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It is finally here, the '24 Hour' Portrait section youve been waiting for

Time can be a stinker. It treats us all different.

If you're in a hospital waiting room, watching something terrible on television, time drags something fierce. The same is true if you're in a retirement home, the dentist's chair, in jail, or waiting for a loved one to come home from the Middle East.

For some of us, though, it shoots by in a blur. Your first-grader steps up onto the school bus, and the next thing you know, he's graduating. Clocks tick agonizingly slow right before recess, but the hands whir through a Saturday like a video on fast-forward. Summers that seemed three or four years long at age 10 fly by in a day or two at 60.

On Jan. 18, 2008, we tried to stop time.

We did not succeed, but, by God, we made it last a whole 24 hours.

Reporters and photographers from this newspaper, as well as fellow journalists from the Lake Oswego Review and West Linn Tidings - not to mention an assortment of our readers in volunteer roles - fanned out all across Eastern Washington County Friday, Jan. 18, to record what was going on that day for a special Portrait edition called simply '24 Hours.'

It was a very normal day.

Shortly after midnight on Friday morning, Mike Conrad ran his street sweeper all over downtown Beaverton. Dana Ripley, Michael Barefoot and Kim Kitchen danced and sang at the tail-end of karaoke night at the Shilo Inn on Canyon Road. By 5:30 a.m., Steve and Lenore Johanson were walking their dogs in Garden Home, and Haley Gauntt already had an hour in at the Better Days Coffee stand on Pacific Highway in Tigard.

At Donutland in downtown Tualatin, Mohammed al-Sheikhly, known simply as Tony, had already made many trays of doughnuts and pastries by the time the sun came up.

These are just some of the folks we discovered stirring on Friday morning. There were plenty more.

Jaiden and Mackenzie Linville of Beaverton, brother and sister, began their day with a snack at the Happy Hollow Children's Center. Across town, at Raleigh Hills Elementary, custodial foreman Brian Gott set up tables in the lunchroom before the school filled with students. 'I'm always cleaning up,' said the 20-year veteran of his business. 'There never really is a routine day.'

But routine was a good word for Jan. 18. A bald eagle in the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge just north of Sherwood, drew the attention of early-morning photographers Bjorn Fredrickson of Tigard and Craig Leavitt of Newberg.

About the same time, Bob Harding, branch manager of the new Pacific Continental Bank in the Nyberg Woods center welcomed a gathering of Tualatin Chamber of Commerce members to that group's Network AM.

The middle part of the day was full of people doing their jobs. Gary Chapman ran errands for the Labor Ready Center in Tigard; Mike Carroll waved his Mattress World sign at passing cars on Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway; Tom Armor cut meat and stocked the case at the Aloha Albertson's; Phil Fouquette of Fought Steel in Tigard ground the rough spots off of iron girders; and the staff of Fox News 12 gathered in the conference room to talk about the day's top stories.

In schools all over Tigard, Tualatin, Sherwood and Beaverton, teachers worked to fill young minds with information that might stay with them even after the last bell rings.

Jan. 18 was a milestone for some. Mary Maleta of Tigard turned 55 and celebrated with a special dinner at Romano's Macaroni Grill in Bridgeport Village. Brent Butler, an Emergency Department nurse at Legacy Meridian Park Hospital, ended a career of more than 30 years that day, and his wife Mary Ann hired a bagpiper to note the occasion. Dolores Smith of Milwaukie, recovering from a hip replacement at the same hospital, went for a spin around the nurses' station. Taylor Pearson of Beaverton tried on wedding dresses in Tigard, and Stephanie Pedroza got a tattoo at Beaverton's Adorn Body Art.

As the day wore on, people went bowling, square dancing, drinking, shopping, karaoke singing, to the movies and played video games, bingo, pool and darts to wind up this particular day and start the weekend - which, of course, kicked the passage of time, once again, into high speed.