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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Historical Humility

SHOUT IT FROM THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN, or earn trust quietly

Smith Rock, a place for silence and shouting

Do you trust the idea of History?  If so, it’s because History has always been there.

Trust erodes when History becomes a tool to create a new context for events, but it’s up to you to know the difference.

When you hear shouting from the mountain tops, History isn’t the topic.  The latest and greatest shout for attention.

History takes a different path, if you call mainstreamed information sources different.

In terms of automobiles, History is not this years model.  Instead of an SUV with electric windows, climate controlled seats, and enough cup holders to safeguard a twelve-pack of Yoohoo after a soccer game, History is a Ford truck on a dirt road.

It’s there when you need it.

You’ve seen the History of English, the History of Math?  When History accompanies a subject you know it’s important.

The history of a place, your place, makes it personal.  What’s more important than that?  

COACHING HISTORY

IT IS A TEAM EFFORT

Racing To Portland

Great coaches create history with their accomplishments.

Their teams ride into the sunset with the crowd cheering at their back.  Then the crowd looks for the next thing to cheer for.

If you’re a history fan, the Oregon Historical Society has much to cheer for, beginning with the Spring 2011 Historian.

From there, look at the formidable line-up assembled by Kerry Tymchuk, OHS Head Coach. Read the rest of this entry

FOX THEATER’S DATE WITH HISTORY

 Circumstances force cities to give up one building for another.

The Portland Hotel Reborn On Pioneer Square, Or The Empress

Portland is no different.  Even the Portland Hotel had to go. 

Such is the case of the Fox Tower on Southwest Broadway, rising from the footprint of the Fox Theater. 

A one-time luxury palace from the vaudeville era, the Fox Theater became a graveyard for lost pigeons and hungry rats through years of neglect. 

The news of The Fox’s demise shot out to every cinematic scavenger in the region.  It was ripe with history and they all wanted a piece. 

Rows of red mohair rocking seats packed the bowl in the Fox under a double balcony over-hang.  Precise acoustics made it special.  The humid stench of condemned air did little to dampen the sound quality from the stage to the back of the room. 

A gashed screen in front told the final story. 

Besides the plush seats and screen scar, the most gripping object in the room was a gold leaf sunburst surrounding a speaker with carved three dimensional rays stabbing outward.  It held the magic of theater, the only reflection once the lights dimmed for the feature. Read the rest of this entry

Oregon Ladies Get Their Letter

HISTORY NEVER FORGETS

Oregon's Jordan Hasay

An athletic record book includes nearly every accomplishment in sports, unless you were an early female competitor.

Times have changed between Babe Didrikson Zaharias  and Mariel Zagunis

Althea Gibson set the table for the Williams sisters in professional tennis.  BeckySisley did the same for the ladies competing at the University of Oregon.

Now the Oregon Ducks welcome the pioneers of women’s athletics, more than 250 women from 13 sports.  Their historical contributions will be forever safeguarded.

Gender equality plays a bigger role in sports, and outside of sports.  The best way to celebrate accomplishments in the face of adversity is creating context. 

Oregon women didn’t have enough uniforms for everyone and had to share.  They couldn’t play on the same fields as the men.  They weren’t offered scholarships.

But they still played, and University of Oregon women, athletes or not, are all better because of them.

OREGON PARADE

Four Listings In AMERICA by the Numbers

If a U.S. Dept. of Transportation report says Portland has the best bike culture in America, who’s to argue?  Not the Oregonian’s Jeff Mapes.

It’s fitting notice for the “natural metropolis of the northern Pacific Coast.

Bicycle culture explains Oregon ranking third in states graded for physical activity.  Minnesota is first, Colorado second, which means you move around more to stay warm than you do to dry off?

Dropping Portland into fifth place among Most Tattooed Cities means more art.  Support your city and ink a sleeve of regional beauty, just fight the urge for the neck spider tat. 

Parade Magazine’s final Oregon listing is a surprise for a Sunday morning.  Most strip clubs?  West Virginia leads all states, while Springfield, Oregon is revealed as the leading city.    

Now the rest of the country knows Oregon leads most states in bike awareness, physical activity, tattoos, and dancers.  While quite an honor, let’s hope the data was collected on more than one visit.

SPORT CITY

Soccer Division

You know a sport has deep roots when one city carries an MLS team, a college national champion, and rec leagues full of anxious coaches.

Something big happens when ex-football players introduce their kids to athletics through soccer.

Roots are strong when pro players stay after their league folds, and stronger yet when they coach the University of Portland to the top spot.

Vision and planning help a sport blossom.

In the Oregon History Museum’s special greenhouse, Soccer City thrives.