Monday, November 15, 2010

Growing up in Oak Grove.

The writer of the excellent blog Lost Oregon recently wrote a piece about my memories and photographs of Oak Grove where I spent most of my childhood and adolescence.  He is now living there and has become interested in the local history.   It is an interesting place with a lot of it's history intact though crumbling like the skeletal remains of The Bomber, the rail bed of the Inter Urban Rail line that connected Oregon City to Portland back in the 1890's and was up until 1958 the last remaining trolley line in the once great system of trolleys that operated in the Willamette Valley. Many of it's original homes are still standing on large tree filled lots including many of the huge Oak trees that it was named for.  It was also the home of the Gilmore Family who produced the notorious criminal Gary Gilmore who started his criminal career in the area and his brother the excellent writer Mikal Gilmore who wrote about his experiences growing up on Oatfield Road in his book Shot in the Heart a book I felt was far superior to Norman Mailers Executioners Song

For me to visit there is like entering my own personal Twilight Zone a landscape of my past a dimension of time as well as space.  The show premiered during the time I lived there and I can remember watching it with my Mother and older brother despite the nightmares that always followed each weeks episode. Perhaps I associate the place with the show.   To go back there and walk about in places that haven't changed much in 50 years is to have a tangible connection to my past as if time had folded back on itself and past and present coexist.  Of course much of it has changed but so many of the landmarks of my memory of trees, buildings, roads are intact enough that it is just as familiar to me now as it was back then. 


Blogger Pascale said...

I found your site via the "Lost Oregon" blog, and admired your nice, nostalgic photos...
We recently bought an old historic home in Oak Grove, with several mature oak trees, and now what seems to be gazillions of leaves falling all over the ground...
My blog is about the challenges of fixing an old home:

12:55 AM  
Blogger Thomas D. Rutter said...

Thank you. I intend to do more work out in Oak Grove in the future. I look forward to reading your blog. Renovation of an old farm house in a historic area is a great subject.

6:36 AM  

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