It was 4,435 days ago that I became the managing editor for the Lake Oswego Review and West Linn Tidings.

It was a heady time for me, joining a chain of newspapers back in 2001 that was launched by Lake Oswego’s Bob Pamplin. I remember that first week I was touched — and surprised — by the delivery of a beautiful arrangement from R Blooms of Lake Oswego.


Early on, my wife and I were forced to live apart for five months, me up here in charge of the two community newspapers, she down there in Klamath Falls, working on selling our home. After we got back together we strived to get used to all the differences between the metro area and rural small-town life in Southern Oregon. Pluses: More restaurants, more movies, more entertainment, more shopping, more choices. Minuses: More driving, more traffic, more people, more rain and, interestingly, more feelings of isolation.

In these past 13-plus years, there have been a number of changes:

  • Our older daughter Jessica was married;
  • Jessica and her husband Tyler became parents to our two grandchildren. In the process, because of a number of health concerns, we almost lost our daughter;
  • Our younger daughter Kristen graduated from both college (Emerson College in Boston) and graduate school (Antioch College in Southern California) and wrote a book;
  • My mother, my father and my mother-in-law all passed away (two of them in December);
  • My wife Carolyn and I celebrated 40 years of marriage
  • Professionally, changes came to the job in a variety of ways:

  • The Pamplin Media Group, which includes the Portland Tribune, grew to include 20 weeklies and four monthlies with the Wilsonville Spokesman and King City Record Courier added into our Lake Oswego office;
  • The way we design our papers changed dramatically several years ago when we switched to a Central Design Desk and removed that enjoyable task from the individual editors in the company;
  • We suffered through some hard financial times that brought us layoffs, furloughs and pay freezes;
  • We morphed from no newspaper websites to a website for each paper in the company — newspaper Facebook pages were added as was a Twitter presence;
  • We continually were pushed to do more with less in an effort to maintain our place in the metro’s journalism world.
  • Changes. Changes. Changes.

    And today I announce what for me is the biggest change of all: Friday (May 9, my birthday) will be my last day at the Review, my last day working in newspapers. I am retiring and looking forward to the next phase of my life, our lives. I am going to miss many things about the Review and its amazing staff of co-workers past and present. I am going to miss so many of the wonderful local residents who took the time to get to know me, interact with the paper, have conversations and just demonstrate a passion about living large locally.

    I am not going to miss the computer problems, the few of you who felt it was your duty to try to beat us up or drag the newspaper down or the never-ending push to push for more.

    When I started here back in March of 2001, our office was located at 101 A Ave. in Lake Oswego. We didn’t have email per se. We had one jerry-rigged computer in the office that allowed Internet access. We printed our pages on our printer (one page required three overlapping tiles and full color pages required extra printed pages) and drove them to the company headquarters (then near the intersection of I-5 and Highway 217 in Tigard). There pages were pasted up by our graphics crew, then trucked down to Eagle Web Press in Salem, printed overnight and returned in time Thursday morning to be delivered by the post offices in Lake Oswego and West Linn. A strange process but functional.

    Today the entire procedure is done electronically except for the part where the papers are brought to Lake Oswego and West Linn in time to be delivered in Thursday’s mail.

    You can’t survive in journalism for 38 years like I have without having people to thank. I have been blessed by always having some good people guarding my back and inspiring my brain. We have earned bucket loads of awards in my time. I am very appreciative.

    Especially here in Lake Oswego, but before that in Klamath Falls, Gardnerville and Reno, Nev., and Amarillo, Texas, I have developed a number of quality journalism and community friends who have helped me on my journey. Because of space considerations and fear of leaving someone out, I am not going to type out my list though the names on it continually percolate within my little mind.

    But here’s what I can say: Journalists, especially at Community Newspapers, are among the hardest working and lowest paid professionals I know. We hear so much about the decline of newspapers in this country. And obviously, we just have to look at our neighbor, The Oregonian, to see how true that is. But community papers have a continuing purpose, do an amazing job and the Lake Oswego Review and West Linn Tidings are two of the best. These papers deserve your support.

    I am going to miss many of my peers, many of you. But I am ready, believe me, beyond ready, to spend time on the home front, traveling, kayaking and hanging out with one very special lady.

    Thank you Lake Oswego and West Linn.

    And goodbye.

    Contract Publishing

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