Thomas Doty – Storyteller

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Where the Ground Goes Chu Chu Chu

Along the Rogue River I listen to the clack of a train through the canyon, the whispers of fishermen, the swirling of rapids.

In 1933 a Takelma woman said this is the "place where the ground makes a noise like an automobile going chu chu chu." Many women chatting and pounding acorns into flour in bedrock holes mimic the chu and clacking sound of an idling '33 Chevy. And bedrock holes abound along the riverbank.

Though no one pounds acorns here any more, I still hear that sound in the clack clack clack of the train across the river, the whispers of fishermen, the chu chu chu of the living river swirling over bedrock.