Monday, April 25, 2011

5-year cycle?

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.


Anonymous said...

The music industry fought change for a while too.

H. Bruce Miller said...

How would you describe "the old Bend ethos," and how did it differ from the ethos of Bend today?

Anonymous said...

Here, here. Thank you for the dose of reality, Duncan.

Duncan McGeary said...

What you moved to Bend, for, Bruce.

Duncan McGeary said...

I'll take a stab at it.

More blue collar, less flashy. Not as much concern with wealth. Down to earth. Outdoor sports were hunting and fishing, and skiing.

Less hurried, less rushed, less keep up with the Joneses. I think there was more a live within your means, ethos, both for business and government.

There was a grounded reality in what we were-- a small town. What grandiosity there was you found in the resorts -- Black Butte and Sunriver.

We weren't trying to be a major hub,so we weren't looking for "fine" dining or lots of entertainment options.

If you wanted those things, you drove over to Portland -- or moved there.

I'm not saying it was all good, just that you knew what you were getting when you moved here and presumably, expected it.

I remember how surprised I was when I heard a newcomer wishing for the big box stores to come.

"Then why did you move here?"

Duncan McGeary said...

In fact, I'd say ostentatious display of wealth was frowned upon.

I remember it being middle class -- not a lot of low income or high income areas -- or the degree of difference wasn't quite so much.

H. Bruce Miller said...

"I remember how surprised I was when I heard a newcomer wishing for the big box stores to come."

A lot of the "old-timers" were pretty damn happy to see the big box stores come too. I remember lifelong Bend residents (women) lamenting back in the 1980s that we didn't have a Nordtsrom's. And I remember the jubilation when ShopKo (which might be considered the first of the big boxes) arrived.

And of course it was mainly the old-timers -- longtime local developers, realtors, builders, landowners -- who promoted Bend's breakneck growth and got rich from it.

I'm a little disappointed to see you falling into the fallacy of blaming "all them durn newcomers" for ruining Bend. I thought you were smarter than that.

Duncan McGeary said...

I reserve plenty of blame for the locals.

Still, I think there is a difference in tone from the oldtimers to the newcomers.

Like everything, it seems, we might have been best of with something between the two Bends.

Anonymous said...

I like how Bend is divided into two sides. The East side with the big box retail and the West side with more desirable upscale neighborhoods.

Duncan McGeary said...

Now you're just yanking my chain.

"More desirable" ?

If you like McMansions. Faux Craftsman, houses right on top of each other.

Give me a house on a good sized lot any day.

Anonymous said...

yep I concur dunc, give me a good size lot, .. these folks coming from LA, think a lot is 3500 sq-ft like pdx, sheet we folks think a lot is an acre ... go figure for number deficient an acre is about 40,000 sq-ft,

its basically all the same story, the fast-folk come to a 'slow town', ... over on bend-sux we're NOT allowed to BASH hbm, but on this forum we can, not that we don't like hbm, but its what he represents, the 4th estate and the ivy league prince holier than thou attitude, ...

so the fast folk from either back-east or down-south, come to the slow town of Bend and make their mini-mi mansion crap-shacks on the west-side, and demand big-box outlets,... we old timers lose the ma&pa stores of all kinds...

hbm has been the status quo defender of the bull and its big-box advertisers for so long, he doesn't even realize how boring he is, ...

dunc gets it right, because he represents the real Bend that was destroyed long ago, ... well before the likes of hbm arrived in 1986, my guess is hbm came on the wave that destroyed my Bend,

its like 'slow-food' in hbm's circle, he knows about that, so why can't we have 'slow-towns'?? The trouble is that ONLY 'fast' makes money, ... as homer IHTYB said all too many times "Its a town of grifters", ... these folks came to grift like MOSS in 1986 who was a teller that made it good to management, then the likes of hbm SOLD us a LOAD-OF-BULL about how good it was for us, ...

very angry at the 4th estate I am, ...

Anonymous said...

let's remember this debate that the owner of the old-mill bequeathed HOLLERN most of Bend in 1962, thereby biz partner SMITH marketed Bend, and HOLLERN was a TV broadcaster in MONTANA, but was a failure in 62 he went back to school and graduated with a marketing MBA from stanford, and his MINN family (SHEVLIN-HIXSON) gave him Bend, as a graduation gift, and he went ahead and made BLACK-BUTTE and Bend,

TEAM-BULL saw that it was good, and brought in HBM, ... so now we stand today with out fingers up our ass and ask 'what happen to our little town post 1960?"

H. Bruce Miller said...

"over on bend-sux we're NOT allowed to BASH hbm, but on this forum we can, not that we don't like hbm, but its what he represents, the 4th estate and the ivy league prince holier than thou attitude"

Just for that, dickhead, I'm not going to let you comment on BendSux anymore. Isn't it about time for you to go back to screwing the whores in Malaysia anyway?