1964: A Child's Christmas on the Willamette

by Bill Morelock, Minnesota Public Radio
December 19, 2013

St. Paul, Minn. — It's an original story about the Christmas flood of 1964 in the Willamette Valley. The conditions for flooding were widespread that December, from Washington State down to the North Coast of California.

The late Mark Hatfield, governor at the time, called it one of Oregon's five worst natural disaster of the 20th century. Seventeen people died.

Mixing narrative with music the story describes the interruption of ritual and displacement from home at the height of the Christmas season. The narrator remembers himself as merely "a small-time, short-term refugee," but 1964 persists in memory as "a Christmas without colors, the palette dominated by the dreary greys of the overflowing Willamette." Tune in on Monday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m. to listen.

This feature is part of Classical Minnesota Public Radio's Holiday Programming.

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