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Category Archives: museum exhibit

Bruce Springsteen, Museum Director

If The Boss ran a museum, what would it look like?

Bruce Loves Oregon History, He's Got Some Of His Own

We know his themes; he’s reminded us for thirty-five years.

Bruce likes cars. He likes to race them:

I got a sixty-nine Chevy with a 396
Fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor
She’s waiting tonight down in the parking lot
Outside the Seven-Eleven store

Bruce likes Rock and Roll:

Well I got this guitar
And I learned how to make it talk

Sometimes he combines them:

Driving in to Darlington City
Got a union connection with an uncle of Wayne’s
We drove eight-hundred miles without seeing a cop
We got rock and roll music blasting off the t-top singing

Is it safe to say any museum Bruce ran would have to include cars and rock? Read the rest of this entry

FIND A WALL, TEAR IT DOWN

IT’S AN OREGON TRADITION

The names might be unfamiliar, but you live with their causes every day.

Susan B. Anthony means confusing coinage to some. Her dollar came out the same size as a quarter.

You may get quarter change for her dollar, but you can’t add value to the changes she pushed forward.

Does your Mom vote in elections? 

Does your sister vote, or wife, or any women you know?

Thank Ms Anthony for them.

Women in every state stood up when it was easier to stay down.  None stood taller in Oregon than Abigail Scott Duniway.

When someone achieves important status, they usually do it with help.

You’ve heard of Ida B. Wells-Barnett? Read the rest of this entry

Portland Becomes THE Portland

Janet Guthrie and Rolla Vollstedt talk it over

On opening day, June 1, 1905, the Lewis and Clark Expo shifted Portland, Oregon into gear.

The race to modern times began with the old surveyors on their first visit; they were still on the job a hundred years later.

To some, Lewis and Clark belong on top of the American secret agent list for their crafty mission to claim the west coast.

To others they are the greatest field scientists of their time.

On June 1, 1905 Lewis and Clark meant only one thing: PARTY.

Anything kicking off with a parade is a good time, this year and yesteryear, with the roar of the crowd and thunder of the wagons rolling by.

In perfect Lewis and Clark step, the Oregon Historical Society opened their own parade on June 1, 2011, complete with the roar and the thunder of race cars and race car people steering between Rolla Vollstedt’s Indy 500 cars and the Benson.   

Not what you expect from history? Read the rest of this entry

OREGON MAGIC

What’s In A Name

Two books earn their ride in every car driving Oregon roads:

     – Oregon Geographical Names.

     – Oregon Roadside Geology.

OGN puts names and places together. 

ORG travels time.

For example, does it matter that the majestic Cascades are so new that the ancient ruins of an earlier range lay buried under your car when you drive the Santiam? 

 Don’t worry, they won’t erupt.

With ORG you will notice every road-cut, every scraped hillside exposing rock layers for your enjoyment, in a whole new light.  The uninitiated will tire of your narrative, but press on.  They’ll get it. 

Will it matter more if you know the date the post office first opened in the next town you drive through?  Maybe, but OGN is more than that. Read the rest of this entry

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