Beerchasing Miscellany – Lockdown Version II

We can still enjoy a pint a home – Ryan Keene exemplifies…

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

In the last post, I covered a number of miscellaneous categories – most of which were not related to bars or breweries, but since my Beerchasing expeditions to new venues are temporarily on hold, please pardon my editorial license

But

As I mentioned in the last post, rummaging through some of my old files has uncovered some “treasures” and elicited some laughs when I harken back.  Consequently, I have reviewed some older Beerchaser posts in light of current events.

The First Tuesday After the First Monday……

One of my first jobs out of the Navy was in the Clackamas County Elections Department where we administered not only the Primary and General Elections, but hundreds of school and special district measures.   Understandably, most citizens have no comprehension on the amount of detail, technology and legal compliance required to manage an election.

On election nights, I still have some empathy for election officials who are trying to maintain the integrity of their systems while concurrently being pressed by print and broadcast media and candidates to give them immediate returns.

While the initial data are always qualified as preliminary and un-audited, that disclaimer is often forgotten.

Back in 1976, when my hair was almost as long as it is now (No  haircut for 4.5 months. ) Norma Paulus then served two terms as SOS.

Oregon Law (ORS 254.056) states the General Election is held as stated on the day in the caption above in even numbered years – and that, my friends is only 109 days away.

Since this is a blog about bars and beer, I typically refrain from political topics, but unless one has been living under a rock for the last 18 months, it’s difficult to stay above the fray.

A Precursor to the “Digital” Age  (Excerpted, in part, from Thebeerchaser May 18, 2017)

And we know from the 2020 Primary, campaign divisive politics will be unceasing and brutal going forward.  It causes wishful thinking about the civility and at least reasonably bipartisanship approach of leaders from past decades that characterized Oregon politics e.g. Tom McCall, Norma Paulus, Hector MacPherson, Vera Katz and the US Congress e.g. Senator Mark Hatfield, Speakers of the House Sam Rayburn and Tip O’Neill.

Senator Mark Hatfield in his DC office in our visit in 1993

Wendell Wyatt – Statesman and Lawyer

And don’t forget my late friend and law firm colleague, Wendell Wyatt, who served from 1964 to 1975 and was an effective Congressman, a wonderful person and skilled attorney at Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt.

 

Yet, based on the nature of the beast, there were times years ago – even in a more refined era (without 24-hour cable news coverage) when emotions overcame propriety – something which lent some humor and excitement to the news.

Such was the case on September 16, 1976, when Vice President Nelson Rockefeller was campaigning with Sen. Bob Dole, who had been selected to be President Gerald Ford’s running mate.

A student in a group of hecklers gave the finger to the VP and he immediately reciprocated the gesture — with gusto!  I’ve kept the picture below from the newspaper for all these years thinking I could use it at some point and the excerpt below describes the incident: 

At the time, Rockefeller’s finger flashing was scandalous and the gesture was referred to thereafter as ‘The Rockefeller Salute.’  Rockefeller refused to apologize for his outburst. ‘I was just responding in kind’ he said, neatly avoiding the point that the apology was not expected to go to the hecklers but to the general public.”

Statesman and war hero with a dry sense of humor

Bob Dole was asked by a reporter why he didn’t join Rockefeller in “the salute”.  “I have trouble with my right arm,” the wounded WW II veteran replied. (Rarehistorical photos.com October 16,2016)

This Beer Really Hops….

And since limited activity during the pandemic results in time to free-associate, seeing that image brought back the memory of one of my business trips in the late ’80’s which I recounted in Thebeerchaser on February 8, 2013. (Excerpted below)

Laura loved frogs in 1990

Thebeerchaser’s youngest daughter, when she was in grade school, had a wonderful frog collection – ceramic amphibians, posters, stuffed frogs, etc.

Each time I had a business trip, I would seek out and bring home an addition to that collection, which grew to be almost 100 in number.

The remnants of a once great amphibian collection…..

On a business trip to Chicago, I consumed an excellent light-colored amber beer from a brewery in Michigan and decided that the empty bottle with the amazing Bad Frog Logo would be a unique supplement to the group of cold-blooded amphibians in my daughter’s room.  The bottle survived a suitcase ride home and my daughter liked it.

Now married and a pediatric ER nurse

Thebeerchaser’s spouse, however, had better judgment – much better! – and you will probably understand why.  She refused to accept my assertion that our young collector did not yet understand the underlying message conveyed by this rebellious frog. 

Jim Wauldron, the founder, was not a brewer, but a graphic artist and t-shirt designer, who created the image and merchandise – but initially – no beer.

The Bad Frog story is quite interesting and you should visit this link to their website to see their story and perhaps even purchase a sweatshirt:

“Well we did learn about beer and started brewing in October 1995.  Then the whole thing went BESERK!  We’ve expanded to 25 states and overseas.  We were BANNED in 8 states.

The banning of the Beer and the non-stop legal battles with each State prevented the expansion of the Beer, but BAD FROG fans all over the world still wanted the BAD FROG merchandise.  We’ve been featured on CNN, CBS, NBC, FOX, and ABC. BAD FROG was even featured in PLAYBOY Magazine TWICE.”

From the Bad Frog Brewery

The legal challenges resulted because of the frog’s none-too-subtle extension of its middle digit.  Liquor Commissions in multiple states banned the beer.  Eventually the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the New York State Liquor Authority‘s ban on selling Bad Frog Beer in an interesting and extremely entertaining  First Amendment case Bad Frog Brewery, Inc. v. New York State Liquor Authority 134 F.3d 87 (1998).

Lawyers would love the language from the court opinion which has some great footnotes and includes,“…..(The logo) is patently offensive’ and presumably a suggestion to have intercourse with oneself.”

It appears that one can still purchase Bad Frog merchandise, but the beer disappeared a number of years ago, in part, because of the problems associated with all the legal issues.

The Pandemic

While current headlines are shattering, we can also view many wonderful acts of kindness, sacrifice and charity to help those who have been affected by the virus and these unselfish deeds continue to occur.

A novel of suspense (and spice….)

And though all of this, we need to maintain a sense of humor and optimism and realize that life is filled with joy and tragedy.  I thought a good quote to reflect the ups and downs, was from Joe Lansdale’s novel Bad Chili which I mention in my post entitled Books and Brew published in November, 2018.

The action is innovative e.g. an early encounter with a “vicious, angry, bloodthirsty, rabid squirrel.”  The author’s dialogue is unique and rich with quotes such as this one from Jim Bob Luke, a primary character:

Texas Chili – tasty and spicy ….

“Life’s like a bowl of chili in a strange café.  Sometimes it’s pretty tasty and spicy.  Other times, it tastes like shit.”

Now while the next quote has nothing to do with the pandemic, it always causes me to smile and at least it’s related to bars.   I originally covered it in a 2011 post about one of my first Beerchasers-of-the-Quarter.

James Crumley was a Montana author who taught at both the University of Montana and Portland’s Reed College.  Some critics describe his final book The Last Good Kiss as “the most influential crime novel of the last 50 years.”

Crime Novelist James Crumley

Others maintain that initial sentence of the book is the best first-line ever written in an American crime novel.

“When I finally caught up with Abraham Trahearne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts in a ramshackle joint just outside of Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon.”

Fireball Roberts ??

At the time, I suggested that you could toast Fireball Roberts with a pint of In-Heat Wheat Hefeweizen from Flying Dog Brewery in Denver.

It appears that this beer is no longer available but they certainly have some of which Fireball would approve.  (For example, Raging Bitch Belgian IPA at a robust 8.3% ABV – strong enough for any mongrel….)

Cutting to the Chase

With the lockdown, many of us have transformed wardrobes to sweats or “quarantine casual wear” especially when working at home. Even when one has a Zoom meeting, there’s always the tactic of using a landscape or photo as background rather than a live shot.

Second from left in 1968 in Washington DC with then Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird

But it is entertaining to see the impact that the absence of haircuts or styling for about four months has wrought.   From the requirement to have “stunted” hair during high school basketball and then during NROTC all during college, my locks have undergone a number of transformations over the ensuing years.

I even tried the beard and mustache route in the late ’70’s because of a misguided belief that it was cool.

Last week, I was scheduled for a haircut and as I pulled into my guy’s parking lot, he called my cellphone with this information:

“Don, I have a story for you.   I got a call one hour ago from a couple whose hair I cut last week.  They have Covid, so I’ve been exposed.   I get tested tomorrow.”

I thanked him for the call and reflected on the good timing and decided to let things stand for awhile.  This sentiment was reinforced after I saw some former male colleagues in a Zoom meeting this week who are of about the same demographic.  One looked like a Mountain Man and the other essentially had bangs, but both looked good.

Go for five months??

My daughters are urging me to continue to let it grow, but for both time management and economic purposes, I’m seriously contemplating returning (maybe regressing) to the crew cut and black Chuck Taylor Converse All-Star High Tops.

According to the Converse website the Chuck ’70 has:

“More cushioning, tougher canvas, same versatility…..is built off of the original 1970’s design, with premium materials and an extraordinary attention to detail…… No reason not to wear them all day, every day.” 

And Finally…..

Even before all of us are able to frequent bars and breweries again when it is safe and permitted, we can still support these establishments by buying their products and using takeout options – many of which are innovative.

A friend with strong knowledge of the hospitality industry stated in an e-mail about watering holes on the Oregon coast:

“The joints are teetering. It really is dire.”

The Old Oregon Tavern in Lincoln City – a classic dive bar

And even in Portland, one of my favorite breweries Old Town Brewing, which I reviewed last year, was forced to temporarily close their Old Town location since many people are not traveling downtown because of the violence occurring with the continuing protests.

Entrepreneur Adam Milne

Owner Adam Milne showed innovation and collaboration with other breweries early on in the pandemic by hosting a Brewers Market  at their second location and brewing headquarters on NE Martin Luther King Blvd.

It’s a weekly assembly of booths offering various breweries’ beers to-go in a drive-thru meets farmers-market setting.  Adam turned the parking lot there into a mashup of a drive-thru and a brewer safari.However, as reported in a July 12th Willamette Week article:

“‘The moment of a temporary closure became, sadly, clear on Thursday when our revenue for the day was $18.75,’ he says. ‘I spent the last week trying to get a rent reduction from our landlord, but was unsuccessful. We really need help from the city. Downtown businesses have been hit especially hard with the high density, vandalism and tents in front of our business.'”

This is just one example and all of us can help support OTB and other small businesses.

Cheers and Be Safe!

 

Beerchasing Miscellany – Pondering Suds, Suffrage and Civility

The Hitselberger farm near Seal Rock on the Oregon Coast

Wolf Tree Brewery

While staying in Lincoln City for a week recently, I read an article in Willamette Week about Wolf Tree Brewery – typical of Oregon’s great brewery stories.  Reporter, Martin Cizmar did his usual good job of conveying the story of Wolf Tree’s founder and owner, Joe Hitselberger’s small operation on his 600 acre cattle and timber ranch six miles east of Seal Rock. “A Tiny Coastal Brewery is Becoming the King of Sitka Spruce Beers.”

Since 2013, Joe has specialized in spruce-tip beer – it’s probably the only Oregon brewery to make it year-round.  As described by Cizmar in his article:

“With a mild cotton-candy and strawberry sweetness, Wolf Tree’s barrel-aged spruce bud ale, is the best I’ve ever had and I’m not alone in my opinion. Earlier this month, Wolf Tree came out of nowhere to win a gold medal for best ‘Experimental’ beer at the Oregon Beer Awards.”

Joe Hitselberger sampling some of his spruce tip beer

Since I had some spare time, I called Joe and he agreed to let me interview him and take some photos.  Coincidentally, two guys from Boise who had tasted his beer, showed up at the same time and we sampled both his Spruce Tip Ale and the Camille’s Golden IPA – named after Joe and Taryn, his finance’s, late golden retriever.  The beer is part of their Ranch Dog Series:  

“We created the Ranch Dog Series as a tribute to our furry friends who live here at the ranch.  A portion of sales for these beers will be donated to the Heartland Humane Society in Corvallis.”  

Camilles Golden IPA from the Ranch Dog Series

I’ll cover this brewery in more depth this summer, when they open the planned tasting room on the south side of Newport’s Yaquina Bay Bridge.  But the six mile drive on Beavercreek Road after I left Highway 101 was amazing – including the herd of 25 Roosevelt Elk I discovered grazing in a field just off the road.

Until the taproom is opened, Thebeerchaser will head to Belmont Station, one of four Portland distributors of Wolf Tree’s beer.

Update on 2017 “We the People “Competition

Some members of the Grant Team with Rogers and Westwood on the right

Beerchaser followers were previously informed that the Grant High School Constitution Team won the Oregon competition and was headed for the nationals in Washington DC.

Well, that April trip was successful since they placed second – quite an accomplishment.  More remarkable is Oregon’s record in the last six years in the national competition as shown below:

2012 – Oregon (Lincoln) first place  2013 – Oregon (Grant) first place

2014 – Oregon (Lincoln) first place  2015 – Oregon (Grant) first place

2016 – Oregon (Lincoln) first place, Oregon wild card (Grant) third place

2017 – Virginia first place, Oregon (Grant) second place (10 points behind, out of 1800), Indiana third place (85 points behind Grant)

In fact, those who subscribe to conspiracy theories, have wondered if prior results by both Grant and Lincoln High Schools, persuaded the judges that a school from another state should get some of the glory……

Alice and the proud parents at Washington DC competition

The Grant team has a double Beerchaser connection since team member, Alice Eden Fischer, is the daughter of Amy Faust and Kevin Fischer.   KWJJ Radio personality, Amy, is the most recent Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter.

And one of the long-term coaches and team advisors is Portland lawyer, Jim Westwood, who received the same recognition from Thebeerchaser in March 2013.  (To read about these two interesting people, click on the link over their names.)

Westwood (second from left) and Padrow on the right

In fact, this story of Oregon in national competition is reminiscent of another remarkable run by an Oregon school – that of the Portland State College team that set records in 1965 in the television competition (The GE College Bowl) that captured the nation as recounted in this article. (Portland State Alumni Association News – May 2, 2005)

“The 415 points scored in their final match ties them for fifth-highest single-game total achieved, and their 1725 points total set a new record at the time, and is fourth highest overall. The March 26, 1965 issue of Time has an article on how the College Bowl victories helped change Portland State’s image as “the flunk-out school” for University of Oregon and Oregon State drop-outs…”

If you look closely at the picture of the Grant Team above, you might recognize the same guy in the Portland State photo.   Yes, that’s the same Jim Westwood who was the captain of the PSC team and possibly learned some coaching techniques from the late, Ben Padrow, who brilliantly guided the four students to their records.

I’m not sure that Padrow went as far as Westwood, however, when the Grant coach for the last fifteen years, promised his team in 2013 that if they won, he would get a tattoo to memorialize (so to speak) the victory.  To get the story on the significance of the 1783 date, check out Thebeerchaser post https://thebeerchaser.com/tag/kellys-olympian-bar/

“Stamp” Out Complacency

And having some idea how much effort all the students in the “We the People” competition put forth, I cannot help but again shake my head with the Oregon Legislature’s misguided effort to increase voter turnout encompassed in Senate Bill 683.  The same concept was defeated in 2016, but unfortunately returns in the 2017 Session, thanks to the sponsorship of Senators Richard Devlin and Michael Dembrow.

If passed into law, voters would no longer have to put postage on their vote-by-mail return ballots.  The State of Oregon, which ironically faces a projected $1.6 billion deficit, would cover the forty-nine cent cost of a stamp in each election at an estimated cost of $650,000 to $1.3 million price tag for each biennium.

Original use on (https://thebeerchaser.com/2016/07/28/beerchaser-miscellany-five-years-of-thebeerchaser/

The symbol of the “Stamp Culture”

Ironically, Devlin is the Senate’s chief budget writer and tried to justify the bill because its tough for some would-be voters to afford the cost of a stamp.  Dembrow stated:

“This is especially true for a lot of young people who don’t use stamps.  They’re just not into the stamp culture……”

Original use (https://thebeerchaser.com/2016/07/28/beerchaser-miscellany-five-years-of-thebeerchaser/)

Crossing the Delaware to fight for our right to have postage-paid return ballots.

Perhaps someone should explain to those who are not into the stamp culture, that they might want to consider the walking culture,” since libraries, city halls or courthouses are all locations where ballots can be returned without postage and are usually within a few miles of most voters’ residence.

Thebeerchaser subscribes to the assertion that “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”  I guess that premise is no longer operable and it’s just $.49.

The Anarchists Tried to Get Their Act Together

Newspaper stories these days are never surprising and the irony of this report in the Oregonian on March 14th makes me shake my head.  A group labeling itself Portland Anarchist Road Care, “working anonymously with one person wearing a mask….” actually filled potholes on Southeast Salmon Street.

The group said it is now exploring alternatives to patching potholes including mobilizing people to fix roads in their neighborhoods.  ……..“By creating structures (emphasis supplied) to serve the same purpose as state structures, organizations such as ours have the ability to show that government is not necessary for society to function.”

From the Chicago Haymarket Affair

While I realize that anarchists sometimes do advocate societies based on voluntary institutions, this seems a bit of a contradiction in terms.   And it begs the question:

If government is not necessary for society to function, who is supposed to control the masked thugs who threw burning objects, blocked streets and damaged buildings during the May Day Parade in PDX? 

Lawyers are trying to figure out the liability issues if the Anarchists don’t fill in the potholes correctly and cause accidents or vehicular damage.  Perhaps they should heed the advice of Mitchell Kapor (the founder of Lotus Software) who advised:  “Inside every anarchy, there’s an Old-Boy Network.” 

A Precursor to the “Digital” Age

Since this is a blog about bars and beer, I typically refrain from political topics, but unless one has been living under a rock for the last eighteen months, it’s difficult to stay above the fray.  While the tripe that emanates from the West Wing becomes more unbelievable and dangerous each day,  one also has to hold the media accountable for the methods of coverage at times.

Source of alternative facts (to be polite…..)

One wonders if we can return to the civility and bipartisanship led by statesmen that characterized the Oregon Legislature e.g. Tom McCall and Hector MacPherson and the US Congress e.g. Mark Hatfield and Tip O’Neill in the 60’s and 70’s. 

Yet, based on the nature of the beast, there were times even in this more refined era (without 24-hour news coverage) when emotions overcame propriety – something which lent some humor and excitement to the news.

Such was the case on September 16, 1976, when Vice President Rockefeller was campaigning with Sen. Bob Dole, who had been selected to be President Gerald Ford’s running mate.   Some student in a group of hecklers gave the finger to the VP and he immediately reciprocated the gesture — with gusto!  I’ve kept the picture below from the newspaper for all these years thinking I could use it at some point and the excerpt below describes the incident: 

“At the time, Rockefeller’s finger flashing was scandalous and the gesture was referred to thereafter as ‘The Rockefeller Salute.’  Rockefeller refused to apologize for his outburst.

‘I was just responding in kind’ he said, neatly avoiding the point that the apology was not expected to go to the hecklers but to the general public.”

A veteran with a Purple Heart and a good sense of humor…..

Bob Dole was asked by a reporter why he didn’t join Rockefeller in “the salute”.  ‘I have trouble with my right arm,’ he replied. (Rarehistorical photos.com October 16,2016)

And in closing, perhaps we need to look at  the anger we see today from all parts of the political spectrum.  As conservative columnist, George Will wrote in a 2007  opinion piece in the Washington Post I saved, but is still relevant:

“Once upon a time, Americans admired models of self-control, people such as George Washington and Jackie Robinson, who mastered their anger rather than relishing being mastered by it. 

Today, however, proclaimed anger — the more vituperative the better — is regarded as a sign of good character and emotional vitality…..Today, many people preen about their anger as a badge of authenticity:  ‘I snarl, therefor I am.’  Such people make my blood boil.” 

Or the LA Times’,Tim Rutten, who in a  2009 column entitled, “A Crash Course on our Descent Into Coarseness” opened with:

“Incivility is the new secondhand smoke.  Everyone feels impelled to disdain it, but nobody is willing to do away with it entirely.”

Rather than ponder in frustration, “When will all the rhetorical questions ever end?”,  Thebeerchaser would suggest a small step to solve this dilemma harkening back to the 18th century — to one of the Founding Fathers, Ben Franklin.  In 1727, he formed the Junto, a group of “like minded aspiring artisans and tradesmen who hoped to improve themselves while they improved their community.”  (Wikipedia)

Ben Franklin – believed in civil dialogue

When they met they discussed issues of the day, debated philosophical topics and devised schemes for self-improvement.  In a description of the goals of this group, Walter Isaacson, in his 2003, 590-page book, Benjamin Franklin, An American Life states:

“Franklin stressed the importance of deferring, or at least giving the appearance of deferring, to others…… ‘When another asserted something that I thought an error, I denied myself the pleasure of contradicting him.’ 

Instead, he would agree in parts and suggest differences only indirectly…. This velvet-tongued and sweetly passive style of circumspect argument would make him seem sage to some, insinuating and manipulative to others, but inflammatory to almost nobody.”

Franklin’s Junto was evidently open only to men and they drank coffee rather than alcoholic beverages, but adapting to the times, perhaps we need to have this type of discussion for members of all genders in bars, taverns and pubs while drinking Oregon microbrews.  And even if Ben Franklin, didn’t actually utter the words often attributed to him, the assertion still has merit: “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy”

Regaining Civility

Cheers!