A Secret Place

Imagine a place, a secret place with contrasts, some more pronounced than others, some almost entirely imperceptible, some entirely conjured in the mind. Imagine a secret place that creates a state of mind without any perceptible effort and particularly without the assistance of the Chambers of Commerce.

Here’s what might unfold in this secret place:

Million dollar mansions within walking distance of Oregon Tavern Age country but the mansion owners never take the walk.

Roadkill turkey for Thanksgiving and hot dogs on the river for Christmas.

Cannabis shops and cranberry fields.

A socialist golf course and loggers who golf.

People living in vans down by the river catching wild salmon.

A library, a mysterious throwback library that can’t possible be where it is, but there it is, under a large tree and open two days a week for patrons, some who ride up on horses.

Drive-in movie theaters that show only the jetties and the ocean.

A skate park next to a bar.

Nary a hipster and where gentrifiers go to die.

A graceful old bridge with obelisks that reminds architects and engineers how to build today.

Newspapers with more advertising than the Oregonian.

A bobcat wearing a life jacket who floats down a river in a boat.

Barry White and Jerry Jeff Walker on the same radio station, spun by some of the last DJs in America.

A radio station playing “This is Radio Clash” before broadcasting the high school football game.

Sea stacks and old quarries.

Slash burning above a hospital.

Confirmed sightings of Barbra Streisand in sweats and a dog that fishes for salmon.

A gleaming German coffee roaster and a tube amplifier in a cafe.

The two most scenic sewage treatment plants in America.

Curving old roads through trees and hills that transport you to 1958 before the straightening of American transportation.

A liquor store dog that sells to Hollywood refugees.

A Hallmark card store that doubles as a liquor store.

A liquor store with three shelves.

Clearcuts and driftwood forts.

Conservative politics without chain stores.

Canned deer and bear tacos.

Panning for gold on the beach and carving messages of love into a sandy cliff.

Paying for RV park space with gold flake.

Dead shelter dogs resurrected after walks to the beach.

Sea otters that wildlife biologists don’t think exist.

River otters on first dates.

Grange hall tango and absinthe-tinged porter.

A book store with the most improbable books in Oregon and no online catalog to find them.

Whale watching with binoculars from a bar were it rains inside.

A Christian’s ocean view camera that surfers use to spy the waves.

The last tavern in Oregon, 12 stools, open 365 days a year and not a single review on the internet because there is no signal.

Jack London and Zane Grey and Heckletooth 3, the latter a classic novel set in this secret place that has completely disappeared from this place.

Shipwrecked RVs with chimney smoke sporting magnificent ocean views.

Classic vinyl and homemade salsa for sale in a roadside market.

Amazon drones will never deliver here.

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