jeremy's Reviews > Love and the Green Lady: Meditations on the Yaquina Bay Bridge: Oregon’s Crown Jewel of Socialism

Love and the Green Lady by Matt Love
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's review
Jan 30, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: oregon-pnw
Read in January, 2012

matt love may well be the most prolific chronicler of oregon tales since the great stewart holbrook more than half a century ago. not only is his passion for the beaver state well evident in every sentence he composes, his writing also inspires current and former oregonians alike with a sense of place, a love of history, and a duty to preserve the state's unique heritage.

love and the green lady is the second volume in love's newport trilogy (the first being super sunday in newport, and focuses solely on the yaquina bay bridge. designed by conde mccullough (whom also designed nearly two dozen other oregon bridges from astoria in the north to gold beach in the south) and completed in 1936, the yaquina bay bridge is a shining example of the new deal-era infrastructure projects that helped stabilize a devastated economy and put unemployed people back to work. love's book focuses on all aspects of the bridge, including its history and legacy, its unique aesthetic traits, as well as the politics of the bridge's construction (even invoking that much-maligned s-word: socialism!). love includes anecdotal tales from local newport residents as well as writings from his high school students. with over 100 photographs, most taken by love himself, love and the green lady is the definitive biography of this stunning bridge.

as with all of matt love's writing, his freewheeling style enriches an already fascinating narrative. with ample sex, rock n roll allusions, candid political asides, and playful, witty humor, it is clear love is an engaging storyteller. matt love has come to be the unofficial biographer of all things oregon, or, at the very least, the literary ambassador of all things stone oregon.

today, the idea of the state building a beautiful bridge like the green lady seems as remote as the days when american presidents owned slaves and coupled with them. perhaps oregon's inability to construct, let alone conceive, another public works project as magnificent compelled me to produce this little book as an homage, a historical reminder, a rejoinder, a spark, a celebration, a meditation, a thank you, a love letter and a present to the green lady on her seventy-fifth birthday.

you still got it baby.

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