Life Lessons from Peter Iredale

Lot’s of things come and go; often leaving something behind or imprinting on their surroundings. My hope is to comment about the trivial and underrated historical artifacts and surroundings. As I travel, I write. As I write, I hope I find out what I am writing about.

The aim of Drifter.Digital is personal but also open. I will share my thoughts, my biases and do as I please. I will put myself in the public eye; brave like a minnow in a vast school of fish and share my two cents! Hear my roar! Yes, in my reality, fish roar. I would also like to point out, I write as if I am speaking; telling a story and I don’t care much for the rules of grammar. So feel free to not point out my mistakes. Just go with it.

So what’s with the ship wreck photo? Why such a bad angle? Where is the artistic quality? BACK OFF! I shot this with my phone! I am an artist, the world is my canvass, and that is the remains of a Liverpool ship named, Peter Iredale.

The ship’s story really isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things. I would assume we could fantasize about a wealthy narcissistic (he did name his ship after himself) aristocrat, but this is about me coming up with a unique parallel to my life.

So, we start well after October 25, 1906 when the ship ran ashore just south of the Columbia River Channel, near Astoria, Oregon. In fact, I was just at this site over the fourth of July holiday. This was my first time meeting Peter’s bones and hearing his story from its beaching to invasion. Wait…

Invasion? America was invaded? No, but the Japanese did fire multiple explosive rounds from their hidden subs off the coast in June 1942. The ship was in the line of fire, however, we must give credit to British engineering, the ship didn’t see a scratch. Then again, it was a pile of bones.

Why were the Japanese picking a fight with mainland America? Were they just provoking us to reveal our battle stations? We may never know. The US Navy didn’t respond.

The entrance to the Columbia River is a very important water way, and to my astonishment (never really thought of it) the US Navy had built wartime infrastructure on American soil to protect it!

Now we know that the US did have bases near the explosions, and they decided not to respond. Was it to keep their locations a secret for a larger attack? Was it to keep the war from beginning on American soil? Due to the Freedom of Information Act we will never know. Just kidding, i didn’t research any further than a few Google clicks.

So why didn’t they respond? What would I have done? Too often we see stimuli (internet or “real life”) pop up and wait for us humans to react like it is assumed that we HAVE to react. What if we don’t? Why do we have to? As a young, know it all, male, I would say I wouldn’t react, and then immediately react. Then question my grit and self discipline on repeat.

The US Navy had countless reasons to react. I think its very telling to hear the story of young prepared soldiers not reacting to an explosive instigation. The fact this is sometimes we need to take a step back. Get a larger perspective. Do we care that they are shelling us? Yes. Does blindly responding with no plan or true understanding of the situation make us feel good? Yes, but now I’m starting to question this. It feels good to defend myself, but now I’m focusing on a small battle instead of a war. What have I missed or lost while losing this focus?

For me, an ADHD “lifer” I struggle with removing myself from instant stimuli and the agitation of responses; I know who I am and how I should respond but now I must figure out the power of my responses or lack there of.

For the close. I won’t be concluding many if any articles myself. I think that is for you, the reader to do. I laid out the canvas and paints. Provided the backdrop of Peter Iredale as your muse.

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