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Cowboy Copas and the Ear Trumpet

Yesterday I was fitted for hearing aids.  I’ve known for some time that my hearing is in decline, and the tinnitus in both ears has been driving me crazy, so a couple of weeks ago I drove into town and took advantage of the free hearing test in Sisters.  I flunked.  I knew that I ...

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First World Problems

Yesterday, near the end of a daylong cattle-buying adventure in the soggy Willamette Valley, I enjoyed quite possibly the best hamburger I have ever eaten.  I don’t throw out praise like this very often, so you can take it to the bank.  If you ever want a GREAT hamburger–that is, if you aren’t sulking around ...

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Opening Day

This year I applied, through the government lottery system, for seven separate hunting tags.  I applied for, in order of importance for the ranch freezer, the following tags:  bull elk, cow elk, deer, antlerless deer, bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain goat, and antelope.  A hunter is allowed only one bighorn tag in his lifetime, so there ...

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The Hired Man, a new excerpt

Today’s piece is a new excerpt from The Hired Man, a novel in progress….       In 1946 Charlotte Mulroney was nineteen and bestowed with what his father had called “An impeccable conformation.”  Del was twenty two and home from the war, a wounded veteran of the Pacific campaign in a new hat and denim ...

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Dinner With Steve

I don’t know why it should be that late last night, while I was riding with T.E. Lawrence into the fires of Damascus, and only shortly after he had discovered the horrors of “The Turkish Hospital,” that I would have occasion to reminisce about dining with my father.  It might have been his devotion to ...

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The Hired Man, An Excerpt

Today’s offering is an excerpt from The Hired Man, a novel in progress.      When he was a boy and a bull slipped the fall gather they would grain the mules.  Twice a day Del would whistle them up from the bottom pasture and grain them with barley and corn rolled in sweet molasses. ...

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The Sweetwater Brewing Company

A few years ago, after losing my grandparents, my dad, and our son, in a rapid cascade of debilitating blows, I needed to get away.  Badly.  I was working seventy hour weeks as a narcotics detective, a notorious and occasionally dangerous grind of surveillance and door kicking, and what little time I had left was ...

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