What a great basketball season.

Coach Kelly Graves and members of his staff are to be congratulated for leading this duck artamazing and inspiring group of young women during the season that ended Monday in Bridgeport, Conn.

I cannot remember ever looking forward to watching University of Oregon women’s basketball games as much as I did this season, which ended after three inspiring upsets during the national tourney.

It often wasn’t the winning that caught my attention as much as how talented, unselfish and supportive the women were of one another.

They also enjoyed playing the game — win or lose. Even in losing, and they lost a lot in one of the toughest conferences in the nation, they exuded a spirit of optimism, of determination.

I might have secretly wished that the freshman-led team could have upset mighty UConn in Monday’s game but wasn’t unnecessarily disappointed that the Ducks fell to the Huskies, who had posted 110 consecutive victories stretching back for what seems forever.

After trailing UConn late in the game, Coach Graves is to be applauded for giving every member of the Duck team an opportunity to participate in such a rare atmosphere.

Facing a 25-point deficit at halftime, freshman point guard Sabrina Ionescue made the following statement:

“We talked about it in the locker room, and we were in there trying to figure out our mistakes, and then I said, ‘Guys, we should just live in this moment. It doesn’t come around often, and just enjoy it.’”

Sage advice for playing basketball as well as for living life.


My father wore long underwear.

He said it kept him cool during the summer and warm during the winter.

I wear insulated underwear while I fly-fish. Without some protection, a fly-fisher can get mighty chilly walking around in an Oregon mountain stream where the water feels like it’s a degree or two above freezing.

winter-wxI thought about all of this a couple of months ago while attempting to keep a camera from shaking while photographing ice-covered birch trees  bending over our house.

“It’s time,” I said as I stood shivering so much that my photographic images looked as though they were taken while operating a jackhammer.

I pulled insulated underwear from my fishing equipment bag and discovered that the underwear had shrunk and no longer fit.

So, as soon as the ice melted on the street near our house I traveled to a sporting good’s store and visited the “underwear” section.

I wasn’t interested in plain old underwear like my father wore but in insulated protection. As I recall, my father felt insulated as long as his underwear stretched from his neck to his ankles.

I soon warmed up after donning the tight-fitting webbed cocoon that encased my body.

I’m so pleased with how warm I feel that I may continue to wear underwear all year in and out of doors just like my father did.

Who knows, maybe my wardrobe change may keep my blood flowing long enough to celebrate a hundred birthdays before “I walk into the sunset,” or more likely “shuffle off this mortal coil.”


The cardboard box is making a comeback.

We were informed by a front-page newspaper story Sunday that cardboard boxes are being used in the United States as cribs to help cut the infant mortality rate.search

Someone this country apparently learned — probably a sharp marketing agent — that hospitals in Finland began shipping cardboard boxes home with babies starting in 1938.

Baby boxes are credited with helping decrease Finland’s infant mortality rate from 65 deaths for each 1,000 children born in 1938 to three deaths per 1,000 births in 2013.

While Finland gets credit for inspiring the Baby Box craze in this country, the cardboard box has served as a suitable place to sleep for decades, especially if you are poor and can’t afford a store-bought crib or if you’re homeless. Continue reading CARDBOARD BABY BOX FAD MAY SAVE MORE THAN LIFE


I was dismayed when I learned Tuesday that Diane Dietz had written her final news story for The Register-Guard, a daily newspaper published in Eugene, Ore., where I live.Dietz np article

Diane wrote in a Facebook entry later that day: “I was lucky to spend 30 years as one in the last generation of newspaper reporters — and to make a comfortable living doing so.

“I was paid to go out and pitch my heart and intellect against the rough edges of this era and to tell it as truly as I could. I saw much, learned so much and worked with spectacular people along the way.”

Diane, like dozens of reporters today and in the past, performed in the best tradition of the profession, especially in keeping us informed about public affairs.

I met Diane more than a decade go when she discussed investigative reporting with members of a journalism class I was teaching at the University of Oregon. Continue reading IT’S TIME TO THANK DIANE FOR KEEPING US INFORMED


I have envisioned shuffling off this mortal coil while writing a news story for a weekly newspaper during a weekend somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.PENCILS

I started my career nearly eight decades ago while working for a weekly newspaper, and that’s where I would prefer to be when I walk into the sunset.

I have ink in my blood, so to say, that never quite cools, that entices me to take up pencil and paper and to “record history in the making.”

The dream I envision places me in some rural community to cover, i.e. to report, news of community events during weekends.


Because as a weekly newspaper editor and as the only news staff member I often worked days Monday through Friday and often a night or two and then was faced with covering news on weekends. Continue reading OLDTIMER FEELS WEEKEND IDEAL TIME TO END CAREER