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Posts tagged ‘pendletonwoolenmills’

Rocky Mountain National Park: Taking a Blanket Home with a #pendle10parks Explorer

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The Rocky Mountain range stretches for over 3,000 miles, from New Mexico to the northernmost reaches of British Columbia.

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Rocky Mountain National Park is one of many national parks in the range; in Canada, Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho; on the US side, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier and more.

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Rocky Mountain National park was dedicated on September 4, 1915, and became America’s tenth national park. At 14,259, it was also America’s highest. That has changed in 101 years. Currently, it’s one of the five highest parks in the lower 48, because Denali beats everything, obviously.

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Rocky Mountain is still one of the America’s largest parks, at 416 square miles and 265,769 acres of wilderness. It hosts over three million visitors per year. Motorists enjoy the highest paved road in America.

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Hikers, campers and climbers are drawn by its 35 trailheads, 260 miles of horse trails, and the gorgeous waterfalls that tumble through the park’s almost 500 miles of streams and creeks, including the headwaters of the Colorado River.

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Those are some impressive numbers. But the park’s visual splendor is even more impressive.

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Since a quarter of the park’s land is above the treeline, it offers a rare chance to experience the alpine wilderness. Wildlife is abundant and varied, with 280 species of birds and 60 types of mammals, including moose, elk, black bears, mountain goats, mule deer, the ever-present coyote and the famed bighorn sheep. These massive (non-wool producing) sheep have become symbols of the park. That’s why they are featured on the Pendleton blanket label, shown here on the coffee cup.

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And here’s the blanket:

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Rocky Mountain National Park

Blanket: Colorado’s Rocky Mountain ecosystem rises from lush grassland and forests to sub-alpine, alpine and barren alpine tundra in blue, green, gold and grey stripes.

Label: Bighorn sheep bask in the sunny lowlands, reintroduced after near-extinction.

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Our #pendle10explorer Kate Rolston did a breathtaking job of taking our Rocky Mountain National Park blanket home to its park.

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You can see more of Kate’s work here: @kate_rolston

And remember, your purchase of our National Park Collection helps support preservation and restoration of America’s Treasures.

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Pendleton Weddings: Revisit A Favorite

Ed. note: As part of our Wedding Month, we’re going back to a Very Lebowski Wedding, performed shortly after the release of our first homage to the Dude’s sweater. We’ve since made a replica that you can see here: The Westerley. We still love that first sweater, though, and this Portland wedding remains one of our very favorites.

This past fall, Zoe Fisher and Matt Johnson tied the knot under an ancient tree in Portland’s Laurelhurst Park. The bride was beautiful and the groom was handsome, but here at Pendleton, our attention was drawn to the row of attending men.

There they are, standing proud in our Dude Cardigan, Pendleton’s tribute to the Westerley worn by Jeff Bridges as The Dude in “The Big Lebowski.”

I was able to talk to Zoe to talk about her wedding last week, and the first thing I asked her was, did her wedding have an official theme? “It was Portland,” said Zoe. “Just Portland. My husband’s family is from the East coast and this was going to be their first trip out here. So we wanted the wedding to reflect Portland as much as it could.”

Marrying in red is a bold choice. It’s a fantastic color, and Zoe’s dress has a definite Adele vibe. Was it new or vintage? “Both, kind of. I found a vintage 1950s Butterick pattern on eBay and gave it to a Portland seamstress named Skye Blue. She’s into sustainable and upcycled designs, so I knew she’d be up for an unconventional wedding dress. I gave her the pattern and fabric I found for $6.00 a yard at the Fabric Depot.”

And look what she did with it!

The dress was new and old. Zoe added something borrowed and something blue with the Chanel Nouvelle Vague nail polish, owned and applied by a friend.

Zoe was ready to get married in style. But what about the men?

Two occurrences had the bride-and-groom-to-be thinking about having the male members of the wedding party in Pendleton sweaters.

Last December, Zoe saw a feature in Portland Bride magazine that used the Pendleton Jerome cardigan. “It definitely fit in with our theme. Pendleton is the Portland brand.”

Then in May of 2011, The Oregonian ran a feature on the Dude Cardigan, a tribute version of the cardigan worn in a movie that, well, it means a lot to Matt and  Zoe. “We’re basically obsessed with The Big Lebowski. So much so that we quote it almost every day.”

The stars were set to align. But a call to the downtown Portland Pendleton store was worrisome. “The ship date was really close to the wedding, and they’d pre-sold most of the stock before it even arrived. We were on the waiting list!”

Zoe decided to go to the store in person to look at other sweater options. When she arrived, associates were unpacking Dude sweaters and making calls. And once Zoe saw the cardigan in person, no other would do.

That’s where Pendleton people stepped in. Sheri Vanderpool, manager at Portland Pendleton, says, “Associate Michelle Seyer worked with Zoe personally, calling all around the country.” Michelle kept calling until she found enough for Matt’s three groomsmen, and Zoe’s best friend Jazz, who was one of her attendants. The sweaters came from every geographic region.

“We bought the sweaters and gave them as attendant gifts,” explains Zoe. “My dad was a little pouty that he didn’t get to wear one, but I said, no Dad, you’re the father of the bride. You wear a suit.” And of course, the groom Matt wanted one, too. He may or may not be getting one for Christmas. Matt will just have to wait and see on December 25th.

The event was captured on film by Heather Bayles, a Portland photographer who allowed us to use these shots (more shots from this wedding, and more examples of her beautiful work can be seen here).  Ms. Bayles took the pre-wedding shots at the Nines Hotel and the reception photos at the Bossanova Ballroom. Yes, that’s the groom rocking out with friends at the reception.

The very Oregon flowers were provided by Quince .

A big thanks to Zoe and Matt for allowing us to share in their very Lebowski wedding, and a special thanks to Zoe for sharing all the details that went into planning an event of so much heart, soul and style.

When complimented on her bravery for planning an outdoor wedding in Portland’s fall weather, she said, “Well, we decorated our save-the-date cards with an umbrella.” Did the wedding party have umbrellas, just in case? That idea made Zoe laugh. “We’re natives! We don’t do umbrellas!”

Congratulations, Zoe and Matt Johnson, and here’s to a beautiful future together. And if the Johnsons have  inspired you to investigate some creative choices for your wedding, come see us online or at one of our stores. We’d be happy to make it happen for you.

Pendleton wedding gifts: SHOP

The Wild Splendor of Oregon’s Crater Lake

On a clear day, the waters of Crater Lake are a shade of blue seen nowhere else. The depth of the lake, the purity of the water and the clean Oregon skies are the source of this unearthly hue. You really have to see it to believe it.

Crater Lake sits almost two thousand feet above sea level and is the deepest lake in the United States. As the National Park Service says, “Crater Lake has inspired people for thousands of years. No place else on earth combines a deep, pure lake, so blue in color; sheer surrounding cliffs, almost two thousand feet high; two picturesque islands; and a violent volcanic past. It is a place of immeasurable beauty, and an outstanding outdoor laboratory and classroom.” (source)

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Of all the beautiful Oregon locations seen in the movie “Wild,” it is Cheryl Strayed’s slow saunter across the backdrop of Crater Lake that elicits the strongest audience response.

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It’s really that blue-and that’s the blue we chose for our Crater Lake National Park Series blanket.

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Crater Lake formed in the collapsed caldera of Mount Mazama, an ancient volcano. It is not fed by any streams or tributaries. The 4.6 trillion gallons of water contained in the lake accumulated through 7,000 years of precipitation, and some sub-surface seepage. This accounts for the water’s unbelievable purity.

The lake contains two islands. Wizard Island is a volcanic cinder cone formed by continued eruptions after the collapse of Mount Mazama. Its picturesque name comes from an earlier time in Crater Lake’s history, when the lake was named the “Witches Cauldron.” That name didn’t stay, but Wizard Island’s name did remain. Crater Lake’s other island, Phantom Ship, is a rock formation that looks exactly like a pirate ship sailing on the lake’s surface if you tilt your head and squint a little, and believe.

You don’t have to hike to enjoy this park’s best view. It’s possible to drive right to the Crater Lake lodge and visit a patio that stretches across the back of the lodge. There you can sit in one of the rocking chairs, order a huckleberry martini and toast the best view in Oregon. And if you’re ready for outdoor action, Crater Lake offers hikes, bike rides around the rim, hikes and boat tours that include a stop on Wizard Island. If you do travel by boat, keep your eye out for “The Old Man of the Lake,” a hemlock stump that has been bobbing around the lake for over a century.

The Klamath and Modoc tribes consider Crater Lake a sacred site, and have myths about its creation. Because of the scientific accuracy of the Klamath myths, it’s believed that tribal members witnessed the creation of the lake and fashioned their sacred stories accordingly. You can read more here: Sacred legends of the Klamath   and here: Science and Myth, the creation of Crater Lake.

It was a cloudy day when Kyle Houck, our #pendle10park explorer, took the Crater Lake blanket home for a visit. As you can see from Kyle’s shots, the park is still beautiful.

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#pendle10parks photos by: @KYLEHOUCK

Find out more about our Crater Lake blanket here: Crater Lake

Share a Crater Lake/Rogue River adventure with Greg Hatten: WoodenBoat Adventures

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Where the Mountains Meet the Sea: UGG and Pendleton Collaborate in 2015

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Wool, meet wool. If there were ever a natural partnership, it’s this one. Our 2014 collaboration with UGG Australia was an immediate hit and a nearly immediate sell-through, so we’re excited to bring you another collaboration for this holiday season.

We talked about the shared heritage of UGG and Pendleton in a post last year, which you can read here: 2014 UGGs & PWM. Both companies have roots in Southern California’s surf culture, a point nicely illustrated by this display at the UGG Australia HQ..

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Our new pattern, exclusive to this collection, reflects this shared history. Inspired by the place where the mountains meet the sea, this banded design has mountain peaks and rolling waves in natural hues. Here it is on the loom at our USA mill.

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There’s something for everyone; scuffs, mocs, lace-ups, slip-ons, and the classic UGG in short and tall. There’s an exciting lace-up Adirondack waterproof boot that’s going wild on Pinterest for us. There’s even a baby bootie. JUST LOOK AT IT!!

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(Sorry, but that’s one cute little bootie.)

We’re rounding out the offering with vests for both men and women, and assortment of well-crafted bags.

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Most of the footwear and bags and both the vests are available at Pendleton.usa.com, including this beautifully constructed women’s vest.

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Exclusive to Uggaustralia.com are two pieces for the home; a fleece-backed throw and an oversized pillow. We have to show them to you, even though we aren’t carrying them; they are simply beautiful.

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We’re garnering some nice recognition in the press, with more to come. You can read about us in GQ and Town & Country. Last year’s collection went fast, so don’t wait to make your choice. You don’t want this one to run away from you!

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Rose City ‘Til I Die: Oregon Team, Oregon Blanket, Oregon Pride!

Pendleton Woolen Mills is proud to honor the Portland Timbers with a limited-edition blanket. The edition of 1,975 reflects the Timbers’ beginnings in 1975 as part of the North American Soccer League. Now part of Major League Soccer, the Timbers are cheered on by the Timbers Army, a European-style rooting section that sets the standard for team support in the MLS.

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The blanket’s designer, Laura Jost, used her bird’s eye view from the Timbers Army section as inspiration for a stylized representation of the beautiful game. The goalkeepers hang back as two teams converge on the heart of the Rose City, while flags wave, drums pound, colored smoke is released for each goal, and Timber Joey brandishes his chainsaw. Above it all, chant leaders lead the Timbers Army in their battle cry: Rose City ‘Til I Die.

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This hometown blanket will be available for preorder through our Pendleton Home Store and on our site starting today, October 8th. The actual blankets will arrive in plenty of time to be wrapped for gift-giving.

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This is your blanket for your team, with a design chosen by Timbers fans. A portion of sales will support Fields for All, a nonprofit alliance between the Timbers, Pendleton Woolen Mills and many more, devoted to creating safe, healthy playing surfaces for underserved communities. You can read about the unveiling of a field here: Fields for All Unveiling in Gresham, Oregon.

We asked Laura Jost, the blanket’s designer, to tell us a little about herself, and to describe her inspiration for this beautiful blanket.

Laura, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I was born in Portland and lived all over rural Oregon. My birthday is 9/18, usually very close to Pendleton Round-Up, so my cake usually had a frosting cowgirl or the like. I still love riding horses and the kids love that I am excellent at catching frogs. I moved back to Portland in 1995.

What drew you to the idea of designing a Pendleton blanket?

Pendleton is a brand that is very near to my heart. I drive past the mill and/or stop in every time I visit my parents. My mother instilled my love of Pendleton wools. I received my first blanket in grade school and I still have it: the Glacier National Park blanket. There is Pendleton wool in most rooms of my home; the kids each have a blanket, the throws and pillows in my living room, the blanket on our bed, our beach towels. They are works of art to me.

What’s your design background?

I don’t have a formal design background, but I was raised learning to sew, knit, and garden and I was always artistic: drawing, writing, painting, singing, dancing. I am technically a stay-at-home mom, though I don’t do much staying at home. I volunteer in various capacities at school, and I’m a freelance writer, regularly published in NW Kids Magazine. I love to work with fabric, customizing and sewing clothing for my family. I’m what most people call a jack-of-all-trades.

And now we come to the Portland Timbers. Tell us what the Timbers mean to you.

I have always been drawn to rooting for the “good guys” and that’s exactly what the Timbers feel like for me. The stadium experience just reinforces my love for the game. My husband teases me because I cheer for the players like I’m their mother. I love the camaraderie in the Army. I love the cheering to the very end, cheering even for the misses/good tries. I love the emotional high-fives and hugs when we score. I love watching the Timbers’ kids with their fathers out on the field at the end of the game. I love the celebration in it all. I love waking up the next morning a little hoarse. I just love it!

 When I saw the contest, I was at home sick for several days and did the preliminary layout and drawing to keep my mind busy while I was recovering. I wanted it to look like a Timbers match: the wild flags in the air, the sound of the drums, the colored goal smoke, the field, the players, the Army, the heart of the city and the love I have for Portland: even the little rosettes came to represent the chant leaders and Joey.

 When I looked at it, I saw a wild night of cheering on the home team at the top of your lungs, but it could never compare to innate beauty of a Pendleton, so my entry became just another paper on the counter. I almost didn’t send it in, but my son saw the drawing on the table just before the deadline and gasped, “Mommy, it’s so beautiful!” So, I had to send it in.

 I never thought in a million years I’d hear back from anyone! The fan voting was excruciating. I spent the last day hiding out with the kids as much as possible and when I saw the final numbers, I just couldn’t believe it. It’s still a little hard for me to believe. When I think about seeing a blanket in person, my stomach jumps!

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Ours too, Laura, ours too.

Remember, order soon. We expect the edition to sell out quickly, so please don’t wait. Order here: Timbers Blanket

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Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People

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September saw the opening of Portland’s Tilikum Crossing, the newest of Portland’s bridges. This one is special for a few reaasons. First, it’s a pedestrian/transit bridge that is only open to pedestrians, the MAX light rail line, buses, bicycles and emergency vehicles. Second, it is named in honor of the people who inhabited this area long before the Jacksons, Hawthornes and Morrisons. Tilikum is a Chinook jargon word that means “people, tribe or family.” It was chosen to honor the Multnomah, Cascade, Clackamas, and other Chinookan peoples who have been here as long as 14,000 years ago.

The name was chosen through an initial round of popular vote, with the final name being chosen by a Trimet committee. The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde were part of the bridge’s dedication, and donated artwork by Chinook artist Greg A. Robinson. The three pieces are collectively titled, “We Have Always Lived Here.”

Two basalt pillars stand at the east and west ends of the bridge. The bronze medallion, five feet in diameter, hangs at the eastern side of the bridge, facing north.  According to the tribe. “The basalt carvings depict Tayi, or headmen, with their people, and the medallion shows Morning Star and her children in the center, which is a reference to the heavens, and Coyote and the first humans on the outer ring, referencing the Earth.”

As part of the opening ceremony for the bridge, The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde commissioned a limited edition blanket from Pendleton Woolen Mills, incorporating the stunning artwork by Mr. Robinson.

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Each blanket bore this special patch.

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As we understand it, most of the commemorative blankets were given as gifts, and a small amount were sold on Tilikum Crossing’s opening day. We are so honored to have been asked to participate in this event.  Below, enjoy some shots from the bridge’s dedication, including those of the artist being wrapped in another Grand Ronde blanket, and some beautiful closeups of his work. Photos courtesy of Trimet.

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Take a Pendleton Mill Tour: From Our Hands to Yours

Nearly every day, we hear from people who have toured our mills in Washougal, Washington, and Pendleton, Oregon. They are impressed by the complexity of the process and the unrelenting noise of a working woolen mill. We are (of course) proud to show off our state-of-the-art mills. That’s why we’re always throwing open our doors to the public. We are working constantly to meet the demand for our fabrics and our weaving capabilities.

You can find information on our tours here and here. Our mill in Pendleton gets quite a bit of press attention, but you can read a detailed history of the Washougal Mill here. But if the Pacific Northwest is not your neighborhood, we offer this virtual tour, filmed at both our mills. We wanted to offer a detailed look at just what it takes to weave a blanket from fleece to finish.

Enjoy!

Join the fun with our National Parks Party: July 15th – 19th

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Please join us for a great time to celebrate a great cause. See our Parks merchandise and learn how you can help us with the restoration of key landmarks in our National parks! Won’t you join us? Find a Pendleton retail store or Pendleton Outlet by clicking: HERE.

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Buffalo and the National Parks: Pendleton’s New Buffalo Wilderness Blanket

BuffaloBlanketIn 2016, we will honor the centennial of our National Park Service. We will celebrate our National Parks, along with the employees and volunteers who work to hold the Parks in trust for generations to come. An important part of that trust includes preserving and managing each Park’s wildlife. The National Parks have played a key role in the preservation of the American bison, commonly known as the buffalo.

In the 16th century, North America was home to 25 to 30 million bison, making the American Plains Bison the most abundant single species of large mammal on Earth. The Plains Bison is a “keystone species.”  The trampling and grazing of these thundering herds actually shaped the ecology of America’s Great Plains. A bison can weigh over 2,500 pounds,  jump six feet vertically, and run 40 miles per hour when alarmed. This is an impressive animal.

The bison played a crucial part in the lives of Nomadic Native American peoples. One bison could provide 200 to 400 pounds of meat, as well as hides, robes, and sinew for bows. Hunting was accomplished on foot and on horseback through herded stampedes over buffalo jumps. For an accurate and detailed account of Native American hunting methods, along with art and photography, see this blog post at www.nativeamericannetroots.net. Hunters thanked the animals with rituals and prayers for the gift of their lives. The Natives, the herds and the habitat thrived.

Two hundred years later, the bison was hunted nearly to extinction.  Decimating factors included loss of habitat due to farming and ranching, and industrial-scale hunting by non-Natives.  The systematic destruction of the herds was promoted by the U.S. Army in order to strike an irrevocable blow to the way of life of the Plains Nations. The loss of the buffalo was an economic, cultural, and religious tragedy for the original inhabitants of North America. It was also a great loss to the natural ecology of the Great Plains.

Somehow, tiny “relict” herds survived. A few ranchers attempted restoration of the herds through private ventures in the late 1800s. Samuel Walking Coyote (Pen d’Oreille) started a small herd with seven orphaned calves he found west of the Rocky Mountain Divide. Another herd was formed from this initial group, and in the early 1900s, small herds were sent from this second herd to Canada’s Elk Island National Park, and the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma.

Left to graze in protected wilderness and park areas, the buffalo began to rebound. The Yellowstone Park Bison Herd formed naturally from a 23 bison that remained in the park after the massive slaughter at the end of the 19th century. This is the only continuously surviving herd in the Americas, and the largest at over 4,000 head. There are preservation efforts in many wilderness areas and National Parks, in part due to the beneficial effects of bison on regional ecology. Unlike domestic cattle, bison herds cultivate rather than deplete the native grasses through grazing.

Because of the close relationship between our national wilderness areas and the American bison, Pendleton commemorates this impressive land mammal as part of the Pendleton National Parks Collection. Our newest buffalo blanket, “Buffalo Wilderness” celebrates the resilience of a magnificent animal and its role in shaping the Great Plains.

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The Buffalo Wilderness design recalls a time when millions of buffalo roamed grassy plains from Oregon to the Great Lakes, from Canada to Mexico. Today our National Parks protect the wilderness, and the buffalo herds can roam free. One of the largest herds (more than 4,000) of free-ranging wild buffalo lives in and around Yellowstone National Park. It is thought to be the only place in the United States where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times. You can also see herds in Badlands, Grand Teton, Theodore Roosevelt and Wind Cave National Parks.

You can get more information on the blanket here. And remember, the purchase of items from our National Park Collection helps support the National Park Foundation. More information here.

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Happy Father’s Day. Sometimes, a picture says it all.

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This is a photo of Robert and Matt Raven, father and son, taken in 1963, and shared with Pendleton this last year. It was taken by Carl “Pete” Petersen, who was there along with his son Grant.

Here are some words about his father from Matt, who is a professor at Michigan State University.

My Dad (Robert D. Raven) was the epitome of what Tom Brokaw termed the Greatest Generation. He grew up on a farm in Michigan and was a gunner/mechanic on a B-24 in the South Pacific during WW II. This was one reason he was such a great wing shot. He went to Michigan State (then Michigan State College) on the GI Bill. My mom (Leslie Erickson Raven) was a Marine during WWII (an aircraft mechanic) and also went to Michigan State on the GI Bill. They moved to California after they graduated in 1949 with $200 in their pockets. My Mom help put my Dad through Law School at UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall) and he graduated in 1952. He practiced law for Morrison Foerster (home office in San Francisco) all of his professional career and help build them into one of the premier law firms anywhere. He was one of those men that helped the United States become the greatest nation on the planet after WWII. He died in 2004 and I miss him every day. I am proud to be his son.

What a great American story. We love this image so much, we chose it for our Instagram #PendletonDad photo contest this year. It just says Father’s Day, and it’s a fitting way to wish Happy Father’s Day to all the admirable dads out there from Pendleton Woolen Mills.