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From Salem To An Unknown Location, Neil Goldschmidt’s Long Strange Trip.

The first thing you learn about the History Club is you never talk about it.

Replace History Club with museum storage and you still don’t talk about it.

Those were rules broken only if you wanted to be an ex-employee of the Oregon Historical Society, historically speaking.

And they were good rules. No one needs to know where a state history museum stores its stuff.

In a Where’s Waldo story on the official Neil Goldschmidt portrait, Oregonian reporter Joseph Rose spilled the paint.

By revealing the general location of the OHS storage location, Mr. Rose invites comment. Do you really want that opened up on a public forum?

With a link to a series of pictures inside the storage facility you get the question common to all museum storage: “Why can’t we see these things?”

The best answer is, “Because they’re not on exhibit.”

Not long ago OHS did an exhibit of treasures from the vault, so you got to see stuff not usually available if you visited the South Park Blocks.

Chances are good you’ll never see the Goldschmidt portrait again. But it’s still around, just like the former governor.

It won’t get an accidental prong from a forklift poked through it, or dropped in a dumpster, or accidentally burned up.

Neil Goldschmidt won’t be run through with a pitchfork, compressed in a garbage truck, or incinerated either.

The man played his cards close, kept mouths shut, and strolled through life as an okay guy instead of neighborhood babysitter rapist.

More than an okay guy, he was a spectacular success. And strong. He carried the baggage of his past easily.

Sure he paid a price, just not the one due for the deeds he committed off the job.

And now his picture gets press. Since he’s unable to do the right thing and drop the hammer on himself, he appears to be free and clear. Of course he’s living in some ring of hell, the one where guys like him celebrate not getting caught early on.

But it’s still hell and he’s cooking away. At least that’s what you hear.

In the end the man feels like the sign you see over doors that goes like this: “Some grace us with their arrival, others with their departure.”

He showed up in shining armor, he’ll leave in an urn. That’s the most we can expect.






About David Gillaspie
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