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Local history comes alive

Local longtime columnist and correspondent, Lance K. Pugh, recently released "Essentially Ashland The Missing Years." Half of the 350 page book covers the history of Ashland from 1971 to the present, served up in Pugh's humorous style.

The balance of the book is comprised of a generous serving of his weekly, light-hearted, yet informative columns that have run under the heading of "Pugh's Muse."

The preface sets the tone, timing and range of the book, which is broken down into 800 to 1500 word articles:

"I hope you'll join me on this nostalgic, sometimes whimsical excursion into Ashland's unique local history and culture. 'Essentially Ashland: The missing years' presents the stories of people and events that have helped make Ashland the attraction it is today.

"This book covers a period of time &

1971 to the present &

that most accounts either ignore, or gloss over. It was during the early 70s that a tidal wave of creativity and offbeat entrepreneurial spirit arrived with the counterculture, helping to breathe fresh hope and prosperity into a failing economy based on timber products.

If you're a resident of our town, you'll probably encounter some old friends while reading this book. If you're just visiting here, perhaps you'll find people you'd like to meet in these pages. Either way, I promise that you'll deepen your understanding of a place that's like no other."

Lance Pugh and his wife, Annette, graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles and went to work as buyers (men's sportswear for him, lingerie for her) for the department store chain, The May Company. Their lives were changed forever when they quit their jobs in 1972 to start Lithia Grocery, a health food restaurant in a historic building on Ashland's then-decaying Plaza.

Lance went on to become a historic building renovator, planning commissioner, network consultant, computer repairman, television documentary producer, travel writer, humor columnist, private investigator, boulevardier and raconteur. He was also the proprietor of the world's smallest hot dog restaurant and Oregon's first mobile hot tub.

Annette became a real estate broker and kept Lance off the rocks as he sailed his many-masted ship of ideas through time and opportunities, some grasped and some missed.

Lance will appear on Jeff Golden's The Jefferson Exchange during the morning of March 14 and a book signing at 7 p.m. at Bloomsbury Books on March 15. Lance may be contacted at lance@journalist.com.