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Columnist for a Day

A valley full of superheroes

I was riding the school bus to first grade in 1988, and I distinctly remember looking north toward the black wall of smoke. I grew up 60 miles south of the west...

What to grab first when fleeing a fire

First, try to gather your wits. Don’t let them leave you — leading you to deny that smoke in the air could turn your dwelling to ash. You can’t grab anything if...

Mom was always up to something

We called it goop — the stuff that accumulates on the bottom of the bar after the soap sits too long. There wasn’t that much since we bathed every day, but it s...

The saga of the traveling credenza

It all began May 13, when I spotted the perfect antique credenza offered for $400 by Quaboag Valley Antiques on Etsy. A real concern should have been that the c...

It’s all in a day’s work

The last weekend of July was one for the books. As my wife, Kerry, was finishing up on some yard work, a sudden gust of wind began assaulting our shade sails ...

What my cat taught me

Cats know far more than we may want to think. They don't just lie around all day, believe me. The wheels are always in motion in their small heads. The first th...

Lessons from the streets of Dunsmuir

This was written with endearment to my childhood memories of Dunsmuir, California, with my Dunsmuiresque sense of humor and my Dunsmuir educational bliss. So an...

I hope Wingo had a happy life

In the early 1960s, I was in the military and stationed in South Carolina. I played on a military basketball team. I was the only white guy and the only officer...

'Alexa, what’s my Plan B?’

Because our friend Bob uses two hiking poles to help with his balance, we call him Sticks. While having a coffee with Sticks and a few other friends, a siren c...

A story I have been writing for years

Old friends are so comfortable, warm and delicious. Even though many months or even years may pass, sparkling smiles and welcoming eyes greet you with open arms...

Crying at Pilot Rock

My husband, Jack, and I were hiking along one of our favorite trails, the Pacific Crest Trail near Pilot Rock. When we reached the top of the ridge, where you ...

I think I’ll skip the tan this summer

It is summer again, the time when people are sunbathing in the parks and on the beach. It reminds me of the time I decided to join them. That summer, I was not ...

Yes is the code word for maybe

There are all kinds of codes we come across in our daily routine. There are padlock codes, codes of honor and ethics, codes for opening doors or gates, and let ...

LWV is in a league of its own

When I moved to the Rogue Valley in the summer of 2018, the only person I knew was my Realtor. Within one month of my rebirth as an Oregonian, a familiar name f...

The day my NBA dream died

Terry Dischinger was an NBA basketball star for nine seasons. Somehow he got crossways with his National Guard commitment and ended up on active military duty. ...

The Air Force saved my dad

This morning I looked at the calendar and saw that Armed Forces Day is May 15. It made me think of my father, who died last November, and tears sprang to my eye...

The bumps are what make the ride fun

One of the advantages of being retired is the wisdom that accumulates within the core of who were are. My evolutionary stages of life include the “brat,” the “s...

GI still recalls supermodel’s letter

In Vietnam in 1965/66, our lifeline to the “World” (What we, in my unit, called the United States) was a slender connection maintained by snail mail. In an era...