That’s about it. Details and contact info at our main web site.
If you’ve visited Hood River in early July, you know we like to do up the 4th of July big time. If you’ve never been here, get moving.
It all starts at 10 a.m. up on the town’s Heights (take 13th street south past the hospital, until it levels out, and look for parking). The parade starts at 10 a.m., and follows 12th street north to May Street, then west to Jackson Park, where entries disband.
After the parade, the sponsoring Hood River Lions Club and Heights Business Association host a variety of activities in Jackson Park. And, bookending the day, the Eyeopeners Lions Club at sunset launches its fusillade of fireworks over the Columbia River waterfront just west of the Hood River Bridge.
Get full details at this local news web site. If you’re planning to take part in the parade, note that the Lions Club will be collecting a $10 donation per entry, to help defray expenses associated with participation in the parade by two military marching bands.
Grand marshalls this year will be a contingent of visitors from Hood River’s sister city, Tsuruta, Japan.
Want some entertainment while visiting Hood River this summer (you ARE planning on visiting, right?)? Make sure to amble up to the Hood River Library lawn from 2 to 3 p.m. June 29 and catch an amazing display of dog tricks from Border Collie International. The group rescues border collies, and trains them to channel their unlimited energy into a swirling mass of doggy-nesss. Frisbee tricks, human tricks, you name it. And it’s FREE!
First, it was so nifty to be 50 that the four friends from the Klamath Union High School class of 1959 decided to get together, celebrate, then do it again in five years.
Fat chance they’d wait that long. They had so much fun the first year, they decided to do it again the following year. And the next. And the next.
And that’s pretty much how it’s been for the last 22 years. During that period, they’ve missed only one annual reunion, in 2011.
This year, they found their way to Hood River, and stayed a week at the Hood River Hotel. Now in their third decade of reunions, the friends have adjusted the name they casually use to describe themselves. Nifty to be Fifty became Nifty to be Sixty became Nifty to be Seventy.
Jancy Potterf, who lives in Eugene and organizes most of the events, picked Hood River for this year’s visit.
“I usually organize them,” she says, “and we usually do them in the fall.”
Because they missed the fall 2011 reunion, Potterf and friends decided to move up the date for the 2012 get-together.
Joining Potterf were Linda Lee from Los Angeles; Teresa Potterf (Jancy’s daughter), Eugene; Stella Rose, Santa Barbara; and Stephie Pickett, Gig Harbor, Wash.
They get around. Past visits have included Lake Shasta (“But the private house boat was so big,” Potterf says, “we never left the dock.”), Black Butte near Sisters in central Oregon, Santa Barbara three times, Hawaii, Crater Lake, Arizona, Lake Tahoe, Orcus Island in Washington’s Puget Sound, Lake of the Woods, Manzanita, Yachats twice, Seaside, Applegate/Jacksonville, the Bohemia Mountains, and Sunriver.
Hood River was on the radar. Potterf and her husband visited two years ago, spent a night, rode the Mt. Hood Railroad up the valley toward Mt. Hood, vowed to return.
From May 16 to 22, she and her friends booked one of the hotel’s suites, so all could stay in the same space.
“We were especially fond of our room,” she says. “It felt like a little apartment.”
Well, it is, kind of. Room 206 has queen and a double bed, a queen sofa bed, and the option of adding a roll-away. It has two bathrooms, and a kitchenette. During their visit, they attended the 2012 Columbia Gorge Wine & Pear Fest, staged at the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum. They also took a drive to the Tom McCall Preserve at Rowena, but didn’t have time to visit Maryhill Museum and Skamania Lodge.
She’s thinking they may have to come back to Hood River, to finish seeing what they missed.
“I helped your economy a lot,” Potterf says, with a laugh. “We ate at every place in town that we could. I got to know Maureen at Pacifica real well.”
She had high praise for several staff members at the Hood River Hotel. One, Whitney Munoz, joined the ladies to watch “American Idol” on the big-screen TV on our mezzanine level.
“Everyone was so nice to us,” Potterf says.
Glad to hear it, Jancy. We’ll have your room ready when you and your buddies return.
Look, we think the boys in our kitchen dish up a pretty fine breakfast here at the Hood River Hotel.
But we — that is, the people who work here — would not drive spend two hours, and drive 147 miles, to eat here. None of us. It just doesn’t make sense. Who would even think of such a thing? Or actually do it?
Well, Mystie Haynie, for one. On May 29 of this year (2012), she woke up in Pendleton, Ore., famous for its wheat fields and rodeo and situated that precise distance away from Hood River.
Then she went and picked up her Mom, and headed west toward a medical appointment in Portland — and breakfast in Hood River.
“I wanted to do something special for her and had planned it several days before we left,” she says.
“Not to turn this real sad, but Mom was diagnosed with cancer and we were on the way for her first consult in Portland. I felt that your restaurant was the perfect place to be that morning. Just her and I.”
Haynie, a mental health nurse and mother of three who lives on the Umatilla Indian Reservation just east of Pendleton, says she and her husband have stayed at the Hood River Hotel twice.
“We enjoyed the atmosphere and friendly staff,” she says. “We stayed once for our anniversery and once before a rafting trip on the White Salmon. The desk clerk was so gracious about getting us a last-minute room at 9:30 p.m. May 12.”
Haynie says she’s “hooked on the Hood River area. I love the greenery, the artistic atmosphere and friendly people.”
She says she and her Mom had a great breakfast.
“Please thank your waitresses, cooks and everyone involved that made that possible,” Haynie says. “It was perfect. The coffee was hot, fresh and always full. The food was excellent! The ambience was exactly what we needed. No rush, no hurry. Time seemed to slow down.”
Time. We can’t make it last. But we do try to make it better. Glad you enjoyed your visit, Mystie. Here’s hoping we can host you and your Mom on her birthday, for many years to come.