Ten ways I’ll survive Ducks’ loss

Ten ways I’ll survive Ducks’ loss

I AWAKEN TUESDAY MORNING lost in a Pacific Crest Trail dream, trying to find some high-mountain trail near Mt. Hood, when, as undoubtedly happened with a lot of Duck fans about the same time, it hits me: we lost the national championship game the previous night. Worse, we got thumped, 42-20 by our nemesis Ohio State, whom we’re now 0-9 against. Ouch. The season of a lifetime suddenly is shattered, college football’s answer to James...

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Living a Yahtzee life

Living a Yahtzee life

They say if you want to make money in the writing business you find a niche and go to that place again and again. In other words, if the crowd loved your trumpet solo don’t come back on stage with a guitar or xylophone. Play that trumpet, baby! Again and again and again. I get that. And I don’t begrudge any writer who subscribes to that theory. To each his or her own. But here’s to those who’ve gone the other way, who’ve followed their...

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Mother of Rain outstanding

Mother of Rain outstanding

Mother of Rain, about hardscrabble life in the hills of Tennessee in the 1930s and ’40s, is the most intriguing read I’ve experienced in years. Full disclosure: I consider author Karen Zacharias a “writer friend” among whose attributes is an absolute bulldog tenacity to tell a story she believes needs telling — and tell it well. I’ve written about her in The Register-Guard; the Hermiston reporter-turned-author also wrote the...

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Weekend in Bedford Falls

Weekend in Bedford Falls

SENECA FALLS, N.Y. — Tonight, in a snow-swept town south of Syracuse, I stepped foot in Bedford Falls for the first time. Sort of. Thoroughly convinced that “It’s a Wonderful Life” director Frank Capra used its little town as the prototype for  Bedford Falls in his Christmas classic, the people here launched a Wonderful Life Festival 12 years ago. And so, as the author of 52 Little Lessons From It’s a Wonderful Life,...

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Back to the woods and rivers

Back to the woods and rivers

On August 20, 1905, Oregon wilderness wanderer John Waldo wrote a journal entry from the east slope of Mount Jefferson. In it, he quoted one of his two favorite authors, Ralph Waldo Emerson (the other being Thoreau): “In the woods, too, a man casts off his years, as the snake his slough, and at what period soever of life, is always a child. In the woods, is perpetual youth.” After last summer’s hike of the Oregon’s...

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