5 Mar 8 2013 - St. Johns Review



5 Mar 8 2013 - St. Johns Review
Happy St. Patrick’s Day: March 17
Daylight Savings Time: March 10
Serving North Portland Neighborhoods * [email protected] * www.stjohnsreview.com * 503-283-5086
The Helmsman
Roosevelt wrestler wins State Championship
By Melody Hughes
Don Lee opened his Lombard car
dealership 65 years ago. His activism and generosity brought a great
deal to the community
By Jim Speirs
ast week Don Lee left us, and with his passing, the
neighborhood lost one of the most truly iconic persons we’ve ever witnessed.
With Don’s departure, a void that will be difficult to
fill becomes part of our heritage. A husband, a father, a
grandfather, a great grandfather, an uncle, a leader, an
inspiration, a self-made man, and a dear friend was called
home. There seem no words that can convey the sorrow
and magnitude of the loss.
I wish I were better with words. A better writer. I’d
love to be able to write something so profound that it
would penetrate the souls of all those who read this brief
soliloquy. If I could somehow dig so deep into my most
creative imagination, maybe then I could capture the
exact sense, emotion, and reality that was Don Lee. Sadly,
I know whatever I write will not begin to penetrate the
glory and accomplishments of this man’s time with us.
My work will barely scratch the surface of Don’s wit
and wonder…leaving me to recognize I can’t begin to
convey the beauty and sincerity of Don’s life. Maybe
it’s me, but just as likely, there’s the possibility that the
English language simply does not contain words that are
adequate or profound enough to be attached to Don Lee.
My efforts are pedestrian. I feel like a man trying to dig
a gold mine with a serving spoon. The treasure is so vast,
and the reward so magnanimous, yet I can hardly scratch
The Review-POBox 83068-Port Or 97283 * #4 Mar. 8, 2013
the surface. So it is with Don Lee. A man who gave
so much…a rare human who’s selfless life was filled
with awe and wonder. No matter how I try, I can’t
begin to scrape a fraction of the splendor that Don
brought to all those who had the privilege and pleasure to know him.
This won’t be long. I know if I wrote a tome about
Don Lee I wouldn’t come any closer to expressing
what I feel toward the man. One of the rare consolations is the knowledge that what I write is not
unique to me. My sentiments and emotions are ones
that are shared by hundreds…if not thousands. His
decades of involvement and interaction brought Don
in touch with nearly everyone in our community,
and at one time or another, he touched the lives of
people who never knew him!
It’s not enough to say that Don started his famous
car lot in our community in 1948. Nearly everyone
knows that. It’s not fair to say generations of families continue to buy their vehicles from his lot. It’s
nearly inadequate to say Don Lee was active in many
A proud RHS Coach McPherson with State Champion Semise Kofe
a bright future. “No question about
it. He’s got his choice of schools,”
Coach McPherson said.
As the new state champ, Kofe
will wrestle in Reno, Nevada at the
National Wrestling Championship
in April. He participated last year
and got third place. Showing his determination to win he says “I want
to be first this year.”
parts of North Portland. It’s microscopic to say Don was
generous with his time and money. It’s uninspired to say
Don Lee was a just man who never knew the meaning of
lying or cheating. It’s foolish to say he was honest. It’s
unexciting to say Don Lee was not drop dead funny…for
he could keep a person in stitches for hours! And finally,
it’s impossible to seize all that he was…a man so exceptional that words cannot begin to deliver the totality of the
I will not list all of Don’s accomplishments. The list is
too long. His sixty-five years of quality business at Don
Lee Motors speaks for itself. His decades of participation
in the North Portland Optimists are one many people fondly remember. His generous actions within the Portland
Police Sunshine Division are probably less recognized, but
no less a testimonial to the man. I could go on for hours.
His long and heart-felt participation in his church was one
that Don cherished. The attachment of Don Lee to so many
of our community institutions is well understood and documented. Roosevelt High, Holy Cross, and a number of
“The Helmsman” Continued on Page 8
“Crimping” and its North Portland connection
DON’T let your
Check out your expiration date
on your label above your name.
unior Semise Kofe made Roosevelt High School
history last Saturday, becoming the school’s first
state champion for wrestling. In a match going into
quadruple overtime at the Memorial Coliseum, Kofe held
his own against a junior from Hermiston High School,
Mondo Garcia, winning by one point. Wrestling coach,
Donnie McPherson, said while watching the match “I
was confident he was going to win.”
Starting on J.V. his freshmen year, Kofe quickly moved
up to varsity his sophomore and junior years. “Throughout his three years, he’s been good, but specifically this
year – he’s been outstanding,” said Coach McPherson.
Kofe has not only improved with his wrestling during
those three years, but has also grown in his maturity. “I’ve
seen him grow. He’s more grateful and says thank you
now,” Coach McPherson said. “His growth as a young
man has been tremendous.”
The demands of wrestling keep Kofe pushing himself.
“I go to the weight room everyday before school, lifting
weights Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I jog on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” he said. This rigorous routine would
be difficult for even the best of students, but Kofe handles the demand with ease, still pulling off a 3.7 G.P.A.
“I was joking around with my football coach, Coach
Swain, and he said we’re called student athletes for a
reason. School comes first,” Kofe said.
Kofe looks forward to continuing sports in college, but
will focus more on pursuing football. Regardless, he has
he practice of Shanghaiing
or “crimping” sailors (as it
was known in Portland and
the West Coast,) for purposes of
supplying commercial sailing ships
with experienced crews was a common activity on America’s West
Coast until the early 1900’s. It was
only with the 1915 passage of the
Seaman’s Act, and steam powered
vessels replacing sailing ships, that
the vile kidnapping of men and
forcing them into near indentured
servitude, that crimping activities
gradually vanished. With the development of coal and diesel powered
ships the need for fewer men with
less sailing skills became the norm,
and that, coupled with technology
and new laws put an end to crimping.
Shanghaiing of sailors was nothing new. It’s a practice that’s well
documented and spans a historical
panorama dating to Roman times.
Part of the spoils of war was forcing enemy troops and sailors into
slavery and “terms of enlistment”
that often times resulted in a lifelong service in armies or navies of
your enemy. The practice was very
common and the existence of the
poor retched soul who found himself in that situation usually resulted in a very short life. Being
worked to death was most common.
Tsarist Russia did it, forcing British and American sailors captured
on the Mediterranean to work in the
Black Sea Fleet. (The “enlistment”
period in the Tsar’s navy was 70
years, so a draftee or Shanghaied
sailor could expect his involuntary
service to be a life sentence.)
Americans first real experience
with Muslim terrorists occurred in
North Africa in the early 1800’s
where African terrorist were captur-
ing and plundering American merchant vessels along the Atlantic and
Mediterranean coastlines. This kidnapping was most common off the
coast of Libya. Eventually, President Jefferson dispatched the U. S.
Marines to man the ships as guards
and to liberate American sailors
from prisons on the shoreline. Their
performance proved legendary and
inspired the verse in the Marine
Corps Hymn: “From the Halls of
Montezuma, to the Shores of Tripoli.”
The term “Shanghaied” has long
been associated with that Chinese
port city, and with good reason.
Shanghai became infamous for the
practice of kidnapping of both men
and women, although the females
were seldom impressed into shipboard work, their plight was no less
gruesome. Most were forced into
prostitution and other forms of deg-
The Shanghaiing of sailors became
most common
with the Brit- By Jim Speirs
ish, and this Historical Editor
activity began St Johns Review
in the mid-1500’s
with the kidnapping of young men
with seafaring skills and forcing
them into the British navy. When
the Royal Navy needed manpower
it was not uncommon for merchant
ships to be intercepted, and the men
aboard that vessel forced into British service. Unlike American
crimping, the British had a Law of
the Sea doctrine which allowed sailors who felt they had been unfairly
Shanghaied to plead their case. OfContinued on Pages 4 & 5
Page 2
St Johns Review
#5 Mar. 8, 2013
email: [email protected]
Website: www.stjohnsreview.com
PO Box 83068, Portland, OR 97283
Community Meetings/Projects/Events & School News
Community Entertainment/Events
Community Projects
Third Annual “Celebrate North Portland” is set for March 16th, 2013 at 6
p.m. at the University of Portland Bauccio Commons. Tables of 10, $300. If
you would like to donate your display table to a community group, just let us
know and we will be happy to do so. Register online!! Please go to
www.eventbrite.com. Type “Celebrate North Portland” in the search box, then
click on the link, Follow the prompts to register. Please email
[email protected] with any questions. “Celebrate North
Portland” Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/pages/CelebrateNorth-Portland.
Main Street plans Spring Promotional event
The St. Johns Main Street Coalition is preparing for their spring retail and
restaurant promotional event March 15 to March 24. The event will be a
week long spring promotional drawing for retail and restaurant/bar
businesses in St. Johns. With every purchase shoppers make at a
participating business they will be entered into a drawing. If a shopper
buys something at one store, they get one ticket. If they make purchases at
five stores, they are entered five times into the drawing. Participating
businesses will be listed on a map/flyer given to shoppers, and listed in all
promotional articles featured in Neighborhood Notes, St. Johns Review,
Facebook, SJMSC website, enewsletter, and more. St. Johns Main Street
Coalition will distribute posters and will decorate the trees along Lombard.
The event is designed to help bring customers into the district during a
slower month, and help retailers sell their spring and Easter seasonal
products. The drawing will encourage the winners to come back and spend
more time and money in St. Johns.
The cost to businesses is $5. The money from participating businesses will
be pooled to create 2-3 general “gift certificates” that drawing winners can
use at any participating business in St. Johns. Cash or checks may be
submitted to Emily at Crow, Sherry at Etcetera, or dropped in the Main
Street mail slot on Lombard.
Spring 2013 Cleansweep!
The Main Street annual Spring cleansweep is scheduled for Saturday, March
23rd from 9:00 to approximately 12:00 in downtown St. Johns. Once again,
in partnership with the University of Portland volunteers will be picking up
trash, cleaning the plaza, removing graffiti, mulching, and beautifying the
town center. We are looking for volunteer crew members and volunteer leaders for our cleansweep teams. If you are interested, please contact Robin at
[email protected] or 503-841-5522.
N. Portland Movie Theater presentation
March 23rd (Saturday): North Portland Movie Theater presentation by North
Portland historian Steve Stone with Mike Mathews at the Architectural Heritage
Architectural Heritage Center on SE Grand on North Portland movie houses
and Drive In Theaters. 10am-Noon.
St. Patrick’s Day: March 17 (Sunday)
Easter: March 31st (Sunday)
Arbor Lodge is having a Harper’s Playground work party on March 9
from 9am - 12pm.
School News
2013 Princess Announcement Schedule
The Portland Rose Festival has released the dates for Princess selection at
each of the schools involved.
They are:
Friday, March 1 - Benson; Tuesday, March 5 - St. Mary’s
Wednesday, March 6 - David Douglas; Thursday, March 7 - Lincoln
Friday, March 8 - Central Catholic; Tuesday, March 12 - Parkrose
Wednesday, March 13 - METRO; Thursday, March 14 - Grant
Friday, March 15 - Cleveland; Monday, March 18 - Franklin
Tuesday, March 19 - Madison; Wednesday, March 20 - Wilson
Thursday, March 21 - Jefferson; Friday, March 22 – Roosevelt at 2:10
p.m. The court participants are: Rosalia Trujillo-Martin; Daryl
Maplethorpe ; Abigail Pasion and Shani Plunkett-de la Cruz.
Roosevelt Fund Raiser for students’ Japan visit Japanese Students at Roosevelt are working hard to raise funds to visit Japan! One of the
ways they are raising money is selling Rough Rider Roast Coffee!! Only
$10 a bag!! Organic, fair trade freshly roasted. Whole Bean, ground or
decaf. Rough Rider Roast established 2012. All proceeds go to the Roosevelt
Japanese Language Program to send a Roughrider Ambassador to our SisterCity School, Shinkawa Gakuen, in Sapporo, Japan. Enjoy this fabulous, fresh
roast coffee while helping Roosevelt students reach their goal to represent
Roosevelt in Sapporo. Coffee beans come from Café El Femenino a company of women coffee growers from Peru, Guatemala, Bolivia, Columbia and
the Dominican Republic dedicated to improving their quality of life by producing organic, fair trade coffee for humanity. These beans are freshly roasted daily by Rain Drop Roasters owned by Mary Hunter. Contact Tee Kamoshita at Roosevelt at [email protected]
Roosevelt Modernization
Plan to attend and bring anyone with you who is interested in Roosevelt
High School and the Community/Neighborhood Schools impact on business,
neighborhood groups, seniors, and people who live and work in North Portland. It is your school and you have a say in the Modernization!!
On Monday, Feb. 25th plan to attend a tour and listen to a panel of district
and community leaders provide information and participate in a Question &
Answer time 7-8 pm at Roosevelt in the Cafeteria.
RHS Fundraiser
A profit-share fundraiser is scheduled to benefit the Roosevelt High School
football program. On Monday, March 11, Hopworks Bike Bar will donate a
portion of sales from all interested patrons who visit between 4 p.m. and 11
p.m. Just tell your server that you support Roosevelt, and a generous percent
of your total bill will go directly to the Rough Rider football program. Bike
Bar is located at 3947 N. Williams Ave. Dine out and support our team. Go
Rough Riders!
North Portland Meetings
Arbor Lodge Neighborhood Assn. . Quarterly Meetings: 6:30-8pm, Kenton Firehouse, 2209 N. Schofield
Boy Scout Pack 52
Meets Monday nights 7pm at St Johns Christian Church, 8044 N. Richmond. Call Angie 503-548-7806 for more info.
Bridgeton Neighborhood Association
General Meeting: 3rd Mondays at 8pm, Port Yacht Club, 1241 NE Mar. Dr.
Friends of Cathedral Park Neighborhood Assn.
General Meeting: 2nd Tues, 7pm at BES, 6543 N. Burlington. Board Meetings: 4th Tues @ McMenamins, N. Ivanhoe
Friends of Pier Park
Meeting: Third Tuesday, 6:30pm at St. Johns Community Ctr., 8427 N Central
Hayden Island Neighborhood Network
Meetings: 2nd Thursday, 7pm, at former HIYC, 12050 N. Jantzen
Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Advisory Committee
Monday, February 25, 2013, 6-8pm. Monday, Mar. 18 6-8 pm. Monthly public meeting. Location: Kaiser Town Hall,
3704 N. Interstate Ave. Rooms A&B.
Interstate Corridor Business Association
General Meeting: 1st Wed. every 3 mos., 8-9am @ Nite Hawk Restaurant, Rosa Parks Way & Interstate Ave.
Kenton Business Assn.
3rd Wed. of the month, 9am at Kenton Firehouse 2nd fl. 2209 N. Schofield
Kenton Neighborhood Assn
Board Meetings: 2nd Wed., 7pm, Kenton Firehouse, 8105 N. Brandon
Linnton Neighborhood Association
Meetings: 1st Wed. of odd months; 7-9 at Linnton Comm. Ctr., 10614 NW St. Helens Rd.
North Portland Land Use Group.
Meets 4th Thursday of the month at Kenton Firehouse, 8105 N Brandon. 7pm
Occupy St Johns Meets Weds. 7:00pm at Anna Bannanas, 8716 N Lombard
Overlook Neighborhood Assn.
General Meetings: 3rd Tues of each month except Aug & Dec at Kaiser Town Hall, 7-9pm. Board Meetings: 1st Tues
each month at Overlook Hse, 3839 N. Melrose Dr.
Piedmont Neighborhood Assn.
General Meeting: Jan. 24, 7-8pm, June Key Delta House., 5940 N. Albina
Portsmouth Neighborhood Assn.
Board Meeting: 3rd Tues of each month, 7-8:30, Bridge Meadows, Bridge Community Room, 8502 N. Wayland
Public Safety Action Committee
Meeting:4th Wed. ea. mo., 7-9pm, Kenton Firehouse, 2209 N. Schofield. Contact: Mark Wells:
[email protected]
St. Johns Boosters
Gen. Meeting: 3rd Tues of month, 7pm, Cath. Pk Kitchen, 6635 N Baltimore. Board Meeting: 1st Tues, 7pm at SJCC,
8427 N. Central, Rm. 4
St. Johns Lions Club
1st & 3rd Tuesdays each month at Patti’s Deli, downtown St. Johns
St. Johns Main Street
Meetings: 2/6 Promotions Committee; 2/6 Design Committee; 2/12 Economic Restructuring; 2/20 Board Meeting at
8250 N. Lombard. Fore more info go to: stjohnsmainstreet.org
St. Johns Neighborhood Association
General Meeting: 2nd Mon. at the St. Johns Community Ctr, 8427 N. Central.
St. Johns Parade: Meets the 3rd Thurs at 6:30 p.m. at Harvest Homes, 6921 N. Roberts. in March, & April. Contact Jeanine
Sinnott at [email protected]
University Park Business Association
Meets 3rd Monday, 6pm at: 5651 N. Lombard. Contact Dave at (503) 283-7767
University Park Neighborhood Association
Meetings: January, April, July & October on 4th Monday, 7pm, Portsmouth Trinity Church, 7119 N. Portsmouth.
Board Meeting: 2nd Monday, 7pm, Portsmouth Trinity Church.
Sending information
Information on this page is free for
non-profits, fund raising events and
free entertainment. (Errors, corrections and updates are not the responsibility of the editor. Information
may or may not be published according to content and space available.)
2013 Review Issues
Issue# &Date:
Deadline Date:
6…Mar 22 (Easter)
7…Apr 5
Mar 27
8…Apr 19
Apr 10
9 ... May 3
Apr 24
(Parade/Mom’s Day)
10...May 17 (Mem Day) May 8
11…May 31
May 22
12…June 14 (Fathers Day) June 5
13…June 28 (4th of July) June 19
14…July 12 (CPJF)
July 3
15…July 26
July 17
16…Aug 9
July 31
17…Aug 23
St. Johns Main
Street Coalition
Board Elections &
Annual Meeting
The St. Johns Main Street Coalition is distributing ballots for the
2013 board elections. Volunteers
with SJMSC, and business owners and property owners located in
the SJMSC target area are all eligible to vote in the election. Ballots, along with board nominee
bios and a review of proposed bylaws changes can be found electronically on the main page of the
St. Johns Main Street Coalition
website and on our Shop St. Johns
Facebook page.
Eligible voters may also find
paper copies of the ballot available
in the SJMSC office. Ballots are
to be submitted to
[email protected] or
turned into the SJMSC office. After regular office hours, paper ballots may be placed in the office
mail slot on Lombard St. Ballots
are due by 5:00 pm on Tuesday,
March 12th and the results will be
announced at the Annual Meeting
on Wednesday, March 13th at 7:00
at Juniper & Rye. All community
members are encouraged to join us
for the Annual Meeting to hear of
the elections results, learn about
our 2012 projects and our exciting plans for 2013. If you have
questions about the process or
about your eligibility to vote,
please contact Robin at
[email protected] or
Subscriptions: $13/yr.
Jim Speirs, Historical Editor;
Ginger Harris, Distribution Manger
Gayla Patton, Editor, Advertising. [email protected]
PO Box 83068, Portland, OR 97283
Website: www.stjohnsreview.com
Email: [email protected]
#5 Mar. 8, 2013
St. Johns Review
Page 3
Community News
Students work with community to create
a more neighborhood-friendly Lombard
By Jake Warr
High traffic speeds. Unsafe walking conditions. No real identity. This
may describe much of North Lombard Street today, but an effort to
explore what changes the neighborhoods want to see is underway.
Lombard Re-Imagined, a partnership between the Kenton Neighborhood Association and six Portland
State University graduate students
(Swift Planning Group,) is a sixmonth project to develop recommendations for improvements on Lombard. The focus area is a two-mile
stretch between NE MLK Jr. Blvd
and N. Chautauqua Blvd., which includes the Lombard Transit Center,
several large retailers, local businesses, and the infamous spiraling
pedestrian crossing over I-5.
“It’s really a turning point in time
as we revisit the Portland Comprehensive Plan, especially considering
our area’s status as part of the Interstate Urban Renewal Area,” explains
Meegan Watts, Kenton Neighborhood Association Chair. “Lombard
is such a thoroughfare, which is in
stark contrast to how the rest of the
city operates. We know student work
can lay the groundwork and help
projects move forward faster, so we
decided to tap Portland State as a
The students are part of the Masters of Urban and Regional Planning
program at Portland State, which has
a capstone “workshop” project at the
end of the two-year program. Dozens of organizations submit applications to have student groups undertake real-world planning projects,
and this project on Lombard was one
of six selected this year.
As for how Swift Planning Group
plans to “re-imagine” the street, the
students are emphasizing a community-led process. “The success of
Lombard Re-Imagined will be mea-
sured by how well the final plan reflects the collective vision of North
Portlanders. We want to hear from
as many neighbors as possible to
make sure the ideas we propose represent the priorities of these incredibly rich and diverse neighborhoods,” says Rebecca Hamilton, the
project’s public involvement coordinator.
Specifically, the project aims to
develop a long-term vision for the
street and explore strategies for
streetscape improvements, land use
changes, and economic development
to support that vision. Lombard is
designated as a Main Street in the
Metro 2040 Growth Concept Plan,
but as anyone who has visited the
street can attest, it is currently more
of a car-oriented thoroughfare. It also
serves as an important route for large
freight trucks, meaning any proposed modifications must consider
the movement of goods through the
The first phase of community outreach will include two “Walkalongs,” where the students will lead
tours along a section of Lombard and
ask for feedback on what the project
should address. These will be held
Saturday March 2nd from 10:00am11:30am and Saturday March 9th
from 1:00pm-2:30pm. Both Walkalongs will begin at Cup Cafe (formerly North Star Coffeehouse) at
7540 N Interstate. All are invited to
Interested community members
can also participate in a survey online at
Future events are being planned
and will be posted on the same website, as well as the project’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/
lombardreimagined) and Twitter
feed (@LombardRImagine).
OLCC to vote on 7-Eleven liquor license
As this issue of the Review goes to
the printer Occupy St. Johns is attending a third meeting with the Oregon
Liquor Control Commissioners regarding a liquor license for the new
7-Eleven store at 8101 N. Lombard.
The commission met February 28.
In December and January the OLCC
met but due to an absentee member
and a 2-2 tie, they were unable to
come to a conclusion. The store has
not been able to sell beer or wine
since. When first opened they were given a temporary license, but it expired
in late January. A full Commission is
expected to be at the Feb. 28 meeting.
Occupy St. Johns has opposed the
store’s opening since it was introduced
because of its placement near the entrance of the St. Johns business district
and because it sits across the street from
an independent, locally-owned convenience store, St. Johns Deli and Grocery.
Spring shopping
drawings come
to St. Johns
Spring is coming, and to give
it a proper welcome The St.
Johns Main Street group are encouraging everyone to spring
into action and come visit their
favorite stores and restaurants in
downtown St. Johns!
Between March 15 and March
24, shoppers will receive one entry into a spring drawing with
each purchase made at any participating St. Johns business. At
the end of the week, shoppers
have the opportunity to win a
$75, $50, or $25 gift certificate
to spend at participating businesses in St. Johns. There is no
minimum purchase required,
and every purchase made earns
another opportunity to win! With
26 participating businesses, everyone is sure to find the perfect
Easter gifts, spring decorations,
and delicious drinks and food.
For more information and a list
of participating businesses, see
the list below, look for the poster at favorite merchants, or visit
the Main Street Facebook event
Participating Merchants: Etcetera, Crow, Consign Couture,
Salty Teacup, Juniper & Rye,
Anna Bannanas, Pulp & Deckle, Zimmer’s Grooming Salon,
Olive & Vine, Tre Bone, Sabi &
Friends, St. Johns Vintage, Affogato, St. Johns Booksellers,
Menage a Trois, Pattie’s Home
Plate, The Man’s Shop, El Compadre, In Amongst the Pigeons,
Zumbido de Portland, Poshette’s/Heaven’s Archives,
Novedades Prado, Vinyl Resting
Place, Coffee Kids, Barrique
Barrel, Captain Fishhead’s Oddity Shoppe, It’s A Dog’s Life,
Storeroom Vintage.
Fiji Emporium
New Zealand Lamb:
Lamb Shoulder Chops
Lamb Neck, Shanks
Boneless Lamb
Ground Lamb,
Lamb Ribs, etc.
Goat Meat (Australia)
Goat Chops, Cuts, Legs
Muscovy Duck Tropical Fish
Large Variety of East Indian
Spices & Groceries, Incense,
Kava, etc.
Hours: Mon-Sat: 11am - 7pm
Sun: 11am - 6pm
7814 N. Interstate Ave
Peninsula Park 100 yr. anniversary Update
Over the last two weeks, volunteers and PP&R staff prepared and planted
about 2000 new disease resistant roses in this historic Peninsula Park
garden, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Volunteers
came from several sources: Standard Insurance, New Seasons, OSU
Master Gardeners, Rose Society, Royal Rosarians, many neighbors and
the community at large have helped spruce up the park which is planning a huge celebration this summer.
Page 4
St Johns Review
#5 Mar. 8, 2013
email: [email protected]
Website: www.stjohnsreview.com
Crimping - Continued from Page 1 - By Jim Speirs
ten, if the man involved had little or
no sailing experience, he won his
case. This was primarily a wartime
activity meant to fill shortages in the
Royal Navy and it was ended in
When a person thinks of the term
“crimp” we normally arrive at the
traditional Webster definition of the
1. to curl & M Du. To press into narrow, regular folds; pleat or corrugate.
2. to make (hair etc.) wavy or curly.
But there is a lesser known application of the word. Webster also defines “crimp” as “a person who gets
men by force or trickery to serve as
sailors or soldiers. 2. to decoy or
force (men) into service as sailors or
So, the reader might ask, “what does
16th century crimping have to do with
current day St. Johns?” It’s a fair
question and it’s one that has more
than a passing association with our
community. The names associated
with crimping and the activity has
significant connections to our area.
Crimping was most common on the
West Coast of America. Portland became notorious for the activity because of the city’s questionable character and of it being a very active port
for wheat, grain, salmon and lumber.
Our city soon developed the premier
reputation as the “crimping” capital
of the west. (The Portland of yesteryear was a far different place than the
liberal, politically correct, City of
Roses we know today.) Corruption
and vice was the name Portland was
most known for, and it was within
this environment that the crimpers
Names associated with the vile
business are now part of Portland
lore and history. J.P. Betts, Jim Vierck, Larry Sullivan, Joseph “Bunco” Kelly, Jim Turk, and Billy
Smith. BILLY SMITH?!! Wait a
minute, you say! Where do we in
North Portland know that name
from? Yep, if you’ve read any of my
previous articles or books, you are
familiar with the legendary and famous Kenton Station where the
name Billy Smith is the stuff of myth
and fable.
There is no need to recap the life
and times of Billy Smith. It’s enough
to say he was a professional boxing
champion, (the dirtiest fighter to ever
enter the ring,) womanizer, bare
knuckle fighter, and all round disreputable character. Billy Smith was a
huge draw for underground, bare
knuckle fighting at the Kenton Station Restaurant. Now, it turns out,
Smith was also involved with the
crimping trade in Portland.
Billy Smith would have been ideally suited for this type of nefarious
work. He was a man of little charisma or character, and was utterly disdainful of those around him. His behavior in the ring extended to his activity on the street, and moral integrity is not what Billy is remembered
for. A series of incidents and connections apparently got him involved
with the Shanghaiing of unsuspecting sailors in the Portland area.
There were various ways for crimpers to Shanghai innocent sailors from
the streets of Portland. The simplest
way was for several crimps to overpower a man at night (the victim was
usually drunk,) and use billy-clubs,
black jacks, and brass knuckles to
knock the man unconscious. From
there he was tied and gagged until he
could be supplied to a ship’s captain
for a fee; usually anywhere from $50
- $130. It was rumored that a good
crimp could make nearly $9,200 a
year through this activity. That would
be almost $200,000 in today’s world.
Another way was to befriend a group
of sailors on leave and sedate them
with a drug.
In the 1830’s a German scientist and
chemist named Justus von Liebig first
manufactured a drug called Chloral
hydrate from a combination of other
ingredients to produce a “knockout”
mixture that was easily placed in the
drinks of unsuspecting sailors. This
sedative rendered the drinker comatose for a period of time and allowed
the crimpers to tie the poor person in
knots and present him to a ship’s captain. The activity was normally timed
so that the drugged sailor was shanghaied aboard the ship prior to it setting sail. When the kidnapped individual awakened, the vessel was far
out to sea, and the person (or persons)
had no choice but to serve the captain.
This was an odd time in maritime
history. Often sailors were not paid
their wage in order to insure they
would stay with the ship. There was
no guarantee that monies due the men
would be paid on time, nor addressed
before the voyage was completed.
The idea was to make the conscripts
involuntary slaves to the vessels itinerary. If money was owed, the chances of a sailor jumping ship were presumed to be less often, as the man
might be owed months wages, so
PO Box 83068, Portland, OR 97283
whatever the
situation, it
w a s
the crew
s t a y
with the
But for
the saili n g
crews it
presented another dilemma.
Sometimes even the captain of a certain
vessel became an active participant
in the crimping activity. For disgruntled sailors, who were owed money,
the idea of leaving one ship for the
promises of others had real attraction.
Many were thousands of miles from
home and might have been shanghaied to begin with. If the crimper
could make a credible argument for
deserting one sailing ship for another, the temptation was very real. This
was especially true when enticements
of big money, cheap liquor, prostitutes, and a ride home became part
of the equation.
For a ship’s captain, there was often an incentive to have all his crew
Shanghaied and replaced with another group of men. If the captain could
arrange for crimpers to kidnap his
crew, he obviously would not need
to pay them. If the men were owed a
great deal of money, the captain was
off the hook, and he could easily afford to pay local crimpers to “find”
him a replacement crew. Often a
ship’s captain would refuse to pay his
crew months of back pay that was
owed them. If the disgruntled crew
abandoned ship or went AWOL, the
captain would recruit crimpers to get
him a new crew.
Not all crimping was violent. The
art of cheerful persuasion often
worked as well as brute force. Approaching ships tied to the docks of
Portland, crimps would often engage
lonely and desperate
sailors with promises
of big money and
freedom of action.
Accompanied by inviting looking prostitutes and appealing
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smiles, the crimps would lure the men
with tales of easy money and “quality” time with the ladies. It’s been reported that between 1895 and 1900
over 2,100 British sailors deserted
their ships in Portland alone!
Like most gangs throughout history, the local crimps were frequently
at war with one another for territory
and access to shipping personnel.
Most of the crimping activity took
place in the area we know as Old
Town, or Chinatown. During this period, Portland gained the moniker as
“Slabtown,” which comes from our
city’s more brutal and flagrant reputation of murders and killings, (more
than anywhere else on the West
Coast.) Hence, many people ended up
on slabs in the local mortuary.
The afore mentioned Larry Sullivan
was arguably one of the most prolific crimpers in the area. He controlled
the waterfront area of Old Town and
operated a boarding house on the corner of Second and Glisan Street (with
all the amenities: booze, women, etc.)
and was also involved with the local
boxing scene as a promoter and odds
maker. It was this connection that
brought him into contact with Billy
Smith. Smith was a great fighter; his
reputation for dirty behavior in and
out of the ring has no equal. In his
prime, he’d traveled the world and
he’d fought any man who entered the
ring, regardless of size. After his successful professional career, he made
money giving local exhibitions and
thrilling audiences in bare knuckle
fights in the basement of the (now)
Kenton Station, and elsewhere.
As mentioned earlier, Billy Smith
was also involved in the crimping
trade, and as such locked horns with
Sullivan over territory and money.
Larry Sullivan, known to be able to
handle himself in a fight, was a large
man and determined to teach Billy
Smith a lesson in fighting, manners,
and business. The two had a big brawl
near Sullivan’s boardinghouse, and
when the dust settled, Sullivan found
himself bloodied and battered at the
hands of the much smaller Billy
Smith. After recovering in a local
hospital, Sullivan determined it
would be better to join forces with
Billy Smith rather than fight him!
What these two men did staggers the
imagination because their exploits
were cruel and spiteful, but their place
in Portland history is saved for all to
An agreement was reached, and it
PO Box 83068, Portland, OR 97283
was determined that Billy Smith
would control all the crimping activity in North Portland and the City of
St. Johns area. For his part, Billy and
his gang of crimps prowled the streets
of St. Johns looking for unsuspecting sailors that might be circulating
in the various bars and brothels that
dotted the landscape from the City of
St. Johns to the community of Kenton. Many sailing ships loaded lumber from this area, and any number
of ship’s captains were willing to use
the services of Billy Smith and his
men to keep from paying their crews
the money they owed. Men would be
Shanghaied from one ship and sold
to another captain, who in turn, might
lose a portion of his own crew in the
same manner! There are incidences
when the kidnapped victims were not
sailors at all! Occasionally, a man was
shanghaied from a St. Johns street and
presented to a ship for a cheap price.
There were so many bars and brothels in the area, it made for easy pickings for Smith and his men. In St.
Johns and Kenton, Billy Smith carried out this wicked business with impunity, while entertaining citizens in
the basement of the Kenton Station
where he invited “all comers” into the
ring to see if they could beat him. Few
men tried, and fewer yet succeeded.
Smith and Sullivan teamed up on
occasion to conduct legendary escapades that live in infamy in Portland.
In one such incident, the two arranged
for an entire group of nine men to the
Shanghaied from Portland to Astoria
(Astoria like Portland, was well
known for crimping,) where the men
were drugged and sent to the bowels
of the notorious ship the T.F. Oakes.
The sailing ship, T.F. Oakes was infamous for its reputation of cruelty,
malnutrition, death, and disease.
When they woke up and were released from the ships interior, they
were far out to sea and had no choice
but to work aboard the vessel for several years.
Stories of underground tunnels and
trap doors in local bars make for fascinating stories that embellish the
exploits of local crimpers. While
these tales are fun to recall and add
to the mystique of the era, most of
those ideas are creatures of imagination and have little to do with reality.
Most Shanghaiing or crimping involved much less romanticism and far
more brute force. Prostitutes were
recruited to lure men into the web.
The men were thugs and if an accidental death occurred due to crimping behavior it was just part of the
business. Drugs were administered,
and if resistance was met, men from
the various goon squads were there
to knock them out and hog tie them.
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Men were forced onto sailing ships,
where the conditions were often horrid, and the prospect of returning to
their families questionable.
The crimps themselves sometimes
met with violence from rival gangs,
and there are many incidences when
some crimps were shot in broad daylight. Being a crimp was neither safe
nor glamorous. They were professional kidnappers and they flourished
at a time when men like Larry Sullivan had the money and influence to
insure that local elected leaders and
police didn’t interfere with the business. Billy Smith ran his group of St.
Johns crimps with an iron fist. His
gang was as much captives as some
of the men they kidnapped. Few of
the Smith group would leave the service of Billy, because none cared to
face his wrath. He was a much feared
man which nobody dared to
cross…as Larry Sullivan had found
As mentioned, it was laws and technology that eventually put a stop to
the practice of crimping. The tunnels
of Old Town sing a siren call to a
person’s imagination. The shoreline
of the Willamette River along McCall
Waterfront Park seems to invite a
person to close their eyes and con-
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e Ch
a bo
x $13 for 1 Year____ (26 issues)
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Mail payment with forms to: The St. Johns Review
PO Box 83068, Portland, OR. 97283
North Portland’s Community Newspaper Since 1904
jure up a time when broad-masted
sailing ships lined the harbor. Peering down on the crumbling docks
below the St. Johns Bridge can force
a visitor to imagine a time when
crimpers carried bound men to their
fate aboard ships that then left…with
the Shanghaied man never returning.
It’s history, and it’s ours.
About the Author:
Jim Speirs is a lifelong resident of North Portland, 4th generation. He is a published
author and enjoys writing about North Portland’s history. He was a teacher of Political
Science at Portland Community College and Chemeketa Community College and taught
the politics of World War II, Viet Nam, and Korea at both colleges. He still lives and works
in North Portland. Jim has four published books: “Death In Spades” and “Tales of North
Portland I, II and now III ” (from his St. Johns Review articles) which are available for
purchase at Copy Pilot, St. Johns Deli & Grocery, Orleans Candle and Kenton Station.
More novels and Tales of North Portland books are currently in the works.
His articles may not be republished without the permission of the author. Send info/
comments to: PO Box 83068, 97283
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St Johns Review
#5 Mar. 8, 2013
email: [email protected]
Donald Earl Lee
Guest Writers
for the
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writing talents
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Help be the ears & eyes of
North Portland to keep readers
informed of events and news!
(Sept. 25, 1924 – Feb. 16, 2013)
Donald Earl Lee was born in Winona, Minnesota to Earl and Mattie
Lee on September 25, 1924. After
graduation from Winona High
School in 1942, he and his parents
left their family farm and moved to
Portland, Oregon.
Don started out as a milk deliveryman and oil service station employee. He opened his own car business
in North Portland, Don Lee Motors,
in 1948, fulfilling his dream of business ownership which continues
through his son, Rodney and grandson Robert. He stayed involved in
the family business well into his
Don was married to Beverly Anita
Skreen in 1945. They first met at
Portland Foursquare Church in 1942.
Their dating consisted of sitting in
church together and also singing in
the choir (which they continued to
do for 47 years.) Last September 8th,
they celebrated their 67th wedding
Their son, Rodney Donald was
born in 1949. He married Gloria
Clark and have two sons: Robert
(Bethany) with grandchild, Genevieve; and son Jeffrey.
Their daughter, Kristi was born in
1953. She married Wendell Birkland
and have a daughter Lisa Bozich
(Dan) and grandchildren: William
and Ella; and son Ryan (Alaina) and
grandchild, Audrey.
Don had a special place in his heart
for nephew, Larry Lee (and wife
Deanna). Don and Bev helped raise
Larry starting at age 3. He became a
second son and an older brother to
Rod and Kristi. Larry has two
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PO Box 83068, Portland, OR 97283
daughters, Cindy Rusk (Jim) and
children, Kaitlin, Emily, Hailey,
Chloe and Jace; and daughter, Jennifer Holzbach, (Chris) and son,
Don was pre-deceased by his brother, Wayne.
Don was an active member of the
Portland Police Reserves/Sunshine
Division since 1946. He was also
actively involved in the Peninsula
Optimist Club, and Portland Foursquare Church (since 1942). He was
an avid boater with Tyee Yacht Club
of Portland.
Don was a believer in Jesus Christ.
Although his prognosis was grim in
the last days of his life, because of
heart failure, he never gave up but
knew that he was in God’s hands. He
told his nurse a few days prior, “I’m
ready to meet my maker” with a
smile on his face.
A memorial service was held on
Sunday the 24th of February 2013.
Please visit the Don Lee Motors Facebook page to view pictures and
leave the family a note.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to the
Sunshine Division, Peninsula Optimists, or Portland Foursquare
Army Pfc. Amy K. Claussen
has graduated from basic combat
training at Fort Jackson, Columbia,
During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army
mission, history, tradition and core
values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in
basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet
training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and
unarmed combat, map reading,
field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid,
foot marches, and field training
Claussen is the son of Darlene
Gayheart of Southeast Keystone
Drive, and Daniel McWrightman of
North Wall Avenue, both of Portland.
He earned an associate degree in
2010 from Portland Community
Kathryn Mae Duckham
(Jan 30, 1918 - Feb. 7, 2013)
Kathryn Mae Duckham was born
in Zillah, Washington to Ernest and
Eva Duckham on January 30, 1918.
Her family moved to Yakima where
she met and married Arvo Aimo
Kaiyala in 1936. Arvo and Kathryn
moved to Portland in the 1940s
where Arvo received his Masters in
music from the University of Portland. They were longtime St. Johns
Kathryn was a beautiful person
who lived an interesting life. She and
Arvo drove the Alcan Highway too
many times to count to visit their
daughter, Kathy and husband Thom
Kathryn celebrated her 80th birthday by getting a tattoo in Hawaii and
going parasailing in Mexico. She
traveled both to Europe with Arvo
and her son Ken and the United
States with family who always found
her ready for any adventure. She discovered she was an artist late in life
while attending art classes taught by
her daughter Karrie. Kathryn ran her
family with a rare balance of structure and freedom to be oneself.
Kathryn was preceded in death by
husband, Arvo, a classical violinist,
music teacher and member of the
Oregon Symphony. She will be
missed by her four children, two sisters, Rosemary Byam (Yakima) and
Betty Hole (Sunnyside, WA) and
many grandchildren and greatgrandchildren.
There was a service at sea where
her ashes joined Arvo’s in No Name
Bay, Alaska.
St. Johns
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PO Box 83068, Portland, OR 97283
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Police Investigating Shots
Fired Overnight in North
Portland’s Portsmouth Neighborhood
On Saturday February 23, 2013, at 8:44
p.m., Portland Police officers respond-
St. Johns Review
and contacted the clerk of a nearby convenience store, the Lucky Mart located at 5287 N Lombard Street. The clerk
told police that earlier in the evening
he had a confrontation with a young
African American woman who previously shoplifted from the store. The
clerk told police that he confronted her
today and she began throwing things
around the store, knocking a TV down
which landed on his infant son. The boy
was not injured and the woman left the
The clerk told police that a young African American male showed up at the
store and claimed the girl was his sister and he and the clerk got into a physical confrontation. The suspect ran out
of the store and at Lombard Street and
Glouchester Avenue fired several shots
into the air then ran away. Officers canvassed the neighborhood and did not
locate any suspects or damage from the
gunfire. Anyone with information
about this shooting is asked to call Assault Detectives at (503) 823-0400.
Whatever happened
Dear Editor,
While driving down St. Helens
road today I had a flash back to
the mid 60’s.
In the fall of 1965 I was just
out of the service and landed a
job in Northwest Portland working swing shift. My route to
work was via the St. Johns
Bridge and then east bound. A
good mile or two from the bridge
on the right hand side of the road
was an abandoned ’46-’47 Plymouth convertible with a makeshift wooden cross sticking out
of the middle of it. On the cross
were scrawled the words “I am
the Resurrection”.
As I drove by each afternoon I
noticed an older gentleman with
grey hair and a long beard near
Police Investigating a Stabbing
in North Portland’s Boise
On Sunday February 24, 2013, at 8:25
p.m., Portland Police officers assigned
to North Precinct responded to Legacy
Emanuel Medical Center on the report
of a walk-in stabbing victim. Officers
responded to the hospital and spoke to
the 22-year-old male victim who told
police he was in the area of N Williams Avenue and Fremont Street when
he was stabbed by an unknown woman. The victim described the suspect as
a light-complected African American
female in her 50s, 5’7 tall, thin build,
dry Jheri curls, wearing a dirty green
jacket and khaki pants. The victim did
not cooperate further with police and
his injuries were not life-threatening.
Anyone with information about this
stabbing is asked to contact Assault
Detectives at (503) 823-0400.
The Portland City Auditor’s
Independent Police Review (IPR)
division is responsible for the
civilian oversight of the Portland
Police Bureau (Police Bureau).
The Citizen Review Committee
(CRC) is an advisory body to IPR
and the Police Bureau. CRC holds
appeal hearings of police
misconduct investigations; listens
to community concerns; engages
in trainings to increase cultural
awareness; reviews Police
Bureau policies; and advises IPR
on complaint handling processes.
CRC members are appointed by
Portland City Council to serve
three-year terms. Candidates
must be Portland, Oregon,
residents or business owners, and
be impartial and objective without
bias regarding law enforcement.
Applications are available at
ipr or the IPR office: City Hall, 1221
SW 4th Avenue, Room 320,
Portland, OR 97204. Return
applications by 5:00 pm,
Wednesday, March 13, 2013, via
fax 503-823-3530, e-mail
[email protected], mail, or
hand-delivery to IPR. (PSA)
the car and occasionally he would
have a small campfire burning. I
got in the habit of honking my
horn as I drove by and he’d give
a big wave as I went on down the
road. This soon became a regular
After nine months I moved on
to another shift and never saw
him again. I guess I had the opportunity many times to stop and
talk with the guy but I never did.
Today, it seems as if we encounter homeless folks everywhere;
back then not so much. Over the
years I’ve often wondered who
my roadside friend was and what
was his story? Did he live in Forest park? Was he some kind of a
religious fanatic or just an old hippy?
I’m curious to know if you or
any of your readers remember, or
know anything about “The Car
With The Cross” and its caretaker.
Fred Ferry
Stolen grocery
Dear Editor,
I recently went shopping at our
Grocery Outlet and they had no
hand baskets to hold your items,
I was informed they were all stolen. I was hoping you could do a
story on this. And hoping that the
good folks of St. Johns could keep
an eye out for them. The baskets
are 35.00 apiece and were full of
goods when they (thieves) ran out
of the store. They started with one
hundred baskets when the store
Matt Matuskey
Letters to the Editor are welcome
and encouraged. They must be
signed and may be edited for
length. The publisher is not responsible for the subject and may
or may not agree with the content.
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Page 7
Letters to the Editor
Police Arrest Prolific Business ed to the report of shots fired in the area
Burglar in North Portland’s of North Portsmouth Avenue and LomKenton Neighborhood
bard Street. Officers arrived in the area
On Wednesday February 20, 2013,
Portland Police Bureau Burglary Detail detectives served a search warrant
at a residence in the 9400 block of
North Adriatic Avenue as part of an
investigation into numerous commercial burglaries that occurred in December 2012.
39-year-old Jason Paul LaCroix was
arrested at the residence in connection
with the burglaries.
The investigation began after a series
of burglaries to cellular phone/technology stores in the Portland area. Evidence tying LaCroix to the burglaries
was developed by detectives, which
ultimately led to the search warrant and
arrest. Evidence was recovered at the
residence linking LaCroix to some of
the burglaries.
The burglaries occurred at the following locations:
12/19/12 at Go Wireless, located at
9932 Northeast Halsey Street.
12/19/12 at Air Link, located at 3626
Northeast Sandy Boulevard.
12/24/12 at Aarons Rentals. Located at
4616 Southeast 82nd Avenue.
12/28/12 at Smart Phone Repair, located at 7901 Southeast Powell Boulevard.
12/29/12 at Global Communications
14331 Southeast Division Street.
12/29/12 at Go Wireless 9932 Northeast Halsey Street.
12/31/12 at Aarons Rentals 1622 North
Lombard Street.
LaCroix was booked into the Multnomah County Jail on seven counts of
Burglary in the Second Degree and will
be arraigned today. Anyone with additional information about LaCroix or
these burglaries is asked to contact
Detective Ryan Goss at (503) 823-0400
or [email protected]
#5 Mar. 8, 2013
9 Months (19 issues) $23 each (Total Cost: $437) * 6 Months (12 issues) $25 each (Total Cost: $300) * 3 Months (6 issues) $28 each (Total Cost $168)
Page 8
St Johns Review
#5 Mar. 8, 2013
Continued from Page 1
“The Helmsman Passes”
children’s organizations and sports
teams go back many decades. None of
these things were remarkable to Don.
None of his generosity was coerced.
For Don, it was the right thing to do,
and he never hesitated. Don Lee loved
the community, he felt a part of it every day, and he gave to the neighborhood in ways that many will never
That’s the one irony which comes to
mind with Don’s passing. The obvious
examples of his bigheartedness are
open for all to see. What’s less known
are the lives of people who were anonymously helped by his noble personality, and touched by his generosity. Don
felt blessed for his successes and never forgot those who were less fortunate.
He was a man who packed and delivered Christmas food boxes with the
Sunshine Division for decades. Even
as his health eroded, he kept up a pace
that would slow a lesser man. Don contributed to so many charitable causes
it’s impossible to list. He gave to North
Portland and never asked for recognition. He touched people’s lives without them ever knowing who the provider of their good fortune might be.
He was practically the “tooth fairy” of
the neighborhood. And when touched
by his kindness, the recipient of that
bounty seldom knew where the help
came from.
There’s so much more. There’s so
much that needs to be said. But I can’t
do it. My efforts simply cannot reach
the beauty and wonder that was Don
Lee. It’s enough for me to say I’m a
blessed man to have known Don. As
his health faded, we spoke often. I think
Don knew his time on earth was nearing an end. Having said that, I can honestly say I’ve never known a man so
certain of where he was going. Don was
fearless of death. His faith in Christ
allowed him to look at the future with
absolute confidence…he never wavered, nor did he feel sorrow.
Don loved his boat. In his later years
it was his favorite place to be. And now,
Don’s at the helm of another boat, and
I’m confident he’s enjoying the well-
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deserved heavenly ride he’s experiencing. Knowing this will mitigate our
loss. We can recognize Don is again
smiling, without pain or suffering, and
feeling eternal bliss.
In closing I’ll recall
this. Twenty-six centuries ago, Euripides,
the Athenian scholar
and playwright noted
of Zeus, “Sweetly he
blows on this man’s
sails and on that
man’s making those
men happy.” Surly
Euripides words
about Zeus apply to
Website: www.stjohnsreview.com
Don Lee. His time on Earth was welllived; a life upon which the wind of
good fortune blew for 88 years. If we
all could be as blessed as he...
Above: Don Lee on
the right with his son
Rod and grandson
Rob at their lot on N.
Left: The early lot.
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your local neighborhood bank.
PO Box 83068, Portland, OR 97283

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