Fugitives and Refugees
Chuck Palahniuk (pronounced Paula-Nick, in case you were wondering, like I was)
Purchased from my favorite bookstore in the world, Powell’s.
Every once in awhile I mention that when I was a small soda I lived in Oregon. Specifically, outside of a little Podunk town by the name of Dufur. I like to bring this up because it’s rare that anyone has ever heard of Dufur, and I always get a small thrill when someone recognizes the town. And also, I have a thing for Oregon.
So imagine my surprise when I’m reading this book and I come across this:
In 1977, Bob and Charlee Moore were walking near Dufur, Oregon. “Down in this little draw,” Bob says, “was a little old building, and I told my wife, “That’s an old flour mill.”
It was the Dufur White Flour Mill, which operated from 1872 through the 1930s, using millstones that had come around the Cape of Good Hope in 1870. Today, those stones are grinding again, twenty-four hours a day. Turning at 125 rotations per minute, they chew up six hundred pounds of wheat per hour at Bob’s Red Mill Flour…
Besides the Dufur connection, what is truly amazing here is that the Moore’s were even near Dufur. Trust me when I say it’s not a hotbed of tourism.
Now, lest you think that this book only about grindstones from places no one except Softdrink (and Bob and Charlee Moore) have ever heard of, there is also plenty of information about where you can go to watch (and participate in) lewd movies (seriously people, there’s some weird shit happening in Portland), where to stay if you’d like to see a ghost, how to talk like a local, Santa hijinks, how to eat at the Apocalypse Café, and what Katherine Dunn (yes, the author of Geek Love) thinks of her fellow Portlanders (is that the right term?).
This book is filled with weirdness. Which makes it just perfect, since Palahniuk and Portland are poster children for weird.