One of the people I met at Bumbershoot 1998 was Mike Helm -- he had the booth right next to WHEEL. Mike has compiled and edited vast quantities of source material collected from Oregon pioneers into a series of informative and entertaining books. I bought two of them, and decided he needed a webpage.
From the bio in one of his books:
Mike Helm grew up in Pendleton, Oregon, where he learned to ride horses and harvest peas and wheat. During the Vietnam War he served in the Marine Corps in California and the Peace Corps in Uganda and Kenya. He holds degrees from Oregon State University and the University of Oregon and currently lives with his family in Eugene, Oregon, where he teaches writing and literature in the International High School. His first book was a guidebook for Eugene.
In his researches, Mike discovered fifty-eight volumes of interviews and documents collected from Oregon pioneers by Oregon Journal columnist Fred Lockley. From these volumes, Mike has edited Conversations with Pioneer Women, Conversations with Pioneer Men, Visionaries, Mountain Men & Empire Builders, and A Bit of Verse: Poems (& Etc.) from the Lockley Files.
Mike has also put together an entertaining collection of folklore on Oregon's Ghosts and Monsters, and a journey into Oregon's wild places, Tracking Down Coyote.
You can buy some of the books listed below at your choice of online booksites. You can also order all of these books directly from Mike Helm -- incidentally, the author gets a slightly higher percentage of your purchase when you order directly from him.
I'm not personally making anything out of the sale of these books -- I'm recommending them because I find them interesting, and I think that others with a taste for history and folklore will also.
Conversations with Pioneer Women,
collected by Fred Lockley, compiled and edited by Mike Helm.
There is no yardstick for misery, but reading about the daily lives of pioneer women does put perspective on the trials of 20th Century Supermom.
Winner of the PNBA Award for Literary Excellence and Enhancement of the Northwest
A Small Press Book Club Selection
Recommended by Booklist, Choice, and Kliatt Paperback Book Guide
Conversations with Pioneer Men, collected by Fred
Lockley, compiled and edited by Mike Helm.
"Don't you ever run out of materials for your articles?" inquired an acquaintance a day or so ago.
"As long as there are people left in the world I shan't run out of material, for if you are interested in humanity, everyone you meet is a story."
A Bit of Verse: (Poems (&Etc.) from the Lockley Files,
collected by Fred Lockley, compiled and edited by Mike Helm.
"I'm a broncho-twistin' wonder on
I'm the ridin' son of thunder of the sky.
Hi! you earthlin's, shut yer winders
While we're rippin' clouds to flinders;
If this blue-eyed darlin' kicks at you, you die."
The Legend of Boastful Bill
by Charles B. Clark, Jr.
March 17, 1925
Visionaries, Mountain Men & Empire Builders, collected
by Fred Lockley, compiled and edited by Mike Helm.
Currently out of print.
"...profiles of such legendary figures as D. John McLoughlin, Joe and Stephen Meek, Ewing Young, Abigail Scott Duniway, Simon Benson, Sam Jackson, and Lockley himself, to name only a few included in this biographical pantheon.
Eugene, Oregon a Guide 1885, by Mike Helm.
Oregon's Ghosts and Monsters, by Mike Helm.
Excerpt online at Tacoma Public Library - NorthWest Reference Databases - Unsettling Events.
Another excerpt at Welcome to Invisible Ink--Books on Ghosts & Hauntings.
For more ghost story books, check out a Bibliography by State
Tracking Down Coyote, by Mike Helm.
"These two ends of the state-rolling foothills and mountains in the east, rocky headlands, beaches and ocean in the west-were the boundaries of my childhood. They stood like bookends on a shelf, and between them we fished, hunted, explored, and camped. When our children-Ben, Malindi, Polly and Luke- were small, we ranged across the state as I had with my parents, hunting and fishing and camping and exploring-in that order. But as they grew up, we grew away from hunting and fishing. Our trips to Oregon's wild places gradually focused more on seeing and enjoying and understanding than on what meat we might bring home. This new focus led me to a whole world of history, myth and legend-components that lend to a place meaning far more profound than that of its physical dimensions alone. It gradually occurred to me that time may be nothing more than a layering of days and years and events, and that short circuits-perhaps aided, as in theatre, by a willing suspension of disbelief-can occur between the layers, making it possible to run with a stone-age hunter along an ancient lakeshore, walk the Meek Cut-off with the 1845 wagon train, or see Coyote and Wishpoosh in their terrible battle when they carved the Columbia Gorge."
"To paraphrase a bumper sticker:
and he's pissed!
So, what to do until he arrives? Defend, of course. But, perhaps even more important, enjoy. Get out of your car. Walk on the earth. Visit wild places. Sleep beneath the stars. Sit on a rock while the early morning sun warms your bones. Breathe deep the fresh, wild wind. Feel the salty surf spray on your face, the gentle rain in your hair. Sip clear, sweet water from a mountain spring. Pick a sprig of juniper, roll it between your hands and savor its lovely, clean smell. Drowse an hour in a desert hot spring, Coyote's own spa. Hike to a mountain meadow. Climb a mountain. Run a wild river. Watch wildlife. Delight in wildness, for, as Henry Thoreau reminded us long ago, "In wildness is the preservation of the earth." In wildness is the preservation of us all."
September 8, 1990
How I Did My Own Legal Work for Our Adoption
Never and Always -- Micronesians Stories of the Origins of Islands, Landmarks and Customs
Some Things of Value--Micronesian Customs as Seen by Micronesians
Other Folklore Links and the Folklore Ring
The graphics for this site came from the following locations (though some have been adapted by me). Western theme graphics are scarce on the Virtual range. If you are looking for such critters, I highly recommend these corrals:
Western Graphics Page
Rattlesnake Jack's Clip Art Parlour