A breath of fresh air

The other day my pals Jersey Jerry and Jungle George and I got together for our annual summer world summit meeting at our favorite gathering spot and we got down to business. Jersey, a long time five star chef, was mad about the cost of food going up due to transportation costs and Jungle, a retired large cat trainer from the circus, was equally upset about the recent recalled cat food fiasco.

Both guys don’t mince words and after we got going the innkeeper pleasantly reminded us to use a bit of volume control while discussing such touchy subjects. Consequently we turned it down a bit but it rapidly escalated upwards again when one of us, I’m not sure who, mentioned the state of professional sports and how it’s effecting the young men and women who idolize their sports hero’s. It was mentioned that the star of one pro football team is in real hot water over allegations involving animal cruelty; an official in the NBA is being accused of improprieties of the highest degree; betting on games and possibly rigging point spreads; and possibly within days the all time major league baseball home run record will be broken by a player who is under a cloud of suspicion for taking performance enhancement drugs.

Jungle fired up again, damn what’s a kid supposed to think these days? The pro footballers are always in trouble, can’t trust the basketball refs, and the only way to break records is to use enhancers? Is that the way it works? It would be hard to raise a kid today! Jersey agreed, it gives kids a bad taste and the worse part is they see adults doing it. You guys know any young people these days that just want to be good people? I told them a story about a young person I’d met. I was covering a Lions Scholarship Dinner recently, talking pictures and interviewing scholarship recipients and walked into the kitchen area where I saw a young woman. I asked her if she was there for a scholarship and she said no, I just volunteer to do dishes for the Lions on their meeting nights. I don’t go to regular school, I’m home schooled.

She was very pleasant, soft-spoken, and began to wash the heck out of a stack of dishes so I told her good-bye and continued on my rounds. However in the back of my mind I had the notion Id seen her before and the next day I remembered she’d donated some of her hair to a medical charity and her picture had been in the paper. Then the next day I had an interview in another town nearby and arrived at the local coffee shop to meet the person I was interviewing and saw her again.

This time she came out of the kitchen area, took off her apron and sat down with a woman a couple tables away from me. I recognized the woman as a fellow reporter from another newspaper and managed to eavesdrop on a bit their conversation. Apparently the young woman had organized a benefit dance to raise money for the local humane society. She’d put her own money in, called on family and friends and local businesses to help and was eagerly awaiting the night of the dance. At that point my interview arrived and we moved to the bench outside the shop. That was it, but I’m telling you guys, that young person gave me hope that in the future we’ll be talking about the good things people are doing not the ones on the bad side of things.

Jersey spoke up, yeah I hope so, I’m tired of the negative stuff, it just gets to me. Jungle finished, you know I gotta pull for her, my whole life I’ve been an animal lover and she’s doing something to help!

With that we raised our glasses in a toast to her and the rest of the positive, energetic, young people out there and adjourned our annual get together.

To reach Rick Schultze email yarick@pioneer.net

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!