A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Seeing old friends on a quiet Albany street

Written August 28th, 2020 by Hasso Hering

Unafraid of an approaching cyclist, the West Albany flock of wild turkeys crosses Lincoln Street one recent evening.

Here’s another in my supply of Albany vignettes about non-news, or even old non-news. If you want to read about strife, unrest and chaos, look somewhere else.

I often ride my bike in Albany’s older neighborhoods because the traffic is light and the houses, of many different styles and ages, are interesting to look at. Not because they’re fancy, although some are, but because each is different from the next.

And as a home, each of these houses speaks about the people who own them or live there. Each one has a story. At least I imagine it does as I ride past. And I try to visualize what this or that house was like when it was built, some 60 or more years ago.

One such neighborhood is found on the west side of Broadway Street S.W. There, I’m riding along Lincoln Street the other night when my old friends — well, just acquaintances really — catch my eye up ahead.

I stop and turn on my little “action” camera (a cheap copy of the more famous version) on the handlebar to get a few seconds of footage of the West Albany wild turkeys that have made their appearance on this blog before.

When I take off again, it turns out the birds are not at all discomfited by a cyclist bearing down on them, as you can see below:

Last year there was a short-lived fuss about wild turkeys in Albany neighborhoods, and the question of how to get rid of them or keep them moving even came up before the city council.

A reader recently commented that this flock lives down in the bottom lands by the Calapooia River and comes up occasionally to feed, or maybe just to wander around. Maybe, like me, they like the neighborhood.

And they don’t look like a problem that needs to be solved, right? (hh)

7 responses to “Seeing old friends on a quiet Albany street”

  1. Sidney Cooper says:

    Thanks for giving them a mention, Hasso. I have shared this neighborhood with them for a few years and watched the mommas teach their babies, and the four “big daddies” wander around in a separate group. After the city put a new water line around my corner lot and seeded something weak over the cut, I broadcasted clover there and now have an attractive corner where they join me for breakfast. It makes it extra special to live in this older neighborhood to have some connections to the wild nearby. However, I will pass on a visit from the family of skunks that sometimes wander through after dark.

  2. Dave Sullivan says:

    Yet another of your interesting perspectives on Albany’s residential areas. Thank you.

    You may find it fun to read my ideas about a grand Albany home, the N. H. Allen house at 208 6th Avenue SE. I’ve researched and written about it’s history and Albany’s development at http://www.nhallen.net.

  3. Dick Olsen says:

    Thanks Dave, We looked at the Allen house in 1968. From the upstairs hall we could see up into the attic through fallen plaster in the ceiling ,and beyond that the sky through a hole in the roof. It was too much for us at the time, and thank God for your predecessors and particularly you, for saving her. You’ve been a major force in renovating our neighborhood and saving a couple of houses avid City staffers wanted to demolish. We really appreciate your efforts.

  4. Bill McLagan says:

    Your view of older neighborhoods reminds me of our first home and how different modern developments are. We now take flat land, dig down for streets, and build up each building lot a foot or two above the street level. I sometimes wonder how people will fare during our occasional black ice storms — trying to get up their driveways. I am sure there are good reasons for it (or only passing style) but I miss our old house with its mostly flat land.

  5. James Engel says:

    O.K. till Thanksgiving season comes around. Like our Seal team did with Bid Laden….two shots & a good dose of seasoning.

    • George says:

      If my friend’s experience is indicative of the general condition of wild turkeys, if you harvest one you had better have a can of bug spray and a bottle of tenderizer handy.
      He said he had never had such a louse-ridden and tough, stringy in his hunting life.
      He has gone back to duck hunting.


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