Portland in October

And don’t forget your camera either

Paul Thomas Swann
3 min readMar 10


Photo by Zack Spear on Unsplash

As a Trial Defense Attorney for the Army Reserve, I had to attend many conferences. This one was in Portland.


Now, I had wanted to take along my good camera, but the battery was dead and I couldn’t find the battery charger. So, I said to my wife, “Wife, I’m not going to bother taking the other smaller digital camera (the one that takes really great pictures).

After all, I’m only going to Portland.

My first morning, ever, in Portland greeted me with sunshine. They told me this was rare in the Northwest. However, from the eighth floor, I was nearly blinded by the brightness emanating from a row of sugar maples — red, orange — beautiful.

Beyond the trees, there was a spectacular city skyline.

Beyond it — a bridge over the Willamette River. Of course, that was nothing I would actually want a picture of to say, remember my trip to Portland.


And, oh yeah, from the other side of the hotel on a clear day one could actually see Mount Hood.

Who’d want a picture of that?

By Friday afternoon, the conference was winding down. For unknown reasons, Homeland Security or some other alphabet soup organization decided to play terrorist games on the guests of Portland as well as all the citizens who work downtown.

They stretched a yellow, do-not-cross-or-I’ll-taser-you-bro, tape everywhere. Half of our group was trapped in the mall across the street — forced to drink Starbucks coffee and eat Cinnabons.

The horror.

Other hotel guests were trapped in the lobby walking around half-crazed because they just want to go back home to Toledo.

Or Scranton.

Our leaders eventually made the command decision to press on — that’s what they kept saying. “Let’s press on.”

So we did — with half of our attendees.

Just before lunch, we were lectured by a happy-go-lucky Air Force medical examiner. A medical examiner with PowerPoint slides — just before lunch.