13 June 2014

Indivisible

The magnificent  Washington State Legislature Building - seen from our hotel room. The interior of this building is awesome - so much marble and so much skilled craftsmanship. It speaks of this young state's self-belief and of the wealth it achieved through logging, mining and fishing. 
"The Kiss" by Richard Beyer (1990) by the waterfront in Olympia
Asthma relieving cigarettes in Aberdeen Museum
Fish assholes for sale in Kaloma, Washington
We are now in Portland, Oregon. Arriving in Portland's University District was not easy given the plethora of major roads that descend on the city like knotted spaghetti.  I left my camera in the hotel room as we walked out earlier this evening and unsurprisingly I saw many scenes I might have snapped - including modern day tramps or hobos. There are more here than we spotted in Vancouver. They hide in doorways or doze on benches, planning for the night ahead and wondering how they'll get through tomorrow. Like I suggested before, I suppose that each of these shadowy figures has a different story to tell. You wonder how they will ever get back on the conveyor belt of "normality" - job, rent to pay, a clean bed to sleep in. Once you get off the conveyor belt it must be exceedingly difficult to climb back on. Shirley and I ate delicious bowls of Mexican gumbo and I gave a dollar to a thin black man with thin black shoes and a faraway look in his eyes..."one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.".

10 comments:

  1. It's just like that, isn't it - the moment you are without a camera, all sorts of wonderful and curious scenes appear that make you think "I could have posted this on my blog"...
    Throughout my holiday, I was getting on everybody's (especially my sister's) nerves with my taking snaps all the time. It is my way of trying to hold on to what was a great time for as long as possible.

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    1. When I do go for a country walk with you there will not be much walking as we will both be stopping to click our cameras. I cause very similar irritation. For me I guess I am always trying to capture the essence of a place and sometimes to make art out of a piece of reality.

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  2. "logging, mining and fishing" might have brought great wealth to Washington State just as industry did for parts of Britain from the second half to the 1700s until the end of the Victorian era but it left a great many people behind on the way.

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    1. Perhaps the underclass I have seen in Portland and Vancouver was always there and besides the people who made the wealth - the workers - probably never got their fair share of it.

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  3. It perhaps may interest you, or perhaps not, to know that Portland has for the last decade been a magnet for "Faux Hobos" and young people--no so young anymore---who saw "dropping out" as a way of life then. They crashed where they could, often did try to ride the rails or hitch hike elsewhere, but always seemed to have enough money for the drink and drugs (designer of course) that they consumed on their nightly adventures.
    It is a beautiful city, peopled by some of the very smart of the country and yet these self-disenfranchised choose it as well.
    A bit of arcane knowledge from a reader of their blogs (there are many) and frequent visitor to Oregon.

    Hope you continue to enjoy the trip!
    '

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    1. I saw hobos of different ages and no doubt homeless for different reasons. There may well have been "faux hobos" but that was certainly not all of them - not by a long way Reamus. America sees itself as a God-fearing country with high Church attendance in many communities but Jesus himself allegedly went amongst the beggars and the homeless and highlighted their plight and their need for charity - not dismissal.

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  4. I would have loved a tin of assholes!

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  5. We've learnt to always take my little "point and shoot" camera no matter what. It takes pretty good photos and isn't a burden to carry. Oregon is on our list, it has featured in so many of Tony's beloved westerns !!

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  6. I don't think you'd be disappointed Helen. This evening I had to move out of the way when a tall cowboy in a ten gallon hat stepped out of the supermarket. He glowered at me as if I was a redskin - I mean a native American.

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