15 March 2014

[Out122ndWay] Outer East Portlandia Sunrise With Added Ron Tonkin

Sunrise in Outer East Portlandia.

This contains all the things that cause anxiety to people who don't actually live out this way, but which, if you look upon things with a kinder eye, are just kind of homey.

This street is one of the 'miles and miles of unpaved streets in Portland' which seem to make so many people so unhappy. The homes are careworn, many of them, but they are also cared for; that little complex there on the right may need a coat of paint, but it's got nice people living within.

Just because this is Portland, it all has to by glossy and neat, I guess.

But I love it.

Meanwhile, southbound on NE 122nd Avenue at Glisan …

There it is, in the middle distance. You see it. Down there, on the left. A monument to an era. Once upon a time, two brothers … Marv, and Ron … opened two auto dealerships out 122nd way. The first one gave us a memorable jingle (though mayhap you moderns never heard of it. I pity you). Marv Tonkin Ford was where Courtesy Ford now is: the building, with integral arches giving a distinctive roof line, has been funadmentally re-modeled, and no trace of Marv's hand remains.

The other gave us a more visible monument:

… which is persistent and nostalgic, reminding of ages when the monumental neon sign was all. The lights still sparkle in the first name, and you can still see it from a looooong way off.

We no longer have either Tonkin with us, Ron having left us earlier this year, and Marv several years before that. There is still a surfeit of auto houses up and down 122nd between Burnside and Halsey, but Tonkin … for the love of cars … is still the king, surviving waves of Thomasons and Carrs and Alexanders and Lyman Slacks (long may their memories linger).

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