The One Parking Meter Town

The One Parking Meter Town
Published in JOURNEYS INTO... | about 4 years ago

A Journey into Lookingglass, Oregon (Revisiting Charles Kuralt's "On The Road")

It is now over three decades since the first release of “On the Road with Charles Kuralt” (Putnam, 1985), which was based on the long time popular series on CBS Television. This posting is part of an occasional series re-visiting places Kuralt visited back then, but seem to have been overlooked and forgotten over time.

It traditionally took a bit longer for modernity to hit Lookingglass, Oregon.

The small unincorporated community (now considered part of Roseburg) made a big deal about it when it got its first telephone booth in 1970 was installed. It was a year later that Charles Kuralt came to town to report on its first and only parking meter. According to the report, Mayor Norm Niblet, who at the time ran what is now the 150 year old Lookingglass General Store, decided town needed traffic control after witnessing 3 horses, 1 pickup truck congestion. He said at the time of the interview (which was later (1986) memorialized in print in On The Road With Charles Kuralt) the meter made $23 for town; money to be used for horse water trough by meter.

Years later the Lookingglass Store is still there and involve in creating community and pride in Lookinglass.

But the parking meter that brought Kuralt and David Brinkley and fame to town, alas, is gone. It seems that other aspects of modernity, slowly but surely, have also found their way to this out of the way place – reportedly it was stolen.