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So Long Dick

An old family friend passed away about six weeks ago. Last weekend I flew to San Mateo, California and attended a memorial service for him on behalf of my family and, in particular, on behalf of my mother and my late father. Dick and his late wife Sally went back to 1950 with our family. Here are my remarks. Dick Patton was Dad’s best hunting and fishing parter. They met in 1950 when they were both waiting for the phone to ring in the Sims and Grupe real estate office in Stoc

What are you listening to?

As posted here before, I have begun to explore audio books in addition to hard copy books and e-books. In the past month or two I have tried several audio history books, one about Winston Churchill. Kudos to the actor who reads the narrative for his ability to get into character for Churchill, Hitler, Franklin Roosevelt, and French, British, and American soldiers and politicians. No wonder audio books retail for more than the hard cover versions. There is a lot of talent goin

The Mill

I really need to get better at blogging. That’s a good New Year’s resolution, but I’ve never done New Year’s resolutions. My newest project is a history of Longview Fibre, a pulp, paper and containerboard mill in Longview, Washington. The mill was built in 1927 in the planned community of Longview by industrialists from Wisconsin who managed to recruit a brilliant engineer and businessman named Harry Wollenberg. In the interest of full disclosure, my paternal grandfather help


I am posting this from the lovely California coast south of San Francisco. I grew up in California, moved away at age 18, came back at age 36, and moved away again at age 50. That means the Golden State has figured into about half my life, early on to imprint me and then later to contribute to financial security. As I visit here in typical balmy weather I am also reading the autobiography of William Tecumseh Sherman who was stationed here and traveled extensively in the 1840s


Yesterday, I drove to Portland to meet with a class of twelve university students who read and critiqued my historical novel Down The River. I received the opportunity from Ooligan Press at Portland State University who read the manuscript and liked it, but not quite enough to publish it. Not yet. By having strangers read the book I could get a good sense of what is working and is not working. How could I pass up on the opportunity? I was too late for the winter term, but got

Pickups II

I got to use the truck while I was a member of the Civil Air Patrol in Sacramento. The CAP is nominally the auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and dates from 1942 when civilians used private planes to search for U-Boats. In the spring of 1966, CAP still flew searches for missing planes, but mostly it was a youth group. We teenagers drilled in Air Force uniforms and dreamed of flying jet planes. Our real flying was limited to orientation flights and instruction in small, even tin

The Big Apple

Every year, two so far, Lorraine joins the staff at in welcoming contestants for the Boost Your Business award of $100,000. Entrepreneurs compete online and in person to convince venture capitalists that they would make the best use of the award. Lorraine’s job is to work with each of the five finalists the day before to polish up their pitches. I get to tag along to offer my perspective and to help her enjoy a few days in New York. If you watch the video you will

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