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Go, Beavers

Go, Beavers

I spoke last Tuesday morning for the Institute of Management Consultants’ chapter in Portland, Oregon. Oregon, where I’ve been several times, is a beautiful place with lovely people, but is somewhat, well, different.

For one thing, everyone is fond of saying, “Go Beavers!” Incessantly. Unrelentingly. Every team, it seems, is nicknamed The Beavers (except those of which are “Ducks”) which, my being from New York originally, takes some getting used to. There are beaver representations everywhere. When I saw a statue on the main drag of a bear eating a salmon, I told the woman driving me that at least it wasn’t another beaver.

“Oh,” said Anna, “the beaver statues are just down the street, near your hotel.” And so they were. Anna picked me up at the airport and lives only three blocks from the hotel where I stayed. She got lost taking me there from the airport and lost again returning me there after dinner. I can’t fathom how she did that, but there you have it.

At the speech, I met Lisa, an easterner who now lives in Bend, Oregon. That’s right, “Bend.” Everyone from Bend is, well, somewhat fanatic about it. No, you can’t be “somewhat” fanatic. They are zealously fanatic.

Lisa informed me that Bend has the fifth fastest growing chamber of commerce in Oregon. Or was it the Pacific Northwest? Or the U.S.? I forget, now, but it is apparently growing pretty well.

Go Beavers.

I began to kid Lisa about her insatiable love for Bend. Not a good idea. You don’t kid people from Bend. At least, not about Bend. I asked what was there. From what I can tell, it’s sort of a retirement community. But it’s got that great galloping chamber of commerce, so go figure.

Portland is highly gentrified and has wonderful little bistros and cafes, along with a neat triple-A baseball field. I stayed in the Hotel Monaco in a gorgeous, huge suite named after Bill Porter. Bill was the subject of several documentaries and a movie. He was an inveterate door-to-door salesman, who was successful despite great pain from his cerebral palsy. The hotel doormen used to help him with some of his buttons and his tie. A portion of the revenues from the suite are contributed to cerebral palsy research. You just don’t see stuff like that every day.

Go Beavers, especially Bend Beavers.

(Note: No rodents of any kind were harmed in the writing of this article.)

Lisa from Bend with Alan from Elsewhere.

© Alan Weiss 2007. All rights reserved.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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