And I’m gonna tell you Ass Kickers all about it…
First, on June 1st, we will roll out our first of two “BigFoots in Oregon” podcasts, where we explore the history of the sightings of this elusive beast in The Beaver State. The second episode appears through the mists of the Cascades on June 15th, where you, Dear Ass-Kicker, will get a chance to come along into the wilds of Oregon with the orhistory.com Investigative Team Sasquatch. You will join us (in an auditory fashion) as we head to the woods, and deploy proven methods to attract this elusive primate. This episode is not to be missed.
June 19th finds us at The Jack London Bar, at 7:30pm, where we will talk about many of the peculiarities of this unusual case. We will be joined by several biologists who have looked into these incidents as well, and can provide us with a zoological perspective. Oh, and we’ll have cake! June ALSO happens to be the 1st Anniversary of Kick Ass Oregon History at The Jack London Bar. [Anniversary might be too legitimate of a term. What do you call a first year milestone with your dirty little secret?] We definitely need to mark the passing of one year since the Telling of the Tale of The Hanging Danford Balch, our first show at The JLB. [I also want to point out that The Jack London Bar sponsored our two Bigfoot podcasts. We are SO thankful! In addition, Maryhill Winery gave us a bunch of wine for the actual search.]
Cause that’s what we do at Kick Ass Oregon History – we tell tales. Tales that are true, which makes it even better. “Stranger Than Fiction” is the term that gets tossed around quite a bit, and it is indeed apropos. Historians, or maybe I should say GOOD Historians, are able to retell these real events, and hopefully run them through the tools assembled at a novelist’s workbench to make them… well,…, more Kick-Ass! This is what we do. This is our job (well, our non-paying, not-day, but FUN job). And we hope that you agree that we do it pretty well.
“So Sasquatch?” you rightfully ask, respectfully skeptical Ass Kicker. “Do we even know if Bigfoot is real, for realz?” And that is a great question to ask. In fact, we THANK YOU for asking such a question. And the answer to that question is, to quote Brandt, “well Dude, we just don’t know…”
If we dig deeper behind the methodology of the question, we might wonder that if something is not real, let’s say a One Eyed, One Horned, Flying Purple People Eater, then can it really be called “History?” And I, the Resident Historian of this learned site, counter with a resounding… “Maybe…”
We don’t know if there are Bigfoots. We do know that Native Americans in the area have disparate oral traditions of things that might be considered Bigfoot-esque. We also know there have been some crazy big prints found, some difficult to identify scat and hair, and almost innumerable sightings reported. But we don’t have a (thank God) Sasquatch in a cage, a body in the woods, or even a portion of the aforementioned to really examine and prove existence definitively. So in a sense, I feel it is a fair statement to proclaim that we don’t have a real history of this beast to present.
But there is NO disputing that there is a phenomenon that is called “Bigfoot.” Thousands of sightings have taken place of this gentle giant of the woods, and he (or the lactating “shes”) have left their imprint on the legacy of Oregon’s History.
It’s like DB Cooper, or UFOs in McMinnville – there is something very Oregon about Bigfoot. He (and the lactating lasses with their pendulous teats) is a cultural icon of the ruggedness, the wildness, indeed the native-ness of our beautiful state. Sasquatch is very Cascadian (in the “Cascadia” political sense) and unique to our area. Just like DBC as an icon of individuality in our rough and unrefined state, Bigfoot is also an individual, but one that is a marker of the health of our forests. As I explain on the podcast, if we HAVE Bigfoots, then everything is stable in our natural world. He is a sigil of the health of the forests. He is the forest messiah. If Bigfoot dies… we’ll I’m drawn to another favorite film of mine when one Dennis Hopper says emphatically, “I mean, what are they going to say, man, when he’s gone, huh? Because he dies, when it dies, man, when it dies, he dies. What are they going to say about him? What, are they going to say?” Imaginary or not, fantasy or reality, hoaxer or hoaxee, in my book, for the sake of Oregon’s natural treasures, Bigfoot MUST be…
I fondly recall the mid/late 1970’s Bigfoot. Living at the time in Spokane, Washington, Big foot was all the rage to us young boys, and it was almost all we talked about. My grandfathers, both grizzled outdoorsmen, would use it as an excuse to hike a little further into the North Idaho woods “I think KREM News reported a Bigfoot up there last week – let’s see if we can go find it.” We ate the shit up, both in the woods and in town, and seemed to be throwing every dollar we could on crappy Bigfoot themed magazines and pulpy “In Search Of” knock off paperbacks. Even the Six Million Dollar Man helped us along that path, with a little (lot of?) help from Andre the Giant.
Bigfoot is a memory of my youth, a happy place I would escape to from the reality of growing up in the impoverished Inland Empire. And I like to think I carried some of that exuberance into our little broadcasts. Please listen. It’s all about Oregon and these muthafuckin’ Bigfoots!
AND… You Ass Kickers haven’t heard yet what orhistory.com’s Investigative Team Sasquatch found in the wilds of Oregon…