Saturday, July 20, 2013

Living in a small town.........

I live in a small town, pop. 3000, in the Willamette Valley of Oregon! 

The Willamette Valley was formed a millennium ago by the Missoula Flood at the end of the ice age, when a large iceberg(s) broke loose in northwest Montana and came crashing down through Washington and Oregon.  With it, the flood brought a lot of fertile soil into this valley making it rich farmland where at one time, almost, all of the hops grown for beer production were grown.

Now, I understand, that Washington State grows equally as many hops.

Up until the 1950s, families from Portland would come down and camp for weeks in the hop farmer's fields and hand pick the hops to make a little extra money......then, of course, someone invented a hop picking machine! 

At one time hop growers were "king", to celebrate that heritage every year our little town has it's  "Hop Festival".  Organized and sponsored by the local fire department, it is their major fund raiser.

The point of this long story is.....when you live in a small town the parade comes to you and you can stand in your front yard, talk to the neighbors and wave a people you know in the parade.  That's what is going on in my town today. 

Sadly, the parade was half over before I remembered the camera so, my pictures are few but so typical of the small town parade..........

where a puppy in a wagon makes for a float.

Celebrants from a town close by come to promote their upcoming summer event!

What's a parade without music?

There were even a couple of "real" floats.  This is really watching the parade go by with our neighbors from the other side of the fence!

Any way, it is a fun little parade that has horses and rodeo queens, fire engines, police cars, vintage cars and tractors and ALWAYS the hop picking machines!

Now, we are off to the park for a sausage and beer and a visit with old friends.

Last night I drew is the doorway to one of the oldest buildings, still standing, in our town.  Back in the day, it was the drugstore.  Sadly, it has been empty for many years.


The photo I used for my water soluble pencil and ink drawing.
I hope you are enjoying a sun filled summer's day in the park, or some where else you love!


Lynn Cohen said...

This is my kind of town! My kids live in Portland! We in CA. I need to check out your town some time when we visit that way.
Love your fence post drawing too!
It's all charming!

Kim said...

Love this drawing. Simple lines, great textures and amazing feeling. I also love the doggy float. I would love the sense of community you get in a small town...miss that in the city.

janice smith said...

I love small town parades! Our town was about the size of yours when we moved here 20 years ago. Even though it has grown a lot in the last few years it is still a very close-knit community and we love it. Your drawing is really wonderful...such a beautiful doorway. The details...the chippy paint, the weeds...add a hint of sadness, don't they? Bittersweet and lovely.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I used to live in small town. I know that comradery, where you know everyone and everyone knows you. Of course, they also know the color of your toothbrush and what you ate for dinner, too. So there are no secrets in small towns. Of course, I have no secrets, nothing to hide, so a small town was perfect for me.

I miss those days, too. Now I live in the largest city in Kansas, the parade is once a year, and you are lucky if you get within a 100 feet and can see over the heads of the six people standing in front of you.

Thanks for bringing back so many wonderful memories. Loved the photos, too.

Alexandra MacVean said...

Your sketch of the doorway to the oldest building in your town is amazing. Very well done. :) I also love your self portrait on the side. Happy (belated) SS! :) said...


Lisabella Russo said...

What a sweet parade! It sounds like a beautiful day. I love your painting, it really captures the feel of the place!

Dianne said...

I just love small town parades! girl scouts and boy scouts and church floats...lovely sketch of the building --I think abandoned buildings are so sad. but you've immortalized it in your drawing, a great addition to your sketch book!