Posts Tagged ‘emily dickinson’


The frog and the snail, one of the more elegant of the carved wooden frogs that are scattered around Milton-Freewater. -- Photo by Pat Bean

“We think too small, like the frog at the bottom of the well. He thinks the sky is only as big as the top of the well. If he surfaced, he would have an entirely different view.” Mao Tse-Tung

Travels With Maggie

“So how does a town get a moniker like Milton-Freewater,” I asked my friend, Sherry, who was graciously showing me about this Northern Oregon town that has about 6,500 residents.

“Well, it began,” she said – and now I paraphrase – when the goody-two-shoes in town wanted Milton, which was established in the late 1860s, to become a dry town..

Being a Texan, she didn’t have to explain “dry.” The Lone Star State is checker-boarded with wet and dry towns. We’re talking booze here, not water.


This fine old frog with the cats once stood in front of a hardware store that was also an animal shelter. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Sherry continued: The party-goers didn’t like that and so they moved out and created their own town just next door to the north. They originally named it Walla Walla, but they changed it to Freewater when town officials decided to offer free water as a means of attracting more residents.

And so the two cities, the best of rivals, existed for many years.

In the early 1950s, however, the costly economics of infrastructure to maintain two cities was recognized. The vote to join the towns was a hot one, and the issue passed by a margin of only 50 votes. And the two ends of town continue to maintain separate images, Sherry related. .

She said the locals have long had another name for their beloved city – Muddy Frogwater.

There’s even an an annual week-long festival called Muddy Frogwater Days, which celebrated its 31st anniversary just last month. One of the activities, Sherry said, was a frog race.

And this lovely frog, which stands in front of Curves, is proudly showing off all the weight she lost. -- Photo by Pat Bean

“Like in Mark Twain’s “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calavaras County?”


My traveling canine companion, Maggie and I are sorry we missed it

“How dreary—to be—Somebody!
How public—like a frog—
To tell one’s name—the livelong June—
To an admiring Bog!”

— Emily Dickinson  

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