Regarding Al Aya and his home on First Street, I rented the home from him for several years in the ‘80s before he retired and moved to Cannon Beach. It has an original Bartels rock fireplace. The Bartels brothers, Paul and John, were homesteaders who built a home at Silver Point. One of them was a photographer who shot myriad photos of many places that no longer exist in the Cannon Beach area. The other built the fireplaces.
Al became a close friend. For many years he rattled on about something called the Cascadia Subduction Zone, but no one really paid attention to him. Years later, as a member of the Cannon Beach City Council, I saw a flyer from the State of Oregon that was touting a conference in Seatac, WA about Cascadia. I thought of Al and was allowed to attend the conference on behalf of the city. I ran into Al there. In 1999, I reported to the Council about what I had learned and asked the council to form a committee to address the issue. The rest is history. The Cannon Beach Emergency Preparedness Committee was formed and I was appointed the chair of it and firmly told not to spend too much time and no money on it. Twenty years later our city has a robust infrastructure/education program to address the “not if, but when” event that faces our community. Al Aya served his community well.