Sunday, July 31, 2011

Drink Up, Salem - That's 24 Taps!

Forget barn-raising, we've got a bar-raising! The Venti's Taphouse opens later this week. The construction is wrapping up and they are elevating the standard - for themselves and for everybody else.

There's no better summer news for Salemites who love beer.

And to celebrate? We repeat a suggestion from a little over a year ago:

Brewers, someone should brew an homage to Salem beer! Beck's Bock, Adolph Doppelbock, or Klinger Kolsch beckon! Salem Beer would make a great brand, too!

Another homage that should happen: Someone should brew a doppelbock for Venti's! They're Italian, the Paulaner monks were from Italy, there are tons of puns available to them on "bock."

Even better, the German naming convention uses the suffix -ator, like Celebrator, Salvator, it's obvious: Salem needs a Ventilator beer!

Waiter, I need a Ventilator, stat!

So, you about a Ventilator?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

With Summer, Beer's on Tap

Now maybe we have some summer on tap! The beeriverse in Salem is getting bigger, and we're happy to note others have blogged about these events already. So hopefully this is old news to many.

Rhythm at the Mill

In a very pleasant way, Sundays bring together two of our favorite things: Beer and history! The Rhythm at the Mill concert series at Mission Mill offers mostly blues - with a few other acts - on the green. Take a chair or blanket. No outside food or drink. But they have beer! Pale Horse pours.

July 24, 31; August 7, 28; September 11.

Deschutes Release Party

On Thursday, July 28, Deschutes teams up with Venti's in a release party for their collaboration with Boulevard Brewing out of Kansas City! Portland and Bend will taste on Tuesday the 26th, and Salem's next in line!

Be one of the first people in Salem to try our newest collaboration series brew called Conflux No. 2. This White I.P.A. dreamed up by Boulevard Brewmaster, Steven Pauwels, and Deschutes Brewery Brewmaster, Larry Sidor is a hoppy wheat ale of sorts and the combination is exquisite! Not only did we use wheat, hops and a Belgian yeast for this brew, we also added lemongrass, whole leaf sage, spicy coriander and sweet orange peel to give it a tongue pleasing twist....Chad Travertini, from Deschutes Brewery, is bringing Conflux 2, Cascade Ale, and keg of Conflux also a collaboration of Boulevard + Deschutes.
How great is this!

Party starts at 4pm in the Basement Bar!

Bite and Brew

The Bite and Brew is coming up on the 29th, and there will surely be beer - but wow, do they ever have a lousy website. No useful info about beer and the event's only a week away.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Digging in the Depression: Lord and Schryver's New Deal

For local history buffs the most interesting summer topic will surely be the reconsideration of the private garden and public park work of Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver.

A while ago over at On the Way, Bonnie Hull offered a fascinating preview of the Lord & Schryver show at Hallie Ford, which she co-curated with Sharon Rose, and more recently a note about a garden tour.

Based on these previews, though, more than the gardens it's the watercolors and graphic design that look eye-opening. They look terrific, and the preview hints at a show of minor revelation - maybe more. There's the prospect for some Wow! That's pretty cool.

But the dates Lord & Schryver were active pose another question.

From On the Way, here's the watercolor plan for the Jarman House* right by the library on Gaiety Hill. It's lovely. Its date is also 1929.

The Deepwood commission followed shortly in 1930.

And what else started in 1929?

As we all struggle ourselves with the Great Recession, isn't it interesting that so much of the Lord & Schryver legacy apparently took root during the Great Depression?

In the spring of 1932 as Herbert Hoover's term in office was winding down, and unemployment was around 25% (so three times the 9% we have now!), Lord & Schryver wrote a series of articles for the Oregonian on improvements for an "average-sized city dwelling."


Who in 1932 could afford significant replanting, let alone professional landscape architecture services?** In some ways this "average-sized" lot represents a shift from the large suburban estate for Lord & Schryver, but it's average only in name.

We look forward to learning more about the "cultural landscape" Lord & Schryver did so much to influence. But we also have to ask, just how narrow a slice of culture are we actually talking about?

In his book Architecture: The Natural and the Man Made, Vincent Scully has written of the relationship between gardens and forts in 17th century Europe. He says that "the idea that the arts of fortification and of landscape architecture were almost the same was quite a logical one in the seventeenth century." And he observed that "the resurrection of the garden" in the early 1900s was also a rehabilitation of Louis XIV.

Surely it is no coincidence that Lord and Schryver met on a tour of European gardens!

(Vauban's fortification at Huningue, from Wikipedia)

To say the Lord & Schryver gardens are the products of wealth, indeed emblems of conspicuous consumption, in the middle of the Depression is not to deny their beauty. Nor is it to deny value - the creation of living, beautiful systems is a genuine act of creativity in so many ways. But we should remember they weren't victory gardens defending against the Depression, either.

We hope also that social history is not neglected in the recovery of Lord & Schryver's legacy.

* We think of it, of course, as the second Lachmund House!

** Harry Stein (in his pictorial history of Salem) suggests that with a diverse economy, Salem "endured the national Depression better than did many small cities," but it difficult to see this as much more than local pride and boosterism. He observes that Fred Meyer and Sears added stores in Salem early in the 30s, and that Salem added more people than did Portland at the same time.

Between 1930 and 1940, Salem's population increased by 18% from 26,266 to 30,908. Calling Salem a "small city" seems generous, and it's hard to know what an increase of 4,642 means. Portland was 10x larger, about 300,000.

In any case, WPA projects like the new State Capitol building, the State Library, the State Forestry Building, and the Portland Road rail overpass would certainly have a multiplier effect in the economy. But that's a government stimulus!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Three-Legged Man Picks Hops, Dies

There's a full moon tonight. So here's a sad, odd story.

Circus freak George Lippert died in Salem in July 1906. He had gone to Aurora to pick hops, caught a cold, and died.

He is said to have been buried in the "Catholic Cemetery," but modern inventories of St. Barbara's Cemetery haven't turned up a headstone or plot for Lippert, and it's possible he was disinterred and reburied elsewhere, perhaps with family in Bavaria.

From the July 23, 1906 Capital Journal.

George Lippert Had Two Hearts, Three Legs and Sixteen Toes
George Lippert, the three-legged, two-hearted and sixteen-toed man, who had spent most of the 62 years of his life in dime museums and side shows, was buried Saturday in the Catholic Cemetery in this city.

Lippert was a native of Bavaria, and was born with three fully developed legs, one of them being smaller than the other two. He also had two separate hearts, one on the right and the other on the left side of his body. It is said that the heart on the left side stopped beating two weeks before Lippert died.

The freak walked on all three of his legs until he was injured in a train wreck in France, near Paris, at the time Barnum's show was wrecked. At that time Mr. Lippert was dangerously injured, and was not dug out of the debris for 12 hours.

After he partially recovered, he went with various shows, and at one time or another in his life was on exhibition in nearly all the traveling aggregations in the country.
Six years ago he was with a small show that was stranded in Medford. He went to work in a green house owned by a man named Riggs, and continued in his employ until Mr. Riggs died. About a year ago Mrs. Mary A. Riggs came to Salem, and brought the three-legged man with her. He went out to Aurora to pick hops, caught a cold, which finally resulted in his death last Saturday at the home of Mrs. Riggs, at 1121 Fir Street in South Salem.

Lippert is said to have been survived by wealthy relatives in Bavaria, but had no relatives in America.

The expenses of his funeral were met by his benefactor, Mrs. Riggs, who has, as curios, Lippert's three-legged trousers, the shoe for his third foot and his books and documents.
For more on Lippert's card (detail shown above), see here, here, and here. The Riggs house at 1121 Fir doesn't appear to remain, and something was built there in the late 1930s. Lippert's extra limb and heart was likely a vestigial or parasitic twin.

Historic Newspapers Database

Microfilm's a pain! But research is getting easier and a chunk of local newspapers have been digitized and made available online. (We turned up Lippert's story while researching other stories.)

Next Tuesday a talk at the library will show off the site.
7 p.m., July 19, Anderson Room B

Jason Stone of the University of Oregon will visit Salem as part of the launch of the University of Oregon Historic Oregon Newspapers website. With the power of this new Internet resource, the public now has unprecedented access to “first draft” historical materials originally published by Oregon journalists between 1846 and 1922. The website includes more than 180,000 pages of digital content drawn from historic newspapers that include the Salem Capital Journal and the Portland Oregonian.

In this presentation, Stone will provide information on how the project was done, and how to best use the website.

This event is free and open to the public. More information is available from the Information/Reference desk at 503-588-6052.
All kinds of community and do-it-yourself history will get easier. There are vast swaths of Salem history that's been forgot - so find your own slice and get after it!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Two More Events for Beer Month!

Beer month brings a couple more events, a tasting party at Venti's on Thursday and a "meet the brewer" pub crawl on Saturday.

(And don't forget about the Lady Gaga talk on Tuesday for U Think!)

From Venti's:
Join us at Venti’s Basement Bar Thursday, July 14th starting at 4 PM as Mark Carver from 10 Barrel Brewing Company helps Venti’s celebrate OCBM with a brewery party featuring Bend based 10 Barrel Brewing Company Beers.

These guys have been brewing it up out in Central Oregon with some innovative beers including the new ISA India Session Ale a 5% ABV session IPA that still packed with lots of flavor and aroma hops and the S1nist0r Black Ale (Gold Medal 2011 Wold Beer Championships), a German style Schwarzbier brewed with ale yeast. Both of these are quite tasty. There should also be some cool brewery swag giveaways.
This weekend
The Salem Creative Network celebrates the second anniversary of the Creative Pub Crawl on Saturday, July 16 with a "Meet the Brewer" Pub Crawl.
The schedule appears to be:
4pm Copperjohn's (Gilgamesh Brewing)
5pm Magoo's (Calapooia)
6pm Pete's (7 Brides)

Friday, July 8, 2011

First There was Science Pub, Now U Think Ponders Lady Gaga Tuesday!

Check it out! You heard rumors of a "Humanities Pub"...well, here it is. From the release (no time for more):
Willamette University will kick off its U Think pub series on Tuesday night at Brown's Towne Lounge with a talk about Lady Gaga. Beginning at 6:30 p.m. each second Tuesday, the monthly series will feature topics from the sciences and humanities.

“Science Pub has been a fun way to share Willamette faculty expertise with the community, and OMSI has been a fantastic partner,” says spokesperson Adam Torgerson. "Given all of the interesting work our professors do across the university, U Think provides an opportunity to bring a more diverse series to Salem.”

On July 12, U Think will feature Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Media Studies Amber Davisson. She will discuss the strategies Lady Gaga uses to craft her image and will consider the message underlying Lady Gaga's precipitously high heels.

“While many celebrities today make the news for drug abuse or relationship problems, Lady Gaga has shown an impressive ability to manage her image and stay on the front page,” says Davisson. “In the past few years, she has boasted more Twitter followers than the president and has found a place on Forbes’ and Time’s lists of most influential people.”
Nicely done Willamette and Brown's Towne!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Beer Archaeologist in August Smithsonian

Remember the talk last spring, "Uncorking the Past"?

Dr. Patrick McGovern is in the August Smithsonian!
McGovern, in fact, believes that booze helped make us human. Yes, plenty of other creatures get drunk. Bingeing on fermented fruits, inebriated elephants go on trampling sprees and wasted birds plummet from their perches. Unlike distillation, which human beings actually invented (in China, around the first century A.D., McGovern suspects), fermentation is a natural process....Almost certainly, humanity’s first nip was a stumbled-upon, short-lived elixir of this sort, which McGovern likes to call a “Stone Age Beaujolais nouveau.”

But at some point the hunter-gatherers learned to maintain the buzz, a major breakthrough....

With a supply of mind-blowing beverages on hand, human civilization was off and running. In what might be called the “beer before bread” hypothesis, the desire for drink may have prompted the domestication of key crops, which led to permanent human settlements....

Maybe even more important than their impact on early agriculture and settlement patterns, though, is how prehistoric potions “opened our minds to other possibilities” and helped foster new symbolic ways of thinking that helped make humankind unique, McGovern says. “Fermented beverages are at the center of religions all around the world. [Alcohol] makes us who we are in a lot of ways.” He contends that the altered state of mind that comes with intoxication could have helped fuel cave drawings, shamanistic medicine, dance rituals and other advancements.
Read the whole thing!