WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY


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Fond memories of a life-long friendship in Newport

“Larry Johnson remembers”
Story and photos by Dean Sawyer

This is a story about Larry Johnson, “The Real Larry Johnson” as he is referred to. Several years ago there were at least 5 Larry Johnson’s living in Newport and one was a manager at a local bank. Since folks got them confused, so Larry was referred to as the “Real Larry Johnson.”

Larry was an optician in a clinic at the hospital along with his partner, Dr. Frank Schwartz who was an opthamologist. They operated the business for over 20 years before they both retired. They had a successful business and developed a huge client base and were both well known in the community.

For the past years, Larry and his neighbor Brook Young, a retired Eugene firefighter, had been walking their dogs around the LNG tank on the bay front. The area around the LNG tank had become an increasingly popular place for dog walkers as they can walk their dogs off the leash. Also the area around the tank offers great bridge and bay views and a pleasant place to watch bay wild life.

Larry placed a trash can at the location where dog walkers begin their walk around the tank. He also installed a container filled with plastic bags for the walkers to pick up their dogs waste and then deposit it in the trash can. Larry regularly empties the trash can and refreshes the bag supply.

Brook sadly developed pancreaus cancer. It made it very hard for him to walk all the way around the tank without having to stop to sit down. Since there were no benches around the tank, Larry had one made and with the permission of NW Gas, had the bench installed. Later, Larry had a second bench installed for additional comfort for Brook.

Brook sadly passed away earlier this year from his cancer. Larry placed a memorial plaque on the first bench he installed for Brook. The first photo shows “The Real” Larry Johnson and his faithful companion, Tuffy, standing near one of his benches. The second photo shows Brook’s bench with a view of the bridge in the background. Larry wants to thank Don Riddell of Riddell Sheet Metal for making the benches and Stephanie Brown of True Cut Engraving for creating the brass plaques.

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