Pirates aren’t just a thing of the past, or some nuisance in the Gulf of Aden. They exist— in our neighborhood! Today we meet Bob Ramstead, otherwise known as Robert Cockroach Blair, and his wife, Amy aka Mercy Marie Dillingham.
Knowing our neighbors makes for a brighter and safer community. Who are you, and what is your connection to the neighborhood (resident, business owner, neighborhood advocate, etc)?
“I am Bob Ramstead, and my wife is Amy Baker-Ramstead. Our “other names” are Master Robert Cockroach Blair and Mercy Marie Dillingham. We are your friendly neighborhood pirates. Though Amy has a “real” job, she and I are part of the Portland pirate community. We also perform as pirates in the entire Pacific Northwest and Northern California. We live in “Cockroach’s Cottage” on 65th, along with our “daughter” Daphne, and a red tick coon hound / St Bernard mix puppy who was born on Intternational Talk Like A Pirate Day. We participate in the garden walk each year and also host the Official Portland International Talk Like A Pirate Day party each mid-September. We love the FOPO neighborhood and love to promote local business and the “buy local” movement.
How long have you lived or worked in the neighborhood, and what do you think makes it unique?
“Amy lived here first. She bought the cottage in 2004. I moved up from Newport in 2009. We love our 106 year old cottage and continually work at improving it and our property. Why is our home unique? How many “Daredevil” orange cottages do you know of in the neighborhood? How many homes decorate with pirate flags each September? How many homes have Daphne to welcome passers by and everyone who comes to our home?”
What are your favorite neighborhood haunts (for food, shopping, walks, drinking, entertainment, etc)?
“We love Torta Landia, Gemini Lounge, Bar Carlo, O’Malley’s, NWIPA, Fat Yoga, ABC Seafood Market, Ichidai Restaurant, and Foster Burger. We also are known to go to Joann Fabric, and even Wal Mart every once and a while. Now, each mid-September, a certain pirate family on 65th will be putting on the Official International Talk Like A Pirate Day party……this last year, our attendance was over 100. We’d love to have folks in the neighborhood join us….watch the orange cottage in September….the flags will signal the party’s closeness….then, just check with us…we’d love to have you attend.”
It’s a fact, our neighborhood is pretty rad. How do we keep it that way…and then some (i.e. enhance our parks, more n’hood events, more businesses, less tweakers, etc)?
“We love the good looking front yards. Street appeal helps everyone. We love the craftsman look most homes provide. To keep that look and also continue the street appeal will help. We also are firm believer in speed bumps. The more the merrier. I’d also like to see Foster speed limit lowered to 25 or 30 at the least.”
If you had a bajillion dollars (ok, a million) to spend on Foster, what would you do with it?
“Get rid of every bit of graffiti and provide patrolling to prevent more of it. I’d also make it an entertainment center like several other neighborhoods around Portland….get in some 3 or 4 star restaurants. Slow the traffic on Foster. Make the Bob White theater another central entertainment center for Portland.”
If you could pick a theme song for the neighborhood, or choose a celebrity that best exemplifies the character of it, what/who would it be?
“Theme song? Muppets’ Treasure Island….Shiver My Timbers……yarrrrrrr!!!!!!”