The backstory for how “Piano in the Park” was inspired, by Bob Oblack

August 2019 I was taking my trash to the North Marion Recycling & Transfer Station near Woodburn, Oregon I backup next to a truck and heard music, thinking that’s odd, are they playing music at the dump now? Piano music coming from the back of the truck I was parked next to. I looked up and saw a man playing the piano and it really sounded good…asking what are you doing, he replied, “Pushing this piano into the dumpster”. I was in shock and saddened to see such a beautiful Looking and Sounding piano getting ready to be pushed into a dumpster… Where are you guys from? He replied “Molalla, we work for Evergreen Restoration, next door to the Spot Tavern”. 

The sound of the piano hitting the inside the dumpster was deafening. (see attached dumpster photos) I told this story to Ken Fetters, owner of The Main Shop. I said, “Music is Art”, how do we get one of these piano affiliated with your mission of supporting and promoting local artist here in Molalla? Ken said, “I know the owner of Evergreen Restoration, David Nichols, I’ll see what we can do”. Ken ran with the idea and was instrumental getting “Piano In The Park” implemented. Ken worked with David Nichols, Dan Huff, Molalla City Manager and a local artist, David Alexander, who will paint mural art on the piano to enhance the piano’s beauty and provide protection for the wood. 

Fast forward to July 2020. Three pianos have been painted by local artists and placed in Molalla City parks: 

David Alexander painted the Molalla Images piano for Fox Park, David Nichols donated this piano. David Alexander painted the First Responder piano for Long Park, Rick & Christine Simms, and Grace Nelson donated this piano David Shelton painted the Automotive Flames piano for Fox Park, Gail Lambert donated this piano Four more pianos are in the process to be painted by local artists. Terr-Nova Skogun is painting a Nature theme for Ivor Davis Park, Kandy Waner donated this piano. Alejandro (Lex) Cruz is painting a Molalla Native American theme for a Molalla City park to be determined, Isabel M Slaughter Williams (5 Apr 1924 – 1 Jun 2020) piano was donated by Karyn Cole Alma Hillhouse will be painting a baby grand piano for Adams Cemetery, David Nichols donated this piano Alma Hillhouse will be painting a piano for a Molalla City park to be determined, David Nichols donated this piano.

Campfire Safety

Keep your campfire from becoming a wildfire!
• Choose a spot that’s protected from wind gusts and at least 15 feet from your tent, gear, and anything flammable.
• Clear a 10-foot diameter area around your campfire spot by removing leaves, grass, and anything burnable down to the dirt.
• Don’t build your campfire near plants or under tree limbs or other flammable material hanging overhead.
• If allowed, dig a pit for your campfire, about 1-foot deep, in the center of the cleared area.
• Build a fire ring around the pit with rocks to create a barrier.
• Don’t use any type of flammable liquid to start your fire.
• Gather three types of wood to build your campfire and add them in this order:
• Keep your fire small.
• Always keep water and a shovel nearby and know how to use them to put out your campfire.
• Be sure an adult is always watching the fire.
• Keep an eye on the weather! Sudden wind gusts can blow sparks into
vegetation outside your cleared area, causing unexpected fires.
• If possible, allow your campfire to burn out completely – to ashes.
• Drown the campfire ashes with lots of water.
• Use a shovel to stir the ashes and water into a “mud pie.” Be sure to
scrape around the edges of the fire to get all the ashes mixed in.
• Drown the ashes with water again.
• Check that your campfire is cold before leaving. Hold your bare hand just
above the wet ashes, especially around the edges of the fire. DO NOT
touch the ashes or you might burn yourself.
• If you feel heat, stir more water into the ashes.
• When the ashes are cold, disassemble your fire ring and scatter the rocks.
• If you built your campfire in a fire pit, be sure it’s filled in with wet dirt.

Safe Selling
By Karla Rae

Buying and selling things through online marketplaces like Craigslist or OfferUp can be a convenient way of letting go of what you don’t need and finding what you want.  However, meeting people online to buy or sell items can be time consuming and risky. 

Here are some tips to make transactions as smooth as possible.

As a seller

1-Be honest about the quality and condition of the items you’re selling

2-Always include good photos

3-Discuss the price before you meet

4-Confirm that you only accept cash 

5-Decide how you can contact each other if needed

6-Tell the buyer in advance that you will confirm the meeting time and place the day of the sale and that if you don’t hear from them you will not show up

As a buyer

1-Read the entire ad and look at the photos

2-Ask questions and confirm the condition of the item

3-Discuss price and bring exact amount in cash

5-Decide how you can contact each other if needed

6-Confirm place and time to meet with the seller


If a transaction has to take place in your home or someone else’s home (for larger or heavier items), have someone with you and stay outside if possible.

If you’re meeting someone in person, Molalla Police Command Staff suggests that you, “Park in a well-lit, highly populated area. Let someone know your plans if you are going alone”.

Some online marketplaces have partnered with law enforcement agencies across the country to provide “safe zones” where people can conduct transactions under surveillance. 

Although the Molalla Police Department doesn’t have a designated safe area, they added “…we encourage people doing exchanges for items (and child custody exchanges) to park in front of our door because it is monitored by cameras – no sound. There is also a red 9-1-1 phone next to our door for emergencies.”

I have met dozens of people through selling items online. Almost all of my experiences have been pleasant and a few have been extraordinarily wonderful. I got hugs (pre-COVID19) from a family who drove all the way from Lincoln City to buy a dining room table and I was treated to an impromptu concert from a professional musician who bought a wooden flute.  I don’t expect the worst from strangers but, just as I’m a defensive driver, I try to maneuver every new encounter as safely as possible.