Sunday, September 23, 2007

ARSI's First HQ: National Historic Monument?

The Board of Directors of the Advanced Rutabaga Studies Institute is pleased to announce that our first corporate headquarters near Forest Grove will soon be nominated for the National Register of Historic Places. This designation will mark the beginning of a $1.2 million fundraising drive to purchase and renovate this historic property, which has been sadly neglected since it was partly consumed by a fire of suspicious origins back in 1977.

ARSI's headquarters was originally homesteaded by Aloysius P. Weatherspoon, Founder Obie MacAroon's great-grandfather, in 1878. MacAroon relocated to the farm and founded ARSI in 1954 after soil analysis revealed that the Forest Grove location offered ideal conditions for rutabaga cultivation.

As stated on Our Founder's home page:
"MacAroon was born on June 16, 1904, at the family homestead near Trout Lake, Washington. As a child of five, he began to explore the intricate world of horticulture in the rutabaga patch adjoining his humble one-room cabin. Entirely self-educated, he went on to conduct experiments in rutabaga hybridization that attracted the attention of several neighboring farmers.

"After an unsuccessful attempt to persuade the Pentagon to add rutabagas to C-Rations during World War II, he moved to Forest Grove, Oregon, and planted his first commercial rutabaga crop in 1951. After three years of successful harvests, he founded the Advanced Rutabaga Studies Institute in 1954."

Though the arsonists who set fire to the farmhouse were never charged, investigators suspected that the turnipite cabal was directly involved. Our Founder turned necessity to advantage when ARSI's state-of-the-art laboratory complex opened in 1986.

Major gifting opportunities will soon be available for wealthy benefactors who wish to support ARSI's purchase and renovation of the historic Weatherspoon homestead. As the top photos (click to enlarge) reveal, the structure was extensively damaged and will require major repairs. The $1.2 million campaign will also enable ARSI to purchase the adjacent 360 acres (left) and dedicate them to rutabaga cultivation once again.


Anonymous said...

Yes, I'd like to commit a substantial sum to the purchase and renovation of the Weatherspoon farm. The only condition is that I insist on giving the check directly and in public to the elusive Obie MacAroon III. How can I arrange this?

--A curious (and wealthy) benefactor

M.J. O'Brien said...

Dear Curious,

Mr. MacAroon has been out of the country for the last 26 months on an extended botanical expedition to the upper Amazon basin. He and his team are seeking specimens of Brassica nausicaa, a close but extremely rare relative of the rutabaga.

Persistent rumors that ARSI's President for Life has fled the country to avoid an aggressive IRS audit are grossly exaggerated.

Mr. MacAroon is available to meet with you in Brazil at his earliest convenience. If you can't make your donation in cash, which is greatly preferred, please make your cashier's check payable to him personally.

Thank you for your interest and we look forward to meeting you.

M.J. O'Brien
Mouthpiece for Obie MacAroon III

Anonymous said...

This is just too weird, like some kind of cult. Besides, who actually eats rutabagas? We raised some on our North Dakota farm and tried to feed them to our pigs, but they couldn't be bothered to do more than sniff at them once or twice. And this whole fundraising thing looks like a total scam to me. I mean, who would be so stupid? Somebody should do you a favor and flatten that old house before it falls down and hurts someone.

M.J. O'Brien said...

"Turnipite cabal?" Give me a %#*&@ break. These unsubstantiated allegations are getting tiresome after more than thirty years.

You just need to admit that turnips are prettier and taste better than (ugh) rutabagas. They've also outsold rutabagas for many years, so get used to it.

Time to move on, ARSI.

Anonymous said...

Anon. lacks the clarity of vision to see what renovation could do for this fine old structure. It would also attract even more tourists to the Forest Grove area, which (in addition to ARSI) offers fine wineries and the annual Barber Shop Quartet festival.

Anonymous said...

the rutabega
so versitle and clever
when will the world know?

Il Mulkku said...

We have a confirmed sighting of Mr. MacAroon nearby Alavus, Finland (which is in Europe). What is this talk of him being in Brazil? We demand answers!

Anonymous said...

Ha--you fell for that old trick! For security reasons, and to throw certain government investigators off his trail, there are various "Obie MacAroons" scattered around the world. These are trained agents who resemble him closely enough to confuse just about anyone. Everyone here in Oregon knows about this.

Besides, when you think about it, why would MacAroon or anyone else want to go to the subarctic wastes of Finland???
(Admittedly, it has produced some vintage rutabaga crops over the years...)

Anonymous said...

Forget all this hype--Obie MacAroon is a criminal tax evader. As soon as the IRS challenges him on his millions in shady tax deductions, he escapes from the country on some phony "extended trip" to the Amazon for "botanical research." He went to Brazil because that enlightened country has no extradition treaty with the U.S. I hope he wanders into Peru by mistake so they can arrest his ass and send him to Leavenworth for a couple of decades.

Or maybe he's not in Brazil at all. Isn't it possible that the "real" Obie MacAroon is the guy they've spotted in Finland?