Please join us on June 18th, at 7:30pm for our 2nd Year Anniversary Party at The Jack London Bar! Oh, and we’ll be talking about The Great Flood of 1894 – when the Willamette flooded to an all time height – and crazy pictures such as the one above were shot all over downtown! (Yes! That’s the Skidmore fountain! Instead of being filled with Henry’s beer – it’s filled with the Willamette’s shit water! Ewwwwwwww!!!!)
It was two years ago that Terry, who runs the show at The JLB, approached The Resident Historian and said, “I Googled Danford Balch and your podcast came up. So, do you want to come down to my new/ old timey bar and talk about The Hanging Danford Balch?” (Cause Terry is IRL all geeked out on Danford Balch) And The Resident Historian responded with a resounding “Fuck Yeah!!” This seems like something we should celebrate, yeah?
We’ll post more here to let you know all about the festivities, but basically,
1) There WILL be cake, and
2) It will all be free!!!
3) Pixel Part is going to be selling these RAD Oregon Trail stickers!! AND we’ll be giving some away as prizes!! [see below]
On August 8th, 2013 at 6:15pm, we are going to meet in The Jack London Bar, and begin our most Historic of Portland’s Strip Club tours. The Cascadia Cruser, now equipped with some stripper poles (ladies – feel free to wear your lucite stilettos) will meet us at the Jack London, and then transport us to our various, undisclosed locales about town. We are going to enjoy some malted beverages, and were are going to witness women taking their clothes off. And we will give them money. And maybe most important of all, we are going to talk about why this transaction (money for less clothes) is so historically important, and why it is so uniquely Oregon, and why it is essential to our freedom. Our last stop will be in downtown Portland, so I very much encourage everyone to take the Tri-Met or Radio Cab to and from the tour.
What is the cost? $35. That covers the cost of the bus, the Kick Ass Historical presentations, and some pretzel sticks. Oh yes, and some beverage on the bus as well. You will be responsible for purchasing your own beverages at the bars we stop at.
If that sounds like your idea of a fun and informative way to spend a Thursday night, click on the “Buy Now” button right down yonder….
So on November 30th, Kick Ass Oregon History will be hosting the 2nd Annual DB Cooper Symposium, along with Skyjack author Geoffrey Gray at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma, in conjunction with their exhibit on DB Cooper. I will be the master of ceremonies, introducing various speakers and so on, but in addition, I plan to give a presentation as well.
At the First symposium that Gray hosted at the Portland Hilton, I presented a talk entitled “Bourbon, Bennies and 20s -Rock and Roll and DB Cooper.” Part of my thesis was based around the idea that if we knew how DB Cooper got to the Portland airport that fateful November morning, that we could begin to unravel this mystery. Did he take a cab? A bus? Was he dropped off by an accomplice (or – this is Portland Fucking Oregon – maybe he rode a bike…)? And to get a little closer to the gist of my report – what was he listening to on the radio? Country? The Theme From Shaft? Sinatra? For if we knew this little, tiny bit of information, we might be able to dig just a little deeper (indeed, maybe even deeper than before) as to who Dan Cooper was.
One of the true concrete pieces of information we do have – in a case almost completely devoid of such normalities such as “evidence” – is his brand of cigarettes. DB Cooper smoked Raleighs. As you can see on the FBI Bulletin from the crime, the suspect known as DB Cooper was a “heavy smoker of Raleigh filter tip cigarettes.”
As part of my upcoming presentation, I decided to examine this specific brand of cigarette; the history of, the demographic of the smoker, the intended niche it was marketed to – everything that would be possible to examine from Raleigh cigarettes up until Thanksgiving of 1971. And of course, as a historian who is known to bring you The Straight Shit, I would be remiss if I didn’t attempt to gather as much information as possible from the horse’s mouth – the company who manufactured Raleigh cigarettes.
So I contacted the company. As no historian was listed on their company directory, I emailed the media contacts (which is a fairly standard process for such a request).
My query was fairly straightforward. I am a historian, researched their perhaps most famous customer ever, and I was giving this presentation, and so on, and so on, and so on. I let them know about my presentation in Tacoma, and the basic thesis of said report. I asked them if they could provide me with any information from old marketing reports into the demographic of Raleigh cigarettes (by the way – Marla Cooper has told me that this was the brand that Uncle LD smoked).
The Tobacco executive, let’s just call him Dick, emailed me back about two and a half weeks later. Yup. He stated that he did not have the resources to address my question. Really? No sales records existed, even incredibly rudimentary figures, for a brand of smokes that you sold since 1928? You mean to tell me that a company founded in 1875 has no way to determine what their sales were in 1971? I find that very hard to believe.
I asked if there was any corporate history of the brand – Dick stated in his reply that there was not. I had also asked if there were any advertising materials (like those pictured in this post) that he might be able to forward to me – again, Dick stated that this tobacco company did not have such pieces. And then he ended his message with a copy/paste of some legal bullshit about how this company was unable to assist me in anyway what so ever.
Hey Dick. Fuck. You!
This is a multibillion dollar company that is killing our country. Hooking children on evil cigarettes. Weighing down our health care system and other social services. Likely collecting Department of Agriculture subsidies for their tobacco fields in North Carolina. Say what you want about cigarettes, freedom of choice, and all the other libertarian mantras, but cigarette companies are fucking evil. This is an accepted truism, right?
And to top it off, they fucking HATE Oregon History!
What I was asking for was pretty simple – just forward me a little information about some budget cigarette you made way back in the day so I can get a little deeper into one of Oregon’s most famous stories. And make your diabolical company look a little less fucking evil in the process. Give a little back to the community you are killing. Show a little kindness behind your sinister Snidely Whiplash mustache. Shit! This is a project you could put a lowly, no wage earning intern on. Just scan some shit and hit “Reply.” But no. Instead I get Fuck you Doug, fuck you DB Copper enthusiasts, and fuck you Oregon History!
But have no fear, Dear Ass Kicker! No $200Gs a year earning Asshole Tobacco Executive that I have named Dick will keep your Resident Historian from getting to the bottom of this caper! Oregon History WILL continue. Just without the help of some mass murdering corporation that has no love for the Oregon History.
Raleighs look to me to be a 70′s straight up, fuckin’ Manly Man Dude smoke. Outdoorsy, adventurous – the kinda of ciggy a guy who jumps out of airplanes in raging winter storms over the Cascades with $200,000 strapped to his chest would smoke? Maybe dude, maybe…
Today we got a chance to chat about Oregon’s Favorite Son, Gov. Tom McCall! Sarah Mirk of Bitch Magazine fame had a chance to chat about her Tom McCall & The Vortex comic from Know Your City, and Resident Historian Doug Kenck-Crispin dropped The Straight Shit on The Gov, and Tours!
We have been doing a tour that is sponsored by our friends at Know Your City called “Seedy, Seemy, Sinful Portland.” I like to call it “All of Portland’s Naughty Bits!,” and I think you get the idea.
Shanghaing, card rooms and other gambling, whores that have been dead for over a hundred years and strip clubs!! It’s a walking tour, and we are going to have a shit-ton of fun, and most likely be able to pick up an adult beverage on the way, or at least at the end of the tour! I hope you will consider joining me on this tour! (NOTE: If you came on our Double Decker Portland Bar and Brothel Tour, some of the information will be a review.)
We do Bus Tours too! This is a video from a tour we did in January, and we called it the HistoricTreasure & Loot Tour, and of course we spoke all about Golden Beavers. We handed out REAL LIVE Portland Treasure Maps, and had a Drunken Scavenger Hunt! Oh – and Fan Tan too! Double Decker PDX, Double Mountain Brewery and Eastside Distilling were all co-sponsors – and how happy we are to have those fine folks on our team!!! If you missed it – you can check out the video right here!
ANNNDDD… In August, we are offering a Kick Ass Flash Mob Free Tour! Here’s how it works. One day in August, we’re gonna say – “Hey There Ass Kicker! Meet us at XYZ location (in the Portland Metro area) TOMORROW at such and such a time, for a FREE guided tour from the Resident Historian, Doug Kenck-Crispin!” Cause who’s yer daddy? So to get all the details, follow us on the Facebook Machine, the Twitter device, or sign up on our email list [oregonhistorian[at]gmail[dot]com]. This is the FREE Tour of the summer that you will NOT want to miss!
So here and there in our humble little broadcasts, we have identified some quite memorable characters or lines that we have come across in the Beaver State’s History. We thought it might be a good idea to post these musings in a centrally located place, to allow others to ponder their significance, or even add to this by no means comprehensive list.
We will be adding to this posting, and encourage you, Dear Ass Kicker, to submit your own favorite historical Oregon quotes. Feel free to email us at oregonhistorian[at]gmail.com, or you could even just post a reply to this request in the form below. We are very much down with this becoming an organic, user created list – just let us know WHERE you found the quote, cause we need to verify that shit. We are REAL historians, after all…
So we don’t have TEN yet, but here are a few that are bound to be on the final list…
“By God! Them stiffs has been drinking undertaker’s dope!” – Bunco Kelly, October 1893, after finding 24 dead and dying men under the Snug Harbor Saloon.
“Will the guy who has my bike please bring it back so I can get home?” – Bill Walton, to hundreds of thousands of Blazers fans at the 1977 NBA Championship Parade, after his bike was stolen.
“I do not allow such work here.” – The Stark Street Ferryman to Danford Balch, immediately after Balch shot his son-in-law, the horrifically named Mortimer Stump, on the said ferry in November of 1858.
“These are desperate, hard times, Charlie. I don’t know how we are going to get along, getting poorer all the time. I think if I can’t get ahead some other way pretty soon I’ll go out to the cemetery and dig up Ladd’s bones.” Dan Magone to Charles Montgomery, Feburary 1897, on the Madison Street Bridge, hatching the plan to steal William S. Ladd’s corpse. Creeeeepy…
So now it’s your turn, Dear Ass Kicker! Let us know what YOU think should be put on the list!
Bunco Kelly – Stewart Holbrook, “Wildmen, Wobblies & Whistle Punks,” (OSU Press, Corvallis, 1992),pg. 187.
The following review was penned by our Kick Ass Embedded Reprter (for the evening, at least),William Reagan.
What a long, strange trip its….oh whatever
At risk of stating the obvious, Portland loves it some weed. I don’t know if it’s the city’s unspoken look-the-other-way attitude toward public consumption, the favorable Northwest growing conditions, the intense horticultural focus that has led to strains that are strong enough to topple a cow, or if it’s simply the elongated stretches of gray skies that drive people to look for sunshine in a bag, but whatever the cause, that shit’s everywhere, man. It’s not even noteworthy to walk past someone openly puffing on a downtown street or stinking up the MAX with the dank smell of a fresh harvest. When I go to a house party and there isn’t a special gathering of like-minded souls on the back porch I momentarily wonder if I’m even in Portland anymore – though I’m usually brought back to reality by someone kindly whispering, “We’re gonna step upstairs for a few minutes if you care to join us.” Ahhh, home sweet home.
If you don’t smoke weed, the aforementioned Portland present-tense may make the city seem like a prime candidate as the shooting location for the next Reefer Madness, but as the kind folks at Kick-Ass Oregon Historypointed out on their 4-20 Weed Tour, a strong whiff of bud wafts all through the annals of Portland’s history. Modern practitioners may hold the bong today, but it was passed to them through a smoking circle that goes back nearly a century – and based on the enthusiasm of the wonderful folks I met on this bus tour, there’s no indication that the bowl is cashed.
After meeting for libations at The Jack London Bar (a secret gem in downtown Portland), we boarded “Sasquatch”, the amazing prison-bus-turned-party-van supplied by CascadiaCruiser.com. Imagine the Partridge Family bus had it been outfitted by the interior designers from The Doug Fir bar. It was fitting ride for this particular magical history tour. Considering the tongue-in-cheek stoner soundtrack (Foghat, Bob Marley, Creedence, Sly & The Family Stone, etc. ) blasting along with the LED laser light show flashing inside the bus, passersby might thought we were driving around in the mobile version of some 1976 teenager’s bedroom.
The tour stopped at many notable counter-culture locations around Portland, with host Doug Kenck-Crispin’s enthusiastic commentary adding insight and humor to each venue: The big drug bust in 1931 involving a disgruntled neighbor and a large urban crop of what turned out to something other than weed; the site of Timothy Leary’s first visit to Portland and the ripple effect his “tune-in, turn-on, and drop-out” advice had on the city; beers at the Barley Mill Pub, the first location of the local McMenamin’s empire and an ongoing tribute to Haight-Ashbury culture; a bit of education at Third Eye Shoppe on Hawthorne where the bus riders received a thoroughly scientific explanation of vaporizer technology. (Check out the Kick Ass Oregon History podcast for more information about the stops listed here.) The only challenge for the tour was figuring out how to keep everyone focused on the history – two by two, a few folks apparently got distracted by shiny objects and parted ways with the caravan.
Of course, life is about the journey, not just the destinations, so there was ample time rolling around Portland with the music cranked and the windows cracked. Riders drank beers, shared stories, stared at the bright lights of the city and generally agreed that this was a splendid way to see the town we call home. Led Zeppelin and Stevie Wonder kept us all company as we drove across town to Plew’s Brews and their annual 4-20 brewfest. (Frankly, the mood and decor of this fun and funky bar makes me think their reverence for 4-20 extends well beyond one day a year.) If I understood correctly, the 4-20 brewfest was a chance for aficionados of home brewing and cannabis cultivation to come together and discuss where the Venn diagram of their lives overlap, but by this part of the tour, I had an inexplicably shorter attention span and Plew’s ice-cold pint of Tangerine Wheat absorbed all of my attention. Have you ever noticed the bubbles in wheat beers? They seem at once random and systematic. Plus…..wait, what was I talking about?
This was my first Kick Ass Oregon History bus tour, and it’s certainly not the last. I’m already in love with Portland (for much more than the reasons listed above) but getting a history-with-a-pulse tour gave me newfound appreciation for the city. Getting that tour on a kick-ass bus while drinking a beer and watching green LED polka-dots dance all over the smiling faces of strangers as Toots & The Maytals croon Pressure Drop? Far out, man. Far out.
Please join Resident Historian Doug Kenck-Crispin at The Jack London Bar on Tuesday April 16th, 2013 at 7:30pm as he discusses – “Enemy Attack!!! Oregon and Japan in World War 2.”
Between Japanese Balloon Bombs, Giant Submarines and a Bomb Dropping Float Plane, Oregon became “the only state to have had [specific bad shit] happen in World War 2″ in several different categories.
AND… as a special treat for the evening, our friend Bill Lascher is going to talk about a project he has been working on. Bill has been writing a book about WW2 journalist Melville Jacoby, who had some truly unique experiences on the other side of the Pacific, behind Japanese lines. It will be a rare treat to hear Bill talk about Jacoby, and we are quite excited that he will be joining us!
You too should come join us at The Jack London Bar – and as always, the event is FREE!!
So I have this problem. An impossible problem of legendary proportions. I want to drink in bars that have been closed for 100 years or so…
And when I say drink, I mean fuckin’ drink! Like shitty drunk – hang over for days kinda drinking. Bourbon, Scotch, Beer kinda drunk. I just want to get up in these pieces and party like it was 1999 (or 1899 maybe?). I want to drink like 20 of the 5 cent beers – talk shit to Jumbo the bouncer – place wagers on the Japanese American pugilist twins (more on all of this below). For if it were possible to drink in one of these long-closed barrooms, I would want it to be a memory that lasted a life time – sitting on my death bed, grand children and great grand children at my feet – telling them the tales of the Kenck-Crispin Family Yore – “And that’s the story of Your Bastard Uncle that you never met. Now about the night I got black-out drunk at the Bonanza Bar…”
I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one that would enjoy getting intoxicated at these extinct drinkeries. My friends-of-the-historical-variety, Andy Lindberg, Joe Streckert, and Finn John and I will often get together and chat about collaborations, books, or even whores that have been dead for decades. And it seems like when we do, we tend to get together in bars that have been open for decades and tend to be in buildings that look like they would immediately topple in the teeniest of earthquakes. The Death Traps called Eastbank Saloon, The White Eagle, and Dan & Louis Oyster Bar all fill this bill for at least a little while. Even the adopted home of Kick Ass Oregon History, The Jack London Bar, while far from an “established” drinking establishment, seems to have this vibe to some degree. But you’re still drinking PBR, or a McBeer, and eating those freezer to frier cheese dicks. It has the aura, but it is certainly not THE experience I am craving.
Now I AM going to podcast about these places – so don’t think that this is it – but here are three historic bars that I REALLY want to drink at:
Erickson’s(pictured) is a Portland legend. Established in the 1880s by August Erickson, the establishment occupied the entire block of west Burnside between 2nd and 3rd, and was considered “unrivaled in the western world.” The 684 foot bar was reported to be the longest in the world, and the 50 bartenders that staffed the place wore fancy vests with heavy gold chains. A 300 pound bouncer named Jumbo kept the place in line. Erickson’s offered 5 cent beers and a free “dainty lunch” that was laid out with sausages, roasts, pickled herring and Scandinavian cheeses. The home made mustard was said to be quite tasty.
Erickson’s featured a trough that ran along the bar – a urinal trough. That way loggers and sailors and miners drinking at the bar didn’t have to take a break from their drinking and dainty lunch repasting – they could just whip it out and piss right at the bar. A wonderful old-timey accoutrement that really is a harbinger of “days gone by…”
Kunkel & Hoch’s Place – This spot was also in Portland at Fourth and Washington. It had been damaged pretty heavily in The Great Flood of 1894, and undertook some serious renovations after the event. In something akin to a Theme-Park-with-Copious-Amounts-of-Booze-Move, the bar seemed to take on the flood as a meme, and had a wall sized mural painted from a photo taken of the bar during the deluge’s high water point. The saloon’s interior finish was claimed to have been “unexcelled in the city,” and a 38 foot black walnut bar graced the establishment. There was a yarn spun that a two-foot fish was caught inside the bar during the flood, so a souvenir of a small fish, also caught during high water, was placed in alcohol and displayed at the bar.
Big Bonanza – This Pendleton bar was opened by famous shanighaier Jim Turk and his partner Bill Daly in 1876 on East Court street. A seriously rough and tumble sheepherder bar, there was a ring in the middle of the bar, where Turk and Daly would fight for the drunken patrons. Occasionally Daly would stage fights with his eight year old Japanese American twin sons – apparently quite a draw for the, rugged dusty establishment. I have a weird suspicion I would get my ass kicked at this place, so I might just make like I was at a GG Allin show at The Satyricon – have my back against the wall, real close to the door, nursing my beverage.
So what is a historian looking to nurse some aged alcoholic tendencies to do? The short following list might help curb some of these celebrated drunken desires, at least temporarily…
Jake’s Famous Crawfish – Ok – so the food is way over priced (but the etouffee is pretty fucking good!), and it just feels a little starchy in the spot – but it has a fucking urinal trough at the bar (pictured at the top of this post)! When’s the last time you saw a fucking urinal trough at a bar? Enough said, right?
Mary’s Club Yeah, it’s from mid-last century, so not that crazy old – but it seems like it hasn’t changed a goddamn day since Roy Keller bought the place. And the black light Tom of Finland merchant marine murals on the walls? Can’t be beat. Oh yeah, and there are naked women here. On poles.
And feel free to add any more Current “Olden Days” Bars recommendations that we shouldn’t have overlooked in the Comments below!
So PLEASE – get out there and get a beer, or a neat rye. Maybe three. Experience these historic watering holes before it’s too late! Create your OWN Old Man/ Old Lady stories that will follow the Your Bastard Uncle revelation. Do enjoy these places before they face the fate like Estacada’s The Safari Club just did. Cause I mean, you Don’t Know What You Got (Til It’s Gone), right? For real though…
But even when you DO know, sometimes it’s still too late…