Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Staking out my territory

Northern California
The Great Basin
The Columbia Plateau
The Sate of Jefferson
The ION ( Idaho-Oregon-Nevada in buckaroo-speak)
The historical range of the West-Slope trouts...

I've been thinking about what defines the territory that I consider myself to be a product of.
To simplify things, I'll define it as the country West of the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific, and including Hawaii.
Much of this Trad/Resurgence quadrant of the blogosphere originates in New York and New England and with the point-of-view of East Coast tradition and heritage. It is my hope that this blog adds one man's West Coast point-of-view to the conversation.

I have my East Coast bragging rights too- the first Hudson to pay a visit arrived in 1607, and became a permanent resident in 1611 (though not by choice.) He got a river and a bay named after him for his troubles. The first of my branch of the Hudson clan to settle in what is now the USA showed up in Virginia in 1635.
But it is my ancesters who came to Northern California from Sweden, England, and Missouri in the mid-late 19th century that most define me and capture my imagination. Ranchers, carpenters, miners, doctors, teachers...later heavy equipment mechanics, and my dear old dad who played an important part in putting a man on the moon. I am humbled by the hardships that they endured and by what they were able to accomplish.

Many of the heritage brands that we are buying, using, and cheering onward were forged in the Pacific West:
Levi Strauss
Ben Davis
Pendleton Woolen Mills
White's Boots
CC Filson
In my time, new brands have been born here that will be the heritage brands of the next generation:
The North Face
Sierra Designs
Pacific Iron Works/Patagonia
Mulholland Brothers
In your time- if you are younger than I (and you probably are) the next wave:
The bicycle builders of Portland- as good as anything that came out of post-war France
Archival Clothing
Rising Sun & Co.

In addition to the above with an international audience, there is a robust resurgence movement going on in the Buckaroo community that rivals anything going on in the larger Trad/Resurgence world for passion, quality, and authenticity and deserves a wider audience than working cowboys and cowboy poetry groupies.

If New England's poetic voice is Salinger, the Pacific Coast's is Steinbeck, Stegner, and Kerouac.

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