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BBC TV crew tapes interviews in Boring

Reporter explores connection between Boring and Dull


by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - BBC reporter Glenn Campbell and cameraman Andy Halley, standing left to right, met with locals at the Red Apple Restaurant in Boring. Clockwise from center are Rep. Bill Kennemer and his wife Cherie, Steve Bates, Glenda Boring, Bob Boring and Jim Hart.by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - BBC reporter Glenn Campbell, back to camera, interviews Rep. Bill Kennemer in Boring with cameraman Andy Halley.by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - BBC cameraman Andy Halley takes in the sights of Boring.BBC reporter Glenn Campbell had never been to the Pacific Northwest before last week, but now he wants to come back and bring his family on vacation.

Campbell, who’s been with the BBC since 2001, has made several trips to the United States before, but never to this part of the country, he said last week during a visit to Boring with cameraman Andy Halley.

Why would a BBC TV crew from Scotland come all the way to Boring? Because of its name.

Since the small community became partners in publicity with Dull, Scotland, and now Bland Shire, Australia, press coverage of communities joining to promote each other based on their mundane names has gone international.

But Boring wasn’t the main reason Campbell and Halley came to the U.S. They primarily came to do a story about a woman who lives in Portland, on Oregon’s right-to-die law and on the film industry in Vancouver, Wash. But in researching the state, Campbell came across the Boring-Dull connection and thought it would be a fun story.

When the pair arrived in Boring last week, about a half dozen residents were waiting at a table at the Red Apple Restaurant, along with state Rep. Bill Kennemer and his wife, Cherie. Representing Boring were Boring Community Planning Organization President Steve Bates, and longtime residents Bob and Glenda Boring and Jim Hart.

Hart, a former Sandy Post reporter, told Campbell about being interviewed on Scottish radio last year about the Boring-Dull pairing, and said he was asked the same question over and over: “What’s life like in Boring? Is it boring?”

Hart said he gives a stock answer: “It’s not boring. If the sun comes up, it’s a great day.”

Kennemer told Campbell about how Boring and Dull Day, Aug. 9, was read into the Congressional Record, and Bates talked about how it all got started.

“It started innocently with an email from a lady in Dull to be sister cities,” he said. “I read it at a CPO meeting and everyone laughed, and we said OK.”

But there were lots of rules and expense to become an official sister city, so the two communities opted to be “a pair for the ages” as stated in the state declaration, culminating with the first Boring-Dull Day celebration last summer.

“We had a get-together in the park, similar to your ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee), a community get-together, and we played traditional Scottish music and traditional American music,” Bates said.

Bob Boring told Campbell that his great-great-grandfather was William H. Boring, and he is the sixth generation to live on his family’s land. But the fact that the community of about 8,000 was named after his ancestor is really a fluke, he said.

“When he came here there was no school so he donated an acre of land for the school on his place,” Boring said. “The area people called it the Boring school, just because it was on his land, and when the railroad came through it became known as Boring Junction.”

As the locals sat around chatting over coffee, Campbell took turns interviewing them outside on camera. Kennemer said in his interview that the relationship between Boring and Dull is more than just clever, it’s good for economic development.

“Have there been spinoffs?” Campbell asked.

“There have been a bunch. There’s the festival on Aug. 9 and a new Boring pub that serves Boring Beer,” Kennemer said. “Boring was a place you drove through, and now it’s a place where you’re out and about.”

“So you’re saying Dull put Boring on the map?” Campbell asked.

“Yes, and I’m hoping to get over there,” Kennemer said. “I hear Dull is kind of fun.”

The world “revolves around publicity” and the Boring-Dull connection is good for both places, Kennemer said.

“Life is about having fun and forming relationships that endure,” he said.

About a dozen folks with Boring connections, including Bates, cemented that relationship with a trip to Dull last October, and the town will welcome its first Dull visitor, Jamie Pringle, who will visit Boring on June 9, Bates said.

The community will host a welcome ceremony and Pringle will present the community with a Scottish gift called a quaich (pronounced kwake), a traditional shallow two-handled drinking cup that “is a very ceremonious gift,” Bates said.

Campbell lives in East Lothian, near Edinburgh, about two-and-a-half hours from Dull. He said he is not sure when the segment on Boring will air, but he will send a web link to The Outlook once he knows the date.

“I loved being here but haven’t had time to explore,” he said. “I would love to come back next time with my family to get to know more about the Pacific Northwest.”



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