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.
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
Portland, like many cities, changes street names to honor the times we live in.
But there’s more to do.
Union Avenue became MLK, and the city celebrated.
SE 39th became Cesar Chavez Blvd., and the city celebrated.
Front Avenue became Naito Parkway, and the city celebrated.
Instead of limiting the celebrations to Portland, why not invite the rest of the state to the party by renaming Ross Island Bridge.
My suggestion: The Oregon Bridge. Read the rest of this entry
Some of the most peaceful places on earth are military graveyards.
The Cambridge American Cemetery in England is no exception.
The sense of peace on these grounds feels eerie considering the extremely violent war-time deaths.
Paths on either side of the reflecting pool lead to the memorial. You don’t expect something unusual in a memorial, especially if you’ve seen a few.
Finding it means someone from Oregon is buried here?
For Oregonians, as it is for those from other states, the seal has never been more somber.
When you consider those who served and died from your state, it hits home. You might be memorialized if not for the circumstances of time and birth.
Think of your parents and grandparents, those closer to the fire, when you walk the grounds. The Greatest Generation got that way by what they did in WWII.
That they left so many of their comrades in so many sites speaks to their drive and fervor.
WWII did that. Read the rest of this entry
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
AND EVERYWHERE ELSE
You’ve noticed the explosion of local produce and perishables showing up in parking lots near you?
They’re called farmers markets.
Portland has one.
So do other cities, but after the PSU campus/Portland Farmers Market, what else is there?
Beaverton, but that’s later.
Where else but Portland do you see guys dragging their sleeping bags draped like capes and asking for coffee money. All PSU alums know the drill.
It happens around all college campuses. They’re usually history majors lost in an era.
Portland Farmers Market is more than an organic, free roaming, flower child, or a soup kitchen in the Haight. It’s not some clan offering their love in the form of fresh salsa and smoked salmon.
The goods are there, but what stands out most? Read the rest of this entry
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
Circumstances force cities to give up one building for another.
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