By Bob Spiwak
Editor’s note: former Mazama columnist Bob Spiwak is filling in for Mandi Donohue, the current Mazama columnist, who is on vacation.
Monday morning: Another gray day, fog and light rain. The fog is not as acute as it has been in previous days. Earlier in the week, using utility poles as benchmarks, the air was so mucky the second poles were obliterated. But the temperatures have remained mild.
So far, things have been relatively quiet at Les Schwab’s tire-swapping operation from summer to winter tires. “Relatively” meaning getting there early in the morning usually did not entail leaving the car for many hours as occurs after about 8 a.m. Or so it was over the past week.
Driving from West Boesel to Mazama almost every morning, many different objects have come into view in the fields along the way; cows, horses, moose, deer, abandoned autos. Three days ago a new object came into view: a bright yellow Piper Cub was parked at the end of a small field. No idea whose (there have been several verbal speculations) but it was an interesting change in the scenery.
On Friday (Nov. 11) at the Mazama Store the annual Veterans Day ceremony will be held. A new flag will be hoisted on the store’s flagpole at 11 a.m. This being day 11 of the month, the triad of 11s will celebrate the end of World War I — those who fought and died in the conflict as well as current veterans from the area and others who annually come to Mazama for the ceremony. Pastor Randy Picklesimer will offer a prayer and commentary.
This ceremony began as a small event many years ago. In that time, several of the vets have died, most notably Frank Malley, who accompanied the rising flag with a rendition of “Taps” on this trombone. While the numbers of us vets has decreased, the attendance of participants continues to grow. This could be attributed to free coffee and goodies for all provided by the store, but I don’t think so.
In a non-existent ceremony, the SLIME group that meets at the store every morning owes thanks to expatriate resident Mike Converse. The ex-owner of the Brew Pub in Winthrop, he provided the group with a large overhead propane heater and for many years it has provided a cozy area in which to sit around and gab even during single-digit temperatures. Wherever you are (nobody seems to know), we are grateful.
Words of advice from Gloria’s sister Rita, now in Morocco right now: She was cautioned by a friend stationed there that the two most important things to have as a tourist in the unstable Middle East are one’s passport and a sturdy jacket to protect yourself from flying glass.