July 31st & August 1st: Seeing Familiar Faces at Portland’s Kenny and Zukes Deli
By: Steve Goode
Edited By: Judi Goode
July 31st- Grants Pass to Portland, OR
With only 8 delis remaining, I was beginning to tire of staying in hotels, listening to the a/c all night long, lumpy beds, thin towels, etc. And the hardest part on trips like this is just finding a place to stay. As I have mentioned before, apps like Priceline are priceless. They save you money and you can usually find a decent place to stay. But a friend of a friend, offered to host me in their home and I gladly accepted their offer. Their home was in Camas, WA just outside of Portland. I was very excited to stay in a home and not a motel-it was just what I needed. We had a wonderful dinner on their patio overlooking the valley 700 feet below with Portland on the horizon. The ability to just sit back and relax was not only welcomed but definitely needed.
August 1st- Ride to Kenny and Zukes in Portland, OR
It was an easy stress-free ride into Portland on Sunday morning to my next deli. Virtually no traffic so I was able to take my time getting there. When I arrived at the deli my friend and fellow Jewish motorcycle rider, Barry NewDelman, originally from Chicago, was there to greet me. He brought along a couple of his riding buddies to join us. A few minutes later a grammar school friend of mine, Abby Sherman, joined our group and we had a great time making connections since two of the Jewish riders were originally from Chicago. My hosts Bruce and Donna, showed up and the Jewish geography questions started flying around. Ultimately, we found out that Donna knew a lot of our south side Chicago friends. It’s a small world and the 6 degrees of separation between various groups of friends and strangers is fascinating.
After lunch and the picture taking, I began my travels up I-5 toward Seattle. However, a motorcycling Rabbi from Portland, Rabbi David Kosak, wanted to meet, me so we made arrangement to meet off of I-5 for coffee for 45 minutes. Again, the motorcycle becomes the “ice breaker” and helps everyone find common ground to begin conversations.
I made it to the Tacoma area, which is just south of Seattle. I decided that I would ride into Seattle the next morning instead of stay in Seattle and fight the traffic there. Everyone I had spoken with told me how horrible traffic is in the Seattle area, so I was a little concerned about timing. Spoiler alert… it wasn’t that bad.
What I did notice is that in the Portland/Seattle area there is a huge homeless problem. It seemed that everywhere I looked, there were make shift tent communities at almost every intersection or overpass. I know that there are good people working on a solution, but it can’t happen soon enough. I am sure many of these poor souls are the same people that MAZON is working hard to feed.