A Missed Opportunity

Aug 31, 2013 | 5 comments

Charles Fitzpatrick, CPHM Photo

Charles Fitzpatrick, CPHM Photo

My mother used to say, “You can’t be biddy and lady at the same time.”  It was an expression she often used to indicate her frustration at having to be in the kitchen putting the last touches on a company dinner instead of sitting out in the living room chatting with the guests and playing hostess.

I felt the same way last night, but more along the lines of you can’t be ‘Brenda Star, Girl Reporter’ and ‘Perle Mesta, Society’s Hostess with the Mostest’ simultaneously.  At our usual Friday Night gathering, Tucker brought two important items to give to Betsy Millard, Director of the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum.  He had picked them up on his last trip from Portland and was turning them over, on loan, for an upcoming exhibit at the museum.

I had made the arrangements with Betsy so that she would bring the necessary paperwork for Tucker to sign.  I had alerted Tucker that Betsy would be here.  I had greeted Betsy when she arrived and, a few minutes later had held the door open for Tucker and his Cousin Clark who arrived with two large framed works of art.

Then there was a flurry of new arrivals, finding bowls for a couple of appetizers, and getting an extra chair or two.  I did see Betsy hand the documentation to Tucker, but when I asked, just seconds later it seemed, to see the works, themselves, Betsy said, “Oh, they’re already in my car.  I wanted to put them safely somewhere.”  Damn!  There went the photo op for this blog!

Map of Historic Oysterville

Photographic Copy of Fitzpatrick’s Map

The “works” in question are two of Charles Fitzpatrick’s drawings – the original of the Historic Oysterville map and an original of the sidewheeler, the T. J. Potter.  They have hung in Dan and Louie’s Oyster Bar in Portland for years and Tucker (whose cousins owned the bar and building which has recently sold) arranged to borrow them for the museum’s up-coming exhibit on Charles Fitzpatrick.  I can’t believe I missed the whole exchange!

It’s not that I won’t see those very pieces and many, many more when the exhibit opens, although I’m not exactly sure when that will be. The current exhibition, “125 Years of Local Rail” has been extended until September 15th so I imagine the Charles Fitzpatrick show will open toward the end of the month.  I can’t wait – have my camera in hand.  (Charles, himself a photographer extraordinaire, would be proud…)


  1. Rosemary

    The Charles Fitzpatrick exhibition opens at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum on Friday, September 27th. Join us at 5 p.m. for a look at this gifted man’s work.

    • sydney

      Thanks, Rosemary!

    • Patricia Ash

      I have spent the past several months exploring a biography for Charles Henry Fitzpatrick when I “bumped” into him working on a family history question. I am looking forward the exhibit, including his artwork, photography, and even a bit of his poetry!

  2. Betsy

    They are wonderful pieces and will make a great addition to the show. The show opens on Friday September 27th and runs through the end of the year! Thanks for making the hand -off so easy and pleasant!

  3. Steve Wright

    Sydney, it would seem that, either time slows down or speeds up in Oysterville depending on the occasion… Sorry you missed the opportunity, to take the pics, but pleased that exchange went on without a hitch. Better luck with time bending next time.


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