The writing table and chair stand just inside the door of my favorite coffee house. Cards, paper and pens rest on the table inviting patrons to share their thoughts, many of which are posted on a bulletin board at the back of the shop.

I paid little attention to the bulletin board until recently when a friend failed to show up for coffee and conversation. With time on my hands, I began to read notes written by patrons and discovered words worthy of being shared with my blog readers.

For example, I enjoyed reading responses to statements printed at the top of some cards that patrons found on the writing table. Examples:

I like: turtles

What’s the coolest modern toy you’ve seen that you wish you had as a kid? roller skates

Tell something interesting about yourself: I can’t cook with my shoes on

I’m really happy when I can walk on the beach on a sunny day or float on the river in a raft or in my kayak.


I just need to tell someone that pain and sadness are just real hard some days.

If I’m a bit unhappy, I find it helps if I take a walk, think, reflect on the many good things that have come my way.

It’s been awhile since I’ve spent the entire day in nature. It’s so beautiful.

Other notes express thoughts worth sharing:

Relax. If it were easy, everyone would do it.

Today is a beautiful day. Embrace it.

Live each day as if it were your last.

Keep dancing in the rain.

Don’t panic until you absolutely have to.

A note is like a smile that lasts forever and can be enjoyed over and over again.

You will find Vectors, my favorite coffee shop, in northeast Eugene just off Coburg Road. Randy Stark, the owner, or one of his friendly employees will be happy to prepare your favorite espresso and to top it off with an artful design.



The adage that time passes rapidly when you’re having fun applies in the case of this blog that I established a year ago with the help of a computer expert.

I had two reasons for sharing my thoughts with the world-at-large.

First, I sold the letterpress print shop that occupied a former bedroom in our house. I DEAN caricaturelearned the printing trade as a boy knowing that I would need to operate a type-setting machine and presses if someday I were to own a weekly newspaper.

When my journalistic focus turned to reporting and editing, I began purchasing letterpress equipment for printing a journal that was circulated among more than a hundred other hobbyists. Writing articles for use in the journal became as satisfying as setting type by hand one character at a time and printing each page on a “real” press.

So, when this avenue of communication ended, I decided to write essays on a variety of subjects and to share them via a blog.

Another reason for establishing this blog was to promote books that I began writing three years ago. I also joined Facebook. Because I’m a typewriter-era guy, I needed help of a computer guru to set up a page on this blog that promoted the books and a page to showcase another hobby of mine: photography. Continue reading TWO REASONS FOR SHARING THOUGHTS ON THIS BLOG


“I suggest that you check into an emergency room as soon as possible,” the doctor in an after-hours clinic said shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday after I showed up complaining about a tightness in my chest.

I followed the doctor’s advice and spent that night and much of Thursday in a gownstrange environment of needles, tubes, weired-looking machinery while wearing a flimsy gown that served primarily as a garment on which to hang things.

A former journalism student of mine at the University of Oregon greeted me as I was wheeled into the emergency room. The student later explained that he switched to a nursing career as he explored a vein in my right arm suitable for installing what is called a saline lock.

As he poked and prodded for a vein, I wondered whether I had flunked him in a course I taught or whether I had awarded him a gold star. Apparently, he passed the course because the medics drew blood and poured stuff down that portal during much of my stay in medicineville.

Thirty-five years earlier I made my first and only trip to a hospital. as a patient. Ironically, it was the same hospital. Only this time, there was no room in the Inn. So, I spent a sleepless night housed in an emergency room annex. Continue reading HOSPITAL SOJOURN REVEALS MORE THAN PATIENT WISHES


Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he had raised $5.6 million for veteran’s organizations and then criticized the press for pestering him by asking questions about fulfilling the pledge he made on Jan. 28 to raise the money.

heatDonald, that’s what journalists do. They ask questions. That’s their role, especially in an attempt to keep the public informed about such matters.

That’s why members of the press continue to ask Hillary Clinton questions related to how she managed e-mail messages while serving as the secretary of state.

Donald, in the words of former President Harry S Truman, “If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.”

Don’t expect journalists to get the story right all the time because information about public affairs often is unavailable from sources such as candidates running for president.

Donald probably will continue to scold the press and blame journalists for the negative world he and other politicians often create, but that’s the paramount reason we don’t want weak-kneed people posing as journalists. Continue reading IF YOU CAN’T STAND HEAT, GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN