I’m pleased to announce that Oregon Experience has been nominated for four Northwest Regional Emmy Awards this year!
The Suffragists, Kami Horton, Writer/Producer
Documentary – Cultural
Rajneeshpuram, Eric Cain, Nadine Jelsing, Writer/Producers; Lisa Suinn Kallem, Editor
Documentary – Topical
Oregon Wine: Grapes of Place, Nadine Jelsing, Writer/Producer; Lisa Suinn Kallem, Editor
Writer – Program
Oregon Wine: Grapes of Place, Nadine Jelsing
Congratulations to the Oregon Experience team and to all the Emmy nominees at Oregon Public Broadcasting. OPB received a total of 19 nominations! The Northwest Regional Emmy Awards ceremony is June 15 in Seattle. Good luck to everyone!
The latest Oregon Experience, Capturing Oregon’s Frontier, focuses on a rare collection of vintage glass plate negatives taken by Grants Pass newspaper publisher Amos Voorhies at the turn of the twentieth century.
Voorhies bought the Rogue River Courier in 1897. Today, as the Grants Pass Daily Courier, the paper is still owned by the Voorhies family.
Recently, the Courier was one of the latest newspapers added to the Oregon Digital Newspaper Program, an open state-wide resource for historic Oregon newspapers online.
The program is part of the Library of Congress’ and National Endowment for the Humanities’ Chronicling America.
Newspapers dating back to the 1860s are available as a key-word searchable online database. The files are also downloadable as pdfs.
A quick search of the Courier uncovered a wonderful article celebrating the paper’s 25th anniversary, complete with pictures of Amos Voorhies and his staff.
Do your own search of the Courier and dozens of other Oregon papers here.
Please join us for a preview screening of
the hour-long documentary special
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97214
6:30 pm – doors open at 5:30 pm
Nearly forty years after he left office and thirty years after his death, Oregon Governor Tom McCall remains one of the state’s most renowned political figures. He envisioned a quality of environment and life unique to Oregon and he worked relentlessly to protect those values. McCall’s bold achievements set a new standard for the rest of the nation. The Beach Bill and the Bottle Bill, the SB100 land-use law, the Willamette River cleanup and the reinvention of Portland’s waterfront — all of these emerged from the McCall years. This new one-hour episode of Oregon Experience: Tom McCall explores the man who helped shape the “Oregon” that we know today. The program was written and produced by Eric Cain and edited by Lisa Suinn Kallem.
Airs on OPB-TV Tuesday, March 19 at 8pm.
Thursday, October 25, 7 – 8:30 PM
Free Admission – RSVP Required to 503.306.5214
The Suffragists release is appropriately timed with the upcoming November 5 centennial of Oregon Woman Suffrage.
Until 1912, Oregon women lived by men’s law. They had few legal rights with little power to improve their lives or communities. That changed when women won the right to vote. Join us for light refreshments and to celebrate this historic moment in our state’s history.
Following the screening, Oregon’s first woman governor Barbara Roberts, and Western Oregon University’s Dr. Kimberley Jensen will provide their insights on the episode.
Space is limited, please RSVP to 503.306.5214 if you are planning to attend.
The Suffragists airs on OPB-TV November 5th at 9 pm
Join Oregon Experience and more than 25 other organizations for the 3rd Annual Oregon Archives Crawl this Saturday, October 6, 10am to 3pm.
It’s a great opportunity to get to know the wonderful archival and heritage organizations in the state; and the dedicated archivists and historians who devote their time to preserving the past for generations to come. Many of the organization will have interactive opportunities including learning ways to preserve and research your own family history.
Oregon Experience will be based at the Multnomah County Central Library, but the Crawl will also take you to the City of Portland Archives & Records Center, Portland State University Library and the Oregon Historical Society. This year’s theme is Celebrating Women, Celebrating Archives and honors the 100th anniversary of Oregon women winning the right to vote.
The Crawl will showcase the contributions and impact women have had on Oregon politics, health, education and so much more. We’ll be showing a clip of our newest show, The Suffragists, airing November 5 at 9pm as well as other clips from past programs.
We certainly couldn’t produce any of our shows without carefully preserved film, photographs and artifacts of the past. We welcome all new story ideas, too, so come and tell us a few of your own!
You can pick up your free “passport” that lists all the organizations participating at any of the four host locations. Visit all four locations and you can be entered into a prize drawing announced at the After Party at Al’s Den at McMenamins Crystal Hotel.
Stop by and say hello at the Archives Crawl this Saturday. Looking forward to meeting you!
I’ll get to participate in a little bit of history this weekend, through a traditional Chautauqua event hosted by the Southern Oregon Historical Society at Historic Hanley Farm in Central Point.
The Chautauqua movement of the 19th century featured education, entertainment, and discussions of the issues of the day. The outdoor theater at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is built on the foundations of a defunct Chautauqua building.
The event starts at 11 a.m. and is open to the public. I’ll be speaking about the Oregon Experience program The Modoc War with Klamath Tribal elder Lynn Schonchin at 1 p.m. Saturday, September 22 on the main stage.
Below is an Oregonian article from 100 years ago – dated June 2, 1912 – about a Chautauqua event in Gladstone outside of Portland.
An OPB crew recently traveled to Grants Pass and Ashland for an upcoming Oregon Experience documentary on life in rural Southern Oregon at the turn of the century.
The trip meant several days on the road for videographer Greg Bond, audio technician Bill Ward and me.
You tend to learn a lot about your co-workers on long road trips. I recently learned that Bill and Greg like funk music.
This was my view from the back seat on the trip from Ashland to Portland.
Congratulations to all! You can watch all 36 of our Oregon Experience shows online anytime.
The Klamath Tribes lost a link to its past recently. Tribal elder Albert “Bert” Lawvor passed away June 1, 2012
I met Bert last year while working on The Modoc War documentary for Oregon Experience. His grandfather fought in the Modoc War of 1872-73 and went on to become the last historical chief of the Modoc’s in Oklahoma, known as “Chief Yellowhammer”.
When I visited with Bert in his Klamath Falls apartment, he invited me to look through a box of historic photos and shared memories about his grandfather. Stories like how his grandfather trained as a boy-warrior by running up a local mountain every day. And later in life, decided on the spur of the moment to run a marathon – and won. Stories about traveling across the country by cold train boxcar after watching his chief hung at Fort Klamath. Of arriving at the Oklahoma reservation so far from his homeland in Oregon. And of his marriage to a white missionary, Alice, who in her own way was just as courageous as her husband.
Since I’ve met him I wanted to go back and ask about Alice who was instrumental in the Modoc’s return to Oregon in 1909. About her fight to keep her children when the state tried to take them away when her husband died. About so many things.
Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance. But I’m grateful that I was able too hear some of the stories, to see the photos from his family and his life, and get a brief visit with such delightful man.
World War ll veterans. Founding members of the Portland arts community. Lake County people who worked with “Oregon Desert” rancher Reub Long. The Pendleton Round-up’s oldest living rodeo queen and oldest rodeo clown and oldest rodeo announcer. The first Mexican-American resident of St. Paul…
For me, the downside of meeting other people late in their lives has been sometimes seeing those lives come to an end. Several of the folks featured in our 6 years of Oregon Experience programs have passed away. And even when they’ve been in their 80’s or 90’s, we still always feel surprised and more than a little sad.
The most recent of these deaths was that of Ron Abell. A longtime writer and journalist, Ron worked on the 1968 campaign of Senator Wayne Morse. Ron played an important role in our “Wayne Morse” episode, as well.
Recently, I learned from a couple of his friends that Ron was quite ill and had only a few days to live. And this was more than two weeks before the Morse program would air.
“Ron would like to see the show,” one friend wrote, and of course, I was eager for him to see it. A second friend came to OPB the next day, picked up a DVD of the program and drove to Ron’s apartment. She said that Ron was shy about the prospect of watching it, that he feared he might not look good and that he might wait a couple days before viewing the disk.
Apparently, he changed his mind, because that same afternoon I received an email:
“Thanks for the opportunity to see an advanced preview of the Morse piece. It was a fair and balanced piece of work, as I knew it would be. Congratulations on a job well done. Sorry I won’t have a chance to tell you in person. All the best, Ron Abell “
Five days later, Ron died.
Several Op-Ed pieces and letters about Ron appeared soon after in the newspapers. I had not known that this humble, reclusive man had so many friends. All the obits and testimonials seemed to say what I already knew: that Ron Abell was a neat guy.
I am sorry for our loss. But I’m glad that at least we Oregon-history people were able to introduce other Oregonians to Ron… and to Kaz and Bussie, Monk, Kathryn, Orlin and, well, everyone else on the ever-growing list.