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'What do you miss?' A Southeast Portland bar's boarded up window invites people to answer that question

An employee at Angelo's on Hawthorne turned a boarded up window into a creative way for people to reflect on what they miss during the coronavirus pandemic.

PORTLAND, Ore. — What do you miss?

It's a question many of us may have answered over the last year. Maybe it's dancing at a bar, singing karaoke with friends, gathering with people or a simple hug from a loved one.

A few weeks ago, Brian Jillson, a bartender at Angelo's along Southeast Hawthorne, said the bar's front window was broken during a smash and grab. The window was boarded up, looking like a lot of other windows around Portland. 

"We just kind of wanted to make something good out of bad." Jillson said. "We all miss somebody or something."

Jillson painted the plywood black and wrote at the top, "The Missing Window". The idea? Write what or who you miss. 

Jillson said it filled up quickly, 

"This has been up only, not even a week. We thought maybe just a couple people would write on it that were maybe just my friends, but people are stopping and writing."

Tyler Wilson jokingly wrote on the wall "Han Solo," the main character from the Star Wars series played by Harrison Ford.

"I think we all miss Han Solo quite a bit and I knew there was going to be a lot of sad stuff on this wall, so I wanted to do something," Wilson said. "We need to smile sometimes these days."

Among the words written in chalk, "dancing," "smiles," "hugs," and "live music."

"I think things will be different, but those things are gonna come back." Jillson said. "We're gonna be able to go hang out in a bar, dance and we'll be able to do all those things again."

Mixed in amongst the things we have lost during the pandemic are loved ones who are no longer be with us. Someone wrote "my dad," another wrote "my husband." Jillson sketched a picture of his friend, Scott Georgis.

Credit: Brian Jillson

"Everybody knew him as "Dog" or "Doggins." Just a lovely human being. We lost him last year and every day, every day we think about him." Jillson said. "He was joyful and loving and a great guy."

If you find yourself along Southeast Hawthorne, there's a space at "The Missing Window" to write what you miss. You can also follow The Missing Window on Instagram.

Angelo's sits along Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard near Southeast 46th Avenue.

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