So where in PDX *is* “October Hill,” anyway?
Forty-two years ago, crooner Frank Sinatra had a hit with a Rod McKuen song, “Love’s Been Good To Me.”
The song had a couple of verses about the time that “love was good to” him with a Portland woman:
“There was a girl in Portland
Before the winter chill
We used to go a-courtin’
Along October Hill.”
FYI, Portland Tribune columnist Phil Stanford has devoted some or all of two recent columns to this non-existent October Hill place….
In the first column, he cited quotes from Rod himself, who said that although October Hill was an imaginary place, it, and the girl would be in our Portland, not Portland, Maine. You see, Rod’s mom was from Union, Oregon, and he spent some time here as a kid.
Phil’s second column was *entirely* devoted to October Hill. He proposed that we Portlanders actually establish a location as October Hill. He suggested Forest Park.
Well, Forest Park meets the Hill definition, but to me is more of a place for vigorous exercise than romantic “courtship.” If you are looking for a place that has both, I would suggest Washington Park. When the weather’s nice, lots of people picnic there, and court on the preserve’s many hillside vistas.
I wrote those thoughts to Phil this morning. If he has more to say about this subject, I’ll let you know on these Blogvirons.
Actually, Washinton Park’s attractiveness as a picnic spot also reminds me of a passage from “All Day Music” by the 1970s band War:
“Let’s have a picnic, go to the park
“Rollin’ in the grass ’til long after dark.”