This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

An ACA Pitch From Woody Guthrie's Ghost

The documentary didn't work out, but Guthrie walked up and down the Willamette and Columbia rivers and wrote 26 songs for it anyway, including "Roll On Columbia," "Grand Coulee Dam" and "Bonneville Dam." In the latter, he talks about enduring the Depression-era Dust Bowl and finding his way to Oregon's clear waters and verdant lands. Instead of giving himself a fine pat on the back for being such a resourceful fellow, however, he sings of better times ahead:

"I'll turn my stone and till my land/Waiting for the big Bonneville Dam/That Bonneville Dam is a sight to see/Makes that e-lec-a-tric-i-ty."

Does he bemoan the Grand Coulee as a monstrosity? No, to him it was "the greatest wonder in Uncle Sam's fair land" and vital for what laid ahead, especially for a man with a guitar bearing the warning "This machine kills fascists."

"Now in Washington and Oregon you hear the factories hum/Making chrome and making manganese and light aluminum/And there roars a mighty furnace now to fight for Uncle Sam/Spawned upon the King Columbia by the big Grand Coulee Dam."

Now Guthrie's Columbia River songs didn't immediately fix every concern about the dams. Even the Grand Coulee Dam visitor center features a multimedia display that details how even seemingly minor decisions relating to the dam have major impact on salmon and sturgeon populations, irrigation, river commerce, the water recreation industry and land use. Debate about the dams continues, but they still light large swaths of the Pacific Northwest.

Roughly 72 years after Guthrie's trip to the Northwest, Laura Gibson's song for Cover Oregon follows a template similar to that of Guthrie's Columbia River songs. The soft, simple twang of her guitar, the vivid descriptions of Oregonian scenery and even the gentle, repetitive rhythm of the song itself couldn't echo "Roll On, Columbia" more loudly if it was shouted into the Columbia River Gorge.

Just as the power from Guthrie's rolling Columbia was "turning our darkness to dawn," Gibson's "Live Long, Oregon" focuses on the health care law's power to help her and those around her do just that. Each knew their audience and each realized that the best way to get their message across was also the most positive. In Oregon's delicate mix of progressive and libertarian ethics, that approach strikes the right note more often than not.

-- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Jason Notte.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/notteham.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

RELATED STORIES:



Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Esquire.com, Time Out New York, the Boston Herald, the Boston Phoenix, the Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent. He previously served as the political and global affairs editor for Metro U.S., layout editor for Boston Now, assistant news editor for the Herald News of West Paterson, N.J., editor of Go Out! Magazine in Hoboken, N.J., and copy editor and lifestyle editor at the Jersey Journal in Jersey City, N.J.
3 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $126.44 0.00%
FB $87.28 0.00%
GOOG $523.40 0.00%
YHOO $39.38 0.00%
TSLA $280.02 0.00%

Markets

DOW 17,730.11 -27.80 -0.16%
S&P 500 2,076.78 -0.64 -0.03%
NASDAQ 5,009.2140 -3.9090 -0.08%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs