Fern Ridge Review
Sweet Lorane Community News
October 29, 2020
By Pat Edwards
I begin this week’s column with a heavy heart. Two days ago, we learned of the sudden and tragic death of a good friend. Life-long Lorane resident, Charles Drullinger, was killed in a farming accident on October 27. Charles and his wife Phyllis have two adult children, Jeff and Jan, who went to the Lorane and Crow schools with our own daughters and son. Jim and I have attended many football, volleyball and basketball games, track meets, school carnivals and programs, 4-H club meetings and other social events with the Drullingers over the years.
Before his retirement, Charles was a department manager for Sears Roebuck when it was located in downtown Eugene before later moving on to work at Jerry’s Home Improvement Center; Phyllis was a pediatric nurse at Sacred Heart Hospital. He was a kind, gentle and quiet man who was deeply respected by those who knew him. Both he and Phyllis have been active members of the Lorane Christian Church for many years—most, if not all, of his life, in fact. Charles, with his best friend, Bob Hing, was an avid sports fisherman, and they spent many years together, drowning worms.
Charles will be sorely missed and my heart goes out to Phyllis, Jeff, Jan and the rest of their family this week.
A lot of progress is being made on the Territorial Highway Project at Stony Point the past few weeks. A traffic light has been installed and a concrete barrier has been erected so that one way traffic can proceed in a single lane around the worst part of the existing road that has no shoulders. What they are calling “the big fill” is showing some progress below where the new, less curvy route is being built. The new arrangement has alleviated a lot of our nervousness in driving in the area where there were not only any shoulders, but where traffic had to be navigated at the edge of steep drop-offs just on the other side of the fog lines. Thank you, Lane County!
Lorane residents have been commenting all week about the thousands of blackbirds and starlings that have been lining all of the utility lines and ground along the straight stretch of Territorial as it passes the King Estate Winery. We discovered that their presence was also related to other comments from many of us that our power was breaking off almost every day for a couple of seconds at a time—just long enough to make us have to reset our clocks each time. It seems that the birds have been attracted to the grapes at King Estate that were not picked this year because of being tainted by the wildfire smoke and ash in September. We’ve been told by Lane Electric that the weight of so many of them sitting on the lines have been shorting things out. Apparently the smoke-flavored grapes could not be used for wine, but the birds didn’t seem to mind at all.
After working on this year’s 2020 Groundwaters anthology (“The Year of Crises” issue) since August, Jennifer Chambers and I have finally been able to send it off to Amazon.com for distribution. The huge project this year contains the work of 79 local writers and poets and many of the stories and poems were about the pandemic, protests, wildfires and general difficulties faced this year by all of us. I offered to donate one to the BRING Recycling “100-year Time Capsule Project” and they eagerly accepted it. It will be buried in the time capsule with other memorabilia from 2020 by BRING and won’t be dug up and opened until 2120. How exciting!