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A Funny Story, Because I Need It — oh, and google, come over here — Cesar Chavez Boulevard proposed name change, Interstate Avenue, Arbor Lodge Neighborhood Association, Overlook Neighborhood Association

September 21st, 2007

It’s been a hideous, gnarly week and I am pleased it’s over. Especially since the Portland Winter Hawks lost their season opener to the Vancouver Giants (of course we were sitting next to a bunch of Vancouver fans. They drove a long way — all the way from Canada, see? Not Vancouver, Wash., which is right across the Columbia River. At least someone went home happy).

We went with our friends — I think they had fun. Even though I insisted (as always) on singing both the Canadian National Anthem and the U.S. National Anthem. (Or “The Song the Girl Sings at the Hockey Game,” as my daughter calls it.) And no, I can never remember all the lyrics, even when beer is not involved. Can you? Would you like the lyrics? Here:

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

But they sing “O Canada” first. So, to be fair:

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Ah, such peaceniks, those Canadians. Nothing about bombs and rockets. It’s a nice song. Maybe we should immigrate. (Half the country: “Yes, go, ya Commies! Socialized medicine? Bah!”)

Where was I? Oh, yes, a funny little antidote, as a reporter I once knew was fond of saying. She loved antidotes, they really spice up a story. I’m driving with Little Miss Honey Butt and our four assorted children to the Interstate Farmers Market

(Half my neighborhood, in unison: “See??? That is what I’m talking about! That’s why you can’t re-name Interstate Avenue ‘Cesar Chavez Boulevard.’ What would you call the Interstate Farmers Market, the ‘Cesar Chavez Farmers Market???” Me: “That would be fitting, yes.” Portland: Friendly to Anyone Who’s Not Caucasian? You Tell Me.)

I’m at a red light, and the semi behind me just blasts his horn. The girls, who are in the way back of the van, go into a giggling fit. I’m thinking, is the light green? What the heck? And look in my rear view mirror. It’s not a him, it’s a her. It’s an older lady, mounds of gray curly hair, she’s giggling, blasts her horn again, and the kids shriek, “WE TOLD HER TO!” and do the sign of “honk your horn!” that little kids love to play with truckers. I taught them this game when we were on the road this summer.

Oh my heck. (I like this word, “heck.” It could be the new “fuck” for me. No, it couldn’t.) Oh my heck. As we’re pulling into the parking lot, I reached my arm out the window and motioned.

HOOOOOOOOOOOOOONK! More giggles. Off she went.


  1. LouLou says

    WackyMommy, thanks for the links about the Neighborhood Association Meeting about renaming Interstate. This’ll be real quick. (After an hour of reading I’m finally tired enough to go to bed). For the members of Arbor Lodge who did vote against the Interstate name change due to race and not faulty process, I wonder how they feel about Arbor Lodge having the most spanish-speaking-friendly neighborhood association website I’ve seen so far in Portland. Theres a tab titled “en espanol” and a separate spanish Q&A section. I’m glad to see this kind of inclusion at least exists online.

    While we’re on the race card, I’m really sick of racial slurs and fear they’re always going to be with us. I can add to the childhood stories list with a stepfather who only ever referred to African Americans/blacks as “monkeys” and “apes”. Why? Because he was mugged ONCE when he was younger in NYC (and he was born and raised there–it was probably his fault. Truly, the man was not bright). I don’t even like to repeat what’s been said about my aunt’s husband, my Uncle Juan from Mexico.

    I think the next General Meeting for the Neighborhood Association needs to address the true landslide behind the vote – race or process. It seems there’s a deeper issue at hand than renaming.

    Good night.

    September 23rd, 2007 | #

  2. WackyMommy says

    It appears to me that any openness toward minorities in this neighborhood is “virtual” at this point and not tangible. I will send the neighborhood association a note, asking that they address this mess at their next meeting.

    Thanks for reading.

    September 23rd, 2007 | #

  3. megs says

    I say we change it to Hugo Chavez….He’s my personal hero.

    September 23rd, 2007 | #

  4. WackyMommy says

    I say Andrea Dworkin Ave.; Hockey God says Che Guevara Place.

    September 23rd, 2007 | #

  5. Marissa says

    Wacky Mommy,

    Thank you thank you thank you! You have restored my faith in the humanity of North Portland.

    another wacky mommy,

    September 23rd, 2007 | #

  6. megs says

    Che Guevara or Hugo Chavez….or just CHAVEZ…then people could fill in the blank

    September 24th, 2007 | #

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