Bybee Overpass: Then and Now

The Bybee Overpass links the Portland neighborhoods of Westmoreland and Eastmoreland.  Once Bybee Bridge, it was built in three installments in 1914, 1934 and 1943 until the City replaced it with a historic replica in 2004.  The location remained the same.

The Parks and Recreation site posted great shots, including aerials, and the one that stood out to me represented McLoughlin Boulevard, facing south, from the then-bridge.  I first saw that shot in Dead Memories Portland and started digging around, when I found the page and confirmed the location.

The Parks site shows the massive change in this area from 1906 through the 1950′s.  But it is only from the overpass there is a direct comparison:

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McLoughlin Boulevard (aka Highway 99E) looking south from the Bybee Overpass, 1937. Sellwood Moreland Historical Society.

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McLoughlin Boulevard (Highway 99E) looking south from the Bybee Overpass, January 14, 2014. © 2014 Jocelyn S. Mackie

To the east, is the MAX light rail construction.  When it is complete, I will post a follow-up picture in order to enjoy a more dramatic comparison.

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A Few Blocks South

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Rinearson Creek Wetlands. About a ten minute walk and quiet.

Once upon a time, a few blocks north of my home, there was an abandoned restaurant of jazz history and stone.  After demolition, it was replaced with a development.  That development only very recently filled half its lots.  (It only took five years!  Woo-hoo!)

Bridge

In 1933, bridges had beauty contests and this one won the crown.

A few blocks in the other direction, I cross this bridge and the line between Gladstone and Oregon City.  What existed before still exists, albeit with changes as well.

This is where I live.

Two parks, a wetland, and a river are all within blocks of my residence along with Walgreens, pawn shops, and car dealerships.  The scenery is a contrast of modernity and nature that is strangely compatible in its chaotic coexistence.  I walk alongside the noise of 99E and moving away from it, the scream of traffic is replaced with the sounds of critters.

Why, yes, this is where I live.  You have these lovely bike paths and winter colors.  Look up though, and there is litter and a car dealership.  “Progress” finds its way across the street.

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A lovely bike path and, if you look carefully, that endangered species known as the Plastic Bag Tree.

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Litter, and cars, and modernity–oh my!

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Progress will not be stopped by rain, gray skies, or a river for that matter.

The Clackamas River meets the Willamette River here.  In the summer, and by that I mean an Indian Summer that often lasts until early November, you could walk across the Clackamas River at this point.  Right now, in January, I do not recommend that.  It looks slow and muddy, but in reality, it will kill you.  In the summer, it takes many via drowning.

It almost looks like a wading pool!

It almost looks like a wading pool!

Despite the contrast, it is a low-rain year.  The locals know this because the river has not invaded the park yet.  Just as we expect rain, we also expect the picnic tables, RV spots, and horseshoe pits at Clackamette Park to be under water a few times between December and February—sometimes later if the snow melt increases and the rivers swell even more.

No.  Not wading material.

No. Not wading material.

This is a wet place, a gray place, but rarely a horribly cold place.  I argue with myself constantly on whether I want to blanket my horse because while the water may keep her dry, she may also be too hot.  When there is a cold snap, there is panic.  It is a wet place and cold snaps mean ice.  Ice means dangerous driving because here, very few understand or have the opportunity to practice winter driving.

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So green, in fact, I can grow a hay field in my truck bed.

As a wet place it is also a green place.  Despite the gun-metal skies, pitch blackness at 4:30 PM in the wintertime, and the KILL ME NOW of constant unmerciful rain, I vacation other places with better weather but always return here.  People raised in Oregon only leave under when faced with extreme circumstances—either good or bad, but nothing lukewarm.  Those who to move here and plan to stay for only a little while find that “little while” often means the rest of their lives.

This is where I live.  There are few places I have all this just a few blocks south.  There are few places where I can be fully who I am.  No place is perfect and the trick is to find perfect for you.

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The End of a Week–And Other Things

I admit that this was initially just a Facebook posting to my friends.  This is not common material for this blog, but in light of all that is passing, I think many of you may need this right now.

It has been a rough couple of weeks not only for me personally, but in the large space of news.  The government shutdown causes constant tension for not only those directly affected by it but by the environment it creates.  Unemployment is crazy high.  There are a lot of stressed out people and many find their sense of survival is overwhelming their compassion.  Those who can literally afford to be compassionate seem unwilling.  No one has to look far to see that this is a tough world.

I am a skeptic, a cynic, everything as far as possible from Pollyanna, however, I make my best effort to find the good in the world.  If I don’t believe that this is a beautiful place, I will go crazy.  This has been tested severely and my mean side was starting to show.  It takes a lot for the mean side to emerge and if you never met it before, you do not want to.

I am essentially working two jobs these days.  Making the transition from legal professional to writer seems to be very easy if there is a starving writer stage in between.  However, I have animals to feed and a pretty full life that requires funds.  When an opportunity came up for a short-term full-time contract performing web research for an international corporation that wanted to pay me well, I grabbed it.  I am still writing blog pieces for clients, but in the evenings after this full-time job.

In addition, I am preparing my horse for a show, working out at the gym, and still performing various barn chores involving care of said horse.  Sometimes, I actually eat and sleep too!

She is cute, a great ride, and about as expensive as a car.  But no, she can't get me to work.

She is cute, a great ride, and about as expensive as a car. But no, she can’t get me to work.

Unfortunately, soon after I started this job and looked forward to becoming acquainted with that endangered species called Savings along with paying off others, my account was hacked.  I ended up cancelling the card and opening all new accounts.  I waited for pretty much new everything—new checks, new debit card, and new direct deposit.  There were constant bumps including having to take a 1.5 hour lunch yesterday to pick up a paper check, deposit it, learn it couldn’t credit, and discuss a litany of other things—which I somehow managed without using a single swear word.

Now, I do not share this part of my personal life for pity or sympathy.  It will resolve and become nothing but a bad memory.  I share this to show you the state of mind I was experiencing at the time when Peppy lied to me.

Peppy

Peppy the Pick Up: Blessing and Bane

Peppy is not some hot Latin lover waiting for me on 1000-thread count sheets in the back bedroom.  Peppy is a 1989 Toyota Pick Up that happens to be my primary source of transportation with a distinct talent for hay and feed runs.  I am grateful for Peppy: I inherited him from my uncle at a time I desperately needed a car, especially a truck.  These days, he comes with all the shortcomings of a 24-year-old vehicle and I often think that if he was a horse, he’d be humanely euthanized.  But he’s what I have and some day, he’ll be fixed up and passed down to another soul in need of a car.

Peppy's natural function.  Yes, my knots hold.

Peppy’s natural function. Yes, my knots hold.

Among the old car quirks is a gas gauge problem.  I basically learned that once the meter hits about ¼ of a tank, it is time to look at the numbers on the odometer, not the gauge.  In the one year and seven months of owning Peppy, I have become rather adept at this skill.  But throw in under-sleeping, under-eating, and perhaps some over- exercise, and the mind that is normally good with numbers starts twisting them around.  Sure enough, at some point, I lost track.  As Peppy is also a soot-spitting, oil-leaking gluttonous culprit Hell-bent on ridding the world of fossil fuels via consumption, you can see how this becomes a problem.

It became a problem on a busy SE Portland intersection during a Friday rush hour.  Sputter, sputter—dead in the water.  The person behind me almost went into my hind end only to nearly collide with someone else while avoiding my dead vehicle.  In my panic, I could not find the hazard lights right away.  (Peppy is old, but he’s a Toyota, meaning no previous dead car moments.)  I found the hazard lights, and stepped out so I could encourage people to make a lane change sooner than the back-end of my vehicle.  I called roadside assistance.  I was given an estimate of 60 to 90 minutes.

Then further panic ensues.  I discover that Peppy is locked—with my keys still in the ignition.  No, this was not a Jocelyn Top 100 moment and 60-90 minutes is not going to work.

Right on that street is an auto repair shop.  In about three seconds, I debate several items.  “I can’t bother them during work.”  “I can’t leave my vehicle—I’ll get a ticket.”  “They’ll say no.”  Except, I have no other choice.  If a police officer arrives, I will get a ticket for something.  Plus, with my license and registration all in the locked car, I am pretty guaranteed to be sputtering for a judge in the same way Peppy sputtered that day.  I decide to risk the one block of vehicle abandonment and ask for help.

Almost magically, the cross signal indicates “Walk” and I cross the street to the shop planning this calm and reasoned request for help.  I walk to the office and wait to talk to someone.  I concentrate on a calendar of old sports cars as eye candy of all types is calming.

A mechanic hangs up a telephone and is ready to talk to me.  I start off calmly but somehow the seriousness of this rather dangerous situation arises and all calm is gone.  I rattle off a panicked barrage of dead truck, blocking traffic, locked keys in during a panic, and yes, I know this is so incredibly stupid but I REALLY NEED HELP.  Please.  (I held back the 500 gallons of tears in my eyes, thankfully.)  There was no judgment, just a calm “No problem.”  He collected another mechanic who followed me out with a lock springing kit.

What I expected: we’d spring the lock and push Peppy into the nearby parking lot.  I would then wait for a gallon of gas from roadside assistance, but at least I am not blocking traffic and there’s coffee nearby.  However, the other gentleman was close behind with a gallon of gas.

Long story short, lock was sprung, Peppy was moved, and I drove six blocks to a nearby gas station.  At one point, I finally pulled over and let loose of the 500 gallons of tears, but it was relief at this time, not fear.

Now, this was a simple act of kindness for a First World girl with a First World problem.  It is small in the context of all things.  Yet, not as small as you think.

They could have said “No.”

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign, because the law and insurance tell me so.

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign, because the law and insurance tell me so.

The liability law in this country is unforgiving and “No” is the first level of protection.  “Insurance reasons” you often hear, although other more creative excuses arise too.  But, I didn’t get “No.”  I got two mechanics taking time from their work to help me out.  A third came out to check on me once he realized his work in progress wasn’t going to fall apart.

There was no charge just, “Have a good weekend, OK?”

Cynicism still has an edge.  Sure, this is about building business, getting a good name, etc.  But to me, the receiver of this kindness, this was priceless.  After recent experiences, there was not much faith in humanity left.  The financial impacts kept me further isolated and resentment kicked in more than faith.  While I wish it did not take a frightening situation to improve my mindset, it worked.  You can make your own conclusions be they cynical, hopeful, or restored.

I will end with something simple that works well in this capitalist economy.  If you are in the Portland area, maybe you need a mechanic close to your job downtown that is on the bus route.  Consider Expert Auto Repair.  Perhaps if you say you were referred by a friend who was saved from certain doom, they may even remember who I am.  Some have called me unforgettable, so who knows.  It’s not every day you meet a frantic woman who locked her keys in a dead car!

With that, I am hoping that this has a part in reminding you of the light in these dark times.

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October 12, 2013 · 9:20 am

Relics Emerge

The Castle never quite leaves me.  It takes a hiatus and then new information emerges.  Most of this is in the form of personal stories and I will likely compile them together at some time.  I still wait for pictures of when it was “alive.”  I do not know when that will happen.

Every once in a while, something surfaces that I did not expect.  A relic, an icon, an object that migrated into an attic box or the back of a junk drawer.  Or you actually join the right history groups and someone shares the right thing one day.

It is 1956 and you want a hot dining spot.  Turn to Rich Patterson’s post in Dead Memories Portland:

1958 Full Page Ad

 

Right side, four from the bottom, you have The Castle.

The Carnival Wheel I heard is still intact somewhere.  It was sold to a casino or something similar, so the rumor states.  As I did not know for certain of its use, I never mentioned it in the earlier piece.  It obviously existed in 1956.

Here is a closer view of The Castle ad in particular:

Specific ad

 

According to the ad, The Castle is located six miles south of Portland on Super Highway.  I have not seen “Super Highway” before when referring to US-99E/McLoughlin but more information is likely forthcoming.

My eyes, ears and email remain open.

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Rumors of my Death are Untrue

I actually promised myself when I started this blog that an entry like this would never be necessary.  For reasons that are actually quite fortunate, that promise has to be broken.

As you likely know, I write and research for income as well as my own curiosity.  That part of my life became larger very quickly after The Castle Series posted.  I have other projects for this blog, including about three unfinished entries.  The siren call of paying bills and feeding animals always has to come first.  Besides, they all seem to be missing something and I have not yet determined what is missing.  I call this my Blog Fog–writer’s block for blog writers.

That said, shorter recreational projects are in process during this time.  On my Facebook page, Jocelyn S. Mackie, Copywriter, I will be posting historical shorts.  These involve good media that do not justify a whole blog entry.  I want to keep the amateur historian busy and that seems to be the best way to do that at this time.  The one I have up now is about Guilds Lake, formerly located in industrial Portland, Oregon.

Even shorter “shorts” are on my Twitter feed.  These are normally uncredited photos with no story that I can find as of yet, but again, still interesting.

Keep talking, keep sending me stuff and take nothing personal if it takes 48 hours to answer you.  My writing is evolving and the freelancing has a bright future with options revealing themselves every day.  As I said, a Good Thing.

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A Forgotten Landmark: Inside The Castle

Matchbook Menu

Do restaurants even have matchbooks anymore? Or just those silly mints? © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

What do you perceive here: former jazz club or 1980’s time capsule?  One or the other, perhaps both?

Jazz clubs in the 1940’s were dens of music, entertainment, sin and crime .  Tom Johnson, vice lord of North Portland, sustained the Portland Jazz community through a series of enterprises both legitimate and criminal: real estate, music promotion, prostitution, gambling and drugs.  If all you wanted was music, dancing and booze, you learned to look the other way and leave before any trouble.

The clubs were helpful in their decor.  Maintaining a dark exterior hid the illegitimate while allowing full immersion with the music for those not within the criminal element.  Profane and sacred, illegal and legitimate—they coexisted in the hazy atmosphere by unwritten rules governed by intuition.  God help you if the rules were broken and it all decided to clash.

The 1980’s was a decade of dark wood in bars and light wood in homes.  It was a decade of brass, both real and fake, with the fake normally in the white-carpet homes of up-and-coming yuppies.  In the 1980’s, no iPad or Smart Phone spoke to your importance.  Clothes, hair and the company you keep—that could be resume enough.  You did not Google people or find their social media profiles; it was appearance that counted.  The right suit, the right brand of cigarette, the Rolex watch—there was legitimacy there.  First impressions were king.

The demolition revealed compatibility between these styles.  The few windows and muted lighting transitioned nicely into the dark wood and brass.  The lounge atmosphere that once hosted Sammy Davis Jr. was decidedly far from medieval despite the attempt at the Age of Chivalry on the outside.  It kept the lounge look into the decade of big hair and power lunches, providing a backdrop for conversation without distraction.  Worn, generic, a slight air of pretension and yet, small and cozy.  Its exterior was likely more accident than design.  Simply put, it looked cool.  The Castle existed for its clientele.  It was little beyond what they brought to it.

On that standard, it was dead in 1990, not in 2006 when the demolition crew hauled off the stone, auctioned off the fixtures and cleared the land for large houses on small lots.  It was dead the night the last customer went home, the till was balanced and the employees locked the door behind them knowing the walls would never hear or talk again.

Until now.

Stone Harvest

In the land of timber, construction stone is hard to come by.  No doubt this was the first of salvage to find a new use. © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

The hand-cut stone was the first to go.  While much of it was covered with graffiti, this was still fine stone and once it was removed, it remained piled like this until a truck with different markings hauled it away.  (I presumed it was a buyer.)  As it was removed, the doors were also removed and that allowed me to go in. 

There were a few others there too wishing to loot the fixtures.  A few well-placed dirty looks and I had the place to myself for a merciful amount of time.

Some walls remained with the stone but most of the walls revealed the timber underpinnings.  The walls and opened and light entered along with me and my camera.

Naked

Timber, insulation and looters, oh my! © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

Missed a wall!

Missed a wall! © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

Not too unlike the majority population in and around Portland, Oregon, I am obsessed with beer.  It was not surprising that as I entered the building and my eyes (and camera settings) adjusted to the dark, I gravitated to the bar.

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What’s on tap? Anything on nitro? Perhaps a Scotch chaser too–today just SUCKED. © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

With some repairs, it looked as though it could still be useful.  If not for that trim falling off, I could easily imagine myself leaning against it and asking what was on tap. I felt deprived of this experience.  Many a walk from my bus stop, past The Castle as a derelict, only to soon arrive home, often had me wishing I could go in for a beer and a reminder that not all humanity was demanding and annoying.

There were still some glasses and a cracked mirror behind.  But alas, nothing to drink.  (It was before noon anyway.)  There were still plenty of places to sit and once you wiped off the dust, the stools would likely still hold you.

Bar Stools

Not too shabby of a place to sit after a hard day. Bring your own beer. © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

Foot prints

I would not stand on these. Someone else felt differently. © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

Ever since my first visit, I wondered about the fireplace.  It seemed real enough, even used enough and had enough soot, dirt or other organic material to grow a tree, as you saw from the Chimney Tree photos.  Besides, in my fantasy about visiting the venue, I also assumed there was a table or at least some chairs in front of the fireplace.  If you ever walked home from a bus stop on a dark November night in Portland where it is already pitch black and raining with bone-chilling wind by 4:00 PM, you understand what a welcome experience that would be.

Fireplace

No sign of the Chimney Tree; it obviously took root higher up. © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

Brick Floor

Brick floor in front of fireplace. © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

I visited the bar and it was time for something to eat.  The kitchen was still being broken down and much of it remained.  When Jim Roake fought to keep the restaurant use, he also looked into alternative uses, including the possibility of making the building into a group home.  The kitchen was the primary reason for this consideration.

Prep Station

One of the prep stations next to more stainless steel surfaces. Condition was not half bad although I doubt these saw the restaurant industry again. © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

While doing my initial archive research, I discovered Evelyn Verl Stewart.  She was born on June 1, 1914 and died on July 31, 2003.  According to her obituary, she  worked as a chef at The Castle for 34 years.  I have come to think of these kitchen photos as Evelyn’s Domain.

Good Light in the Kitchen

The kitchen in better light and showing a good escape hatch for smoke breaks or cooling-off periods. © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

There was also a cook named Doreen Helen Venner who died on January 15, 2005.  I do not know how long she worked at The Castle or if she had any authority in Evelyn’s Domain, but this would be her workplace home as well.

However it worked among the staff, former patrons let me know that you never left The Castle hungry.

Stainless Steel

Steak, medium rare, Table 3! © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

The rest of my tour revealed debris waiting for dumpsters and fixtures sporting auction tags.  Even after 16 years of non-use, it was a reminder that some seemingly outdated artifacts remain useful.  Soda fountains have not changed much and a trip to a liquidation market reveals that non-computerized cash registers remain in demand.  This still had the possibility of being useful capital.

Pepsi, light ice

The Castle was a Pepsi place, I see, although we find Coke cups. Notice the pink auction tag. The basketball? Most likely stoned teenagers who once trespassed on a dare. © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

Cash Register

The defunct cash register with no auction tag giving it scrap metal value. I took a till closing print out before I left, but I can not find it now. © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

What a mess!

Massive mess of loose bits, possible useful items and who knows what. The proverbial junk drawer of the demolition. © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

Lone Toilet

I never found the bathroom. That was likely a good thing. © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

At this point, I saw what I wanted to see.  I took the pictures I wanted and as more onlookers arrived, I felt more annoyed and with my quiet mind space completely disrupted, it was time to go.  It was not a warm day.  But I did what I was there to do.  Two days later, and there was nothing left but empty land.  

Please Wait to Be Seated

Hostess counter. Right this way, please. © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

The good thing about The Castle was it was never a “Good Bye” but a “See you later” even if I did not realize it at the time.  As I started home, I could not help but notice the Chimney Tree and how it grew and changed color, unconcerned about its imminent death.

Chimney Tree with Leaves

I am glad I caught her. © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

Like The Castle, these pictures became forgotten too in the havoc known as Real Life.  I assumed them lost for good when my computer at the time suffered a catastrophic hard drive crash.  I moved on feeling sad that my intentions were unmet.  But The Castle was not content to be forgotten.

On June 15, 2013, I woke up early that Saturday morning feeling the need to look through old electronic files.  I kept a collection of CDs in the back of a drawer reserved for the research I maintained on seemingly one million amateur history projects.  Since 2006, I moved to three different apartments, including a brief stint in Molalla, Oregon, taking this soft case of CDs with me.  I put it wherever it fit, a situation no different when I occupied this apartment in May 2012.  I likely wondered why I kept them.  It never occurred to me to look at the CDs until June 15, 2013.

I placed the first CD into the drive and clicked the first folder.  It contained photos–these photos.  They were not lost after all!

I will never know why I was lead that way on that particular day .  I am satisfied knowing simply these are now shared.  In addition to possibly bringing more information to the surface, and more stories to tell, there is also the reminder that “lost” and “forgotten” are often not permanent conditions.

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A Forgotten Landmark: The Castle from the Outside

This will be a continuing project.  Despite rather extensive searches, I still seek photographs of The Castle while it was in operation.  While many photographs, including mine now, depict its derelict outside, I appear only to be unique in that I also have photos of the derelict inside.  I will share those too and no, I will not wait two weeks to do it as I unintentionally managed with the time between the Introduction and the History.

It was a cold March day.  If I believe the time stamp on these shots, it was March 3, 2006.  I was only accompanied by my assistant at the time, a Kodak C330 Zoom Digital Camera.  This was considered fairly high-tech among consumer digital cameras at the time, but feel free to Google its specifications if you desire entertainment.  (My current assistant is a FujiFilm FinePix S2550HD.  Not fancy but it suits me.)

First Digital Camera

First Digital Camera (Photo credit: Brett Jordan)

Feeling driven to photograph the building that particular day, I took my walk and started with the Chimney Tree.

The tree was not old.  Apparently, a seed lodged itself into the upper chimney some years back and grew into the Chimney Tree.  We know now that the restaurant interior was maintained for a few years after closure and, as you will see, most of the fixtures remained as well.

I considered the tree a timeline of the neglect.  You could see the ugly on the outside, true, but this tree acted as the actual measurement of time.  Ugly can happen overnight but this reminded you that the neglect started long before.  Evolved Ugly, if you will.

The Chimney Tree. © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

The Chimney Tree. © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

In a development completely Not Unique to abandoned structures, the Castle suffered from its own share of graffiti.  Parents drag their suburban urban-wanna-be progeny to this quiet corner and soon they start to regress into the perceived “cool” of their rap music heroes.  Not even semi-rural Clackamas County is immune.

Front View

Outside facing view. This is what greeted the weary traveler, jazz musician or gambler looking for a score–sans graffiti and rot, of course. © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

Side

To the side, into the parking lot. © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

000_0109

Nothing screams class like “bitch tits.” This was near a built-on structure, that I suspect was used for storage. © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

There is always the mysteries as well.  What is it?  What was its purpose?  I once heard a wild story about jousting at The Castle but as one familiar with jousting, I promise you: there was not even close to enough space.

000_0111

A million stories told on this part of the structure: beer garden, outdoor music venue, back porch, and, my favorite and least plausible, jousting. I am waiting to hear that it was just more parking.
© 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

000_0101

The “jousting arena” from the other side. Wishful thinking says: Beer Garden! © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

000_0105

Presumed storage area near our earlier friend, “Bitch Tits.” © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

000_0102

Broken ankle and busted nose courtesy of brambles. Actually, I concluded this project without injury. It never hurts to remind people that abandoned places are normally very dangerous and if your morbid curiosity leads you to exploration, be careful. © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

Yet, among the obvious trash heap attributes, it still winked at you like an aging supermodel: “I used to be hot, you know.  Perhaps I still am. “

000_0108

1940′s roadhouses were often dark places in order to prevent distraction from the music or attention to certain elements. This was one of the few windows. © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

Stairs

Appealing stairs to a small second story. Fascinating as old Oregonian articles often mentioned an illegal gambling operation on a “second floor”. © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

000_0115

It appears I was not the first on the roof. © 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

I took advantage of the solitude as the cold March breeze seemed to guide me from one side of the building to the other.  There was an energy that transcended the graffiti and while some may find me nuts, I tell the truth when I tell you music is immortal.  It lives in the walls and it lives in the land.  It plays on records, is digitized on CDs or into MP3s and can play on your iPhone or in your living room, but it lives, and remains, where musicians made it real.  It was still there that day, even if I did not hear it.  All I knew was that something was there, but not knowing the history, it remained a general feeling and nothing more.  Day to day, I forget to do the laundry or pound my brain for what item is needed on my shopping list, but I still remember the energy of this place on that day.

That is why I know it does not deserve to remain forgotten.  Portland Jazz was no small development and additional stories, rumors, theories, and its energy, remain.  Perhaps more pictures of happier days.  I am hoping to open those doors.

But for now, prepare for the next installment on 1980′s artifacts, dark wood bars and fireplaces counteracting the often dark Oregon days.

000_0110

Please go in this direction. Patrons crashing into one another in the parking lot is bad for business.
© 2013 Jocelyn S. Mackie

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