The pandemic has wrought such havoc on society that it’s hardly unreasonable to wonder whether life will ever seem quite the same, at least for those who have lived through it and were old enough to form memories from this strangest of years.
I have been breathing, more or less constantly, for almost exactly half a century now, but respiratory prowess aside I can’t seem to think of this pending milestone as especially meaningful.
I’ve written dozens of stories over the years about wildfires but until one moment, just before dawn on a recent morning, the topic seemed to me professional rather than personal.
Presidential candidates always exaggerate the importance of the coming election.
I probably wouldn’t have detoured from the trail except that my son, Max, insisted.
The wind turned up brisk out of the northwest the other evening, bringing to my nostrils the fresh scent of peppermint and to my brain the confirmation that this strangest of summers is indeed…
I spent a goodly portion of my lunch hour the other day searching in vain for a sheet of plastic.
Facebook has much to answer for in making it simple to sow the rhetorical poison that has made so much public discourse so unpalatable.
There are quite a few ways to get yourself killed in a national park.
By wearing a face mask when we can’t keep our distance from other people, so as to deprive them of whatever deleterious particles we might be expelling with each breath, we can save lives.
Football, it scarcely needs to be said, is not war.
The United States of America will turn 244 in a couple of days, which is quite old for a dog but is something closer to middle age for a nation.
The summer when I was 15 I crossed the Berlin Wall, hiked in the Alps and was subjected to a modest dose of radioactivity of which I was not aware.
I have been waging a war for several weeks against a clever and determined enemy that’s trying to invade, and potentially ruin, my home.
I had a dream the other night and the setting was the home and neighborhood where I grew up — chronologically, at least — but where I haven’t lived in 32 years.
It all started with a big bang.
The struggle that black Americans endured to achieve basic civil rights was long and bloody, a period marked by some of our country’s greatest moments, and some of its more shameful.
I was puttering about in my yard the other evening, enjoying the carefree amble of a man whose lawn is freshly mowed and flower beds recently purged of at least the most obvious weedy infiltrators.
I grew up in Western Oregon during the 1970s and ’80s, which means I also grew up knowing who D.B. Cooper was.
The spring snowdrift sprawling across a forest road sings a siren song, a charming melody that lures many an incautious traveler to a bad end.
As I stroll through Baker City neighborhoods most afternoons, pondering this improbable pandemic, my thoughts have also been straying just lately into the distant past.
Social distancing is considerably easier when you’re 20 miles from the nearest paved road.
The coronavirus pandemic has created two new fans of one of the great characters in big screen history — Sheriff Buford T. Justice.
I went for a walk on the warmest day of the year and the mild April sunshine felt so fine on my cheeks, and so familiar, that for a few moments I could believe that this spring was proceeding …
For four decades Baker County has seen itself through the lens of S. John Collins’ camera.
I pulled into my driveway the other evening and rather than immediately unbuckle and get out, as I normally would do, I sat there for the better part of a minute, looking at the familiar scene…
The great thing about art — perhaps even the greatest thing — is that you needn’t be an artist to bask in the reflected glow of those who are.
As we live through historic events that arrive not every day but every hour, I’m thinking of the future as well as the present.
I have gazed into America’s future and what I saw was grown men tossing bean bags at a small hole drilled in a tilted plank of polished wood.
I’ve been hauling around the virus particles for better than 40 years, taking them to mountaintops and to some of Germany’s finest cathedrals, among other scenic sites, and not once have the l…
My wife said she saw a mosquito on her windshield the second week of February.
Movie director Quentin Tarantino not only dissolved the mystique that has made Charles Manson such an icon for half a century, but the filmmaker showed the criminal and his murderous acolytes …
I recently bought an mp3 player and when I sat down with the user manual to try to figure out how to make it work the only two consecutive words that made sense to me in the entire document we…
When you write about government inefficiency you risk indulging in cliché, and I strive to avoid the pitfall of predictability.
I was watching TV coverage of President Trump’s impeachment trial the other evening and I couldn’t help but wonder how different things might be if Trump were more like Calvin Coolidge.
“What was it like?”
I once examined a kidney stone, fresh from my own bladder (albeit rinsed with tap water), and I was appalled.
For me it all started what seems a long time ago, in a town quite a ways from Baker City.
The word “news” is, you’ve no doubt noticed, pretty much the same as “new.”
I have for many years — many more, indeed, than I would prefer — harbored an irrational fear of being stuck with nothing good to read.
Happy New Year! The calendar has taken another faithful leap from the end of one year to the beginning of another and hopes are running high. January is often prime time for personal and profe…
On Nov. 5, 1994, I guided my slightly decrepit but always dogged International Scout II through the drifts of an early blizzard, at the risk of getting mired and possibly having to set the sea…
The greatest character in cinema history is Cousin Eddie from the “Vacation” film franchise.
I think the Baker City Herald is a bargain.
I was debating the other day whether to shell out 26 bucks for a new book, but then I checked my email and discovered that my financial worries are over, and probably for the rest of my life.
When I was a boy I considered it a grand treat to go with my dad to the gas station.
My son Max rested his head on my shoulder and told me he was “really glad” I had asked him to lie there on our couch and watch “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”
If you get a chance to examine a 2020 Chevrolet Corvette and you pop the hood, expecting to gaze upon the mechanical majesty that is the classic overhead-valve V-8 engine, prepare for a shock.
An email that prominently features the words “food” and “tester” and “free” is as irresistible to me as the film “Point Break,” the chorus of Duran Duran’s “Rio,” and Oreo cookie filling.
I hadn’t thought of trick-or-treating as a particularly poignant event until I went to Meadowbrook Place and saw the smiles of residents as they dropped candy bars and lollipops into kids’ bags.
Some pieces of Baker City’s history haven’t been exposed to sunlight for decades.
You might assume that because I derive my livelihood from working in the news media I would endorse any law intended to protect journalists from physical harm while they’re doing their jobs.
The record-shattering October chill, even as it was pilfering my bank account to keep the furnace stoked with kilowatt-hours, was stealing into my yard and ruining the riot of color I’ve come …
I never met Andy Dennis but I wish I had even once shared a wilderness campfire with him. I think we could have swapped stories for the better part of an evening, sharing the pleasant duty of …