On The Table

On The Table
Liam our stage manager and friend getting the word out...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Notes from a Molalla interview Liam and Rebecca conducted...

Here are the thoughts from Preston...the guy we spoke to at the Spring Fling....about George and Molalla and the show:

If he was born in 1898, and died in 1980, that would make him 92 years old when he died.

He would have worked in the lumber yards and timber industry. Specifically, he would have likely been a lumberjack in the Mt. Hood wilderness.

He would have had about an 8th grade education. “He would have had trouble verbalizing his thoughts, but he wouldn’t be dumb” He would have worked on his parents farm growing up.

Food eaten at the turn of the century well into the 80’s was venison and vegetables.

He might have had a tree fall on a leg at some point, which would have prevented him from going to war. But he still could have worked in the forests, even with a lame leg.

If he were a “tough old buzzard” he could have worked as a tree topper well into his 60’s.

He would have worn suspenders and sagged off pants, cut off around the calves to prevent them from catching on tools and downed trees. He would have worn big ol boots.

In his down time, he’d hunt elk in Eastern Oregon. Alcohol was a massive part of the 1900’s in Molalla. People were drunk a lot of the time, and it played a huge role in the society. Alcoholism was the norm. If you ran into someone you knew driving down the road, you’d both stop, pull the bottle of whiskey out from under a seat, and drink on the side of the road before continuing driving. There would almost certainly be a bottle being passed at the service. Preston actually said it would be very strange to do a show about Molalla and not talk about the role alcohol played in the community.

The White Horse tavern was the center of the community.

He would not have been well traveled except maybe the occasional hunting trip to Eastern Oregon.

He might have also been on the road crew in the Mt. Hood wilderness. Miles of road being built through the wilderness.

He would have been a big fan of Hank Williams music. Early country music would have been big in his life. The funeral would NOT have been any sort of celebration of life. It would have been a somber affair. At most, someone might have played an old country song.

PRESTON’S grandfather was born in 1894 in Colton.

In the late 70’s into the 80’s the sawmill and lumber industry began its decline because of the rising environmental movement. This was the most significant thing to happen in Molalla. The closing of this industry.

Preston was interested in the conversation between the environmentalists and the lumber industry. He specifically wanted Bess to be an environmentalist.


  1. The mention of the White Horse again as the center of the community reminded me....has anyone interviewed Tomi Douglas yet, who I mentioned before? She grew up in Molalla (graduated from Molalla High in '92), and her parents owned the White Horse during those years. Seems like she'd be a great resource. If someone wants to contact her, email me and I'll send you her info.

  2. The conflict between the lumber industry and the environmental movement reminds me of the early work Dell'Arte did when they started in an old logging town in Humboldt in the 70s. Like Molalla, Blue Lake was a logging town where the industry was virtually shut down by the environmental movement, causing big conflicts right around when Dell'Arte moved in. They did some performances centered on the conflict, I believe, and might be good people to talk to. I could pass on contact info if needed.

  3. thanks, taiga
    i know them well, and those projects

    its a big part of Oregon's history, and has come up before in a number of our projects

    we'll see how/if it takes a story strand here