Coping with Oregonophilia

I know what some of you are thinking, and it’s not that kind of disease. It’s also not an inordinate fondness for a particular Mediterranean herb. That’s Oreganophila.

I was first afflicted upon moving from the frozen tundra of Upper Michigan to go to grad school at OSU in Corvallis in the early 1960s. Within a short time I fell in love with Oregon. The mountains, forests, deserts, coast, wildlife and people. Even the politicians: socially liberal and enlightened, fiscally conservative. A species which is apparently now extinct. I intended to spend the rest of my life here, but took a short career path detour of 30 years through south Texas. Retirement brought me back.

The other night I watched an excellent biography of the Nobel Prize winning chemist (and OSU graduate) Linus Pauling on the local PBS channel. Following up on the link given at the end of the program to Oregon Public Broadcasting’s website, I found hundreds of videos available for streaming. All of the PBS national stuff (Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, etc.) that is on the PBS streaming website plus many more, including about 150 specifically about Oregon. My favorites are the 30 or so Oregon Experience videos. In addition to the biography of Linus Pauling I’ve watched  A Cuisine of Our Own (the biography of James Beard, the famous chef who put NW cuisine on the map), Beervana (a history of beer brewing in Portland, which has more breweries than any city on the planet) and “The Road to Statehood“. If you are interested in Oregon history, this last one is a short, accurate portrait, warts and all, of the statehood process.

Check it out. A couple caveats: The streaming videos are in Flash format so they not will work on your iPad or iPhone. The site sometimes seems to be extraordinarily slow to load (must be Windows-powered), so be patient. Once you are there, streaming performance is very good. Resolution on my HD TV is comparable to Netflix and better than Amazon’s streaming video.