Scholastica sounds a pretty severe name for a woman and, as it happened, she was an English teacher… from Portland, Oregon.
But Scholastica, my Dad’s Sixtysomething second cousin, and this 14-year-old Scot had something in common… Tolkein.
I don’t know for sure that JRR didn’t visit Oregon but he would surely have been impressed by their Giant Redwood Trees.
Tolkein, for all you who don’t know, had walking, talking trees.
Portland and Oregon is known also as where all the Hippies from Haight Ashbury left for.
And so, yes, they probably see marching trees too.
Me? I stick to their very good whiskey which I was introduced to at the American Travel Fair.
‘Here’s a stetson hat, a whiskey, now you clink glasses and say ‘let er buck.’
All which stuff and nonsense I took to the table at the Woollen Mills in Dublin when the good people of Portland popped into town.
Now, you’ve probably latched onto the fact that this iteration of me is Bandanaman.
And God help you, those who knew me when I wore a raccoon hat in my head, called ‘Lola’.
The whiskey and bon homie was flowing again last night.
And, of course, all talk centred around the North-West Coast state.
Now, this was always going to be Westward whiskey, the pride and joy of Portland.
Portland is unique in many ways, not least for boasting the world’s first-ever distillery-focused tasting room at the airport.
Fly me there… and Icelandair www.icelandair.com will through Reykjavik where you can also have a stop-off.
While British Airways www.ba.com flies there from London and Delta from Dublin through Amsterdam www.delta.com.
And Aer Lingus www.aerlingus.com flies to Seattle which is approximately three hours drive to Portland.
Portland also boasts the world’s largest bookstore Powell’s www.powells.com
Which must have room for the blockbuster that is gathering dust in my drawer.
And you know what’s holding me back? Lazy nights drinking whiskey.
I’m made for Portland. Let er buck as they say over there.
I’m working my way up the west coast from LA California, the Golden Globes State and am hoping to see San Fransisco in May.
So Portland is getting closer.