Describing Crooked River Bob's trick makes it sound cooler than it was. It was pretty lame ass. But he was a genial old guy, and a fixture of my teenage T.V. viewing. He and buzz cut Tom Peterson, hawking furniture from Portland, knocking on the inside of the T.V. screen yelling, "WAKE UP! WAKE UP!"
Spent many a night past my bedtime with Tom and Bob as constant bombardment. Before there was Turner Classic Movies, there were the old classics on late night telly.
If I remember rightly, Crooked River Ranch was a slow starter. Pretty much stalled for most of '60's and '70's.
Meanwhile, I remember distinctly the conversations we would have between Bend and Redmond. It was a half hour drive back then, on a two lane black top. We'd do a lot of passing, because the traffic was pretty light. Redmond was more of a separate town back then, our high school rival, they'd come and rearrange the letters on Pilot Butte before the big homecoming game. We thought of them as hicks, because you know the Bendites of 11,000 population were so much more sophisticated. But Redmond had a drive-in theater, so it was good place to take a date.
Anyway, we always thought the side of the highway from Bend to Redmond would be full of businesses for the whole 18 miles, sometime around, gasp, the turn of the century! (Because that was a million years away....)
Probably would've happened, too, without the Oregon Land Use laws.
Driving into the high desert just seems to bring back these memories. We took a little detour to Lone Pine, yesterday, but ran out of daylight before we got there and headed back to the highway. Amazing though how many pockets of the old isolated ranch life are still hovering just over the horizon.
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