Hello, Post 134!

Our floors are laid and varnished, come by and see them if you haven’t yet! The final topcoat process began Monday, and will take several days– we’ll be open again Saturday. Big thanks to Joe Duckworth for making this happen! We absolutely couldn’t have done it without him. Joe is a man of many talents– we will be holding a release party for his book about his experience as a soldier on November 4th from 6:00pm-8:00pm. Post Commander Sean and Vice Commander John will be cooking up hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, please come by to support a valued member and enjoy some tasty eats!
Replacing the floors was an expensive undertaking, even though were we lucky enough to have Joe’s help– but Sally Lehman and Jessica Standfiird, valued Auxiliary members, sold baked treats and handmade scarves and caps outside the Post for four days while the floors were going in, raising eight hundred dollars! We are close to our costs, but not quite there– ideas about fundraising are appreciated, especially as our next step may be the bar remodel, which will be more costly.
On Saturday the 15th, we had a very successful food and clothing drive, assisted by local artist and friend of the Post Ron Mason Gassoway, who lined up a night of great music: Cambrian Explosion, Young Hunter, Black Ferns, Woolen Men, Galaxy Research, Banimal Masonique, Pillow Horse Quail, and Dr. Something put on a wonderful show, and their fans each donated one item at the door (some donated cash as well). Ron always collects food donations for us at the shows that he’s booked at our hall in the past, but the clothing donations collected this time were truly impressive– it took several hours just to fold and bag the mountain of jackets, socks, and so much more! Clothing donations are being distributed to local charities, with some set aside to be on hand. Many people brought food as well, and our pantry is filling up again. We’re so pleased to be developing a positive relationship with so many local artists, all of whom want to help out. It’s wonderful to see so many people giving their time and resources to make a difference for veterans in their community. Of course, the need is constant, especially as the holidays approach, so if you have anything that you’d like to give or ideas about best distributing what we have, contact this email address.
On that note, we have several holidays on the horizon! First up is Halloween: as we do every year, we’ll be participating in Trick or Treat Alberta Street from3:30pm to 6:00pm on Monday the 31st. We’ll be doing some set-up on Sunday, so come by at  or after 10am on Sunday the 30th if you’d like to help. We are also in dire need of candy, if history is any guide– we ran out twice last year! If you’re able to, keep an eye out for good deals and bring donations by during bar business hours. While delicious homemade treats will certainly be enjoyed by the adults, many parents are not comfortable giving their children unsealed goodies, so bear that in mind.
For Veterans Day this year, we’ll have our usual Open House and Potluck in the afternoon, and in the evening, the official release party for the 2015 War Stories Anthology!
War Stories is a reading and discussion group about the experience and effects of war sponsored by Oregon Humanities via the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Standing Together initiative, which seeks to promote understanding of the war experience in order to support veterans. This year, it will run from December through May on the first Tuesday of each month from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. To learn more about the program and how to participate, visit the Oregon Humanities website [Link].) Participants receive complementary texts about war, writing supplies, and a meal at each session, and are encouraged to produce writing of their own, some of which is complied into an anthology. The 2015 anthology will be available for purchase at the Veteran’s Day release, and also in both paperback and digital versions from Amazon. [Link] We’ll have live music that evening as well; bands are currently TBD.
Following Veteran’s Day, we’ll be having our usual Thanksgiving Dinner at the Post, on Thursday, November 24th. it’s time to start coordinating! Stop by the Post to sign up for a dish. Last year, we received seven turkey donations, I wonder if we can top that this year?
Finally, Christmas is on the horizon! Every year the Post selects two (or more) families to buy gifts for– typically, these are the families of veterans who are experiencing hard times around the holidays. If you have any recommendations, or would like to donate, please email this address: Al@post134.com
We certainly enjoy the literary arts at Post 134– there are currently seven reading series operating out of the Post: Legion Readers, Cats in a Dumpster, Songbook PDX, Grief Rites, 2cent Tuesdays, Corporeal Writers, and Discomfort Zone. Together, they form the Post 134 Curators, a group of writers and artists who use our space to gather and share their craft. Recently, they held their first awards ceremony, and our Post now has an official Poet Laureate, Kate Gray, and Writer in Residence, Matthew Robinson. Congratulations on your success, Kate and Matt, enjoy those trophies! if you’re curious about this “slush pile” of series, come to the Slush Pile Reading on Wednesday, October 26th  at the Post from 7pm to 10pm [Facebook event link]. OPB’s April Baer will be attending, working on a story about our community.
As some of you are aware, we recently helped three of our members travel to Haiti to assist with hurricane aid. Seth Grant, Damon Faust, and Kevin Pannell made the trip as part of the nonprofit Remote Emergency Training Solutions (RETS, [Facebook link]), a group that seeks to train local citizens proper medical procedure in order to enable rapid and effective disaster response. We would like to expand this program, and hope to work with the national American Legion organization to fund more trips and better supplies.
Our next Post Meeting will be November 13th at 3:30pm. We hope to see you there!
Goodness, what a long bulletin this turned out to be! To wrap it up, here is a brief summary of upcoming events:
October 20th: Open Mic Night
October 22nd: Live Music–Guts, Noise Brigade, and Wired for Havoc
October 26th: Slush Pile Reading
October 27th: Douglas’ Open Mic
October 29th: Live Music– Purple Frankie, Husky Boys, and Quone
October 30th: Halloween Set Up, followed by LGBT Trivia Night
October 31st: Alberta Street Trick or Treat 3:30- 6:00pm
November 1st: Wounded Warrior Project Peer Mentor Support Group
November 3rd: Open Mic Night
November 4th: Joe Duckworth Book Release Party, followed by Bingo
November 5th: Live Music– Grasshopper Convention
November 7th: Grief Rites Reading
November 9th: Legion Readers
November 13th: Workshop for Sexual Assault Survivors, followed by Post Meeting
Emma Willingham
Second Vice, Auxiliary Unit 134
American Legion Post 134
2104 NE Alberta St
Hours: 4pm to approximately 10pm (call to check)

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