Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Yaquina Pacific Railroad Historical Society Rich with Memories

When my father was growing up, he used to hop freight trains to travel the country. I can’t endorse this form of travel, dear readers, but it was free, got him where he needed to go in a couple days’ time and from the stories he tells us, it was a whole lot of fun. I’ve stood next to a river in Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho looking up at a train track that wound around a mountain and listened to my father tell me about the times he hopped a train on that very track, and say looking out at the town, legs dangling over the railing. And when he helped build Hungry Horse dam on Highway 2 in the Montana mountains, he frequently hopped trains to visit his sister in Minnesota.

When I was in high school and later in college, and I had all the time in the world, I bought my passage to Oregon on Amtrak. The trains were staffed with charming young men from UCLA, who told me they “rode the rails” during vacations to make extra money. Heading north to visit my friends in Canada next month, I’ve vacillated about taking a train or driving. A round trip ticket from Portland to Vancouver, BC can be had for less than $100.

I have a new article in Oregon Coast Magazine this month that profiles the Yaquina Pacific Railroad Historical Society in Toledo. The museum, made up of old railway cars, tells the tale of how in years past, trains brought passengers to the coast and transported logs to other areas of the country. The old steam engine has a thousand stories, if you’re curious enough to listen.

Visitors to the Yaquina Pacific Railroad Historical Society tend to include a number of past railroad workers with grandkids in tow. In addition, Thomas the Tank Engine has spawned a whole new generation of young children who know about railroads. For any visitor, taking a tour of the 1923 Railway Post Office car, 1922 Baldwin Steam engine and the Southern Pacific #573 wood-sided caboose and learning more about railroad production in years gone by is an exciting and memorable event. All aboard!

Yaquina Pacific Railroad Historical Society

Toledo, Oregon 97391


Hours: 10-2 Tues- Sat

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

why the toronto star needs editors

On the heels of an announcement sent out by the Toronto Star stating that it would outsource 100 in-house union editing jobs came a funny follow-up. Click on the image to view an internal memo from the Star's publisher, John Cruickshank. With edits.

Monday, November 2, 2009

the new place

I moved to Lake Oswego this month, surprising everyone. Mostly myself. Don’t get me wrong. It’s beautiful here, in the charming First Addition neighborhood. It’s just not very… Lisa.

Last Saturday we drove down State Street after returning the moving truck and I had to laugh at the darkened road- truly, the sidewalks roll up at a surprisingly early hour here, even on the weekends. And it is so very quiet here.

At night, there is no sound at all and you can feel the darkness- it’s that oppressive. I have never in my life slept in such quiet blackness. It’s hard to believe that I am just a few blocks away from shops and restaurants.

My place is charming, mid-century modern at its finest and very evocative of lake homes, in its own way. After years of urbanity and historic, transitional neighborhoods, living here is different. There’s no telling how I will feel after six months have passed. But for now, I’m open to new experiences, meeting new people and generally enjoying the river, lake and neighborhood views.

Photo by Wilson Chen, one of the City of Lake Oswego Photo Contest Honorable Mentions. View more photos from Lake Oswego photo contest winners online.