Unexpected Pie

Dear Liza,

The weather got beautiful for a few days (we call it Fool’s Spring) so Grandpa Nelson and I headed off for an adventure. Like most adventures, it started with lunch.

We had hot dogs and fries at Zach’s Shack while we watched some Olympic downhill skiing. As we were finishing up, Grandpa asked “Want to go up Mt. Tabor?” Of course, I said YES! We were on the right street, we just needed to go a mile east… and gain about 800 feet of elevation.

I love Mt. Tabor. How many cities have their very own volcano? Well, extinct volcanic cinder cone, actually. We followed the path up past the old reservoir on the west side and through the fir tree forest that covers the mountain. Spring growth is greening up the forest floor nicely.

There were lots of people with their kids, dogs, and strollers out enjoying the day. At the top, we chatted with some little girls, and Grandpa tried to tell them that hawks (we were watching one overhead) eat little girls! The oldest, who was about five, said, “No they don’t, they eat Grandpas!” I guess she showed him!

The view of Downtown from the top of the mountain always knocks me out.

We visited the plinth where the statue of Harvey Scott was the last time you visited. It was pulled down last year by folks who hate what he stood for, (which was rich white men being in charge of everything) and his replacement hasn’t been decided on yet.

By then, it was definitely time for pie! We crossed the top of the park and down the other side, finding this amazingly huge maple tree, and headed towards the Bipartisan Cafe.

We passed this cool sheet metal robot, the mascot for Vinje’s Sheet Metal Supplies.

Inside the Cafe, there were fewer tables than before and no couches, so we could all keep a safe distance. Vaccination cards were required, so we knew we wouldn’t be making people sick. I enjoyed the old campaign posters and the blueberry sour cream pie.

The red rosella tea was hot and sweet and just what was needed.

And when we had eaten every crumb, we stepped out and caught the number 15 back home and slept like dead people. We had walked five miles and felt very accomplished.


Grandma Judy

River View Cemetery, Part 2

Dear Liza,

Memorial to the Second Oregon Regiment

There were so many interesting things (and people) at River View Cemetery, I wanted to share some more with you. The famous people memorialized here don’t stop at founders and politicians. Important people like Henry Weinhard, one of the first and most successful brewers here in the land where we love beer, is buried surrounded by his family and whimsically remembered with a can of beer.


Colonel Owen Summers and his Second Oregon Regiment from the Spanish American War in the Philippines are all here. The men are buried in a circle that surrounds a statue of a soldier, the flag nearby at half-staff for the late John McCain. Colonel Summers himself is buried away from this area, with his wife and family.

Captain Couch

Captain Couch, a sea captain who developed an entire portion of the city, is buried under an impressive, nautical themed column with chains, an anchor, and compass. Another set of “streets” buried nearby are Flanders, Glisan, and Hoyt.

You see, when Captain Couch mapped out his neighborhood in Northwest Portland, he labeled the streets by letters: A, B, C, etc. Later city planners wanted something more “romantic”, so they chose men from Portland’s history to coincide with the letters, like Ankeny, Burnside, and Couch himself. This decision now gives us a shorthand history lesson as we drive through town.  We can also see that, like today,  offspring of important people often married offspring of other important people, which we see in headstones such as “John Couch Flanders” and ” Caroline Couch Glisan”.

Couch merges with Glisan

David Campbell, the Fire Chief who died saving his men in 1911 and who is also memorialized on West Burnside, is buried here.

Harvey Scott, who was editor of the Oregonian newspaper for many years, is here. He and I don’t see eye to eye on things, as he opposed women’s suffrage and public high schools. Interestingly, his sister, Abigail Scott Duniway,  a suffrigist and prolific author who also edited a newspaper ( The New Northwest) is buried at River View. I wasn’t able to find her memorial, but I haven’t covered even half the ground yet.img_0111.jpg

In the words of another famous dead person, “I shall return.”


Grandma Judy