A Slice of the Pie: Sorting through memories – Mementos in mind

January 2023 Posted in Opinion / Columnists | Comments Off on A Slice of the Pie: Sorting through memories – Mementos in mind

When I walked into my great grandmother’s house for the last time I was submerged by memories. The matriarch of our family, hers was the home in which we all gathered for holidays, after funerals and every day in between.  The ...

A Grin at the End: Clipped wings … But finding good stories

December 2022 Posted in Opinion / Columnists | Comments Off on A Grin at the End: Clipped wings … But finding good stories

One thing that’s been on my bucket list since before I had a bucket is learning how to fly. I think it’s in my DNA. Growing up, I spent most of my time on Air Force bases. My dad was in ...

People Out Loud: Like Frank said… A farewell to my readers

December 2022 Posted in Opinion / Columnists | Comments Off on People Out Loud: Like Frank said… A farewell to my readers

This is a bittersweet moment. After 42 years of writing professionally, new ideas are as rare as a polite campaign season. I’ve been called a Pollyanna for writing a lot of positive stories. But my mantra is simple when asked, ...

A Grin at the End: Time travelers – Class reunion weaves a magical spell

December 2022 Posted in Opinion / Columnists | Comments Off on A Grin at the End: Time travelers – Class reunion weaves a magical spell

Suddenly, we were 18 again. It was as though H.G. Wells had swooped us up in a time machine and transported us to a town just outside of Philadelphia in 1971. Though the mustaches and bald spots were plentiful and the ...

Letter to the Editor: Complex histories – Artist weighs in on inclusion of controversial figure

November 2022 Posted in Opinion / Columnists | Comments Off on Letter to the Editor: Complex histories – Artist weighs in on inclusion of controversial figure

Susan Bielenberg wrote to Our Town expressing her concern about the October 2022 cover photo (Vol. 19 No. 19) featuring my painting of Margaret Sanger, one of the women represented in my October exhibit at Lunaria Gallery, “Portraits of Inspiring ...

People Out Loud: Firsts – Bearing witness to a growing nation

November 2022 Posted in Opinion / Columnists | Comments Off on People Out Loud: Firsts – Bearing witness to a growing nation

On a number of occasions acknowledgment has been given to “Firsts.” The first Black Supreme Court justice, the first Black QB in the NFL, the first Black president.  While many have celebrated these firsts, others have condemned these as “making things ...

Letter to the Editor: New council needs an experienced hand

November 2022 Posted in Opinion / Columnists | Comments Off on Letter to the Editor: New council needs an experienced hand

Jason Freilinger is, without a doubt, my choice to be Silverton’s next mayor. As well as being part of the downtown business community and multiple service groups, Jason has been actively serving on city committees, task forces, planning commission and council ...

Letter to the Editor: Cover art represents a questionable choice

November 2022 Posted in Opinion / Columnists | Comments Off on Letter to the Editor: Cover art represents a questionable choice

Our Town Editor, If you weren’t aware, the cover of your Oct. 1, 2022 Our Town features a painting of Margaret Sanger, who is a racist and in favor of eugenics. She is the founder of Planned Parenthood.  A large Planned Parenthood clinic ...

A Grin at the End: Secret sauce – Being thankful for what we all have to offer

November 2022 Posted in Opinion / Columnists | Comments Off on A Grin at the End: Secret sauce – Being thankful for what we all have to offer

  I’m not a fan of most holidays. I know what you’re thinking – this guy’s crazy. Who wouldn’t appreciate time off work to spend with loved ones? But hear me out. By and large, holidays are stress-inducing budget busters, and the reasons ...

A Slice of the Pie: The T trials – Welcome to raising a teen

October 2022 Posted in Opinion / Columnists | Comments Off on A Slice of the Pie: The T trials – Welcome to raising a teen

Last winter my middle daughter turned 11 and friends and family took turns congratulating her, making comments about how much she’s growing up and what a lovely human she’s become.  Then, one week later, my oldest daughter turned 13 and things ...

A Grin at the End: Power of choice – A ballot of ideas

September 2022 Posted in Opinion / Columnists | Comments Off on A Grin at the End: Power of choice – A ballot of ideas

We’re going to hire a new CEO for the state of Oregon next month, and the sparks are flying, as independent and former state Sen. Betsy Johnson has the Democratic candidate, former Speaker of the House Tina Kotek in attack ...

People Out Loud: Meet Henry…. Despite best efforts – I’m just his second best friend

September 2022 Posted in Opinion / Columnists | Comments Off on People Out Loud: Meet Henry…. Despite best efforts – I’m just his second best friend

He loves unconditionally. He grazes incessantly. What is his is his, and what is yours is his. He can eat a full meal yet want your tuna sandwich immediately after scarfing down a bowl of yummy food. When he puts ...

A Grin at the End: My dear, departed brother – From Mayberry to the Grand Canyon

September 2022 Posted in Opinion / Columnists | Comments Off on A Grin at the End: My dear, departed brother – From Mayberry to the Grand Canyon

When he was 12, my brother Paul had a knack for comedy. He could do a spot-on impersonation of Andy Griffith, who got his start in show business as a stand-up comedian before starring on television in The Andy Griffith ...

People Out Loud: Memories – And memories in the making

August 2022 Posted in Opinion / Columnists | Comments Off on People Out Loud: Memories – And memories in the making

I secretly wished that Olivia Newton-John was singing her mega-hit, I Honestly Love You to me when it was released in 1974. Stationed at Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin, Texas, I found her breathy rendition of that song made ...

A Grin at the End: Northwest passage – Strange things are done in the midnight sun

July 2022 Posted in Opinion / Columnists | Comments Off on A Grin at the End: Northwest passage – Strange things are done in the midnight sun

Just got back from Alaska. I hadn’t been in the Great White North for 27 years, and I was anxious to see how things had changed. As it turned out, not much. Alaska was, is and continues to be a whole different ...

People Out Loud: Reflections – A few insights after 40 years as a columnist

July 2022 Posted in Opinion / Columnists | Comments Off on People Out Loud: Reflections – A few insights after 40 years as a columnist

A friend of mine came to our class reunion last summer and handed me a column I had written sometime ago, dated July of 1980, 42 years ago. I started writing a column then called, “Rap-Up” for the Silverton Appeal. ...

A Grin at the End: Heroes – Reminders of the past

June 2022 Posted in Opinion / Columnists | Comments Off on A Grin at the End: Heroes – Reminders of the past

I live in a neighborhood populated by heroes. I’m not talking about Spandex-wearing, pumped-up guys and gals appearing soon at a multiplex near you. I am talking about everyday heroes. The kind of people who pulled their weight in life and ...

Letter to the Editor: Schools need more security, not gun bans

June 2022 Posted in Opinion / Columnists | Comments Off on Letter to the Editor: Schools need more security, not gun bans

Here are my thoughts on the recent Silver Falls school board decision to reject the proposed ban on concealed carry. They made the correct decision, albeit just barely.  The school shootings epidemic deserves more than just a symbolic band aid. This ...

People Out Loud: Confessions of a dasher – Bring the food, hold the judgment

June 2022 Posted in Opinion / Columnists | Comments Off on People Out Loud: Confessions of a dasher – Bring the food, hold the judgment

Editor’s note: Dixon Bledsoe invited a guest columnist for this month. Silverton resident Joel Autry shares a story...  When I embarked upon the side hustle of door dashing, I expected to bolster my own personal bottom line. It turns out there ...

A Grin at the End: Everything I ever needed to know – I learned from Top Gun

May 2022 Posted in Opinion / Columnists | Comments Off on A Grin at the End: Everything I ever needed to know – I learned from Top Gun

Like many 20-year-olds, I am prime-time in love with the movie Top Gun. I always have been and the fact that a sequel just came out has made my year. It is my nominee for Best Movie of the Year ...

People Out Loud: Three originals – Rest in peace, friends

May 2022 Posted in Opinion / Columnists, People | Comments Off on People Out Loud: Three originals – Rest in peace, friends

When I first conceived the idea for this column, many years ago, it was first and foremost centered on talking about people – living, dying, laughing, crying, and doing the things they do. Today, it is about people dying and ...

A Grin at the End: Finally ready – Nadine’s gift

April 2022 Posted in Obituary, Opinion / Columnists | Comments Off on A Grin at the End: Finally ready – Nadine’s gift

“I’m ready to die,” she said, turning her head toward the apartment window. I looked at my mother-in-law, Nadine Stack, not knowing what to say. This was three years ago, and at age 97 she was in good health and still ...

A Slice of the Pie: Passcode predicament – Lessons learned the (almost) hard way

April 2022 Posted in Opinion / Columnists | Comments Off on A Slice of the Pie: Passcode predicament – Lessons learned the (almost) hard way

Sometimes the best life lessons happen when things take a turn for the worst. That’s what happened last month when I forgot to charge my cell phone before driving my daughter to a gymnastics meet in Hillsboro.  I initially believed my ...

A Grin at the End: Good to go! – GoPros and crawdads

March 2022 Posted in Opinion / Columnists | Comments Off on A Grin at the End: Good to go! – GoPros and crawdads

Some if you may know that I’ve been having close encounters of the medical kind during the last few months. And, no, it wasn’t COVID. It was really nothing super serious, although, for the first time in my life, my doctor ordered ...

People Out Loud: Mouse ears – A Disney adventure proves the power of branding – ca-chink!

March 2022 Posted in Opinion / Columnists | Comments Off on People Out Loud: Mouse ears – A Disney adventure proves the power of branding – ca-chink!

I used to think the number one branded company in the world involved Golden Arches or a Swoosh. No more. Not even a close race, like Usain Bolt versus me in the 100 meters. Disney is so far out in ...