Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 15, 2011 11:49 AM. The previous post in this blog was Good day, sunshine. The next post in this blog is The pedal hits the meddle. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Monday, August 15, 2011

The chance you take, the choice you make

Thirty-three years ago today, a scrawny guy in a Volkswagen Beetle with Jersey plates drove into Portland with all his possessions in the back seat and the trunk. He was coming to town on a one-year mission, after which he was planning to move to Los Angeles and become a corporate and tax lawyer there. He wound up liking Portland so much that he never left. His beach boy dreams were replaced by life under a volcano.

We took a shot at writing the story of that first year here, and it's an older guy's pleasure to read those reminiscences. But let's take a look around at today. One of our very favorite songwriters asks in one of his best songs, "Do you ever run into that guy who used to be you?" What would we say to the guy in the photo if we met him in 2011 Portland?

Easy -- the same songwriter sets it all out, here. Just click on the arrow in the purple circle.

Comments (16)

The question is how much longer are you going to stay, Jack. I got here in June of 1977 (shortly before the Blazers won their only championship). Flew in on a United flight from Boston via Chicago. Spent my first night in a fleabag hotel on NE 82nd. The rest is history.

The city I once loved is gone. Very gone. And I know that at some point I will be moving on. Probably when I get the old age lay-off from my employer. I want something of a package as it is all I will get outside of the 401K I've been paying into.

I am so not who I was when I got here. And it had to be that way and I am good with it.

Jack and LA - I landed timewise between the two of you, in August, '77, to spend a year as a Jesuit Volunteer in the Old Town area, a far grittier place back then. I lived in NW Portland, which still had a lot of facilities for the elderly and the mentally ill - I remember one early morning being awakened by the yelling of a woman wandering the streets stark naked. The gentrification that occurred back then - NW Portland and Hawthorne a bit later - seemed so much more organic. People invested their own money, and even the upgrades had some creativity to them. Now, development seems so scripted, almost "big-box" like, even when the money is going to local developers. I do wonder - is it just me getting cranky and old about the changes I see, or have we really lost our way as a community?

"Ahh, but I was so much older then
I'm younger than that now" ?

Umpire...we have lost our way as a community, but it may not be too late.

In Aug '77 I was in-transit from the 7th Marines (Camp Pendleton) to Marine Security Guard School, at Headquaters Marine Corps (Wash DC.) On graduation day, Embassy Marines are given their orders and immediately depart for their respective embassy or consulate posting.

At the time, we had 121 embassies and 117 consulates around the world. No one knew where they would be posted until graduation.

When the Company 1stSgt told me I was to be posted in Tel Aviv, I asked what country that was. When informed that it was Israel, I asked "Didn't they just have a war there?" The 1stSgt laughed and said "Yes they did son, good thing you qualified expert."

As it turned out, it was the greatest adventure of my life. And, I had no idea that one morning 10 months later, I would spot a cute blond in Herzliya Pituach. We've been together ever since.

umpire.... my first abode was a beat-up rental house (shared by 4) on the corner of NE 73 and Oregon. Once we both got jobs in NW, the cross town bus ride was horrific so we moved into a one bedroom (2 of us) on the corner of 24th and Quimby. Getting someone to rent to 2 out of towners with not much financial history was a challenge too. NW Portland was redlined for bank loans back in the mid to late 70s. CNF and the hospital had plans to take over the area as commercial. You could buy a small very beat up Victorian house in that hood for around $35K in those days. Bigger and nicer would run you maybe $60k. But it was a sketchy area. Well except for Bill Walton gracing us with his presence (at Jack Scott's place) during season. And that just brought the drunks out to yell late at night after losses.

And I did some work for a guy rehabbing a house in the hood once as barter payment for his using his truck to pick some stuff up for us.

Those were the days....

...or have we really lost our way as a community?

In my view, we have had to deal with too much negativity brought on by our city policies, horrendous changes by negative infill, congestion, and the umpteen meetings, school property issues,Hayden Island folks trying to save that land, Mt. Tabor folks trying to save those reservoirs, the list is very long. So much energy is spent on reacting that very little down time is left to focus on other good directions for our community.

So my answer is no, we have not lost our way as a community, however, our elected officials have lost their way, and have let us down as they have not been invested in making our living here better. As a result,we have to exert once again even more energy to replace them at the coming elections.

LucsAdvo said:The city I once loved is gone. Very gone...

I am afraid that sentiment is widespread.

We can only hold down the fort so to speak at this point to prevent more negative change. That will mean seeing to it that these same types that would continue the "agenda" do not get elected.

I drove here in the Summer of '74 -- and heard Governor Tom (at least I recall it) admonish me to not forget to go back home. After landing in Beaverton's Satellite Motel that seemed like a good idea. I planned to stay a few years and head back to Boston and the Route 128 technology center. But I also fell in love with Portland. And KINK radio. The local TV stations which rotated amongst themselves a monthly call-in program to talk to the station general manager. And the Skyline Drive-in. Portland seems a people-centric little town.

And La Pâtisserie and their salt water aquarium with that funny little fish who enjoyed swimming into the stream of air bubbles. And Jazz de Opus downstairs. Old Town was edgy and comforting at the same time.

Maybe we're just old and unwilling to turn the reins over to the new young pups....

Oh, and Victoria Fuller on KPTV news.

Old Zeb ... if only..... life and the city were so simple as then... outside of the year in law school in Beantown (and I was a student not a working stiff in Boston), Portland was the first city I ever lived in. It was vibrant and almost magical, not blighted like so many smaller East Coast cities... well Old Town was blighted but I never felt totally unsafe like I did in parts of Boston. There was no gridlock and not rush hour back in the 70s. The economy was not great in the late 70s but we all knew we were going to find a way to make it if we kept plugging. I would not want to be a 22 year old moving here in June of 2011 (I was 22 in June of 1977).

I admit I came here for the following reasons.... Another Roadside Attraction (I really wanted to hunt edible (not druggie) mushrooms and forage in the woods) and Portland Town Council (it seemed that this was a progressive city for gay folks to come and live and not be dogged by blue laws or whatever) and to escape from the tyranny of my ridiculously crazy parents.

I'd always meant to move to SF (starting as a teen), but the year in Boston convinced me that smaller was a better idea.

I don't think this city is fixable. We've gone far too astray from the days when grass roots activists could get Margaret Strachan and Bud Clark elected to City Council. The fix is in everywhere. Elections are bought and sold. The media is far worse than it was during Margaret's initial election (before she forced the run-off and surprised everyone).

And most people who are here may not have long term plans to put roots down and make any one place their home.

I did want to make this place home as did any number of my friends (of all ilk) who showed up here in the late 70s and early 80s. We used to talk about our vision around the dinner table. Now we talk about our anger and sadness at how wrong it's gone.

All of this still begs the question, what can be done by those of us who care who have day jobs and have become increasingly cynical as one bad deal after another is done.

I came in January 1980, after the usual 2-year post-college hiatus in California. I landed in the aftermath of a major ice storm. First month here, someone cut loose with gunfire a in a Salem bar, for the usual reason (love lost) - but he used an automatic weapon. Eight weeks later, Mt. St. Helens started some subterrainian activities.

I knew pretty quick I was no longer in California. Yet, here I am.

Moved out from the midwest in 1972. If you've spent any time there, you know why.
I lived on Tillamook, off Williams Ave., for a couple of years and felt perfectly safe wandering the hood after dark.

I've lived in NE,NW, Sandy River, Oregon City, West Linn, and finally settled in SW. Paid $37K for the first place, on Vermont. Sold it at $150k and got a place with a view of the Coast Range.

Sak's Front Avenue: Paul Delay Blues and Robert Cray, every week. Last Hurrah: varied quality. Euphoria: Name bands in the mix. Louis La Bamba: eclectic. Good times, back in the day. No gunplay.

Heh . . . Seattle from Madison WI by VW bug in '74, road gigs in Stumptown by '75 (the T Room), then permanent relocation in '80 following a flame (still with her after 31 years). Now living outside the Tri-Met area (just), but still enjoying the Oregon scene and scenery. Thanks for the memories.

I remember that night in Portland when the surprised media came to Margaret Strachan's door, and she said something like - They had the money, I had the people.

I am trying to be optimistic here that people will once again prevail.

clinamen - I was at Margaret's house that night when the media showed up (I was part of her campaign but only because she shamed me into it in the beginning). And we gave them a rousing version of this: If anyone has the tape it's KGW, since Pete Schulberg's comments led to the serenade. Her opponents really had name recognition (Steve Kafoury and Earl the Pearl) but no one was spending big bucks on campaigns back then. Yeah, we spray painted the yard signs in an old warehouse in the industrial district and we went door to door all over the city. But even with the kind of grass roots support that came out of the old NW neighborhood association (how I first met Margaret), it today's world, it just wouldn't get anyone a win.

I no longer believe the people can prevail clinamen. And I used to be on the front lines of a number of campaigns. (Strachan and Bud Clark and some ballot initiative movements). I just have lost my belief in the political process in this city.

"I no longer believe the people can prevail ..."

Nor do I. I worked on Liz Callison's campaign when she ran for Metro Council in 1998 garnering about 42% of the vote.

In later years she made a couple of attempts for a Portland City Council seat, but by that time a smear machine was in effect.

I came to Portland in late 1979 thinking it was a truly progressive planning mecca. These days I am sometimes truly sorry I have spent so much of my adult life here. Recently returned from a conference in DC and am realizing that clear thinking is more prevalent elsewhere.

Depressing. Is it a great place for kids to grow up? Some of them see through it and leave as soon as they can.

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 8
At this date last year: 0
Total run in 2018: 10
In 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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