A few words about old friends, fighting raccoons, authors and grammar

<p>Claire Lovell</p>

Recently I had a call from Mississippi – a Charles Ostrander, whose wife is the granddaughter of Willard Keene. He called to inquire about him.

They had read some remarks I had written about Willard in the Signal and hadn’t known of his death. Charles said they visited earlier to do a few things for him and had been concerned. Willard lived alone and didn’t communicate with many people since he became ill.

I was glad that something I wrote helped his family. Lately there have been accounts of Hall of Famers. Willard was one of those. He held the broad jump record for many years at Seaside High. (That’s what we called it then.)

I saw my first hummingbird of the season the other day. He just sort of hung there outside my window and then zoomed off. It was a reassuring sight.

One morning at 5:30, I heard the sounds of an animal in distress – a loud squealing followed by bumping and thumping. It was probably two raccoons fighting. I pounded on the floor with a rod and the racket ceased. Peace and quiet again.

Hood to Coast traffic was bumper to bumper. There were also lots of boats in the lineup. I hope the fishing was good. Certainly we’ve had fabulous weather. As dense as the traffic was, I had no trouble crossing the street. The only problem was having to get farther out there because of the foot bridge at 14th Avenue.

Recently on TV, there has begun a series of Debbie Macomber’s books about Cedar Cove, Wash. We all know it is really Port Orchard, Debbie’s home town. Andie McDowell is the actress, and it goes something like a soap opera, oddly enough.

The story being told at present is from the book I bought when Debbie was here for a signing at the old stationer’s store by the post office, about 10 or 12 years ago. It’s called “16 Lighthouse Road,” which I just reread. Debbie was interviewed on “The 700 Club,” so we learned quite a lot about her. She has certainly earned her success.

In a Daily Astorian sports lineup was a name, Justin Outslay, from Salem. It’s an unusual name, and I’m wondering if his parents are Gerald and Marilyn Outslay, who used to be members of our church – or maybe he’s one of their relatives.

One of the latest pop words for many news stories is “pivot.” There’s so much pivoting going on, there may be holes in their ballet shoes. It’s like doing a minuet. I always marvel when everyone starts speaking the same language, even though it’s hard to explain the significance. Maybe it’s code.

All four of my kids were home last week – some for the high school reunion at Sons of Norway Park. When they all get together, would you believe that grammar is often a topic of conversation? It’s one of the things they do, finding mistakes. A common irritant seems to be the misuse of the apostrophe. In one business downtown, someone had made the menu so that it read “cocktail’s.” Tsk!

A Swede and a Norwegian were sitting on a park bench having their daily chat. Ole was reading the news. “What’s the date today?” asked Sven. “I don’t know,” responded Ole. “Can’t you just look in the newspaper?” Sven continued. “It’s no use,” said Ole. “This is yesterday’s newspaper!” (Gee, what a lot of apostrophes!)

P.S. quip – Miserable affliction that was experienced by the first mortal woman of myth: Pandora’s pox.

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