Portland, Oregon and my Family History…

…My mother loved Portland, Oregon more than any place on earth. She shared with me, over the years stories of Portland  people and locations and stores. When her brother, a retired Army Sargent,  invited mother and her younger sister Clara to take a vacation anywhere they wanted to go, they chose Portland–where they visited all of their old haunts and best-loved places. It was my mom’s favorite trip!

When my mother was 8 years of age, her father was diagnosed with severe asthma. The doctor told him he had to move to a wet, cool climate–suggesting Seattle or Portland along the north Pacific Coast. Grandfather Mitchell chose Portland. He traveled on the train and took my mother with him so he would not be alone. He left the rest of the family behind, telling them he would come back for them.

Mother told me how they looked for a place to live and rented a house. Then grandfather looked for a job. After a few weeks, he had earned enough money to buy train tickets for grandmother and the other six children. They took the train home, grandfather and my mother, to collect the whole family. They stayed in Portland for 8 years.

I went to Portland several times to speak at conferences and workshops. I shopped at Marshall, Fields and Company. And retraced many of my mom’s favorite steps. My son John went there on his LDS mission. And eventually found his bride there.

Portland is different now–with graffiti sprayed on the buildings and the historical statues pulled down. Messages and identities painted on the city streets. Debris and garbage blowing along the streets. Stores and restaurants looted and empty. Last night was 82 nights of destruction and killing. I am appalled and greatly saddened–and I know my mother has tears in her eyes as she gazes on this once beautiful place–where local officials have turned their backs on those who would destroy us all if they could. Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle http://arleneeakle.com

PS Be of Good Cheer! There is still time to stop the mayhem and chaos–this is an election year and “we can throw the bums out.” Takes courage to stand against the mob!

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