Richard is an experienced and engaging speaker. His presentations are illustrated with historical photographs, illustrations, advertising, and other images. Some recent presentation topics are listed below. Richard can modify existing programs to emphasize particular places or issues, and can research and produce presentations on other topics in Oregon history.
Richard has appeared in television and film documentaries, speaking on historical topics. Examples include episodes of “Oregon Experience” on Oregon Public Broadcasting, such as “A Cuisine of Our Own” about food writer James Beard, and “Streetcar City,” about Portland’s old—and new—streetcar systems.
Richard’s particular areas of interest and expertise include railroads and transportation, regional architecture and historic preservation, food history and agriculture, Oregon industries, and town and city history.
Presentations are suitable for general audiences, and have been presented at public libraries, historical societies, retirement communities, senior centers, and school groups.
On the Dining Car Out West: Eating on the Train
- Crossing the continent by train requires eating along the way, and Western railroad companies provided dining cars that fed passengers as they were moving. Competition caused each railroad to develop menus that featured regional foods such as salmon, apples, and potatoes. Celebrity chefs, special holiday dishes, and souvenir menus were other lures that led to a distinctive travel experience “Out West.”
Peace & Friendship: Lewis & Clark’s Peace Medals
- Among the goods that American explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark carried west to Fort Clatsop were medals issued by the new United States government as symbols of its peaceful intentions with relation to native peoples. Symbol and reality were not always synchronized in the years after 1804, and one medal’s journey traces the arc of that story line.
Chop Suey for All: Chinese Cooks in Oregon
- A saga of Chinese immigrants from the 1850s to the present, presenting how it was that many Chinese—men only, initially—cooked for a living, eventually opening “Chinese-American” restaurants. These restaurants helped promote family life, especially in smaller towns. Developed for the Oregon Historical Society.
Lost & Gone: Oregon’s Vanished Structures
- An overview of historic buildings and structures that for a variety of reasons have disappeared from the Oregon landscape, and discussion of what’s worth keeping and why. Developed for the Architectural Heritage Center.
Your Grandmother’s Cook Book: A Century of Oregon Eating, 1880-1980
- A look at what Oregonians ate as revealed by the recipes in local community cookbooks, and at what dishes once appeared in them, and what dishes have disappeared—any why.
Introduction to Oregon History; or, Oregon History 101
- A rapid-fire illustrated overview of the state with an environmental perspective: Oregon history in 49 minutes and 49 illustrations. Developed for Road Scholar.
Portland Culture & Cuisine
- An overview of Portland history in light of its markets and restaurants, chefs and food producers. From native salmon to farmers’ markets, with a dash of celebrity chefs, clams and crabs and oysters, and the looming presence of food writer and presenter James Beard. Developed for Road Scholar.
Land of the Empire Builders
- The story of the Oregon state song and its sometimes controversial lyrics. Developed for the Oregon Historical Society.
Some of the organizations for which Richard has done presentations
- McMenamin’s History Pubs
- Oregon Historical Society
- Benton County Historical Society
- Restore Oregon
- American Cruise Lines
- Tamástslikt Cultural Institute
- Willamalane Park and Recreation District
- Forest Grove City Library
- Coos History Museum
- Klamath County Museum
- CherryWood Village Retirement Community
- Architectural Heritage Center
- Deschutes Public Library
- Reed College
- Umatilla County Historical Society
- National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center
- Tillamook Air Museum
- Northwest History Network
- Linn County Historical Society
- The History Museum, Hood River
- Jackson County Library Services
- Oregon State Library
- Road Scholar
- Multnomah Athletic Club