So Long Itís Been Good to Know You*

By Evan Kramer

Milt and Shirley Nelson are on the move and leaving Port Orford for Florence. This city has been their home for 19 years and they were good ones for them and for the effect they had on many organizations and people in Port Orford.

The Nelsonís had a small home built on a hill with a million dollar view of the ocean and then settled in to become quite active in town. Shirley is a writer among other things and wrote over 250 episodes of ďAs It WasĒ for Jefferson Public Radio. She is a historian as well as a writer and combined those two interests into many enlightening episodes about southwestern Oregon. Shirley wrote an excellent history of Port Orford and North Curry County for the Images of American series that made the DFZ more money that it made her since authors are notoriously underpaid. Of course we didnít try to compete with so sold it at list price.

Milt was the treasurer of the Friends of Cape Blanco, the Zion Lutheran Church and the League of Women Voters where Shirley also played a large role as Voter Service Chair and was a past president. Milt was also the business manager for the Cape Blanco Lighthouse store and unlike some business people had a knack for it. Shirley and Milt will be missed next month when the League of Women Voters holds their fall candidate forum in Port Orford. Shirley served as moderator and Milt as timer on a regular basis and did their best to keep the question and answer sessions on target and ultimately fair to all sides. Milt is a fine musician and was a soloist and music director for the church. He enjoyed his role as impresario responsible for the Mildred Hill concert series that has been going on for several years at the Zion Church as if he was born to it. He even put up with me babbling on about Elvis.

Shirley enjoyed walking around town rather than driving which got her even better mileage than a Prius. She was particularly fond of our store cat Mickey and wrote a poem about him after he was run over by a car out on the highway.

The Nelsonís are leaving town for positive reasons and looking forward to new adventures, friends, restaurants and scenery just 100 miles up the coast.

*credit for title to Woody Guthrie


Epitaph For Mickey

By Shirley Nelson

There are holes at the Fun Zone;

empty places

recently occupied

by a large, placid

gray-striped feline.

Mickey filled the chair seat,

draped himself over the UPS counter

or acted as a furry paperweight

for the newspaper.

Mickey had many friends

who petted him,

scratched his itchy places,

even picked him up and held him.

A visit to the store

seemed incomplete

if Mickey was out.

He has left an empty,

cat-shaped space.

Mickey will be missed.