The things we keep

I have so much I want to tell you. Too much, I think. I have flashes of insight about the last month but it's hard to describe without simply telling you where we've been.

I'll get to that.

First I want to tell you about our last weeks in Oregon. In the run up to those last weeks, we spent time with friends of days and years past. Our old theatre friends threw a couple of dinner parties for us. MichaeI Smith flew up from LA. Nancy Zaremski came up from Ashland. Deb Bruneaux was there too. She and Nancy managed the costume shop when Carolyn was there. Nancy was our neighbor on Belmont street for years. Cindy Fuhrman came. She' the Managing Director of Portland Center Stage, the theater Carolyn and I moved to Portland to help start.  Joanne Gilles dropped in too. She volunteered in the prop shop the first year I was there and worked with me until I left the business. Her husband Otis and I did Cycle Oregon together twice. Joan Hartzell hosted and the old theatre crowd s…

What I will miss

We're moving away. I've tried to write about that journey and failed miserably. So I'll start with this: I'm sitting in a chair bound for a thrift store. Behind me is a cot and a sleeping bag where our living room used to be. I've been looking at photos of our home and I'm reminded of what home was. It's not this. I'm squatting in the shell of our old house.

It's OK. We figured out a long time ago that home was where we could cook a meal together and sleep in the same bed, or at least in beds close enough together that we could say goodnight to each other. At the moment, Carolyn is in NY with her sister and our cats, so this isn't home any longer.

To paraphrase Edna Mode: "Nevertheless, here we are."

I thought I would have more to write about moving back to NY. It's certainly a rich topic. Moving from Oregon back to NY is as big a change as moving to Oregon in the first place. That happened before the internet so I'll just h…

Going Home

We have news. I'm taking early retirement from Linfield and Carolyn and I are moving back to NY next Summer.

That's a relief. I'm glad I got that out there.

I suppose some explanation is in order. OK, maybe a lot. This will take a few posts but here's the run-up.

A few days before Thanksgiving, Linfield offered early retirement packages to college staff of a certain age. Being of that certain age, I was given a severance offer. My initial response was "It's too little, too soon." Both those things were true.


We had been talking about moving East for some time. So we tried it on over the holidays. While we were wearing it around, we were able to sort of detach ourselves from the habit of living here and be honest with ourselves about how we felt about it. The truth is, we're in a rut. We're bored and we're lonely and we want to go home. NY is home. Always was. Now that my sister has moved back there and Maddie is living in Colorado, we ha…


After almost 10 years of writing about the mountain bike races I do, I understand that by now, writing a detailed description of each race I do is pointless. I'm doing the same races I've done for years so the descriptions are largely the same except that I seem to be getting a bit worse at them each year and even at my best I was never good enough to add the necessary excitement to them to make them worth reading. Reading about someone who repeatedly comes in last is a bit, um, demoralizing.

So why bother writing about them at all? More to the point, why do them?

I was thinking about that as I started out for my last lap of the Oregon 24 last Saturday night. I was only doing the 12 hour race this time. The last time I did the 24 hour race two years ago I made the podium but it was the first time I felt something had gone really wrong with my body by the finish. Last year I intended to do the 12 hour race but it snowed 15" and it was crazy and actually kind of fun but no…


I should begin by saying I was never wired to enjoy high school reunions. They share a slightly guilt infested part of my brain with California Interstate fruit inspection stations. I know fruit inspection stations are important for protecting California's crops, and it's not much of an inconvenience to stop and talk to the inspectors, but I'd rather not have them find the bag of apples I stashed in the trunk. They let me through and then I feel like crap for lying about what's in my car. Then I spend the rest of the year waiting for news of a new blight that wiped out the California apple crop that was caused by some scumbag tourist from Oregon with fly infested apples. The opportunity to see the people you grew up with should be a blessing, but if fills me with dread that they'll find out I didn't really amount to much and after a few minutes I'm kind of boring and God help them if I start talking about my job. Afterward, I just dread the pictures that co…


Dear Joe,

I know you won't be reading this. Last Thursday your cancer took the last thing it could take from you and you departed this place for points unknown.

I'm glad Carolyn and I got to see you last weekend, while you were still moving about and engaged with the world around you. Zack and I got Maddie's old Scott road bike put back together, which seemed like a useful thing to do when there's nothing to be done. We watched the last stage of the Tour de France together too! Zack knew a couple of the riders in the peloton and it was fun to geek out about bikes one last time.

Surprisingly, I was glad we were there Monday morning when you transitioned from that frail but present place to the beginnings of death, as your body finally couldn't keep up with the damage the cancer had wrought. We were caught off guard by how fast you shifted, though you hung on for 3 more days; long enough to bore everyone who came to say goodbye until finally the hospice nurse told th…

Travels With Joe Part II

I've mentioned numerous times over the nine years I've written this blog that Joe and Maddie got me back on my bike. Reading over the early posts from 2009, I realized that there was a whole year between that re-acquaintance with biking and my first post. That year was the beginning of maybe the longest journey I had with Joe; the one on the bike. I think it's important to fill in some of that story.

Riding a bicycle has been a part of my life off and on since I was a child. I stopped for a few years after my 2nd bike got stolen at college around 1981. I picked it up again in 1987 when mountain biking first got popular.  I don't remember the exact year my sister and Joe got together. Maybe '89 or '90? They met on a group bike ride. Joe and I bonded pretty quickly over bikes. I may have been racing a few years longer than he did but he was always better. Always faster. We didn't do a lot of races together. I remember doing Spring Thaw in '91 or '92 w…