Florida

Dogs back in the picture

August 3, 2008

Two dogs and water. Enough to bring to mind my dogs, not in a Portland fountain but following me forever ago as I race off a boathouse roof. A kid leaping toward a Florida lake below, the dogs airborne too.

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Holed up in memory

August 2, 2008

Big news about the definitive confirmation of water’s presence on Mars dispatches my mind not to the Red Planet but back in time. Back to a dark hole at the edge of a Florida orange grove. When we were kids growing up in Maitland, my two brothers and I dug down five feet through the […]

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Fish feast of memory

July 30, 2008

The media feeding frenzy over tiny carp performing pedicures strikes me as gluttonous as the fish themselves. Then again the story’s a talker, an offbeat news morsel. (How many bad food puns can I stuff in these sentences?) At the gym today, I couldn’t escape the story. It beamed from two TV screens. But I […]

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Pirate of memories

July 14, 2008

I’m stealing a memory. It belongs to my youngest brother. The memory is about Gertrude, a row boat that Bill found submerged in our lake in Florida when we were kids. He and a friend somehow hauled her to shore, patched a hole in the bottom, and retrofitted her into a floating fort.

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Old Florida returns

July 6, 2008

Unless you lived in the state before it was overrun with people, the term Old Florida means nothing. But when I grew up there with my two brothers, it meant uncrowded beaches and orange groves everywhere. But even Old Florida had its tourist attractions, such as Silver Springs. One day, long ago, my mother took […]

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Summer stars greet the sun today — freshly opened blossoms in my Portland teardrop pond. I’ll wade in and reward my babies with fertilizer pellets. But I’ll be tempted to disappear beneath the lily pads into my past.

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Brave new bike world

June 23, 2008

A modest wish for a better world popped in my head Sunday during Portland’s six miles and six hours without cars event (photo slideshow here). I was taking a break on a bench at Arbor Lodge Park, enjoying the people streaming past, many with kids in tow, headed for food or hula-hoop lessons. But I […]

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On the radio, Garrison Keillor says writer Charles Webb turns sixty-nine today. Webb wrote The Graduate, the book on which the 1967 movie was based. News to me is Webb’s sequel, published in January. A little research shows Home School is a sequel in name only. Not worth reading, not worth risking the original story […]

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The nation’s last charismatic political figure representing Hope was gunned down forty years ago today in Los Angeles. It was one week after I graduated from high school, and I was sleeping late. My summer job hadn’t begun. My brother David burst into my bedroom and woke me with the news. At seventeen, politics interested […]

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Dare I compare atmospheres at different high schools forty years and three thousand miles apart? Such comparison seems sure to illuminate nothing surprising and elicit a chorus of yawns. It would be like examining life on planets in different solar systems populated by different life forms and declaring, “Eureka! They’re not the same!” But after […]

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I don’t believe in the Rapture, though the concept intrigues me spiritually and intellectually. Perhaps that’s why a man’s suit caught my eye yesterday, abandoned on the steps of a downtown Portland church. A fine-looking suit with a subtle glen-plaid pattern. I considered inquiring at the Portland Korean Church, SE 10th and Clay. But if […]

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Whisper in the swamp

June 3, 2008

Florida, 1973: I’m trudging through a Panhandle swamp on an August day with four other guys. Country Boy leads the way. Everyone on the land survey crew calls him this because his molasses twang sounds like gibberish half the time. Country Boy wants to kick my ass. My machete nicked his hand not far back […]

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