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World Series For Oregonians, Or…

originally posted on http://www.oregonsportsnews.com/

A WORLD SERIES OF MVP OREGONIANS

The World Series once held the title as most important event in sports. Before the Super Bowl, before the NCAA Final Four became a dramatic mini-series, baseball’s finals were all that mattered.

It was a special time before streaming video and pod casts, before smart phones and tablets.

Recreate the magic by inviting your family out for a drive so you can all listen to a game on the radio together. Their response will tell you all you need to know about Major League Baseball’s popularity inOregon.

You’ll need to use all the finesse you can muster; the World Series is a time for bonding.

Pick one game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers and lure your family to the car with the wild exploits of Oregon-born players in the Series. If they don’t get in, promise to share more history with them.

Start withPortland’s Mickey Lolich. Read the rest of this entry

On The Wings Of Karl Friedrich, And History

Living in the city means hearing it all day and all night, urban voices from every cement jungle in history.

You hear voices from the sidewalk, inside the trolley.

Voices outside your apartment window wake you up.

It’s the charm of who’s who in the neighborhood.

Moving to the suburbs only changes the voice, from the actual words that sometimes annoy, to a distant buzz of a freeway that always annoys.

You hear airplanes buzzing overhead because you forgot to check if your new neighborhood lies under a flight path.

A human voice makes a difference.

We hear things as youths that stick a lifetime. That’s what happened to Karl Friedrich.

His mother told about women pilots in WWII. Like a good writer, it stuck with him.

Like a dedicated writer, he did something with it.

Karl Friedrich was the second writer I met while I was downtown for a Willamette Writers meeting; the first didn’t know he was a writer. Read the rest of this entry

Portland, Oregon: America’s Hot Spot, Or Wishful Thinking?

Inspired By Time

I'd ask for your number, but I didn't bring paper or pen or a pocket

(With history, it’s either hard or soft. Hard history comes with footnotes, citations, and references; soft is anecdotal word of mouth. Some go both ways.) 

Time Magazine ranks Portland #1 for less than meaningful relationships by researching okcupid.com.

And you thought the heat came from the number of Volcanoes In The City Limits 

Their investigative journalist looked at boxes checked for the sort of relationship okcupid members wanted, then cross-checked where the members lived.

Portland apparently leads the pack by more than a nose.

Before listing the Top Ten friendliest locations in America, let’s look at okcupid first.

When you land on the sign-up page you’ll learn that over 56,000 people are currently using the service, or “online now.”

The drop down menus are pre-filled for Gender, Orientation, and Status. With no corrections you are female, straight, and single. So far, so good?

Anyone wondering if okcupid is OK will see the blurbs from The Boston Globe – “The Google of online dating,” which means you’ll get 6,340,986 matches in 0.5 seconds?

About.com calls okcupid “The best free dating site.” You know you’ll get your money’s worth, and then some in Portland.

The Village Voice shows a certain hippness by calling okcupid “A favorite hangout for internet goers.” It makes you want to break out the beret, shades, and snap your fingers to show you’re cool. Internet Goers?

Time says, “Completely free.” The co-pay comes later at the itch clinic.

Boston didn’t land on the top ten, neither did New York, yet they still pump okcupid. Where’s the Oregonian and Willamette Week?

Here are the top ten cities in America for most promiscuous residents (MPR) according to the experts: Read the rest of this entry

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

Deep In The Heart Of Portland

OPEN MIC MEANS OPEN MIND

The guys showed up alone carrying acoustic guitars in soft cases, paste board cases, and custom hard cases.

Each of them planned to stand on stage and sing for twelve minutes.

Twelve minutes of soul searching.

Twelve minutes of analysis.

Twelve minutes of confession.

Then a man got up and sang Sweet Dreams by the Eurythmics on his banjo. Read the rest of this entry

Making History In Portland

THE LEVERAGE SET WITH TIM HUTTON

Say you’re walking in Portland on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Since it’s the golden hour, expect movie production.

But who expects to see stars?

Memo to fans: don’t yell at the talent; they’re actually working, you know, in character.

Apologies to Mr. Hutton.

 

 

 

Shares of Oregon History

Published on oregonlive.com

THEY SPENT THE MONEY, YOU SPEND THE TIME 

If someone invested $2.5 million in what you do, would you take it?

Probably not if it came from a drug cartel or North Korea.

Just to be clear, neither Kim Jong-Il or El Chapo gave the Oregon Historical Society two and a half million; the Oregon state lottery did.

Will the leaders of OHS do something different with $2.5 million than the leaders of the Sinaloa Federation or Pyongyang would do?

Let’s say it together, “Yes, they will.”

Since it is an investment, I have a few ideas, but first let’s clear up a few perceptions about history.

Most of the time, history means reading books with pages so dry they crack and dissolve when you turn them. That’s old history. New history, or slanted history, comes at you from an angle of disbelief and creates more doubt than satisfaction.

Either way, you deal with books, and not everyone wants a history lesson on paper.

OHS is 3D history. You can walk around it, look under it, but you can’t touch it. Is that alone worth $2.5 million? Probably not, since the museum already has exhibits on their floor.

What makes history worth the money, along with the tax levy from Multnomah County? Read the rest of this entry

History For 2.5 Million, Alex

INSPIRED BY THE STATE OF OREGON

Inside the Jeopardy studios, Alex Trebec welcomes one contestant.

Alex: Welcome to Jeopardy. Let’s get started.

Golden Pioneer: Hello Alex. I’ll take Portland for a thousand.

Alex: Easy now, we’re limited at first to $500.

Goldie: Let’s cut to the chase, Alex. Portland for $1000.

Alex: Fine. The answer is, “The Oregon Historical Society.”

Goldie: What is the most important museum in the city?

Alex: Yes. Based on the recent funding, OHS is the leader. Let’s go again.

Goldie: Oregon Social Impact for a thousand, please Alex.

Alex: Going big, eh? And the answer is, “The Oregon Historical Society.” 

Goldie: Which museum has the potential for greatest change in Oregon?

Alex: Yes, OHS. With all the neighborhood problems in Portland, they can all meet at OHS since it is free admission to Multnomah County Residents.

Goldie: I’d like… Read the rest of this entry

MAIN STREET, OREGON

St. Johns

In a gathering of people you can ask one question they all know:

“Where is main street where you come from?”

Every town, from ranch and farm hubs like of Sprague River to bustling cities like Pendleton, has a main street.  

In places like Tigard it’s even called Main Street.

That’s where you find what a city is all about.

Take this test: drive to a town near you, park your car in the city center, and walk a few blocks.  Note the environment. 

Does it make you want to run back to your car and speed away? 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