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10 Things Found Cleaning Out My Desk At The Oregonian: No. 4

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A collection of random memories found in and around my desk at the Oregonian as I prepare for my Aug. 28 departure. Today:

Wish I’d had this on layoff day.

What would ninja do?

The only thing in that folder was a copy of Paste magazine featuring the Avett Brothers on the cover and a 2007 SPJ Excellence in Journalism award for the series of columns I did running up to my wedding.

Found another folder with some hate mail and some fan mail in it, however. Let’s look at that.

There is a tendency to focus on the negative when it comes to reader interaction. See: every comment thread on the Internet everywhere always.

Mostly I’ve been lucky. People tend to say nice things, and when they don’t, they sometimes say funny things. My all-time favorite, lost to recycling, I’m afraid, was a guy who suggested I kill myself, video tape it, and have the tape sent to him.

He didn’t like how I voted in a football poll. We also decided it wasn’t technically a death threat. He just wanted me dead. There’s a difference.

A few examples of what I did save:

Sent via FAX on March 25, 2002

Dear Mr. White

You and your colleague, Rachel Bachman, had stories in the Monday, March 25 edition of the Oregonian sports page which are worthy of being run in every newspaper in the state of Kansas.

He didn’t mean that as a compliment. This was the day after Kansas beat Oregon in the Elite Eight and, obviously, if we couldn’t write Oregon won, we should at least have cushioned the blow. He offered suggestions how:

While the final score made the game appear to be a blow-out, it actually wasn’t. Of the 18 point margin, Kansas had 14 more free-throws than did Oregon (21-7). Had Ridnour and/or Jackson had a slightly better shooting game, Oregon wouldn’t have had to make fouls so frequently near the end of the game.

Oh. Ok.

If I were Freddy Jones, rather than put your 3/25 edition in my “good memories” scrapbook, I’d put it in a section reserved for examples of poor reporting from negatively biased sources.

The next season, I hung out with Freddie Jones in Indianapolis. We drove around with his stereo comically loud. I watched him sign trading cards for money. I saw all his sparkling white Nikes. We ate at Chik-fil-A. I didn’t see a damn scrap book anywhere.

Next:

Ryan:

You asshole.

Gulp.

I come into work this morning, exhausted from travel and mothering all the Rose Bowl stuff last night, to write our season wrap for the weekend.

And pick up the front page of the Oregonian to find that you have already hit the ball out of the park. Already stroked a hole in one. Touchdown, grandslam, etc.

… How deflating. I hate you.

That was from Ron Bellamy at the Register-Guard. It was very kind of him.

This next one came from “Rob,” and I assume that’s Rob Moseley. It’s a cut-and-paste job from a message board thread, something he was sharing for laughs.

Just so you know before you bash White … He’s a UO grad and covered the Ducks for the Daily Emerald. One of the better beat writers covering the Ducks in Oregon. Before Ryan, I don’t believe the Oregonian had anyone covering the Ducks regularly.

EVERY SINGLE WORD OF THAT IS WRONG.

Onward …

cool

guitar in the pants

thats alot of pant

or very little guitar

i had a pirate friend once

who said

“i got a steering wheel in me pants and its driving me nuts”

ba dum chh …

ill be here all week.

That’s an email from Todd Snider. Other than that, I don’t remember, and maybe that’s for the best.

Finally:

Well, when God shuts a door, He’s basically telling you to go f—- yourself. So all you can do is push right back and say, hey, God, f—- you, too! You sonofab——. yeah, I’m talking to you, s—-heel! Then run really far, really fast, because he’s an ornery old bastard and apparently doesn’t forget. But you’ll feel better. Briefly.

From Peter Ames Carlin in 2006. I don’t remember why. I do wonder what ninja would do.

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