My parents were George and Harriet McNamara Krom. My family moved from Wisconsin to Garden Home in 1946 when I was 3 years old. We bought the house on 7 acres of fruit orchard which was located on the NE corner of the intersection of Garden Home Road and Oleson Road, now Shari’s restaurant. Other corners were occupied by the Garden Home School, Gust Johnson’s gas station and Throckmorton’s store (Dairy Queen now). About 1950 our home was moved to 7770 SW Oleson Road, where a small business has been located. Roy Floyd lived next door. My folks moved to Garden Home because my mother’s sister, Dorothy Bastien, lived here.
Don attended Garden Home School, 1st grade through the 8th grade and then Beaverton High School for 1957-1961.
I remember when Al and Mike Dardis and I were cutting up confetti to celebrate when Dorothy Johnson was in the Miss America pageant. We took the confetti to the gas station (her father owned) and threw it all around. After her first runner-up win, the family took off out of here to Hollywood. Sold the station, thought they would make money off of Dorothy’s fame. Then the Mobil station moved in there.
The lot on the NE corner was then vacant until my mother and the Reinhardt brothers built the shopping center (Lambs, Texaco station, etc.). During this period of 1946-1960, Garden Home had a gas station, post office, barber shop, cannery, Hunt Club, store, several plant nurseries, Carlo Poutala’s Firlock Paint store (on 78th), etc. The grocery store (Throckmorton’s) burned down in 1956.
For shopping, we drove to Multnomah, Tigard, Beaverton or Raleigh Hills or took the bus to downtown Portland.
All of my friends and I picked strawberries, beans or hops to make money in the summer. Other times we caddied at the Portland Golf Club, babysat, mowed lawns, delivered newspapers or worked at Whitney’s Cannery.
A major organization was the Garden Home Community Church. Major church activities for those of us in the 7th and 8th grades and high school included ski trips, swimming, coed softball teams. Our basketball team was undefeated in 1960!
We were blessed with some outstanding teachers at Garden Home School: Phil McGriff (band), Mrs. Lawrence, Mrs. Iris Poutala, and Mr. Polier. Equally outstanding were parents who led Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, etc. Such as Mrs. Grant, Mrs. Norris, Mrs. Peyton, Bob Fisher’s mom, Mrs. Whitney, Ann and Willard Johnson and Mrs. Herzog.
Garden Home had many artists, musicians and writers at this time. Ward Hawkins, Dorothy Bastien (writer), Joe Dardis (orchestra), Erich Porshman (sculpture,artist), Willard and Ann Johnson (artists, parents of Goody and Holly) , Jim Bastien (piano pedagogue) and L.Ron Hubbard (writer science fiction) . Erich Porshman played the cello and was a wonderful artist. I took lessons from him. He also repaired my mother’s washing machine on the side. Joe Dardis, the father of Al and Mike, had a big band and played all over the nation. He was the singer. He was also the head of the Music Union in the 1920s and 1930s. Goody Johnson Cable (owns Rimsky Korsakoff Coffee House in Portland and with neighbor Sally Peyton Ford, the Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport) grew up on Vermont and owned 10 acres up there.
In the 1930s Dorothy Bastien had a writing group which included Peg Bracken who wrote about women’s issues and humor, L. Ron Hubbard writing his science fiction, Charlotte Goldsmith whoe husband flew in WWI and WWII. She wrote stories about the war and airplanes for the Saturday Evening Post and other publications. Dorothy Bastien wrote for Scholastic and also wrote books and novels.
Jim Bastien, Aunt Dorothy’s son was a classical pianist. He married Jane, lived in New Orleans and they both wrote piano books. Most new piano learners are using piano books by Jim Bastien. He died in 2005 and had a big obit featured in the NY Times.
I have lived and worked in Rhode Island, San Francisco, was in the Navy, had a wine store in Hillsdale and sold boats in Portland. My family has extensive property in Georgia and Florida and we travel back and forth. My son lives in Pittsburgh. My wife’s name is Carol.
Interview and editing by Elaine Shreve, 2017