Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Calling all Oregonians!

Have a story to tell about life in Oregon? Send in your story to the "Oregon Story" Project for a chance to have your story told all around the state. Here's some more information:

An open letter to all Oregonians:
No one knows Oregon as well as you and your neighbors. On behalf of Governor Ted Kulongoski, we invite you to share your story about what it means to be an Oregonian. The sesquicentennial “Oregon Stories” project is a personal invitation to you and your family, friends, community, school, tribe, or company to contribute your favorite stories about life in Oregon, and then share these stories throughout the state.

All Oregon stories are yours to tell—you can write them, sing them, sew them, photograph them, film them, or paint them.

What does an “Oregon Story” look like? Here is just one example—read how Mr. Ralph Beebe and his family worked in Malheur County to “Live the Oregon Dream”:

Our team stumbled along the gravel road, my father holding the right-side horse’s bit, guiding the wagon against the blinding dust storm. The robust Malheur County winds loved the soft dirt where sagebrush and cheat grass had been, and blew with gusty, dusty pleasure that winter day in 1939.

My dad and brothers had spent months grubbing the brush, leveling, corrugating, planting, scaring away jackrabbits whose homes were being invaded, and convincing the water to abandon gopher holes for the irrigation rows.

As renter farmers my parents had lived in 21 houses their first 20 years of marriage. Now they were upgrading to a cement floored 18’ x 28’ basement house on our homestead nine miles south of Adrian, which our seven family members shared the first year with the teacher of the newly built Ridgeview Grade School.

Hard times, yes, but my parents lived there for 40 years and persuaded the soil to yield a decent living. My eldest brother, David, still lives on that now productive farm. Thanks, FDR and Congress for the New Deal, the Owyhee Dam and the irrigation ditches. Thanks, USA and Oregon, for giving us the chance to make our dreams come true.

What is your “Oregon Story?”

Oregon 150 will take the best stories from every region and share them statewide through radio, television, online and print “Oregon Minutes.” As a lasting legacy, all of these Oregon Stories will become part of the Oregon State Archives.

On our website (www.oregon150.org), you will find a tool kit of ideas to help guide you in the process of setting down your Oregon Story and sharing it with Oregon 150. Use this as a guide but remember—the Governor wants you to tell us what you think is most important for others to understand about your Oregon in your own way. Feel free to use the style that best suits you while still meeting Oregon 150’s submission guidelines.

We are all Oregonians, and we all have an “Oregon Story” to tell. We can’t wait to receive your stories so that the Governor can share them with all of our Oregonian neighbors!

Pass it on!
Please share this toolkit with your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and their friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers!

The Oregon 150 Board of Directors

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