As mayor of Oil City and chairman of the Oil City Regional Chamber of Commerce, every day brings a flurry of requests for information about the new National Geographic reality series, “The Legend of Mick Dodge.” Set in the Hoh River Valley, Mick Dodge is a loveable Hobbit-Sensei-Forest-Gump-gnome who lives in a hollow tree stump and spends his days wandering barefoot through the rainforest in leather pants, in search of shamrocks, berries and insect larvae growing on elk droppings. Inquiring minds want to know,
“Is this guy for real?”
These are the same people who sit glued to the TV news every night watching politicians giving away jobs. They watch the friendly weather-person tell them how to dress. They think the anchor person has a sincere concern about the poor suckers stuck in gridlock on the freeway. It is ironic that the same people who swallow the countless hours of so-called news programming hook, line and sinker question the wholesome family values on the new National Geographic reality TV series, “The Legend of Mick Dodge” and suggest that it’s a fake.
It’s an insult to that great American institution, the National Geographic, nothing more than a baseless accusation by a silent minority with an ax to grind. Let me assure you. Mick Dodge is as real as anything you see on TV. To suggest that the National Geographic whose early groundbreaking pictorial expose’s documented the scanty costumes of remote primitive tribes in the far corners of the globe, followed Perry to the Pole and Whitaker to Everest would devolve into a pandering tabloid parody of itself is a screw-loose, anti-American notion that attacks what makes America so cool.
As President of the Oil City Economic Development Council let me just say, any media attention that would promote the Hoh Rainforest is okey-dokey. The Oil City Tourist and Convention Bureau has spent years hiring consultants, conducting workshops and organizing an investment strategy that would restore Oil City to its former glory when it was known as “The Pearl of the Hoh.”
A recent article in our local newspaper, the Oil City Blotter described plans for a destination theme resort that will give vacationers an opportunity to make their Mick Dodge dreams a reality. The proposed “Stumps of Mystery” resort development will be the first in the country to feature the latest rage in wilderness survival, “Glam Stumps.” These are not your grandpa’s stumps.
The Stumps of Mystery will feature carpeting, Naugahyde and hot and cold running stuff. Lodging tax and fumigation fees from the glam-stumps will fund many important cultural activities that celebrate the cultural diversity of our natural history.
This year we are working hard to organize an inaugural festival of flowers that will showcase the beauty of our fair city to the world and beyond. Washington D.C. may have its cherry blossoms, Portland may have its roses but Oil City has skunk cabbage. If you are searching for scenic splendor in an urban setting, look no further that Oil City when the skunk cabbage bloom.
This year’s Skunk Cabbage Festival will feature a wood-splitting contest right on Main Street as part of an interactive parade with Mick Dodge as Honorary Grand Marshal. There will be cash and prizes for the first, largest and most artistic skunk cabbage. All leading to the Chile Contest, (with no goat or bear meat allowed} at the Oil City Center for the Performing and Culinary Arts that will blow your socks off!
Thank you for your interest in Oil City and we’ll see y’all at the Oil City Skunk Cabbage Festival this April First!