Category: Newspaper Columns

Newspaper columns that I have written for the Fern Ridge Review in Veneta, Oregon and the Creswell Chronicle in Creswell, Oregon. I began writing them for the Fern Ridge Review on August 4, 2010; on December 6, 2012, the Creswell Chronicle began printing them, as well. I am still the Lorane columnist for both papers.

Sweet Lorane Community News, June 30, 2022

Fern Ridge-Tribune News
The Chronicle (Creswell)
Sweet Lorane Community News
June 30, 2022
By Pat Edwards

My husband, Jim, underwent a fairly serious back surgery last Monday, and life has taken on a whole new rhythm for us both since then. The surgery which involved two fusions and a break-repair went well. He was released from the hospital on Wednesday evening to come home, but there have been some complications involving surgery and medication in general that he’s had to deal with. We are so pleased that his strength and ability to do things, like roll from a reclining position to a sitting one, are slowly returning, and both of us are anxious to get through these early days. Fortunately, we are blessed to have family close by who have been supportive and ready to help out when needed. Thanks to all of you who have sent their love and prayers to him. They’ve meant a lot and have been very successful. We’re looking forward to the pain-free days and a bit more mobility which, hopefully, await him following the eventual physical therapy and exercise that he will be assigned.

There’s a major event and fundraiser rapidly approaching for the Crow Booster Club. Their 17th Annual Car Show will be held on July 9, 2022 after having two record-breaking years with over 140 cars being judged and on display.

This year’s car show will once again be held on the Crow High School Football Field. There will be a variety of activities throughout the day including raffles, a kids’ zone, pancake breakfast, silent auction and concessions. The gates open at 6:00 a.m. for everyone; participants must arrive and be checked-in with registration before 11:00 a.m. to allow for judging.

They are also offering the multi-car/class discount again this year, so bring all your cars and enter them in more than one class! Download your form at:

and mail it to the Crow Booster Club at P.O. Box 1228, Veneta, OR 97487, or fill out an on-line registration and payment option that are also available!

There will be the activities mentioned above, refreshments and an awesome silent auction, too. Donations for the silent auction and to the Booster Club are still being welcomed and accepted on their website.

The Crow Car Show is an annual fundraiser that benefits all K-12 age groups affiliated with the Crow-Applegate-Lorane School District. The Crow Booster Club is not just an athletic-based organization. Its projects benefit all student interests and activities.
Be sure to join in on the family fun-filled day and help to support our school district and its students and teachers.

Sweet Lorane Community News (FERN RIDGE TRIBUNE NEWS), June 23, 2022

Fern Ridge-Tribune News
Sweet Lorane Community News
June 23, 2022
By Pat Edwards

What glorious weather we are experiencing the last few days. The warm, but mild, weather has allowed me to go outside and make some headway on all of the “catch-up” work awaiting me in and around our yard. Most important, though, is the fact that the farmers are finally able to go into the fields and begin cutting the hay crop that is on the verge of being overdone. Our son-in-law, Brian, is one of them.

For Jim and I, the weather is having to take a backseat this coming week in our thoughts and plans. He is scheduled for a serious back surgery on Monday, June 27, and will have some disk work done on his lower back as well as the stabilization of a break that was discovered there, as well. He will spend a couple of days at McKenzie-Willamette until they are sure that all is as it should be before sending him home. Thank you for keeping him in your thoughts and prayers… the more the better.

This week, I want to tell you about my newest book. I just completed it about a week ago. It’s local history, as are all my books… specifically it tells about the orchard industry that had a huge effect on the communities of Lorane and Creswell in the early 1900s. I had always heard about the vast orchards that used to populate the rolling hills around Lorane at one time. We included a big chapter of our first book, published in 1987, Sawdust and Cider; A History of Lorane, Oregon and the Siuslaw Valley, about how it offered jobs and summer work for the residents of Lorane, but I didn’t fully realize until recently the scope and all that was involved in the investment “opportunities” offered by capitalists and real estate companies in the Midwest to investors all over the U.S. I had heard that these companies bought large acreages in both Creswell and Lorane and split them into 5-, 10- and 20-acre tracts which were planted to fruit trees—apples, pears, prunes, mainly. Oregon apples, especially, were in huge demand in not only the eastern and midwest part of the U.S., but in foreign countries, as well, and sold at premium prices at the turn of the 20th century.

My new book, Picking the Orchard Clean, tells about how the communities of Lorane and Creswell were referred to as “Fruit Lands,” and how these investment companies impacted the local economies in surprising ways.

I’ll be at the Lane County Fair’s “Oregon Authors’ Table” to sell some of my books on local history all day (Senior Day) on Thursday, July 21, and I hope that some of my readers will stop by and say “Hello.”

In the meantime, I wish us all a “Happy Summer!”

Sweet Lorane Community News, June 16, 2022

Fern Ridge-Tribune News
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
June 16, 2022
By Pat Edwards

Congratulations to each one of the 2022 graduates—not only those from Crow High School, but from all of the local schools. Graduation has always been a major accomplishment—something to celebrate. The effort and focus that each of us have to put in for those 12+ long years is a cause for celebration and honor, but for this graduating class and the past two, extra kudos have been earned for the disruption of so much in their lives by the pandemic. Covid has affected each of us, but especially our school-age children and teens who have had to completely change their educational routines, and who have missed out on some of the most important events of their school years—things like proms and school dances, field trips, plays, athletic events and close interaction between themselves and their teachers and classmates. Some have taken the disruption and at-home learning in stride, but others have had a hard time adjusting to the break in the routine of learning. I just want to take time to use this means to honor them with my respect and acknowledgment of all that they’ve experienced. Good job! and Congratulations to each one of you!

For the students who will be returning next year, there is some very good news… The Crow-Applegate-Lorane School Board has decided to waive all sports fees for K-12 students enrolled in the C-A-L School District for the 2022/23 school year. This involves all middle/high school sports and TSP/Youth Wrestling. The front office has sports sign up for our fall sports at the moment. Right now, they don’t have many MS football sign-ups and more sign-ups for cross-country would be welcomed. Be sure to encourage your kids to sign up for sports, it’s free, and a very valuable experience!

The news of the devastating floods ravaging Yellowstone National Park have hit a personal note for me. My good friend from college days, Connie Ruhlman, who now lives in Montana, once lived and worked with her husband, Dick, on the Sunlight Ranch, located on the borders of Yellowstone, outside of Cody, Wyoming. It is still owned by the family of Earl and Carol Holding (who also owned Little America, Sun Valley and Sinclair Oil). Dick was their foreman overseeing the family homesite on the ranch and Connie was the housekeeper at the Holding’s beautiful home and some of the guest houses at Sunlight. Jim and I had the privilege of spending a week with them at Sunlight in the mid-1980s; we helped with the chores and took walks and car rides through the amazing scenery surrounding them. It was one of the nicest vacations we have ever taken.

Connie and Dick were living there in 1988 when Yellowstone and the surrounding area suffered a major wildfire which destroyed over 500,000 acres including part of the Sunlight Ranch. Connie and Dick were horrified by the devastation it caused and the wildlife they loved that were killed in the fire. Before the fire, there were huge elk herds that claimed a large pasture in front of their cabin for their calving grounds in the winter/early spring, and they were frequently visited by moose, occasional bears, badgers, and they felt an affinity for, and kept track of, a wolf pack that had become established nearby.

Now, with the news of the horrible flooding and the additional devastation being done to that whole area, Connie envisions how her favorite spots and wildlife on the ranch are being affected and she is mourning once again, along with the passing of her beloved Dick who passed away a year ago. I, too, am mourning with her