Thursday, July 05, 2007

Oak Grove, Oregon.

I grew up in this little town south of Milwaukie back in the 1950's-70's. My parents and my grandparents lived in the area back in to the 1920's. We bought our gas at 'The Bomber' gas station, shopped at the Piggly Wiggly at Courtney and McLaughlin Blvd. I lived in a house that was right along side the last remaining trolley line that ran between Oregon City and Portland. Those cream and red colored wooden trolleys that you sometimes see downtown were the kind I remember riding. The trolley line stopped running in 1959 so it is a pretty dim memory. I went to Oak Grove Grade School from 1959-1965. It's where I experienced the Columbus Day Wind Storm, which happened around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis and may explain why I have 'issues' with anxiety. I learned to ride my Red & white Schwinn on those streets and later my Dads Green Chrysler New Yorker. It was an old community and run down even back then. It was a real mix of economic levels from the fairly well off to people who could have played extras in Deliverance without additional makeup or costumes. On occasion I go back and walk those same streets I walked as a child and so much of it looks exactly the same that I feel like I have become 'unstuck in time' like Kurt Vonnegut's Billy Pilgrim, or a character in a Philip K. Dick novel who accidentally finds himself in a strange and still familiar parallel reality. Recently I spent some time back there and here are some pictures I took of the experience.


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