Saturday, January 03, 2015

Sam Bates Rose

The next Weston rose on our mini-tour is the Sam Bates Rose, in the Hollywood District on NE Hancock between 43rd & 44th. The 2008 Portland Tribune article about these roses mentions that this one honors the man who gave Joe Weston his first job, as a soda jerk. (Weston, of course, went on to fame and fortune as a local real estate mogul, and presumably owns the building that hosts this rose.)

Incidentally, the job of soda jerk is not entirely extinct in Portland. Sandy Boulevard hosts not one but two independent drug stores with soda fountains: Paulsen's here in the Hollywood district, and Fairley's further out in the Roseway neighborhood. I've never been to either one, but they sound like great places to take a nostalgic parent or grandparent. My dad occasionally laments not being able to find Green River soda, since apparently it was everywhere when he was a kid growing in the Midwest. I tried it once and didn't think it was anything special, but childhood tastes are like that. To wit, the bubble gum that came with Topps baseball cards in the 1970s was objectively terrible in all respects, absolute bottom of the barrel, no redeeming qualities. Roughly zero out of five dentists recommended it. But I still associate it with long summer vacations and walking with friends to the distant (and long-gone) corner store to load up on baseball cards and random candy, all with zero adult supervision. Sometimes we even rode bikes without helmets or safety pads or full-body bubble wrap or 24/7 GPS tracking. I will absolutely agree that the 70s were a dark and primitive time; it's just that there was an upside to it every so often.

No comments :