MOTEL

Cliff House Inn

(1970)

Twenty years ago, when the sheriff in the coastal county of Lincoln, Oregon, wanted to find an escaped convict or a wanted hooligan, the first place he would look was the decrepit four-story hotel moldering along Cliff Street in Nye Beach. Sitting on a sandy bluff forty-five feet above the ocean, the seaside hotel was once an elegant honeymoon destination, reachable only by train.

But like many other extravagant resorts from the Roaring Twenties, the Cliff House, as it was named then, slumped into hard times. During the fifties, it briefly served as the Greyhound bus station for the coastal town. And, by the mid-seventies at any given time about sixty people could be found squatting in the twenty rooms of the hotel.

But all of that was before Goody Cable had her epiphany.

“I was a fool, I had this idea,” she says with gee-shucks country girl charm. “I wanted to be around interesting people,” she explains. “I thought about traveling, but I realized that I like to tell people I’ve been places, but I don’t really like to go.” She decided instead to bring the interesting people to her—to open a B&B for the literary minded.

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

To read the full piece, please visit our store to purchase a copy of the magazine.

—Phil Busse

Phil Busse is the managing editor for the Portland Mercury, a weekly paper in Oregon.

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