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Forty one years of the annual Hillsdale Blue Berry Pancake Breakfast speaks volumes for the community. Business owners turn out and join in the set up, the cooking, and clean up afterward.


Maybe it’s the same everywhere, but maybe not.  For a Portland neighborhood that used to be the Fulton Dairy, it’s great.


Hillsdale Business and Professional Association, HBPA, puts on a the show for customer appreciation. The Wardin Family is a strong presence in the area with the sort of good will money can’t buy.




Hillsdale changes from an empty Sunday parking lot to a set up-for hundreds of guests.


All ages convene for the blue berry pancakes, and leave with a little extra.


Music, conversation, old friends, it’s a mix of congeniality that’s a joy to be part of.




I’m amazed how well it’s organized, how roles are filled.


Every year it happens without a hitch, or visible hitch. Anyone who’s been part of a large group activity understands the importance of smooth sailing.


Rain or shine it’s gone off for nearly half a century. That’s the sort of observation people hear and say they’ve been there for most of them.


Instead of being a local gathering of neighbors, Hillsdale presents a microcosm of how to get things done the right way. The rest of Portland neighborhoods with street fairs and events could learn something here.


A lesson in civility and decency you won’t find everywhere. Call it a celebration of summer, a chance to gather the tribe, or a family reunion.


For one day it feels like all that and more. If you ever have out of town guests new to Portland, or uncertain about being in such a big city, take them to Hillsdale. It’s not a small town, but it carries a small town vibe that’s easy to recognize.


Could it be love?


Let’s call it love until something better comes along.
About David Gillaspie
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