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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

That way, Santa

House with Christmas Decorations, Astoria, Oregon No, this is not a belated Christmas post. I came across Santa and some helpers yesterday when I was looking for a house that will appear in an upcoming edition of Astoria, Oregon, Daily Photo. It was misty out, though warmer than it's been the past couple of weeks. At about 11:30 a.m. on this dark morning, the cheery colors were welcoming, and I had to take these pictures.

Here you also get to see another of Astoria's many, many unusual houses. I never get tired of looking at the unique ways that pieces can be assembled to build the four walls and trimmings. And once again, is there a house in town that hasn't had to adapt to a hillside? It's definitely part of Astoria's charm.

Back to Santa. It seems he may have forgotten to head for home, or else he got lost, but . . .

Christmas in Astoria . . . this sign should help!

Several of you have thought this was a 'gator coming out of the chimney, but do you remember "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas"? I'll bet this is Dr. Seuss's grinch.

If Astoria's houses could talk . . .

I've received several lively and informative letters from Karen Schultz, who graduated from Star of the Sea High School in Astoria in 1960. She's given me permission to use her memories on this blog, and I want to thank her very much for that! I hope you'll find them as much fun to read and as informative as I do. They will appear on several posts along with the right photos.


January 6, 2009:

Ohmygawd, Sheryl. I know that house in today's picture so well. It has a history, like so many of them. It was the home of Captain Fritz Elfving, the man who started and owned the ferry system across the river until about 1945. He was one who had both the Tourist I and Tourist II built. The story is a bit sad in that he built up the business in order to turn it over to his only child, a son. But his son was killed in WWII so Fritz sold the whole thing to the State. I knew Fritz well. He and my dad were close friends. He was a real character, and even though he came over from Sweden when fairly young, he had an accent you could cut with a knife right up until he died. We always knew it was Fritz on the phone because when we picked it up, all he ever said, in a very loud voice, was, "Yonson?," asking for Dad [Harold Johnson], of course. After Mrs. Elfving died, he decided to go find some "vimmen." He was in his mid-to-late 70's by then. He started taking cruises. Every so often, one of the "vimmen" he met on a cruise would come and visit him. Just to keep things "proper," he would have me or Barbara Sandstrom, who lived in the house to the east of his, come and stay at night when the "vimmen" were there. We were both in high school. Everyone got a kick out of this, most of all me and Barb. When Fritz died, he left the house to his nephew, Dodi Larson. Dodi still lived there when Mom sold our house after Dad died in 1974. I wonder if it is still in the family.

Oh, I could go on and on. That is what is so wonderful about your pictures; they bring back so many memories. I hadn't thought of Fritz in years. At one time, he also owned most of Svenson Island. Barb went to Star of the Sea too, was younger than I by a couple years. Her dad, Art, managed Safeway for a long time. Barb married a classmate, Jerry Zorich, who was mayor of Long Beach at one time. She died of cancer a couple years ago.


Thank you, Karen! There will be more excerpts as I photograph other places mentioned in your letters.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.


cieldequimper said...

Lol, I hope he gets back home quickly, he needs a rest!

B SQUARED said...

Is that a Gator coming out of the chimney?

VP said...

A gator in a chimney, in Oregon, in winter? That's a stretch...

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