The New Catagory Called, “New Book Discussion.”

I thought I would share with you how the book, Close Encounters Of the Heavenly Kind: Through Bumper Stickers, got started, and what feelings I had as I wrote it.

This may be a little long, but if you read it all the way through you will have a much better understanding as to where I am coming from when I talk about the book, Close Encounters of the Heavenly Kind: Through Bumper Stickers.

In 2001 many things happened to me that lowered me into the muck and mire. I am skipping the worst thing that happened to me that almost ended my life to share with you about my father dying. I know, how could there be anything worse? His dying had a tremedous impact on how my life was heading towards my own destruction, but there were worse things that happened. Especially since it was the year of 9-11!

My father died on May 4th, 2001. I hadn’t been very close to him for many years, because he and my mother divorced when I was only about six. My dad remarried, and there were several children in the new family. He spent all of his spare time with them.

I can understand how that would happen with all the pressures of trying to please so many different kids, but I felt left out in the cold. I was only a little guy, and I needed a dad.  I didn’t have that dad for over fifty years. I was 62 when he died.

I was told that he had a stroke. I wondered what my thinking would be when I saw him. I got into my car , and got to the hospital as fast as I could. He was in the emergency room when I got there. I came to his side. He was awake, and was able to talk. He gave me a big smile, and I melted right on the spot. I hadn’t ever seen that smile before. He wasn’t a man that showed much emotion.

I walked up to him, and we conversed for a few minutes, and then they took him up his hospital room. I got up to the room, and he was still awake. I went out to the nurse, and asked her if there were any special instructions, and she said, “He is not to have any water. It will get in his lungs, and he will get pneumonia.”  I went back inside an sat by the bed. He reached out his hand gesturing that he wanted to hold my hand. I broke down at that moment, but he couldn’t tell. He had broken his glasses when he fell at his home after the stroke hit. 

I was with him most of that day, and through the evening. My brother had come, and we both were in the room with him along with several of the children from the second marriage.

We all parted later that evening so he could have some rest. The next day I came early.  He woke up when I came into the room. He told me, “I need a drink, my throat is very dry.” I wasn’t sure what to do. He wasn’t suppose to have any water, because it may cause pneumonia. I decided that he was 86, and he was suffering, so I compromised. I told him that all I could give him was a ice cube to melt in his mouth. I gave him one He showed that big smile again. I can still see that smile today when I think of him.

Later that day several of the children from his second marriage came in. The first thing my father said to them was, “Doug is my water boy.” I was overhwlemed. He is a huge sports fan, and for him to say I was his water boy, made me very proud. My father had accepted me into his world of sports.

Things got much worse as the day went on. His kidneys were failing. He needed to drink a lot of water to save himself, but if he did pneumonia would surely come. The doctors decided to try to help him without the water. I got a call later that night, and they said my father had passed away.

I was very saddened. I had found the father I had never had for over fifty years, and he had to leave me to be with the Lord.

Even today I can hear his voice saying with excitement, “Doug is my waterboy!”


I will share with you on my next post, the other things that piled up on me in 2001. It was the worst year of my life.

This will be some of the writing that I will be doing in the new newsletter. I will slowly share with you thoughts right from the book, Close Encounters of the Heavenly Kind: Through Bumper Stickers. Then actual excerpts will be coming to you through the newsletter. There will still be the OSU section of the newsletter. There will still be a section to share my travels. There will be a resource section to give you place to go to find out more about ways to help those who have depression, self doubt, fear, or hopelessness.

The newsletter will be an uplifting newsletter. Let me assure you, the excerpts will give you new hope.  You will want to share them with anyone you know that is suffering with any of the afflcitions I will be talking about. In others words, this newsletter is for you, but tell as many people that you know that needs to read it to subscribe right away. It will give them a new look on how to have a happy ife.

It will be a few weeks before the actual newsletter is up and running. I am working with Constant Contact, one of the tip emailing companies in the world. That is why I am urging you now to susbcribe. I need to get the OSU material in the website newsletter to save me a lot of time and weariness,. I want all the OSU readers to get subscribed so they will not miss one OSU report. I will be running the OSU report ALL year this time. I have always stopped in February, after the recruits are announced. Now I will be covering baseball, softball, and the other sports that go right up to June. Then I will be concentrating on what the sports program is doing, and how I feel they can improve. Of Course there is spring football too!

I also need to get started sharing my book with you. There will one chapter for each newsletter. You will have a real feel of the book by the time it actually is out in the market for sale. BUT, only you that subscribe will have the feel. Those who do not subscribe to the newsletter, will have to wait until the book is for sale to find out about it.

Enough rambling for tonight. I can go on forever sometimes, at least that is what Charlotte tells me! 


The Rest of the Story, Part III


I feel like I am making a movie like, Rocky 16. This movie has drama. This movie has conflict. This movie has tragedy, and it could have a happy ending.


The tragedy has just happened, so let’s look at how it happened:


1.     Late in the game I saw two different Beavers go out of bounds when they could have gotten a first down with one more step. I saw another Beaver go out of bounds when he should have stayed in bounds!

2.     We are back to tackling like the other teams are greased pigs.  3.     The special teams are faltering at key times. One extra point missed, and two tries for two points missed. If one of those had been successful, game over.

4.     I would swear I saw some ball placements by the officials that helped Utah get first downs. I can’t say that though since I have officiated football for 25 years.

5.     This is another one of those games where we had better statistics in almost every department, but still lost the game. 

6.     The crowd was almost as loud as we were when we beat USC, which caused us to have 5 or 6 false starts.

7.      I can’t blame the offense for this loss, but the defensive secondary must have gone to McDonalds to eat during the game. We did have an interception by Al Afalava that resulted in a touchdown, but other than that Utah was wide open many times for passes.

So, where does this leave us? I will go from game to game for the rest of the year, and suggest what might happen:


  The next week, Arizona State is coming to town! Coach Erickson will be hunting for Beavers! The fact is that it is at home. I suggest we may win it in a close game.


·        Our next game is with Washington State at home. They are probably the worst team in the PAC-10. Any questions?

·        Then we play Washington at their place. We should win that considering that their start quarterback is out with an injury.

·        Guess who’s coming to dinner the next week end? You got it! Coach Erickson and Arizona State. They are a pretty good team. I think if we can play good defense, we could win that one.

·        We travel to UCLA the next week. We have had no luck at beating down there for years. BUT! This year they have started out awful! They lost to BYU 59-0. If we can keep them with less than 21 points, we will win big.

·        We then play Cal. We seem to play well against Cal. They are coming to Corvallis this year. They are ranked, but we can win this one if our defense doesn’t falter because our offense will score points.

·        We then travel to Arizona. That could be a very tough game. They have started out fantastic. I can’t come up with a good suggestion here.

·        THEN, the Ducks come to say hello to us. We are on a roll with them. We have beaten them the last couple of years. Can we make it a threepeat?


      Somewhere in there we have to beat either, Cal. Arizona, or Oregon. It can be done!!



Before I go any farther, I want to plead with you again to subscribe to the newsletter. So far we have 68 people that have subscribed. That is good for only two weeks of subscribing, but there are 723 of you! That means that several hundred of you will be left out, eventually, if you do not subscribe.


There will not be this long of a newsletter coming in the future. This is long because I am trying to get the rest of my trip back east done.


So go to right now, click on “newsletter,” and subscribe.


(BTW…. we may have the form on the home page this weekend. We are working on it.)



Let’s finally get to Boston, from the traveling I did when we went to the Penn State game!


When we got to Boston, it immediately transformed our thinking to the beginning of our country. I will be giving you the highlights in short sentences, or very little comment. There was just too much to write about. I am pretty sure you will know what I am talking about when you read each sentence.


·        We drove by a tavern called, Bell in Hand Tavern. It got that name because the town crier owned the tavern. There was a nice gentleman that lived upstairs making candles during this time. His name? Ben Franklin.

·        I was at the spot where Paul Revere gave his signal that the British were coming.

·        We drove by the spot where the Boston massacre happened.

·        We saw a Golden Kettle sign. The oldest sign in the United States. It was a place to come and drink tea, I suppose, since it had steam coming out of the tea kettle. It is now a Starbucks!

·        We went by a grave yard that had Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, and the parent of Ben Franklin buried there.

·        John Adams was the first to say, “Everyone has the right to a fair trial.” He said this while he was defending a man no one liked.

·        We drove by the John Quincy Adams, and John Hancock homes.

·        The term “Mutual Funds,” was first said in Boston. A man that needed money to invest in the Market, contacted several men, and they had a “mutual,” agreement to pool their money together to invest.

·        We drove through the oldest residential area in the United States. It even had some of the original gas lights.

·        We went by the home of JFK at 722 Bowdon St.

·        There are tall spires with clocks on them on churches all over the city.

·        The oldest church in the U.S.A. is in Boston. It was there in 1723, 53 years before 1776.

·        We went by the infamous Boston Commons, the oldest park in the United States. I say infamous, because there were people hung there because the people thought they were witches.


(A side bar, to list some interesting observations, but do not need comments.)

1.     Went by the oldest library.

2.     The oldest fire station.

3.     Largest Apple Computer store. I mean huge!!

4.     Saw the Old South Church where lanterns gave people signals.

5.     Gas prices in Boston when I was there: $3.49

6.     Saw the home of Phillip Brooks. He is the one that wrote, Oh Little Town of Bethlehem.

7.     Saw a church that had real Tiffany glass in its windows.

8.     Went by the original, Cheers Bar, on Beacon St. “Where everyone knows your name.”

9.     Saw where the Boston Tea Party took place.

10.                         I was able to see something I would rather not have seen. We drove by the spot where the Coconut Grove night club was. Remember it? That is where a fire broke out and no one could get out.

11.                        We rode the first double decker bus in the U.S.A. We were on top of course. “Front row seats!”

12.                         Drove by the oldest underground railway. There is still an entrance that leads to nowhere.

13.                         Saw the Bunker Hill tower. That is the spot where 1,000 British were killed in one day. They eventually still won the hill.

14.                         There are 260,000 students in the city of Boston. (Boston College, Harvard, and many other colleges are there.)

15.                         Speaking of Harvard, there is a grammar school that is just across the street from Harvard. The people that graduate from there can say they graduated from Harvard.

16.                        The first anesthetic was invented there. (I know about that stuff!!)

17.                         There is a hotel remodeled from an old jail. It still has the bars on the windows.

18.                         When Harvard first opened up in 1636, it was a divinity school for future ministers.

19.                         Harvard has the largest college library in the world.

20.                         There was a store selling Tiffany glass. It was wired by Thomas Edison.

21.                         The first barber shop was in Boston.

22.                         Saw Longfellow’s home.


Back to some longer thoughts:

·        In the Civil War area, there is a sign that says, “Here lays the arm of Stonewall Jackson.” He had to have his arm cut off. He wanted it buried right outside of where he was operated on. Wouldn’t that be a strange tombstone?

·        The owners of the Boston Red Sox, and the New York Yankees were drinking buddies. I saw the bar where the Boston Red Sox owner talked the Yankee’s owner into buying the contract of Babe Ruth  for $100,000 dollars, because the Boston Red Sox owner needed money to fund his play called, No, No, Nanette. The play was a success, but it was a very bad deal for the baseball team.



In the next newsletter, I will finalize my trip with my thoughts while standing on the deck of the USS Constitution. I could feel the drama that happened on that ship. When I went down below, I imagined the Captain shouting, “Man your cannons! This is not a drill!”


Please remember that this newsletter soon will be going only to the people who have subscribed. Take time right now to sign up by going to click on newsletter, and subscribe.


(There may be a subscription form on the home page this weekend. We are working on it.)




The Rest of the Story Part Two




Side Bar


After the game as we were walking past Tommy Prothro practice field, I overhead a young USC fan discussing the game with a buddy, he said, “We can beat anybody in the nation, but we when come here, we suck!” Hold that thought young man. We will see you again in two years!


Penn State is now ranked # 12 in the nation. Do you realize that we could be 3-2 for the first time in several years, and that is with playing one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the nation? I sure wish we could play Stanford again. I think we would have a totally different outcome.


Next weeks game with Utah will not be easy to say the least. They are ranked

17th in the nation, and will probably smash Weber State today. That

will move them up even higher.  We also have to play in their house this year. Our away game record certainly could be improved upon.


The Ducks go to Washington State today. They should win pretty easily. They can bath in their great victory this week, but do you know who they play next? Yup! USC! USC is going to be head hunting, especially when any team with the name Oregon in it makes their blood boil.



As we were traveling from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to Boston, we saw some beautiful landscape. The trees in the hills were starting to put on their new outfits for the fall. We were able to look down into big valleys full of corn for miles and miles. Our crack photographer, Lloye Liedtke, took pictures along the way. There was one problem. We were moving, and her trigger finger, was slow. A few of the pictures she ended up with were some fantastic pictures of trees along the highway, and some stunning sides of trucks as they went by.


We had fun teasing her, and she was great comic relief after a bad day watching our Beavers being taught how to eat humble pie. Actually she really did get some great pictures, and she sent me some of them. I will see if I can post some of them here on the site.


Along the way, I saw some of the old America. People were still drying their cloths out side on cloths lines. I can smell the freshness I remember as a child when I helped my Aunt Dollie hang the cloths on the cloths line at the farm. You can’t get any fresher than that. The dryers of today don’t even come close.

 I saw one humorous mail box along the way. It was a salmon with his mouth wide open, and that is where you put the mail.


The gas prices during our travels:




New York-$3.48



At this time Oregon was $3.59. Oregon has gone down a lot since then. I saw gas for $3.39 at the Arco station coming off the I-5 freeway and headed east on Highway 34 towards Corvallis. They always seem to be lower than others.


We had one more side stop before we got to Boston. It was Cooperstown, NY. For anyone that knows anything about baseball, that is the Holy Grail spot for baseball history. It lived up to that name and more. Of course, I am talking about the Baseball Hall of Fame.


It is amazing to come into this town. It was only about the size of Silverton, OR, but even smaller than that. It had one main street, and one side street. The homes there were beautiful. They were the old style homes with the big wrap around porches like you would see in a movie like, Gone with the Wind. For you young whipper snappers, that was probably one of the top five movies of all time. Do a google search and learn all about it. Better yet, rent the DVD.


We stayed at an absolutely wonderful hotel in Cooperstown, called The Otesaga. We got there about noon, and we were told to go to the dinning room to eat. It was bigger than many ballrooms. Yes, their eating area was that big. It was a brunch type set-up that they do everyday. There was everything you could dream of to eat. I was a good boy and didn’t go to the feeding trough (brunch area) very often.


This hotel was built in 1909. Its architecture is the charm of the area. It is located on the southern shore of Otesaga Lake. The gentle breezes from the lake were a welcome feeling. We could sit out on the Veranda; have a drink and watch the sun got down with the lake right in front of us.


For dinner that night we had a choice of wearing a sport coat and eating in the dinning room, or going out to eat. Charlotte and I chose the dinning room. (After all, I had brought my sports jacket all that way.)


What an elaborate sitting, candles; fire place, cloth table cloths, and a dinner for a king. I had a salmon dinner that was out of this world.



OK, I know, you thought I was never going to start talking about the Baseball Hall of Fame.


There were three floors of memories to look at:


The first floor had all the Hall of Fame broadcasters, writers and story tellers. Dave Newhouse from the Seattle Mariners was just inducted this year. On the way out on the first floor was the Hall of Fame Plaque Gallery. It had bronze plagues of every baseball player that made the Hall of Fame. It was amazing to stop at each plaque and bring back the memories that went with the player that was represented there.


The second floor had tons of things to look at. I will not go into too much detail on each thing, but as you walked by the displays, it has a progression of how baseball evolved. It started with 1900-1930. It then was from 1930-1970, 1970-2000 and then to current times. It was interesting to see the progress of the game.


There was one room dedicated to Babe Ruth. I saw many pictures of him that were not anywhere else in the world. They were donated by family members. Here they showed a movie of Babe doing his pointing to the fence to show he was going to hit and home run on the next swing which he did.


Also on this floor was information about women in Baseball. I will never forget Ton Hank’s line in the movie, A League of Their Own, “There is no crying in baseball!”


It also had all the major league teams with photos, video highlights, and artifacts that were put in 30 major league lockers.


The third floor had baseball cards, all the records, no hit games, (BTW. I have the autograph of the only pitcher in the history of baseball that threw a no hitter in the World Series. That would be Don Larson. I had him sign four pictures, and gave three of them to my children.)


One baseball card was behind a glass incasing because it was worth 3.5 million dollars. I am sorry but I am not sure exactly who, but it was either Roger Hornsby, or Ty Cobb. Please email me who it was if you know, and I will get it in the next newsletter.


On this floor was one very special memory. That had our beloved Beavers in a window case, acknowledging their incredible feat of winning two College World Series in a row. I made sure every one around knew I was a Beaver fan.

The Hall of Fame also had Ichiro Suzuki honored, because of his record breaking year with 267 hits in one year. He has had over 200 hits in all all his seasons in the United States.



Well, I still didn’t get to Boston!! I will have to save that until the next newsletter. Don’t miss it. It has all the history that helped shape this country. The Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere’s home, JFK’s home, Harvard, the USS Constitution (Old Iron Sides) and some team called the Boston Red Sox.


Be sure to go up to the tab called, “Newsletter” if you haven’t already done so. Click on it and subscribe. Eventually that will be the only place you will get the Beaver Path Finder. You can opt out any time you want if you get tired of my ramblings.