November Nuances – Be Careful of Your Terms

(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. # External photo attribution at the end of the post. #1 – #2)

On Saturday, November 25th the Oregon State Beavers will host the nationally-ranked University of Oregon Ducks at Reser Field in Corvallis for this legendary gridiron contest – known until 2020 as “The Civil War.” 

(See Thebeerchaser post entitled “History, Semantics, Sensitivity and Common Sense”  regarding my emphatic sentiments about this change.)

As stated at the beginning of a wonderful book by the six-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.”

Politically Incorrect Ribaldry

While acknowledging – although not agreeing – with the view of those who advocated the name change, I’m also not in favor of the milque toast and staid options offered in lieu since 2020 – primarily The Platypus Bowl and The Oregon Classic the moniker for the last three games.

I think sportswriter and media expert, John Canzano, has the best idea:

” ‘The game formerly known as the Civil War.’ That’s what I’m calling it until they re-name the thing. Our long-standing state rivalry. Two winning teams and a lot at stake.”

Canzano in his most recent column hits the nail on the head in his second column this week on this controversy.

“Meanwhile, it’s been almost 30 months since that joint announcement. UO and OSU have had plenty of time to figure out this rivalry naming business. They’ve left us a mess. It’s time to stop puttering around and name the Beavers-Ducks rivalry.
On that note, I’ll bet most of you still call it “The Civil War.” (#3 – #5)

 

I should disclaim that I graduated from OSU in April, 1971 and my wife of 42 years, Janet, is a 1976 Oregon graduate.  Our older daughter, Lisa, and her husband, Jamie, are both University of Washington Huskies – he a third generation “Dawg.” 

Janet reminds me that Lisa turned down a full academic ride to the U of O and we paid out-of-state tuition because I told her she could go to UW if she was admitted to the Honors College.

I respond that because of my foresight (rather than the rationale being my distaste for the Quackers), we have a wonderful son-in-law (and his family) and two granddaughters and a new grand-puppy who we treasure 

Two Husky alums and family

College Years

I was fortunate to live with twelve of the members of the football team during the Giant Killer era in the SAE House at OSU.  They included my 1970 classmates, defensive back starters, Larry Rich and Don Whitney

Craig “The Dude” Hanneman – class of ’71, was profiled as a Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter in 2012.  Other SAE’s footballers during those years were Jim Scheele, Chris Wahle, Clyde Smith, Don Welch, Jim Blackford, Jess Lewis, Roger Cantlon, and Gary and Duane Barton.  

(From left clockwise – OSU SAE’s 1967, Jess Lewis, Capt. Jud Blakely, Dirt and The Dude, Duane Barton)

And the Giant Killer years for us on campus were wonderful – not only from a football perspective, but as a time in our lives that would never be replicated – essentially insulated, carefree and, for the most part, absent adult responsibilities.

And the impact Dee Andros “The Great Pumpkin” had on his players was a foundation for that team and one which shaped their character for the rest of their lives as well as establishing lasting bonds.  https://thebeerchaser.com/2018/05/20/the-1967-osu-giant-killers-beerchasers-of-the-quarter-part-i/

Years Later – Coach Andros with Jossis, Freeburn, Dippel and Hanneman

Post Graduation

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 in the Elections Department and then for 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 Mike’s 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 Northwest Regional 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 and perhaps more so than OSU vs Oregon.   

The Schwabe firm had a great culture and an organizational sense of humor was part of it. The week before the Civil War game, electronic missives about important cases and issues at the firm would be actively supplemented by multiple All-Firm e-mails with jokes about the Beavs and the Ducks.

2018-06-06 15.33.32

While the Ivy League law grads who didn’t send similar barbs about the Princeton vs. Harvard game weren’t always amused, most of the firm enjoyed this tradition. The majority of the barbs  could be sent by a fan of either school, but since OSU was an aggie school, many were based on images of country or “hill folk”.

While a lot of them would now be considered politically incorrect, they were done without malice and in the spirit of good fun.  I’ll finish with a sampling.

Q – What did the Beaver say while swimming when he crashed into a concrete wall?     

A – Dam!  (#6)

Q – What’s the best thing to come out of Eugene?

A – Interstate 5. (#7)

A Beaver alum came home and found his house on fire. He rushed next door, telephoned the fire department and shouted, “Hurry over here. My house is on fire!”

“OK,” replied the firefighter. “How do we get there?” “Shucks,” says the OSU alum, “Don’t you still have those big red trucks?”  (#8)

Albert Einstein arrives at a party in Eugene and introduces himself to to the first person he sees and asks, “What is your IQ,” to which the man answers, “241.” “Wonderful,” says Albert, ” We will discuss the Grand Unification Theory and the mysteries of the universe.”

Next, he introduces himself to a woman and inquires, “What is your IQ, to which the woman replies, ” 207.” “That’s great,” said the physicist, “We can discuss politics and the scientific implications of world affairs. We’ll have much to discuss.”

He approaches a third person and asks, “What is your IQ,” to which the guy holding a beer, answers, “51.” Einstein ponders this for a micro-second and says, “Go Ducks!”   (#9)

Q – What do they call 100 John Deere tractors circling a McDonalds in Corvallis.

A – Oregon State Prom Night.  (#10)

An Oregon State Trooper pulls over a Prius in Eugene driven by an Oregon alum and asks, “Got any ID?”

The Duck replies, “About what?”  (#11)

An Oregon grad, a Cal grad, and an Oregon State grad are waiting to be executed by firing squad. The Oregon grad is first, and as he is waiting to be executed, he
yells, “Earthquake!”

The firing squad panics and runs away, allowing the Oregon grad to jump over the wall and escape.

The Cal grad is next, and as he is waiting to be executed, he yells, “Flood!”

The firing squad again panics and runs away, so the Cal grad also jumps over the wall and escapes.

The Oregon State grad is last.  As he is waiting to be executed, he remembers what the other two had done, so he yells, “Fire!”  (#12)

Fire! — Oh Wait?

Two Oregon football players in their dorm rooms were going crazy with excitement as they just completed a jigsaw puzzle in just under one year.

When asked why they were so ecstatic they showed the jigsaw puzzle box where it said 3-6 years and they exclaimed, “We completed it in one-third that time.” (#13)

 And finally, to end on a “neutral field,” of sorts:

A guy in a bar leans over to the guy next to him during the week of the Apple Cup and asks, “Wanna hear a Husky joke?” The guy replies, “Before you tell that joke, besides being 6’2″ and weighing 240, I’m a UW graduate.”

“The guy next to me is 6’5′ 225 and played linebacker under legendary Husky Coach Jim Owens”

“The woman next to him is a UW Grad, a karate black belt and currently coaches at the University.”

Now, do you still want to tell that Husky joke?”

The first guy says, “No, not if I’m going to have to explain it three times….”

In Conclusion

Enjoy “The Civil War Game” or whatever college contest you either attend or watch – and do it with friends regardless of their alma mater. (Some of you might even want to take in the World Cup)…but Go Beavs!

External Photo Attribution

#1.  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.

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

#3.  Oregon Historical Society. 

#4. Public Domain -Wikimedia Commons ((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.

#5.  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pacific_black_duck_P1090215.jpg. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.  Author:  John Robert McPherson 1 January, 2015.

#6.  (Picture of Dam) Wikimedia Common (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:RappbodeLufts.JPG) The copyright holder of this work allows anyone to use it for any purpose including unrestricted redistribution, commercial use, and modification.  Author:  Hahnenkleer  30 October 2013.

#7.  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:I-5.svg)   his file is in the public domain because it comes from the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, sign number M1-1. Made to the specifications of the 2004 edition of Standard Highway Signs  16 MY 2007.

#8.  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:LFB_Pump_Ladder.jpg)  This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Jackus2008 at English Wikipedia. This applies worldwide. 22 November 2007.

#9.  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Albert_Einstein_Head.jpg)  This image is available from the United States Library of Congress‘s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3b46036. 1947.

#10.  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:John_Deere_8200.jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported2.5 Generic2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.  Author:  Reise Reise 30 July 2009.

#11.  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:North_Carolina_State_Trooper_on_I-85.jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported2.5 Generic2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.  Author:  Ildar Sagdejev (Specious)  13 March 2008.

#12. Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Up_In_Flames_(18897711).jpeg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  Author:  Arun Agrawal  9 September 2012.

#13.   Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jigsaw_puzzle_in_progress.jpg) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.  Author: Balise42  10 February 2022.

November News – Back to Beerchasing!

My idiosyncratic pursuit of new bars and breweries – initiated as a retirement hobby in August 2011 – was waylaid by the pandemic in 2020-1 and major back surgery in June, 2022.

It’s resumed, albeit at a slower pace than the rapid stride that saw me at the end of 2019, having visited and reviewed a total of 366 watering holes of all kinds.  119 were in the Portland metro area and the other 247 scattered throughout Oregon, many of the fifty states and even a few in Europe. 

In 2020, I only added nine – as establishments temporarily closed or went out of business permanently.   While I’ve lost the formal count, going back in my files, I arrived at a new total.

It appears that during temporary breaks in the lockdown in 2021 and after starting the routine again in 2022, I added 25 more – meaning my Beerchasing exploits have taken me to approximately 400 wonderful (at least most of them) watering holes in a little over eleven years.  

Aside from seven listed below in 2021-2 – all in Oregon – I have not written complete reviews on the other eighteen.  That’s because with the exception of road trip visits, I always try to hit a tavern or brewery at least twice before I write up my reactions.

You can read the reviews of the following by clicking on the links below:

(The photos above are in the order shown below)

Falls View Tavern    – Oregon City – August 21

Steeplejack Brewing – Portland – September 21

Breakside Brewery Taproom – Lake Oswego – April 22

Howells’ Bar and Lounge – Oregon City – April 22

McMenamins Old Church and Pub – Wilsonville – October 22

The Helvetia Tavern – Hillsboro – September 22 

Corner 14 – Oregon City – June 21

Since a number of the others in Portland merit at least a mention, in one of my next posts, I’ll give a thumbnail sketch of some of these establishments.

Communication From Former Colleagues

That said, I have to relate an e-mail from one of my good friends from working days – Howard Mudrick – now the Executive Director at Winstead – a large national law firm based in Dallas, Texas  He worked with Schwabe (my firm) as a legal consultant for almost twenty years on a variety of projects from mergers to strategic planning.   

(Mudrick and Peterson below – photos from their respective firms)

Howard and I co-presented at a number of national and regional Association of Legal Administrators’ conferences and, of course, shared many beers and martinis over the year.  He is well aware of my Beerchasing hobby.

Pete Peterson is another consultant and CPA at Maxfield Peterson with whom we worked on a number of great law projects and also made presentations practices with his wife, Catherine, in Ridgeway, Colorado.  He is also well aware of my Beerchasing exploits and raised a mug on numerous occasions.

Howard sent the following e-mail and link on October 28th with a copy to Pete:

“Don – hope this finds you and Janet doing well and staying healthy.  I hope she doesn’t kill me, but this article SCREAMS YOU.  Quite an interesting idea.  Take Pete with you.  I still have to work for a living.”

(Pete replied by e-mail that he had already applied!)

The following article from the October edition of Food and Wine is entitled:

“This Company Will Send You on a Two-Year RV Trip to Visit Breweries:”

(External photo attribution at the end of the narrative #1)

“Harvest Hosts is looking for someone to create the ultimate brewery and distillery road trip across America.  For beer and spirits lovers, the idea of spending two years traveling around the country in an RV hitting up hundreds of breweries and distilleries might sound like a dream come true.

Well, the RV campsite company Harvest Hosts is looking for someone to do exactly that — and will cover a lot of the expenses to make it happen.”

Without being presumptuous, I would suggest that Thebeerchaser would be one of the most qualified people in the US to take on this onerous project.  Howard’s assertion re. qualifications is correct since the requirements – besides being over 21 and having a driver’s license, are:

“Evidence of your love of breweries and distilleries with ‘images and videos highly recommended.'”

The evidence makes a convincing case for Thebeerchaser!

When I enthusiastically showed the article to wife, Janet, she pointed out the wording about them payingsome of the expenses” and the paragraph:

“As for actual pay, the company says they are only offering a daily stipend of $50, meaning that despite all the free drinks and rent-free RV, the effective salary isn’t much more than $18,000 per year.”

(Janet said she didn’t want to kill Howard as suggested in his e-mail above, but I should just send all his missives to my spam folder.)

She also reminded me that I also got very enthused (albeit naively so) in May this year when I saw the following story in Taste of Home:

“The folks at Oscar Mayer are looking for a new Wienermobile driver, or “Hotdogger,” to escort six giant wieners across the nation. It’s a pretty high honor considering the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile has been going cross-country since 1936.

According to Oscar Mayer, there are more people who have gone to space than people who have held the title of Hotdogger.”  (#2)

800px-Oscar_meyer_weinermobile

The position isn’t just driving, though. The newest Hotdoggers to carry on the legacy will be spokespeople for Oscar Mayer for one year. This means public appearances, some time on the small screen and radio and newspaper interviews . 

As a Wienermobile driver, you’ll also receive a competitive salary on top of the sightseeing bonus.”

So even though I reluctantly gave up the idea, my creative juices started to flow thinking about a term I haven’t used (fortunately) since retiring in 2011 – “Synergy.” 

I would persuade these two firms that they could combine the two positions based on the dynamic and almost divinely inspired relationship between beer and hot dogs as evidenced by just the examples below:

Dog Beer

We all viewed with morbid fascination the video at Yankee Stadium, as explained in the following excerpt from an 8/22 post on NBC Sports.com 

“In a video captured by @NewYorkNico on social media, a Yankees fan at the game was seen turning a hot dog into a straw for their beer.

Yes, you read that correctly. The fan poked holes in both ends of the hot dog before placing it in the beer and taking a sip through the makeshift straw.”

(Unfortunately, all of the images of the guy at the Yankee game are copyrighted, so I’m just alluding to the stunt in the photos below. #3 – #4)

 

 

 

And how many of you – and, of course, broadcast media personalities – tried to replicate this feat of hand/glass coordination yourselves?

Beer Dog

The sacred bond between Brat and beer can be further explored by demonstrating the topic “Hot Dogs Cooked in Beer,” as artfully explained in this mouthwatering article in Bikehike.org:

“Hot dogs simmered in beer are deliciously tender and have a mild flavor that works perfectly with our beer-infused sauerkraut topping. Slow-simmering hot dogs in beer gives them a mellow flavor and tender texture that’s a great alternative to grilling or frying.”

This raises important questions such as how long do you cook the dogs, how much beer do you use and most importantly, what beer is best – a topic which draws diverse views from the experts:

Miller High Life. Rich Depascale, beverage manager at The Wilson in New York City. Budweiser. Laura Mitchell, bar lead at BEER PARK in Las Vegas. Others: Reissdorf Kolsch. Old Style. Avery White Rascal. Dogfish Head SeaQuench. Coors Light. Dos Equis Lager.

I would add PBR and Sticky Hands IPA (#5).

And in Conclusion….

Should I have been selected for the job, I would have proposed my first trip – driving the vehicle to Toppling Goliath Brewery in Decorah, Iowa.  That’s where Clark and Barbara Lewey – former home brewers – founded this enterprise in 2009.

And one of their collaborations with Hop Butcher for the World of Darien, Illinois, was Hot Dog Time Machine Beer. ( A double IPA brewed with Vic Secret, Sabro, Simcoe, and Mosaic hops, this beer clocks in at 7.8% ABV.)

 

A hot dog fueled time travel adventure.

As Toppling Goliath states in the review by Untapped.com)

“What is a Hot Dog Time Machine? We’re so glad you asked! To begin, we have to explore why it even matters. Our amigos at Hop Butcher for the World shared the same interest as us in exploring the alternate reality of the ‘fluffy’ IPA.

We threw multiple types of wheat into our fluff capacitor, heavily hopped it everywhere except the 88-minute boil, and fermented with yeast primed for trans-temporal travel.

Last year was certainly the wurst of times, but now it’s time to ketchup with us on our journey and relish in this hot dog fueled time travel adventure.

(I called Toppling Goliath to see if they still brewed HDTM Beer.  They don’t and the person couldn’t explain why, but it must have been a good “trip.”

Not totally willing to give up, I said to my wonderful wife of 42 years, “Janet I would relish this job and, to be frank, after a year, they would appreciate what I Brat to the table.”

Before she walked away, she asked me how badly I wanted to get to 43 years…..

Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving  (#7)

External Photo Attribution

#1.  Wikimedia Commons (File:Four Winds Chateau Sport RV.jpg – Wikimedia Commons)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.  Author: Noah Wulf 20 January 2018.

#2.  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons: (File:Oscar mayer weinermobile.jpg – Wikimedia Commons)  I, the copyright holder of this work, release this work into the public domain. This applies worldwide.  Author: user:Bachrach44 – 8 January 2006.

#3.  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hot_dog_with_mustard.png)  This file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

#4.  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki

/File:A_paper_straw_for_bubble_tea_and_the_popular_straw.jpg)  This work has been released into the public domain by its author, WrS.tm.pl. This applies worldwide.  17 February 2022.

#5.  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Happy_Saturday_(238576229).jpeg) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. Author: Terry Lucas
9 December 2017.

#6.  Facebook Page – Terra Ferment Image of Hot Dog Time Machine Beer

#7.  Image courtesy of Pam Williams.

November Notes

Happy  Thanksgiving!

There have been many stories about problems with law enforcement personnel.  It’s important to remember that the overwhelming majority of these public servants are dedicated and conscientious individuals who deserve our support.  Two examples are related below:

City of West Linn

We live in this suburb of Portland.  While it might not seem to be a big deal, I initially contacted the City in 2015 with a letter expressing concern over lack of adequate signage/lights at a crosswalk across a busy arterial two blocks from our house. 

My letter stated, in part:

“There is a crosswalk which is heavily used by a diverse group ranging from school kids to runners to residents like us who use the crosswalk on exercise walks or just to walk to the nearby commercial district….The warning light for the crosswalk is totally inadequate and does not serve the purpose of warning drivers that the crosswalk is occupied…”

As you could glean from the December 2021 post about my Dad’s long battle with the City of Madera, Ohio regarding the sewage system, when I was in grade school, he taught me that one needs to be persistent to resolve a problem. ( (External photo attribution at end of the post #3)

Two appearances at the Traffic Safety Advisory Committee and essentially annual letters  helped result in a speed limit change but no change in the light or signage.

Unlike in Ohio, the City of West Linn was very responsive in communicating and admitted that both the placement of the crosswalk and the light were problems, but budget constraints precluded resolution.  

That is until 2022, when the City informed us that new lighting had been ordered and would be installed in August.  Police Chief, Peter Mahuna and Captain Oddis Rollins also were very communicative about enforcement of speed limits and the plans for a new motorcycle traffic officer.  Supply chain issues delayed the installation until October, but the effort was finally rewarded.

Having worked in local government for seven years, I understand the constraints, but also know when a government unit is just blowing off a citizen initiative.  This was not the case with any of the multiple City personnel with whom I dealt. Take a look at the change! (In the video, the pedestrian had already finished crossing.)

The Chief – Overcoming Bad News with Good News

West Linn had very serious problems with its Police Department prior to Chief Mahuna assuming the position. It resulted in the termination of a sergeant against whom criminal charges were subsequently filed, the former Police Chief was fired and a substantial law suit settlement was paid by the City.

Chief Mahuna realizes a major part of his job is regaining the Department’s credibility with the community and communicating with its citizens.  This effort was quite apparent in my dealings with him as evidenced in these e-mails.  (The first one is an excerpt).

May 26  –  “Mr. Williams,  Thanks for your letter and I completely understand your frustrations.  I wanted to address the speeding and crosswalk concerns you mention in your letter.  The PD conducted crosswalk missions last year and we were able to educate several drivers about the safety concerns in crosswalks. 

Unfortunately, with our severe personnel shortages we don’t currently have enough people to conduct them until our staffing gets back up. 

………Due to the geography of West Linn and access routes, Salamo Road gets more police cars up and down it throughout the day than most streets in our City.  That being said, we will ask our troops to keep an extra eye out on Salamo. Respectfully, Peter”

Sept. 2  –  “This is great to hear.  Thanks for the follow up.  Just a reminder that we will be hiring our motorcycle officer on September 12th.  Once he gets settled in his focus will be traffic related issues around the city to include monitoring crosswalks. Thanks for the email. Peter”

He is a very busy man and I’m a retired guy, so I was impressed with his communication and responsiveness and told him that I hoped to meet him at some point.  Within an hour I got the following response:

Sept. 2  –  “Would love to meet.  Sign up for “Coffee with the Chief” on our website.  We can meet at PD or Salamo Starbucks. Peter”

Well, I signed up and at 8:00 on October 13th, I spent almost forty minutes with Chief Mahuna in his office – we had a great chat, which I both enjoyed and appreciated. (#4)

Chief Mahuna is a native of Maui and a former college athlete (basketball) at Pacific University where graduated with a BS in Social Work.  He has extensive law enforcement credentials and is sincere in his efforts.  For example, he’s asked citizens to participate in interview panels for new officers. 

Soon after I met with him, I saw that two reps from his Department were meeting with a Citizens’ Group and his personnel are getting involved in the community. 

I wish him success in these efforts.

And Speaking of Good Law Enforcement Administrators

In my January 2020 post on our road trip through the Southwest including several days in Pueblo, Colorado (home of some of the best dive bars I visited since the start of Beerchasing), I mentioned having a beer with Kirk Taylor and his family.

At the time, Kirk was the Sheriff of Pueblo County with responsibility for law enforcement and corrections – first elected in 2007 and re-elected three times. (#5- #6)

Kirk is a USMC Veteran and started as a patrolman in the narcotics division for the City of Almarosa, CO.  After earning his associate’s degree and while ranching full-time, he completed his BA.

While working as an investigator for the District Attorney’s Office, he attended and graduated from law school at the University of Colorado.  He has been a leader in law enforcement serving on numerous state task forces in addition to teaching at the State Police Academy.

Kirk is a man of faith, family, an avid outdoorsman.  He coaches youth athletics and is active in civic and non-profit organizations such as 4-H.   He’s also a national authority on the impact of legalizing marijuana including an appearance on a CBS 60 Minutes special.

I’m happy to report that on October 20th, Kirk was sworn in as 31st United States Marshal for the District of Colorado after being nominated by Pres. Biden and confirmed by the US. Senate. He and  his wife are moving to downtown Denver in November. (#7- #8)

Congratulations to US Marshal Taylor!

The Cycle of Life – Puppy Version

As I related in a  June 10, 2022 blog post, Janet and I during the forty-three years we’ve been married, have never had a pet.  That said, our two daughters and their spouses each had wonderful dogs and they became our “Grand-puppies.”   

We always looked forward to our visits with Sullivan – an amazing thirteen-year old Havanese and Wesley – a beautiful six-year old Golden Retriever.

First there was “Sully Bear.  He lived in Lake Forest Park, WA and always waited with anticipation at the window for his “parents” to come home and was the ultimate lap dog – he loved to cuddle with his two young “sisters.”

“Wesley Walter” loved to run and swim especially at the river near his home in Portland and the beach – a big dog, but he always gentle with the babies at his house.

Our granddaughters and their parents loved these pups and family get-togethers were always enhanced by their presence.  They got along with each other very well.

We were grief-stricken on March 10, 2021, when Wesley, after a few cardiac episodes, died of a heart-attack.  Exactly one year later, his “brother” Sullivan succumbed to multiple health issues based on his advanced years.  

The memorial stones below will always provide memories of these wonderful members of our family.

The good news is that this coming weekend we’ll meet the new addition to the Magnusson family.  Archie was welcomed to their family on October18th as you can see from the photos below.  The new puppy is a Golden Cavapoo 

His appearance brings back memories of Sullivan, who we still hold in our hearts. There will be an extended family welcome with the four granddaughters et. al. in Portland.

Okay, but What About Beerchasing!

The pandemic in 2020-1 and then major back surgery in June this year severely curtailed my Beerchasing exploits other than scattered reviews and one recent road trip, but I’m back on the trail again.  Stay tuned for the next post and I’ll give an update and some future plans.

Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving to Those Who Celebrate It! (#9)

beer picture cRedCruiser- Trader Joes

External Photo Attribution

#1.  Wikimedia Commons – (Male_wild_turkey_(Meleagris_gallopavo)_strutting.jpg (3861×3861) (wikimedia.org)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.  Author: Frank Schulenburg  24 March 2019.

#2.  Courtesy of Pam Williams

#3.   Wikimedia Commons (sewer) – (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wylot_kolektor%C3%B3w_ burzowych_przy_mo%C5%9Bcie_poniatowskiego.jpg) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.  Author:  Panek 31 July, 2021.

#4.  Linked-in (images of police chief peter mahuna – Bing images)

# 5 -#6.  Pueblo County Colorado (https://county.pueblo.org/sheriff/kirk-taylor)

#7 – #8.  Photos courtesy of John and Barb Senger.

#9.  Author:   Redcruiser – Trader Joe’s – Monrovia, California.

 

Road Trip Hot Spots…..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.)

I smiled as we rolled south on Interstate-5 through Grants Pass, Oregon, heading for our first night’s stay in Redding, California – only 285 more miles for what would be a total of 472 or about nine hours from our home in a Portland burb.  (#1- #2 – external photo attributions at end of the  post.)

My heightened spirits harkened back to the great memories from our last road trip – a long one – clear back in in the summer of 2019.  

And was that a road trip!  Fifteen-Days – a 3,700-mile journey through six western states going as far east as the Dakotas. Those who follow Thebeerchaser blog know that besides touring a number of fantastic National Parks and Monuments as well as the impressive Custer State Park, we visited scads of wonderful bars and breweries. 

2019-07-06 18.12.02

While on my own – the first six days driving solo – I visited twenty-three bars and seven breweries including my favorite bar since I started Beerchasing – The Dirty Shame Saloon in Yaak, Montana.  (Don’t worry, at most of the bars I visited those six days, I had a 7-Up while talking to the owner or bartender).

Janet flew into Billings where I picked her up for the rest of the trip.  We subsequently stopped at ten bars and nine breweries for a total of forty-nine memorable establishments where we met wonderful people, had outstanding beer and good food. 

It reaffirmed our appreciation for the National Park Service.  The scenery was varied and stunning.  The complete list can be found at the end of the post below:

https://thebeerchaser.com/2019/07/05/big-sky-beerchasing-the-preface/

Then a Three-year Pause….

We had no idea that a global pandemic would stifle not only road trips for the next few years, but essentially curtail all travel other than occasional trips to the beach and to Seattle.   

One doesn’t fully appreciate these journeys until their absence.  To use a Beerchasing analogy:  Schlitz Beer was always my favorite beer, but I didn’t fully appreciate it until they stopped producing it in 1981 when I learned the meaning of “When you’re out of Schlitz, you’re out of Beer!” (#3)

And while major back surgery this June made us reject extending our trip for several nights in San Francisco, this 2022 journey was still about 1,200 miles.  We reveled in the scenery of Northern California and the Oregon Coast and while also visiting and revisiting some excellent watering holes.

Redding

Since we felt finally felt comfortable dining inside without a mask, we chose Final Draft Brewing for dinner and beer after a walk across Redding’s impressive Sundial Bridge.   

I had some trepidation the name of the brewery evoked based on repressed memories of graduate school which bubbled to the surface.  Both my sister and her husband were high school English teachers at one point in their careers and were kind enough to edit all of my graduate school papers.

When I often submitted what I thought was my “final draft,” it would be returned with a sea of red ink and no smiley faces drawn at the top. It clearly redefined the meaning of final.”  Dave Booher, seen in the photo below taken recently in Wales, looks like a kind and gentle soul sipping his IPA. 

However, the image on the left shows the volume of red pens he used just to “correct” one paper.  He was merciless (but I guess, in retrospect, he did teach me how to write and perhaps his actions were based on the quality of my narrative……He is also a quality human being. #4)

Dave is a patriot and served in the US Navy Submarine Service –  five deterrent patrols on two Fleet Ballistic Missile nuclear subs and one tour on a diesel boat, USS Dogfish,  launched in the late ’40’s and used as test platform for secret sonar experiments.

He also advised me – a guy who served on Destroyers – that: 

“There are only two types of naval vessels: submarines and targets.”

He still has a sign in their bedroom he altered from the 1950’s.  His version:

 “Better Red than Dead!”  (#5 – #6)

He’s so into scarlet that even though he’s an ardent U of Oregon Duck fan, he wears a University of Alabama Crimson Tide jersey to the games at Autzen Stadium…….you get the idea! (#5 -#6)

Note:  Dave informed me after reading this post that ironically, the photo of him was taken at a pub called “The Scholar’s Bar” in Aberystwyth, Wales.   He also added, “Please note that in these perilous times my current favorite colors are sky blue and sunflower yellow.”

 But I Digress…..

Final Draft Brewing was a great choice and even on a Monday night, this establishment, opened in 2017 by owner, Adam Ward, was hopping with 34 rotating taps including hard cider and seltzer and with an expansive food menu.  There was also a nice outdoor patio and as accurately portrayed on their website:

“Big Screen Tv’s, Exposed HVAC & An Open Area Brewhouse Located Directly Behind The Bar Are All The Unique Elements That Make Final Draft Brewing The “Go-To” Hangout In Downtown Redding!”

Our server, Isaiah, was a nice and helpful chap who had worked there for three years and explained the beers and gave us some samples before we decided to get (4) four ounce samplers – each for $2.  All were the Brewery’s own beers (Passive Aggressive IPA, True Blood Orange Kolsch, Attention Deficit IPA and Miso Blonde – the Kolsch was my favorite although all were good.

We shared the Filet Mignon Steak Salad ($17.99) and three Cod Tacos for only $12.99 and both were excellent as was the service.

Another Great National Park!

Lassen Volcanic National Park was only an hour from Redding, so we were able to spend a full day in this geologically splendid example of the sixty-three areas of discovery and beauty maintained by the National Park Service.

Photo Oct 03 2022, 2 52 43 PM (2)

Notwithstanding my consumption of the Attention Deficit IPA the night before, I learned from a film in the Visitor Center that  Lassen Peak is the largest plug dome volcano in the world.  Lassen Volcanic National Park is also one of the few areas in the world where all four types of volcano can be found – plug dome, shield, cinder cone, and stratovolcano.

Another striking feature of the Lassen National Park and on our subsequent trip from I-5 to Highway 101 on the Coast through the beautiful Trinity Alps Wilderness (the second largest in California) was the devastation caused by wildfires. 

Much of the Park was closed last year because of fire and the lodge where we stayed was evacuated although fortunately not destroyed.

Photo Oct 03 2022, 2 49 56 PM

At times, one could drive down the main road through the Park and on Highway 299 to Eureka on the Coast and on one side would be lush green forests while the view on the other side was blackened stumps, spindly remains of once lofty firs and no undergrowth.

Fortunately, the beauty of Lassen Peak itself and the marvelous story of the modern-day eruption in 1915 and the movement of massive rocks to end points miles away transcended what one hopes is the temporary devastation by the fires. (The Hot Rock in the picture below weighs 30 tons!)

“At rest for over 100 years in this location, the larger boulder here was once in the vent of Lassen Peak. A violent lahar, or mudflow, carried this 30-ton rock speeding down the slopes of Lassen Peak in a slurry of mud, earth, and rock. 

Visitors to the altered landscape reported that Hot Rock was hot to the touch even months after the eruption. The rock’s internal temperature is estimated to have been 1000°F when it came tumbling down Lassen Peak.”  (National Park Service)

And lest one become too complacent about the past and present volcanic history of the Cascade Range, take a look at these photos in what is appropriately called the “Sulphur Works.”  These can be viewed (and smelled……) right by the highway.  Others require some walking.

“The remarkable hydrothermal features in Lassen Volcanic National Park include roaring fumaroles (steam and volcanic-gas vents), thumping mud pots, boiling pools, and steaming ground.

Water from rain and snow that falls on the highlands of the park feed the hydrothermal system. Once deep underground, the water is heated by a body of hot or molten rock beneath Lassen Peak. Rising hot water boils to form boiling pools and mud pots.”   (National Park Service)

Highlands Ranch Resort

We had reservations that were canceled last year when the Lodge had to be evacuated because of the destructive Dixie Fire, and on this trip couldn’t get into one of the seven multi-room cabins of this magnificent lodging option on 175 acres only fifteen minutes from the Park. 

Fortunately, a nineteen unit motel (The Village at Highlands Ranch) – right across the highway – also operated by the Lodge owners, proved to be very comfortable. 

and

All the amenities of the Lodge were available including the expansive patio with unforgettable views of the meadow and mountain forest,  a rustic dining room and spectacular walnut bar and fire pits to enjoy our after-dinner drinks. 

It was one of the most relaxing and pleasant afternoon and evenings we spent since 2019.  The staff for the Lodge and the dining room and bar were outstanding and friendly.   

Onward to Additional “Hot” Spots….

So ended our first two days on the road trip and we then headed west to Red Bluff through the Trinity Alps to our next nightly destination – the Historic Arcata Hotel in Arcata, CA on 101 – a nice jaunt of 190 miles.   We left volcanic and geothermal country, but now searched for Beerchasing Hot Spots!

Cheers!

External Photo Attribution

#1. Wikimedia Commons: By Chad K – Sundial Bridge, from the south, CC BY 2.0, (https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=108094668)   Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

#2.  Wikimedia Commons:  File:Flag of Redding, California (pre-2018).png – Wikimedia Commons).

#3. Wikimedia Commons: (File:Old Schlitz Beer advertisement in Milwaukee Wisconsin.JPG – Wikimedia Commons)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Author: Victorgrigas   4 January 2014.

#4.  Wikimedia Commons: (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Several_empty_red_pens.jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Author: DigitDiva   16 May 2014.

#5. Amazon.com  (https://www.amazon.com/Better-Dead-Than-Communism-Slogan/dp/B07PYXSHXH).

#6.  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alabama_Crimson_Tide_logo.svg)  This logo image consists only of simple geometric shapes or text. It does not meet the threshold of originality needed for copyright protection, and is therefore in the public domain.  Source: University of Alabama – (https://rolltide.com/documents/2018/6/28//Alabama201819LogosCopy.pdf?id=12116)

Summer Cheer(s)

(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 fall approaches, take a look at two topics which I think you will enjoy:

First – An update on a former Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter

and

Secondly Both a celebration of the fourth birthday of the Benedictine Brewery and St. Michael Taproom at the Mount Angel Abbey and a recollection of the “foundation” of that inspired enterprise back in 2017

*****

Godfather…..!

When one sees or hears the term above, the image usually crossing the mind is either a pizza or for Baby Boomers, Marlin Brando in his unforgettable role of Don Vito Corleone in the three-time Academy Award winning film The Godfather (1972) uttering his memorable threat:

“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse!”

(# External Photo Attribution at the end of the Post – #1 and #2 above)

For those in the Northwest who have an interest in sports and have followed their teams and related issues in the print and broadcast media, the name Dwight Jaynes comes to mind.  Dwight for many years has been known professionally as “The Godfather.”  And for good reason. 

In 2010 he was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame and has been named Oregon Sportswriter of the Year five separate times. In 2013, he was named Sportscaster of the Year  – the first person in Oregon to win both awards.

Linked in

The Godfather  #3

He’s also co-authored two books, The Long Hot Winter: A Year in the Life of the Portland Trail Blazers (1992)  with former Blazer coach Rick Adelman and Against the World: A Behind the Scenes Look at the Portland Trail Blazers’ Chase for the NBA Championship (1992) with fellow journalist Kerry Eggers. (#4 – #5)

He had been working for Comcast SportsNet Northwest and not regularly on the air since 2011, when the trio of Dwight, Chad Doing and former Trail Blazer, Antonio Harvey hosted a talk show on radio station 99.5 The Game.

Dwight and I have periodic lunches and at one in July, he seemed energized and told me that “Something is in the Works”.  He then added that if he revealed anything, he’d have to shoot me. The Godfather had that Brando look of malice in his eyes when he mumbled this utterance, so I did not press him further. 

 (As an aside, we ate at the McMenamins’ Wilsonville Old Church – a nice establishment that I will cover in a future post.)  

The next day, it was announced that Dwight and Chad would be back together (“Chad & Dwight Ride Again In Rip City” from 3 – 6 PM each weekday on Rip City Radio 620. #6

Now, admittedly I’m biased, because I named Dwight as one of my Beerchasers-of-the-Quarter in 2016 and I love his historical grasp of NW Sports. 

Chad Doing also has a great radio background including a stint as a sports radio host in San Francisco as well as an interesting history including working as an Alaska Airlines flight attendant for three years.   He’s worked his way up in the radio profession and seems to be a genuine nice-guy with a broad knowledge of sports – especially the Trail Blazers.

“Doing, who lived 27 years in the Pacific Northwest before moving south, came up through the radio ranks in the Portland market, starting by doing high school football for Vancouver’s KVAN. From there, he got an internship with KFXX, at the time the market’s lone all-sports station, and moved up to board operator, then to reading sports updates.

In 2008, when a second all-sports station, KXTG, opened, he moved over, first as a behind-the-scene guy, then just four weeks in, taking over on-air on the morning show, along with Gavin Dawson and, later, Dwight Jaynes.”  (Oregon Live 3/24/15)

You should check them out at https://ripcityradio.iheart.com/featured/travis-demers/  These guys complement each other really well and they cover a broad range of topics. 

On the first few shows Dwight talked about meeting both Bill Russell and Vince Scully, they reminisced about Portland wrestling and had good discussion about recent Blazer issues such as the potential sale and the unwise decision to have Blazer TV broadcasters call the games remotely rather than traveling with the team.

Note:  About one week afterwards, the Blazers reversed this decision:

“Team president Dewayne Hankins joined Portland’s Rip City Radio 620 to discuss the decision with hosts Chad Doing and Dwight Jaynes on Monday. And during the interview, Hankins quickly acknowledged the Trail Blazers heard the backlash and responded accordingly.”   (Awful Announcing.com)

The Godfather is also known for the integrity of his written and spoken opinions through the years and taking deserved shots at Management when it’s deserved, be it that of the Blazers, written or broadcast media execs, referees, etc.

Chad and Dwight are more focused on sports then the rambling and almost irrelevant babble on their Portland competitor in the same timeslot.  

Happy Birthday to the Benedictine Brewery – Thanks be to Father God!

I’m proud to be part of the history of this wonderful Brewery on the grounds of the Mount Angel Abbey and one of only three Benedictine breweries owned and operated by monks in the US.  The Brewery and Taproom under the guidance of Head Brewer, Fr. Martin Grassel has thrived even during the pandemic and Fr. Martin and his trainees brew a robust group of beers. (#8 -14)

I still remember the wonderful community gathering (about 125 monks, priests, seminarians, Abbey staff and volunteers from the Mount Angel community) at the structure raising on a cloudy and cold November 11 2017, when we started the morning with a cement slab.  

By the end of the day, there was a structural frame with six bents ( two-dimensional transverse rigid frames and the building blocks that define the overall shape and character of a structure) using 14,000 board feet of Douglas Fir timber harvested from the Abbey tree farm. 

That day was also the occasion of the first prayer in the Benedictine Brewery and Taproom – held at noon before we ate and in lieu of the standard noon-day prayer in the wonderful Abbey chapel.  Fr. Vincent Trujillo, O.S.B., the Prior of the Abbey,  led the service which was “uplifting” – very consistent with the theme that day!  (#15 -19)

The monks sang and were joined by the other participants. Before getting back to work, we feasted on a spread of delicious barbecued chicken, baked beans, potato salad and green salad – all of which boosted the energy and spirits of the workers. (If the videos, don’t have arrows to start them, click your mouse in the center of the photos)

As stated in my Beerchaser post entitled: “The Benedictine Brewery – Beam Me Up”:

“There were 305 pieces of wood that were joined for the structure.  Besides the 14,000 for the structural components, another 11,000 board feet of lumber was used for the siding  and the tongue and grove boards for the top of the structure.  It will also be used for the actual bar in the Taproom.  It took seven truckloads of logs for the Brewery and Taproom and additional load that went in exchange to the plywood mill.  

Besides the source of the wood, there was another unusual aspect of the construction process:

The timber was harvested, cut, dried, milled using mortise and tenon joinery, which is secured with wooden pegs — an age-old traditional craft — and prepared for a seamless, no-hammer, no-saw construction.”  http://www.capitalpress.com/Orchards/20171113/unique-brewery-raising-at-abbey

The volunteers that day know that their labor would be “captured” in the structure for its duration based on the fact that all were encouraged to sign the pegs that secured the bents before they were put in place.  Thebeerchaser eagerly participated.

It was a truly remarkable day of spirited and spiritual effort by the entire Community and portended the success of what has become a NW regional destination spot with a devoted constituency for Fr. Martin’s beers.

As you will see from the video below in which the largest timber section – 80 feet in length, requiring forty workers was raised, Jonathan Orpin, the President of New Energy – the contractor for the structure raising – was the equivalent of land-based coxswain for his “crew” team.  His enthusiasm and energy was inspiring to all present.

Fall is one of the best times to visit the St. Michael Taproom surrounded by the Abbey’s hop fields. 

Try what has become one of the most popular brews – Hairshirt IPA ( 7.1 ABV | IBUs 56).  As one reviewer in the site “On Tap” stated, “I feel so penitent while drinking this.”

Although the Brewery’s website countered this on Father’s Day stating:

“This Father’s Day, why buy dad another tie when you could buy him a hairshirt? Taking its name from a garment worn as an act of penance, Hairshirt IPA is now available for the first time for sale in bottles, and drinking it is hardly a penitential experience.”

So let me indulge you.   Cheers and here’s to guilt-free drinking!  #20 -21)

External Photo Attribution

#1. Wikimedia Commons:   (http://File:Godfathers Pizza – Hillsboro, Oregon.JPG -) Wikimedia Commons icensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license. Author: M.O. Stevens 8 September 2012

#2.  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marlon_Brando#/media/File:Marlon_Brando_publicity_for_One-Eyed_Jacks.png)  By None visible/Paramount Pictures – Publicity photo for the film One-Eyed Jacks (1961), Public Domain.

#3.  Linked-in (https://www.linkedin.com/in/dwight-jaynes-68956b6a/overlay/photo/)

#4.  (https://www.amazon.com/Against-World-Behind-Scenes-Championship/dp/0915611678/ref=sr_1_1?crid=GJB72IUBR6L&keywords=against+the+world+dwight+jaynes&qid)

#5.  (https://www.amazon.com/Long-Hot-Winter-Portland-Blazers/dp/0671748521/ref=sr_1_1?crid)

#6.  Dwight Jaynes Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=10160255999956894&set=basw.Abpv_1MIIzZM8NJkopm-)

#7.  Linked-in (https://www.linkedin.com/in/chad-doing-35477868/)

#8 – 14.  Benedictine Brewery Website and Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/BenedictineBrewery)

#15 – 17.  Benedictine Brewery Website (https://www.benedictinebrewery.com/) Courtesy Brother Lorenzo.

#18. New Energy Works Website (https://newenergyworks.com/)

#19 Benedictine Brewery Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/BenedictineBrewery/photos/a.168624736681758/)

#20 Wikipedia Commons (http://(Ivan the Terrible’s cilice 02 by shakko – Cilice – Wikipedia)  By shakko – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16218870.  Llicensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Summer Sagas

(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.)

I’m “back” in the saddle again and out one month + from back fusion surgery – now able to drive, walk around the neighborhood and Beerchase again – no golf for several months and until physical therapy is done.

The new COVID strain is again dampening my efforts to visit new establishments with friends; however, my next post will be about a wonderful dive bar in my Oregon “hometown” – Oregon City (the oldest incorporated city west of the Rocky Mountains).

In March, I visited Howell’s Lounge twice in the same week – the first time with two semi-retired lawyers and fellow Oregon City High School grads –  Pat Green (’65) and Beerchasing regular and former Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter, Jim Westwood (’62).  I graduated in 1966. 

I returned the next evening – a Saturday night for dinner with my wife, Janet, and Pat and his wife, Leona.  Both outings were very enjoyable and the memories took us back many years.

The bar’s history – opened in 1929 by the Howell Family, who operated until the twin brothers, Frank and Charlie retired in 1978 – deserves a post of it’s own, so stay tuned.  

Green and Westwood return to their “roots!”

A “spire” for Greatness, but Don’t Fall “Prey” to Initial Success

In August, 2021, when COVID appeared to be on one of its downswings, I had lunch at the new Steeplejack Brewery in NW Portland.  I had talked previously to Brody Day, the co-owner, who with his former college buddy, Dustin Harder, opened the new brewpub in early 2021 in what was previously an historic church in NE Portland.

The church was originally dedicated In 1909 by then President of the United States, William Howard Taft, as the First Universalist Church of Good Tidings which then became Metropolitan Community Church until it moved in 2019.

In a September blog post, I showed some photos illustrating how these two entrepreneurs had done a wonderful job – at great expense – to preserve this building which otherwise, would have become another urban condominium.

And for a number of reasons – maybe Oregon’s only all-female brewing staff (led by Brewmaster Anna Buxton), their commitment to historic preservation, the location and the fact that they brew good beer – the brewery was greeted with enthusiasm.   As stated in the July 21, 2021 edition of New School Beer and Cider:

“In this rare instance, the real-life experience of entering the church of beer actually exceeds expectations and presents a truly, stunningly beautiful place that will make you believe in a higher power.”

Day and Harder are entrepreneurs and do not rest on their laurels or pews. In the spring of 2022, a second location opened in Beaverton – an expansive establishment like the original.   It seats about 200 people and is the former home of another pub – they remodeled and again made significant capital improvements. 

Like the original pub, the menu is somewhat limited – pizza and salads and some sides rice balls, polenta and side dishes.  (External photo credits at end of this post *1)

According to New School Beer and Cider (2/17/22) the second location was not a spur of the moment decision:

(It – the Beaverton location was) in the works since before the brewery even opened their doors as part of a grander plan to serve not only the inner city but the broader Oregon market.

‘We wanted to find the right location where we could be part of the neighborhood and serve our neighbors beer and pizza in an place that is consistent with our flagship location in Northeast Portland,’ says managing partner Brody Day, who co-founded SteepleJack with longtime friend Dustin Harder. ‘We took a significant amount of time and toured a lot of properties to find the perfect location” says Day.'”

Now perhaps, the two young businessmen found a Bible from the church in their original location and read Genesis Chapter 9“Be fruitful and multiply…” because their momentum has continued as forcefully as the beer flowing from a keg at a fraternity pre-function.  As reported in Willamette Week:

“Just over a month after Steeplejack Brewing launched its second location—and a little under a year after opening its first—the company is expanding again. A third outpost will begin operations on Friday, July 1. 2022.”

The Hillsboro establishment – a 17,000 square foot facility in a former warehouse – “…the home of a taproom, beer garden and kitchen as well as a small production brewery and canning line purchased from the now defunct Wiens Brewing of Temecula, California.”.(New School Beer and Cider 7/12/21.)

Steeplejack was subsequently named “Best New Brewery” at the 2022 Oregon Beer Awards.  (*3-4)

Steeplejack is a great story and the co-owners deserve credit for their immediate success.  That said, in the eleven years since I started this hobby – and most notably in the last three, I’ve seen numerous breweries – starting off with unbelievable acclaim and positive financial results exceeding any expectation.  

These once-bustling establishments are now gone or struggling to stay afloat – and many had effective management and loyal customers, but withered under increasing competition, staffing issues and costs.  Admittedly, I know nothing about how Steeplejack is capitalized and the strength of their income statement since opening, but I hope in five years, we can continue to toast their success in all of their locations. 

My Way or the Highway??

We’ve all read about small planes which have made emergency landings on highways in the past.   For example, the photo below is one from 2012, after a small airplane made an emergency landing on Oregon  Highway11 approximately 17 miles east of Pendleton.

The highway was closed for a short period to move the aircraft off the main highway and then was closed again for a short time to allow the plane to take off. (*4)

But the one last week in Missouri is worth noting for two reasons:

  1. The plane was piloted by a student pilot without another pilot in the plane and ran out of gas.
  2. The student pilot was arrested for DUI (Driving Under the Influence)

According to NBC News:

“A student pilot who landed a small plane on a Missouri highway early Friday was arrested on charges including driving while intoxicated, authorities said. (emphasis added)

The pilot of the single-engine Piper Cherokee landed the plane about 2:45 a.m. on Interstate 70 near Grain Valley, a city about 22 miles east of Kansas City, Mo. The Missouri Highway Patrol tweeted that the plane ran out of fuel, hastening the freeway arrival, and hit a guardrail.

……35-year-old John T. Seesing, was hospitalized with a minor injury before being booked into jail, according to highway patrol….Seesing also faces allegations of careless and imprudent driving involving a crash, felony drug and gun possession, and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, according to an arrest report.”

It will be interesting to see how his lawyer fights the charges e.g. does DUI apply to an airplane on a highway, does the Highway Patrol have jurisdiction, etc.

It reminds me of a fascinating case in Lincoln City, Oregon on the Coast Highway 101, on October 16, 2012. One James Greene, exited a bar in his motorized wheelchair and proceeded across the crosswalk whereupon he hit a moving pickup truck. (*5)

He was subsequently convicted of DUI by a jury, fined $1,500, had his driver’s license suspended – ultimately for three years – and lost his insurance.  But when he appealed, a 2016 panel of the Oregon Court of Appeals unanimously reversed his conviction with the logic “…..that a person merely crossing the street should be considered a pedestrian, and therefore not a ‘person who drives a vehicle.'” (emphasis added)

The Court carved out this exception and didn’t buy the State’s assumption that a vehicle is “any device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public highway and includes vehicles that are propelled or powered by any means.” (*6)

Had Greene been in the bicycle lane or on the roadway, his appeal would probably been unsuccessful.

So will a Missouri jury buy the the assertion that an airplane (and one out of gas no less) “operating” on a public highway is a “vehicle” and will the pilot’s arrest for DUI stick.  The lawyers will love this one!

Darwin’s Theory Evolves…

Those who follow this blog know that one of my favorite dive bars is Darwin’s Theory in Anchorage, Alaska.   And my affection for the bar is not just because Darwin, the owner, is an Oregon State University alum.   

There’s no draft beer or hard liquor, but free popcorn, a great juke box, the “Heavy Petting Zoo” in the backroom!.. and the staff and patrons are wonderful (including the late and great bartender, Mary Jean, shown in the picture above.)

This Yelp review will help affirm my sentiments:

“When you step inside, you’ll realize that this is no hipster dive bar.  No sir!  This has been a dive bar since inception and doesn’t appear to have changed.  Beer in the bottle, great service, and interesting patrons round out the perfect dive-bar experience.”   Yelp – 11/13 by Eric from Nevada City, CA

And I’ll  always remember my conversation with a friendly guy I sat next to at the bar.  (This was in 2014 and we had eaten dinner at a brewery earlier, but at 9:30 it was still total daylight – I couldn’t sleep –  so I left Janet in our hotel room and  walked the two blocks to Darwin’s). 

Bill was in his fifties and an oil field worker, in addition to having fished in the Bering Sea and running marijuana from Mexico to the East coast in the ’70’s. “I had an old Lincoln with really big fenders….”  I also asked him about bars in Anchorage and he said to be careful because in the last few years there had been a few shootings at bars close by.

Big fenders for “storage”…*7

Well, Darwin publishes a quarterly newsletter and for those who are planning to visit Anchorage, I’m pleased to report that they have not let supply-chain issues deter them in 2022:

“The popcorn machine after nine years of constant production of our famous (free) popcorn, died.  You wouldn’t think finding a new machine would be so difficult.  But it was! 

The Ice Machine was a different matter.  After 17 years it too gave out.  That replacement was ‘easy squeezy.  There was one in town just waiting. The same-day replacement put Darwin’s back in business with anyone noticing.”   (*8)

Cheers!

External Photo Attribution

*1  Steeplejack Beer Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/SteeplejackBeer/photos/408349128023453)

*2 Steeplejack Beer Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/SteeplejackBeer/photos/a.106656934859342/)

*3  Steeplejack Beer Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/SteeplejackBeer/photos/430725372452495)

4  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Plane_takes_off_from_Oregon_11_.jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.  Author:   Oregon Department of Transportation – 8 November 2012.

*5  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Electric-powered_wheelchair_Belize1.jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  Author:  Memas 15 June 2010.

*6  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/24/Eo-scale_of_justice.gif)  The copyright holder of this work, releases this work into the public domain. This applies worldwide.  2004

*7 Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1979_Lincoln_Continental_Town_Car_)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.  Author:  Greg Gjerdengen  28 May 2016.

*8   Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hot_Popcorn.jpg) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.  Author:  Ssgapu22 

Jocular July

*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.)

Farewell Mayor Bud

*2

You might wonder how the passing of an icon is consistent with the title of this blog post, but remembering Bud Clark brings smiles – if not laughs – to the people who knew this jovial bar owner. 

In 1984, he made national headlines running against the City of Portland political establishment and capturing an upset win in the Mayor’s Race. He passed away in February. (External photo attribution at the end of this post.)

Zap the Clap???

His “Expose Yourself to Art” poster which now hangs in the Smithsonian was originally going to be part of a campaign against venereal disease called “Zap the Clap.”  Whether it was seeing him ride to work at City Hall on his bicycle, his legendary exclamation “Whoop Whoop! “or just running into him at the Goose Hollow Inn that he opened in 1967 his charisma prevailed.  And Bud was a very effective elected official during his two terms.

One of the best memories of my now eleven years of Beerchasing was visiting the Goose Hollow in 2012 with friend Jim Westwood (former Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter) and the late Oregonian history columnist, John Terry

I had called the Goose and asked if Bud still came to the bar and he agreed to meet us.  He gave me an interview and spent 90 minutes with us, bought our beer and gave us each an historical tract about the Goose Hollow Neighborhood.  The bar is now  managed by his daughter Rachel.   

Bud’s charisma, efforts to help the downtrodden and civic and entrepreneurial spirit will long be remembered.

Back to the “Fusion”

One of my pet peeve is blogs or columns where the author goes into excruciating detail about his or her personal health and well-being. Well, without trying to be hypocritical and realizing I may lose some followers, I offer the following chronicle – rationalizing that the narrative has some beer-related content and also explains why the last Beerchaser post was almost one month ago.

The story began last November where I ended up in the Emergency Room of our local hospital with severe back pain – enough so that I received some narcotics to mitigate the pain while they did an MRI.

My only prior back problems were a short-term “pulled vertebrae” issue during high school basketball and with Navy ROTC drills in college.  The ER doc referred me to a spine surgeon.

*3

After getting two opinions, both docs opined that they would avoid just a discectomy or decompression, but undergo a fusion – the more radical procedure where your body becomes host to screws and other fasteners that one normally procures at Ace Hardware.

That way, I wouldn’t be coming back again in three or four years for another trip to the OR. Some advised me to avoid a fusion, but I wanted to play golf, hike and hold my grandchildren again, so I had the operation on June 13th in a four-hour procedure. (By the way, the pictures below are not of me…..)

Well, three weeks out, I’m a relatively pain-free and a happy camper – now off narcotics so I can drink beer again….. So how does this story relate to beer:

My surgeon is a brilliant and personable young guy with impeccable credentials and outstanding communication skills. After a couple appointments and the decision, Janet and I met with him for the pre-op consultation two week prior to surgery, and part of our conversation went like this:

Doc:   Don, how’s your pain level?

Beerchaser:   Pretty good except when I sit for a period.  For example, I had to drive to Mount Angel (almost an hour drive) last week and I had to stop three times to get out and walk because of the pain.

Doc:   Why did you have to go to Mount Angel?

Beerchaser: I had a meeting of the Abbey Foundation Board.

Doc:  Have you been to the brewery down there?   My wife and I both love their beer.

Beerchaser:   I could go on for an hour why I love the Benedictine Brewery and how I became involved.

*6 One of only four owned and operated by monks in the US

Fast forward to the day after the surgery when he was doing his hospital rounds and after talking with me for ten minutes, he concluded:

“Don, the fact that you had such rapid mitigation of pain is very positive.  In six weeks we’ll be virtually high-fiving and toasting with Monk beer…”

This part of the story ends with my first post-op appointment – two weeks after the surgery and with his Physician’s Assistant. Knowing the surgeon likes Benedictine Beer, I put two bottles in a small bag with tissue paper and included a page long treatise about the Brewery story including two links to posts on Thebeerchaser where I told the story.

*7

I gave the bag to the receptionist and about fifteen minutes into the appointment with the PA, there was a knock on the exam room door and he walked in with a big smile on his face:

Doc:   As soon as I saw the contents in the bag, I knew where this came from. Thanks.

Beerchaser:  As soon as I found out that you liked Benedictine Beer, I knew I picked the right surgeon! 

(And for those who doubt the benefits of visiting the Benedictine Brewery and Taproom, check out this 2022 article “A Drink From This Benedictine Brewery Will Have You Thanking God for Beer!”) in the international publication Religion Unplugged.)

A few additional thoughts

If you find out that your surgeon favors Coors Light, you might want to get another opinion.

The Physical Therapist who initially met with me in the hospital said that they have two maxims:

  1. “Motion is the lotion…….”  (i.e. “Get your butt out of bed or your chair every twenty minutes.”)
  2. “Remember this rule for the next six weeks: ‘No BLT.”

At first I was shocked because I thought the “B” was for “Beer,” but was relieved to find out that the acronym stood for “Bending, Lifting and Twisting” – something I could live with although challenging to practice. 

I rationalized that shaving required me to bend so I used this opportunity to grow a beard for the first time since we dated in 1979.   Given the results after 2.5 weeks and at Janet’s urging, I figured out how to shave without bending on July 4th.

One final reflection. I have never been worried about my balance, but falling after back surgery can be disastrous, so we were fortunate to get a walker on loan from our church.

I told Janet that it’s a reflection on how things have changed in our lives when getting a walker is viewed as a really positive development….

*8 Not the Texas Ranger..

I’m pleased to report that I have now graduated to a cane to walk up and down stairs.  And I’ll use the cane for the next few weeks outside, because where we live most of the sidewalks have ups and downs.

I’ve tried to view this positively imagining the neighbors envision the F. Scott Fitzgarald figure, – a much older, Jay Gatsby, and his iconic walking stick ambling through our neighborhood.  (9-11)

Being confined to my house for the last 2.5 weeks has enhanced my reading and also internet diving.   And along the theme of “Jocular July” I offer these two which made me laugh.

Rain Forest in North America?

Eddie Burback is an actor and producer.  He and his buddy took a three-week 2022 road trip to eat at every remaining Rain Forest Cafe in the US and Canada – eighteen in all.   

At first I thought, “This guy is nuts,” but then realized that it would be hypocritical for me – a guy who has made a hobby of visiting bars and breweries throughout the US for the last eleven years to question this goal.  

I had eaten at two RFCs – one in Phoenix and one in downtown Chicago (permanently closed as of April this year) on business trips trying to skimp on my expense reimbursement. 

After checking out the start of his 2022 You Tube, I have to admit that I listened to the entire  thirty-six minute bit and it was entertaining.

Zoom Your Room….

We have watched an incredible number of ZOOM interviews on Cable News – primarily on political topics and Janet and I often commented about how stylish the living quarters of the interviewees usually are. 

Having participated in a number of ZOOM sessions ourselves, we also have wondered how our background looks.

*14 These people need help…..

I then discovered a book published last month: How to Zoom Your Room: Room Rater’s Ultimate Style Guide.    

“Packed with beautiful how-to illustrations that demonstrate visually stunning set-ups and tips from celebrity zoom rooms, Room Rater packs an amusing punch while offering advice on how to up your game and not be embarrassed by your surroundings.”

In Conclusion

So at least temporarily, block out the dispiriting and find some crazy or innovative items that will make you laugh or even lead you on an adventure.

This claim is perfectly stated in this excerpt from what became my favorite song during the pandemic by John Michael Montgomery – Life’s a Dance” – great melody and lyrics.

When I was fourteen I was fallin’ fast
For a blue eyed girl in my homeroom class
Tryin’ to find the courage to ask her out
Was like tryin’ to get oil from a waterspout
 
What she would have said I can’t say
I never did ask and she moved away
But I learned somethin’ from my blue eyed girl
Sink or swim you gotta give it a whirl
 
Life’s a dance you learn as you go
Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow
Don’t worry about what you don’t know
Life’s a dance you learn as you go
 
Cheers!

External Photo Attribution

*1  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sharing_a_laugh_(15484499520).jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.  Author:  Oregon Department of Transportation – 16 October 2014.

*2  Wikimedia Commons  Bud Clark (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bud_Clark_1988.jpg) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  Author:  Steve Morgan  18 March 1988.

*3  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons   (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ER_logo.svg)   This logo image consists only of simple geometric shapes or text. It does not meet the threshold of originality needed for copyright protection, and is therefore in the public domain.

*4  Public Domain – Wikimeidan Commons  (https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1851539)  Mjorter at Dutch Wikipedia – Transferred from nl.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain. 

*5  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Roe_LWS_Spondylodese_L5-S1_seitlich.jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  Author:PumpingRudi  16 November 2009.

*6 -7  Benedictine Brewery Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/BenedictineBrewery)

*8  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Walker._frame.jpg)  This work has been released into the public domain by its author, High Plains Drifter. This applies worldwide.  27 January 2006.

*9 Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Une_canne_de_marchand_.jpg) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  Author:  Fonquebure   21 March 2009.

*10  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:F._Scott_Fitzgerald_(1929_photo_.jpgThis work is in the public domain because it was published in the United States between 1927 and 1963, and although there may or may not have been a copyright notice, the copyright was not renewed. 

*11 Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Gatsby#/media/File:Saturday_Evening cover.jpg)  In the public domain in the United States because it  was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1927.  Author:  Ellen Bernard Thompson Pyle.

*12 Eddie Burback (https://youtube.fandom.com/wiki/Eddy_Burback)

*13  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rainforest-cafe-auburn-hills-michigan.jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.  Author: Joetregembo  11 March 2016. 

*14  Wikimedia Commons – Public Domain (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Zoom_participants_Bubrikh_2020.png) Released worldwide into the public domain by its author http://AKA MBG.

Jumping in June

Wesley Walter and Sullivan

(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.)

I’m still not fully back in the groove on exploits to new bars and breweries although I still have a few visited in the last few months to write-up, but first wanted to throw out a few miscellaneous topics which may be of interest.  These include dogs, the Dirty Shame Saloon and its former owner, John Runkle along with his new venture) and the Benedictine Brewery.

Grand-puppies!

Janet and I during the forty-three years we’ve been married, have never had a pet.  That said, our two daughters and their spouses each had wonderful dogs and they became our “Grand-puppies.”   We always looked forward to our visits with Sullivan – a wonderful thirteen-year old Havanese and Wesley – a beautiful six-year old Golden Retriever.

First there was “Sully Bear.”  He always waited with anticipation at the window for his “parents” to come home and was the ultimate lap dog – he loved to cuddle.

 Wesley loved to run and swim especially at the river and the beach.  A big dog, but he was always gentile with the babies at his house.

Both dogs were wonderful with our granddaughters and both loved the beach. They also got along very well with each other at family gatherings. 

We were grief-stricken on March 10, 2021, when Wesley, after a few cardiac episodes, died of a heart-attack.  Exactly one year later, his “brother” Sullivan succumbed to multiple health issues based on his advanced years.  The memorial stones below will always provide memories of these wonderful members of our family.

A Resurrection, of Sorts

Followers of Thebeerchaser know that I was captivated in the fall of 2019 with my two and one-half day visit to The Dirty Shame Saloon in Yaak Montana where I thoroughly enjoyed my interaction with its charismatic owner, John Runkle – one of this blog’s memorable Beerchasers-of-the-Quarter. 

The Shame remains my favorite bar visited in the eleven years of Beerchasing as reflected in the multiple blog posts needed to relate the rich history and stories of the fabled watering hole.

Thus, when John announced last year that he was selling the bar, I was downcast, thinking about how the many and robust fables which still lingered within the log walls of the bar would be lost – the second-hand smoke is largely gone….) . Now why should I be maudlin about a dive bar – 514 miles (8 hours and 38 minutes) – from my home in Oregon closing when I’ve visited and reviewed almost 400 incredible bars and breweries in the last eleven years?

Photo Jun 08, 3 53 24 PM

Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes???

Perhaps the short description excerpted from Joan Melcher’s first book “Watering Hole –  A User’s Guide to Montana Bars”  written in 1983 conveys some of that emotion:

“The Dirty Shame is the fresh, sharp smell of pine, and the dank odor of dirt-laden, beer splashed floors, wild nights of revelry and mornings of shared pain.”

It brought to mind the song “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes” by my favorite country-western singer, the late George Jones – (Okay maybe a little overdramatic, but remember, I’m Thebeerchaser!)

“Who’s gonna fill their shoes?
Who’s gonna stand that tall?
Who’s gonna give their heart and soul
To get to me and you?
Lord, I wonder who’s gonna fill their shoes?

Yes, I wonder who’s gonna fill their shoes?”

George Jones Asked the Rhetorical Question! *1

Would the out-of-state buyers, who also purchased the Yaak River Tavern across the street, retain the trappings described, in part, in my second blog post on the Shame

“…a large rifle, cowboy boots, an old wood stove, a pool table and Fox News on the big screen TV over the bar.  (The bullet holes in the wall when John bought it, from its hard-core biker days were removed after John bought it.) Two bottles of MD 20-20 wine prominently displayed on a shelf and which John says dates back to 1978.”

And the stories are incredible….even the more recent ones such as that reported in a December 1, 2017 edition of The Missoulian about a  Saturday night incident which John described in an e-mail to me when I told him I was coming to Yaak:

“Don, you will see an article where a guy went nuts in the Dirty Shame with an AR-15 and you will also see the video of me bear spraying him and his brother trying to fight their way back into the bar and another video embedded in that article showing him running around the parking lot trying to shoot me through the window and then almost shooting his brother in the head.  

It was a crazy night. The Dirty Shame is truly still the Wild Wild West.”

Then there’s the tales related to the Shame involving the Yaak River Road murderers, the “Crack Pillow” or how I was privileged to meet two personable and well-mannered relatives of Chevie Keyhole, the leader of the infamous Keyhoe Gang.  (Chevie is now serving three life sentences in Florence Prison – known as the “Alcatraz of the Rockies” – in Colorado.) There are too many others to relate.

Murderer and White Supremist – now “rehabilitating” at the Alcatraz of the West….*2

The Dirty Shame was a community in itself and a key part of the Yaak locale.  What would replace its role in events like the Adult Easter Egg Hunt, the Sasquatch Festival and the Crawfish Festival which involved other attractions such as The Big Foot Run, a mechanical bull, a giant inflatable Sasquatch and the Ceremonial Leg-Shaving to name a few.

(The Dirty Shame has not reopened at this time and who knows what the new owners are doing to the interior of the bar.)

What would John, a former Army paratrooper and instructor, successful real estate firm owner and entrepreneur-at-heart do?  I couldn’t see him as Mayor of Yaak or another elected office – except possibly Governor of Montana…or talk-show radio host or land developer of environmentally responsible communities.  It should be noted that helping raise their three young children will significantly occupy what he self-describes as “the oldest and proudest dad in the World!”

Fortunately, that question has been answered – at least for a time.  John didn’t sell the Lodge and now — the Hungry Hunter Saloon – within the confines of that edifice opened just before  Memorial Day – it’s already having live music and events!  As John told me in a phone conversation this morning, “We’re rocking.”

He has some of the same crew who worked at the Dirty Shame including Darilyn.  Of course the “Montana Motif” as John described it, is present with taxidermy, artifacts of the West and even a skunk hanging over the bathroom doors.  There’s a long bar which seats twelve people made of yellow poplar from back east – people love it!  With its tables, the Hungry Hunter can accommodate about sixty people. (Photos *3-5)

During my time in Yaak, I stayed in the Wolf Room at the Yaak River Lodge, where I had great conversations with John (besides those over beer at the bar) and reveled in the breakfasts featuring unforgettable blueberry pancakes.

The Lodge remains intact other than the bunkhouse which slept twelve.  There’s an added benefit to the bar. Those imbibing too heavily at the bar can just walk down the hall and rack out in the Wolf Room or one of the other rooms – all with character – then wake up  in the morning to the smell of bacon and take the short walk to the dining room for pancakes, hashbrowns, eggs and bacon with unlimited Folger’s Coffee

944915_10151789883094928_1934453164_n

John also bought two food trucks – one that serves tacos, Philly cheese steaks, etc. (also to go) and a larger one to supplement the kitchen.  And their prices are very reasonable!!

John’s wife, Dallas, who is a dedicated teacher and counselor is teaching in Washington and the family has moved east of Yakima. John has been commuting regularly to Yaak and will spend most of the summer there. (Photo *6-7)

Stay tuned for more stories about the Hungry Hunter and see the connection between the picture of John and Don with Benedictine Beer I presented to him in 2019, relates to the next segment of this post.

The Benedictine Brewery – More Accolades!

I’ve mentioned this wonderful Benedictine Monk – owned and operated – brewery many times and was fortunate enough to be involved in the planning before it opened in the fall of 2018. Fr. Martin Grassel, the Procurator (CFO) of the Mount Angel Abbey and Seminary – a former software engineer before seminary, is also the General Manager and Head Brewer of the enterprise – one reason he gets by on very little sleep because his primary dedication is being a Benedictine Monk.

Notwithstanding a number of skeptics, the Brewery and St. Michael Taproom have soared since the erection of the structure in November, 2017 at an old fashioned “barn raising”, where over 125 monks, priests, seminarians and members of the Mount Angel community started in the morning with a concrete slab.   

Bolstered by a wonderful buffet lunch, by the end of the day, the frame of the structure was completed. (Be sure to check out the amazing videos in this Beerchaser post “Beam Me Up.”

The Brewery’s motto – “Taste and Believe” – was in full force from the inception. Since that time, the beautiful Taproom has been extended with an expansive patio and Fr. Martin has increased his beer offerings – now about ten on tap including the original Black Habit.  

He has developed, not only a local, but a regional following for his excellent beer and people repeatedly clamor for its availability – now only at the Brewery itself or the Abbey Bookstore – a short walk away on the beautiful Abbey Hillside.

Unfortunately, one of the other Monk-owned Breweries – Spencer Brewery – in Massachusetts, which was formed by the Trappist Monks eight years ago, just announced it was closing due to financial reasons. With that closure, there will be only four ongoing monk-owned breweries in the US.

Jeff Alworth, prolific author and one of the nation’s leading beer experts (shown below at the Benedictine structure-raising in 2017) posted a very informative piece on his Beervana Blog entitled, “The Beer Market is Rough – Even for Monks.”   It contrasts the business plan of Spencer Brewery with Fr. Martin’s successful strategy. Jeff also did a subsequent post entitled “Benedictine Brewery Thriving – both are good articles.

And furthering the exposure of Fr. Martin and his brewery, internationally recognized micro-craft industry consultant, Sam Holloway, who is also a full professor at the University of Portland, posted an outstanding nine-minute video interview of Fr. Martin on his “Crafting a Strategy” site.  (*10-12)

Sam is President of CAS which is:

“.. a learning community which pursues understanding oneself, the industry and business strategy while combining the three wisely to craft a business.  We provide a platform for members in communities to engage with others as they learn.”  

Sam gave us some meaningful advice during the planning stages in 2016, and has been a good friend of the Brewery since that time.  Fr. Martin is a devoted follower of the CAS site and it has enhanced his brewery and business acumen.

Expect to hear more good reports on Fr. Martin and the Benedictine Brewery going forward!

Cheers

External Photo Attribution

*1.  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons –https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:George_Jones.jpg) This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Secisek at English Wikipedia. This applies worldwide.

*2   Southern Poverty Law Center: (https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2013/two-members-notorious-kehoe-family-arrested-again)

* 3-5+8 Hungry Hunter Saloon Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/hungryhuntersaloon (religionunplugged.com)

* 6-7  Runkle Facebook Pages (https://www.facebook.com/john.runkle.73) (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100017127797846)

*9  Spencer Brewery Facebook

* 10-12  Crafting a Strategy Website (https://craftingastrategy.com/)

Beer and Politics – Part 4

Well Beerchaser followers, below is the fourth installment of my contributions to The Oregon Way Online Newsletter.   I’ve tried to suggest the perfect watering holes for each of the major Oregon Gubernatorial candidates to visit during their campaigns. The two candidate covered in this installment Bill Sizemore and Jessica Gomez are both Republicans – perhaps that’s because there are nineteen of them versus only ten for the Dems.

Below is the text from The Oregon Way supplemented by photos in an effort to make it more interesting:

Thebeerchaser’s Advice for Gubernatorial Candidates Bill Sizemore and Jessica Gomez

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Republican Candidate Bill Sizemore – Running on his record?? * 1

(External photo attribution * at the end of the post)

One might question why with nineteen (or for that matter any) Republicans vying, a candidate with the following record would file to run for Governor:

In 2000, a jury found his organizations guilty of civil racketeering and they were fined $2.5 million.

In 2008, he spent a night in jail for contempt of court.

In 2011, he pleaded guilty to three counts of felony tax evasion.

That said, self-awareness has never been Bill Sizemore’s strong suit and as such, he should pay a visit to Church Bar in Southeast Portland for a campaign stop (and reflection). 

The bar’s motto is “Eat, Drink, Repent. The latter of which is especially relevant since the Oregonian in a three-part article about Sizemore’s “Trail of Debt” he allegedly left behind, stated it included an outstanding loan from a fellow church member. Sizemore said he repaid it….

One of the bar’s nice features is a photo booth – a “confessional” in which a high-quality digital camera takes photos of the “penitents” and through a custom-made software program transmits them to social media.  He would not have to pay for this service as his multiple mug shots have been seen by thousands of Oregonians through the years.

I visited Church in 2013 with my former law firm colleague, John Mansfield – a bright intellectual property lawyer.  I tried to get John to cause a stir and gain some publicity by emulating 16th century theologian, Martin Luther, and tacking 95 patents to the door of Church to commemorate Luther’s posting of his 95 Theses at the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg in 1517. (You’ll notice Mansfield’s’ resemblance to Luther in the photos below)

Sizemore could commemorate his questionable legacy by posting the texts of eight of his initiative petitions ranging from property tax, insurance and light rail and let voters see how they comport with his future vision for Oregon.

And since he earned a theology degree from Portland Bible College and then taught Old Testament History at his alma mater, perhaps a visit to Church Bar would let him reflect on the God of Mercy and Forgiveness in the New Testament rather than the God of Wrath and Fury in the Old!

 

Republican Candidate Jessica Gomez

Jesse Gomez is one of the less known Republican candidates, but one who is impressive.  At age nine, she transitioned into the role of caregiver for her three younger siblings in New York and experienced homelessness when she was a teenager after her family moved to Oregon and her parents divorced. 

Gomez lacked a secure place to live for a year while a teenager in Oregon. She then moved to the East Coast to live with her grandmother, finished high school and then graduated from community college and worked at a semi-conductor company.

In 2003, at age twenty-six, she and her husband founded a micro-chip manufacturing facility in Southern Oregon. She’s now CEO of Rogue Valley Microdevices which has 26 employees, 14 of whom are women and 11 are persons of color. Her civic and charitable activities are admirable.

Gomez should visit the Tide Pool Pub in Depoe Bay where, besides tasting the best pizza on the Oregon Coast, she would relate to Vicki, the quirky and personable owner who told us about going to “Take Your Kid to Work Day” in Iowa when her dad worked in a beef slaughterhouse.

And given Jesse’s on-time struggle for survival, she would also appreciate the “Tank of Death” as described by Matt Love in his Letitpour.net blog:

“….a salt-water glass coffin – It’s packed with all manner of marine creatures caught by local fishermen who bucket in their curious finds and dump them in.  Eels, crabs, sea bass, perch, Dick Cheney, octopi and urchins all end up in the mix……….

According to the bartender, aquatic creatures regularly stage a battle royal to the death and the tank serves as a Roman arena of savagery and merciless predation – with bets slapped down and accelerated drinking when the water turns a creamy, cloudy red.”   

Based on her entrepreneurial instincts, she should interact with voters at the Caldera Brewery – only fourteen miles from her residence in Medford. Founded in 1997 as a small ten-barrel brewery, by Jim Mills, it has expanded its brewing capacity and has a tap-house which is one of the largest restaurants in Ashland.

2016-09-27 20.22.34

The company employs over 100 people and ships its award-winning beer internationally.  (They also have one of the most impressive displays of bottles I’ve seen in eleven years of Beerchasing.)

They were the first craft brewery in Oregon to brew and can their own beer and ship their cans and bottles to seventeen states and six countries. Their sustainability practices are also admirable.

Any Oregon voter would be well-served to chat with Jessica Gomez, Jim Mills from Caldera Brewing or Vicki from the Tide Pool – small business owners who are the lifeblood of this state.

236312524_1006013086626484_162593423738713253_n

*10

External Photo Attribution

*1  Wikimedia Commons – (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bill_Sizemore.jpg) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  Author:  Pete Forsyth 20 May 2008.

*2 Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Martin_Luther,_1529.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.

*3 Bill Sizemore Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=133217049285202&set=pb.100077907232102.-2207520000.)

*4 Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Book_of_Genesis.jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Author: John Snyder 11 May 2019.

*5 Wikimedia Commons (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portland_Bible_College#/media/File:

Portland_Bible_College_campus_-_Portland,_Oregon.JPG

Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported2.5 Generic2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.   Author: M.O. Stevens 1 May 2011.

*6-7,9-10 Jessica Gomez for Governor Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/jessicagomezforgovernor/photos)

*8  Rogue Valley Microdevices Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/RogueValleyMicrodevices

photos/a.154324724593574/1507140455978654/

 

 

 

Beer and Politics – Part 3

Image Courtesy of Pam Williams

Well Beerchaser followers, below is the third installment of my contributions to The Oregon Way Online Newsletter.   I’ve tried to suggest the perfect watering holes for each of the major Oregon Gubernatorial candidates to visit during their campaigns.

The article below was published about Democratic candidate Tobias Read who now serves as the Oregon State Treasurer.

It’s an effort to demonstrate that this Beerchasing environment is ideal for really having a constructive and meaningful dialogue – rather than superficial blathering – with voters in the State.   And I would suggest that this could be a model for candidates not just in Oregon, but in any jurisdiction.

This premise was reinforced just this week with an article in Willamette Week in which they interviewed people in the new Oregon Congressional District about candidate Carrick Flynn, a political neophyte in Oregon, but one who has garnered campaign contributions in the proximity of $5 million from a cryptocurrency billionaire. 

This Yamhill County resident and I have the same thoughts about relating to a candidate:

“‘This gentleman, who’s funding him in the Caribbean? I don’t know if I’m going to see him at my local watering hole,’ says Ramsey McPhillips, a Yamhill County farmer who sits on the boards of four local nonprofits. ‘He just has something to do with the blockchain.’”  (Emphasis added)

The Oregon Way Article

*3

After eight years when the State should be on a course to crest waves, Oregon has simply been treading water.  Now we need strong Gubernatorial leadership – I’m not suggesting by which party, but the candidates should have the skills to pull Oregonians together.

So, I will continue my chronology of the best taverns/breweries for each major candidate to have a meaningful campaign dialogue based on my ten years of visiting Oregon watering holes.

Democrat Tobias Read has impressive education and experience – undergrad at Willamette U and MBA at University of Washington with private sector and legislative experience before becoming State Treasurer for the last eight years.

That said, Read would be inclined to answer the question, “Do you have trouble making decisions?” with the response, “Well, yes and no!?”  As Jeff Gudman, his opponent for Treasurer aptly stated, “Tobias Read is Oregon’s self-proclaimed financial navigator who does not navigate.”  And based on his actions and statements, Read’s view of the role of Treasurer is not to solve the PERS problem, but just to invest for the best return.

There are two bars that would help Read understand Oregon. The Mad Dog Country Tavern is a wonderful bar in Sawyer’s Landing on Newport’s Yaquina Bay I visited in 2014. 

Pauline, the cordial bartender told us that her “regulars” are people from the adjoining RV Park, summer tourists and Newport residents – a good group for Tobias to meet because they have diverse interests and economic situations and often feel estranged from the power of State government.

My friend, Matt Love, relates the origin of the name in his Letitpour.net blog account:

“….Years ago, a large log rested in front of the tavern.  It had seatbelts attached to it.  In some sort of contest, certain patrons would strap themselves in and then proceed to consume a bottle(s) of a particular brand of fortified wine.  The “winner” remained sitting  upright.  Thus Mad Dog Tavern.”  

The pickled eggs and Reser’s Hot Mama sausages fermenting, in big jars might offend his sensibilities. However,  an oft-quoted Mad Country story about a nearby tough dive bar eight miles east in Toledo perfectly illustrate his equivocation on a crucial timber issue in the area – the Elliot State Forest.

The Elliot State Forest *6

Again from Matt Love: During the 1971 filming of the movie “Sometimes a Great Notion,”

Enter star, Paul Newman carrying a chainsaw, exactly like the hard-ass logger character, Hank Stamper, he happened to be portraying…….Wordless, alone, Newman, who according to various biographies……has at times drank to considerable excess, fired up his chainsaw. 

He sawed the legs off the pool table.  It crashed to the floor.  Stunned logging locals looked on.  They did nothing.  Newman left, perhaps later sending a check to cover the damage. Perhaps not.”  (*7 and *8)

And this story is a perfect analogy for Tobias “cutting the legs” out on his constituents when he changed his position on the Elliot State Forrest – three times – once while a Legislator and then twice more as Treasurer.

He could finish his bar visits at nearby Hoovers Pub and Grill, just south of Newport on Highway 101.  My visit reinforced what I saw earlier at the Mad Dog.  A guy’s wife from the RV Park came in with her husband and handed Pauline an envelope with $125 in it.   She left and Pauline “fed” it to him over the next 45 minutes until it was gone – a regular routine.

Hoovers was Alice’s Tavern in 1978, but that was after the mini-mart, gas station and petting zoo with a live alligator and black bear were decommissioned. We noticed a sign promoting their jello-shots stating, “Jello isn’t just for kids…,” – something maybe Tobias might relate to.  There was also a sign promoting a charter fishing service that disappeared along the way……

As we were having a pint, a kid who couldn’t have been eighteen came in and burned through $70 on a video poker machine in no more than 15 minutes.  As Matt Love write in Letitpour.net:

In 1991 when the Oregon Legislature directed the Oregon Lottery to allow video poker in taverns and bars…..it was a frenzy. Then in 2005, line games were introduced into Oregon’s taverns and bars…..

Sure, the pool and darts continue, but these taverns are not the same, and I know because I drank beer in them before they were enlisted by the state to raise revenue from the pockets of vulnerable, occasionally inebriated people.  What is especially sad is to have witnessed how video poker slowly transformed taverns from gritty bastions of independence into de facto tax collectors for the state….Rest in peace Oregon tavern.”

P1020652 (3)

One also has to ask, what has Read done to mitigate Oregon’s reliance on this regressive and addictive form of tax collection?

Perhaps he should consider the description of former Legislative colleague Mark Hass, who said of Read, “If you play it safe in politics, you won’t make friends and you won’t make enemies and you won’t get anything done. “That’s Tobias.”

Perhaps he should consider the description of former Legislative colleague Mark Hass, who said of Read, “If you play it safe in politics, you won’t make friends and you won’t make enemies and you won’t get anything done. “That’s Tobias.”

Read could consider this while downing a new brew – a Milque Toast IPA – described as “Like Coors Light – Only Without the Body!”

 

*9

Tobias Read has the credentials and intelligence to make a difference for Oregon. Will interacting with the regulars in these bars and considering their history and ambiance give him and other gubernatorial candidates added insight on how they could make Oregon better? Stay tuned for some additional suggestions.

External Photo Attribution 

*1  Wikimedia Commons (http://*2 Wikimedia Commons )  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.  Author: Oregon National Guard from Salem, Oregon, United States.  20 September 2017.

*2  Tobias Reed Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=414951043784282&set=pb.100058081688470.-2207520000..&type=3)

*3  Wikimedia Commons – This work is in the public domain in the U.S. because it is an edict of a government, local or foreign. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_State_Treasurer#/media/File:Seal_of_Oregon.svghttp://By Svgalbertian – This vector image includes elements that have been taken or adapted from this file:, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6684371

*4  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tobias_Read.jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Author:  LA for TJR  22 March 2012.

*5  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:UW_Tower_from_38th_%26_Eastern.jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.  Author:  SounderBruce – 27 May 2015.

*6  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Elliott_State_Forest.jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.  Author: Oregon Department of Forestry – 5 November 2013.

*7  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Newman#/media/File:Paul_Newman_1970.jpg)  By Photographer unknown. Published and distributed by Maron Films. – Scan via Heritage Auctions. Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=114043860.

*8  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEMA_-_17022_-_Photograph_by_Ed_Edahl_taken_on_10-11-2005_in_Texas.jpg).  This image is a work of a Federal Emergency Management Agency employee, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As works of the U.S. federal government, all FEMA images are in the public domain in the United States.

*9 Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Coors_Light_logo.svgThis logo image consists only of simple geometric shapes or text. It does not meet the threshold of originality needed for copyright protection, and is therefore in the public domain