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Portland Hearts Beat On Broadway, The Rest Of The City Keeps Time


Portland Hearts


Portland hearts come in all shapes and sizes, all conditions and configurations. Like Portland, one size doesn’t fit all.


Some arrive overwhelmed by the bigness of the big city. Buildings so tall and shiny dwarf pedestrians used to their own town.


Try explaining Portland size in relation to the big big cities. Drop it into Los Angeles, NYC, or Chicago and watch it disappear. Drop it into the nation’s fourth largest city, Houston, and the same thing happens.


Even if it looks big, size is deceptive. Like a fun house mirror at a carnival, perceptions distort the view. Get a better look at SW Broadway to feel how Portland hearts beat.



The Nordstrom store on the left used to be the Orpheum Theatre. It sat across the street from the Portland Hotel, now Pioneer Square. Is that’s not a recipe for feeling Portland hearts beat, give one better.


Portland Hearts


Just when you think every car on the street is a modern interpretation of automotive technology, you see this. Take a deep breath and say thanks to the muscle car gods.


If you’ve got a minute, wait around to hear it start.


Portland Hearts


Not far away you might find the future of city transportation reflecting the youth trend taking over.


Portland Hearts


Portland stars embedded in the walk on Main off Broadway show the heart of the city.


People who embrace the place so others might see it in a better light have stars.


Portland Hearts


Most baby boomers who’ve worked for important companies never meet the big guy.


You apply, go through human resources, or the personnel office, meet the department head, co-workers, and go at it for the next few decades.


Thomas Vaughan met everyone before they got with the Oregon Historical Society program. He made it personal. How personal? As only a historian can be personal.


The Vaughan’s held events at their house. Christmas party? The staff moved from 1200 SW Park up to Myrtle Street each year. Not a party at work, or restaurant, but in their house. Who does that?


Each event or party was a chance to see gracious manners imported from the old school. The Yale man respected the details of polite society, but he also had the Marine Corps experience to deal with less than polite moments.


That’s a classic American combination in any package and the perfect fit to lead Oregon history.


Portland Hearts


Mrs. Booth’s leadership within Oregon’s community has created far-reaching impact for more than three decades. She was the first woman to be named to the board of directors of Portland General Electric in 1981, and has been chair of the PGE Foundation since its inception in 1997.


A former television journalist for Oregon Public Broadcasting, Gwyneth was honored with a star in the pavement outside of the Portland Performing Arts Center for her passionate commitment to community service, including the arts. Gwyneth and her late husband, Brian, are past recipients of the Portland First Citizen Award and of SOLVE’s Tom McCall Leadership Award. She has served The Dougy Center for 25 years as a facilitator.


At The Dougy Center, she established and chaired the Advisory Board and has a room named in her honor. Mrs. Booth served on the Advisory Board of the Bank of America Oregon and was a Trustee with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Her leadership has left an indelible mark on our community.



Portland Hearts


“He did more to resurrect the idea of Oregon literature than anyone I can think of,” added Brian Doyle, author of “Mink River.” “He was intent that we remember the great storytellers .. and absolutely committed to how we are stories, to how stories are the food of a place.”

A devoted collector of rare books, Booth rescued writers such as H.L. Davis and Stewart Holbrook from dusty obscurity, memorializing the latter in his 1994 book, “Wildmen, Wobblies and Whistle Punks: Stewart Holbrook’s Lowbrow Northwest.”

Booth was the first chairman of the Oregon Parks Commission and instrumental in the success of the Knight Cancer Center at Oregon Health and Science University.

He guided the boards of the Portland Art Museum, the OHSU Foundation and the University of Oregon Art Museum through tumultuous and dynamic periods in their histories.

And he once put pianist Thomas Lauderdale to work researching out-of-print Oregon writers until Lauderdale could find the inspiration for Pink Martini.

“Brian loved his corporate power, but he never gave up on the literary, artistic wild side of life,” said poet Walt Curtis. “He loved the outsiders and the lowbrow loggers. He was always on our side.

“Brian Booth is the greatest guy I’ve ever met.”

Booth grew up in Roseburg, graduating from the University of Oregon in 1958 and — after a stint in the Army — gaining his law degree from Stanford in 1962.


Portland Hearts


Between tiny Rebecca on the Shemanski Fountain and Portlandia on the Portland Building, ladies feel welcome here.


Portland hearts beat quicker, and so will yours, when you take the time to look around here.


Portland Hearts

About David Gillaspie

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