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House yawns, then OKs Boring and Dull Day

Each year, Oregon could recognize Boring with Dull, Scotland as a Pair for the Ages.


by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO:  - CONTRIBUTED PHOTO The three people seated in front of the Oregon House of Representatives Rules Committee Feb. 13 include, from left, Sen. Chuck Thomsen, R-Hood River; Steve Bates, chairman of the Boring Community Planning Organization; and Rep. Bill Kennemer, R-Oregon City. The trio was testifying to the committee to gain its favor for HB 2352, which would declare Aug. 9 as Boring and Dull Day statewide to honor the pairing of Boring with Dull, Scotland.The Oregon House of Representatives last week voted unanimously to approve House Bill 2352, which would declare Aug. 9 to be Boring and Dull Day across the state.

The bill is now in a Senate committee, awaiting approval before it travels to the floor of the Senate. Ultimately, the bill authorizing the state holiday will likely cross the desk of Gov. John Kitzhaber for its final approval.

The Clackamas County Board of Commissioners and the Boring Community Planning Organization already had approved the pairing of Boring with Dull, Scotland, and set Aug. 9 (the date it was OK’d by the county) as a special day set aside to recognize the two villages’ relationship — “A Pair for the Ages.”

In fact, the “pairing” scenario during 2012 received recognition on radio, television and the Internet on every continent.

During the Oregon House Ways and Means Committee hearing Feb. 13, there was a bit of humor expressed by the speakers: Sen. Chuck Thomsen, R-Hood River, Rep. Bill Kennemer, R-Oregon City, and Steve Bates, chairman of the Boring CPO.

“It has been an exciting and Dull-ing experience to see both this relationship and the community spirit emerge from this long-acknowledged Boring area,” Kennemer said.

“(The people of) Scotland argue that it is Dull and Boring,” Bates said, “(but) we maintain it is Boring and Dull.”

After the announcement that the House had approved the bill, Kennemer received a note from Jim and Denise Dull of Pacifica, Calif., who said they would travel to Boring for the Aug. 9 ice cream social at the Boring Station Trailhead Park.

The note stated that the Dull family came to North America in the 1500s to the area that eventually became Pennsylvania. They were, the note stated, “ostensibly from Dull, Scotland, and family members have fought in every American war beginning at Valley Forge.”

Another note came to Bates from a woman who lives in nearby Damascus. She said there are 18 people in her family tree with the last name of Dull.

Ending with a note of irony, she stated, “Until we became the city of Damascus (2004), our post office address was Boring, Oregon.”

In fact, the Postal Service’s office for the city of Damascus is now headquartered in downtown Boring.

But Kennemer, Thomsen and Bates communicated to the House members that this pairing of two unincorporated communities was more than just what Bates called “jocularity.”

The benefits to both communities are already being felt, and are expected to grow. Those benefits include increased commerce, continued growth of businesses, a rise in tourism for the entire area, economic growth and the building of an unmatched community atmosphere.

“The pairing of Boring and Dull,” Bates told the House Ways and Means Committee, “is helping us reach for a spirit of community.”

Among the indicators he mentioned is the sale of embroidered shirts and hats and beverage mugs honoring this pairing. These products are being ordered at boringoregon.com and shipped all over the country.

This merchandise, Bates said, is purchased from a local Boring business.

Boring has scheduled a Boring to Dull group tour next October to Scotland, administered by a Boring travel agent.

The Boring Oregon Foundation is raffling a trip with that group tour to Scotland to help raise money for a Boring Community and Senior Center.

And finally, Bates said he is encouraging the owners of one of Boring’s newest businesses (see business story in this issue), the Boring Brewing Company, to create a recipe and brew a Boring and Dull Scottish Ale.

Based on what happened in Dull when its residents erected a couple of road signs announcing the pairing of Boring and Dull, the residents of Boring are strongly interested in placing similar road signs on each end of the major commercial area of Boring. The signs would be located on the highway leading to the recreational areas of Mount Hood.

The people of Dull, in their communication with Boring residents, said tourists (including Oregonians) are going out of their way to drive through Dull so they can stop and take a photo with their family standing in front of the road sign. Boring residents expect the same scenario to occur in Oregon.

“We are working with Clackamas County and the Oregon Department of Transportation,” Bates said, “for appropriate signage to match the sign in Scotland.

“It has been said that while New York City has its Times Square, Boring must have its Boring and Dull sign. With a name like Boring, we really needed Dull to help us attract attention.”

Clackamas Board of Commissioners Chairman John Ludlow sent a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee supporting the proposed action by the House, and praising the increased tourism and commerce that has already occurred.

“Boring has clearly lived up to its unofficial distinction,” his letter stated, “of being the most exciting place to live.”