Heroes of the Sea

KOIN-TV’s Sally Showman produced this piece drawing attention to the men and women of Coast Guard Air Station Astoria. It’s part of her new project under the banner, “Heartprint Productions.” Thanks to all the “coasties” and supporters along the Oregon coast.

Kiss The Basketball

trolley2As a conductor of the Astoria trolley, you need to be ready to navigate the tracks along the south bank of the Columbia River. Steering isn’t required. But you also need to act as a tour guide. We rode along as Bob Miller, a Portland radio fixture for decades, now semi-retired in Astoria, did his trolley conductor stint aboard the Old 300.

Watch until the end as we take you behind the scenes back into the trolley barn and a final “kiss” to the basketball at the end of a shift.

Astoria’s “Old 300” was built in 1913. A roundtrip will cost you just a buck, ride all day for just $2.00. That’ll let you get on and off to explore the waterfront as much as you’d like.
Tip: the roundtrip takes about an hour. During our last visit, the GPS function that allows you to see where the trolley is at any give time, was not working. And one other tip, make it very obvious to the conductor that you want to get on board. Even if you’re at a trolley stop, it’s possible that it will fly on by. Volunteers suggest you wave a dollar bill in the air.

“The Goonies” Still Coast Movie Champs

“The Fisherman’s Bride” was the first movie filmed on the Oregon coast. Shot in Astoria, the silent movie was released November 15, 1908. The Oregon Film Museum, located in Astoria, lists some best-known productions:

The General, a Buster Keaton classic from 1927
The Great Race, Blake Edwards’ 1965 spoof with Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, and Jack Lemmon
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, winner of Best Picture at the 48th Academy Awards
Paint Your Wagon, starring Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood
Animal House, the blowout comedy classic with Jim Belushi
Kindergarten Cop, with Arnold Schwarzenegger trying to keep the kids in line at Astor Elementary

…and, of course, The Goonies. In fact we have movies listed on this website. Some refer to Oregon as “Hollywood North.”


GooniesSo why is “The Goonies” the one to become the cult-classic with its own festival? Might be that it just hit a sweet cultural spot with the goofy ’80’s sensibility. It did have the good fortune of having actors like Sean Astin and Josh Brolin on board. Jeff Cohen, who steals plenty of scenes as Chunk, parlayed his associated with director Donner into a career as a Beverly Hills attorney.

Leave your “Goonies” thoughts here. And enjoy some highlights of the 2014 party in Astoria including a visit with some super fans all the way from Madrid and Barcelona. Nos vemos en Oregon!

Half-A-Million Riders Can’t Be Wrong

Panorama shot taken on the day of the trolley's 500,000 boarding.

Panorama shot taken on the day of the trolley’s 500,000 boarding.

Louise Whitewater stepped aboard the Old 300 Riverfront Trolley in Astoria, Oregon, Sunday. She was welcomed by Mayor Willis Van Dusen and the City Council as the 500,000th passenger.

Louise, a former Astoria resident, was in town for a doctor’s appointment when she was greeted at the stop by the Columbia River Maritime Museum with gifts and a series of “hip, hip, hoorays.”

The trolley was built in 1913 by the American Car Company of St. Louis, Missouri and was restored in Astoria in 1999.

Road Tripping This Weekend?

It’s very, very easy to make a video to document a weekend trip.
All these photos were taken either on my iPhone or the iPad and produced on the free, or almost-free, iMovie app.
As you’ll notice, I like using Vimeo to host our squidknot videos.
Nephew Ryan Ball and his mom make their squidknot debut. They must be very proud.

Hear some of Ryan’s music here: