Grant Keltner

Jim Magee and the blustery day

Jim Magee and the blustery day

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I met Jim Magee when I was a young kid while growing up in N.W. Portland, he was old then, near 70 years old I guess, back in 1952 it was, I’m not sure exactly how old he was, he never told anybody his age.  He would watch us kids play in Wallace Park, most of the kids in the neighborhood back then knew who old Jim Magee was.  He had grown up in the neighborhood, was a well-known folk legend during his day.  Jim lived in an old worn down house off of N.W. Upshur and 26th.  He was a famous high school football player in his day; he played at Lincoln High back in the 1900’s, he worked the docks in N.W. Portland after graduating from high school.

The early spring air permeated with the fresh scents of spring, the Douglas firs of Forest Park reached high in the blue winter sky that day.  Jim Magee was kind of a drifter, he drank a bit too much from time to time, neighbors complained about him knocking over trashcans in the middle of the night when he tried to let himself into his little shack.  He was kind and happy at times and at other times he was kind of shy and reserved when he wanted to be.

He was born a Catholic, attended Cathedral Grade School as a boy while growing up in the neighborhood.  He lived in his old shack, had an old rusty screechy screen door, it made a thud when it slammed shut.  He had longer gray hair, had a big wooly gray hipster beard, he wore an old black bolder top hat, had a shamrock green colored vest and wore an old dark worn gray overcoat.  He wore ol’ beat up brown boots that squeaked when he walked around.  He was raised in the neighborhood, had a big tabby boy cat that went by the name of ‘Skippy”.  Jim Magee was known throughout the neighborhood; he would walk down N.W. 23rd, and stumble about, waving and chatting with people or maybe borrowing a cigarette from a stranger.  Sometimes he would sit on a park bench and play a small harmonica he kept hidden in one of his pockets.  He would sneak a flask out from time to time and have a wee drink of whisky every once in a great while.  He was Irish and proud of it.

Jim Magee would slowly hunch down, quietly walk up to you, put his arm around you, and start telling you these wild stories about the neighborhood when he was younger.  He would go on and on and on, if you had to go somewhere and were in a hurry, you did not want to run into Jim Magee, he would talk your ear off if he could.  Jim Magee would sing a merry tune occasionally, “Ah skittle dee, dibble doo, yeah-butta, yeah-butta’, skittle dee dibble doo,” He’d try to do a little shuffle, walk, shuffle dance, his breath stunk like an old sock.

He had an old wooden right peg leg, he’d hop, hop, hop at you and laugh, “Ha, ha, ha, whoa!  Hee, hee, ha!  ha!  ho!”  He would slightly drool on himself once in a great while, he napped on a park bench, and he chewed on sunflower seeds.  He would get breadcrumbs stuck in his old gray bushy hipster beard, occasionally a small bird would fly out of his old gray bushy hipster beard, and it would startle people.  He was missing a few teeth, he always had a candy bar wrapper stuck to one of his shoes.  He wore big suspenders; he’d get rowdy from time to time and try to wrestle with you if he could, you had to watch yourself when you were around ol’ Jim.  Some of his friends lived up around Forest Park.

Jim Magee occasionally would meander up under the Thurman Bridge and meet his good friend “Chief” Juba Winterhawk.  “Chief” Juba Winterhawk was a full-blooded Multnomah Indian.  He whittled wood and lived in an old log cabin located off of N.W. Thurman, up near to the edge of Forest Park.  “Chief” Juba Winterhawk was well known in the neighborhood; he had a small shop and sold wood pipes and figurine characters of people, he had a pet owl named “Carver” that flew around in the shop.  ”Chief” Juba Winterhawk had longer gray hair and kept it in a ponytail; he wore spectacles and an old multi-colored headband around his head.  He played the accordion from time to time and threw a small hatchet at an old tree in his backyard.  He had a pet cat named “Maurice,” and an old hound dog named “Jasper.”  He had a big bushy handlebar mustache and wore an old red and black checked lumberjack shirt, a pair of snow shoes were hanging out on the front porch along with an old long saw.  He lived by Balch Creek and from time to time, you could see beaver swimming in the creek out in front of his house.  “Chief” Juba Winterhawk was born in the Columbia River Gorge, He did not talk much, he liked sayin’, “Tatter,” instead of potato.

Another good friend of Jim Magee back then was a mate by the name of “Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner.  He would stop by and have a chat with Jim Magee from time to time, Horace was raised in London, England, his family had bought a home down off of N.W. Wilson back around 1915, he had moved to N.W. Portland when he was a young boy with his family.  Horace was older, he had a long gray beard that hung down to his waist, he wore black sunglasses and had a large dark gray trench coat with medals on it and walked around with a grand walking stick that was carved out of an old Maple tree.  At the head of the walking stick was a cast iron portrait of a Lion.  He wore a checkered wool scarf and had a pet black lab named of “Mr. Gibbons.”

“Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner ate scones and usually kept them wrapped up in a napkin in one of his coat pockets.  They were great friends.  “Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner had worked on one of the old tug boats on the Willamette River when he was younger; he told tales with his escapades on the Willamette River, he actually use to compete in the log rolling competitions held at the state fair and had photographs to prove it.  He was big and muscular and liked to whistle from time to time.  He talked with an English accent and loved soccer, his favorite team was Liverpool.

“Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner would call Jim Magee or maybe “Chief” Juba Winterhawk on the telephone and they’d all get together and have a beer now and then, sometimes they might go over to Wallace Park and sit on a park bench and get carried away in a conversation or they might play a heated game of checkers.  They would watch the kids as they played in the park, at other times they might go back to Jim Magee tiny shack and play songs.  Jim Magee was an excellent harmonica player and “Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner had a banjo that he would play from time to time, “Chief” Juba Winterhawk would play his accordion.  They would play music into the early morning, some of the neighbor kids would gather outside on Jim Magee porch and listen to them play, usually “Jasper” or “Mr. Gibbons” would howl as they played their songs.

Another one of Jim Magee good friends was Screamin’ Ned Parker.  Screamin’ Ned, was deaf in one ear, he had a hearing aid, but could not hear a lick out of his left ear.  He was of African-American decent and proud of it.  He would always scream, he screamed about almost anything and you had to yell at him to be quiet from time to time, he’d hold his hand up to his bad ear and look at ya’ kind of funny and giggle.  He had moved from Alabama back to Oregon when he was young, lived up on N.W. Raleigh in a grand old home, located above Balch Creek.  He had been a businessperson and had struck it rich in the stock market, he had a grand library and his home was full of nautical antiques, he had a big spyglass located in one of the studies, he’d stare at the stars late at night and jot down notes.

Neighbors swore they could hear Screamin’ Ned Parker scream from time to time.  Old Screamin’ Ned Parker liked to play a trumpet he kept in his library, he had a hipster goatee, and wore a monticule over his left eye, he kept a handkerchief in his coat pocket and wore a red biuret from time to time.  He liked to wonder at night, he’d walk up Balch Creek and feed the pigeons that hung out under the Thurman Bridge.  Screamin’ Ned Parker was about 5’ 6” tall, his clothes were usually wrinkled and his home was usually a mess, it never surprised guests in finding an old sandwich that may have been left under a newspaper or shirt.  Ned liked to tinker; he had a shop and was always trying to invent things.  He had no wife, lived in his big house, and led a pretty quiet life.

Lastly and certainly not least there was Jim Magee’s famous friend by the name of Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin.  Harriet would bring jams, and baked bread and pies to Jim Magee and his friends from time to time.  She was a big woman, Iowa born and bred, migrated to Oregon with her family back in 1920, she was a saint to the boys, she swore from time to time, was known in smoking a pipe and carried an embroidered umbrella with her whenever it looked like rain.  Sometimes she’d shave her legs and armpits, sometimes she wouldn’t.

Harriet had known Jim Magee and the boys for quite some time; she met them a few years back while attending a neighborhood social.  She lived off N.W. Upsher in an old home that was built in the 1880’s.  It was a bit dilapidated and needed work.  She had a big orange cat named “Jeb.”  It was a secluded spot where Harriet had her beautiful vegetable garden.  She had rare flowers and her garden included a rare Monkey-arm tree planted back when the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition and Oriental Fair was held in Portland back in 1905.  It was a beautiful garden indeed.  Animals would come over and visit Harriet from time to time.  Deer or an occasional raccoon could be found knawin’ on her vegetables out in her garden.  Harriet had been married, her husband Wayne “Frisby” Chamberlin passed suddenly of a heart attack one day, and he worked at the ESCO steel factory on N.W. Vaughn.  He was a hardworking man.  He died of cancer.  All those that lived in the neighborhood loved Harriet.

It was like a village back then in Northwest Portland, yes indeed a small village, everyone knew each other and kept an eye out for one another.  It was the winter of 1952.  It had snowed a bit right after Christmas that year and there was a thin dusting of snow on the street as people shuffled through the early morning traffic.  Children could be found sledding on the hillside behind Chapman Grade School.  Tugboat whistles, banging railroad cars, big factory machines, and large trucks hauling timber could be heard as the day slowly went by.

The Dedak Café was a local gathering spot for most of the neighborhood back then, several of the neighbors would get breakfast at the well-known café, and you might have to wait to get seated.  Jim Magee might order up large stacks of hot cakes and coffee, usually it was packed with customers in the morning.  In the afternoon, the lunch crowd would thin out around 3:00 P.M. Jim Magee, “Chief” Juba Winterhawk, “Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner, Screamin’ Ned Parker and Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin would chat and drink coffee and tell stories while they passed away the time sitting at the Dedak Cafe.  Someone might pass gas or burp and they would all laugh.  They were all older now, well into their 70’s and 80’s.  The neighborhood knew of them, and kept an eye on them from time to time.

Well, they were sitting there that day enjoying their coffee, the dogs “Jasper” and “Mr. Gibbons” were tied up out front of the Dedak Cafe; customers waiting in line to get into the cafe would chat with the dogs or maybe pet them while waiting.  Jim Magee, “Chief” Juba Winterhawk, “Colonel” “Snodgrass” Hockner, Screamin’ Ned Parker, and Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin would have a hoot while they gobbled their food, they usually told jokes and talked to some of the locals.  “Chief” Juba Winterhawk was usually whittling something as he sat and listened to the conversation.  “Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner would hum to himself, Screamin’ Ned Parker would scream from time to time and read stock quotes, and customers would turn and look at him funny.  Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin would laugh and cackle like a hen.  They had their snacks; they might have coffee and a doughnut, or maybe get some waffles and syrup.  Afterwards they might go to Jim Magee’s and play chess for an hour or so, maybe drink cold beer and munch on pretzels for a while and listen to classical music records.  From time to time, they would sit around a roaring fire in the fireplace located in Jim Magee’s living room and make up stories until they all fell asleep, Jim Magee cat “Skippy” would usually cuddle up in someone’s lap.  A old pair of stinky long John’s hung on a door knob going into the bedroom.  You usually had to wade through clothes or newspapers and his kitchen sink was always full of dirty dishes.

Late in March of 1952, it was decided that they would all meet and go for a hike in Forest Park; they usually got together and might take a stroll from time to time.  They planned on meeting early in the morning the following Saturday morning, pack a lunch and sit up in the meadow up on N.W. 53rd.  It was a secluded spot; quiet and peaceful, they could sit for hours, a small stream provided them with a wonderful sound of cool mountain water as it flowed down from a nearby creek.  They would meet at Harriet’s and go for a stroll that day.  They liked going on long cool-aired hikes when the weather cooperated.

Well Saturday approached and they all met bright in early that fine spring morning.  Spring was indeed in the air; some of the trees were blooming and showing their pastel colors.  They walked up Balch Creek, went up to the Stone House and then stopped and sat on an old Douglas fir that had fallen over and tried to catch their breath.

Jim Magee at everyone, “Will rest here a minute, then will go up Apsen Trail to N.W. 53rd, it will be a good hike!”  A few doves that were in a Rhododendron bush hurriedly flew out and startled Screamin’ Ned Parker, “What the hell was that, Jesus Christ, ah what the hell!” screamed Screamin’ Ned Parker.  Harriet “Middelsborough” Chamberlin perplexity looked at Screamin’ Ned Parker, “Do you have to yell so loud Screamin’ Ned?”  Screamin’ Ned Parker looked at her and held his hands to his ear, “Wha’?”  They continued on their hike up N.W. Aspen.

Jim Magee pulled out his harmonica and startled to play as Screamin’ Ned Parker started to whistle, the rest of the group hummed along as they climbed up towards N.W. 53rd.  They continued hiking up the small hill.  Within a half hour or so, they had arrived to a wonderful green meadow located near N.W. 53rd.  A couple of deer were feeding in a nearby meadow, they were standing by a group of big maple trees.  “Oh look!” shouted “Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner as the deer suddenly got spooked and darted off into the forest.  It was a beautiful spot.  Big Douglas firs and Maple trees provided them with ample shade on the sunny spring day.  It would be a fine day for their social.

They made their way over to a nice spot and Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin pulled out a blanket and spread it out on the green spring grass, she almost fell as she tried to shake the blanket.  “Colonel“Snodgrass Hockner pulled out a loaf of bread from the pic-nic basket, his dog “Mr. Gibbons,” barked a chased a few rabbits that were hiding in the brush as “Jasper” followed him.  Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin had some wonderful cheese, Screamin’ Ned Parker pulled out a bottle of wine from the pic-nic basket, and “Chief” Juba Winterhawk brought some smoked salmon.  Jim Magee pulled out some smoked sausage.  They all sat down and had a feast if ever there was one.  They ate and talked, and watched birds that flew about in the meadow.  The wine tasted good that day.  The afternoon slowly went by.  Screamin’ Ned Parker brought a book on jazz to read, Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin knitted a scarf, “Chief” Juba Winterhawk whittled and played his accordion, “Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner did a crossword puzzle, and Jim Magee practiced his harmonica.  They passed away the afternoon, they were best of friends.  ”Chief” Juba Winterhawk’s dog “Jasper” barked and played with “Mr. Gibbons.”  It was a fine day.  They recited poetry; someone brought binoculars and looked at hawks flying in the air above them.  Soon it was time to head back home; they all lived within a few blocks of each other.  They said their good-byes and then went soundly to sleep that night.

Jim Magee would chat with people in Wallace Park, why sometimes he would spin around on his wooden leg and whistle; sometimes he’d fly a kite if it was windy enough outside.  He liked cheese snacks and bits of sausage and he liked Ritz crackers.  He was a character for sure and seemed to attract people wherever he went.  Sometimes he would fall asleep in the park; the local kids would come up to him and hold his nose shut until he woke up.  “What!  What was that!  Why I oughta!’, “he’d yell and fuss a bit, pigeons sometimes would rest on top of his head.  His toe’s stuck out of his left shoe, he wore gloves that didn’t have any fingers on them, and from time to time he would buy a fine cigar and smoke it and sit on one of the park benches in the park.  Maybe he would share a bottle of wine with one of his friends, or they might sit around and sing songs well into the night, neighbors would yell at him to be quiet.  He’d watch the little league games and cheer a team on, sometimes “Chief” Juba Winterhawk would sit with him or maybe “Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner or Screamin’ Ned Parker would join him, Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin was usually busy baking a pie or working in her garden.

“Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner wore suspenders from time to time and quoted poetry or might get in an argument about politics with Jim Magee.  Jim was well known for the fine soup he would make from scratch, he would have his friends over, and they would have a feast.  Sometimes they gathered up wood for fires or maybe they’d go over to Harriet’s “Snodgrass” Chamberlin’s and help her tend to her garden, maybe work on one of Harriet’s bee hives.  “Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner was nifty at fixing things, he would help repair Harriet’s fence with her garden or maybe go up to Screamin’ Ned Parkers and help fix a leak in the roof of his fine home.  Sometimes critters would follow Jim Magee, he seemed to attract all kinds of animals from time to time, and it was quite a site indeed.  Dogs and cats would usually roam around him, birds would try to land on his shoulders or peck him in the head.

“Chief” Juba Winterhawk would go huntin’.  He had a rifle and in the fall time he would load up his gun and start shootin’ at deer or maybe even elk that roamed up in Forest Park.  He would drag the deer back down a trail that was close to his cabin, sometimes he would make jerky and hand it out to his friends, and Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin made fudge or Carmel apples.  Why one day “Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner had a tooth of his come out while he was knawin’ on one of the Carmel apples that Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin made!  Harriet would let berry pies cool off in her kitchen window, Jim Magee, “Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner, “Chief” Juba Winterhawk and Screamin’ Ned Parker would gather around the window and snitch her pies, their faces usually were covered with berries.  “Do you gots any milk?” asked “Chief” Juba Winterhawk as he wolfed down a hunk of apple pie.  They all laughed.

Screamin’ Ned Parker loved jazz and had a fine collection of jazz records, he loved Theloious Monk, Charlie Parker, and Nat King Cole.  He had an old black Desoto that he kept parked in his garage, from time to time he’d fire it up and take everyone on a ride out in the country, and they might go out to Cornelius or maybe go to Corbett.  They would stop in at one of the local diners, order a bucket of chicken, and eat it in the car, you could usually count on finding chicken bones under the back seat of the old car, and usually where “Chief” Juba Winterhawk would have sat.  Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin usually wore a small little pillbox hat on top of her head, a small daisy stuck out of the top of her hat.  She wore a gray coat and always carried her trusty quilted umbrella.  People would stop and look at the odd group of friends and laugh and point their fingers.

From time to time, they might go and watch a movie at the Esquire Theater, “Jasper” and “Mr. Gibbons” would tag along.  They might have a burger at the Nobby, Nobby, Nobby or maybe have lunch at Besaw’s.  They would play cribbage and shell walnuts, maybe go out to Sauvie’s Island and buy local fruits and vegetables at one of the farmers markets located out on the island; it was all such good fun.  They might drive up to the Pit tock Mansion and watch the harvest moon at night, or go to the Portland Armory and watch Portland Wrestling some Saturday evening.  They loved to go to the Vaughn Street Stadium and watch the Portland Beavers play baseball from time to time.  They ate at Rose’s and got big huge cinnamon rolls, occasionally they’d walk down to Quality Pie and have cake or maybe go to Henry Thiel’s and have a order of prime rib to go.

One night Jim Magee ran into a friend that had tickets for one of the Portland Rose Buds (the local hockey team in Portland.)  Back then the Rose Buds played down at the old Portland Ice Arena located at N.W. 21st and Marshall, it was a huge old hockey rink, the local hockey team played to around 5,000 people or so back then.  Jim Magee, “Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner, “Chief” Juba Winterhawk, Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin, and Screamin’ Ned Parker all went to the hockey game that night; why Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin yelled so loud that her dentures slipped out of her mouth as she was screaming at one of the hockey players that went skating by her.  Screamin’ Ned Parker laughed and yelled at Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin, “You lost your teeth!” everyone heard Screamin’ Ned Parker yell, Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin blushed as people laughed, a hockey puck went whizzin’ towards “Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner he opened his mouth and caught the puck with his teeth, everyone roared.  “Chief” Juba Winterhawk wore some muck lucks and a big raccoon coat to the game.  Afterwards they might go to Joe’s Cellar and have coco.

Occasionally they would go to Screamin’ Ned’s Parkers and have a fine Sunday meal; they would all bring over something for the feast.  Screamin’ Ned Parker was a famous cook, he was known for his roasted turkey and all the fixings.  They would congregate in the kitchen and prepare the food, they’d have turkey and sweet potatoes, beans, salad, rolls and pie, and they’d talk about the latest news or maybe play jazz music in the grand old N.W. Portland home.  Screamin’ Ned Parker had an old workshop in the backyard of his house, it was a big workshop, he was always tinkering away at things, usually late into the early mornings.  He would weld scraps of iron together, or maybe wire up some lights, he had all kinds of tools in his shed and was always fixing something.

After dinner Jim Magee, would sit himself in a big chair in the living room, he usually could be found chewing the last remnants of what was one of Harriet’s famous apple pies and maybe smoking one of his famous pipes that “Chief” Juba Winterhawk had carved.  “Jasper” and “Mr. Gibbons” would cuddle up on the floor and beg for scraps of food.  The others helped clear the table and joined Jim Magee in the living room, “We must do this again,” replied Harriet “Middleborough’ Chamberlin, they all nodded with agreement.

“Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner looked at everyone, “I’d like to go and have Chinese at Huck Fung’s next Sunday night, it’s located down in Old Town, down on N.W. 4th and N.W. Everett to be exact.  It would be fun to jump in Screamin’ Ned Parkers black Desoto and take a trip downtown, why don’t we plan on meeting here next Sunday in the late afternoon, say around 5:00 P.M. or so?”  They all agreed to meet the following Sunday, they all liked Chinese food.  They left that night, said their thanks and strolled out into the night.

Well, the week went by, and late that Sunday afternoon there was Jim Magee, “Chief” Juba Winterhawk, “Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner, “Screamin’” Ned Parker, “Jasper,” “Mr. Gibbons“ and Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin all out in the front yard of Screamin’ Ned Parkers home.  They climbed in to “Screamin’” Ned Parkers black Desoto and started down N.W. Thurman, crossed over to N.W. Front Avenue and headed down to Old Town, within a few minutes they were parked out in front of Huck Lung’s Famous Chinese restaurant.

They all got out of the black Desoto and walked into the famous restaurant.  Soon a waiter by the name of Kim Shoe Guy appeared and led the group of friends to a wonderful table where they all sat down.  They were all looking over their menus when all of a sudden a red roster came running out of the kitchen!  He ran around the restaurant as people gawked in amazement, “Chief” Juba Winterhawk, “Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner, “Screamin’” Ned Parker and Jim Magee all got up out of their seats and started to chase the wild red roster.  “Jasper” and “Mr. Gibbons” ran after the roster as well.  The red roster ran all over the place, the waiter Kim Shoe Guy ran around and around and around, his hands stretched out in front of him while trying to catch the roster.  Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin laughed tremendously, “Ha!  Ha!  Ha!  Catch him!  Catch him if you can!”  They raced into the kitchen, the roster ran down a long flight of some dark stairs, it was unlit.

Kim Shoe Guy ran after the roster and suddenly tumbled down the dark long stairs, he landed with a thud, he had fallen into a dark unlit room, the rest of the group tumbled down the stairs as well in chasing after Kim Shoe Guy.  Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin could be heard at the top of the stairs, “Are you boys O.K.?” shouted Harriet.  She took a step forward and then she tumbled down the long flight of stairs, she landed on “Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner, “Ouch that hurt!” yelled “Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner.  ”Jasper” and “Mr. Gibbons” fell down the stairs and fell on top of “Chief” Juba Winterhawk.  Nobody could see a thing; Jim Magee pulled out a book of matches and lit one of the matches.  The room was scarcely lit but they could now see they had fallen into a dark room indeed; they screamed and yelled for help.  No one heard them.  “Look, look over here!” yelled “Chief” Juba Winterhawk.  There was a large door that looked like it led to a large tunnel.  The door was located in one of the walls of the dark room; it seemed to go on and on; a tunnel it was, “Jasper” and “Mr. Gibbons” ran in the tunnel and chased the red roster, you could hear them as they barked.  Off in the distance you could hear the roster and Kim Shoe Guy, they seemed to be running down the tunnel, you could faintly hear the dogs, the roster, and Kim Shoe Guy continued down the dark tunnel.

Jim Magee looked down the long dark tunnel, “Why this must be the famous underground tunnel, it was used to Shanghai workers back in the 1890’s!”  They all looked at the entry to the tunnel.  “If I remember right this goes through N.W. Portland, it makes its way up through to N.W. 28th and Vaughn if I remember,” replied Jim Magee.  “What about Kim Shoe Guy?  What about the dogs?  We need to see if we can find them!” screamed “Screamin’” Ned Parker.  They all nodded with agreement.  “This could be dangerous!” exclaimed “Chief” Juba Winterhawk.  “We need to find Kim Shoe Guy, we need to make sure he’s alright!” said Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin.

One by one they slowly stepped into the tunnel, they found an old lantern that was hung on one of the walls in the tunnel, they lit a match, and slowly the lantern was glowing a bright light.  It was muddy and dark as they moved forward, off in the distance you could hear the dogs and Kim Shoe Guy, the roster was squawking.  They walked through the tunnel, after an hour or so they had had covered a lot of ground, they kept heading west, up through the tunnel, hoping to find the end.  Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin complained, “We’ve been walking in this tunnel for a long time boys, when does it come to an end?”  They kept on going, they could barely hear Kim Shoe Guy by now.  They kept moving forward, Jim Magee held the lantern in his hand as they stayed close together while walking down the long dark tunnel.  Some of them started to get tired “Come-on!  We’re almost there!” yelled Jim Magee, he kept moving through the dark tunnel holding his lantern.  They tripped over rocks an occasional rat would squeak, and frighten them.  They kept moving through the tunnel, they found old pieces of broken bottles and old tin cans, newspapers were scattered about the floor of the tunnel, they walked through thick mud.

Soon they came to the end of the long dark tunnel and there suddenly standing in front of them was “Jasper” and “Mr. Gibbons,” barking and wagging their tails, they were happy as could be.  They were very jumping around and glad to see everyone, a soft light beamed down on them, it looked like some sort of room was above them, a trap door was left open and an old wooden ladder was resting along one of the walls of the tunnel.  “This must be the end of the tunnel!” yelled “Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner.  They rushed over to the old wooden ladder; one by one they slowly went up the old rickety ladder, they carried “Jasper” and “Mr. Gibbons” up through the trap door, as soon as the last person steeped up off the old wooden ladder it suddenly broke apart and shattered to the ground below, the trap door slammed shut.  “Now what are we going to do!  How are we going to get back?” screamed Screamin’ Ned Parker.

They found themselves in an old wooden dilapidated warehouse down off of N.W. Vaughn.  They were standing in this dingy, moldy, dusty, cold dark room filled with old files, papers were strewn about the floor, they looked around, they could see that a door in front of them was open, and it led down to a long dark hallway, they followed the long cold dark dingy hallway into a brightly lit room.  There were windows facing out, looking out on N.W. Vaughn, there was a front door that was left open.  They could see Kim Shoe Guy out front of the old building, he was outside in the street running after the crazy red roster, he ran around a corner and vanished.  They yelled at him and he did not hear their calls.  “Jasper” and “Mr. Gibbons” ran outside.

They quickly walked out front of the old warehouse building and could not believe their eyes, why there in front of them stood the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition and Oriental Fair!  They rubbed their eyes in amazement.  They had gone back in time, they had gone back to N.W. Portland, and it was 1905!  There were horse drawn carriages, there were a few horseless carriages scurrying about and all sorts of grand Plaster of Paris buildings, Guilds Lake was full of water, huge exhibit halls, pavilions and gardens spread out before them, boats floated out in the lake, a few bi-planes and hot air balloons floated in the air above them.  A large island could be scene right in the middle of Guilds Lake; they were flabbergasted, they had gone back in time indeed.  Forest Park spread out to the west of them.  There was the Forestry Building, which at the time was the largest log cabin in the world, what had happened, how could they have gone back in time?  Had they gone back in time while walking through the tunnel?  It was 1905, they recognized the neighborhood, but it was not the same, some of the buildings looked familiar, they were speechless.

“Why I say, this is the old neighborhood, but it’s not the same, this is peculiar indeed,” said “Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner[GAK1] .  They stood close to one another and gawked at the spectacle.  They drifted out into the famous Exposition, within minutes people started to stare at the odd looking group of friends.  “My, I’ve never seen such a sight,” exclaimed one passerby.  People looked strangely at them, they were not wearing clothes that looked familiar to people, and they looked odd, they certainly stood out in the crowd.  They continued walking about and wound through the crowd going to one of the massive exhibition halls with the fair, they slipped behind a corner.  Jim Magee looked at his friends, “Look, look over there, it’s the Pittock Mansion!” they stood there staring at the newly built mansion, sitting on top of Kings Heights.  Off in the distance was Council Crest, at the top of Council Crest was the famous Council Crest Amusement park that was located at the top of Council Crest.

The N.W. neighborhood had newer buildings that had been recently been built.  They could recognize the terrain, they noted homes that had been built and that were still standing back in 1952.  They continued to walk through the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition and Oriental Fair.  They went out to the island, they went through the exhibits, they meandered down to the entrance of the fair.  There standing in front of them was the Fine arts building, the Oriental Palace, and the Oregon building.

They decided to head down N.W. Vaughn; they walked down to N.W. 23rd, they noticed the cable cars going up to Council Crest.  Suddenly a group of people that had been closely watching the oddball group of friends, started to slowly walk towards them.  They quickly crossed through a crowd, Jim Magee looked at his friends, “We’re being followed, quick, quick we need to jump on one of those cable cars!”  They looked at the cable car in front of them and slowly climbed aboard, the small group of people that had been following them watched as Jim Magee and his friends waved at them as they tried to run towards the cable car.  Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin stuck her tongue out at the small group of people that had been chasing them.

Jim Magee and his friends watched from the cable car as they slowly headed south down N.W. 23rd.  They passed N.W. Burnside and slowly their cable car took them over the Vista Bridge, winding up S.W. Vista, they passed by Mrs. Nance’s, shortly in a few minutes they finally reached their destination near the top of Council Crest.  Jim Magee and his friends strolled over and looked at the amazing amusement park that was located at the top of Council Crest.  It had been built in 1904; it was a famous amusement park.  There was a dance hall, a roller coaster, a Ferris wheel, a log plume where you could ride hollowed out logs, it had a few water towers, and it had rides for all the children.

The top of Council Crest gave people a wonderful view of Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens and the Willamette Valley.  They decided to buy tickets and go through the amusement park.  It was a popular amusement park indeed, the park was full that day, they went on some of the rides, they rode the Ferris Wheel and were enjoying themselves, suddenly off in the distance, out towards the N.E. they could see dark black ominous clouds forming and heading towards Council Crest and the amusement park.  People ran for cover, children cried as the wind slowly picked up, someone’s balloon floated up in the air, the Douglas firs swayed back and forth.  The wind soon started to howl, it started raining, it poured, people headed for the dance hall, paper flew through the air, dark thunderclouds rolled in around the amusement park, and a terrible nor’wester surrounded Council Crest!  People screamed and yelled, suddenly a bolt of lightning followed by roaring thunder crackled around the trees and the Ferris wheel; it got darker and darker as the terrible storm carried on.  A bolt of lightning hit one of the water towers and lit up the sky.  Someone’s hat flew through the air, soon some newspapers went flying by, and then a hot dog flying in the air almost hit Jim Magee in the head.  The night got darker and darker, the lightning raged on!  Oh, it was a terrible storm, one of the worst ever!

Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin screamed, “Oh dearie, dear, dearie oh dear!”  She opened up her trusty embroidered umbrella and slowly the gusty wind lifted her up in the air, she flew about, darting here and there as “Jasper” and “Mr. Gibbons” ran around and barked and barked.  Jim Magee tried to grab the left leg of Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin, he jumped two, or three times in trying to grab her hairy leg, finally he got a good hold of her left leg.  She flew up in the air holding on to her umbrella.  The wind whipped up and soon Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin and Jim Magee were flying high in the air, “Chief” Juba Winterhawk quickly jumped up and grabbed Jim Magee’s right leg, he was lifted up off the ground as well, quickly “Jasper” jumped up into the arms of “Chief” Juba Winterhawk.”  Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin kept a tight hold of her umbrella, she was being lifted higher and higher into the terrible storm, “Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner grabbed the left leg of “Chief” Juba Winterhawks left leg, he was lifted up off the ground as well.  Last but not least was Screamin’ Ned Parker, “Mr. Gibbons” jumped up into his arms, he held the frightened dog in his left arm and reached up with his right arm and grabbed the right leg of “Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner.  All five friends, including the two dogs started to fly into a black raincloud and soon disappeared, the wind lifted them higher and higher into the dark night as Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin held on to her umbrella as tight as she could.

They floated over The Pittock Mansion, the wind threw them around, and around in the air, a Great Blue Heron went flying by, they were tossed and turned into the wicked storm, lighting flashed and the thunder roared.  In the next few minutes the small group of friends was bouncing and floating through the air, the lightning flashed, dark rain clouds and a mist rolled on through the Douglas fir trees, leaves flew everywhere, the lightning continued to flash up at Council Crest amusement park.  The rain poured, the wind whipped up and they continued to float in the air.

Suddenly, they found themselves floating over N.W. Portland, they drifted over Forrest Park, they floated down near the Thurman Bridge, they drifted down, down, down, twirling and twisting, they started to scream, slowly they landed right into “Chief” Juba Winterhawks front yard, landing softly as a feather.  They rolled around in the soft grass out in front of his cabin, “Jasper” and “Mr. Gibbons” barked and yapped as they ran around in the yard.  Everyone had made it safely back, they had returned to the year 1952, everything was the same, and nothing had changed.  They laughed and hugged each other.

“Why I say, why I say that was the most amazing adventure that I’ve ever experienced,” noted “Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner.  They dusted themselves off, “Chief” Juba Winterhawk looked at his friends, “I’m quite surprised by all of this, and I think we should all go inside my cabin, I have some beer, and we can make something to eat!”  The close group of friends followed him inside of his cabin; Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin suddenly stopped and looked at her friends, “Oh my, I forgot my pie!  I was baking a pie before we went on this little journey, oh dearie!  I’m going back to my place; I’ll return in the morning, I’ll bring you all a berry pie when I return.”  Harriet walked off, the rest of the weary travelers walked into the cabin, they made a fire, “Chief” Juba Winterhawk pulled out a few beers from his ice box, they sat, and sipped on their cold brews, they started to recollect what had happened with their amazing adventure that day.  “Why I say, I don’t think that we should say a word to anybody about this, I think we should forget that this ever happened!” noted Jim Magee.  Everyone nodded their heads in agreement.  Screamin’ Ned Parker looked at everyone, “Oh my I need to get my car!  I left it parked out in front of Huck Lung’s!  I suppose I could get it tomorrow morning, why I wonder what happened to Kim Shoe Guy.”  They sat there and drank beer into the early morning; they soon fell asleep on the big sofa located inside of the tiny cabin, they were exhausted.

Early the next morning there was Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin at the front door of the cabin, the wooden front door was left open, she was holding one of her famous berry pies in her hands, “Hello, is there anybody here?”  There was a commotion inside, she slowly walked into the cabin and found her friends fast asleep in the living room, several empty beers were scattered about on the floor, and she looked around and recognized everyone except for a strange furry creature that had cuddled up with Jim Magee on the big couch.  She slowly crept towards the furry creature and soon realized that it was a huge hairy, mangy, dusty ol’ bear.  She moved closer, it surprised the unwanted guest, the startled big bear suddenly raised its’ head up from under a blanket and suddenly it started to roar.  Everyone jumped up and ran around the small cabin.  It looked as though indeed a huge brown bear had snuck in the middle of the night and had made its way in to the small cabin while everyone was sleeping.  Screamin’ Ned Parker went running by Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin, he was wearing his red long john’s, “Chief” Juba Winterhawk, and “Colonel” Snodgrass Hockner ran around and around in the room, screaming as tables and chairs got knocked over.  The bear roared and ran after them, Jim Magee grabbed a rifle that was standing over in one of the corners of the cabin, he cocked the trigger and fired at the big ‘ol bear as it ran out of the cabin, his shot missed and hit a tree.  Harriet “Middleborough” Chamberlin ran after her friends, the bear darted off in Forest Park and disappeared, the dogs barked, everyone yelled.  Within a few minutes they made their way back in the cabin, they sat down and decided to eat the delicious berry pie that Harriet had made.  “Chief” Juba Winterhawk looked at the mess in his cabin, “Damn!  I wonder how that big ‘ol bear got in here?  I suppose we drifted off and left the front door open!”  They laughed amongst themselves, the berry pie tasted delicious as usual.  Someone stepped in one of the bears squats that he left behind on the cabin floor.

Eventually Screamin’ Ned Parker got his black Desoto back.  They had some marvelous times together, they were great friends, and their friendship endured throughout the years to follow.  They had other famous adventures, but none quite like the night that they traveled back in time.  They never went back to Huck Lungs; they never went back through the magical underground tunnel.  They had their stories and memories that would last their entire lives.  They never would forget the night they traveled back in time.  They were best friends for life.


 [GAK1]

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