Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Bit of an Update

--This just in -- It looks like July 10th is a big day for me. --This just in -- It looks like July 10th is a big day for me. I will be giving a talk at Powell's in the evening, and that morning I will be on live television interviewed on KATU AM Northwest.

 I am now breaking an unintended period of silence brought on by crashing my new electric bicycle on the first day out. The damage was enough to require open surgery on my shoulder, but that is all I care to say on this quite boring subject.

There are a couple of dates ahead I want to mention.  Thursday, July 10th I will be speaking and signing books at Powell’s City of Books (1005 W. Burnside St., Portland) The event will begin at 7:30pm. I sincerely hope that there is a good turn-out of my friends, old and new—and the ones I have yet to meet.

August 1st  and 2nd I will be at the author’s booth at the Clatsop County Fair. This will be in Astoria, Oregon, one of my favorite places on the planet. This last year, I am happy to say, I have made the acquaintance of Peter Grant, the great grandson of the infamous Astoria Sailor’s Boarding Master, Peter Grant. Peter with his mother, Bridget were prominent members of the exclusive society of  shanghaiers who worked the waterfronts of Astoria and Portland. In my Oregon Shanghaiers book I include a photo of young Peter sitting on the lap of his great grandfather.  Peter is in the process of returning to set up residence in his ancestral home. He is a living link to the city’s fascinating past.

In researching my books I have spent many months digging up skeletons in the backyard of some of Oregon’s most notorious shanghaiiers, led on by a morbid fascination that slowly turned into affection. I now know some of these families better than my own, and I can tell you alnost as many good things about these scoundrels as I can enumerate their shortcomings.  By immersion in old periodicals I feel as if I have lived in 19th century Oregon. In my meanderings through these heaps of (mostly) digital newsprint I have encountered enough great material to keep me busy for decades (unfortunate that I am over-the-hill).