Let’s Get Civil……..

(Welcome back to Thebeerchaser.  If you are seeing this post through an e-mail, please visit the blog by clicking on the title above to see all of the photos and the video at the end of the post and so the narrative is not clipped or shortened.)

History, Semantics, Sensitivity and Common Sense

On Saturday, November 27th, the Oregon State University Beaver Football Team will square off against the nationally-ranked Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.   As stated at the beginning of a wonderful book by the five-time winner of the Oregon Sportswriter of the Year Award, Kerry Eggers entitled, The Civil War Rivalry – Oregon vs Oregon State:

“Thirty-five years after Oregon reached statehood and fewer than 30 years after the end of the Great War between the Union and Confederate States, the University of Oregon and Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) met on the gridiron on a sawdust field in front of 500 curious observers….The Farmers beat the Lemon-Yellows 16 to 0…that cold, wet November day in 1894.”

It’s one of the nation’s oldest football rivalries and only three current competitions have lasted as long on the West Coast. It ranks fifth nationally with the most games played. Now, since I started this blog in 2011, I have carefully stayed away from political topics other than during the pandemic, strongly supporting vaccines and mask wearing – although I consider these to be public health issues rather than in the political realm.

That said, and at the risk of alienating and possibly losing some Beerchaser followers, I’m going to make a case for possibly an unpopular position on the nomenclature for this rivalry.

As reported by ESPN on 7/26/20 in an article “Oregon, Oregon State dropping ‘Civil War’ name for rivalry games.”  

“Changing this name is overdue as it represents a connection to a war fought to perpetuate slavery,’ Oregon State president Ed Ray said in a statement. ‘While not intended as reference to the actual Civil War, OSU sports competition should not provide any misconstrued reference to this divisive episode in American history.” (emphasis added)  

It should be noted, that a new name has not since been adopted and the primary suggestion to this point is “The Platypus Bowl.” (Yeah Right!).  As Oregonian Columnist, John Canzano stated in his piece on 11/22/21 entitled, “Ducks-Beavers rivalry game doesn’t just need name — it needs a purpose,”  “Get right on it. Because this no-name stuff is a no-win thing.”

I’m not sure that I concur with Canzano’s suggestion that the schools sell the naming rights to the clash.  (* See external photo attributions at the end of the post.)

The Platypus Bowl?? Give me a break! *1

Now, I personally, would not suggest for a second that equating a football game between two State schools to the tragedy of the War Between the States would be appropriate.  And other than some frothy and probably suds-induced rhetoric years ago at the start of the rivalry making the comparison, I don’t believe that analogy holds. 

It’s antiquated and the controversy arose in 2020 because of divisions in the US.  The discord has even caused rioters in Portland to topple an historic downtown statue of Abraham Lincoln – it hasn’t been restored to this date.

The State of Oregon has a troubled past when it comes to race, and the issues fomenting the riots (at least initially) are serious and compelling.  By acquiescing, however, and renaming a “gridiron battle” as a symbolic gesture, do we exacerbate the split rather than putting this contest in perspective for what it is – a fun and exciting intrastate rivalry?

Can one really compare an annual football game between Beavers and Ducks from Corvallis and Eugene to the epic and tragic Battles of Antietam, Shiloh, Bull Run or Chancellorsville?  It can also be asserted that “civil war” is a generic term referring to two or more fighting armies or competing entities from within the same country or nation.

I would suggest that putting forth this analogy is an inferential leap that if pursued further might suggest that the Apple Cup in Washington between the University of Washington and Washington State – a rivalry dating back to 1900 – be renamed because of inappropriate religious implications – The Garden of Eden and forbidden fruit:

“The (forbidden) fruit has commonly been represented as an apple due to wordplay of the Latin word for apple, malus, which can mean both ‘evil’ and ‘apple’….The term can also refer to something illegal or immoral to do.”

Tailgating in the Garden of Eden prior to the Apple Cup *4

Ironically, that Biblical inference may be appropriate this year since both Jimmy Lake, the UW Football Coach and Nick Rolovich from WSU have both been fired since the season started.   They may be using their resumes in lieu of fig leaves to cover their (employment) nakedness.

Of course, the trend in purifying semantics could go further – along the lines of school mascots – as has been the case recently throughout the country.  While Ducks other than their obnoxious quacks are non-controversial, Beaver are not sacrosanct as documented in a Wildlife Services Fact Sheet:

“Beaver cut down trees for food and for building materials. On large trees, beaver will feed by removing all the bark within easy reach around the tree. This prevents moisture and nutrients from moving from roots to leaves and causes the tree to die. Other trees are lost due to rising water levels behind the beaver dam.”

Questionable Analogies Continued…..

As Eggers writes in his fascinating history of the historic contest, former Oregon Coach, John “Cap” McEwan, who had been an All-American as a West Point cadet and went on to become head coach at the USMA is the source of the appellation:

“(McEwan) was the one who first labeled the Oregon – Oregon State football game as ‘the great Civil War’ in the lead up to the 1929 game in Eugene.”

Cap McEwen *6

And it’s understandable how athletic coaches in pre-game speeches, use battle metaphors to motivate their players – especially in football.  But let’s examine the thought process to see if the connection deserves some scrutiny in the case at point – especially for those who are literalists. 

Take this excerpt from a wonderful and scholarly blog (“Skulking in the Holes”) in a post entitled “That Old Sports as War Metaphor” published by Dr. Jamel Ostwald, a Professor of History at Eastern Connecticut State University.  He is qualified to opine on the topic since his teaching interests include Early Modern European History, History of Religion, and War Military History.  He also has several books to his credit. 

Interestingly enough, although the Eastern Connecticut Warriors (hmm..) have a robust athletic program, it doesn’t include football although students can join the Football Club

Eastern Connecticut – Football Club but no Football Team *7

Rumor has it, however, that Dr. Ostwald’s undergraduate and graduate alma mater, where he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Early Modern European History, does have a football program —The Ohio State University!

“The angle I’ll talk about today is one that appears again and again – the comparison of football (or sport more generally) to war. Given the physical and mental damage caused by throwing bodies around after a pigskin, it’s no surprise that football players and coaches will, in unguarded moments, refer to their contest as ‘war,’ with the linesmen ‘fighting it out in the trenches,’ with the need to ‘defend this house’ [from assault apparently], and so on.”

Taking this approach a little bit further, from the site UKEssays in an essay entitled “Similarities Between Sports and War”: 

“War is phenomenon which is essentially coupled with destruction, devastation and sorrow and there exist no exception. It is often considered evil and gloomy, too. On the contrary, sport is usually perceived as something that builds character and that it keeps one healthy and is a grand source of positive energies.”

Note:  The excerpt above is from a 4,678 word -19 page essay published on May 1, 2017 and seemed to add to the discussion.  I can’t cite the author, however, because upon further investigating, I discovered that the site is an “essay mill” – a hot topic in England.  These are sites where one can purchase college papers and even dissertations from professional writers.   

This topic could be a blog post in itself, and the internet reviews and articles on the various options available to British university students were fascinating (and troubling).   At least there’s a thread of connection since we are talking about colleges…….

Futhermore…..

Before abandoning the war vs sports topic and continuing to justify my position about why the comparison between the US Civil War and the Oregon vs. Oregon State game is not intellectually valid and abandoning the traditional title is misguided, I want to further my point a bit more. 

After college and the Navy, my employer was Clackamas County for seven years.  I worked closely with County Counsel who were my legal advisors when I worked for the Elections Department and then the County Commissioners.  I was about the only OSU grad, since most of the lawyers went to the University of Oregon for undergrad or law school or both.

Each year I had a bet on the Oregon vs OSU game with the late Mike Montgomery, who was the Chief Deputy DA.   The loser had to wear a tie to work and buy the winner lunch the Monday after the game and be the brunt of sarcastic comments from co-workers.   I still have the tie – probably because I was the one who usually had to wear it……

For the last twenty-five years of my career, I worked in an outstanding large law firm (Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt) and two of our five offices were in Portland and Seattle.  Since both UW and U of O have law schools, the Washington Husky vs Duck rivalry was almost as heated as OSU vs Oregon.   

Before the rivalry games, many lawyers who had onerous production goals would temporarily abandon the billable hour to research and e-mail stupid jokes, make individual wagers and organize firm betting pools (of course, without violating any statutory prohibitions…). 

Each year, one would see the same inane jokes such as the following:

Q:  What do you call a Duck Fan with half a brain?

A:  Talented and gifted.

Q:  How do you keep Beavers from infesting your yard?

A:   Put up goal posts.

Q:   What is the difference between an Oregon State football player and a dollar?

A:  You can get four quarters out of a dollar.

The e-mail traffic would be frenetic reaching a crescendo until some of the lawyers who went to Ivy League Schools and were above the fray, would admonish their colleagues to return to more cerebral (and profitable…) topics such as the Rule Against Perpetuities or drafting Daubert motions. (Besides, who can get pumped up about the Harvard vs Yale rivalry.)  This type of revelry is typical of companies throughout the entire State of Oregon in the week preceding the game.

So viewing the above pictures of the school mascots and the vacuous dialogue in the examples, go ahead and argue that continuing the name “Civil War” has broader social implications or invites inappropriate recollections of the Monitor and the Merrimack at the Battle at Hampton Roads or is any way equivalent symbolically or otherwise to Sherman’s March to the Sea.   

Since I was in legal management and responding to 150 lawyers who taught me to anticipate questions, I would also suggest that in the future when contemplating such actions, the decision-makers carefully consider the following rather than reacting more viscerally:

  • What problem will the proposed solution attempt to solve?
  • What individuals and/or groups will be affected by the proposed solution?
  • Will it have just a short-term impact or effectively accomplish the intended goal for the long term.
  • What, if any, will be the unintended consequences?

Family “Skirmishes”

In my own family, the emotions over the rivalry are present since I’m a Beav, my wife of forty-one years is a Duck and our older daughter, Lisa and her husband, Jamie, are both Huskies – they met at UW.  In fact, Jamie is a third-generation Husky whose grandfather had season tickets for sixty-two years.   

His dad, Jon Magnusson, the former CEO and Chair of the Magnusson Klemencic Associates firm in Seattle did the structural engineering for Husky Stadium, the resurrected Hayward Field in Eugene, Martin Stadium at WSU and will be involved with the $325 million  renovation of Reser Stadium in Corvallis starting next month.

The picture below is from Beerchasing two years ago where we traded Beaver-Husky barbs while drinking cheap beer at The Caroline a great Seattle dive bar.  (In the picture, I had just asked “How many Huskies does it take to change a tire?”   Answer: “Two. One to hold the wine spritzers and one to call Dad.”)

Three Huskies and a Beav (Jamie, Jon, Don and Rob)

Jamie traveled from Seattle to Corvallis to watch my reaction in 2015 when the Huskies trounced the Beavs 52 to 7.   He agreed that we should leave in the fourth quarter.

In Conclusion

I’m concerned about our country (and the world) and pray about topics ranging from climate change, social justice and discrimination, poverty and economic inequality, drug addiction, homelessness, access to health-care, voting rights, educational policy, the plight of refugees and other seemingly insurmountable issues we face.

But I would suggest that each of us do something tangible about the above crises by contributing our time and money, further educating ourselves about the causes and having a constructive (and civil) dialogue with others who have different opinions.   These are more constructive than symbolic gestures of questionable effectiveness.

However, this Saturday – one of the few where the Duck I love will allow me to have Reser’s Chips and Creamy Ranch Dip while drinking a PBR Tallboy, I’ll be watching the civil war game (where the Beavs are bowl eligible for the first time since 2013) and celebrating the joy of intrastate athletic competition.

Cheers, Have a Wonderful and Safe Thanksgiving and Go Beavs!

External Photo Attribution

*1 (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Platypus-sketch.jpg This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or fewer.  Author: John Gould – 1864.

*2 Wikimedia Commons (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statue_of_Abraham_Lincoln_(Portland,_Oregon)#/media/File:Abraham_Lincoln,_South_Park_Blocks,_Portland,_Oregon_(2013).JPG) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  Author: Another Believer – 27 September, 2013.

*3 (https://www.opb.org/article/2020/12/28/portland-oregon-statues-protest-black-lives-matter-elk/)  Author: Sergio Olmos.

*4 Wikimedia Commons (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_of_Eden n the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or fewer.  Author: Peter Paul Rubens – circa 1615.

*5  (https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/11962755238966344/Fernanda Gomes saved to Christmas – http://pbs.twimg.com

*6  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McEwan#/media/File:John_McEwan.jpg) This media file is in the public domain in the United States.  Author: Brown Brothers – Photographer – 1916.

*7  Eastern Connecticut State University Website (https://gowarriorathletics.com/index.aspx)

*8  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BennyBeaverPhoto.jpg) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.  Author:  Flickr user “VRC Jeremy” – 2 March 2008.

*9  Wikimedia Commons (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Oregon_Duck#/media/File:The_Oregon_Duck_in_2011.jpg) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.  Author: Ray Terrill – 19 November 2011.

*10   Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Hampton_Roads#/media/File:Battle_of_Hampton_Roads_3g01752u.jpg)  Artisit: Kurz & Allison.

*11  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherman%27s_March_to_the_Sea#/media/File:F.O.C._Darley_and_Alexander_Hay_Ritchie_-_Sherman’s_March_to_the_Sea.jpg)  Artist: F.O.C. [Felix Octavius Carr] Darley, (1822-1888).

FDW — Beerchaser of the Quarter – Part II

The Young Couple

(Welcome back to Thebeerchaser.  If you are seeing this post through an e-mail, please visit the blog by clicking on the title above to see all of the photos and so the narrative is not clipped or shortened.)

Besides reviews of bars and breweries, each quarter I select an individual or group as my Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter.  This “honoree” may or may not have anything to do with bars or beer, but have an interesting story.  Past designees have included war heroes, academicians, athletes, lawyers, musicians, media personalities and two Catholic priests.  My Dad, F. Duane Williams, is my latest Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter.

For a complete list from the ten years of this blog see:  https://thebeerchaser.com/2020/12/13/beerchasers-of-the-quarter-who-what-why/

In the first post about my dad, Duane Williams (FDW) and his wife Frannie, I related how they met while working for American Airlines in New York City, got married, lived in Merrick, Long Island, New York and welcomed their first two children – Lynne and Don (now known as Thebeerchaser) before moving to a suburb of Philadelphia where their third child, Garry, was born.

On my forth birthday, we moved to Madeira, Ohio – a suburb of Cincinnati – where two years later, the fourth child, Rick, was born.   Thus began the ten-year Ohio chronicle of an active, middle-class family with the dad working as a salesman for Bigelow Carpets and the mom, working at home to raise four active kids.

A Strong Foundation

While we were young, our parents strived and sacrificed to both ground us and educate us to the world around us.  Tommy, a beautiful collie was our first dog, who eventually went to a farm – a real one not the proverbial one in the sky – because he chased cars down Miami Ave on which we lived.

We went to church at the Madeira First Presbyterian Church – only about five blocks away where I also went to kindergarten.  (The Church still sponsors a Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop).  All of us attended Miami Hills Grade School.  The first memory from that period is when I received a misguided accolade from my kindergarten teacher.   The conversation at home went like this:

Frannie:   Donald, we’re proud of you.  Your teacher, Mrs. Colter, told us how polite you are because you always remove your hat before you come into the room with the other children.  She said that you are the only boy that does that.

Don:  Mom, I hate that dumb hat.   The only reason I take it off is because I don’t want anyone else to make fun of me because of the way it looks.

Scouts

A key influence in all four kids’ lives was Scouts – Brownies for Lynne and Cub Scouts for the three boys.   And my parents were active participants – most notably, Frannie, who was the epitome of a Cub Scout Den Mother,  not one who just babysat while the young kids played games, but a teacher and mentor.

The two photos below from the Oregon City Enterprise Courier were not from Madeira, but after we moved to Oregon and Mom continued her Den Mother tradition – this time with Rick.  It shows her taking the den on a tour of the historic McLoughlin House.

America the Beautiful

One strong memory is from one of the quarterly Pack meetings – an evening affair where all the Dens in the Pack – kids and their parents – attended about a ninety minute celebration of Scouting and current activities.   At the beginning of each meeting one Den would be responsible for the opening ceremony and they were usually pretty perfunctory.

However, Frannie, going back to her American Airline days, resurrected some large photographic posters from an ad campaign highlighting the beauty of America.   As “O Beautiful for Spacious Skies” was played, the Cubs from our Den walked out one-by-one in sync with the lyrics, each carrying one of the posters as a large spotlight shined on the expansive sky, the amber grain field, the purple mountains and the alabaster cities, etc.

Even as a seven-year old, I still have a vivid memory of the crowd of about seventy-five sitting in stunned silence until the end of the patriotic song —– then a spontaneous standing ovation broke out and lasted for over a minute!

The Kite Contest

Dad was a very successful sales representative and enjoyed interacting with the people he met.  That said, he could have been an outstanding engineer, teacher, lawyer or newspaper reporter given his intellect, creativity and enthusiasm.

The first encounter I had with his engineering prowess was at the Annual Cub Scout Kite Contest.   This traditional event was a big deal and a lot of cubs and their dads built home-made kites which were entered in a fly-off at the football field of Madeira High School

Dad got the butcher paper, string, thin wooden dowels, balsa wood and then we cut a bunch of old sheets for the tail.   We were concerned because the day of the contest, there was a pretty strong wind.

No frill – homemade design *5

A whistle started and kites went up (not all of them….) and flew for fifteen minutes to see which one could fly the highest – they marked the string at the end whistle and measured once they were back in. 

Well, my kite took off like a bat from hell (even though I didn’t know what that expression meant at that age.)   It quickly soared yards ahead of any of the others and a small crowd gathered around to watch.  Dad stood beside me with a big smile on his face!

The fruits of my first victory in life.

In light of what they saw, the leaders decided that they did not need to measure – the winner was obvious and at the next Pack meeting I was presented with a baseball bat – the first place prize.

Thrilled with the result of the first contest, Dad decided that we would go bigger the next year and we built a “super-kite” in the garage that was at least four times bigger than the kite shown in the picture above.  The wooden cross-bracings on the back of the kite were elaborate and probably stuck out two-feet from the horizonal and vertical axis of the kite.   

We did not have the chance for a test flight and the kite was so big, we could not transport it in the car, so on the day of the contest, so we walked it about a mile down Miami Avenue to the football field.   It caused some major gawking along the way.

A Grand Experiment in Aeronautical Engineering…*6

A majority of the spectators gathered around our end of the contestants to see if this contraption would even get off the ground.   Well, it did and gained altitude very quickly.  Like the Wright Brothers’ flight at Kitty Hawk, however, it was short-lived, although lasting about ten times longer than the 3.5 first flight of the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk.  Our kite had a catastrophic end.

When it was about fifty yards up, a large wind gust blew in and the kite with a loud and sudden snap -clearly audible on the ground – folded in two (vertically) and nose dived into the end-zone of the Madeira Mustangs.

I looked over at FDW and he had the same smile as he did the year before when we won first place.

The VW Microbus

In subsequent posts, I will relate what an integral part the Volkswagen Micro-bus was to FDW’s work and recreation, but the story started in about 1953.  As related in History.com:

“In the 1950s, the Volkswagen arrived in the U.S., where the initial reception was tepid, due in part to the car’s historic Nazi connection…The micro-bus, with its boxy, utilitarian shape and rear engine, went into production. .”

Dad saw how the new vehicle could accommodate his carpet samples, his four kids, save a lot of money on gas and he loved the design including the engine in the rear.  It was only 36 horsepower and had no gas gauge.  (You flipped a lever to access a one-gallon reserve tank).  I remember discussing the VW with him years later and the conversation went like this:

FDW:  VW busses are so much safer with the rear engine.  If you get hit head on, you don’t have your engine pushing through into the passenger compartment.

Don:  “Yeah right, Dad.  If you get hit head on, it’s the other vehicle’s engine that’s going to be in your lap.”

Our red VW bus was one of the initial five in Cincinnati, Ohio and definitely the first one to have passenger seat belts.  American automakers didn’t begin including seat belts in their cars until 1960 and in 1968 the federal government mandated that all new cars include seat belts at all seating positions. (https://itstillruns.com/history-seat-belts-5110697.html).

Twenty-years later in Eastern Oregon

But as an example of Dad’s creativity and concern for the safety of his family, he contacted one of his former colleagues at American Airlines, purchased eight seat belts and installed the airplane restraints on our VW bus!

Activities as a Kid

Although I now realize the benefit, I sometimes would get mad about some of the efforts to expose us to culture.  For example, the three oldest all went to tap dance lessons which unfortunately had an annual recital.   It wouldn’t have been so bad, but they made us put on lipstick to look better in the bright lights.   I revolted in third grade and my dance career ended. 

Garry looks a lot happier in the photo below at this recital where they danced to “Me and My Teddy Bear.”

Party Wagon (what a dumb title!) was much better, but still very mundane.  Fifth and sixth graders could sign up for this weekend class where we were taught how to dance, the waltz, fox-trot, cha-cha-cha and jitterbug.  We would line up across from the girls and walk across the room and inquire “May I have this dance?”

I do have to admit that some of that stuck with me and made my two daughters a lot less embarrassed than they otherwise would have been at the traditional Father/Bride dance at their weddings.

*9

Another example was art school at the Cincinnati Art Museum.  Mom or Dad would drive us the 45-minutes into Cincinnati for this three-hour Saturday morning event.  Half of it would be painting or doing elementary art work and the other half would be watching movies about famous art notables.

I hated the art part because my artistic talent is about as good as my current skill on home improvement projects.  While the six months of this enlightening activity did not improve my ability to draw, it did teach me to be innovative (and possibly deceptive…).

They divided each class in half and the first group would go to the basement auditorium to see the movies while the second group undertook the creative pursuits.  I would leave my group after we saw the movie and hit the restroom.  As the other group walked to the auditorium I joined the tail end of that group and saw the movies again – thus avoiding watercolors and chalk.

Cincinnati Art Museum – Scene of the First Great Deception…*10

I guess I also learned a lot (and retained more than the other kids) about Rembrandt, Michelangelo and Picasso…..At the end of the six-month classes, I felt a little guilty and told Dad what I had done.   I can still remember the smile on his face as he asked me if I thought that was the right thing to do.

Upon Refection….

Perhaps we don’t fully realize the time and effort our parents spent on our behalf until we have our own kids.   Shuffling them to church choir practice, soccer games, scout meetings and engaging them about their experiences in these activities to see how things are going.  Even with four kids, my parents were always fully engaged in this regard.   

I’ll cover some of the highlights and why FDR and Frannie were such a great duo in future posts.

Cheers!

********

External Photo Attribution

*1 Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_view_of_plane_propeller_and_clouds_from_window.jpg). Llicensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

*2  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Grain-field.jpg) L   Author: Go2anna.

**3    Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rocky_Mountains.jpg  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  Author: T Voelker – Winter 1994.

*4  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SanFrancisco_from_TwinPeaks_dusk_MC.jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.  Author: Christian Mehlführer, User:Chmehl – 27 October , 2006.

*5  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons: (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Origami_kite_base.svg) Author: Ftiercel.

*6  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fier_Drake_(1634_kite_woodcut).png 

* 7  *6  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kombi_(4300860191).jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.  Author: Diogo Rodrigues Gonçalves from São Bernardo do Campo, Brasil – 24 January, 2010.

*8  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Airplane_seat_belt_2.jpg) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.  Author:  Daniel Schwen – 2 August, 2007.

*9 Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Phenakistoscope_3g07690d.gif)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.  Eadweard Muybridge’s Phenakistoscope:  Urheber: Eadweard Muybridge, 1830-1904

*10 Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cincinnati_Art_Museum,_Eden_Park.jpg)  Llicensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  Author: Greg Hume (Greg5030) –  21 January, 2008

Facebook Page – Madeira Silverwood Church (https://www.madeirachurch.org/community)  

 

Autumn Oscillations

*1

(Welcome back to Thebeerchaser.  If you are seeing this post through an e-mail, please visit the blog by clicking on the title above to see all of the photos and so the narrative is not clipped or shortened.  An * designates external photo – attribution is at the end of the post.)

Oscillation is defined as the repetitive variation, typically in time, of some measure about a central value or between two or more different states.  Familiar examples of oscillation besides the old-fashioned fan above, include a swinging pendulum and alternating current. Wikipedia

And at least for Thebeerchaser that seems to describe events over the last ten months  after we survived 2020 – a year we all want to forget.   The swings in COVID statistics at one point in 2021 appeared to be more optimistic only to repeatedly regress.  

Even my Oregon State Beavers and the Portland Trailblazers seem to vary from strong and compelling performances one week to lackluster and somewhat uninspired play the next.  (The Beavs were on a roll after a great victory over Utah, but then shot themselves in their digitized front paws in Berkley on Saturday in a bad loss to California.)

My heart goes out to the small business owners – most notably in the hospitality industry, who have optimistically reopened only to be repeatedly shut down again or living with restrictions that affect profitability while they try to hire enough help to stay open and cope with diminished supply chains.

Regardless of whether its politics, the weather, educational or public health policy or my inclination to exercise on a regular basis and have a reasonable diet, it seems that issues have swung from one pole to the other. 

A period of swings….*3

The exception may be the stock market and my desire to Beerchase at new watering holes once again.

But at least for this blog post, I’m going to shift back and forth – oscillate if you will, from bars and breweries to corporate myopia, etc.  I will start with some positives such as the suggestion by author Colson Whitehead in his novel, The Noble Hustle that we “drink hormone-free, humanely slaughtered beer. Eat micro chicken.  Compare sadnesses. Things of that sort.”

The Evolution of Darwin’s…

And I was pleased to see that in spite of the pandemic, adverse weather (It’s been raining since the 4th of July…”) and other challenges, one of my favorite dive bars is back in operation and thriving.  Darwin’s Theory in Anchorage Alaska that we visited in 2014 is a watering hole with tradition and class:

“(Darwin’s celebrated its 40th year of existence.   It was exactly forty years since the doors opened on Thursday, September 10, 1981.  Darwin (an Oregon State grad) was 37 years old at the time and has been the only male Bartender since.”

Farewell Henry…!

Contrasting the good news from Alaska, is the bad news from Oregon:  “Legendary Weinhard’s Beer to be Discontinued.”   

“Henry’s Private Reserve, once the pride of Northwest beer drinkers and hailed by many as Oregon’s first craft beer is being discontinued by current owner Molson Coors.”  

How Molson Coors rather than the Blitz Weinhard Brewery came to be the decision maker is another sad story and trend in beer production.

A Northwest Tradition Now Gone *5

Blitz Weinhard was one of our favorite college beers in the late sixties and early seventies and then the Wessinger Brothers, great-great grandsons of the founder of the Portland brewery, sold it to Pabst in 1979.  It subsequently was sold to Strohs before being acquired by Molson Coors.  (This paragraph provides a story in itself of a sad trend in independent brewing.)

According to one beer expert and author:

“….after production was moved elsewhere, (Henry’s) had not been what it was at one time.  The quality rally deteriorated.  It’s a common story when these popular brands get bought; they find a way to cut corners.  We still see it when craft beers today get bought by big beer.”

Moda Health – “Be Better” – Maybe Next Year?

Earlier this year in a March blog post, I expressed my chagrin at the frothy rhetoric of Portland Trailblazers and Moda Health for their ongoing campaign called “Moda Assist”.  The Blazers and the health-care corporate giant (in the case of Moda, a “non-profit” corporate giant….)” magnanimously” each contribute $10 for every assist the Trailblazers make in the regular season.

In 2019, the Blazers finished last in the NBA with this statistic and in 2020, 29th of the thirty NBA teams, averaging 20.4 and 21.4 per game respectively.  For you math wizards, that  means the two corporations combined shelled out about $32,000 for a regular eighty-game season (although the last 2020-1 season was shortened because of COVID).

I reminded readers that the arena naming rights for the former Portland Rose Garden,   according to a 2012 Lund Report, “Moda expects to pay out $40 million for those naming rights.  Moda paid the Blazers approximately $40 million over a ten-year period for the naming rights.  The story was covered locally in Oregon LIve.

$40 Million for Naming Rights to the Blazers *6

Well, with the economy chugging away again, I was not surprised to see a recent headline entitled, Moda Health Signals Its Financial Woes Are Behind It.”   The Oregonian article states: 

“Thanks, in part, to the proceeds of Moda’s $250 million US Supreme Court victory (in 2020) over the federal government, the company closed a deal to buy back the equity stake it had sold to a California dental company.”     

So being naïve, I suspected with inflationary trends, Moda and the Blazers would up the ante for the 2021-2 NBA season to at least $15 or $20 each per assist.  No way!   Evidently Moda’s slogan of “Be Better,” doesn’t spill over to its charitable endeavors.  

“Be better” – as long as it does not affect profitability….. *7

Perhaps restating some of the info from Gametime.com. a supplier which advises communities on playgrounds, may reinforce my feeling of righteous indignation about this program:

“You should budget around $1,000 per child. That makes the average cost of playground equipment between $15,000 and $50,000. If you are looking for a larger play structure with inclusive (accessible) features or a custom design, set a budget closer to $150,000.”  (Emphasis provided – Mar 12, 2020).

Accolades to Oregon City Brewing

Since Oregon City was my home for almost twenty years and I still live right across the Willamette River, I was pleased to see that Oregon City Brewing Company in September ranked seventh among the nation’s top ten breweries at the 2021 US Open Beer Championship.

According to a September 6) press release: “

“Breweries from Antioquia, Columbia to Columbia, South Carolina sent more than 8000 beers representing over 140 different styles to the 2021 U.S. Open Beer Championship. Today, the U.S. Open Beer Championship announces the medal winners and Grand National Champion.”

It has been a few years since I’ve been at OC Brewing although in the last year, I’ve made four visits to a great new bar with food courts right across the street – Corner 14, which I reviewed a few months ago.

Last time I was there, OC Brewing, which opened in 2014, did not have it’s own food – it was a cooperative arrangement for a few items from Olympic Provisions, there was minimal space inside and the outside patio was not impressive.  That said, we loved the Elevator IPA which was then their flagship beer.

The Elevator goes up AND down. Let it push your buttons. *12

This family-owned brewery with a great story has since made impressive strides, however, and has improved their outside seating, developed a good menu and has a very robust tap list.  According to Willamette Week:

“….their new beer garden and food cart pod should begin operating in late November (2021). Earlier this year, the business began converting three 7,000-square-foot gravel parking lots surrounding the taproom.”  

They now have about forty beers on tap including their five medal winners from the US Open Beer Championship – Desideratum (gold) – Beast of Burton (gold) – Very A Gris able (silver) – Coming to Fruition Marionberry (silver) and Coming to Fruition Cherry (bronze).

Creative expansion is also planned for a location in Canby – about nine miles south according to a a September 9th New School Beer post.  Following the example of Steeplejack Brewing in Portland which restored an historic church, OC Brewing will

“…be officially taking over the former Canby Public Library, vacant since 2016, renaming it The Canby Beer Library, and expanding its brand with a taproom serving 40+ beers, a space for a barrel-aging program, a cidery, as well as spaces for other tenants, including restaurants, to fill the huge space.”

Now the top-ten ranking in the Beer Championship is evidently focused strictly on beer quality rather than the overall ambiance of the establishment because the Brewery still has a way to go including making some improvements in its website.  That said, it’s a great sucess story to this point for its founder, Bryce Morrow and their skilled Brewmaster, David Vohden.

I will be looking forward to visiting and will report…….

Leaving on a Positive Swing of the Pendulum

Since I took a shot at two corporations above (Trailblazers and Moda Health), I will wind down with a shout out to an Oregon corporation which brings good cheer to countless travelers along Oregon Highway 18 each fall.  From a blog “Unusual Places“:

“In 2011, two Hampton Lumber employees decided to create an arboreal design that would evoke joy in every person who saw it. Dennis Creel and David Hampton designed a smiley face similar to an emoji that would greet motorists as they drove through rural Oregon.

Creel and Hampton created the smiley face by planting a mixture of larch—which is a type of fir tree that turns yellow in the fall—and evergreen Douglas fir trees. Larch trees form a circular face, and Douglas fir trees form wide, happy eyes and a smiling mouth.

Raise a mug to Hampton Lumber.  We love seeing the pumpkin when we drive to the beach in Lincoln City.

Cheers

External Photo Attribution

*1 Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons:  (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Electric_Oscillating_Table_Fan_by_Emer) This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1926.

*2  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaver#/media/File:Picture_Natural_History_-_No_40_41_42_-_Beaver_feet_and_tail.png)  This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1926. Author:  Mary E. C. Boutell  1869.

*3  (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/24/Oscillating_pendulum.gif) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  Author: Ruryk 19 April 2011.

*4  Wikimedia Commons: (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2e/Brewing_process_chart_%28no_text%29.svg)  Lhttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en. Author:  Amitchell125    21 July 2019.

*5  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons:  (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Weinhard%27s_Brewery_(Clohessy_and_Strengele,_1890).jpg)  This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17.  Author: Clohessy & Strengele  1890.

*6 Wikimedia Commons: (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Moda_Center_at_night.jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.  Author: Parker Knight from Portland, Oregon, USA   11 November 2016.

*7  Wikimedia Commons: (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Basketball_02.jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.  Author:  https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:James_Moore200  3 February 2021.

*8  Wikimedia Commons:  (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Playground_Square_Albert_Thomas_-_Talence_France_-_22_August_2020.jpg) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Author: Such0012  22 August 2020.

*9  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Childrens_Game_Park_01621.jpg) Lhttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en.  Author: Nevit 2008.

*10 – 12 Oregon City Brewing Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/oregoncitybrewing/photos/4192492017466267) Oregon City Brewing Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/oregoncitybrewing/photos/a.721502207898616/1328526310529533)

*13 -14 Unusual Places: (https://unusualplaces.org/smiley-face-forest-oregon/

FDW – Beerchaser of the Quarter – Part I

(Welcome back to Thebeerchaser.  If you are seeing this post through an e-mail, please visit the blog by clicking on the title above to see all of the photos and so the narrative is not clipped or shortened.)

“Home is the Hunter – Home from the Hills”

This phrase from Robert Louis Stevenson’s eight-line poem “Requiem” is inscribed on my dad’s headstone.   FDW, as we affectionately called him, was born Floyd Duane Williams on June 12, 1919 and was known as Duane during most of his life. 

That is until he acquired the acronym, FDW, as his moniker that we, his four kids bestowed when we were adults. (Stay tuned for the story.)  He signed letters, papers, etc. as F. Duane Williams

Born in Ames, Iowa to Floyd and Clara Williams, his father was an inspector for the US Postal Service and his mother – a girl raised on a cattle ranch in Sheridan, Wyoming, was a housewife as they moved to Grand Island, Nebraska and then Washington D.C. when his dad was transferred.

As you can see by these photos, Dad was a photogenic toddler and a tyke as a little kid.

Why am I dedicating a blog post(s) to my Dad (also my mom, Frannie)?  Those who follow Thebeerchaser, know that periodically I select an individual or group that may or may not have anything to do with beer or bars to feature as my Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter.  The criteria is that they have made a contribution to society and have an interesting story.

They have included veterans and war heroes, authors, athletes, media personalities, academicians, lawyers and groups such as the 1967 Oregon State Giant Killer Football Team and the crew of the USS Constitution

Twice, I have featured my own family – Janet my wife – the only Beerchaser-of-the-Year and my brother Retired Navy Captain Rick Williams — Beerchaser-of-the Quarter | Thebeerchaser, for his outstanding career in the US Navy.  (Click on the links to view the posts.)

For a complete list of the BOQ’s for the last ten years, check out the following link: https://thebeerchaser.com/2020/12/13/beerchasers-of-the-quarter-who-what-why/

The pandemic, however, has been a time for reflection as well as going through old files and photos.  It made me realize what an impact my Dad and Mom had on the lives of our family and their communities.   The heartache of losing both of them at a young age (54 and 62 respectively) was offset, to some extent, by the fact that our memories of them are images of of vitality and humanity which characterized both of their lives and their marriage.

So in some of the next few posts, I’m going to relate the story of this remarkable man and woman.

Flashing Forward a Bit

After the family moved to Oregon in 1962, Dad was constantly captivated by Oregon’s natural beauty and adopted the phrase “spirit of high adventure” when we explored the coast, the Cascades and especially Central and Eastern Oregon.   

As far as the pursuit of wild game, he went hunting only a few times with friends who were carpet dealers from John Day on his sales territory for Mohawk Carpets.   I went with him on one of these ventures when I was in high school and as we were walked along the streams and through the forest, he would explain the geological formations – not the best strategy for bagging a deer.   

The Spirit of High Adventure!

Dad also was perpetually on the hunt for additional knowledge and creative approaches whether it be science – especially the environment – history or politics.  And from the time he attended college at George Washington University until the time of his death – far too soon at the age of 55 – he stalked the fair and virtuous course of action. 

Often this pursuit in civic and community work was time consuming and arduous including tirelessly working to pass school levy and bond elections in Oregon City. 

And speaking of George Washington University, it was there that he joined the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity and he met Don Wilburn, who became his best friend and after whom I’m named.  After graduation, Don was commissioned in the Army Air Corps and was killed in WW II when his plane crashed.  And both my younger brother, Rick and I kept the SAE legacy going at Oregon State University.

Another great SAE connection which proved to be fortuitous for our family, occurred shortly after Dad moved to Oregon in 1962 before the rest of the family moved out West.  He needed an attorney for family and business and picked a young lawyer from Oregon City.  By coincidence that lawyer, Don Bowerman, also happened to be an SAE (and Beaver football player) from Oregon State University.

Don had (and is still practicing) an outstanding career as a trial lawyer and in professional activities including serving as an officer in local bar and Oregon State Bar boards and as Chairman of the Professional Liability Fund of the Oregon State Bar.  He is a Fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates.

An outstanding lawyer and friend of the Williams family

He has been a great friend and advocate for the family.   Recently, when we were reminiscing about my Dad, I remembered how FDW helped the SAE’s when I was at OSU including getting them a great deal on new carpet for the House.   

Don stated, “Your Dad was the most effective and enthusiastic OSU/SAE alum on the planet.”  (It’s this kind of effusive understatement which made me enjoy working with lawyers for thirty-five years during my career!)

Early Career and Frances Barry

Dad moved to New York City and started work for American Airlines in Manhattan. His first meeting with my mom, Frannie (Frances Barry), was essentially a collision in their office building.  She was carrying some papers coming out a door that he was going in and they collided with papers flying everywhere. 

He asked her for a date and the rest is history.  They married in 1943 in the Church of St. Kevin in Flushing, New York – she the youngest of five girls in a Catholic family who resided in Bayside, Long Island.   Her parents had immigrated from Poland.   Dad was required to take classes so they could get married in the church and his theological discussions/debates with the priest lengthened the class time considerably.

Not to be maudlin in this post, but the inscription on my Mom’s gravestone is “She Walks in Beauty.”  It’s from Lord Byron’s poem of the same name and the last stanza is apt:

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
 

The poem conveys the experience of encountering sublime beauty in another person.  One can see Frannie’s physical beauty from the photos, but her entire persona radiated warmth and kindness.

She walks in beauty.

New York Life and Civic Activism

The young couple established their home in Merrick, Long Island where Lynne was born in 1946 and Don in 1948.   Dad loved Big Band music and they danced to the Glenn Miller Band at the Glen Island Casino: (*External photo attribution at the end of the post)

“One of the most enchanting dining-and-dancing rendezvous in this part of the country is the Glen Island Casino, overlooking Long Island Sound at New Rochelle. For many years the handsome two-story structure, perched majestically among the stately trees that dress the small island, has issued its yearly call to romance, and the youngsters and oldsters have responded with almost equal enthusiasm.”

They became friends with Paula Kelly and the Modernaires who performed there. 

From reviewing papers and records in his files, it was here that FDW started his civic activism which continued through the remainder of his life.   And he was not just involved, he was usually looked to as a leader in these endeavors.

I could find no details, but based on the letterhead below from the files, Dad was the Treasurer of the “Assessed Valuation Protest Committee of the Eastern Queens Civic Council.”

As another example, he was President of the newly formed “Lost Community Civic Association” that was evidently formed over issues of government boundaries and jurisdiction.   According to an article in the January 16, 1947 edition of the Long Island Daily Press (founded in 1821 and published until 1977):

“(The group) reported that they were slightly confused by the fact that their mail comes from the New Hyde Park Post Office, police protection from Bayside Precinct and fire protection from Queens Village.”

The problem was also covered in the November 29, 1946 edition of the Queens County Times (Published from 1913 until 1975 and which you could procure for two cents in 1946….) which quoted Dad and reported:

“The similarity of ‘crying in the wilderness’ may be pessimistic to many of Queen’s County residents, in a borough of over a million population.   But, to the families who have established their homes in a snug corner of Queens fringing on the border of Nassau County, it almost is like an ‘island’ apart:  confused as to its community status.”

Queens, the largest borough of the City of New York, is adjacent to the borough of Brooklyn on the western end of Long Island.

Dad was quoted in the Long Island Daily Press article:

“We’ve spent months trying to dope out where we are…what this section is called. We haven’t been able to find out anything so we might as well face it. We’re lost!  We will keep the name for a year.  By that time, we may have a better name.”

Well, evidently FDW was wrong and while I could not find details on the history, the name stuck.  According to the current list of civic organizations for New York City, “The Lost Community Civic Association holds its meetings on the second Wednesday of the month, excluding July and August.”   

There is also a small triangular park named “The Lost Community Civic Association Triangle” still maintained by the City of New York City Parks Department.

The family, now with two kids, moved to Media, Pennsylvania – a suburb of Philadelphia in 1949, when I was one.  Dad went to work as a sales rep. for Bigelow Carpets and our brother, Garry was born in 1950.  

7313 Miami Ave.  Madeira, Ohio

We moved to Madeira, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati on May 4, 1952.  I know that date because we took an American Airlines flight.  Because it was my birthday, I got to sit on the lap of the lead stewardess as we landed in Cincy.  (I figured that lovely young woman is now in her mid nineties if she is still alive!)

Stay tuned for the impact FDW had on his family and community in Ohio in the next segment.  If you are interested in viewing the second segment of this story, click on the following link:  https://thebeerchaser.com/2021/11/09/fdw-beerchaser-of-the-quarter-part-ii/

External Photo Attribution

*1  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Glen_Island_Casino_jeh.jpg) Licensed and made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.  Author: Jim.henderson  14 July, 2011.

*2.  (https://www.amazon.com/Orchestra-Live-Glen-Island-Casino/dp/B009H43Y3K)

*3   Wikimedia Commons – Public Domain – (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paula_Kelly_(singer)#:~:text=By%20CBS%20Radio/CBS%20Photo%20-) This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published in the United States between 1926 and 1977, inclusive, without a copyright notice.  Source: CBS Radio 1951.

*4 (https://www.google.com/maps/place/7313+Miami+Ave,+Cincinnati,+OH+45243/@39.1941026,-84.3627391,3a,75y,280.83h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sLgAVgCwMuAFfjGlHwr_)

October Origins

(Welcome back to Thebeerchaser.  If you are seeing this post through an e-mail, please visit the blog by clicking on the title above to see all of the photos and so the narrative is not clipped or shortened.)

The Origins of Beer

In previous posts, I’ve talked about the legacy of Benedictine Monks in the history of beer which dates from the 5th century along with the great story of St. Brigid of Ireland.  This remarkable woman was a patron saint of several things, including dairymaids, cattle, midwives, and newborns. But there’s also evidence of an equal passion for beer.

“…..when the lepers she nursed implored her for beer, and there was none to be had, she changed the water, which was used for the bath, into an excellent beer, by the sheer strength of her blessing and dealt it out to the thirsty in plenty.”

Going back further, Wikipedia chronicles the earliest archaeological evidence of fermentation — 13,000-year-old residues of a beer near Israel.  The earliest clear chemical evidence of beer produced from barley dates to about 3500–3100 BC, in western Iran. 

“During the building of the Great Pyramids in Giza, Egypt, each worker got a daily ration of four to five liters of beer, which served as both nutrition and refreshment that was crucial to the pyramids’ construction.”

Egyptian Worker Happy Hour…..*3

Well, my education on the history of beer was supplemented last week, when my good friend, “West Coast Dave Hicks,” a consultant with whom I worked at my law firm before I retired, sent me the following article, which of course, piqued my interest:

http://Ancient Poop Shows People In Austria Enjoyed Beer And Blue Cheese 2,700 Years Ago) 

Blue Cheese and Beer After Work…..*4

Dave is one of the smartest guys I know, having graduated first from Princeton (cum laude)  where he was also a bass in the famous Princeton acapella singing group, The Nassoons. and then from University of San Diego Law School – including a semester of study in Paris.

He then started his consulting career, which has taken him all over the world.  On his trips to Portland, there have been numerous memorable Beerchasing expeditions. 

The diverse watering holes we hit included the Horse Brass Pub, Sloan’s Tavern, the Double Barrel, Reel M Inn and Richmond Bar, to name just a few, where we have raised a mug and eaten unhealthy pub food.

The article relates how archeologists found evidence of what may have been the first cheeseburger and beer combo!

“Several thousand years ago, an Iron Age salt miner took a dump in what is now …… Austria. In all likelihood, the pooper never gave their little deposit a second thought.

He would be rather surprised to learn that it has now become a scientific artifact, enabling researchers to discover that Europeans ate blue cheese and drank beer 2,700 years ago.”

Thanks to Dave for keeping us informed and the next time he comes to Portland, I guess we need to come up with beer name to honor the ancient “dumpster.”  Since I don’t think either directly or indirectly referencing fecal matter in the name of a beer would fly, what about “Outhouse Ale?” 

But what brewery would take this on?  Fortunately, through research, I noticed that there is an Out.Haus Ale Brewery in Northwood, New Hampshire.  Perhaps they would brew this on as a seasonal basis.

The Origin of “Dirt”!

From Dirty Donnie to Dirty to Dirt…

I often get questions from those who view the header of Thebeerchaser (credit is due to my long-term friend, fraternity brother and Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter, Jud Blakely) which has the moniker, “Don ‘Dirt’ Williams,” where this moniker originated.   Often, the questioner suspects it was based on some nefarious exploit from my college years.  

Well to set the record straight, it did emanate from college, but from my fraternity brothers at the SAE house at Oregon State University.   I was on an NROTC Scholarship and in my freshman year, decided that to get in shape and because I admired my fellow frat bro and NROTC, colleague, Walt Ebel, I joined the Army ROTC group named “Raiders.”  Walt had signed up previously.

In retrospect, it was kind of ludicrous.   On Saturday mornings, we would dress up in utilities, go down to the Armory on campus and then run several miles holding rifles, do the obstacle course and try to look cool.  Well, at that time, my height was 5’10” and I weighed about 120 pounds dripping wet.

There was an illustrator named “Hutch”, who made a decent living by doing cartoon caricatures of OSU students.  He would tour the dorms and fraternities and feed off the comments of colleagues of his subject to create his image.  Hutch was quite talented.

So when it was my time, there were about twenty of us in the SAE living room and my peers started yelling, “He’s a Raider.”  Well, below is the end product.

From “Dirty Donnie,” to “Dirty,” to “Dirt”!

And “Dirty Donnie” hit a chord.  It then mutated to “Dirty” and then just plain “Dirt.”  Although my time in Raiders was less than one year, that appellation has stuck for over fifty years.  And I love it!   

When my younger brother, Rick  also an NROTC midshipman, joined the SAE’s several years later, as one might predict, his nickname became “Dust.” 

Dust when he was not grimey….

An example was twenty-five years after OSU graduation, while I was working for the Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt law firm in the PacWest Center.   The Building Manger was Doug Bean and Associates, a high-end commercial real estate firm.

Doug Bean was a fraternity brother at OSU and transferred to the U of O where he graduated and then formed his very successful real estate and property management firm.  He had an office in the PacWest Center as did I. 

When Doug would see me in the lobby, he would yell across the space in a booming voice which caught the attention of other people in the lobby of the thirty-floor high-rise, “Hey Dirt. How’s it going?”

In retrospect, the original college label of “Dirt” has kept me grounded, let to many down-to- earth conversations and I’m proud to say that Dirt remains a part of my identity!

The Origin of Freeland Spirits – Part II

Why is Thebeerchaser Touting Bourbon? *11

In a recent Beerchaser post, I wrote about a relatively new distillery in NW Portland that is a great story.  I became aware of this enterprise when my son-in-law gave me a bottle of Freeland Spirits Bourbon a few months ago.  It was the best bourbon I’ve ever had and I researched the origination of the the business.

“Freeland Spirits celebrates the women of the craft. From the gals who grow the grain, to those who run the still, we’re creating superior spirits that celebrate all the Northwest has to offer.”

You should check out the story of how co-owners, Jill Kuehler and Molly Troupe demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit, opened Freeland in 2017 and have never looked back – even during a pandemic.   Well, they are expanding and had the Grand Opening of their new Tasting Room on N. State Street on October 14th.  They’ll be open daily from noon to 6 PM.

The new tasting room in Lake Oswego *14

And Speaking of Outhouses….

With apologies for redundancy to regular followers of Thebeerchaser, but since I talked about poop in this post and it’s the month of Octoberfest, I feel it appropriate to restate one of my favorite lawyer stories from my post:  https://thebeerchaser.com/2021/05/27/lawyers-continued-summer-associates-part-i/

In this litigation – filed in the early ‘90’s, a Portland resident filed a $53,220 lawsuit against the Mount Angel Octoberfest claiming the portable toilet he entered was pushed over by unruly patrons. His lawyer claimed:

“Plaintiff was violently thrown around the inside of said portable toilet, became intimately mixed with the contents thereof, sustained a fracture of his right wrist as well as other contusions and abrasions.”

“Intimately mixed with the contents thereof…”

Unfortunately, I could not determine the result of this lawsuit and assume – just like the contents of the overturned chamber – it settled. Thus, a jury never had to contemplate either culpability or damages as a group exercise – one which might have proven to be an odorous task.

Cheers

*  External Photo Attribution

*1.  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons:  https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Olaf_Simony-Jensen_-_K%C3%A6lderinteri%C3%B8r_med_munke_i_festligt_lag_-_1904.png

*2.  Wikimedia Commons – Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic. Author: Wolfgang Sauber – 21 July 2011.  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigid_of_Kildare#/media/File:Saint_Non’s_Chapel_-_Fenster_3_St.Bride.jpg)

*3  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:EMS-89615-Rosecrucian-Egyptian-BeerMaking.jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  Author: E. Michael Smith Chiefio 12 May, 2007

*4  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Salzbergwerk,_Deutschen_Museum.JPG) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Germany license.   Author:  High Contrast – 2010

 *5  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Human_Feces.jpg) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.  Author:  Cacetudo 29 May 2006.

*6  Out.Haus Ales Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/Out.Haus/photos/10158449282739118).

*7  Wikimedia Commons (http://By U.S. Army – U.S. Army, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45595228) Source: US Army 2015

*8  Oregon State NROTC Alumni Website (https://www.osu-nrotc-alumni.org/) Courtesy Jud Blakely.  

*9  Doug Bean and Associates Website (http://dougbean.com/people-2/doug-bean/

*10  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons – PacWest Center 

*11 – 14   Freeland Spirits Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/freelandspirits/photos/?ref=page_internal)

*15  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Outhouse,_Lake_Providence,_LA_IMG_7386.JPG) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.  Author:  Billy Hathorn – 17 May, 2013

Contemplating Life and Beer in the Fall

Contemplating Life and Beer in the Fall

(Welcome back to Thebeerchaser.  If you are seeing this post through an e-mail, please visit the blog by clicking on the title above to see all of the photos and so the narrative is not clipped or shortened.)

As I’ve stated before – belabored if you will – in two previous blog posts, I’m not a connoisseur or beer technology guy and my palate is not nuanced enough to discern the subtleties of beer flavor and criteria used to evaluate them in competitions such as the Great American Beer Festivalhttps://thebeerchaser.com/tag/thebeerchaser-and-the-taste-of-beer/

https://thebeerchaser.com/2021/01/07/leaving-2020-in-good-taste/

I certainly respect those who do have a grasp on the different elements of flavor including brewers such as Fr. Martin at the Benedictine Brewery, Mark Becker from Flyboy Brewing and Andrew Lamont, the Head Brewer at Old Town Brewing.  

Andrew Lamont of Old Town Brewing *1

Another guy who is an expert and writes great reviews on Bavarian beers is Rich Carbonara, who has a great blog entitled “Beerwanderers.”  Rich, who lives in Munich, and I connected through our blogs and I would love to have him guide me on one of this noted Bavarian Beer Hikes which you can read about on his blog.  (There’s more than 300 in Bavaria.)

Rich, in his narratives, evaluates each beer giving a summary of its taste, appearance, aroma and critical elements.  His descriptions are not so esoteric that they can’t be understood by someone who evaluates the quality of a beer by the way it tastes to them rather than a technocratic assessment. You will see more about Rich below. (* See end of post for external photo attribution)

And Then There’s Gimmicks

The typical beer-drinker doesn’t care whether the yeast is wild or domesticated, the type of hops, if it is barrel-aged or the attenuation percentage during fermentation. 

As I stated in my posts on the taste of beer, I’m also kind of a beer purist and have no use for beers which are brewed as a gimmick.  This bizarre trend was best summed up by a reviewer in his clip entitled, “Holiday Ale Festival Gone Amok” when he described a disturbing trend in the annual Portland event in 2018 as:

“The festival’s hallmark has always been wonderful strong, winter ales and cask conditioned brews. Just the thing to blast me out of my IPA rut. But this year the festival got too cutesy and lost its way. The so-called stouts all tasted like milkshakes or Snickers bars.  The ales were so fruity that a better name might be the Kool-Aid Festival.     

When creativity goes too far

And they’ve even tried to pollute ice cream with this misguided attempt at creativity. In an effusive July 2021 press releaseKraft Foods and van leeuwen Ice Cream reported that:

“We are releasing limited-edition, macaroni and cheese-flavored ice cream today. If you’re looking for a conversation starter to kick off a meeting…this could work well.”

Let’s all hope that the term “limited release” is meant literally.

Focus on the Basics

Although the term “style” can be subject to some debate as pointed out by one of the nation’s foremost beer experts.  Jeff Alworth is a Northwesterner living in Portland; however, his books on beer – most notably The Beer Bible and his blog “Beervana” are resources used by beer aficionado’s all over the country.  He also teaches at Portland State University.

His comments about styles in The Beer Bible are edifying:

“When people refer to style, they mean category of beers like stouts, dunkels, lagers or witbier.  The word is ubiquitous and spreads yearly like a fungus as new subcategories and sub-subcategories branch out from their root style…….

The one very important caveat to note is styles are constantly in flux.  The idea of style should be descriptive not prescriptive….Use the term, but don’t fix it in stasis.”

That said, the most critical factors to me (for totally different reasons) are ABV (Alcohol by Volume) and IBUs (International Bittering Unit).  Alworth defines ABV as:

“…expressed as a percentage.  A measure of the strength of of an alcoholic beverage, based on the volume of alcohol relative to total volume.”

*5

Knowing the ABV of your beer is critical if you are driving or plan to drink throughout the evening.  In Oregon, one is Driving Under the Influence (DUI) if the Blood-Alcohol-Content (BAC) is .08% or higher.  While disclaiming that the sentence below is definitely not legal advice, one credible source states:

“On any given day, considering your body size, weight, and several other internal factors, you may have two or three 12-ounce beers before reaching a BAC of .08.”

A few bars have even installed a coin-operated breathalyzer including these two which were provided by Portland’s Gil’s Speakeasy (home of  “the Nicest A-holes in Town…”) and Bottles

While it would not be advisable to depend on this machine (which may not have been calibrated for awhile and may not be advisable in a COVID environment anyway) it could be a good double check of one’s own common sense.

IBU’s are defined by Allworth as “the accepted system for describing the hop bitterness (hoppiness) of a beer.”  The higher the IBU, the hoppier the beer, although he again issues a disclaimer: 

“….many breweries don’t actually have the labs to measure the acids chemically and predict them using mathematical formulae (to call this prediction ‘inexact’ is kind)….while hoppiness is a combination of flavor, aroma and bitterness, IBU measures only the last.”

IBU’s – for many breweries — an inexact science *6

To provide some perspective, I’m showing the ABV of a few of my favorite NW beers (and also PBR) below.  The IBU is shown when available.  You will see that I am inclined to go with the less hoppy options:

More on ABV

Beer ABV IBU
Pfriem Brewing – IPA 6.8% 50
Migration Brewing – Pale Ale 5.8% 55
Benedictine Brewing – Black Habit 7.8% NA
Block 15 Brewing – Sticky Hands Double IPA 8.1% 110
Fort George Brewing – City of Dreams Pale Ale 5.5% 40
Pabst Brewing (SAB Miller) – Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) 4.7% NA
Flyboy Brewing – Fighting Redtails 9.0% 90
Sun River Brewing – Rippin NW Pale Ale 6.0% 50
Old Town Brewing – Paulie’s Not Irish Red Ale 5.60% 30

In reading Rich Carbonara’s aforementioned blog, I was interested in some of his comments about the ABV’s of various German beers he reviewed. He commented on one of the beers he reviewed: “The finish is clean and dry with a nice bitterness. Dangerous at 5.3%. (emphasis added)

Given the chart above, I was a little surprised by this characterization so I exchanged e-mails and he clarified with the following interesting perspective – another reason why I think Rich’s blog is worth following:

“Most beer here, hover around 5%. It’s always been the benchmark percentage. The feeling here is you want a beer you can drink a fair amount of without getting drunk. In Biergartens, you can only get liter mugs (at least at night) and obviously drinking stronger beer in that size vessel is dangerous.

I know, during Starkbierzeit (see note below) they serve 7-8% beers in such measures. So, you have you have some stronger beers (Bocks, Doppelbocks, Festbiers) but generally speaking, it’s about 5. If anything is really missing here, it’s lower octane offerings like Schankbier which is more in the 3-4% range.

In England, you still find things like Milds, though less so than in former times. It’s nice to be able to go out and drink 8-9 beers and not get really drunk. Have a look at my Beer Styles section, where you’ll get a feel for the ABV of various styles here.”  https://www.beerwanderers.com/beer-styles/

*7

Note:  “Starkbierfest is held for three weeks during Lent, between Carnival and Easter,[82] celebrating Munich’s ‘strong beer’. Starkbier was created in 1651 by the local Paulaner monks who drank this ‘Flüssiges Brot’, or ‘liquid bread’ to survive the fasting of Lent.[82] It became a public festival in 1751 and is now the second largest beer festival in Munich.”  Wikipedia

And Speaking of Giving Someone Else Your Keys…

I was, however, surprised to read recently that Samuel Adams (Boston Beer Company) is going to break the mold, with this year’s release of its Utopias Beer as reported by CNN Business on 9/21.  Now, don’t try to get one of these 25.4 bottles in Oregon or ……

“The brewer releases a new version of its Utopias brand every two years, and the twelfth edition will be on shelves starting Oct. 11. But don’t bother looking for it in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont or West Virginia.

Utopias are illegal in those states because they contain 28% alcohol by volume, more than five times the potency of typical US brews.”

(These beers may be blissful, but not Utopia(s)!

And Finally….

Regardless of whether you make a point of checking out the ABV of your beer, be cautious driving when you are hitting your favorite bar or brewery – especially around Halloween and the forthcoming holidays.

When I started Beerchasing, I decided to be cautious and as an extra check, purchased my own breathalyzer.  The BAC Track S80 you see below now costs $130, but at that time was less expensive.  (I guess the demand became higher during the pandemic.)  

An Investment Worth Considering

I’ve never come close to the .08% threshold, but felt it was a good investment given my retirement hobby.  There are pros and cons to this idea and according to The Atlantic article, less than 1% of the US population has one.  If you do get one, be sure to have it calibrated or it may defeat the purpose.

In any event, drink responsibly and drive carefully.

Cheers

By the way, how about the Oregon State Beaver Football Team.  According to Oregon Live, “It’s not known the last time OSU had sole possession of first place in the conference standings, but it’s at least not since 1975.” 

Go Beavs! Beat the WSU Cougs.

External Photo Attribution

*1  Old Town Brewing Website (https://www.otbrewing.com/aboutus)

*2 – 4  Beerwanderers Website (https://www.beerwanderers.com/)

*5  Wikimedia Commons (http://By Lynnea Kleinschmidt – Digital photograph made by myself., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6091802

*6  Wikimedia Commons (http://By Schlemazl – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22601592

*7  Wikimedia Commons (http://By holzijue – https://pixabay.com/de/menschen-oktoberfest-m%C3%BCnchen-3237513/ archive copy, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=69055677)

Autumn Musings – Motivation, Incentives and Nails?!

(Welcome back to Thebeerchaser.  Since this is a long post, if you are seeing it through an e-mail, please visit the blog by clicking on the title above to see all of the photos and so the narrative is not clipped or shortened.)

For Wont of a Nail…..

The proverb “For want of a battle, the kingdom was lost.  And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.” was included in Ben Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac in 1758, and came to my mind last weekend in a different context.

Followers of this blog know that I got involved in the planning and development of the Benedictine Brewery on the grounds of the beautiful Mount Angel Abbey in 2016 and have been thrilled at its success since it opened in the fall of 2018.

The Brewery – one of only three in the US which are owned and operated by Benedictine Monks – under the leadership of Head Brewer, Fr. Martin Grassel, has expanded its brewing capacity and the seating in the St. Michael Taproom’s adjacent patio.  Fr. Martin now has ten excellent beers on tap and they have garnered rave reviews and a regional following.

I always keep a few bottles around to give to friends, relatives and periodically, as a nice gesture and that opportunity occurred last week at our beach house in Lincoln City.   The foreman for our contractor who is remediating a dry-rot issue on the house which is twenty-three years old was working late on a Friday afternoon.   

I took an unopened bottle of Haustus (the most popular of the line-up according to Fr. Martin) out to him and expressed our appreciation.  About twenty minutes later he knocked on the door and the conversation went like this:

Foreman:  Hi Don, I just wanted to let you know that I’m taking off now.  And by the way, your were right.  That is really an excellent beer.

Don:   Thanks Rich.  I’m sorry I didn’t bring it out opened.

Foreman:  Don, I’m a carpenter.  I learned early on in my career that there are multiple functions for a nail! 

Good point and I guess it makes a lot more sense than trying to use one’s teeth as we did in college…..

Motivations and Incentives in the COVID Era

* 2

In order to increase the COVID vaccination rate, there have been a plethora of incentives offered to get people to roll up their sleeves.   My initial thought was:

“Why do they have to give people something to do what could save their (and their loved ones) lives and has been approved by the FDA?  What happened to the good old days, when you took action because it was the right thing to do?”

Of course, the response to that rhetorical question would be:

“Beerchaser, when you were in grade school, they still taught cursive writing.  When you were in junior high (not middle school..) you were a member of the slide rule club and when you went to Oregon City High School, you could take your date to Dick’s Club 19 and get two burgers and cokes for ninety-nine cents!”

Incentives for vaccines have ranged from lottery tickets (an Oregon State University Student won $1 million in July); doughnuts from Krispy Creme; marijuana joints; 100 free target rounds for trap, skeet, or sporting clay shooting (in Southern Illinois) and dinner with the New Jersey Governor at his beach home on the Governor’s mansion. (The Intelligencer – updated May 27, 2021 – “Lotteries, Doughnuts, Joints – The Weird Incentives to Get People Vaccinated”)

Now speaking of New Jersey Governors, the incentive below (was it the “blubber”?) also made me think of Chris Christie:

“In New York American Museum of Natural History’s Milstein Hall of Ocean Life offers 1,000 shots per day to eligible residents. While they’re getting inoculated, vaccine hopefuls can take in the ocean life exhibits beneath the institution’s iconic 94-foot-long model of a blue whale, which now has a bandage on its side.”

And finally, Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club in Las Vegas gave customers who get jabbed at the local strip club, a special platinum membership card, a free bottle on the house, dances from a “vaccinated entertainer,” and other perks.  (There was no reporting on how they accomplished that and maintained social distancing.)

I was glad to see some of Portland’s bars and breweries were opting into this trend.  For example, one classic dive bar in downtown Portland that I reviewed in 2015 – Kelly’s Olympian – hosted a Portland cardiologist, Dr. Maureen Mays, who administered the shots which generated a free beer at the bar last May. Dr. Mays did not get compensated.  She described it as “a labor of love.”

Dr. Mays, who has practiced for 23 years offered the same program the day before at Portland’s Ecliptic Brewing as reported in the story entitled, “A Shot for a Beer – Doctor Administers Vaccine Doses at Portland Bars.”   It stated that “the line was out the door.”

While we should be encouraged and impressed with gains in medical technology, we can also ponder how much more progress can still be made in immunity efforts as echoed by Eno L. Camino, the main character in the great comic strip “The Duplex” . 

He remarks to his best friend – dog Fang – as shown by this dialogue from a recent strip as they are watching a television talk show:

Host: So Doctor, the vaccine for the virus must be injected?

Physician: That’s correct.  A shot in the arm is the most common method.

Enos:  We have the smartest scientists in the world and they can’t figure out a way to put vaccine into a can of beer?

No needle, no syringe, just pop-a-top!

The implications of the pandemic have generated additional incentive-related programs – most notably in the area of employment where the shortage of labor has resulted in needed increases in hourly salaries as well as recruiting bonuses.

The hospitality industry has been one of the sectors experiencing the greatest adverse impact of the dearth of available help.   Restaurants and bars have struggled to recruit and retain servers, dishwashers and cooks.   

For example, Pelican Brewing, with several locations on the Oregon Coast, still has hiring notices on its website offering $2,500  bonuses for new cooks, housekeepers and even dishwashers at its Pacific City location.

A View of the Ocean and a Hiring Bonus

And the Trend has Evolved to Sports Too

But perhaps my favorite recent incentive was that originated by Portland State University’s Football Coach, Bruce Barnum.  Portland State is a wonderful school, where both my wife and I received a superb graduate education. 

That said, as an urban university with a significant number, if not a majority, of its students commuting or attending night school while working, it has struggled to build a robust athletic program – especially in football.

Competing with OSU and Oregon and leading smaller college programs, the PSU coaching and athletic staff has to work harder facing the practical realities of funding, recruiting, facilities, etc.  The University has never had its own football field, but at least was able to play until early 2019 in nearby Providence Park

Scheduling issues with the Portland Timbers and Thorns Soccer Teams forced a relocation to a field in Hillsboro.  It’s a nice facility, but thirteen miles away from campus and between a one-half hour to forty-five minute trip by car.

The remote stadium and the composition of the student body has meant getting spectators in seats for home games has been problematic – a morale issue for the team and added ammunition for those who think PSU should abandon football.

However, Barnum, is a fighter, besides being a good football coach and motivator of young men.  This former middle linebacker at Eastern Washington University became Head Coach at PSU in 2015 and after guiding his team to a 9-3 record, was named Big Sky Coach of the Year.   The team has been resilient during some bad seasons and the players do well academically.

Coach Bruce Barnum – a Strong Motivator *10

So Barnum, in an effort to get more butts in seats for the critical Western Washington game in Hillsboro, made an offer while appearing on a Portland sports talk-radio show the week of the game.  For every person attending the game of legal age, he would buy a beer.  As reported in Oregon Live:

Asked how many beers he would buy, Barnum told (the host) ‘All of them.’ (not just those who were vaccinated……) 

…..Three days after PSU topped the Division II Wolves 21-7 (their first victory of the season after two losses) in front of 3,124 fans, Barnum tweeted a photo representing the final tab he paid for fans’ beers: $14,448.  (The Barney’s Beer Garden receipt showed 786 Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPAs and 1,260 Coors Lights)”

A public employee for the State of Oregon – Barnum’s yearly base salary is $205,000 not including bonuses and incentives.  He said afterwards that the school’s Administration thought it was a great promotion and there was a rumor that the PSU Foundation might pick up half of tab. 

I personally think this was a classy move and give him a “Cheers!”  Undoubtedly there are those, who think it was foolish and I’m sure the University’s lawyers were shaking their heads, but sometimes one has to just “go for it.”

And at least, Barnum followed through – unlike a Miami bar as reported in The Week.  The American Social Bar, in 2019, offered free shots for every goal scored by the US Women’s World Cup Soccer Team’s match with Thailand. The bar cut off the program midway through the match, which ended with a 13 to 0 thrashing by the US:

“Our free shots’ program is not meant to be taken literally,” explained a bar spokesman. (I’m sure that their lawyers were relieved!)

I’ll have thirteen pours of Jose Cuervo…Hold the salt and the lime….*11

External Photo Attribution

*1  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Clou_127.jpg) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.  Author: Rolf Dietrich Brecher from Germany.  18 February, 2018

*2 Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Syringe2.jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.  21 June 2006.

*3  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Looped_cursive_alphabet.jpg) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.  Author:  Thincat.  24 January, 2015

*4  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Skala_slide_rule.jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Author: Adrian Tync.  15 August, 2018.

*5  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chris_Christie_by_Gage_Skidmore_3.jpg) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  Author:  Gage Skidmore.  31 October, 2015.

*6  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Model_of_a_blue_whale_in_the_Museum_of_Natural_History,_New_York_2010.JPG)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.  Author: Roland Arhelger.  13 July 2010

*7  Kelly’s Olympian website (https://kellysolympian.com/show/a-shot-for-a-shot/

*8  Dr. Maureen Mays website (https://www.maureenmays.com/)

*9  City of Hillsboro website (https://www.hillsboro-oregon.gov/departments/parks-recreation/our-facilities/gordon-faber-recreation-complex)

*10  Portland State University website (https://goviks.com/sports/football/roster/coaches/bruce-barnum/821)

*11   Wikimedia Commons (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shot_glass#/media/File:Three_shotglasses.jpg) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.  Author: Kelly Martin 16 November 2006

Advancing Into Autumn Part II

Photo Jul 03, 9 18 14 PM

(Welcome back to Thebeerchaser.  Since this is a long post, if you are seeing it through an e-mail, please visit the blog by clicking on the title above to see all of the photos and so the narrative is not clipped or shortened.)

As September gallops along, it reminds me of the ambivalence we face each year with Autumn in the Northwest — do we stay home or go to the Oregon Coast and enjoy the wonderful weather before our eight months of daily drizzle commences?

OR

Do we journey to other parts of the country – either road trip or by air – and enjoy the less-crowded National Parks and scenic wonders in other parts of our wonderful country?

This year the decision is easy because of the renewed strength of COVID throughout the US and more importantly, the impending birth of our fourth grandchild in the second week of October.

But at the onset of this post, I want to depart from bars and breweries and relate a great story about a relatively young, but thriving distillery in Portland.   I’ll finish with another one of the innovations that Adam Milne of Portland’s Old Town Brewing has just sprung which will put additional fizzle into the fall……

Freeland Spirits of Northwest Portland 

While it’s probably obvious that I love to raise a mug of almost any malted brew whether it be an IPA, a lager, pilsner, etc. on occasion, I’m also very partial to distilled spirits – gin martinis (up with olives) — scotch and bourbon also periodically come to mind.

Thus when my son-in-law, Ryan, gave me a 750 milliliter bottle of Freeland Bourbon for my birthday in May, I was in for a wonderful surprise.  The bourbon superb – the best I’ve ever consumed in over seventy years on this earth (okay – during the fifty + years where I could imbibe legally….),

But it’s produced by two woman entrepreneurs who have a compelling story AND a high-quality product from the distillery they founded in 2017. (External photo attribution at end of post *)

As stated on their website:

“Freeland Spirits celebrates the women of the craft. From the gals who grow the grain, to those who run the still, we’re creating superior spirits that celebrate all the Northwest has to offer.

After COVID subsides and I can make on-site visits again, I hope to interview both CEO and Founder, Jill Keuhler and Master Distiller, Molly Troupe at their site and devote a full post to their vision for the future.

“Freeland Bourbon pays homage to the South, and to Grandma Freeland, the namesake of Freeland Spirits. Soft caramel, vanilla and spice dance into the whiskey from charred American oak barrels.

A final rest in Oregon’s Elk Cove Pinot Noir barrels adds an element of Pacific Northwest terroir. Blended with precision by our Master Distiller, Molly Troupe, to achieve balanced texture and harmony of flavors.

But I admit, I’ve become so fond of the bourbon, that I developed a routine of sorts during COVID, when I’ve become enamored with jigsaw puzzles – after all, I’ve got a lot more free time since I’m not making personal visits to watering holes at this time.

Before bed, I often spend a session at one of the 1000-piece puzzles accompanied by a “generous” pour of their bourbon.   When my wife saw how quickly the bottle had disappeared, she decided my shots would be less fulsome……although this led to a genteel debate about the term “generous.”

For example, according to Wikipedia, a small shot of liquor in the US ranges from 30 to 44 ml whereas a double will fill a glass with about 59 to 89 ml.  So if I had an average of 55 ml shot each session, the bourbon would have been consumed in only 14 sessions. 

Since I only spend about forty-five minutes each night, it certainly has taken me that long to get this far in one of the most challenging 1000-piece puzzles we have done to date (Galison Puzzles “A Day at the Bookstore.”)

And Speaking of Northwest Entrepreneurs…..

One of my favorite Portland breweries in the eleven years I’ve been Beerchasing is Old Town Brewing.  And only part of that sentiment is because of its great beer and pizza.   Like Freeland Spirits above, a major factor is the creativity and resourcefulness of the founder and owner, Adam Milne

He has demonstrated this entrepreneurial spirit, from the time he bought Old Town Pizza in 2004, when this Marcola, Oregon native was only thirty-three.  (He mortgaged the equity in his house and sold a rental unit to buy the establishment.)

The almost twenty-year history of this enterprise and Adam’s resilience, innovation and creativity is a remarkable story which took me two Beerchaser posts to chronicle: https://thebeerchaser.com/2019/02/26/new-energy-and-ideas-at-old-town-brewing/

And from my own experience meeting and interviewing him over beers at his Eastside brewery and pub in late 2018, Adam is also a great human being who is the epitome of an enlightened owner and manager.

Before telling you about Adam’s latest adventure, I will use the words of Carson Bowler his college Sigma Nu fraternity brother at the University of Oregon, and my colleague at Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt, (shown in the photo above) who has also represented Adam and Old Town on legal issues:

I’ve known Adam for more than twenty-five years.  We were in the Sigma Nu house and his reputation then was that he was the nicest guy in the fraternity.  Unfortunately, that reputation was accurate. 

One could never lie to, or ‘borrow’ from or prank Adam without the everlasting worry that God, Himself would punish any such shenanigans with eternal damnation. 

Adam always had one great idea too many until he didn’t and launched Old Town Brewing.  It was in this enterprise that his ambition, good taste, generosity and entrepreneurial spirit blissfully collided to produce pure-love in a pint.  Adam makes good beer because only good things come from Adam.”

Adam and Crew *8

Adam, like most small business owners has faced incredible challenges in the last two years.   At the height of COVID’s initial wave and when Portland was enmeshed in the lawless protests (a continuing saga), he was forced to shut his Old Town location down in July, 2020:

“‘The moment of a temporary closure became, sadly, clear on Thursday when our revenue for the day was $18.75,’ he says…..’Downtown businesses have been hit especially hard with the high density, vandalism and tents in front of our business.’”

But he rebounded and in May of 2020, Old Town Brewing launched a Drive-Thru Brewer’s Market with seven different breweries and cideries. Every Saturday from 11am-4pm, Old Town’s parking lot off of Killingsworth in northeast Portland –  a contact free drive-up experience with rotating selections from local breweries is filled with enthusiastic patrons.

And in February, 2021, he purchased Baby Doll Pizza on Southeast Stark  – known for its’s New York style pizza.  He didn’t change the name although it now features a number of the excellent Old Town beers on tap.  

Well, the innovation continues and this time it’s “Out of the Barrel…”   As featured in Oregon Live’s Andre Meunier’s new column on beer and breweries (which is an excellent column you should check out) “Portland’s Old Town jumps into hard seltzer market with Upper Left”

“‘On Thursday (9/15/21) (Old Town Brewing) will release its Upper Left hard seltzer brand, becoming one of the first small breweries in the nation to do so,’ (Adam Milne) said. Old Town, no slouch when it comes to brewing awards, will continue to make its full line-up of craft beer, but it will augment that with an initial offering of two seltzers: Cotton Candy and Key Lime, with more flavors to be introduced.

‘The flavors are a throwback to the candies of the ‘70s,’ Milne said. He wanted to capture the retro flavors of confections like Now and Later, Laffy Taffy or Bazooka, or even the vibe of the corner pop shop or a saltwater taffy store. He wants the Upper Left brand to appeal not only to young adults but also to those who grew up in the ‘70s and ‘80s.”

Now, I loved Bazooka Bubble Gum when I was a kid and I’m going to give it a try, but I don’t know if a hard seltzer is going to replace my Freeland Bourbon when I embark on my next jigsaw puzzle.  

Cats in Positano, 1000 Pieces, eeBoo | Puzzle Warehouse

That said, I might substitute a mug of Old Town’s Paulie’s Not Irish (American Red) Ale which recently won a Bronze Medal at the 2021 Great American Beer Festival.

A good substitute! *14

External Photo Attribution

*1 – 3  Freeland Spirits Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/freelandspirits/photos/?ref=page_internal)

*4  Wikimedia Commons (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shot_glass#/media/File:Three_shotglasses.jpg) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.  Author: Kelly Martin 16 November 2006

*5 – 9  Old Town Brewing Facebook Page  (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Baby%20Doll%20Pizza/1409561956008482/photos/)

*10 – 11  Baby Doll Pizza Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Baby%20Doll%20Pizza/1409561956008482/photos/)

*12 – 13  Upper Left Hard Seltzer Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/upperleftseltzer/photos/?ref=page_internal)

*14  Old Town Brewing Website (https://www.otbrewing.com/beer_pnir)

Beerchaser Miscellany – the Advent of Autumn

Steeplejack Brewing

(Welcome back to Thebeerchaser.  Since this is a long post, if you are seeing it through an e-mail, please visit the blog by clicking on the title above to see all of the photos and so the narrative is not clipped or shortened.)

As we move into autumn, my hopes of returning to full-fledged inside Beerchasing are temporarily delayed although my first visit to the new Steeplejack Brewing’s on NE Broadway a few weeks ago convinced me I need to return in the future.

My friend, John Limb, just retired Publisher of the Catholic Catholic Press and I had lunch there and marveled at what co-owners Brody Day and Dustin Harder had accomplished to save this wonderful 112-year-old historic church (which might have otherwise been developed into condominiums) and to refurbish and restore it into a great brewery and brewpub.  

Restored and refurbished

Since I have not a whit of architectural or interior design expertise or comprehension, I will not attempt to give any description other than to say that this church building, originally dedicated In 1909 by then President of the United States, William Howard Taft, as the First Universalist Church of Good Tidings, was breathtaking and impressive.

 The following article from the July 21st New School Beer and Cider article goes into more detail. (see link)  I have been impressed in two phone conversations with Brody’s upbeat, but modest persona – plus his vision including their plans for a second facility in Hillsboro outside Portland, which is now in the planning stages.

In fact on their website, the owners – college buddies at the University of California at Santa Cruz, omit any reference to their own impressive entrepreneurial experience and talk strictly about the excellent brewing, culinary and management staff they have assembled.

Now the menu appears to be somewhat limited at this point, but the Smash Burger and fries we had were excellent and the beer befitting of the experience of the two female Brewmasters, who are both industry veterans.  Anna Buxton was working on a batch on their impressive equipment a few yards from our table. (* external photo attribution at end of post.)

*1 Anna Buxton

I had a pint of the Hermit Kolsch, (5.2 ABV), a lemony, fermented ale with a nice taste and John had the Gravity IPA, for which there was no information on their website.  If these are representative, Steeplejack will not only become known for its architecture, but its suds! 

Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter Update

I have been remiss in 2021 in publishing one of my favorite features of this blog – the Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter (BOQ) features an individual or group that may or may not have anything to do with bars or beers, but has made a contribution to society and has a good story. 

While past “honorees” have included war heroes, athletes, academicians, authors and media personalities – most of whom I’ve know personally, the only recognition bestowed this year was in another one of my posts on lawyers published in May based on my forty years working with these characters:  https://thebeerchaser.com/category/beerchaser-of-the-month-or-quarter/

That will change in the near future, but here’s an update on five past BOQ’s I’ve featured.

Dr. Sam Holloway

Those of you who bemoan the trend of the corporate brewery behemoths to acquire or absorb independent craft breweries will be encouraged to learn that Sam Holloway, who co-founded and is the President of Crafting a Strategy, entered a new partnership in August.  He is also an award-winning professor in the Pamplin School of Business at the University of Portland:

UniteCraft Corporation, a collaboration of three brewing industry veterans, launched UniteCraft.com. This new online platform of web based applications enables the highly fragmented craft beer industry to enjoy the economic benefits previously only experienced by large breweries and brewery collectives.

(UniteCraft) has partnered with Sam Holloway to level the playing field against “Big Beer”.  UniteCraft’s mission is to use its proprietary technology to organize the collective power of independent craft breweries, to expand market opportunities for any brewery, and to help small breweries create healthier businesses.”

Jay Waldron (and Shane)

I featured my former colleague at the Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt law firm, Jay Waldron, as my BOQ in March 2016.    https://thebeerchaser.com/2016/03/29/jay-waldron-rugger-rafter-rider-and-lawyer-beerchaser-of-the-quarter/ 

It was to convey not only his public service contributions including Chair of the Oregon Health Sciences University Board, President of the Port of Portland and Chair of Metro’s Transportation Committee or his accomplishments as a trial lawyer, but his athletic achievements. 

These include induction into the US Rugby Hall of Fame in 2017.  Oh yeah, then there’s his rafting adventures on the Upper Yangtze and his motorcycle racing and treks. As pointed out in a January 2021 article on NBC Northwest in January by another BOQ, Dwight (The Godfather) Jaynes:  

“But (Jay) is not the most famous person in the family these days — at least since last week, when his son, Shane, was named offensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks……

After growing up on five acres in the family log home in Carver, Shane played football at LaSalle High School, Phillips Academy Andover and Tufts University in Massachusetts. After his playing career as a tight end and long-snapper at Tufts, he caught on as an operations intern with the New England Patriots, launching a career that carried him all the way to the Seahawks

…..with stops at Notre Dame, New England (again), U-Mass, the Washington Football team, Eventually he was hired by the Rams as a tight ends coach, then became passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach under head coach Sean McVay.”

As an aggressive litigator, it would not be surprising if Jay, based on his rugby exploits, tried to persuade Shane to toughen up his players by eliminating helmets and implementing a “scrum-type” offensive strategy.  Fortunately, his son will be getting his direction from Seahawk Head Coach Pete Carroll.

John Terry

A superb historian and writer

Former Oregonian long-time history columnist, John Terry was one of my first BOQ’s. Many of us looked forward to his superb and interesting weekly accounts of Portland’s fascinating and colorful heritage and were aghast when first, the Oregonian reduced it to a monthly gig and followed by discontinuing it permanently.

As another BOQ, Portland attorney, Jim Westwood lamented:

“When The Sunday Oregonian discontinued John Terry’s weekly articles on Oregon history, I sighed and told myself I’d get used to turning to something else first thing every Sunday morning. How wrong I was. How long has it been now, a couple of months? It’s an eternity. I miss John Terry’s lively, superbly researched articles.

I miss them desperately. I’m frustrated and angry that The Oregonian could have taken them away without considering making them at least a monthly feature. Sunday will never be the same, and it hit me again this morning…..The Oregonian (should) resurrect John Terry and his wonderful works on the history of our state and its people.”

I sought John’s advice in 2012, shortly after I started this blog for resources on historic bars in Portland.  In his quiet and unassuming manner, he gave me a wealth of advice.  This lunch was followed by a Beerchasing event with the aforementioned Jim Westwood at the legendary Goose Hollow Inn (reviewed 1n 2012) owned by Portland’s former and most charismatic Mayor, Bud Clark.

Mayor Clark spent ninety minutes enthralling us with stories ranging from the political campaign in which he pulled off a stunning upset of the incumbent, to the unbelievable tale of how what was supposed to be a photo highlighting a campaign to combat venereal disease (“Zap the Clap”), became an internationally famous poster which still hangs in the Smithsonian Institute entitled (as will be obvious from the photo below) “Expose Yourself to Art!”

“Zap the Clap didn’t “fly”…….

We were saddened to hear that John passed away unexpectedly after a short hospitalization on March 8th.  His legacy will live on.

Jack and Jan McGowan

Oregon Environmental, Sustainability and Public Service Icons

This dynamic couple whose contributions to Oregon’s environmental health and public awareness, spanned eighteen years as founders and co-directors of SOLV (Stop Oregon Littering and Vandalism.)   (The non-profit dropped the words from its name to just the acronym in 1998 and added the E in 2012 to reflect its expanded mission in the community and environment.)

When I interviewed them in 2020 at their ranch in Sisters, Oregon, Jack smiled when he stated, “When I started SOLV had no staff, no office, no phone, 100 sheets of letterhead and $12,000 in a checking account.” The office for the first five yeas, was in the family room of their house in Helvetia.   

And from that staff of one and a budget of $12,000 to the time of their retirement in 2008 (Jan still has a thriving non-profit consulting firm) , it grew to a staff of twenty-six (now 32) and a budget of $2.6 million and tens of thousands of volunteers.

September 11, 2021 is the twentieth anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon as summarized in this excerpt from History.com:

“On September 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States.

Two of the planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Almost 3,000 people were killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which triggered major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism and defined the presidency of George W. Bush.”

No caption is required for this photo…….* 11

So how does the anniversary of this catastrophe relate to Jack McGowan and his actions along with almost 1,000 intrepid Oregonians about one month after the attack? 

And in our current time of a pandemic, multiple crises ranging from wildfires to tropical storms and national controversies that have polarized our country, how can the actions of this group in 2011 be an example of attitudes and actions which can help heal the divide.  Read about the remarkable Oregon Flight for Freedom:

The following is an excerpt from Thebeerchaser.com post on Jack and Jan McGowan.

 “In 2001, we were all stunned by the attack on the Twin Towers in New York City.   But Jack, having grown up there (Jackson Heights) said, ‘When I saw the Towers go down, it affected me viscerally.’

Portland travel agency icon, Sho Dozono, his wife Loen, the late Commissioner Nick Fish and Oregon Congressman David Wu, John Ray along with Portland influencers, Len Bergstein and Elaine Franklin collectively began orchestrating the concept in the lobby of KGW television studios shortly after the attack on NYC.

At the time, Jack was co-hosting the local part of a national broadcast and pledge drive for the rescue workers.  Elaine Franklin originated the name “Flight for Freedom” and Loen Dozono came up with the vision of a “Reverse Oregon Wagon Train” – only by air.

When New York City was struggling with the aftermath and people were avoiding airline flights as being too hazardous, they decided let’s get a group of Oregonians and “Fly to New York City, look terrorism in the face and not blink!”  *12

Jack and John Ray went three days early as an advance party to pave the way for the official flight, which included Oregon dignitaries including Mayor Vera Katz.

The unique group of about 500 flew into Manhattan where the famed Waldorf Astoria Hotel was virtually empty.  (Delta Airlines gave a great deal on cost of the flight.) Few people were going to Manhattan unless they absolutely had to – especially tourists. 

The Oregonians filled the hotel –  the only cost was for the room tax.  All other lodging expense was gladly absorbed by hotel management.  The Flight was covered by national and international print and broadcast media. And according to Jack:

‘New York City went crazy!  Cops hugged us.  We went to a restaurant and when the maitre’d announced that we were the group from Oregon, we got a standing ovation and multiple parties debated as to whom would pick up the bill for the meal.

We met with Rudy Guliani and Governor Pataki and had appearances on Good Morning America and Today.'”

This post is already too long and I won’t include one of the best Jack McGowan stories I’ve heard – and there are many – (It brought tears to my eyes when he told it.)   

The picture above shows when Jack and several of the Oregon delegation rang the traditional opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange with Richard (Richie) Grasso the President of the New York Stock Exchange in their midst.  (Check this link so you don’t miss it….)

And in Closing……

Stay safe, get vaccinated, wear a mask, help your neighbor, patronize your local restaurants, bars and breweries – even if it’s eating outside or getting take-out and pray for our health-care workers, emergency responders and teachers.

*17

External Photo Attribution

*1-3  Steeplejack Brewing Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/SteeplejackBeer/photos)

*4-6 Crafting a Strategy Website (https://craftingastrategy.com/users/sam-holloway) and Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/craftingastrategy)

*7-8 Shane Waldron Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/shane.waldron.14/photos)

*9 Oregon Business Magazine – December 2003 Issue https://www.oregonbusiness.com/component/search/? searchword

*10  SOLVE Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/SOLVEOregon/photos/?ref=page_internal

*11 Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:North_face_south_tower_

(This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.  Author: Robert on Flickr

13-16 Oregon Flight for Freedom Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/Flight-For-Freedom-191666124219332/photos 

*17  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Syringe2.jpg)  

 Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

 

Gaining Perspective at the Falls View….

The Falls View Tavern

(Welcome back to Thebeerchaser.  Since this is a long post, if you are seeing it through an e-mail, please visit the blog by clicking on the title above to see all of the photos and so the narrative is not clipped or shortened.)

Note: The last 25% of this post may be of particular interest to history buffs.  Check out this story which goes back to 1850 and continues to the present time.

I’ve published quite a few posts related to my time in Oregon City, Oregon – from seventh grade until after I got married at age thirty-one except for time at Oregon State University and in the Navy.  My wife and I then moved across the Willamette River to West Linn – another Portland burb and our high school rival in the old Tualatin Yamhill Valley League.

I was a pretty good kid in high school – motivated by the admonition of Dale Herron, our basketball coach, that if we even thought of frequenting one of Oregon City’s bars (or went skiing at Mt. Hood) we would have to turn in our Chuck Taylor Converse All-stars (black high-tops). 

Knowing that attending college also depended on an academic scholarship and a clean record, I never drank alcohol before I turned twenty-one in college.  (* photo attribution at end of post.)

Oh yeah. When I when I asserted above “pretty good kid,” – in the interest of full disclosure, there was that one incident at the end of our senior year when several of us from the Class of ’66 decided to put an old out-house on the roof of the school. 

Fortunately, OCHS Principal Vern Larson (possibly remembering his own school pranks in North Dakota) went easy on us.   His son, Dave, was one of my best friends, so maybe that didn’t hurt either.  Understandably, Dave was not in the group of pranksters.

And when I worked on Main Street for Clackamas County after naval service, my haunt was either McNaulty and Barry’s – a wonderful and fabled dive (still going strong) across the street from the Courthouse. 

The Dunes Motel Lounge (long gone) was a sleazy alternative – after work attendance and political banter and ample booze consumption were expected during the last two years when I worked for the Clackamas County Commissioners.

Thus, I was surprised when my friend, Matt Love, another Oregon City High School grad, (a lot of years after my diploma) but also an expert on Oregon dive bars, suggested the Falls View Tavern.   It’s right across the street from what was one of our favorite high school hangouts – Art’s Cafe.

We spent a lot of time at Art’s on Friday nights after our games eating their great burgers and fries (Art’s is now the Highland Still House which is a great place to go for a shot of fine whiskey):

“With more than 500 bottles of whisky consistently behind the bar and a rotating collection of rare and exciting whiskies from around the globe.”  *2

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 1918808_154748597277_4348260_n-1.jpg

But I never really even bothered noticing the Falls View Tavern. I’m glad that I remedied that in early July with Matt and another Beerchasing regular, Jim Westwood – the dean of our group and another Oregon City High grad.

Both Matt and Jim are outstanding individuals and accomplished professionals as set forth in my post: .https://thebeerchaser.com/2021/07/22/2021-summer-beerchasing-miscellany-part-ii/

And we were not disappointed.  Since it was a nice summer day, we sat in their expansive patio or beer garden.  Falls View on their website describes it as:

Best Beer Garden within ?,??? miles.  Umbrella Covered Tables, Covered Stage, Covered Smoking Area, Fire Pit and a refreshing Misting Station for those two really hot days.”

The patio was a recurring theme in the positive reviews of the bar as best summarized by this 2017 Yelp Review:

“They have created an amazing outdoor area for live music or just kicking back to enjoy some food and drink. Whenever I take pictures of the bands playing in their back patio, friends always think I’m in someone’s backyard, and that’s exactly how it feels. But it’s the best backyard because there are these lovely people who will bring you food and drink in exchange for plastic or cash.”

While it’s nothing fancy, it’s spacious and draws a lot of people who just hang out or listen to the live music on weekends, compete in Wednesday Night Trivia or sing at the open mike on Thursdays.   

The owner, Terry Bee Enstad, another Oregon City High School graduate, said that during the restrictions on indoor dining, the patio was always full and people would come from all over the surrounding area.

The Yelp review mentions “lovely people” and there are other comments about friendly staff. Cyndee, our server that afternoon, exemplified this sentiment.  She’s worked at the bar for 5 1/2 years and since they weren’t extremely busy initially, spent time enlightening us about what makes the bar a “Community.”

And Terry Bee, the delightful owner for the last twenty-one years as of the Friday before we were there (the bar goes back to the 1920’s) lives nearby.   She’s used her charisma and personal touch to turn the Falls View into a community gathering place.  

Cyndee introduced us to one of the regulars named Sabrina, who positively gushed about why “The Falls View has become the only bar I’ll ever visit in the future.”  She lives in nearby Canby and talked about the great food and people she’s experienced since the first time she came to the Falls View two years ago.

“This is the last bar I ever want to be in!” (Sabrina – a regular)

An old building provides some challenges and Terry had had her hands full with maintenance and updating.  For example, a 2018 project involving the flooring gives an apt picture of the challenges:

“With the discovery of hardwood flooring under the carpet, it was an easy decision for Terry to lead the charge to rescue it.  But as with all repairs and projects at The Falls View, being a hundred year old building, you have to be prepared for surprises (usually unpleasant & costly ones). 

 We immediately discovered the first one to be that the floor was covered with a variety of materials including plywood (heavily nailed down), particle board, and something called Fix-All which proved to be a huge obstacle.”  (Falls View Website)

The inside of the dive bar validates the label and has a great musty ambiance with historic photos, signs and a great back bar.  There’s also an alcove for video machines which is nice as they are away from the main part of the bar.

The food is one factor that distinguishes Falls View and people rave about the broiled chicken:

“That said, this place is a KEEPER!  I came for the chicken and left with the opinion that it was, by far, the best chicken experience I’ve ever had.  I say ‘experience’ because everything from the service to the seating was excellent.  Then comes the chicken – five pieces totaling a full half of a chicken, perfectly broasted and seasoned with a very light coating, some hand-cut jo-jos, and garlic bread.” (Yelp 7/9/17)

One-half of a chicken, jo-jos and garlic bread is only $11.75, or the cod fish and fries is a stunningly reasonable $9.75.  And I will definitely return for the chicken gizzards and fries for $8.25 – the only bar I know in the Portland area besides the Yukon Tavern that serves this “delicacy.” 

As their website asserts, “Quirky was probably invented here.”  The breakfast menu also looked very good.

To further give you an example of why Terry should probably raise her prices, take a look at the total bill for the three of us.   Matt had two micro-brew pints and Jim and I each had two tall-boys (Old German – the first time I’ve had that Pittsburgh beer) for a total of $8 since there is a $2 tall-boy special each day. We topped off with a large order of great French fries

And they have five rotating taps besides the three standards (Coors Light, Bud Light and Boneyard IPA) supplemented by almost twenty different bottled and canned beers, wine in addition to ciders and hard lemonades.

Notwithstanding the fact that she was being pulled in several directions as the regulars started to pour in, I spent a pleasant twenty minutes talking to Terry about the bar’s history and her plans.   

My congratulations for her shepherding this establishment into one of the most distinctive and pleasant neighborhood dives I’ve been to in ten years of Beerchasing.  I will definitely be back….

One More Thing…..But It’s Important!

Now to end this post, I have to include some of Oregon City’s fabled history which I have talked about in several prior posts.   That’s also easy with Matt Love, an authority on Oregon lore and history (check out his offerings at the Nestucca Spit Press).

Matt told us that we had to check out the historical marker across the street from the bar at the Willamette Falls View Point.  Besides the outstanding view of the Falls, the locks and the historic mills on both sides of the Willamette River, he told us that the marker conveyed the story of the last Oregon public execution in 1850.

Well there was, in fact, an historic marker, but it was just that of Dr. John McLoughlin,  “known as the ‘Father of Oregon’ for his role in assisting the American cause in the Oregon Country.” (Wikipedia)

What happened to the plaque about the Cayuse Five?

However there was nothing regarding the hanging which Matt had referenced.  This sent me on an Internet search and the research may have revealed why officials removed the sign about the capital punishment:

“In May 21, 1850, the trial of five Cayuse men accused of murdering Protestant missionary Marcus Whitman begins in Oregon City, capital of the newly organized Oregon Territory. Whitman, his wife Narcissa, and 11 others had been killed during a Cayuse attack on the Whitman Mission near Walla Walla two and a half years earlier…..

The defendants were indicted on several charges associated with the attack but were tried on only a single count, that of ‘feloniously, wilfully and of their malice aforethought’ killing ‘one Marcus Whitman’ (Grand Jury indictment No. 11). The trial lasts four days and ends when all five defendants are convicted and sentenced to death by hanging…….

And, it does not speak well for “frontier” justice at that time:

“How the Cayuse made the decision to turn in those five men is not known. There was some speculation, at the time and afterward, that the Cayuse simply gave up five volunteers in order to appease the whites and end the fighting. For his part, Lane (the Governor of the Oregon Territory) seemed unconcerned about whether any of the prisoners had participated in the killings or whether any of the actual attackers had gone free. ‘The punishment of these Indians,’ he told the Territorial Legislature on May 7, 1850, two weeks before the trial, ‘will remove the barrier to a peace with the Cayuse, and have a good effect upon all the tribes’…….

“Oregon City at that time was a frontier town of about 500. The jail was a one-room structure on Abernethy Island, at the foot of Willamette Falls. There was no courthouse; the trial took place in a tavern, crowded with a couple of hundred onlookers. During the jury selection process, on the morning of May 23, the defense issued so many preemptory challenges that the original panel of 24 prospective jurors had to be augmented with people chosen at random from among the spectators. Eventually, a jury of 12 was empaneled and District Attorney Amory Holbrook (1820-1866) began presenting the prosecution’s case……

“The court heard three hours of summation from the defense and the prosecution and then adjourned. In giving his charge to the jury, at 9 a.m. Friday, May 24, Judge Pratt basically said the defendants’ guilt was proven by the fact that the tribe had turned them over to the authorities. As Lansing points out, ‘Today, Judge Pratt’s actions would have been a clear violation of the hearsay rule and the U.S. Constitution’s Sixth Amendment confrontation clause: ‘the accused shall enjoy the right … to be confronted with the witnesses against him’ “‘(Lansing, 151).

The jury deliberated for one hour and 15 minutes before returning the expected verdict: guilty. The defense immediately filed several motions on appeal; all were denied. At 4 p.m., Judge Pratt reconvened the court and pronounced his sentence. He ordered the prisoners to be confined until 2 p.m. on Monday, June 3, 1850, when they were to be taken by the U.S. marshal — Joe Meek — to a gallows to be erected in Oregon City, ‘and there by him be hung by the neck, until you are dead’ (Oregon Spectator, May 30, 1850).”

(History Link Essay No. 9401 – By Cassandra Tate – Posted 4/16/2010: “Trial of Five Cayuse Accused of Whitman Murder Begins on May 21, 1850.” https://www.historylink.org/File/9401)

The story has a woeful ending according to this account in article from MyNorthwest.com by Feliks Banel on 11/29/2-017:

“The Cayuse Five were [named] Clokomas, Kiamasumkin, Isiaasheluckas, Tomahas and Telokite,’ Karson Engum said. ‘They were hung in Oregon City and they were taken off in a cart and they were put either in an unmarked grave or in a mass grave, and at this point, there’s ideas that they may be under a parking lot somewhere in Oregon City or in some not necessarily unknown cemetery.’

Those interested in this story and related history will hear more in coming months as the area in question and adjacent to the Falls View Tavern is part of the Willamette Falls Legacy Project.  While the Whitman massacre was a tragedy, the manner in which the accused were convicted adds to the sad narrative.

Interested parties including the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla, various historians and government agencies involved in the project including the City of Oregon City and Metro are involved in bringing more information to light as set forth in this article by Oregon City historian, James Nicita, in the 6/13/18 Clackamas Review entitled A step towards healing: Repatriating the Cayuse Five; author offers theory on gravesite location.”

Photo Attribution

*1  https://www.facebook.com/highlandstillhousepub/photos

/a.442627192277/154748597277/

*2 Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:

A_classic_Black_pair_of_Converse_All_Stars_resting_on_the_Black_%26_White_

Ed._Shoebox_ (1998-2002).JPG Author: Hadley1978  at English Wikipedia

*3 – *7 Falls View Tavern Website (https://thefallsviewtavern.com/)