Thursday, August 25, 2016

Back from Oregon

We made a quick visit to Corvallis, Oregon, at the end of last week. Corvallis is not a large city, dominated by the expanding Oregon State University. However, the students were mostly not back from vacation, and the town was quiet.

Saturday was hot, with a high temperature approaching 100 F. The humidity was low, which I thought made it tolerable. The house we visited got by with fans; air conditioning is not common in Corvallis. In general, the summer temperatures must be tolerable, for our guide down to the farmers market did not seek out the shadiest possible path, as I would do in Washington, D.C.

The farmers market had some good musicians, from a violinist not yet in his teens to bands made up of men with white hair. It also offered food


and armaments

At least one of the local microbreweries, one that our hosts patronize, makes very good beer.

On Monday in Portland, I managed an hour's visit to Powell's. Thinking of the bag I would have to carry through a couple of airports, I limited myself to three books, and of course regretted several more as soon as I left. Of the books I bought, two were by Edward Dahlberg: The Sorrows of Priapus and a volume comprising (and titled) Bottom Dogs, From Flushing To Calvary, Those Who Perish And other hitherto unpublished and uncollected works by Edward Dahlberg. It seems to me that on the last visit to Portland I left a volume with only Bottom Dogs on the shelf.


  1. Knowing nothing of Edward Dahlberg, I am horrified to find the smutty English postcard element in my personality coming to the fore as I read those titles. Shame on me.

    What does one do with those green things that look like cacti in the top picture? Are they delicious, if an acquired taste?

    1. You do not read Dahlberg's interests--obsessions--wrongly, although as it happens the first volume named is not especially erotic. If it happened that you wished to read his work, it is better probably to start with Because I Was Flesh or The Leafless American.

      I don't know about the nopales. I took the picture mostly because the principal of my son's high school is among other things a member of the American Succulent Society. Thank you for reminding me that I should send him the picture. I'll ask my in-laws whether they know how to prepare nopales.

    2. The book Authentic Mexican Cooking by Paula Holt and Helene Juarez, says that "They have a gentle flavor like some pulpy squash.... They are best sauteed with onions and tomatoes; scrambled with eggs or chiles; or served with a vinaigrette."

  2. You would have to admit that the American Succulent Society is quite Dahlberg/smutty English postcard too, (nudge, nudge ad infinitum, some people age but they never grow up, sigh)

  3. A man who has spent forty years or more instructing boys from the age of eleven to eighteen must have heard every such joke that it is possible to make. And I assume that his dealings with alumni give him a good estimate of the capacity of the human (male, at least) to grow up.