Archive for the ‘Celebrities’ Category

Welcome to the Secret Society

May 21, 2010

I had to giggle a bit a while back when I got lumped into Salem’s new creative class, but that got me thinking. An influx of new creative folks into Salem’s affordable, sometimes charming, often grubby Northeast city section? Is there any legitimacy to that?

There is!

I’ve always held that stuff happens in Salem — it’s just laughlingly under-the-radar. Well… something is definitely afoot in the Northeast Salem neighborhoods.

All it took was one party at my friend the poet’s house (also in NE Salem) to determine that there are a lot of us small-housers out here milking the city for its historic properties and living large on a tiny footprint. In addition to me, my sculptor of a husband and my baby Dash, a.k.a. The Next Alexander Calder, we have:

Michael Chasar, a Poet with an Penchant for Pop

Stephanie Lenox, editor of Blood Orange Review, a well-received online literary mag

William Bragg, photographer – or you might know him as a champion for the underpriveleged

Jonathan Bucci, multimedia artist, and his writer wife, Rachel Bucci

Any more you can think of? Whom have I forgotten? Whom haven’t I met yet?

As far as I know, all of the people listed here have been in Salem for five years or less. Yay for new blood — and for E.B. White quotes that can lend themselves to cities other than New York.


January Salem Monthly out

January 6, 2010

I’ve often wished that everyone I know in Salem could meet my neighbors, Keith and Sarah Chilcote. They have introduced us to some of the secret sides of the city (he’s my pick-your-own pinot hookup) and have overwhelmed us with their generosity and good natures.

Well, now you can! Salem Monthly just did a little story on them and their business, American Antique Hardware.

Keith is one of the most loquacious people I have ever known. I am consistently amazed that he can manage a dozen properties, run a business and be father to three darling children when he can barely remove himself from a good conversation. Adam and I both have dad crushes on him.

Sarah is a fabulous mom who has found a way to work from home and raise her kids there — a goal I’m striving for myself. All new parents need role models, and we seem to be surrounded by them.

They have built this mini-Eden in the middle of Northeast Salem, a secret city alcove the is all but overflowing with pears and apples and blueberries and plums in the summer.

Oh, and they sell awesome antique hardware at decent prices. Eat it, Hippo Hardware!

By the way, if you are one of the 2.3 people out there who are wondering why there is no Desperately Seeking Salem column in the January issue of Salem Monthly, I’ll enlighten you.

I totally dropped the ball!

Well, kind of. I’m generally gestating these pieces until about the 23rd of the month, when I write them out in a spontaneous burst of literary activity that lasts about an hour. I was working on such a piece when I went into labor.

Thankfully my editor gave me a reprieve for January. Thanks, Eric!

So sorry to my readers: grandma, Jan and my cat De Kooning. I’ll be back in business next month.

Stu Sighting!

November 10, 2009


I had my first Oregonian celebrity sighting last week.

And as with the time that I saw George Stephanopoulous walking down 28th Street in Georgetown, D.C., and the afternoon I ran into Thurston Moore on the main drag in State College, PA, the fact that this was a lesser celebrity — no motorcade, no paps, no Kevin Costner falling in love — didn’t prevent my sweet release of having witnessed, if only for a moment, what famous people do when they don’t know they are being watched.

And what a setting! Yes, folks, I saw Silverton Mayor Stu Rassmussen, the nation’s first transgendered mayor, shopping for shoes at DSW in Eugene.

This is where my friend Rachel would interject and say: “See! Even Stu has to go somewhere else to find good shoes!”

Well, yes, that’s why I was there too. But my mission quickly morphed from picking up a nice pair of pregnancy-friendly flats for a my sister’s wedding to flat-out stalking Stu as he perused the aisles of DSW.

I really wanted to say something. The journalist in me came up with all kinds of normal-sounding intros that would have brought me into conversation with The Mayor. The best I could come up with was: “I love your little town so much I’m giving birth there!”

Alas, my superpower, empathy, won out. I don’t like to be bothered while I’m shopping, and I couldn’t fathom doing it to him just to feed my interest.

So instead, I just followed him around like a spy, watching him shop for — ta da! — six-inch stilletto-heeled brown boots. Also, he was wearing four-inch heals while shopping.

It would seem that Stu makes a far greater woman than I. After I had my fill, I sighed and left, shuffling to my car, through the rain, my five year-old, moldering posture shoes squeezing a little tight against my toes.

No shoes that day. But still… Stu sighting!