighborhood, the local resident known as C. Vargas McPherson holds her book – published to rave reviews in April of this year.
In the narthex of All Saints Episcopal Church in the Woodstock neighborhood, the local resident known as C. Vargas McPherson holds her book – published to rave reviews in April of this year. (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff)
C. Vargas McPherson’s mother in Sevilla, Spain, in the 1930’s. Her three-year-old face reflects the deep and hidden pain and grief experienced by the family and other adults during the Spanish Civil War.
C. Vargas McPherson’s mother in Sevilla, Spain, in the 1930’s. Her three-year-old face reflects the deep and hidden pain and grief experienced by the family and other adults during the Spanish Civil War. (Contributed photo)

Woodstock writer publishes poignant and painful memoir


When trauma and violence occur, sometimes memories are suppressed or tucked away, deep into the history of a country, or inside a family, and individual psyches.

And so it was with the family of the Administrative Assistant of All Saints Episcopal Church, S.E. 40th and Woodstock Boulevard. Under her pen name of C. Vargas McPherson, “Inheriting our Names” – the name of her “imagined true memoir” – was published in April to rave reviews. It has been praised for its beautifully-depicted epic of family, war, and trans-generational grief. In lyrical prose, the book reveals family history that had been deeply buried in the past.

For Vargas McPherson – a nom de plume made by combining her mother’s and father’s last names (her mother from Spain; and her father. from Oklahoma and in the Air Force, stationed near Madrid) – the violence and trauma that affected her mother’s family occurred in the 1930s, during Spain’s Civil War. The traces of that trauma seeped into the crevices of family memories, but they never talked about it.

“As a child, I could see the veiled pain from some of our Spanish neighbors, and even within my family. But we did not speak of Franco, the war, or the ‘hunger years’ when 200,000 people starved to death. This pain and grief was just under the surface, but was never discussed.

“In the early 1980s I first learned about the Spanish Civil War in college English literature classes – reading Hemingway, Orwell, and Lorca. It was stunning that I had never heard of this hidden history.”

She began to see and understand that the trauma her grandmother and mother had experienced during that war had been kept deeply hidden. She realized that for her mother, who had immigrated to the United States in search of medical care for her older sister, who is brain-damaged, it [her time in Spain] was “a very tender [and painful] subject.

“[My mother] never talked about her family, and in all honesty, I didn’t know I had four uncles, an aunt, a grandfather, and loads of cousins in Seville, until I was eight years old.”

In her adult life, Vargas McPherson began to search for answers to the grief she felt hanging over her family, and the void that did not explain anything. “When I started to learn the history – about the murdered, and disappeared; about what happened to my grandfather and my mother’s older sister; about the hunger and the sickness – I began to understand my mother’s white-knuckled silence, as well as her avoidance of family, culture, heritage, language, and country. Silence was actually legislated by Franco, so that none of the loss and injustice could ever be discussed.” That greatly influenced Vargas McPherson’s mother.

For fifteen years, while raising two children with her husband in Portland and working part-time, Vargas McPherson delved into Spanish Civil War history in her spare time.

Those years included reading many books on the subject, doing extensive research, and taking two trips to Spain – one by herself during Holy Week, and another with her family to introduce her children to their Spanish family. “That turned out to be a wonderful reunion.”

She met people and learned facts that explained the reasons for the hidden memories of her grandmother and mother, and for her mother’s silence. 

Then she began writing a memoir: Filling it with imagined details for some blanks in the family history. She did most of the research and writing while her children were napping, or in school. She had taken creative writing classes as an undergraduate and graduate student, but her writing skills really flourished while taking writing workshops from the Attic Institute, a renowned “haven for writers” based at S.E. 42nd and Hawthorne Boulevard. She says, “I was lucky enough to take a memoir workshop with Cheryl Strayed, right before her brave and enormously successful book ‘Wild’ was released.”

In the process of researching and writing the book, she learned a great deal about herself, in the context of the almost-forgotten family history.

She ultimately found hope within herself and family; and sorrow was replaced with a sense of personal salvation. Other individuals who probe their own family’s history -- of the Holocaust, Armenian genocide, or other tragic family traumas – often go on a similar journey to understand family and self.

As with so many writers who might not have a publishing “connection”, she finally settled on self-publication. On her website – – she shares, with eloquent and poignant honesty, her struggles with writing and publishing.  By clicking on “reviews”, you can read three short reviews of the book from Amazon.

Vowing to continue the tradition of service established by their dad, David and Steve Besaw – and Steve’s son, Chris – stand under their company’s sign, on S.E. 52nd Avenue.
Vowing to continue the tradition of service established by their dad, David and Steve Besaw – and Steve’s son, Chris – stand under their company’s sign, on S.E. 52nd Avenue. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
Although he’d “retired” numerous times, 52nd Avenue Hardware and Building Supply owner Gordon Besaw always came to work anyway.
Although he’d “retired” numerous times, 52nd Avenue Hardware and Building Supply owner Gordon Besaw always came to work anyway. (Family-provided photo)

Generations change, at iconic Brentwood-Darlington hardware store


Long before the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood was created, in a neighborhood then called “Glitner Park”, a company now known as “52nd Avenue Hardware and Building Supply” opened – that was about 73 years ago, at 7100 S.E. 52nd Avenue.

The man who later bought and operated the business for 50 years, Gordon Besaw, passed away on July 27 of this year. His sons, Steve and David, have long been involved in the family business, and now promise to run it, “just as Dad would have”, as Steve puts it.

Members of the Besaw family have run various businesses here since 1903 – which was when George Besaw and Medric Liberty opened a beer bar and gambling hall called “Besaw’s” in Northwest Portland. It still exists, but is now operated by other owners.

After his passing, the Besaw brothers outlined their father’s life:

  • Born in Los Angeles, California on January 5, 1927
  • Grew up in Northwest Portland, right next to the original location of Besaw’s
  • Graduated from Benson High School in 1945
  • Enlisted in the U.S. Army, and trained as a rifleman
  • Married Millie in 1957; and they were together until her death in 2003

Entering the lumber and hardware business
“Before he purchased this business, my dad was on the road almost all the time, working for Marshall Wells Company as a ‘store fixture installation engineer’ – making sure store display equipment was properly installed in newly-opening ‘88¢ Store’ locations,” Steve told THE BEE. “All that time, my mom was raising us four kids, and she told dad it was time for him to ‘come home’ to Portland.”

So, in 1972, Gordon and Millie looked for a business to purchase. One under consideration was Cannon Beach Lumber; the other was “52nd Avenue Hardware”. What decided which one to buy? “Mom really did not want to move to the beach, where it’s cold and damp – and that settled it,” Steve said. “And, we really liked the family we from whom we bought the store, and we wanted to continue the family atmosphere they’d created, running this as a neighborhood lumber yard and hardware store.”

Steve came to work in the family business after graduating from Parkrose High School in 1978 – and after his brother, David, graduated from Parkrose High a year later, he also became an employee at the store.

“Dad was here in the store every day, even as he got older,” David recalled. “Dad loved conversation; and, after he chatted up a longtime customer, or a person who walked in the door for the first time, he’d pause and say, ‘one of my sons will help you now’.”

“He’s already being missed, because he made so many friends over the 50 years he was here at the store,” David said. “Every day we’re continuing to get cards, letters, and notes from people – many of whom I’ve never met – but who knew him.”

Steve pulled out a sympathy note from the daughter of a customer, that read:

“Your hardware store was my father’s favorite hangout. Dad loved visiting with Gordon, drinking Millie’s coffee, and doing business with your family. May you be blessed with happy memories.”

One of the reasons their father was beloved by many, David related, was that he offered store credit to people in whom he had faith. “A contractor came in the other day and said, ‘I want you to know that your dad offered me credit, without having anything to back it up, to help me get my business started.’

“Like so many others he’s been trading with us ever since for decades,” David continued. “Maybe we were naïve businesspeople, but we’ve gotten the reputation as an honest lumber yard because dad treated people with respect. He extended credit to many people and helped them get their business started over the years.”

Rebuilds after business burns to the ground
The brothers described their father as being very casual and laid-back. But one time when he showed emotion was when an arsonist torched their store, burning it to the ground.

Steve takes up that story: “The phone rang about 4 a.m. on April 26, 1980; it was police officer telling us that our business on fire. “On the way to the store, dad was driving; as we get closer to the store, he could see the giant plume of smoke up into the sky. At that point my dad’s face turned pale. He pulled over, and I had to drive the rest of the way.

“We sat across the street, on the curb right there on 52nd Avenue, and couldn’t do anything but watch as our family business burned down to the ground. Dad cried.”

As it turned out, a teenage boy, who had an argument with his mother, started six fires that night, extending from Johnson Creek Boulevard to Foster Road – and was later found “Guilty – Except for insanity”.

“When we came back the next day with my mom, my dad said emphatically, ‘We’re not giving up’, and made plans to continue business,” Steve added.

It took two years, while they ran the business under temporary tents and canopies, for the City of Portland to issue them building permits – but the plucky family did rebuild their store.

Becomes ‘Hardware Supplier to the Stars’
It was the brothers who positioned “52nd Avenue Hardware” as the go-to source for lumber and building supplies for motion picture, television, and theatrical productions in the greater Portland area since 2008, but it was done with their dad’s blessing.

“It started during the recession when, on December 1, 2008, we took a call from a buyer who they were filming a movie in the area and asked us to bid,” David explained. “The guy listed his needs, it was apparent that he really knew what he was doing, because his list was precise.”

The brothers were surprised to learn that they’d won the bid. The production’s buyer told them that when he asked for prices from seven other companies, they raised their prices when they heard the word “movie”. The Besaws were gratified to hear from the buyer, “You’re the only ones that were willing to work with us and give us a fair shake.”

That production was the first of “The Twilight Saga”, a series of five vampire-themed romance fantasy films from Summit Entertainment, based on the novels by author Stephenie Meyer. “Our dad was proud that we learned from him to be honest and fair in our dealings,” David shared. “And, this has always benefitted our family business.”

As the store’s reputation grew in the industry, it went on to supply the set builders and decorators for eight seasons of the TV series “Leverage”. They also furnished materials for “Fringe”, a science fiction TV series; and “The Librarians”, a fantasy-adventure series.

They also made available the building materials and hardware for TV series “Grimm”, the fantasy police procedural drama TV series in 123 episodes, over six seasons.

“My dad really enjoyed going to all the different movie sets we supplied; their master carpenters and builders let him wander around with no supervision, even when he’d arrive unannounced,” Steve remembered.

But one day on the Leverage set Steve said, his dad sat down at a table on a set, and started eating nuts from a bowl that was sitting there. “A producer came in and said ‘Gordon that’s a problem, you’re not allowed to eat the props’. Dad replied, ‘I’ll go get you another bag right now’, and he did.

A perpetual retiree
“As dad was getting older, he ‘officially retired’ on perhaps 10 different occasions, about once every five years, starting at age 60,” Steve acknowledged. David added, “A day or two after he declared that he was retired, he’d come back to the store and just want to ‘do a few things, here and there’, but he’d stay the day.”

Steve mused, “We just couldn’t kick him out; he worked up until two days before he went to the hospital – and even there, he told me ‘make sure you leave a few things for me to do at the store’, before he passed away.”

“The third generation of Besaws is with us – [in the form of] my son Chris,” Steve grinned. “While we really miss dad, we’ll all continue serving customers just as he would have.”

With the last-minute fireworks ban before Independence Day, this year Brentwood-Darlington’s Moose International Lodge #291 fundraising fireworks stand (the red structure in front) had to shut down, only days before the holiday.
With the last-minute fireworks ban before Independence Day, this year Brentwood-Darlington’s Moose International Lodge #291 fundraising fireworks stand (the red structure in front) had to shut down, only days before the holiday. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Fireworks ban cripples local Moose Lodge fundraising


For several years, Moose International Lodge 291 – in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood – has sold Oregon-approved “safe-and-sane” fireworks to neighbors.

Many residents eagerly look forward to the red-painted booth on their lawn on S.E. Flavel Street at 52nd Avenue. However, with the heat and tinder-dry weather, Portland was included in a general fireworks ban on June 30 – so the booth was closed down for the season.

“It’s our main fundraising effort for the year,” said Social Quarters Manager Patti Thayer. “People here have always supported us very well at our 4th of July fireworks stand.”

The money raised by the annual effort goes to fund public neighborhood events they hold on Hallowe’en, Christmas, and Easter, Thayer explained. “During the winter, we also have funds to give coats and clothing to those who need it; so the fireworks sale really helps us do those things for the community.”

“Last year we raised $4,500; this year we’ll be lucky to break even [on what we sold before the ban was announced]. We can’t send back packages opened for display – and, our permit alone cost $200. So, it was a ‘big hit’ to our finances.

“At the same time, we do understand the dangers posed for fire by the dry weather, we get it, totally. And, the purpose of our lodge is to help our neighbors.”

They’re now looking into having some other public fundraising event for their community events. But if you’d like to donate to the lodge’s community services, for the time being you can drop off cash – or a check made out to Moose Lodge 291. By the way, they’re a 501c3 nonprofit organization, so such gifts are tax-deductible.

To learn more, go online –

Ready for another weekly harvest in Brentwood-Darlington, here are Harvest Share gardeners Zeke Zager, Eric Benedon, and Liv Carmody.
Ready for another weekly harvest in Brentwood-Darlington, here are Harvest Share gardeners Zeke Zager, Eric Benedon, and Liv Carmody. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Fresh food still abounds at Brentwood-Darlington’s ‘farm’


One of the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been that, once again this season, the Portland State University “Learning Gardens Laboratory” (LGL) did not open their Farm Stand, at which they sell fresh-from-the-garden vegetables to passers-by.

However, not wanting to disappoint the families who’ve enjoyed their fresh produce, all of it grown in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood, they’ve continued the “Harvest Share” program they started last year as an alternative.

“Our Harvest Share is similar to a ‘CSA’ (Community Supported Agriculture), except that people don’t sign up for an entire growing season – buyers simply sign up for a ‘share’ of what we harvest in our dedicated garden on a week-by-week basis,” explained Harvest Share and Plant Sale Coordinator Liv Carmody.

The first week of the servicce this year was in mid-June, and the Harvest Share program will continue through the end of October.

“In their weekly Harvest Share, participants are receiving bundles of kale, lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, and a variety peppers – as well as squash, cucumbers, potatoes, radishes, and a variety of herbs,” Carmody explained. “When the weather starts getting a little bit cooler, we’ll be distributing harvests of broccoli, cauliflower, and collards.”

In her view, an important facet of the Harvest Share program, “Is that it allows people to source their food locally, from right here in their neighborhood – instead of purchasing food that may have been grown thousands of miles away.”

If you’d like to try out the service, just buy a Harvest Share on the Monday of any particular week’s distribution, which is done late afternoon on the Thursday of the same week.

“We offer 15 Harvest Shares per week, on a first-come, first-purchased basis from those who sign up online; so, we suggest buying your share on a Monday, before they’re sold out for the week,” Carmody advised. “Remember, there’s no obligation to buy a share every week.”

Interested? Take a look at their webpage to learn more. Scroll down to see the current and upcoming Harvest Share opportunities at –

It’s a welcome sight for neighbors who need a little more food for their families, when the “Unofficial Brentwood-Darlington Pop-Up Pantry” opens for an afternoon.
It’s a welcome sight for neighbors who need a little more food for their families, when the “Unofficial Brentwood-Darlington Pop-Up Pantry” opens for an afternoon. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Brentwood-Darlington’s twin ‘Pop-Up Pantries’ complete first year


At two locations in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood, two interconnected weekly “pop-up food pantries” marked one year of service for those who need food support in the area. They began on July 1, 2020.

“The Pop-Up Pantry started as a way to prevent food waste – by distributing donated bread and treats from the Grand Central Bakery’s Woodstock store, which would otherwise have been discarded,” reminded organizer and neighborhood leader Chelsea Powers.

“Before the Woodmere Elementary food pantry, run by Impact NW/SUN, was closed by the COVID-19 pandemic, that food would have been picked up by volunteers like me,” Powers remarked. “So, instead of letting it go to waste, I just kept gathering it and putting it out on a table in front of my house.

“A few weeks later, after people started bringing garden produce and extra pantry goods, Kristin Sassano – who lives 18 blocks to the east – had the idea to have two locations. So, our ‘Pop-Up Pantry’ began the next week with a website, an e-mail, a spreadsheet, and a few folding tables!”

What’s officially called the “Unofficial Brentwood-Darlington Pop-Up Pantry” has been serving neighbors Wednesday since they began. “We’ve been ‘open’ during snow, fires, smoke, extreme heat, rain, you name it – even when the school pantries and food resources closed, we were still out there,” observed Powers. 

And, when there’s been an abundance of perishables, they’ve hosted “bonus pantry” pop-ups along the way.

Asked why volunteers such as herself take on this extra work in addition to all the other things they do, Powers replied, “I firmly believe that everyone should have access to food, regardless of their circumstances; no one should go hungry when there is so much food available but just not being distributed.

“I am very lucky that, when my family has had hard times in the past, there has always been someone there to help us. I'm glad I can ‘pay that forward’ and help others when they need it, because sometimes it only takes a little bit to keep you from going over the edge.”

The result of this combined effort has been, in Powers’ words, “mind blowing. It has brought a diverse community together in a way nothing else I’ve volunteered for has. I have met so many neighbors because of the Pop-Up Pantry – people whom I would not have otherwise had the chance to know, who came to volunteer, donate, and shop – some doing all three!

“The best part for me has been the opportunity to turn someone’s day around unexpectedly,” Powers reflected, before turning to bring out more food to waiting “customers”. 

“Seeing joy on a neighbor's face when you have just the thing they need is extremely rewarding.”

Find out more about the “Unofficial Brentwood-Darlington Pop-Up Pantry” at the website –

Events & Activities

Woodstock Neighborhood Assn. presents history of Civic Center
: This evening at 7 p.m. the Woodstock Neighborhood Association hosts a “virtual special presentation” about the Woodstock Community Center. The history of the building (an old firehouse) reveals how the firehouse used rooms, before it was renovated to be a community center. A description of popular classes over the years will be followed by an opportunity for attendees from the community to brainstorm ideas for future classes there. The ZOOM link to attend and participate is –

Repeat of sidewalk art gallery show:
Efrain Palermo plans to display his “fantastical art” in front of his house in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood today through the 6th, as he did last year – reported at the time in a BEE article. The display hours are noon to 7 p.m. each day. He describes his art style as “combining sculpture, bent wood frame, and oil painting – art for the mind’s eye”. The address is 4217 S.E. Boise Street. No charge.

St. Philip Neri Church rummage sale:
Today and tomorrow, St. Philip Neri Catholic Church is having a fund-raising rummage sale from 9 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day. The address is 2408 S.E. 16th Avenue, in Carvlin Hall. Open to all!

Petting Zoo, food, music, and more in Woodstock:
You’re invited to a Homecoming “Thank You” event at All Saints Episcopal Church midday today – with a Petting Zoo, Food Truck, Free Slushies, and a performance from the Micah and Me Kindie Dance Party Band! It’s today, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., outside on the lawn and parking lot of All Saints, with plenty of room for physical distancing, at 4033 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard. It’s to thank and celebrate the community for all its support in the midst of a pandemic. Everyone welcome! More information online –

All Saints offers a “Spiritual Labyrinth Walk” this evening:
Tonight at 7 p.m. anyone interested is warmly invited for a night labyrinth walk, with music and candles, at All Saints Episcopal Church in Woodstock, outside on the grass, providing ample room for physical distancing. (Woodstock Blvd. between 40th and 41st.) “This will be a spiritual and physical experience to process and move through the beauty, strength, and trauma that we experienced over the course of the last year. Journeyers will have an opportunity to write letters of encouragement, receive a small gift to take home, and connect with one another over desserts.” More information online –

“Woodstock Gives Back” returns today:
The Woodstock and Brentwood-Darlington business community today – and in some cases, all this week – is supporting various worthy charities of their choice – while offering fun activities and sales. Festivities center along S.E. Woodstock Boulevard between 40th and 57th Avenues, but businesses centered elsewhere in the district participate at tables set up near Otto’s. Bring the family, and have some fun while charities benefit. Organized by the Woodstock Community Business Association.

Oaks Park’s Oktoberfest?
At BEE press time, Oaks Park had announced the cancellation of this year's in-person, very-popular Oktoberfest – due to the ongoing pandemic. But they hadn’t decided whether to offer to-go Oktoberfest dinners, as they did last year; check their website mid-September to find out – Nonprofit Oaks Amusement Park is accessed from the west end of S.E. Spokane Street in Sellwood; turn north on Oaks Park Way, on the west side of the railroad tracks. Plenty of free parking.


     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

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 24)

KOIN, Channel 6 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 25)

KGW, Channel 8 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 26)

KOPB, Channel 10 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 10 and 28)

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

KRCW, Channel 32 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 24 and 25)

KPDX, Channel 49 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 12 and 26)

"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.