I think there is like a five year institutional memory around here; new reporters, new city officials, new businesses, new customers.
New residents. The Bulletin published a truly astonishing stat about mid-way through the bubble, that 75% of the population of Bend had been here less than five years.
I've often said; I think the first couple of waves of immigrants to Bend adapted to Bend culture, took a look around before trying to change it all -- there were the occasional big shots who came to town to "Show Us" local yokels how it should be done, but they almost always crashed and burned. But most of them moved here because they liked the way it was, and settled in.
The last and biggest wave --was a whole nother breed. They seemed intent on changing Bend into what they had escaped. "OH, thank God, we FINALLY have a Pier One!"
Plus, they had no problem trying to change Bend without understanding the underpinnings. We aren't Portland, or even Eugene or Salem or Medford. We're isolated, we don't have a true 4 year college, we don't have an interstate, and we don't have a surviving native industry --
We have tourism, which is "the minimum wage" for most workers.
It also explained why my longevity in business didn't count for much, and why I would constantly get the remark "I didn't know you existed."
Ironically, about mid-1995, just about every local seemed to know about us -- and 15 years later, very few did.
Pardon me, if I feel the fault is on the part of the newcomers for not looking around. Not settling in. Trying to "improve" everything, without understanding anything.
They liked Bend, and then they changed it.
I could wish they hadn't been so -- I don't know, arrogant. I wish they had just settled in.
Instead of just stomping on the local ethos.
5 days ago