Editorial -- When and Now: In two ways, our history comes home

Our sense of history, and place, gets two major stimuli this week.

Gorge Owned hosts Hood River Mayor and history enthusiast Arthur Babitz at Springhouse Cellar Winery on Jan. 8 for the next “Sense of Place” lecture series. Babitz will explore the rich and well-documented past of Hood River using photographic archives of The History Museum of Hood River County.

Babitz has taken a personal hand in recent years in archiving and updating the museum’s image collection.

In past presentations, Babitz has shown a fine eye for detail and historical perspective, connecting the photos and what they show to what is happening in our communities now.


Then there is the new visiting exhibit at The History Museum. Through Feb. 26, community members have a great opportunity to learn about a critical part of local history with “What if Heroes Were Not Welcome Home?” This detailed and evocative exhibit stops in Hood River for two months as part of a statewide tour, courtesy of Oregon Historical Society.

During World War II, Japanese Americans born and raised in Hood River served heroically with the United States Armed Forces in the South Pacific and in Europe. At the same time, many of their family members were unjustly incarcerated in concentration camps on American soil. When these soldiers returned home to Oregon at the end of the war, the welcome they received was anything but heroic.

At the OHS museum in Portland, the exhibit was unveiled in August with internees of the World War II camps, and their children and grandchildren as honored guests.

Many Hood River residents were in attendance, an indication of the sustained resonance of that troubling era.

It’s a ‘What If’ that was all too true, as we said in our Jan. 1 headline about the internments and the unfortunate reception received by most of the returning Nisei soldiers.

The museum’s “Heroes Unheralded” reception on Jan. 12, at 2 p.m. will be a thank-you celebration to remember the experiences of Japanese American citizens in World War II, and honor those who braved prejudices to help them or speak out against their treatment, according to Connie Nice, museum coordinator.

The exhibit is curated in part by Hood River native Dr. Linda Tamura, a historian and author, whose parents endured internment and discrimination.

The exhibit is here long enough to plan ahead for, but it does depart at the end of next month. It is an opportunity for education and understanding that should not be missed.

The History Museum of Hood River County is located at 300 E. Port Marina Drive, Hood River. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There is no admission charge for visiting the exhibit or attending the special celebration event on Jan. 12.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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