Monday, August 3, 2015

People, wine, food & history.

Oregon Map 1840s - Lady Hill Winery grape sources
Summer 2008 was crummy.  Work felt oppressive, and I’d lost my ability to walk, much.  Carpe Summer signaled my joyful anticipation of a fantastic summer with restored mobility.  It has been a great run, and this summer continues to roll along with many highlights, even as my mobility declines with my “other” hip.   Not much time for contemporaneous journaling.  So, I’ll try to catch up when I can, not in chronological order. 

I’ll continue with yesterday.

As a thank you for helping Jennifer and Jake as their attorney for three-plus years, they arranged dinner with their dear friends Jerry and Elaine at Lady Hill Winery. 

As much as Oregon has grown, with Portland continuing to explode, Oregon is still relatively intimate and young.  People we know trace their ancestors to people who came across in wagon trains or traversed Panama between the ship south and the ship north. 

Last night, we spent about five hours in a place of great history, with great people and great wine. 

In the 1840s, settlers gathered near the Willamette River by what is now Champoeg Park.  Among their fist orders of business was dealing with wolves eating livestock.   In 1843, they gathered to decide whether to declare their own nation or throw seek to join the U.K or the U.S.  Although Mexico was nearby (what is now the boarder of California), it did not make the cut. 

The two Frenchmen down the road made it 52 to 50, US over UK.  The story is, the French settler and his wife missed the boat out of there in 1820 and had to stick around.  Who knows how history might have changed if they’d shipped out.  Would we be part of Canada? 

In 1860, floods wiped out the town of Champoeg, and Mr. Zorn added more of the land to his holdings.  Jerry and Elaine Owen call their farm Lady Hill because very few boys have been born there over the years.  There were runs of, I believe, 13 girls in a row. They, themselves, had a ratio of 8 girls to 1 boy.  Tough to keep the same last name with that ratio.

The family gave a small plot of land to the state to commemorate history.  They sold a bit more.  Then, the state condemned even more for the park.  
In 2015, coyotes(not wolves) took 23 out of 25 lambs that Jerry and Elaine Owen and their children raised on their farm.  Last night, in their Ladyhill Winery, Jerry and Elaine shared with us what the coyotes did not take along with their sumptuous wines.

Ah, the farm life . . . .  For dessert, they brought out a plate of delicious and varied fruit from their own land.  What? No strawberries? 

No problem.  Send the kids out to pick a bowl of strawberries. 

Lovely people on a lovely night, in the heart and soul of Oregon Territory.