It’s hard to believe that it was 300 years ago when Martin cycled to Beulahland in the March snow to meet Dan and I for the first Thirsty Fathers gathering. And, of course, back then, to bicycle to a pub was a half day’s journey. Had Barrett not been such a behemoth of a man, he would not have survived the bitter cold that blew in the fateful storm of 1709. Yet there he was, standing six axe-handles high and fifty-five Star tobacco boxes wide. Some say his bicycle, its frame carved from fir trees by 50 trained beavers, was the first of its kind, predating by 81 years the celerifere, the French bicycle prototype that first appeared in 1790. The humble Barrett, who miraculously still lives today and seemingly has not aged a year, has repeatedly refused to comment. In fact, the only phrase historians can confidently attribute to the giant Scotsman is the one yelled from of a brothel window in 1866: “Here’s to swimmin’ with bowlegged women!” Dan and Shalen, the two original settlers of Bybee ridge, arrived in a makeshift carriage powered by the leavings from a local potato chip maker. The carriage never really caught on due to the popularity of horse travel made more appealing by government subsidies and billion dollar hay lobby that kept feedstock prices below market value. Fast forward 300 years and one is immediately taken by the fact that how it was then is much as it is now. The Tricentennial found Martin, Shalen, and the fourth rider (of the apocalypse), Owen (Olin? Odin?) pedaling north by northwest against a steady wind. As they approached the St. John’s Bridge (Portland’s tallest with 400 ft towers and 205 ft clearance to the river below), the three were mourning the absence of Dan, one of the original 3, who had just called to state that he probably would not show. Despite the depressing news, the three forged on up the ramp and onto the bridge. Behold! In the middle of the bridge on the northbound side, like the ghost of Thelma Taylor (the 15-year old who was killed in Cathedral Park in 1949; considered one of Portland’s most famous hauntings), was the Silent Assassin himself: Dan Bravin. Too clever to be classified. Too sly to be slurred. Bravin’s sheepish grin at the crest of the bridge will surely be the enduring vision of this Tricentennial celebration. The four rode back in force to meet up with the fifth father, the Good King Lebold, and take to the Vendetta board like rats to cheese. Kong and a man called Brad wrested the table from the owners. Martin and I then pounded Scott and Brad, slipped past Dan and Owen, and pummeled the hat and new wave hairdo. I had a brief disagreement as to the terms of proper discusssion with Brad outside. My apologies to the fellow fathers. Better to shrug it off. Tiga closed? Did we swear off the Nest? Nah! Whiskey and dogs. Santi Holley in the crowd. Proper toast to 300 hundred years. Another round for Martin, Shalen and Scott as Dan and Owen escape. Scott calls it quits half full. Screw it, let’s live. Montage? Closed. Holmans? Closed. Chopsticks? Closed. You’ve never been to the Hot Cake House at 3 a.m.? Eggs, corned beef hash, 2 pancakes, and a splash of coffee. Wow. Ride home with the sure knowledge that come tomorrow, my legs will feel their true age: 300 years.
Bars Visited: Vendetta, The Nest, Hotcake House
Attendance: MB, OC, DB, SP, SL
Cycling (Mi.): SP (30), DB (30), MB(28), OC (20), SL (14)
Shuffleboard Overall W-L (Singles W-L) Notables:
MB 3-0 Hanger