If youve ever spent any time walking around Portland, youve noticed that many of the sidewalks are inset with stamps that record the year and the name of the company that laid the sidewalk. The act of a long dead laborer pressing his companys seal into the wet cement was just the first of many incidents that would take place on that particular sidewalk.
If you can, picture the corner where you last saw a sidewalk stamp. How many thousands of pairs of shoes have treaded on that sidewalk since it was first made? How many times was it sullied by blood, vomit, urine, spilled drinks, discarded food, and other ephemera? What events have started or finished on that sidewalk? Of course, the sidewalk bears record of little of this.
Every road, sidewalk, public space, business and domicile in this city has born silent witness to personal histories being created. Although these personal histories may have a relevance or connection to our own lives, we can never know unless we were there as participants or eyewitnesses; the story, no matter how intriguing or mundane, goes untold.
Ghosttowns Incident Reports are a small attempt to expose stories by inviting people to gather at the place where an event happened, and hear about the event first hand from the person that experienced it. Stories of violence, crime, friendship, and new loves will all be relived on the same streets where it first happened. We hope youll join us for these re-tellings!
- Khris Soden (of Red76)