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People Out Loud: Balancing act – Oktoberfest, school, life and COVID

It is so difficult being a writer, even one throwing out unsolicited opinions just once a month. There is a natural flow of subjects that occur annually, starting with New Year’s resolutions and ending with taking the tree down as Santa heads to the tropics for a well-earned rest. There is Valentine’s Day, Easter, Tax Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, […]

People out loud: Ever present to be thankful

This is a year for which we have so many things to be thankful. Individually, we have to determine if our glass is half full or half empty. That is a personal philosophy dictated by individual circumstances, personalities and choice. Mine has always been a choice of having the glass half-full and being appreciative of having a glass from which […]

People Out Loud: To honor and remember – Community supports local officers

By Dixon Bledsoe It is painful to lose someone you love even when you expect it. Tougher still is to lose them when you don’t. Silverton lost a sweet lady this month when Ardis (Ardie) Hatteberg passed away soon after a fall in her garden. She was 86. Ardie and her husband, Leonard, use to walk in our neighborhood. He […]

Fathers’ days: Unsolicited advice from an experienced dad

By Dixon Bledsoe With Father’s Day around the corner, that means family gatherings, soaking up rays (hopefully not the 100 degree kind), my mouth salivating over a smoked brisket on the Traeger and reflecting on fatherhood and children. Being a father has been an incredible journey. There are several friends and family members becoming parents for the first time this […]

People Out Loud: Stepping up – Crowd-pleaser deserves repeat performance

By Dixon Bledsoe Congratulations to Brent Satern, a Silverton native and newer member of Silverton Rotary Club. He had an idea, he ran with it and it worked out well. The first ever Daddy-Daughter Dance in this area was held May 7 at Silverton High School and it was a smash.  More than 260 fathers and daughters attended this inaugural […]

People Out Loud: Memories of Merle

By Dixon Bledsoe “Silver wings. Shining in the sunlight. Roaring engines, headed somewhere in flight. They’re taking you away and leaving me lonely. Silver wings, slowly fading out of sight.”   Merle Haggard,  1969 Sometimes, simple is better.  Silver Wings was so uncomplicated it just resonated with me. A Rolling Stone reviewer wrote “Haggard sang so intimately that you wondered if […]

People Out Loud: Making a difference – Dads, daughters dance and the band plays on…

By Dixon Bledsoe Brent Satern knows how special the bond is between fathers and daughters. He and his wife Kelly have daughter Avery, nearly 3, as well as 8-month-old Jack. Satern, who owns Satern Insurance and Financial Services and is a Silverton Rotary member, had the idea to have the Silverton Rotary Club host the area’s first “Daddy-Daughter Dance.” The […]

People Out Loud: Exceed expectations – Remembering Silverton’s flower lady

By Dixon Bledsoe When a mural is painted in your honor and your nickname is “Silverton’s Sweetheart,” you are officially a an honored and respected citizen. Norma Jean Branstetter was all that and more. The “flower lady” passed away Feb. 3 and a town mourns. Norma owned and operated Silverton Flower Shop on Water Street for 55 years. Norma Jean […]

People Out Loud: Oh, no, yes – Valentine’s Day advice

By Dixon Bledsoe Depending on whom you ask, Valentine’s Day is wonderful, terrible, just another day, romantic, pathetic or loving. I asked a lot of people the worst thing their significant other did on Valentine’s Day and what makes the day special for them. Molly and Alex Newman are expecting their fourth child (first boy) in March. Molly had some […]

People Out Loud: Get ready, get set… It’s a New Year

By Dixon Bledsoe And so it begins. 2016. New Year, presidential election, standoff in Burns, North Korea trying to flex its muscles, Adele saying Hello and Star Wars – The Force Awakens saying “goodbye” to box office records. A few thoughts regarding our new year. The allure of Donald Trump is both shocking and predictable. Shocking that so many people […]

People Out Loud: Peace and forgiveness

By Dixon Bledsoe An acquaintance of mine once waxed eloquent on whether terminally ill people should be able to determine the time of their deaths. He was opposed to it and I assumed his objection was based on religious grounds. But he articulated one of the most poignant explanations as to the value of encouraging someone whose time on Earth […]

People Out Loud: To not help is not an option…

By Dixon Bledsoe Thanksgiving is almost here and there are many things to be thankful for including my wife and family and the love and support they give me. Thankful, also, that my mother is now here instead of San Antonio so my stress meter has taken a nosedive. And my business partner, Lisa Santana, is a calm harbor in […]

People Out Loud: It’s all about serving

By Dixon Bledsoe This is a beautiful time of year and the foliage is soon to be spectacular. The days have been comfortably warm and the mornings and evenings crisp and cool. I love it. It is also the time when we ramp up for winter activities, the holidays and fundraising for good causes.  Here are a few near and […]

People Out Loud: Making it big time – From scholarships to bobble-heads

By Dixon Bledsoe Benny is hitting close to home. For those who don’t know,  Benny is an anonymous do-gooder who has been stashing $100 bills in different shops around the valley for a few years.  Recently, an unsuspecting patron of the arts was visiting Lunaria Gallery Aug. 2 and is now the beneficiary of Benny’s largeness. The shopper fell in […]

People Out Loud: Cherished memories – Eager for new ones

By Dixon Bledsoe At least five readers will not believe this, but my 45th reunion from Silverton High School is coming up next month.  I know – I barely look 61 much less 62. The time has flown since the class of 1970 left the hallowed halls of then-Silverton Union High School. We had a good class. In fact, so […]

People Out Loud: Heroes and superstars

By Dixon Bledsoe Two of the most overused words in the English language are superstar and hero. People who make idiots of themselves in today’s plethora of bad television are labeled superstars. People who work hard, provide for their families as best they can, and keep between the lines are heroes. I have little respect for the former and loads […]

People Out Loud: Never shy…

By Dixon Bledsoe Everyone needs a go-to person in their life. Someone you just know has your back. A person that will tell you the white camping-tent size polo shirt makes you look heavier than the black one with its slimming effect. A friend who will make sure you get home after your Spaten-Optimator birthday party at the subdued September […]

People Out Loud: Not Mayberry

By Dixon Bledsoe With the NCAA Men’s Basketball champion now decided (Duke over Wisconsin, 68-63), I have some vivid memories of March Madness, great games, huge upsets, and an unexpected meeting of the coach who led Duke to its fifth title. I was in line to a Las Vegas show with a business partner several years ago, and turned around. […]

People Out Loud: Four-Way Test

By Dixon Bledsoe I went to a Rotary International conference for president-elects this month and came away more impressed than ever. It is nice to be part of a group that has virtually wiped polio off the face of the map, helped thousands of people worldwide get access to clean water, and make their own communities better through local service […]

People Out Loud: Good people

By Dixon Bledsoe Sometimes, it can be challenging to keep my faith in people. This week Brian Williams, the popular and highly respected anchor on NBC Nightly News, is seeing his career fold like a cheap suit for erroneously claiming to be in a helicopter attacked by gunfire in the opening days of the war in Iraq. Embarrassingly enough, he […]

People Out Loud: Uncensored

By Dixon Bledsoe It is difficult writing a column, even though only monthly. Those professionals who write a column weekly have my utmost respect, although most have a larger playing field. As a political junkie, it would be easy to write about the host of presidential wannabes jockeying for position in Iowa ahead of the 2016 primaries and elections. As […]

People Out Loud: Holiday cheer

By Dixon Bledsoe We’ve all been there. The holiday funk. You wake up and lethargy sets in. The tree needs to get up before New Year’s, and some might even argue before Christmas Day. You recall that some people even put ornaments on them. The lights are still in a tangle from last year. What do you get friends and […]

People Out Loud: Making magic – Silverton Chamber lights up downtown

By Dixon Bledsoe Many people are going to enjoy the beauty and wonder of the Christmas season by kicking off their celebrations with the annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Silverton’s Town Square Park this Friday, Dec. 5, at 6 p.m. Amazingly enough, most people believe the city of Silverton is responsible for the magic of the evening.  It is actually […]

People Out Loud: Thankful

By Dixon Bledsoe The mid-term elections are over and those persistent and negative ads are in hibernation until 2016 rears its ugly head. Traditionally, my November columns center around saying thanks, and whom am I to break tradition. Thank you to the Silver Falls School Board, district administration and staff and the hundreds of people who tried to pass the […]