Tuesday, February 12, 2008

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.


Jason said...

You know who I miss? "Ramblin' Rod". Had a couple of kids from my fourth grade class get on the show once; they were celebrities among the rest of us for quite some time afterwards. I even remember when they brought the tape in to show the class ...

Anonymous said...

Any idea where a Crooked River Bob commerical can be seen? Recording???

Danny said...

I discovered your post while looking for one of those old commercials. I have an old 80s t-shirt that I picked up from a thrift store well over 10 years ago, and I just found out that it not only references Bob, but is also a parody of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. "Crooked River Bhabwan" it says ("Bhab" being the pun there), with an illustration of the Bhagwan twirling a hat. I'm not originally from Oregon, so I'm only able to learn about Bob via sites and blogs like yours. In any case, I love knowing the history behind the shirt. Sounds like Bob was quite the character. Hopefully someday someone will upload an old VHS recording of one of his commercials. Cheers!