Time to break out the SPF 1.5 baby! It’s summer time in the Great Northwest. I threw open the windows when I got up and, yesiree Bob, the fog was DEFINITELY a little warmer. There is nothing like warmed fog to make me think about some of the adventures that await FishDuck.com readers on their travels during these toasty months.
When I think of the FishDuck family, I think in terms of class and culture. No cheesy amusement parks for our readers. We are all about finding some of the finer things in life. If we were in Paris we would spend more hours finding deeper meaning in the Louvre’ than we would throwing down jars of wine and looking at hairy Parisian armpits at the cafe. If we were in London we would ponder the significance of the Magna Carta more than we would try to make the guy with the funny hat smile at Buckingham Palace. We are just a touch more class than declasse’.
With that in mind I found some classy statuary right in our own backyard. So sit back in that warmed Recaro seat, pull some Rachmaninoff out of the Bose speaker system, and let’s go for a ride.
Just up old Hwy. 99 from Eugene is the town of Corvallis. Long known for its sleepy bucolic splendor, as well as its pungent prairie smell, Corvallis is also home to, not one, but two fine examples of classic statuary. Oregon State University has prided itself on doing things the “Right” way. I’m here to tell you that, in spite of the rivalry the Ducks have with OSU, I agree with the Beavers. They do have it down as far as doing it the right way. They lose, frequently, and in the most embarrassing ways possible. The right way.
Sac. State…nuff’ said.
This incessant, yet adorable, losing has led to The Beavers embracing a bit of irony known as “Lunch Bucketry.” Our first statue this trip pays homage to the Beavers. At the intersection of Avezzano and Comely Cheerleader we find this piece of art.
Just down the road from Mr. Bucket stands another statue tribute to Oregon State athletics. It’s origins a mystery, but its meaning profound, this statue stands off by itself, seeming somehow ashamed, surrounded only by a shrub behind which to hide and a vague sense of despair:
Leaving the unfortunate creatures of Benton County behind we continue north, only to find more OSU poignancy in the Rose City. The statue known as Portlandia has gained some notoriety, through its connection to the television show by the same name. Most people don’t know the sports history behind the statue, though.
The trident of Portlandia points toward the Southwest, fending off the invaders from Corvallis. She reaches toward the children of the Coast, to protect them from the sweaty-toothed hyenas known originally as Beefers. Her strong arms will encircle those who come to her for protection. She is inspiration in bronze.
Continuing through western Washington we come to the cosmopolitan city of Seattle. Sports statuary is a big deal in Seattle. The first such statue is one that is found at the corner of o and 12th. This work embodies the integrity and success that has long been a part of the Husky sports tradition. It bespeaks a clear eyed drive to the goal and unqualified perfection as its end game.
The second example of Seattle sports statuary is interactive. It was constructed on the quadrangle that backs up to The Space Needle and faces Baylor Drive. It celebrates the young stalwarts who manned the defensive side of the ball during the 2011 season. It begins with the players lining up to stop their opponents. Strength and resolve is on the faces of the Montlake defenders, their spines made of stainless steel. As the interactive statue begins its ballet-like dance, the progress of a single play is represented. The success, or failure, of the play becomes clear as the program continues.
Take notice of the things that you pass as you celebrate the heat of summer. Rest assured that the crack staff of Fish International will be traveling too, enjoying the culture of this region.
Kim Hastings is a 1984 graduate of Northwest Christian College. He cut his journalistic teeth as sports editor of a paper in his home town of Fortuna, CA, and, later as a columnist for the Longview Daily News in Longview, WA.
He saw his first Oregon game in 1977 and never missed a home game from 1981 until a bout with pneumonia cut his streak short in 1997. He was one of the proud 3200 on a bitterly cold night in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1989 for the Independence Bowl, and continues to be big supporter of Oregon sports. He is an active participant on the various Oregon Ducks messageboards as “TacomaDuck.”
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