When I learned that the Gearhart grocery store, from which I live around the corner, was to become a brew pub, I was delighted. I immediately relived, in memory, the afternoons and evenings my wife, our three grandchildren and their parents enjoyed in the brewpubs of Portland — the world’s best beers, the inexpensive, tasty fare, and, best of all, the kid-friendly atmosphere and menus. The high-spirited conviviality, for all ages, is not often matched in commercial enterprises of any kind.

Then I thought of the summers-to-come: outdoor tables under a blue sky, following or preceding a day on the beach, many people with families and others without enjoying the center of our beautiful town, with the prospect of the vast majesty of the Pacific Ocean but a block or two away. Who could not be cheered by such a tableau of multi-generational human gaiety?

“A handful of residents,” that’s who, I learned from R.J. Marx in The Daily Astorian (“Residents fight Gearhart brew pub plans,” March 30). And they attire what is nothing more than their personal disfavor in the garb of concern for the “needs” of the community, as if any person, or “handful” of persons are qualified to decide what are my needs, or my neighbor’s or my neighbor’s neighbor’s.

And, if it is really “needs” we are talking about, what community “needs” more than a fire department, a police station and a post office? And what individual “needs” more than a glass of water, a bowl of soybeans and a waterproof jacket in winter? Who needs a dog, or a car, or a church? I don’t.

Shall I go then, through legal channels and attempt to have them banned from the city of Gearhart? And if each of us persuaded the authorities to ban everything we either disliked or had no use for, what would remain? A pretty picture Gearhart would be then, wouldn’t it?

Louis Sargent


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