Sunday Roast: Celilo Falls


Celilo Falls (Wyam, meaning “echo of falling water” or “sound of water upon the rocks,” in several native languages) was a tribal fishing area on the Columbia River, just east of the Cascade Mountains, on what is today the border between the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington. The name refers to a series of cascades and waterfalls on the river, as well as to the native settlements and trading villages that existed there in various configurations for 15,000 years. Celilo was the oldest continuously inhabited community on the North American continent until 1957, when the falls and nearby settlements were submerged by the construction of The Dalles Dam.

For 15,000 years, native peoples gathered at Wyam to fish and exchange goods. They built wooden platforms out over the water and caught salmon with dipnets and long spears on poles as the fish swam up through the rapids and jumped over the falls. Historically, an estimated fifteen to twenty million salmon passed through the falls every year, making it one of the greatest fishing sites in North America.

And then the white men decided they needed hydroelectric power, irrigation, and improved navigation on the Columbia River — and the falls disappeared behind a dam.
This is our daily open thread.  Feel free to chat about any topic of interest to you.

147 thoughts on “Sunday Roast: Celilo Falls

  1. My in-laws used to love this one taco place in Tijuana. Then one year when they went down on their annual trip, it was closed. Apparently the taco shop was catching stray cats for their taco meat. Unbeknownst to my in-laws, they were eating gato taco.

    (true story)

  2. So it was possible that I was eating cat??? The meat looked like shredded chicken. Made me think of PA Dutch shredded pork BBQ. It didn’t look like beef. Not sure what color cat muscle looks like. My anatomy and physiology class was with human cadavers and our musculature looks identical to cattle. I couldn’t eat red meat for several years after that class.

  3. Fast food isn’t nasty in itself. When Ray industrialized it with franchising was when it went downhill. The whole process sanitized and sterilized Americans. Today you can find the exact same food in almost every city in the US. No sense of adventure, just bland empty calories to keep us quiet.

    Don’t think, America, not even about what you eat. Just listen to Big Brother.

  4. “Fast food isn’t nasty in itself”

    And you’re just as likely to get poisoned by a chain restaurant as by the guy selling BBQ in the parking lot, maybe more. We used to give all our pig innards to my husband’s vietnamese co-workers. In return, we always received a big package of delicious spring rolls. We never asked how they made them.

  5. Damn dams. I was in college in Arizona when the horrible monstrosity named Glen Canyon Dam was topped off and completed, when the gates were shut and Lake Powell started to slowly fill and in the process destroy a magnificent canyon and all the history — geologic and Native American — embedded there in its wall. And for what? Water to generate power and feed the burgeoning populations of S. California and Central Arizona.

    Today, Lake Powell remains at about half capacity and is projected to get worse; it doesn’t generate much power; the Grand Canyon, downstream, is suffering ecologically; and perhaps worst of all, Lake Powell is no longer a Holy-Land-resembling movie set, what with all the wall ‘chalk’ between high water and current levels.

    Many were those who suggested it never be built in the first place. More in number now are those (myself included) who suggest it be torn down. I mean, think of all the jobs tearing that dam thing down would create! And the only people who would miss it would be those who have or rent houseboats on Lake Powell.

    Rebuilding America is an honorable goal, but it’ll never get started until we take the bull by the horns and correct those horrible mistakes of years gone by.

    That’ll be the day.

  6. Time stamp should be OK now, although previous comments probably won’t correct.

    Didn’t I do a private post some time back that included my dad’s photos of the Falls, in the last year or so they could still fish there?

  7. There was a dam on a major river near where I live. People on the river loved the area for their boating adventures. One year, severe river ice took out the dam. The county refused to pay to fix the dam. The river is slowly returning to nature and it’s beauty.

  8. Zooey – that Alternet piece was spot on. The only part that makes me feel sad is that I won’t be here to enjoy the change. My children and especially my grandchildren will be. The best that I can do is make sure that they have the right values.

  9. If ABC Sunday Morning with Amanpour is still going to be on out west watch it. It was really good. Of not Rand Paul wants to cut/delat SS benefits to those under 55 years old now. Mike Pence said something about those under 45 now. Both were handled well. Pence especially by Reagan’s budget guy Stockman(?).

  10. The photo tugs at the inner nature lover – covering up the beautiful falls.
    That was a stirring (one wants to act for restoration) video.
    A very daunting task but the passionate continue to move for Hetch Hetch Valley to be restored.

    Dam Hetch Hetchy! As well dam for water-tanks the people’s cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man.”
    — John Muir

    “Hetch Hetchy Valley is a grand landscape garden one of Nature’s rarest and most precious mountain temples.” ~ John Muir

    …A fitting tribute to John Muir would be for us to find the wisdom and the will to restore the grandeur of Hetch Hetchy Valley, in the early 21st century, for our families and all future generations.”
    — Larry Fahn, Sierra Club President, December 1, 2004

  11. It looks like Rand Paul hired a new stylist for his wig now that he’s going to be a senator. Idiot. Wait until people hear that he wants to delay SS benefits for everybody currently under 55 years today. Of course that only matters to people who work for a living not all those Kentucky folks on disability and welfare. Won’t effect them a bit.

  12. gummitch, thanks, again, for sharing the photos.
    Those fishers hearts had to just drop to their toes, the Indigenous Peoples – totally devastated to have their meeting/gathering spot obliterated.

  13. Ebb, I would think that after the settlers decimated the buffalo herds nothing else that was done surprised native Americans much. We are an ignorant people who believe we are so exceptional we don’t need any improvement. Oddly enough the Europeans we’re that stayed home are making improvements that we should be making.

  14. I was happy Stockman got the last word in on Pence. What is so disheartening is that the people who need to hear it the most are watching Fox instead. At least Amanpour was more determined than David Gregory ever is.

  15. “Well you are my accuser, now look in my face
    Your opression reeks of your greed and disgrace
    So one man has and another has not
    How can you love what it is you have got
    When you took it all from the weak hands of the poor?
    Liars and thieves you know not what is in store”

  16. I don’t think it’s you, Shayne. I haven’t found much there to interest me for some time, other than the good work they did on the CoC. For pure content, I much prefer Washington Monthly and Little Green Footballs. Sometimes Kos and fairly rarely C&L. Blue Oregon, obviously, and the Rude Pundit.

  17. I’m not sure those two articles on Keith are correct. The ratings for Rachel and Lawrence wouldn’t be as high if Keith wasn’t the lead in. Also Keith lost ratings when he gave up his second time slot to O’Donnell. CBS moved it’s very popular Big Bang Theory to Thursday to lead into Shit My Dad Says for a big lead in. I can’t always watch Keith early because I’m still cleaning up after dinner. Then his replay is opposite Stewart and Colbert. While that media guy may be unaware of all that I’m pretty sure MSNBC isn’t. The second article is based on the first article and they’re probably both Fox watchers.

  18. I like TP gummitch because the readers always contribute plenty to lead you to the right stories. I love Lee Fang and Faiz but some of these other guys seem to miss the big picture.

  19. Oh, I was just guessing muse. But a lineup is never so simple that each show stands on its own. And both Rachel and O’Donnell wouldn’t have even gotten their own shows if Keith hadn’t let them fill in for him.

  20. Shayne, that’s the thing – by his own admission, House doesn’t travel much -or far from home if he does wander. Unfortunately he’s said on many occasions he doesn’t often check e-mail.
    I’ll just keep sending out the positive vibes that he’ll contact us as soon as able or that he wants to.

    House, just nod by signing on and penning “Hello! and just leave me the hell alone” =;>

  21. I hope House is just taking a break from all discussion of politics. You’re a good virtual neighbor ebb.

    I suppose we could have a conversation about raising the age of eligibility for SS, if these were normal times, if more highly paid older workers weren’t being shoved out the door in favor of cheaper new hires, if our labor pool wasn’t in a race to the bottom with the rightless destitute worker in an impoverished country, if there were more than enough jobs for everyone in this country who wants to work. Otherwise FU Paul and Pence.

  22. You’ll get no argument from me on that Zooey. We’ve hit the max for FICA this year and I’d still be in favor of this change, because I don’t want to see the elderly eating cat food in a cold house.

    • That’s the kind of selfless attitude that’s missing in this country, Outstanding.

      People (mainly teabaggers and repiggies) think only in terms of themselves. If they have a job, then fuck those who don’t. If they have a nice retirement nest egg, then fuck those who don’t. If they have enough to eat, then fuck those who don’t.

      The problem with thinking this way — other than the obvious scuzziness — is that they fail to remember the old adage: “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” Circumstances change quickly these days…

  23. Too true. Imagine if the baggers had their way, no safety net, no security. Even if one has a million in the bank, one devastating illness can wipe you out.

  24. “I think using animals for food is an ethical thing to do, but we’ve got to do it right. We’ve got to give those animals a decent life and we’ve got to give them a painless death. We owe the animal respect.”
    —Temple Grandin

    “Fear and curiosity” – this woman is amazing around animals!

  25. America is one of the few countries that defines what is an edible animal. No cats, no dogs, no horses since they can be pets. The edible ones are below the radar. Somehow I think this is about to change a bit.

    Just for the record, I totally agree with Grandin.

  26. I had heard when the French were protesting raising the retirement age to 62 a couple of weeks ago there were a lot of students protesting because if people stopped retiring at 60 that was a lot less jobs for younger people. The GOPigs want to make it so nobody can retire until they’re 70 which will really cut into incoming work forces. Or else lots of people will end up homeless in their older years.

  27. hooda, back in the 70s there was a store here in Portland that sold horse meat exclusively. I moved out of town not long after I tried horse once, so I have no idea how long they lasted. Probably not long.

  28. The sad part about raising the retirement age is it is already difficult for someone over 50 to find a job these days. Companies are chucking the aged experience because of wage costs in favor of the younkers who will work for much less.

    Just look at the Zoosters of age who are trying to find decent employment at a working wage. Gary, House and 5th come immediately to mind.

  29. Not really, Shayne. Companies will lay off the more expensive older types, possibly allow them to ‘retire early’. What we will end up with is people between 55 and 70 struggling, in limbo. The companies won’t really suffer because they will hire the younger, cheaper ones without experience with fewer mentors ahead of them.

  30. My mother who was raised on Taylor and Halsted in Chicago during the depression tells the story about the ice man’s horse dying and the old ladies running out to the street to butcher him up. If you’re hungry enough you’ll eat horse meat.

  31. Yes hooda in this country raising the retirement age is a lose/lose proposition. Older people already can’t find jobs and the one’s who are fortunate enough to have them will have to stay longer than they want to taking jobs from younger workers. Yippeeeeeeee!!

  32. There was once a time in America when businesses recognized that the experience of age had a certain value. The influx of computers has undermined this unless the older types kept up with the changes.

    Sadly, I have known many older engineers who poo pooed the change and got their asses handed to them. Progress happens. You either embrace the new or get left behind.

    Getting left behind today is a bad thing.

  33. gummitch, in my international travels I am certain I have consumed meat that was probably not what I would chose due to societal upbringing. I am also still alive and functional so eating it didn’t impair me in any way.

    I knew guys who had eaten monkey and found it tasty.

  34. It may seem trite but it all revolves around the word ‘respect’.
    Many cultures offer up a ‘thank you’ and a sacred ceremony before butchering. The ritual was thought to be respecting the animal had a life and part of that life was sacrifice; allowing others to live off the nourishment it provided.

    The there are those cultures who eschew the idea of harming a cohabitant of the world for consumption. Again, respect.


    As Shayne said – if you’re hungry enough…

    (Charlie Chaplain wasn’t too far off showing ‘shoe stew’ – in those days most shoes were made of leather. Can you imagine attempting to make a ‘shoe’ stew these days? They would melt into a glop-like glue…plastic ain’t pretty.)

  35. I’m uncertain if I could ever give up my falcon-ness but if so I’d become Athene cunicularia (Burrowing Owl) and ask my friend permission to upload one of his photos, of our local birds, as a gravatar.

    [A group of owls has many collective nouns, including a “bazaar”, “glaring”, “parliament”, “stooping”, and “wisdom” of owls.]

  36. Thanks.

    Been wanting to stop over there for that for a while. This was the perfect storm of me being in the the right part of town at the right time (dumb luck as I was just driving home from visiting friends) and having something even remotely interesting in the sky behind it.

  37. I started a new career at age 52. i.e. it can be done.

    But then, I’m certifiable.

    I just couldn’t see counting down 17 years to retirement, so I went to school part time for four years, got a degree, opened shop part time out of my house, and when I hit 55, retired early from my old job and got a new job.

  38. That’s just it BnF – you were able to retire (with a pension?). Not everyone is as fortunate.
    Some of us got a severance/separation package just before we could have ‘retired’. The severances were not generous. The company ‘down-sizing’ just happened to start from the longest standing employee…

    More power to you, though, BNF ~ truly glad you were able to make it work.

  39. I had horsemeat, back in Scout camp. “Government Surplus” canned meat. Tastes a lot like Skippy Dog Food used to smell like.

    It’ll do when you’re starved. Better if smothered in fruit cocktail, or anything else to cover the flavor. I rate it one below Spam on the canned food chain. (But then, I rate canned Haggis above Spam!)

  40. 2ebb,

    I retired with just enough of a pension to pay for keeping the health insurance. i.e. a break even.

    I still have to work for a living.

  41. Thanks all.

    Interesting story about that turbine and others like it that were installed around the state late last year. They didn’t fare well in the frigid winter temperatures. It has something to do with the design of this particular model (and something people didn’t anticipate would be a problem), but the hydraulic lines kept freezing up and when that happened, it would shut down the turbine.

    Here’s a link to live output data for these turbines. This is part of a special project, and similar turbines were installed in other smaller towns around the region.

    Of course, there are large wind farms elsewhere in the state. They’re the larger towers (at least double the height of ours) and I’ve not heard that they have any problems with the cold.

    • zxbe, when I was driving through Minnesota in the summer of 2008, I saw all kinds of wind farms. I don’t remember what interstate I was on, but it was across the southern part of the state. We stopped in Blue Earth to see my sister’s ma-in-law.

  42. A lot of companies will fire someone just before their pension vests. It’s not “age discrimination” it’s just sound economic policy. A lot of folks that devote their life to a company get screwed that way, and the courts side with the companies.

    It will be interesting to see if the Republibaggers actually try to eliminate the Federal Minimum Wage…as well as other protections for workers.

  43. BnF

    I watched The Great Impostor again and was thinking about trying my hand in the Medical Profession. Not as a surgeon, but something I have some experience with, maybe OB/Gyn! 🙂

    • Heh. Pachy, after a career in the Navy, over ten years as an attorney, and another ten or so as a Judge, my dad used to say, “I think I’ll go to medical school.” My mom would say, in a masterful deadpan, “Write me.” 😆

  44. BnF, oh we knew it wasn’t ‘age discrimination’; it was the feeling of being ‘violated’. Having given so many years to the company then being the first to get the boot.

    The age discrimination comes when one is fully qualified for the position (warehouse): have the recruiter contact the applicant enthusiastic about the resume. Phone conversation goes very well.
    Then the face to face. Demonstrate one can lift the required 50# without difficulty, etc.
    The difference between you and the other applicants 20 – 30 years.

  45. I’m a total wind turbine geek – love that link, zxbe.

    In CA friends of mine are working to make turbines more raptor/bird friendly. They are wildlife biologist working with the utility and/or turbine mfg. to make them efficient wind harvesting and sparing things with wings.

  46. Must be, ebb. I wonder if he realizes not all OB/GYN work is on nubile 18 year olds?

    I believe you’ve just brought him back to reality, Zooey!

    • Ebb, my youngest was cracking jokes about wanting to be a Gyn doctor, trying to embarrass me, when I noticed a woman walking/staggering toward us. Looked like a meth user.

      I used the deadpan I inherited from my mom and said, “She’ll be needing a pap smear one day soon.”

      His look was just precious…


      From Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC:

      After several days of deliberation and discussion, I have determined that suspending Keith through and including Monday night’s program is an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy. We look forward to having him back on the air Tuesday night.

      Griffin blinks!! Woo hoo!

  47. From the WSJ:

    MSNBC said late Sunday it will return Keith Olbermann to its television lineup on Tuesday, four days after it suspended the liberal host because he had given money to three Democratic candidates in the 2010 midterm elections.

    The General Electric Co. network had originally suspended Mr. Olbermann indefinitely, without pay, citing NBC News policies against allowing its news personnel to contribute to political campaigns.

    But in a statement Sunday, network President Phil Griffin said he had “determined that suspending Keith through and including Monday night’s program is an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy.”

    He added: “We look forward to having him back on the air Tuesday night.”

    A representative for Mr. Olbermann did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

  48. Okay ebb you’ve reminded me of the four guys discussing the best age for a woman. The first guy says the young ones are the best, that enjoys teaching them what sex is about. The second guy believes the 25 – 35 year olds are his cup of tea because they know what its all about and don’t give a man a hassle about it. The third me expresses his preference for the 36 – 45 year olds because by then a woman can teach the man a few things. The last shocked the other 3 with his statement that the best women to make love to are the women over 50. His reasoning was that by then they don’t yell, they don’t tell, they don’t swell and they appreciate it like hell! 😉 (Don’t throw anything at me ladies, its only a joke!)

  49. pachy is back – to his healthy self!

    (bad jokes and all).

    If you want reality I’ll relay … oh,hell no I won’t because “I don’t tell”…

    • Hell no, Shayne!

      We need to remember this over the next two years. We CAN bombard the shit of the asshats — and do.

      If I had decent arm muscles, I’d be flexing right now…

  50. Think of it this way Zooey: You’ll adapt and then it’ll be spring.
    Until then keep in mind it won’t be much longer until ISBN: 9780520267190 is released.

    (Autobiography Of Mark Twain: The Complete And Authoritative Edition).

    “speaking” of books:

    Gary you use a Kindle – how large can the font be made on that ‘machine’?

    • ebb, and then the disorientation begins all over again, but this time in a good way. 😉

      Gary’s been pushing the Kindle so much that I hope Santa brings me enough Xmas cash to buy one. Books is heavy to move!!

  51. Arms too weak to flex your muscles? Heavy books to carry?

    Sounds like a job for Popeye Dragonfly! Now where’s that can of spinach,,,,, 😉

  52. Pachy, why are you being so mean!!??

    Z, I think it’s the equivalency of ‘pulling your pigtails’ (it means he ‘likes’ you – tee hee hee)


    I think that’s just good old fashioned nausea, Outstanding.

    Why, oh why, won’t it stop. “Mel” the cat has more personality, when he’s sleeping, than SP does awake.

  53. “Awwww, Pachy is gonna carry my books for me.”
    Good to know chivalry is not dead.

    I have a plan for dealing with my book problem:
    1. Shove ’em all in the attic.
    2. Die

  54. Not much farm friends. 60 acres, 20 head of cattle, 4 breeding sows, 60 chickens. The most labor intensive is an acre of flower beds. The early bloomers tend to get abandoned as I’m working on the later stuff, so by time to clear up in the fall some is quite weedy.

  55. ebb

    I drank some Chocolate Latte Black Tea. The box said the tea had free radicals in it. I’m not sure how long the effect will last but after two cups I feel strange things going on inside my body.

  56. “Strange good, Pachy, or strange bad?”

    Z, you are so coquettish!


    Shayne – You Go Girl ~ I’m with you but need a few more days to ‘forgive’ the President for using the ‘compromise with goopers’ phrase but

    2012, if the country survives – we’ll take it back for the good of all citizens.

  57. Damn, one of the local weather reporters just misinformed everyone explaining why we can have frost on the ground when the temperature is above freezing. The temperature reading device is 6′ off the ground. The temperature of the ground is colder, he said, and the cold hadn’t radiated up far enough when the reading was made.

    Scientifically there is no such thing as cold. Cold is the absence of heat. Heat moves three different ways; conduction, convection and radiation.

    In this case the heat rose by convection leaving the ground cold.

    The dumbing down of America continues.

  58. I’m proud of both of you. All I hear is defeatist talk since last Tuesday. Interestingly, 3 VA D’s lost their seats in Congress last week. Two were DINO types, voted no on HCR, etc. One was a progressive, Tom Pereillo. The two wishy-washy guys lost my double digits, Mr. Pereillo’s race was much closer. There is still enthusiasm out there for someone who adheres to the principles they ran on.

  59. Nature is such a grand program – time after time.
    This episode deals with restoring the marshes/wet lands of Iraq.
    The transformation, in a war torn country, is unbelievable.

    [True, we need to think of the displaced citizens and restore them …that I haven’t forgotten.]

  60. When you’ve been in hot water as much as I have been you tend to know a little about heat.

    Interestingly enough it was the heat of passion that got me in hot water on a couple of occasions.

    I will say also that a certain butterfly must be hot from the warmth in the cockles of my heart! 😉

  61. On the 11:00 news in Jacksonville they spent 5 minutes on a story about a soldier who died 1 year ago, At a memorial service today everyone wore a butterfly pin and they released live butterflies.

    I can’t get away from butterflies it seems, but thats fine with me. 🙂

  62. Funny things about our language:

    Cold cash can burn a hole in our pockets.

    When people turn the air conditioning up they move the dial down.

    We generally prefer warm-hearted people over cold-hearted people, but prefer cool-headed people to hot-headed ones.

    • Heh. You are feeling better, Pachy. 🙂

      I guess I better go fold my laundry before I hit the fresh sheets. It’s been dark so long that I’m surprised it’s only 9:30…

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