Wednesday, November 29, 2023


Editor’s Roadside Journal, Oct. 26, 2016


Life on the road is working out

rsj-logoI’ve been on the road now for two weeks, living in my “mobile” home of 350 square feet. I’m adjusting well to full-time RV life. It don’t feel closed in. I wondered if I might, but so far so good. My small desk in the bedroom is just big enough for my laptop computer and an external monitor. I can close the door and have privacy. I need that when I write. Gail keeps busy in the other room.

You can’t drive a motorhome into A&W stand. But my little car fits very well.

Having a car along has made a huge difference. For all my years of RVing, I have never towed a car. I would seldom stay in one place for longer than a day or two. My shorter motorhomes were okay for local exploring, but not as good as having a car. Gail and I have been running around in our little Honda Fit nearly every day — shopping, sightseeing.

Yesterday we drove to Florence, Ore., on the coast where we dined on seafood at Mo’s and visited a roadside park with meat-eating plants (more about that elsewhere). Earlier in the week we drove 200 miles over McKenzie Pass to Sisters and then back.

With the small car, I love being able to pull easily off the road to snap a photo or stop at an interesting looking business. I couldn’t do that easily with my other motorhomes.

Home sweet home in Eugene.

After leaving Eugene, we were planning to head over to Florence on the coast to stay a couple of weeks. But we changed our minds: the weather forecast there for the next week is rain, rain and more rain. Not good for my mental health. So we just drove over to Florence yesterday for the day.

Tomorrow we’ll head south on I-5. We’ll stay a week in southern Oregon, then a week in Sacramento to visit some of my old friends from when I lived there, then continue south to my aunt’s small ranch in the farm community of Lindsay (near Fresno) where we will celebrate Thanksgiving. After that, we’ll go somewhere else. I don’t care where as long as there is more sun than rain.

Fly heaven? Maybe


This is where flies go to heaven. However, if there are spiders present, then this would not be heaven for a fly but hell. In that case, it would be heaven for a spider. I personally fear going into these places. I fear my wallet will drop into the dark never-never land below. I would never even try to fetch it if it dropped. Once, I saw a woman exiting an outhouse, screaming. “I dropped my camera in there!” She and her friends discussed the matter, then left. No surprise there.

Shoe store with a crying roomstore766
Along the main street in old town Florence, Ore., across the street from the Wizard of Odds gift shop, is a shoe store. It’s called “On Your Feet Footware.”

shoe-sign-766Pay attention as you walk up. It’s easy to tell the store was once a movie theater. Actually, until 2004, it was — the Harbor Theater, originally established in 1938 as the Florence Theater.

The store sells shoes as well as other clothing. But look up. You’ll see the old projection room. And next to that, as you can see in the top left of the photo above, is a big plate glass window. That’s the crying room, or “cry room.”

Ticket booth now a display window.

A store employee said many old theaters had such rooms. Moms with fussy babies would watch the movie there behind the soundproof glass. “We send our employees there,” the woman said, making a joke.

I had never heard of a theater cry room, but apparently they were common years ago. Many theaters with such rooms came equipped with electric bottle warmers, complimentary formula, and even in some cases a nurse on duty. Do you remember cry rooms? If so, please leave a comment.

Outside the shoe store, up where the name of the theater once was, it now simply says “Shoes.” It still lights up after dark. But no movies, just shoes.

Lusty billboard by I-5

billboard766Me thinks the billboard near this adult shop along I-5 is not there by random rotation.



Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.



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Lyn (@guest_3009)
7 years ago

I live further south on the Oregon Coast now, but I lived in Florence for many years. I’ve sure been enjoying your stories about places that are near and dear to my heart.

One of my best Florence memories involves all the movies I enjoyed at the Old Town Theatre in Old Town Florence. On more than one occasion, I was the only one in the whole theater, but no matter, the owner insisted on showing the movie anyway.

I know not everyone enjoys our Oregon Coast winters as much as I do, but you missed a spectacular showing of Mother Nature’s skills when you opted to remain inland!

Happy Trails!

Gene Bjerke (@guest_3002)
7 years ago

You know you are in the Bible Belt when you see equal numbers of churches and adult stores.

Buzzelectric (@guest_2999)
7 years ago

So my wife and I want to know why there so many adult stores along I-5? Randy truckers/rvers, or locals?

Chris (@guest_2990)
7 years ago

I remember a crying room in a church when I was really little. Our family was in there and the preacher was ranting and yelling and I asked What is he so mad about?

Dale Roberts (@guest_2982)
7 years ago

I remember the crying room. My brother and I would sneak into the one at the Ramona Theater in Buhl, ID. It was really quite inside like a hearing test booth only with sound piped in.

It was on the balcony and it was glassed in. Since there was only one way in and it was by the concession stand, the employees would always come up and make us leave.

Gary Anderson (@guest_2976)
7 years ago

Yes I do remember a cry room at the old Northgate Theatre in Seattle. Never remember crying babies in them, but do remember us teens hanging out in them. ?

RV Staff
7 years ago
Reply to  Gary Anderson

Oh, that was you in there! I went to movies there since Northgate (the first shopping mall in the U.S., BTW) was first built. And I did see moms with fussy babies taking advantage of the room. But at the Northgate Theatre, Gary, wasn’t it a glass booth behind the regular rows of seating? (Or maybe that was the old Crest Theater in what’s now Shoreline.) I can’t remember for sure; haven’t been there for almost 50 years! –Diane at

Gary Anderson (@guest_3014)
7 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Northgate had the glass booths on both sides of upper seating. Crest I am not sure.

RV Staff
7 years ago
Reply to  Gary Anderson

Thanks, Gary. I think it was the Crest, then, that had the glass booth behind the regular seating. But I could be wrong about that, too, at this point. 😮 –Diane

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