|LOON LAKE LLOYD'S LOOMING LEGACY|
|December 06, 2001 11:00 pm|
Loon Lake Lloyd is comin to town.
Western Oregons own Paul Bunyan, Lloyd Keeland didnt have a blue ox, but he did have a pair of pet river otters: Humpy and Dumpy.
Keeland landed on Iwo Jima the first day of the battle, and by the the end of the fight 28 days later, was one of only 13 survivors out of a company of 350.
He was a logger before he was a Marine, and returned to logging after World War II.
Logging eventually brought him to Loon Lake, south of Scottsburg. He later took over Ducketts Resort on the lake after its owner died, and married his second wife, Althea, the owners widow.
Keelands current wife, Ellen, chronicled the adventures of Lloyd and his friends and guests in The Lusty Life of Loon Lake Lloyd.
In it, Keeland clearly comes across as a rugged mans man who later inspired as much fear in hippies as he had in Imperial Japanese soldiers.
He once erroneously described himself as a little muncho, instead of macho.
Ellen describes the other side of Keeland best. Like other bunglers of this big-hearted breed, she wrote in her introduction, he is generous to a fault, willing to give anyone the shirt off his back. Not a day goes by but somebody calls on him for something.
His adventures include war, logging, pet otters, bulls, campers, floods, shootings and accidents.
Ellen illustrated them with more than 250 pen and ink drawings and photographs. She is also a talented chainsaw carver.
The Keelands spend much of their time selling copies of the book now, but have accepted an invitation to speak at the Brookings Harbor Lions Club dinner at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Lees Dragon Gate restaurant.
They are also scheduled to speak Thursday at the Chetco Senior Center. The public is invited to both events.
Any logger who worked the old misery whip will appreciate Keelands stories. There is also plenty of fighting in the book, and not all of it was in the war.
One of the most charming adventures, however, is called Who has the Best Retriever?
In it, a car salesman bet Keeland $50 that he had the best retriever. They met at the dock at Loon Lake, and sure enough, the salesmans Labrador retriever was a wonder.
The salesman used whistle commands to direct the dog to retrieve a dummy, no matter where he threw it.
Unimpressed, Keeland marked a rock with a grease pencil and threw it into 25 feet of water. His pet otter, Humpy, had no trouble retrieving it.
The salesman said, Darn you, I aint betting against no varmint!
Send the Lab after the rock, said Keeland. You said a retriever.
Keeland won the bet, but characteristically, told the man who was holding the stakes to give the salesman his money back.
For those who enjoy a good story, and dont mind a little real-logger language, The Lusty Life of Loon Lake Lloyd is available for $15, including shipping and handling, by calling the Keelands at (877) 819-8889, or writing them at 9556 Loon Lake Road, Reedsport, OR 97467.
Lions Club Treasurer Virgil Daley, who invited the Keelands to Brookings, said they will even send the books out first, and trust their customers to pay them.
Those who read the book will understand why Keeland is so trusting, and also why theyd be fools to cross him.