Sarah Vowell: On the Sandy River Delta

Sarah Vowell describes her visit to the Confluence Bird Blind at the Sandy River Delta


Sarah Vowell is the New York Times’ bestselling author of seven nonfiction books on American history and culture. By examining the connections between the American past and present, she offers personal, often humorous accounts of American history as well as current events and politics. Her most recent book, Lafayette in the Somewhat United States, explores both the ideas and the battles of the American Revolution, especially the patriot founders’ alliance with France as personified by the teenage volunteer in George Washington’s army, the Marquis de Lafayette.


And it listed, you know, these are the species that, um, the core of discovery in and they’re open slack. So you can see the river through there. And then you can look at each slat and think about each animal or bird or fish. And one thing I loved about it, it really jived with the way I experienced history as.
Sort of sedimentary rock, you know, there are so many different layers and there are so many ways to engage. You can engage and especially I’m, I become more and more fascinating as the more we destroy our earth, um, um, ecological history into whatever history I’m telling. And, um, so I love how it was about what the explorers encountered, the people and the nature, uh, that they encountered as opposed to just being about their story.
And I also liked how the sound, you know, um, w a lot of these monuments that people are excited about. They’re just old fashioned sculptures, and there’s nothing wrong with that per se, but it was such an experience. I mean, your, your, um, your monuments are more. Like architecture or landscape architecture where there’s just so much, so many things are happening and there are so many feelings and thoughts you can have.
And, um, you know, that, that place so much like in the Lewis and Clark journals, a lot of it is just them griping, you know? And, and I think William Clark was griping because all the birds were keeping him up at night and you can hear those birds. And, um, the whole thing was just so helpful and inspiring to me in terms of this discussion, because I also went to art school and so many monuments are just so aesthetically backwards are so corny and, and there was something so beautiful and not quiet because there are of the bird noises, but, um, there was room to breathe.

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