Man About Town: Little bad, lot of good …and always entertaining

December 2011 Posted in Columnists & Opinion

By Jim Kinghorn

Ground control to Major Don… Silverton’s own hero/astronaut Don Pettit will soon be floating in his tin can far above the Earth for the third time. His out-of-this-world adventure on a Russian commuter spacecraft will launch on Dec. 21 and have him on the International Space Station for several months. Jeeze, when Don Pettit says he is going to “get away for the holidays”; he really means it…

If a tour a little closer to home is more your speed, the Silverton Hospital Auxiliary invites you to a Holiday Tour of Homes on Saturday, Dec. 17. The tour features eight homes “beautifully and uniquely decorated for the season” which The Man assumes means more than the one, half burned out string of icicle lights that passes for decorations at The Man-sion. Advance tickets are $20 and include gift basket drawings and a social after the tour so you can compare notes. Call 503-873-1789 for information.

Hey all of you artsy fartsy creative people, Silver Creek Coffee House is celebrating its one year anniversary with a logo contest. Enter your original design to the coffee house by Jan. 1 and you could win $150 cash and $150 donated to the Art Association or Mural Society in your name.  Sounds like a win – win – win situation to The Man.

The Man’s quote of the month: What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus? … Claustrophobic – Anonymous

In keeping with the spirit of the holidays, interim Silverton Police Chief Jeff Fossholm wants you to know that they will be happy to “add the lights and sounds to your Christmas.” All you have to do is… well, you know what you have to do……

Headline: “Man shoots himself in effort to dislodge squirrel from his pants”… That’s it. The Man’s got nothing to add to that.

When you are out in beautiful downtown Marquam, stop by the legendary Markum Inn, grab a bite to eat and stick a dollar bill to the ceiling. When they reach $5,000 stuck bucks, proprietor Ward Frederick will take them down, match the amount and donate the pile of cash to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

Whew, is it just The Man, or did 2011 seem like a really crazy year? The economy sucked and continues to suck… I think we can all agree on that. We also endured a mayoral censure that included a call for marching on city hall with pitchforks, a battle over Homer Days, a Facebook fiasco and a months-long, out-of-control debate over a streetscape proposal for Silverton’s Main Street. We had an iconic steeple replaced with a box, a nasty city councilor recall attempt, the loss of a city manager, “bird gate” and turmoil at the senior center. Heck, we even have an ongoing argument about replacing a creek side path with… a better path. No wonder the foundation of the old Fischer Flour mill couldn’t take it anymore and collapsed into Silver Creek last month.

On the other hand, the festivals all came off without a hitch, the pets paraded and the fun runners had fun (despite the rain). The city council remains intact, a new city manager has been selected, the dam is still damming and the sidewalks are being repaired. A few businesses unfortunately went out but several new exciting ones have opened up, The Oregon Garden celebrated its 10th anniversary and The Oregon Garden Resort welcomed guest number 100,000. The new Mount Angel Festhalle opened and hosted a new era for Oktoberfest, and two shiny new steeples restored the Mount Angel skyline. We gained an Angel of Hope, progress continues toward a new dog park and skate park and Silverton Hospital continued to fill its trophy case with awards for customer satisfaction. Crazy year? Sure was, but The Man’s Christmas wish for 2012 is that we can all move on from the unnecessary bickering and appreciate all of the positive things that happen in our little part of the world.

There is a lot of good out there, if you just take the time to look. So have a Merry Christmas (you can call your holiday what you want but it will always be “Christmas” for me) and a wonderful New Year!

Looking forward to seeing you on the street…

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