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Tag Archives: Oregon Historical Society

Oregon Historian History

OR, “YES, I KNOW.” (Thank you RICHARD ETULAIN )

The question: Where are the historians of Oregon and why don’t we hear more from them?

Blame confusion.

Oregon is not England.

There is no long and dramatic history of the King and Queen of Oregon, deciding battles in the Oregon Channel, or telling timelines of Oregon colonizing the rest of the world.

For some, Oregon is a cherished Eden far beyond the power of common words. The aching beauty of a beach at sunset; the ghostly drama of shadows dancing through the Columbia Gorge; the noble fierceness of the Cascades.

History happens somewhere between the natural environment of Oregon and a forgettable county commissioner meeting in Hillsboro, Coquille, or Vale.

Images of Oregon could fill a calendar a thousand months long, but it wouldn’t be history. Notes from county meetings fill archival storage all over the state, but that’s not history either.

What is history, then? 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

You Know It’s Oregon When…

The pioneers keep on showing up.

It might not be a covered wagon, but they don’t stop.

It might be I-5, but they’ve still got the spirit.

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