Posted June 18, 2016 by Kerry McFall
The origin of phrases is just one of the sources of my “squirrel brain”, i.e. a short attention span. As I typed the above title for this post, the squirrel zipped off to http://www.word-detective.com/2014/11/stamping-stomping-grounds/ and was gone for quite awhile. During the interlude, I learned about stomping, stamping, and congregating. This same syndrome used to happen any time I picked up a dictionary back in the day, an old-school time sink. But I digress…
I made this watercolor sketch in a “hurry up it’s going to rain” interlude after a stroll in the Rose Garden across the Willamette River from Valley River Mall on the footbridge. I went to highschool and university in Eugene, so this is part of my old stomping grounds. In the days when shopping malls were the bees knees and downtowns were dying. Eugene downtown tried to “revitalize” before it even died. They weren’t just early adapters, they were pro-active, but to their detriment. By making a pedestrian mall, and an “Overpark” (multi-story parking garage) and park blocks to attract shoppers, they managed to shut down the downtown for months with the construction projects. Aside from the fact that the finished Overpark terrified women – who was lurking there in the dark? – you couldn’t drive your Chevy or your Olds and park right in front of the store like you always had. So, you braved the freeway overpass, drove further to the mall, parked in the mall lot (way far away from the shops in a cookie-sheet-hot parking lot in summer, or drenching wet in winter), and considered yourself quite modern.
Sometimes going “back home” reveals things you hadn’t noticed way back when, or just never got around to. The hills south of the University, for instance, offer much more than dead end roads where couples with amourous intentions can park… but that’s a story for another time.
Case in point, this week we found Laurelwood golf course, a public course with a terrific view of Spencer Butte, Eugene’s iconic mountain. Bonus: they have a pub, serving really excellent food, and they are happy to let you sit for several hours out of the rain or hot sun while your spouse plays golf!