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WWII veteran recalls narrow escape

The U.S.S. Indianapolis was sunk by a Japanese torpedo on July 30, 1945.

Seventy years ago on July 30, Japanese torpedoes sank the Navy vessel U.S.S. Indianapolis in the Pacific Ocean. Harbor resident John Gennai, a member of the crew at the time, considers himself lucky not to have been on the ship when it and nearly 1,000 of his shipmates were lost.

He was in a Navy hospital with an injured arm.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Gennai recalled in an interview this week. “After hearing about that, I was the lucky guy that went to the hospital.”

The sinking of the ship, the target of a Japanese submarine on July 30, 1945, was a major blow to the U.S. but, because it fell just weeks before the end of the second World War, the event has received less attention than other disasters. For Gennai, though, it’s a frequent reminder of his narrow escape. 


Monarchs: King of the butterflies

A western monarch butterfly samples one of the numerous flowers at the Rusk Ranch Nature Centerís Butterfly Pavilion on Highway 199 south of Cave Junction.

CAVE JUNCTION — Summer traffic on U.S. Highway 199 through the Illinois Valley is as relentless as the heat. 

But a quick detour off the road just before Cave Junction brings travelers to an oasis of shady trees, a natural playground for kids and dozens of ethereal butterflies.

The Butterfly Pavilion at the Rusk Ranch Nature Center currently houses between 20 and 30 western monarch butterflies. The mature insects flutter around the pavilion, mate and lay eggs on one of the numerous milkweed plants inside the pavilion.


Audience fills amphitheater

Photo by Bill Schlichting/Curry Coastal Pilot

The Hot Rods band and classic cars displayed by the Curry County Cruisers attracted the largest crowd of the summer at Azalea Park for the American Music Festival’s Summer Concerts in the Park series. The next concerts will be back-to-back weekend performances presented by The Dixieland Rangers on Aug. 23 and Marley’s Ghost on Aug. 30. 

Touring Gardens in Gold Beach

The Burgessesí low maintenance hen-and-chicken cactus.

Under sunny skies last Saturday some 70 people made the rounds in Central Curry County visiting six gardens opened to the public for the 20th tour hosted by the Innominata Garden Club. 

The trek started in downtown Gold Beach, extended up the Rogue River 3 miles and then to the communities of Nesika Beach and Ophir.

In Gold Beach, Gary and Dina Schertzer’s home featured an enclosed side and back yard offering floral species such as a rice paper plant, Japanese Shiro plum tree, evergreen clematis, potato vines, Japanese maple tree, honeysuckle, princess plant and roses.


Hot Rods, classic cars return to Azalea Park bandshell

It’s time to celebrate the golden age of rock and roll with the Hot Rods Band, in concert at 1 p.m. Sunday, July 26, at the Azalea Park bandshell.

The band will be joined by the Curry County Cruisers, a Brookings car club that will have up to 15 classic cars on display.

The concerts, presented by sponsor Rogue Credit Union, typically draw crowds of 300 to 500 people who bring blankets and lawn chairs to the park’s natural amphitheater. 

The Hot Rods, one of last year’s favorites, returns for an encore performance. The San Francisco band performs songs by Elvis, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Bill Haley and Jerry Lee Lewis. They will also include songs by 1960s legends such as the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Credence Clearwater Revival and the Beach Boys.



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