It's too bad. A Eugene institution for 55 years, Reed & Cross is closing soon. When we moved to Eugene when I was in 6th grade, I was dragged there unwillingly many times by my mom. But later, as they added kitchen doo-dads, even I enjoyed going there. After most of us moved back to Portland in later years, any trip to Eugene had to include a visit to two places- Reed & Cross, and Tino's Spaghetti House, long since closed.
It became a tradition with my mom to call if we went there without her, or if she went there without us. The surprise phone call beginning with, "Guess where we are" had only one answer: "Tino's!"
The Mrs. fell in love with Reed & Cross the first time I took her to Eugene many years ago. We shopped there for Christmas gifts many times over the years, stopping briefly on our way back from our traditional Thanksgiving weekend trip to Ashland, Jacksonville, and the Mrs' aunt and uncle in Yreka, CA.
The headquarters of our annual post-Thanksgiving Southern Oregon visit was always the Iris Inn.
The main focus of our visit was, number one, a visit to the Mrs.' fantastic aunt and uncle in Yreka, CA. Reason number two for the trip: Ashland's annual Grand Illumination and Santa's Parade. Our pre-parade dinner was usually at the Ashland Bakery & Cafe, aka the ABC. Saturday night, we would reserve for the relaxed, yes even charming Chateaulin.
But I'm getting ahead a little bit. Saturday mornings meant a sunny or snowy drive across the border to Yreka, greeting aunt and uncle, then going to Yreka's Christmas parade. After the parade, we'd head over to aunt and uncle's home, and play cards, eat leftovers, tell and listen to tall tales, watch the fire in the woodstove, and have some of the most memorable times of our lives!
The day would end too soon as aunt and uncle always insisted that we drive back over the Siskiyous during daylight. Good advice, because we spent many a late afternoon driving from Yreka back to Ashland in driving snow, fog, rain, or a combination of all three.
Sundays during our trip south we reserved for Christmas shopping in Jacksonville. Favorite places to pick up gifts included Gary West meats, for all the meat lovers in the family. Toys, books, puppets and trains for young and old were found at Scheffel's Toy store, (including model train "presents" for myself!). Many gifts for moms and sisters were purchased at GeBzz The Gallery. And of course, for lunch and some NFL watching the place to go was, The Bella Union Saloon.(But only if the Denver Broncos were playing.)
Sunday nights, we put our feet up, shared some popcorn, and relaxed with a movie at Ashland's Varsity Theater. (Although for one particular trip, the Mrs. insisted that I buy a tiny Casio TV so she could watch the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in our room at the bed and breakfast.)
No visit to the area was complete without a visit to Blackbird in Medford. Blackbird has everything you could possibly need. And I'm not kidding! From jewelry to automotive supplies. From sporting goods to wine making supplies, to clothing. It's a true men's shopping paradise! You can't miss it. There's a 29 foot giant blackbird outside. It's a Medford landmark. The blackbird likes to dress up. I remember him in tank top and shorts once. Of course during Christmastime he's decked out in a Santa hat.
Lots of years. Lots of memories. Tino's is sorely missed. We'll miss Reed and Cross too.