Portland exists because of grain. Deep water at this spot in the Willamette River enables the loading of large grain ships carrying the harvests of Oregon to Europe and Asia. Loading grain in the middle of downtown is still a major economic activity. Here the steam-powered, stern wheel tug Portland is helping to ease a loaded bulk carrier away from the elevator. The ship will be turned around in mid-channel and will be able to make way without a tug to the Columbia and out to sea. During the Christmas flood of 1964 I watched the Portland capture loose ships which had broken away from Zidell's. Had the loose ships hit one of the bridges it would have been a disaster.