People Out Loud: Let’s talk about… people

November 2010 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, Other

People Out LoudBy Dixon Bledsoe

It is with excitement People Out Loud takes its maiden voyage in the semi-calm post election waters.

I may write about politics assuming people are attached but this column is about people – their successes, foibles, passages, laughter and humanity. In a world of LOLs and BTWs, and all the social networking shortcuts, POL seemed to be the bridge to connect us – young and old, technologically-challenged or text-messaging wunderkind.

Politicians could learn many lessons from my elk camp crew. At 5,600 feet in 33 degrees with a light blanket of snow, seven diverse personalities can set-up two gigantic tents accommodated with two wood-burning stoves, a kitchen/poker table, kitchen stove, food, seven cots, gear, outside fire pit and beer chilled, all done in less than 90 minutes. Discover a couple of holes in a tent. No problem. Bring on the magic of duct tape.
Poker table disguised as a dinner table, sagging in the middle? Bam! – 6’ of 1”x2” scrap wood and it makes it through another season. Technical problem? Ask Roger. Everyone cooks a meal and washes dishes. Everyone leads sometime and follows other times. Respecting each other. Prioritizing. Living within our means. Commonality.  Seven snore tones in harmony. What happens in camp stays in camp. It is called “Getting along and working together to a greater good.”  Our governments could take a few lessons.

Lois Riopelle is quite proud of her older brother. Who wouldn’t be, if the brother helped orchestrate peace between Egypt and Israel as President Jimmy Carter’s secretary of state. Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin signed a historic peace agreement ending conflict between their countries that had lasted centuries and won the Nobel Peace Prize. Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace prize. But it was Riopelle’s big brother, Warren Christopher, that helped set the stage.

The community members said goodbye in October to a world class human being.  Kathryn Cramer lost her courageous battle with cancer, but left behind admirers and friends, artists and students alike. Kathryn was a blithe spirit and a magnanimous soul. The world is a more beautiful place because of people like Kathryn. As a Facebook posting eloquently stated, “On this wild rainy-windy night-thinking of you dancing, all the bells and jingles jingling, twirling in a whirl of colors – you are beautiful! All love and light to you…”  We could all take such lessons in grace.

It can be said those behind the scenes are the true stars, and few emerged as brightly as Hilda Seifer. The measure of a person’s time on Earth is often seen as what they leave behind. Her seven children, good people all, describe her as “a gentle, unassuming soul whose focus in life was her family as well as her deep faith in God and her church.”  In her life’s challenges, and in the burdens of her own illness toward the end of her 96 years, her mantra remained, “This too shall pass.” Rest easy, Hilda. Enjoy the peace from a loving life well spent as a mother, wife, grandma and gentle woman.

Tiffany (Muret) Kuenzi of Silverton gets a lot done. Maybe that’s an understatement. She helps run Pacific Northwest Transmission and Auto Repair in Woodburn with her father; is vice president of the Woodburn Chamber of Commerce, serves as a Big Sister, and is pursuing a singing/acting career. She is doing a video on-line that will give children tools to combat cyber-bulleying, and is soon heading off to Orlando for the Actor and Model Talent for Christ (AMTC) finals. She was one of 12 finalists out of 2,000 competitors, and will soon be going up against 960 contestants in the nationals. She will be singing “Crazy,”  the Patsy Cline classic. “Crazy”  like her energy. What’s next? Her own reality show?

Is there someone you think needs a shout out?
Pass it along to dixon[at]

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