As I recall, the Castle started out as a lapidary shop in the 20's and was later converted to a roadhouse in the late 30's or so. In the 40's and 50's it was a very popular jazz club in the Portland Metropolitan area. My dad remembers drunks falling into the moat outside, and visiting one time in particular during the mid-40's and there being buckets on the dance floor to catch leaks from the roof; the dancers just danced around them. Can you imagine the insurance liability today? In the 70's my parents and I would go there for dinner once in a while, the food was fantastic, not healthy mind you, but oh, so tasty. Sadly The Castle was closed down for good sometime in the late 80's or early 90's, and allowed to decay quite a bit. A few years ago a local business man, Jim Raoke (owner of the landmark, Roake's Footlong Restaurant) tried to re-open it as a restaurant, but the grandfather clause on the zoning had expired due to lack of use, and the neighbors put up a big stink about letting him do it for fear that he would open a strip club (despite Roake offering to sign an agreement that he wouldn't). Fucking imbeciles! The result was that the Castle was razed and replaced by a small housing development of shitty looking, cookie-cutter houses, called Castle Park. Sigh.
|Walnut ink drawing of the Castle Restaurant (demolished) in Gladstone, Oregon|
Well kids, it looks like yet another year is coming to a close, so this will probably be the last post of 2011. This has been a turbulent year, full of tough choices, sacrifices, and sad losses (R.I.P. Pete). There were even a couple of times that were just flat-out scary, yet somehow I made it through. Having said all that, I don't think I would trade any of it for anything, because along with the bad, I have learned a great deal about myself, truly testing my limits from time to time. Not pleasant, but certainly valuable. I also picked up some truly awesome clients this past year and would like to thank them all for giving me a chance to work for them, and thanks also to you readers for stopping by and taking a look at my blog.
And now, I propose a toast to us all:
Good health, prosperity and better times in 2012. Cheers!