In the past few days there has been a lot of conversation about Microsoft’s proposed buy-out of Yahoo at what they say will be a cost of $44.6 Billion dollars. That ought to point out the impact of the internet and the different search/e-mail sites. Google, the other big one, is opposed to the buy-out for obvious reasons; they want to remain the number one site and aren’t thrilled with the giant Microsoft cutting into their territory.

While I’m interested in how this huge deal is going to come down I’m mostly concerned with my day to day use of the internet and in my use of Google. My girlfriend uses Yahoo but it’s been Google that has provided me with communication with people whom I’ve never met and some I’ve known for years but hadn’t heard of in a long long time.

I have a web site which is listed on Google and I get e-mails from people who have checked it out or stumbled upon it when they were searching for a spot to vacation on the Oregon coast. It’s led to being published in Europe and various parts of America.

Now thanks to Google with Valentines Day approaching I’ve been reminded of a Valentine gift that has lasted through the years. It wasn’t a gift that I gave or received, but one that was presented to a beautiful young woman by a dashing young musician.

The musician was the drummer in a band I was once in and he and the woman had a beautiful romance that lasted for several years. As is often the case, time took its toll and the extensive traveling that we did as a band made it even harder to keep the romance together.

She had a full time job and lived in Reno and we traveled all over the country, returning to Reno only occasionally. Finally amidst the tears young lovers shed they went their separate ways and we continued on. Eventually the band also broke up and the members scattered around the West. I lost track of most of them until one day I got an email from a young woman who is the sister of the drummer. She’d found my site on Google. She’s now about the age he was when we played together and wanted to know more about the band and her brother.

We corresponded and she filled me in on her brother. I was amazed at how quickly the whole scene came back into my memory and just the other day I was floored by an email from a woman who turned out to be the drummers’ young love. She had searched my name on Google, checked the site and read of the bands adventures.

Like the drummer, she has a different life now with family and grandkids. However in passing she mentioned that she had a little ceramic bank that he’d given her on Valentines Day many years ago. She told me she still remembers it as if it were yesterday and if I was ever in touch with him to tell him she still has it.

I emailed him and related the story and what he said pointed out to me the lasting pleasure of a Valentines gift. “That bank was given to me by my grandfather when I was a little kid and he told me to keep it until I found someone I loved then give it to them. At that time it was her, and to this day I always knew she’d still have it. We were in love then and it was heartfelt Valentine gift.”
To me that’s a true Valentine gift and it’s no surprise she still has it!
Happy Valentines to all of you!

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Rick Schultze

A few years ago at a writers conference held in the central Oregon coast town of Yachats, where I live, I listened to the late Ken Kesey, a frequent visitor to the area, tell a writer that this could be a hard place to write. “If you think you can sit there staring at the ocean for inspiration you’re wrong, it’s not out there, it’s in your head!” He was right; it is beautiful here in Lincoln County, the kind of beauty that makes concentrating on anything else tough and since hearing that insight, I’ve written at a desk facing a wall, no windows opening onto a ocean view, although I have one, but it’s worked. I’ve done, and do, different kinds of writing. As a freelance writer I’ve been a observational columnist, a humor columnist, a book and music reviewer for newspapers, magazines, and online. However, as a creative writer, my heart belongs to fiction. In that genre I do short stories, road adventure stories, musical adventure tales, and in current production, are three small novels. So really the purpose of this web site is to give you a glance of some of the things I’ve done, a preview of what’s coming, and hopefully, a view of what it’s like to be a writer living in a small town on the Oregon coast!