SOP, History Slam: An Improvisational View into our Past

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Textbooks usually present history as an ordered set of facts which build a neat narrative. But real history is messy and largely unknowable. An incomplete record doesn’t allow for certainty, and the human desire for a good story can leave a record which is more entertainment than fact.

Both speakers have approached local history with an inquisitive but skeptical eye, and have found much of what is passed down as history is made up of unsupported reminiscences. We like to dive deep into a story, searching for evidence and corroboration. Scott specializes in finding physical traces of the past which have survived to the modern era. Arthur specializes in finding documentation, including photographic evidence and period newspapers. We often compare notes, share sources, and debate the finer points of the distant past.

Join Gorge Owned on Wednesday, December 13 at Columbia Center for the Arts for evening will feature a collection of this dynamic duo’s favorite subjects, with a focus not only on what they know, but how we came to know it. This event will be improvisational, challenging each other and taking audience requests. We’re looking to have some fun, to educate and entertain, and to encourage a healthy skepticism. We will focus on local, perhaps familiar subjects but offer new insights.

Examples of possible subjects: The Second Street stairs: Cause or Effect?… Did windsurfing save Hood River?… Beacon Rock’s Henry Biddle: Hero or Scoundrel?… The HRFD origin story: fact or fiction?… Which Memaloose Island?… What you probably don’t know about Koberg Beach and Post Canyon, … The Controversial history of fish wheels… Corpus Delicti and the last judicial hanging in Oregon… The Famous “Engine Mary” (not)… How Sonny Bono Ruined History…

Scott Cook has been a Hood River resident for 20 years. He’s written the popular locals’ outdoor guidebook Curious Gorge, as well as outdoor guidebooks to Bend, Portland, and New Zealand. Scott has a special curiosity and fascination with visual remnants of Gorge history and the intriguing stories that often hide behind the visible ruins, rust and relics. Someday he hopes to write a guidebook detailing how and where to explore for yourself these fascinating bits of Gorge history.

Event Details:
GO Sense of Place
When – Wednesday, December 13, 7PM
Where -Columbia Center for the Arts, Hood River Oregon
Cost – $5-$10 suggested donation
More info:

December 13 2017


Date: December 13, 2017
Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Categories: ,
Website: Visit Event Website


Columbia Center for the Arts

215 Cascade Ave
Hood River, OR 97031 United States

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