Friday, July 28, 2006

John Fraser - Of Can In Peach

Recently while writing the article about Cannon Beach sucking (see yesterdays post), I was mentally taken back to the days when Cannon Beach didn’t suck. There was and still is a local counter ennui hero, Dada Artist, John Fraser. John’s rascality captured nearly everyone’s attention especially since he came to town as a street performer and then decided to open a kite shop (supposedly the oldest kite shop on the coast.)

I have been out of the loop with what he has been doing over the last ten years, but I fondly remember his van with all that junk stuck to it, his VW with all those plastic pool toy stuck to it, but those were his most showy items.

I first met him distributing his monthly newsletter, "The Rocker" which was a spoof on all local things, and people. I still have all editions, but am missing 1-3. The humor is priceless.

Next, John had an answering machine on a phone and if you called 436-BOMB you could either leave a message or listen to all the messages that people left. This pre dated chat lines.

Next to his kite shop he had shop that offered plastic pickles for sale, but the shop was never open. There was only a sign that said Closed on Tuesdays. He placed the pickles in there to make it look like a real store. There was a counter and all the stuff a real store would have, but he never unlocked the door or opened the store. This was to test the city to see how long they were going to allow him to have a store in the city without a business license. I don’t know how that ever worked out, and since I refuse to go to Cannon Beach I may never know.

It is alleged that John is best known for his April Fools Day pranks. I’m saying alleged because I don’t know the statute of limitations of certain pranks, besides I have no personal proof that it was he who did these things. There was the year he (allegedly) went around and taped a sign on every business window in town that said “Espresso Sold Here.”

However my favorite was when he (allegedly) purchased a bunch of keys at a garage sale, and put a string tag on each one that said, “US Bank Back Door” and scattered them all over town. People were turning in the keys at the bank and at the police station for days. The police were not amused. The funny thing was that the US Bank didn’t have a back door. The police were not amused.

I did a quick search on John’s name, and I came up with his present website. It’s not totally wild and crazy, but it is simply a taste of the John I used to know. I'll look forward to seeing this site grow. It appears that it started up recently, at least the forum only dates back to June. I'm sure that with some seasoning and constant input of ideas from John, the web site will be a great resource for local comedy. Thanks John, and keep it coming.

You will need to copy and paste the link. Somehow this address has strange things happen when I try to link it in Blogger.


Anonymous heather said...

I grew up in cannon beach and I sooo remember calling 436-BOMB when I was 14 or 15 and leaving what I thought were the most interesting and thoughtful messages. I shudder to think. I remember the magic of receiving a coveted plastic pickle from John, straight off the van, glue and all. These were the days before shake shingles and white trim, right before Cannon Beach took a nose dive into snobbery. A little piece of me cries every time I have to go there. I left my heart in the woods behind the RV park. If you find it, please call 436-BOMB.

11:36 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Heather, and some will think that the days right now are the good old days.

You want to bet someone has that number and wonders why they get so many hang up calls?

6:12 AM  

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