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Saturday, July 11, 2015

What we leave behind.



Vista House, at the left of the first photograph is a monument built in the '30's at the height of the American depression years.  (Forgive this weird photo; amounting to nothing in particular, except the fancy car and its driver right at the bottom. My fault, entirely. Darn if I can offer a decent explanation!)

From the size and look of Vista Point House, you'd think it's a monument dedicated to some Hollywood celebrity, something you'd find in a California cemetery, a two story commemoration of substance, no expenses spared in this landmark. Even the bathrooms are treated in marble seen only in Italy.

Since weather and natural disasters keep changing things around, sometimes leaving no traces of humans, this monument stands as a watchdog on the great Columbia, reminding us that once, in the depth of despair, this country, and the president who led these projects, had faith in the enduring qualities of the human spirit, in its ability to dream and build, to understand that people need dignity, work and a sense of community that only public works can provide.

Hubby and I visited a few places in the Northwest where his dad had worked with the Public Works Project, and this was our final destination.  

19 comments:

Velva said...

Very cool! Very interesting.

Velva

L. D. said...

All of our sidewalks in town were originally Public Works projects. They are all still there but we have no monument. That is neat to see it has outlasted the good and the bad the people can do to a country.

Shadow said...

Yeah, it is necessary

Tabor said...

"dignity and worth" is getting to be VERY hard to come by as wealthy politicians denigrate the "work searchers" and CEO's see labor as a liability easily replaced by robots that work more cheaply each year.

rosaria williams said...

p.s. An important aspect of this trip for the family, was our yearly memorial visit to one of our National Parks, in memory of our son Brian who died four years ago this month, who was a lover of outdoor life. At Mount Hood, we spoke on how easy it would have been for him to shush down this mountain even in the middle of summer, on his snowboard, wearing little more than a T-shirt and shorts, perhaps a hoodie, but nothing like the fancy gear the summer visitors were wearing. Brian was a thrifty guy, re-cycling and re-purposing every thing he owned.

yaya said...

What a testament to a generation that valued a good days work and not a handout. The trees that line the miracle mile in Chicago were planted by my Grandfather who immigrated from Greece. His pride was feeding his family and living a new life.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

"in the depth of despair, this country, and the president who led these projects, had faith in the enduring qualities of the human spirit,..."

Poignant post. Especially in a time where this type of importance to build a strong county is put aside for the political circus. Makes me worry how it will all turn out.

Becky Jerdee said...

Some thoughtful comments here, some of them my blog friends :) You always inspire, Rosaria. It's always a trip over here to see what you'll come up with next! I agree with Roadtripper..."political circus"

the walking man said...

I honestly think Ike was the last president who understand the needs of men to have hands that actually create something from nothing but what surrounded them on this earth.

rosaria williams said...

Thanks, everyone. I love how the conversation expands here.

A Cuban In London said...

I loved the combination of history and culture in your post. You gave me some interesting insights I was unaware of before.

Thanks.

Greetings from London.

Debbie said...

My grandmother lives on a brick paved street, put in by men during the era of public works. A time when men wanted to work to support their families, and a president helped them honor that mind set. A time lost....but because of people like you...not forgotten. Thank you for this great post.
Debbie

RNSANE said...

I just wrote a long post that got lost in the ozone. I am having a really hard time staying up to date here in India. I have a MiFi with Vodafone, akin to Verizon and equally as bad, but while I show connected it takes an eternity to load and I age rapidly as I try to accomplish one task. I even say a pray, on occasion, to the Hindu Lord Ganesha, the overcormer of obstacles, but he may have problems with me because my request is so mundane and because I am not Hindu.

How nice that you honor Brian with these National Park visits. I have only been to about ten in my lifetime!

People today don't seem to embrace the same things we did. In India, maybe one of the reasons I love it so much ( aside from full body massages for US $7/hour ) is the kindness of people, many of whom are incredibly poor but who would share the last bite of food on their plates. They honor their elders, caring for them at home, everyone calls me, "Auntie," the temples and memorials, some thousands of years old, are so beautiful and people survive adversity and huge losses of life in catastrophes and struggle on. It humbles me.

Maggie May said...

These old monuments have a story to tell. We have many such things...... it's good to learn as I know little about American history.
Maggie x

ds said...

Love this. Poignant and true. I especially like the reminder of the president who understood the importance of human dignity. Alas, that is lacking in the current political atmosphere.

troutbirder said...

Point well taken. :)

Retired English Teacher said...

I have been there. It is as you said a reminder of the reminder of those public work projects. They provided much for so many.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Was this a WPA - Work Project Administration building? It's beautiful! I have a 1934 WPA loom that's 34 inches wide...perfect size!

Vagabonde said...

I read about the WPA – they built so many worthwhile buildings, bridges, parks and more. With our infrastructure falling to pieces now I wonder why we could not have a new WPA corps to repair all the roads and more? Is it because most people now would not want to do this type of hard work? I guess that is why they use immigrant labour here, such as in farms. Works that no one else wants to do.

I also enjoyed reading your last post. I, just like you, don’t feel at ease living in Georgia on what used to be Cherokee Indian lands – lands they were removed from by force, and unlawfully I may add. (This is why most of my charitable contributions go to Indian Reservations - my daughter did her Master's thesis on a Montana Reservation, in a women's health clinic - she said their healthcare was pretty close to the healthcare of a 3rd world country.) Because of my latest trip West I have been reading diaries of women going on the westward expansion journey (Manifest Destiny) by wagons to Oregon in the mid 1800s. It has been an eye opener – not at all what I watched at the movies with my father in France when I was a little girl! Turns out that more Indians were massacred than white pioneers….