One Relationship pt. 1

Imagine a magic mirror in which out of your peripheral vision you can see beautiful pictures but when once you look into it straight on, all the fair scenes disappear.

The other day I went to a cello recital where we all were given a paper with the text of a poem Schubert had based one of the pieces on. Reading it while the piece was played gave me greater awareness of the music, even if often I didn’t know if that particular rise in the music was intended to corresponded with that line about flying, or if that phrase was supposed to match that particular stanza or not.

As a university student I’m supposed to go to these weekly recitals and fill out a form about the music: “What did you think of the performers?” “Describe the repertoire being performed. Be specific.” “What were the highlights of the performance and how were they achieved?” And so I’m very used to to trying to listen so that I can be specific about the repertoire being performed. But just staring straight at the music (with your ear that is) often yields less emotional definition in what I hear than just this reading a poem while the music plays. Of course on these forms when being specific about the repertoire, I write something more like: “A lot of thematic transfer between the violin and cello” instead of “Two friends are delighted to meet after a long time apart, but they fall to arguing.”

I don’t think  Berlioz, who provided a dramatic program to explain what the music was about, is the best composer, but I do like the idea of the program. I think in the last movement of Symphonie Fantastique, when the theme that represents his beloved, his ideal, his obsession, shows up at the Witches Sabbath and is played in a tawdry manner, it is very effective. Who is not familiar  with the experience of seeing the one you idealized in an unideal moment? I remember being at a rodeo one time and sitting next to a girl I knew whom I thought of as a little transcendent, and feeling just like that last movement of Symphonie Fantastique as she laughed at the dumb jokes of the rodeo clown. Not jokes that I was having to suppress laughing at, jokes that didn’t even tempt me to laugh. It’s not fair to do that to people. I don’t mean it’s not fair to let down those who make you their ideal, I mean it’s not fair to set people up on a pedestal. Yet it is always this way; if you go to a Witches’ Sabbath and there is someone you know from a better world there, you will be more than twice as grieved for that ONE, than for all the other faces in the crowd put together.

Aside from a program, I can think of some other ways music is very beautiful when heard peripherally:

1. Of course when singing a song you can focus your mind on the  meaning or the story of the lyrics and let music conquer your emotions with an effective ambush.

2. As incidental music to movies and plays not only do we have the story, but also the picture. Suddenly the countryside seems lovelier, or the hero nobler and maybe at first we don’t even realize it’s the music what’s done it. But it’s not just the music that bolsters up the picture. The picture or story gives a focus to the music. I definitely think there are sad pieces and happy pieces and pieces of lots of other emotions, but I don’t think in a way that sadness or happiness are intrinsically in the music; the sadness is in us, and insofar as the music resonates with that sadness in us, it is sad. (Does that make sense?) How much sadder the music can then be if tied to something we specifically find sad in a story, say the hero’s’ death, and maybe that reminds you of one you knew who’s gone.

Incidental music by Sibelius. Canzonetta from Kuolema (Death).

3.Dancing. Do you remember the Frog and Toad story in which Toad has a dream where he and Frog are in a dark, mysterious theatre and Toad is showing off his monumental skills while Frog sits and watches? As Toad performs his acts (including playing the Piano “very well”) Frog shrinks and Toad swells. At last Frog disappears altogether, and Toad finds himself totally alone. This disaster could have been averted if Frog had been dancing! It’s always so fun to be included! How thrilling it is to feel the Irish folk music in harmony with your body as you move – as you with the band weave together one beautiful plaid; the the old jigs and reel tunes the warp, and the moves, patterns and forms of the Ceili dances the weft! I also love that feeling  of fiddling for dancers and not worrying about if they are engaged or not. They are engaged through the dance, and if they don’t want to think about the music for a while they can just dance, and come back when they list. (The dark theatre compels you more to “listen or be bored” than the ballroom.)
ceiliChildren Dancing at the Crossroads, from the National Gallery of Ireland

Every time I tell opinions like this to my fellow classical musicians, I am not met with understanding smiles and hugs. I do agree with the classical musicians that there is a place for no specific program, no specific picture, no specific story, and no specific dance move, but just to experience the music in its mysterious imprecision.

Actually as I write this I’m becoming confused, because I’m listening to the Sibelius Canzonetta that I linked to, and am being emotionally swept off my feet without thinking of anything specific – without any focus point. Still I think the sadness in the music couldn’t make a rock feel this way. What is it in me that it resonates with?  I thinks it’s both resonating with me just as I’m a living soul, and also because of the experiences of my life.

You know how old people are more likely to cry at music than young people? The other night I was singing for Grandma “Steal Away to Jesus” and “There Will Be Peace In The Valley” and she was crying, and I knew it was because one of her oldest living friends is dying. That morning her friend’s daughter had called and put her mother on the line though she could not speak, but just to hear my Grandma say she loved her and that she would pray she would feel better.

But even if you’re not thinking of a particular friend, as you get older you have known more people, and borne more of life’s joys and pains, and so the older person is more likely to cry because, even unconsciously, the music is incidental music to what has taken place in the story of your life.

We all know a song to someone   is better than an ode to music itself. We all know this. Music cannot be the primary thing, the thing which our relationship with defines our relationships with everything else. Many people cry because an old song reminds them of an old friend. Who cries because an old friend reminds them of an old song? If music could really take the place of the principal relationship to which all others are secondary, Toad could have borne Frog’s disappearance. He could have just gone on playing the Piano.


Present Company Excepted pt. 5

Present Company Excepted – A Reminisce on the Future pt. 1


When the World’s Fair re-opened in 1940, Poland’s pavillion did not re-open. Nazi Germany had invaded Poland. Was this the blessedness they had spoken of? Was this the good life, the “brave new World built by united hands and hearts and hearts.” where “brain and brawn, faith and courage, are linked in high endeavor as men men march on toward unity and peace.” that the Democracity narrator had told us about?

According to the Bible the whole exhibit should have been prefaced with a big “If God wills” -“ [Y]e know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil”  (James 4:13-16). It had happened as the Bible says: “We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble!” (Jeremiah 8:15).

But how different was the World’s Fair’s vision from the Nazis? They both preached unity. It seems as if cleanliness was going to be godliness in the fair’s World of Tomorrow. At least there was no mention of God in the Democracity “the city of man in the world of tomorrow” exhibit.  White saw a lot of flawless odourless cleanliness at the fair;  glass coverings were not only found at the girl show. In the General Motors simulation of travel in 1960, while “going 100 miles an hour around impossible turns ever onward toward the certified cities of the flawless future”,  he “passed an apple orchard and saw the trees, each blooming under its own canopy of glass.”  This future man dreams of is not righteous, it is merely clean. The oldest professions: farming and prostitution, now updated to glassy, sleek, sanitation.

E.B. White wrote in July of 1940 of how a New Yorker  told him “that he thought perhaps the Nazi Ideal was a sounder ideal than our our constitutional system ‘because have you ever noticed the fine alert young faces the German soldiers have in the newsreel?’ He added: ‘Our American youngsters spend all their time at the movies-they’re a mess’”

Gruppe von HJ-Jungen
Hitler Youth. 

Americans might have been  a mess, but there was a brutality behind Germany’s fine front – those fine alert faces. What might men do in cleaning up today to bring in the “flawless future?”  I read that presently 90% of babies diagnosed with Down’s syndrome in the womb are killed. Presently. Right now.

When man was building the City of Man in unity back at Babel, “The Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” (Genesis 11:6)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Tower of Babel.

What can withhold humanity from following its vision of what we should become?

Let me explain it like this: I think our brains edit out a lot of what we see. If one has a “gothic ruin” aesthetic he edits out the cheery yellow walls and household mess around him and only focuses on the black leafless branches blowing in the wild wind outside the window. If I have a “Carl Larsson Swedish  farm” aesthetic do I try to edit out the laptops and phones in my house?

But what about how people have and will continue to physically edit and build their surroundings? According to what vision? Interestingly in Old Town St. Helens it is easier for me  to hold to my worldview than it is up by the highway. The old town architects’ metaphysic was probably more similar to mine.

You can say to someone “Your vision does not fit with the earth, with dirt and rainbows and spiders and trees and birth and death and fire and sheep and sleep!” But what if their vision includes changing all that? Changing the human and all those things. Or, if some things cannot be changed, then hiding them. Would Truth change if the whole face of the earth were plated over with smooth stainless steel? NO! The Truth transcends. Our Metaphysic should not change just because we get indoor plumbing and all this smoothness.You and the present company, are made of the same dirt as everyone else in every other place – in every other time.


I am still not sure if I should get my tooth fixed. On the one hand it is a defect from the original form of Man; on the other hand, defects testify of the true state of existence and the world beyond. These are the kind of things I want to talk about when the dentist has his tools in my mouth.

Present Company Excepted pt. 4

Present Company Excepted – A Reminisce on the Future pt. 1

Speaking of white and smooth, a main feature of the the 1939 New York’s World Fair that E.B. White attended way back in 1939 was “The Perisphere,” a white spherical building in appearance halfway between Buckminster Fuller’s Epcot Center and “The World’s Largest Egg” in Winlock Washington. Inside the Perisphere, like the yolk of an egg, full of promise, was the exhibit “Democracity,” with its miniature model city ‘Centerton’. “Not a dream city, but a symbol of life as lived by the man of tomorrow,” the narrator’s voice in the exhibit helpfully explained, making it all perfectly clear. A vision of the future ready to hatch. How could I make a joke here about White going in to see this yolk? E.B. White, among many others, paid his fare and rode “the world’s longest escalator” up into the Perisphere.
The Perisphere. (Photo credit:            


The World’s Largest Egg, Winlock Washington. 

Who wouldn’t like to see this model city of the model city? It even had slot cars that actually moved around the city. I like this kind of thing.

When I was a kid I liked the little towns my brothers and sisters and I would build with Lincoln Logs. I liked the little toy hospital we had with the elevator that could be cranked from the ground level to the second story. Who does not like to look into the little rooms of dollhouses and ponder the existence of the tiny people who live there? I remember one time in my childhood crouching down to look into a dollhouse and being surprised to hear the voice of a big person looking down at me. “Are you going to move in there?” she asked. (When I say big person I mean a girl about my age that I knew. She’s grown up and gone to Hollywood to see if she can make it there.)

Something about these little worlds we make seem to us mysterious and beautiful. We want to jump into them the same way I wanted to jump into Heidi’s world when my dad was reading “Heidi” aloud. The presentation of the future at this fair, however, was not very similar to Heidi’s alpine home life.

Here are some of White’s observations from inside the fair:

“Tomorrow does not smell. The World’s fair of 1939 has taken the body odour out of man, among other things. It is all rather impersonal, this dream. The country fair manages much better, where you can hang over the rail at the ox-pulling and smell the ox….There is no shoving in the exhibit hall of Tomorrow. There is no loitering and there is usually no smoking. Even in the girl show in the amusement area, the sailor is placed in a rather astringent attitude behind glass, for the adoration of the female form. It is all rather serious minded, this World of Tomorrow, and extremely impersonal.”

In essence, the vision of tomorrow was of a future less alive than the present. But think of the Masons, for example, with their ideas of things ancient and their rather serious minded extremely impersonal ordered ceremonies. Did they believe in the body odour of man?

There is a similarity between this dead sterile view of the past and the dead sterile view of the future.  Is it that the people who are dead are not here now, and the people to come are not here now, so we cannot think of them as having the things that go with life? The gritty dirt, the sweat, the deep, deep joys and griefs.

These days it is popular to say that people were so very different in the past  that they did not even love their children in the old days. Have you heard that? That Family affection is a modern creation? That is a load of rotten rubbish!

Listen to Gregory of Tours write in the 6th century:

“This sickness began in the month of August and seized upon the little ones and laid them on their beds. We lost dear sweet children whom we nursed on our knees or carried in our arms and nourished with attentive care, feeding them with our own hand. But wiping away our tears we say with the blessed Job : “The Lord has given; the Lord has taken away; the Lord’s will has been done. Blessed be his name through the ages.” (History of the Franks)

Or look at Francis Chantrey’s statue The Sleeping Children in Lichfield Cathedral of two little girls who had died – shown sleeping in each other’s arms, as their mother remembered them.

Francis Chantery
(The Sleeping Children, 1817. Photo Credit: Web Gallery of Art)

Their feelings were like ours, but now they are to us odourless, cold statues. Even when we watch old footage of Hitler, he does a sort of ghost’s dance for us. We cannot touch him either physically (with a bullet) or intellectually.

Present Company Excepted pt. 5

Present Company Excepted pt.3

Present Company Excepted – A Reminisce on the Future pt. 1

Enough for now on the power of the proximate and the present’s power to push us around. (My computer wants to change “present’s power to push you around” to “president’s power to push you around”, but that is not what I am writing about.) Let us go back to how distance of time or space can make things less impressive. I think we all know about  the dulling effect of time and distance. Shylock said, when he found out his very own daughter had robbed him and eloped with a Christian: “The curse never fell upon our nation till now; I never felt it till now.”  It had hit close to home before. Now it hit home.

“I am bid forth to supper, Jessica: There are my keys.”
(Shylock and Jessica by Maurice Gottlieb, 1876)

But here I am using a fictional character from renaissance Italy.

Does it sometimes seem like all the classical heroes dwell statue-like in some mysterious shadowy hall (kind of like the mason one in St. Helens but older and shadow-ier); as if, for example, the “great” lovers Pyramus and Thisbe, by being the metaphors for a thousand poems, the inspiration for a thousand productions of Romeo & Juliet, an image for a thousand minds and subject of so many paintings, have become weighted down into slow moving epic marble statues, that all their actions are firmly fated –  that their story could not have gone any other way?

All this may dull our feeling of it, but surely we catch a glimpse of their realness. Their fluttery hearts in bodies made of the same people-dough we are fashioned from. They sweat. They act quickly, passionately, irrationally. They act on the spur of the moment. They are “dumb teenagers” in love – Just like the ones at St. Helens High School, except a little livelier and deadlier in their actions. Some might prefer to think of the ancients as statues, so as not have to feel their words and their woes with such intensity.

(Face of Laocoön. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

But I move too quickly. One thing I love is the modern way of writing. Cutting and pasting, saving and backspacing. Easy revising is a dream. However, my modern word processor has put a little red line under the word dough. I spelled it right, but I don’t think it likes the word “dough” following the word “people”. I’ll explain: I remember when I was a kid feeling my mom’s arms with my fingers and telling her: “You know what people are made of mom? People-dough!”

Happy now, word processor?

To sum up: I have seen Achilles’ epic rage in modern coworkers of mine and in fellow community theatre people in St. Helens. (“I don’t talk to him,” said my favorite costume lady about the best lighting designer. Achilles was made of the same people-dough as us.)

When the paper mill closed down in St. Helens a lot of the theatre/artsy people I was spending time with seemed to think the town’s hope for the future was more art and music and chocolate shops. But where will the hard wealth come from to buy these things? Portland? paper mill
(Paper Mill in St. Helens. Photo Credit Pamplin Media Group)

St. Helens is not a very touristy place. Aside from eavesdropping in Muchas Gracias 24-hour Mexican Restaurant, where St. Helen’s High Schoolers go to have serious discussions – about why they cannot be best friends anymore, and stuff like that, looking at the buildings and looking at the river is the funnest thing there I can think of. I mostly go as a dental tourist these days. Our dentists in St. Helens are a man and wife team. The first time I got my chipped tooth filled in, the wife did it; when that filling broke, the husband worked on it. After he had worked awhile he asked me how it felt. “Tell the truth,” he said. I felt my tooth with my tongue. The real part on the back felt smoother than the fake filling part on the front.
“It….feels fine,” I said.
“You hesitated,” he said.
“This dentist is no fool,” I thought. “He probably hears lies all day long.”
I explained about the rough and the smooth. He worked awhile longer.
When it was done it looked even better than the first filling. White and smooth.

Present Company Excepted pt. 4

Present Company Excepted pt.2

Present Company Excepted – A Reminisce on the Future pt. 1

I hear that before the town of St. Helens was ever plotted, the Indians had a river toll booth somewhere around there – an optimal location because no one could avoid the toll by going on the other side of  Sauvies Island. Nowadays most people come, not by the river, but by highway 30.

From the highway, St. Helens is ugly. The highway is wide and it’s not flat, but  curved (For the water to run off, I imagine). On either side are some buildings, but they provide little feeling of substance or town-ness. If they were solid storefronts it might hold together the whole long stretch of St. Helens on the highway, but as they are things like Taco Bell, Dollar Tree and McDonalds with spacious parking lots, it feels like the town sort of falls away from the highway, like water running off.

Go down to the old town on the Columbia for a real feeling town. There stands the county courthouse, built from rough hewn stone that look like the same kind of grey stone that you see craggily outcropping all around in old town.

( Columbia County Courthouse. Photo Credit


(Tangent: I would rather be tried in one of the old style courtrooms with its altar railing,  with the roman style crosshatched swinging gate separating between the actors and the spectators, and be cross examined in a solemn dark wooden witness stand. The old courtroom saith: “here citizen’s weighty matters are seriously considered;” the new courtrooms with their narrow spectrum fluorescent lights seem to say, “here’s where we process trash people who smoke Marijuana, and collect traffic infraction revenue” )
1st Street has the solid storefronts I crave. The ones with big main street style windows. Even the secretive Masons had big windows on their building. I once performed in a play in the old Masonic hall. It is not a Masonic Hall anymore and if you can wangle your way up into their old meeting room, I would recommend giving it a look. Of course there are no windows directly into that  room. On the wall, shrouded in the dimness, are some paintings. I remember a waterfall and a tree and the ubiquitous winding staircase with its lamp. A lot of the paintings did not seem Masonic at their core. The Masonic Symbols such as the sickle and sheaf hanging from the branch of the tree seemed added on to the basic idea of a tree. The story of the paintings is that during the depression a hobo showed up in St. Helens offering his skills as a picture painter in exchange for room and board. The Masons took him up on it.

(First Street St Helens, Oregon. Photo Credit:

Closer down by the windy Columbia is the Klondike, a wooden building that has the standard history of an old west restaurant/hotel, so of course it is reported with a sort of wink that perhaps >insert euphemism for prostitution< might have gone on there.


I hate it how historical prostitution is talked about with a giggle, as if there is something quaint and funny or even charming about it in our history. It is euphemistically called the “oldest profession” although, to my recollection, the Bible  mentions gardening, shepherding, farming, making musical instruments, and smithing before it mentions prostitution. That it is old cannot be denied. But for me, even all the numbness that the great distances of long ago and far away gives, does not remove my feeling of horror for prostitution. It sounded nightmarish in The Epic of Gilgamesh, and the thought of selling oneself on the streets of Portland today actually makes me shudder. Who wants their sister or daughter to grow up to do that? It is not what a human was made to be.

Happily, fighting it has become a popular cause. A lot of us young people today feel like we want to join in the fight for justice, but we wish it could be against Naziism or Southern slavery, something that everybody has agreed is wrong – not something from our moment where we would have to go face to face with living  angry threatening opponents (as Sophie Scholl or William Lloyd Garrison did in their time), or have our living friends think of us as too obnoxiously radical stirrers up of hornet’s nests. Fortunately for us, there is not the same stigma in fighting sex slavery today as went with being an Abolitionist in its day. And it really is a heroic work. (I should mention that it being a hip cause only saves those who work against it from their friends’ disapproval; if you are seriously threatening someone’s livelihood, I imagine you will find a living, angry, threatening opponent. )

(Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl, and Christoph Probst. If what you’re doing feels easy, if there’s no rough opposition, you are probably not fighting the Nazis of your time.)

Still, who does not like to sit around  and find some common ground trashing the Nazis or the Confederates? These days if you criticize something – an idea,  movement or profession, for instance – unless you can be sure there is nobody present of that persuasion, you are likely to get  a response like:  “Hey! I’m a pimp and your condemnation of prostitution offends me!” Then what can you do? Say something like, “Oh, I didn’t realize you were present. My opinions are different if I know a real living person of the profession I’m condemning is present and listening. How tacky of me! Present company excepted.” You then might proceed to “You have a point, and I see your side of things but prostitution …. just isn’t for me. For some reason I don’t like it.” As if your condemnation was irrational,  just your own little idiosyncrasy and you were to blame for not appreciating the other guy’s stance. However, you can be pretty sure there will not be any Nazis present if you want to safely make an extreme statement against something and not have to back peddle to please those present. Living faces are so intimidating. Even if there is a Nazi present, the rest of  you can gang up on him. Since the Nazis lost their power, there are not many around preaching understanding and saying: “We need to try and see things from the Nazi perspective and learn from them,” No one is saying, “You have a point there, Mr. Nazi.”  Living people with any power are so persuasive.

When I was young, if  you left a bike out in North Portland it often would be absconded with, and one could not help thinking: Some of these people I’m seeing around my neighbourhood must be bicycle thieves! We know the world is full of evil but we don’t want to impute it to any of the smiling present company, and how often do people tell you to your face that they are a bicycle thief? “Hi my name is Caleb, and I steal children’s bicycles.” And if someone does, do we try and blame a person who isn’t present? They had a bad upbringing? They had bad experience?  We love to find a bad “they” to blame things on. Nobody here a politician? Then politicians are horrible creatures, of a different mettle than us, incapable of honest conduct. I once saw the end of  a television drama where they caught an old man who had been a murdering Nazi. When he pleaded for understanding, one of the characters told him “No one can understand what you have done,” because, of course, you are one of those evil people from long ago and far away. The people of today have progressed to something different, and and of course none of us could understand doing something so…. unpopular as being a Nazi.

The other day a friend explained to me how a friend of hers did her math homework for her. “Come over to my house, K-rolina (name barely concealed to not protect the guilty), and we can do homework!” she imitates her friend saying. “Oh, I don’t know,” she replies. But her friend continues her seduction – “I’ll make you tea, it will be so fun!” and Karolina succumbs. “Oh, math is easy and fun for me!” says the friend, happily solving Karolina’s problems. “Well, I gotta go now,” says Karolina. “I’ll keep working!” replies the friend in a happy voice.

The criminal confessing the crime to my face! Should I find someone not present to condemn in this enormity? Too exacting math teachers? The friend?

“I am silently judging you right now,” I joked seriously.

Or – What do you tell a friend explaining his method of getting in line at the DMV when he has no business there, and then selling his place in line to someone who looks impatient? Is that what man was made to do?

Present Company Excepted pt.3

Present Company Excepted – A Reminisce on the Future pt. 1

Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
-Isaiah 30:10

My tables—meet it is I set it down
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain—

I just read E.B White’s essay, “The World of Tomorrow” in which he tells about his visit to the 1939 New York’s World’s Fair. The fair’s theme was “The World of Tomorrow” and the purpose of the fair was to give us a glimpse of the ‘World of Tomorrow’.  From E.B. White’s report of what he could gather at the fair, Tomorrow is going to be a lot smoother than today.


After Sunday’s morning sermon and before the potluck dinner, my front tooth filling fell out.

Owing to my funny bite, my bottom front right tooth had cracked my top front tooth, and so, when I went to the dentist for some cavity work, I asked them to fix the chipped tooth as well. I figured that if that local newspaper reviewer was right, (the one who saw me in a community theatre production of My Fair Lady when I was 15, and wrote that with my “boyish good looks” I was probably headed for Hollywood) –  if he was right, I should get that tooth fixed. Really, the  cracked tooth does not hurt as far as mouth misalignment problems go. It’s my temporomandibular joint that hurts.


I see this problem as an imperfection in my physical makeup. I think that there is a way a man’s jaw should be, and ways a man’s jaw should not be, that Adam and Eve were made perfect in the image of God, and that this imperfect fit of jaws and teeth in me is a departure (via mutations?) from that perfect pattern (note: I do not think a physical defects makes the one diseased less human. I just think diseases are departures from the bodies proper form). How would it be possible for an evolutionist to say that any change makes anybody’s body closer to, or further from, what a human body should be? In his belief there can be no fixed point of what our basic human form should be. Fare thee well two eyes, two arms and two legs, our descendants will be…..

We could be going anywhere.


Going to the dentist is fun.

Being there is not as fun. They always ask you questions  while  they have their tools in your mouth.


I was born in North Portland, in a tiny white house a block south of Lombard Street.  I now live in a medium sized white house a block north of Lombard.  Lombard is the highway 30 bypass through North Portland, and if you take it out through St. Johns and across the most beautiful bridge in Portland, you will be on the real Highway 30. Continue about a marathon’s distance north, and you will be in Columbia County where, between my times in North Portland, some of my formative years were spent. (When do the formative years end? When we die, that’s when – I think. ) When we moved back to Portland, my family kept the same dentist, so a visit to the dentist means the drive out past Sauvies Island to St. Helens, Oregon, county seat of Columbia County.


Come, gentle reader, let us visit St. Helens for a little while.

Present Company Excepted pt.2