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Blog | Bob Welch

What I learned while teaching inmates to write

What I learned while teaching inmates to write

First published in the Sept. 4, 2016 (Eugene, Ore.) Register-Guard Lifestyle section. SALEM — An hour before I’m to present a three-hour writers workshop at the maximum security facility of the Oregon State Penitentiary, I’m having breakfast at a restaurant when my phone buzzes. Brett Gilchrist, the senior pastor at University Fellowship Church in Eugene, has CC’d me with an email message he has sent to Rabbi Avrohom Perlstein, a...

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To pee or not to pee, that is the question

To pee or not to pee, that is the question

The call took me by surprise. Nearly three years after I’d left The Register-Guard to write books and do other feast-or-famine work, the paper was offering me a part-time position as an associate editor. My main task, besides writing an occasional editorial, would be editing the letters to the editor, which, in politically charged Eugene, is a little like being a referee in a tug of war. I said yes, in part because the new challenge intrigued...

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A brush with something other than fame

A brush with something other than fame

Appeared in Register-Guard newspaper, June 5, 2016 I was high on a ladder, doing something I’d vowed I’d never do again, when a neighbor in his car pulled up to the stop sign below. “Bob, I would rather change my car’s muffler in sub-freezing temperatures than paint a house,” he yelled up at me. Do I live in an eloquent neighborhood or what? But, then, I knew exactly where he was coming from. “Never again” I’d said 25 years ago...

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To Haiti, with, I thought, love

To Haiti, with, I thought, love

From the April 3, 2016 Register-Guard By Bob Welch It was March Madness season. She Who Was Leaving Me had packed her bags and was ready to go. My job was to shuttle her, a sister-in-law and a brother-in-law to Portland International Airport, where they were headed to Haiti on a medical mission. That’s when I remembered I’d forgotten. The card. Midway through the 10-day trip, a surprise “mail call” was traditionally offered, where the 17...

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In lieu of a download app for world peace

In lieu of a download app for world peace

HALSEY — It was a dark and stormy night and I was speaking to the Central Linn Lions Club at the Halsey United Methodist Church. Eleven people in the fellow­ship room. A ham-and-peas dinner made by a member. And, before my talk, a discussion of the club’s entry in the Halsey Christmas Parade three days away, like who was going to provide the vehicle. The parade was to start at 5 p.m., the dinner roughly the same time. Short parades, I...

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The $1,000 Christmas giveaway

The $1,000 Christmas giveaway

My assistant elf and I locked on the target: two homeless guys trying to find comfort in the rain outside of Bruns’ Apple Market on 6th Avenue. “Could you use some stuff to keep you warm?” I asked. “Oh, yeah,” said one of the young men, a Lane Community College graduate who’s been homeless for nearly two years. His buddy was shivering under a tarp. I pulled out a sack of new gloves, hats, socks, long underwear, rain ponchos and beef...

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