Day 2 of our retrospective on the 2000 Subaru Gorge Games brings us the winner of the downwind "Gorge Blowout", Cory Roeseler on his "Kiteski". Cory's wins at the annual Blowout made it clear that kiting was more than a passing fad.
Not into all of this, but do know that this guy and his father who was in the airplane business with Boeing for many years by the name of Bill Roeseler, invented all of this, plus have the patent on it in 1992.
Nellie on 25th February 2020 @ 7:16am
Cory is a prime example of the coming of the wind surfers. as I understand it he was a small group that traveled for the wind, couch surfing as needed. From there he has become a husband, father, businessman, restaurateur, and now a realtor with offices in HR and TD. That is the story of so many young people who have now become the backbone of this community. It was a painful transition for this little community where women worked in the packing houses and men worked in the woods or the orchards. As they bought up the cheap housing it forced locals, especially older ones, to have to sell and move elsewhere as they could not afford the taxes. I think any transition is painful, whether for the better or not.
nels on 25th February 2020 @ 10:57am
The "back bone" of this community was established WELL before the surfers came. It was forged out of wild wilderness, by people will to come west and make reality their dreams. I am not saying that surfing people do not have their place, just the fact that they were not the ones to put Hood River on the map. They would be what you might term "johnny come latelies."
Sarah E. on 26th February 2020 @ 7:08am
Personally I'm happy the windsurfers are here. My family moved to the Gorge nearly 100 years ago. If the windsurfers hadn't come here and started engineering businesses my job here would not exist and I couldn't live here.
Also Nels you have Cory confused with someone else, Cory is an engineer in Hood River, not a realtor.
Caleb on 26th February 2020 @ 8:46am
It sounds to me like nels has Cory confused with Maui. The bio described sounds much more like him.
j on 26th February 2020 @ 1:35pm
Correct, J. Cory is a mechanical engineer working in Hood River.
ArthurB on 26th February 2020 @ 2:36pm
I guess everyone has to have their own ideas of what happened here/ happens here, but my family were one of the very early settlers in the area and they made huge contributions both in the fruit industry and in other forms to grow this town/county. So if there had never been any reason for H. R. to start and get growth the surfers would not have had a place to play. Hood River was built on FRUIT, even if this isn't what people that came much later say...........
Pete on 27th February 2020 @ 8:02am
Not sure I see what people are disagreeing with here, but I have researched and given several lectures on Hood River's economy so I will add a little. At the beginning of the 20th century this valley saw unprecedented economic growth, including a major real estate boom, driven by the transition of local agriculture from a regional to nationwide brand. This was enabled by the refrigeration plants and refrigerated rail cars, allowing HR fruit to be shipped to distant markets.
The "recreation boom" of the late 20th century was very modest comparatively, but it did coincide with a shift to a more manufacturing oriented economy. Agriculture is still important but federal stats show manufacturing is ascendant.
The founders of these manufacturing companies use very similar language to the pioneer orchardists of the valley: they brought their families and businesses here because of the recreational opportunities and the environment. You can take the statement of an orchardist in 1905 side by side with a tech company founder of 1995, and see how little things have changed. Hood River had an unusually diverse economy in 1920 (agriculture, manufacturing, tourism) and it still does in 2020. That diversification has helped this community weather economic downturns several times in our history.
ArthurB on 27th February 2020 @ 10:46am
I'm very proud of my Hood River ancestry - and the part that my Great-Grandfather Frank Davenport played in the original boom when he brought water into the lower valley in 1896. I would guess that many of your readers had ancestors that benefited to a great degree from his vision and efforts. Your 1905 orchardist mentioned above probably was part of that, if he grew his orchards in the lower valley.
Jerry Larsen on 27th February 2020 @ 4:29pm
Great point, Jerry. I should have mentioned there were two key technologies necessary for our early orchards to thrive: irrigation at the end of the 19th century, and refrigeration at the beginning of the 20th. There were other things like steam powered sprayers, fruit graders and washers, but without irrigation and refrigeration nothing else would have mattered.
ArthurB on 27th February 2020 @ 7:39pm
With all the pictures we see on here about logging, mills, and the like, you would think that the timber industry would also get an honorable mention here for early economic development. Although that was common all over western Oregon at the time, so maybe its not that special.
kmb on 28th February 2020 @ 7:51am
Good question, kmb. We don't have much economic data from the era so I can only go by reports in the newspaper. Timber industry was a steady drumbeat throughout the northwest, but it was the explosion in orchards that appeared to push Hood River growth. Interesting side note-- I have heard the need for wood to rebuild San Francisco after the earthquake was a major driving factor in Portland development in this era.
ArthurB on 28th February 2020 @ 9:24am
Don't forget! Cory is flying his Kiteski every day at the History Museum of Hood River County, the yellow MUSEUM at the Hood River marina with the big dark red paddlewheel.
And bonus! The 'Ingenious!' exhibition is open, highlighting a wide variety of innovation and invention in Hood River County and the Gorge -- including a working demo area for Arthur's 'Video Lunchbox,' where kids of all ages can make stop action animations almost instantaneously, with just a little trial and error.
Sunday, March 1st will also be the first *free* 'Sunday Funday' at the museum, from 12 noon to 3pm . . . these are planned to happen monthly, otherwise the museum is closed Sundays. Come on over!
b.rad on 29th February 2020 @ 5:19pm