Friday, April 1, 2011


It's hard not to admire someone with a backbone.

Every so often, you come across people who just don't cave in. If you look at the above picture, you'll see the presence of two such folks.

The picture is of Rose City Fred Meyer, formerly situated on Sandy Boulevard in Portland Oregon. Smack dab in the middle of the picture, you can see a house, yard and out building. Encircling it is what was once a Fred Meyer Store.

Back in the 40's Mr. Meyer wanted to build a shopping complex at 70th and Sandy Boulevard, a few blocks from where my husband grew up. Mr. Meyer, bless his heart, was successful in buying all the residential property at his proposed site save one solitary parcel. It seems that a Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Murray didn't want to sell - they'd paid off their mortgage and were living in comfort right where they wanted to be.

Mr. Meyer made them fair offers, but the Murrays wouldn't budge. In the end, Mr. Meyer had to make a hard decision about what to do with this investment.

He built around the Murrays.

When I was a kid in the fifties and sixties, we'd shop at that Fred Meyer. We'd park on the roof and take the stairs down to the store. Freddy's had roof-top parking since there wasn't much of a parking lot, and street parking was inadequate. We'd turn off Sandy Boulevard, drive north past the Murray's, then turn on the ramp to reach the roof-top lot.

This continued for years until well after the Murrays and Mr. Meyer passed. A developer bought the properties, tore down the Fred Meyer Store. And, it's my understanding that the house itself was moved to another location.

It's nice to think that the house survived the decades. Life moves on, and what's today's development is tomorrow's tear down.

But the spirit of the Murrays lives on!


  1. Hah! I didn't know about that! Do you think the Murrays shopped at Freddy's, or did they bus cross-town to go to Safeway?

  2. that reminds me of UP :)


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