The Turkey Of St. Johns part 4: A Return to Normalcy

Thank me.

Every Thanksgiving my mind drifts back many years when I believe I spotted a burly, living turkey waddling around outside a dog house behind a chain link fence on a front lawn of a house in the vicinity of St Johns. The image gets murkier with time. Putting the word out through Facebook never revealed anyone with a more distinct memory than my own. I believe what I saw. The Turkey of St Johns has become a Thanksgiving totem I memorialize. It was real. I know I saw it regardless of whether anyone else ever did.

Turkey Jerky

Call me David. Some years ago, never mind how many precisely, having little to no obligations in my life, and nothing to interest me in my own neighborhood, I thought I would wander about a little and see parts of St. Johns. In this way I found myself riding my bike, and now venting my spleen after having circulated through the neighborhood. Whenever I find myself growing grim this month, when it’s this damp and drizzly November, whenever I find myself pausing, lost in a memory of that unforgotten turkey and bringing up the image of a funeral for that possibly, long gone bird and especially whenever my hypochondria gets an upper hand of me that it requires a strong impulse control to stop me from thinking I’m sick of not knowing about the Turkey of St. Johns, then going anyway and knocking on doors in the general vicinity where I remember seeing it and screaming, “WHERE’S THE TURKEY AT?” Then I account it’s high time to stay out of St. Johns as much as I can.

Possibly a good book.

I quietly take to thoughts of that turkey. It doesn’t surprise me being a mystery I’ve been unable to solve for many years. This is my substitute for loneliness and no actual live turkey. I don’t have to get all philosophical and name drop Cato and talk about him leaping into his sword. That whole thing sounded horrible, by the way. These feelings are not that dire. I just want to remember a turkey I saw long ago. If no one knows anything, maybe not even some guy with a degree who’s really smart, someone or another might cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the Turkey of St. Johns with me.

Faster than a turkey?

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Transmissions from The Portland RV Scene

This summer proved to be less about an explosion of recreational vehicles showing up and parking all over town, not in the way it felt the summer before. Perhaps RV hysteria has died down. Around the Portland Orbit office, we always wondered where people were getting these vehicles. Sadly the one person who could have provided insight into the RV scene, Darlene from the barbershop 7 Bucks a Whack passed away. From what I recall from a detail that jumped out at me while reading one of the weekly newspapers, she was an expert in RV parking regulations. Whatever I might have learned from her, had I found the time to ask, makes me also realize what a potentially amazing rant has now been lost to the ages. While noticing the recreational vehicles I’ve seen around I discovered communiques emanating, mostly from notes on the windows. The messaging is sometimes personal—related to life on the streets, other times cheery or vague and other times strictly business.

Messages of Mystery and Amicability

Spotted at an Indian Pow Wow at Delta Park, this RV may not belong to a local but the messages it carries are an example of what RV transmissions should strive for. References to love and being nice, with cheery colors mixed in, add joy to the world.

These signs are unclear but seem to communicate that the occupants of this recreational vehicle are off working to pay for upkeep in an effort to keep any particular street parking authorities and other wolves at bay. The notes indicate that working people need a break. I’m clueless as to why exactly Rush should talk to Mark though.

In the Woodstock neighborhood this message related potentially cozy nights spent in the musty sleeping loft of a camper. Perhaps the rest of the slogan needed to read: LAY ME DOWN AND LEAVE ME ALONE.

The Business Of RV

I expected to find a for sale sign and I did in the Kenton Neighborhood. No doubt sales transactions are a big part of the Portland RV scene. The other sign I noticed on an RV parked next to the Interstate Fred Meyers is the result of what happens when the wrong ad runs on Craigslist.

I suppose the other side of the business of RV is the act of calling in an RV or camper that’s parked, possibly illegally, in the Arbor Lodge neighborhood. I’m not sure who called or the specifics of the why, but I do know when they called and that seems good enough at this point.

Don’t Come a Knockin’

Just to be clear, people do want and probably deserve their privacy when they’ve parked their RV on a public street.

The street that leads to the back parking lot of the Interstate Fred Meyers across from the fire station proved to be a popular spot for recreational vehicles. These transmissions tell a story directed at some specific people. I can imagine why the RV owner wouldn’t want to be hassled by either tweekers or someone with the authority to tow their vehicle. Somewhere there is footage of me doing my journalistic due diligence to get the photos needed to create this post. I’m going to be famous!

Special thanks to Will Simmons from the Pittsburgh Orbit for the opening Barn Tavern RV photograph.