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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pointed hats in the rain

Fort Astoria Mural I parked at the corner of 15th Street and Exchange Avenue, headed for a warm cafe, a cup of coffee and a pastry. It was cold and drizzling, and as I was right next to the small park which is the site of Fort Astoria, I sauntered over for a look and a photo. This is always a pleasing place to visit. There's no fence, no ticket taker, no concession stand, just this lovely mural by local artists Roger McKay and Sally Lackaff, and a cleverly-integrated model of one of the old blockhouses. There are also a couple of very interesting plaques, which I'll get to another time. It's a small corner park, and it's peaceful.

As I enjoyed the mural in the rain, I felt somehow close to the Indians on the beach with their water-shedding pointed headgear. It was the first time I'd understood viscerally the utilitarian advantages of this tribe's uniquely-designed hats. I think the mural is just lovely, not only showing us how a scene on the Columbia's banks may have looked, and how the locals dressed, but I also love the added details of the crow, the dog, the ship and the small canoe. The tree is real, and so is the green grass in the foreground. So also is the green dripping color in the painted sky that speaks of our climate.

The mural is painted on the back of the Fort George Building, which I haven't discussed yet, but will sometime. The Blue Scorcher is one of the businesses inside the building. I've shown Fort Astoria in one other post.

9 comments:

Gary said...

Nice. I love to see murals on buildings like this. In Cottage Grove a number have sprung up in the past few years and I'm always taken back by the way they change the landscape. Thanks for sharing this one.

Don and Krise said...

I love these murals. Every once in a while I see a new one appear. When I enlarged your photo I noticed that dog looks like he's keeping his eye on you.

Amy said...

That is very pretty, nothing like seeing some home grown artists displaying their work tastefully :-)

Lee Spangler said...

Tells a nice story. I wish I could go back in time once and see how it all really looked.

Vogon Poet said...

I missed the Fort Astoria post, so I had some catch-up to do. An old fashioned mural, almost a painting or a fresco. I like the sober and descriptive tone of this work and hope that it is somewhat preserved.

Small City Scenes said...

I like this mural and the story it tells.

The mural on my post was done in grainy gray--almost a B&W---I think to look like an old photograph. So I think the sepia puts an even different spin on it. MB

B SQUARED said...

Historical and beautiful. A nice addition to the building.

cieldequimper said...

I'm sure you'll know by now that I love this...

Sueso said...

Hey, I just realized something! Maybe they flatten babies heads so the hats would fit better! I mean, look at the evidence in the painting! :)

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