I truly agree with the editorial in the December 5 East Oregonian: “Statues are built to appeal to tourists, not locals.”
Since the city wishes to maintain a western motif, the choice of the next two bronze statues would best illustrate that editorial position if Poker Jim and Aura Goodwin Raley were selected.
I wish the community could have had some input in this selection of bronze statues. There are a number of other historical Pendleton figures (and animals) the public might have suggested. It would be good to have another woman and man to equal the total of four of each.
Aura Goodwin Raley’s first husband was a founder of Pendleton with his hotel near the Umatilla River. After his death she remarried and, in those frontier days, became known as “The Mother of Pendleton.”
Poker Jim was a respected Indian chief and brought his people to celebrate the first Round-Up in 1910. Since that time the local tribes have been an important part of the Round-Up and Happy Canyon.
The other figures listed are important but do not fit as nicely into the history of Pendleton and the western theme. Let’s have some letters and opinions from the public about the selection of bronze statues.
Still, in the back of my mind are the unpaved streets. They seem more important to the public than more statues. Let’s get them fixed for Christmas!
Dr. Dorys C. Grover