I made a day trip today, a coastal loop. From Eugene to Yachats to Newport to Eddyville to Corvallis back to Eugene.
The first ocean outing was Florence at the big beach behind a resort my brothers and I call “Shiftwood Drawers.” Its real name is Driftwood Shores, not nearly as catchy.
The dog had to come along for cheer factor, company, fun, and as the photo muse. She is a feature, draws in people, at least those who like animals.
When we tumbled out of my car toward the beach, a woman immediately said “hi sweetie!” I knew she wasn’t talking to me, and her husband did too. He said, “you never call ME sweetie….”
I stopped at the Green Salmon in Yachats for lentil soup, hippie style. And a giant authentic mug of hot cocoa. This was now a perfect day.
I had to head for Newport. I was on a mission to see the Oregon Coast History Center. I donated some things a few years ago- one item was the Eddyville post office. Yes, I had that. My grandmother was the postmistress of Eddyville in its heyday, way back. Picture the 1940s. Somehow I inherited this giant oak and glass antique wall of little boxes and a greeting window.
They told me they built a base for it, to properly display it. but I’ve never seen it. Until today.
The museum was closed. I missed it by a day! I knocked on the door. Soon, someone unlocked and opened the door. “Museum’s closed.” I said yes I know that but I drove from Eugene to see the post office I donated on display. “The Eddyville post office?!” Yes, that one. “Well, o.k., I’m not supposed to do this but come on,” she motioned with her index finger reeling me toward her.
I took about four steps and there it was! Looking smaller and more serious than I remember. There were also pictures of my great-grandparents in front of their feed and seed store, my mom on the steps of the same store, with her dog. This was cool! There was my family, a piece of Oregon coast history! I thanked her for letting me in, and left quickly, not wanting to keep her.
I stopped to look at sea lions at the waterfront before leaving town.
I didn’t get to see my great aunt Eleanor’s Women’s Army Corps (WAC) WWII uniform I also donated, but I’m proud it’s there. She was among the first women to serve in the ranks of the US army, besides nurses. She also at one point lived in Eddyville.
I never lived in Eddyville. I’m just related to people who did. It’s now just off Hwy 20 between Newport and Corvallis. I don’t recommend going there. Last time I passed through with my brother, Lance, years ago, the house that used to belong to our grandparents had burned to the ground the night before, and was still smoldering. Someone had been heating the run-down dump with a propane heater in the kitchen.
Things are different there now. I don’t know anyone and it is barely recognizable. Yet, I still have fond memories of the people and that place. What remains is a sense of familiarity with the trees, blackberries, the creek running through.