Spruce and sunlight mix in the fog. All photos by author.

Cape Meares anchors the south end of Tillamook Bay, on the Oregon Coast. A basaltic monolith, the cape collects fog like wool hiking socks gather grass seeds. The cape was once part of Oregon’s Three Capes Route, an automobile-accessible loop of road that strung Capes Meares, Lookout, and Kiwanda on a chain. A few years ago, a slow-moving landslide tore the roadway off the northern side of Cape Meares. Buckled asphalt sags off to the west, making the road unsafe for traffic. A funding shortage, coupled with the difficulty of shoring up a mountainside that is moving seaward, forced the…

Rendezvous Bar & Grill, Tillamook, OR. Author Photo.

Tillamook, Oregon, the seat of Tillamook County, is a small, down-at-the-heels coastal town famous for one product: cheese. Millions of Northwestern children have grown up eating orange Tillamook Cheddar Cheese. It is an institution in this part of the world, one of the five fundamental food groups.

Although Tillamook sits at the southern edge of its eponymous bay, the town is land-locked. The nearest harbor is Garibaldi, at the northern end of Tillamook Bay. …


The Cedar Creek Grist Mill, Woodland, WA. All photographs by the author.

What is grist and why would you want to mill it?

A lonely stream near the small town of Woodland, Washington, forty minutes north of Portland, offers the answers to these important questions. There, in an Irish-green glen of moss and ancient fir, one finds a relic from an earlier age, the Cedar Creek Grist Mill. Built-in 1876, the mill stands on log pilings above a vigorous creek. It is the oldest building in Washington still performing its original function, a water-powered mill in a petro-chemical present, a holdover from a time before the Industrial Revolution.

Water-powered mills date back…

Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge. Author photo.

The town of Oceanside is a small collection of beach houses that clings like limpets to a hillside between Cape Meares and Netarts. Wikipedia deems it an “unincorporated community.” The population stood at 361 at the last census. Services are minimal: a post office, coffee shop, and two small restaurants.

Offshore is the Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge, a trio of basalt monoliths that serve as nesting grounds for a wide variety of sea birds. These barren rocks (Finley, Middle, and Shag) host Murres, Cormorants, Puffins, and Petrels. Peregrine falcons, close to this food source, nest on the sheer…

Ormer Locklear (center) along with his co-pilots. Library of Congress, public domain.

A late-spring afternoon in 1919. Two Curtiss biplanes droned high above the 5,000 spectators filling the grandstand of Sheepshead Bay Race Track, New York.

After a demonstration of aerobatics, including “looping the loop” and flying upside down, the moment had arrived for the star attraction of the International Air Circus. The aircraft, piloted by Lieutenant H. B. Shields and Lieutenant Short, circled the field, tracing an oval track 1,000 feet overhead.

Then, as the spectators below drew worried breaths, Lieutenant Ormer Locklear pulled himself from the front seat of Shields’ plane and clambered onto the upper wing. …

Sea lions enjoying the sun in Newport, Oregon. All photographs by author.

I have long nurtured a soft spot in my heart for Newport, Oregon. Situated at the top of Yaquina Bay, this popular town is a perfect mix of port and sand. West of Highway 101, long sand beaches face the battering waves of the Pacific Ocean; east, and down the hill, is a perfect harbor for a commercial fishing fleet, a well-developed waterfront that mixes boats, canneries, and tourist traps like Ripley’s Believe it or Not, and the Newport Aquarium. …

Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash

In the coming years, all of my male friends are going to be named Kevin.

I have already made a good start on this resolution. The three friends I see most frequently all bear the praenomen Kevin. There’s Kevin O., who sits in the office across the hall from me at work; Kevin H., master cellist who labors to instill a bit of his talent in me; and Kevin G., retired high school teacher and companion on Sunday morning, cardio-boosting hikes.

This concentration of Kevins offers an obvious advantage to a brain that sometimes labors to remember names. …

Tillamook Bay, Garibaldi, Oregon. All photographs by the author.

Author’s Note: Since this review was written, in 2018, the Troller went out of business. I am re-publishing this installment for its historical interest, the fact that the Troller was the gold standard for oyster burgers, and as a reminder of how important it is to support restaurants that offer a safe harbor for the oyster burger on their menus. Please join the cause by patronizing fine oyster burger suppliers wherever you may be.

Garibaldi is little more than a bend in the road at the northern end of Tillamook Bay, Oregon. A town of roughly 800 people, it perches…

Photo by Steven Lasry on Unsplash

Recently, while pondering the pros and cons of a life-changing decision, I found the tide of remembrance dragging my mind back to the fabulous martial arts movie, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Released in 2000, this epic film told the tale of four Qing dynasty characters, enmeshed in the mythical world of Chinese martial arts heroes.

Movies, paintings, and novels are mirrors which reflect and clarify our own lives and experiences of the world. …

Emile Schweitzer, The Pogrom of Strasbourg. Public domain, wikimedia.org.

Romans, as I have discussed elsewhere, believed that the success of their empire hinged on maintaining peace with the gods — the pax deorum. If citizens honored their obligations to the gods, if they maintained a right relationship with the divine, the gods would reciprocate with success and prosperity for the Roman state. The evidence for this relationship was self-evident. The Romans pointed to their great empire as the strongest argument for the truth of their belief. How could a small town in central Italy have conquered the known world, were it not for the gods’ assistance?

Monotheism — the…

Richard J. Goodrich

Author and history professor. Monthly Newsletter, “What’s New in Old News” available at: https://www.getrevue.co/profile/rjgoodrichwrite

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