Fifteen years ago Monday, I packed up an 18-foot Hertz Penske truck, three cats, a savannah monitor, and a now-ex-wife and trekked across the continent to Portland, Oregon. Almost eighteen months later, I was back in Texas, swearing that (to paraphrase General Phil Sheridan, governor of Texas during the Reconstruction period after the Civil War) if I owned Oregon and Hell, I’d rent out Oregon and live in Hell. For years, I referred to Portland as “Innsmouth West”, and promised that I’d never go back, and the hipsters whining that I was wrong only cemented my resolve.
Well, my mistake was that I was looking at the wrong places, with the wrong emphasis, and I only discovered the interesting people and venues in and around Portland after I was already gone. Sarracenia Northwest, among other things. It’s bad enough that I only learned about Rare Plant Research in Oregon City this morning, but to learn that it’s hosting an open house this weekend? That sound you hear is of my intestines tying themselves into knots. (For those folks in the area, apparently Rare Plant Research is hosting a reservation-only garden party on July 9. Go have fun, because I’ll be trapped here in the Texas heat.)