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If You Were Raised Here You Know All About #growingupinoregon.

Oregon is more than a trail game, or cloud burst, or a beach.

It’s a state of mind and a state; the deuce.

1. If you grew up on the coast it seemed like every town had a sawmill. Those mills also had wigwam burners. If you drove by at night they looked like reverse rockets with the flames pushing down. Sparks flew up through the top for a special light show.

2. No Civil War battlefields or Revolutionary War remnants. Washington never slept here. Instead Oregon filled up with people who carried strife with them from border states. The Oregon Trail was a voluntary migration, but new Oregonians arrived with a certain bitterness, which might be the norm for Missouri.

3. An Oregon beach has sand like most beaches, but the rocks make all the difference. Rocky cliffs, stand alone rocks like Haystack, and smaller headlands. Sand, yes. Water, yes. But the rocks will amaze.

4. Trees, trees, and more trees. Every stand seemed like an Old Growth stand. You get used to the trees in the forest across the street until you later realize most places don’t have a forest across the street from where you live.

4a. How many places have sand dunes across the street? Move to the right Oregon town and you’ll have your own dune to play on.

5. When you visit other places and mention Oregon they say, “Next to Wyoming?” Don’t blame them for being geo-morons. Just agree, then they won’t visit, or they’ll get lost and to back home.

6. Complain about Oregon pronunciation until you’re caught mispronouncing other places and give it a rest. (Bar-tha-lona instead of Barsellona for Barcelona. At least there’s no intentional lisp involved.)

7. Getting poisoned by bad beer (Blitz, Olympia) until the 80’s and the Beer From Heaven revolution. Now we’re heading from IPA back to lagers? Uh oh.

8. Having a Grandpa who climbed every mountain worth it’s name in the Cascades. You call him on it and he pulls a picture of him sitting on the nipple of Mt. Tit (Washington.)

9. Having a Grandma who grew up in Texas and moved to Oregon after WWII. You ask her why she didn’t move back to Texas and she says, lowing her head to look over her glasses, “Grandson, you look like a smart boy. You’ve been to Texas and you grew up here. Ask a better question.”

10. People stop here in their life’s journey and move on. They call Oregon home forever until it starts sounding like a dream they can vaguely remember.


About David Gillaspie
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