Wednesday, November 03, 2010

So Long Ago, So Near to My Heart

Top row (left to right): Jeanne Denker, Annie Dudley, Reed Darmon, Pat Vivian, Bill Clark, Beata Scheffler-Wiggin, Marty Urman, Pamela Gold, Stacy Fowler, Mili Smythe, Jeff Pierce. Bottom row (left to right): John Blank, Jane Jouett, Rupert Kinnard, Alice Scherer, and Kim Roadruck.

I came across this photograph while digging through a box of dusty newspaper clippings in my basement, looking for something completely different. It shows the production department staff at Willamette Week, Portland, Oregon’s “alternative newsweekly,” back in what I estimate was late 1980. An amazing 30 years ago! I was fresh out of college (you can spot me in the upper right-hand corner of this shot, with a full beard), and working my first professional job.

I had served as a newspaper editor during my last few undergraduate years, and developed a taste both for journalism and for publication design. During my final months in college, I’d freelanced for Willamette Week, and after graduation I joined that broadsheet’s production staff, while continuing to contribute to its editorial product. (I was subsequently hired on as a staff writer, just as I had hoped to be.) I must include those years as some of the best my life has had to offer. I enjoyed my bachelor independence, did lots of reading and joyful carousing, discovered what it meant to really be loved by women, and found that I wasn’t so inept in the friend-making department as I’d once feared. Although I long ago lost touch with everyone shown in this black-and-white image (taken by WW staff photographer Cathy Cheney), they--and some who came before them on the staff--left me with memories I shall never cease to cherish. I was very honored to work with the editorial staff at WW, but it was the production personnel who really embraced me.

With help from some old Willamette Week staff lists, I’ve sought to make sure that the people shown above are properly identified. But there were a couple of cases (involving individuals I knew less well than others) where I had to take my best guess at matching names with faces. My apologies to anyone who’s been mislabeled.

Click on the photograph for an enlargement.


Rupert Kinnard said...

Heh heh heh...Hey, dude. Nice pix! I am working on a book myself. Go to: if you want to know what I am up to! Your old buddy, Rupert!

Charles Smyth said...

Great pic, Jeff. Ah, to be young and enthusiastic again ...

Joline said...

I just happened across your blog and saw this photo. The young woman with all the curly long dark hair was my old roommate when I lived in Northwest Portland in the mid-1980s. Her name was Pamela Gold. I have always wondered what happened to her.