Tag: Michael Matchulat

Sweet Lorane Community News, November 11, 2021

Fern Ridge-Tribune News
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
November 11, 2021
By Pat Edwards

Greetings from Roswell, New Mexico. Two of our daughters, Gloria and Michele, and I just picked up a new puppy that we’re bringing home to Oregon. Grizz will never replace the very special place that Gloria’s Cappy will always hold in our hearts, but he’s opened one of his own already. He’s 9 weeks old and is quietly sleeping beside me in his soft crate in the back seat of the car as we make our way back home. He’s already brightening our world.

The sun is shining and it’s about 60 degrees, but despite our joy over meeting Grizz, we just learned of the passing of one of the strongest, bravest men I have ever known. Michael Matchulat died this morning—Veterans’ Day—after spending the last 6 ½ years battling cancer. Michael grew up in Lorane with his parents and his four sisters. He was the youngest of the 5 siblings and was adored by all.

Michael’s wife, Amber, his mother, Trish, his sisters and his mother-in-law were by his side when he passed. His mother-in-law, Vicki Doughty, sent this message:

“Michael not only taught us how to live, he taught us how to die. I was so blessed to be with him, Amber and the Matchulat family this week as we all helped Michael transition to Heaven. I really believe he got to hear God say, “Well done good and faithful servant.”

For the first couple of years of his battle with cancer, Michael shared his journey on the pages of the Lorane Facebook page, and even though he hadn’t been known before by some, his shared experiences pierced the hearts of each of us as he met, and seemingly overcame, each obstacle that the “Big C” presented him.

Later, Michael wrote of not only his experiences with cancer, but of his happier life’s experiences while growing up in Lorane, on the pages of the Groundwaters anthologies. (There are two of his stories included in our soon-to-be published 2021 edition.)

He was an intelligent, warm, imaginative man who never lost his sense of humor or love of life.

Before he became too ill to finish the project, he asked me to help him put his experiences and writings into a book. All that remained for him to do was to design a cover. I will see that it gets published with the help of his family.

In the meantime, Jim and I send our deep condolences to the Matchulat family. Our hearts are broken. May you rest in peace, Michael.

Sweet Lorane Community News, September 12, 2019

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
September 12, 2019
By Pat Edwards

As I begin this week’s column, I look outside my window at the rain coming down. The bird feeder my daughter gave to me last Mother’s Day that hangs on the other side of the glass continues to be populated by the cute little chickadees who will probably be keeping me company as I work on my computer throughout the winter. The other day I saw a little wild bunny hopping across the open space on the other side of our backyard fence where I also have seen deer and squirrels who also occasionally visit. Beyond that are large fir trees which today are allowing a little sunshine to peek through when it appears through the clouds.

This is my happy place right now and definitely where I want to be… which is a good thing, because usually by now I have the Groundwaters annual anthology over halfway done. There have been too many other things to focus on lately, and I have a lot of catching up to do before we publish it in mid-October.

Each year, as I add stories and poetry produced by the amazing talent that we have in Lane County, I marvel at how much good reading each book contains… the wide variety of topics and genres we feature make each one special.

For the 2019 book, we have 54 stories and 90 poems to share with our readers. One of our regular local authors, Terah Van Dusen, contributed a beautiful story called “Earthside; A Birth Story” about the labor and birth of her baby, Autumn, and what it was like to become a first-time mother.

Another of our regulars, Demetri Liontos, has included several charming stories of his childhood. One, called, “Kings of the Castle” tells about English boys challenging French boys to play street hockey on the streets of Montreal where he grew up.

Michael Matchulat included his wonderful story, “The Holy Grail,” about when he was a teenage boy who had just lost his father, and being taken on a memorable salmon fishing trip at a time when he needed a friend and an experience to allow him to begin to heal.

For those who are into fantasy, David Erickson has submitted his “Orlah’s Lament,” and Vicki Sourdry has come through with another of her excellent science fiction pieces called “The Path Not Taken.” There are so many more of these wonderful stories to read.

And the poetry! I never appreciated poetry before I began working with Groundwaters, but that has changed. I’ve learned that a poem doesn’t have to rhyme, but it can pack in emotions, beauty and amazement of the world around us in just a few words. The subject matter can run the gamut of relationships, loss, pain, joy, love, nostalgia, Mother Nature, adventure, furry pets, personal experiences and so much more.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I am promoting our anthology here. I have long felt that I have not done enough to build up our readership. I want to give the works of each of our 60-70 writers and poets per book as much exposure as possible, because many have never published before and they deserve to have their contributions read and appreciated. But, anthologies don’t sell well and bookstores won’t carry them, so their readership remains small.

Groundwaters’ goal is to showcase these writers and poets—not to profit from the book monetarily. The sales of the books cover our insurance and business licenses and a little towards our time, but most of that is donated. In fact, if any local library, senior center, organization or business wishes to have a copy of the Groundwaters anthology for its bookshelves or waiting rooms, we will be glad to donate copies. Just let me know via email… edwards@groundwaterspublishing.com.

I’ll be busily working on the layout for the next several weeks in my happy place while the chickadees cheerfully prepare for winter.

Sweet Lorane Community News, May 2, 2019

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
May 2, 2019
By Pat Edwards

May has arrived, my flower beds and boxes are taking shape, and the pace of life is obviously speeding up a bit for everyone. With the sunshine and warmer temperatures, there is suddenly the desire to get out and “do something.”

At its meeting this past week, the Lorane Grange discussed the annual booth at the Lane County Fair as well as its spring clean-up of the Grange Cemetery which sits on the hill next to King Estate. I know that they will welcome volunteers to help with the cemetery. Contact Gary or Lil Thompson or any other grange member if you would like to participate. I’ll try to include details in next week’s column.

For those of us who love and care for our “Lorane Warrior,” Michael Matchulat, he could use a few more of our thoughts and prayers at this time. Jim and I are sending ours.

Last Wednesday morning, there was a very interesting event taking place at Crow High/Middle School, but it was one I opted to find out more about after-the-fact. They held a pre-prom assembly that strangely held a bit more meaning to me than it normally would have. Outside the school, a real-life re-enactment of a horrific car crash took place. Two cars were involved in what was described as a car-full of teenagers who had been drinking, on their way home after the prom. The other car had adults in it who were unlucky enough to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. The scenario involved real-life paramedics, ambulances and life-flight crews who were on hand to remove and tend to the passenger casualties from the wreckages.

The roles of the passengers were played by school students and teachers… among them, our daughter, Michele Kau. Each one of the role-players were made up to show specific injuries and conditions. From the pictures I saw, there was lots of “blood” and makeup to show “wounds” and “broken bones.” I understand that it was very realistic and, according to Michele, “It impacted a lot of kids in a way that will hopefully make them think twice about making dangerous choices.”

I applaud the school for providing this wake-up call to its students. The reason I decided not to witness it was fairly obvious… it was gruesome… but what clinched the decision was the fact that I could not bear the thought of watching the “jaws of life” extricate my daughter’s supposedly “dead body” from a crumbled wreckage. That just hits too close to home.

On a sunnier note, I have been noticing, this spring, an unusual abundance of beautiful blue flowers in the pastures around Lorane, probably due to our recent flooding—they like to grow in moist meadows. These flowers are the blue camas, and they were a very popular and cultivated food source for the Native American tribes who lived in this area. After being harvested in the spring and early summer months, the bulbs were pit-roasted or boiled. According to Wikipedia, “A pit-cooked camas bulb looks and tastes something like baked sweet potato, but sweeter, and with more crystalline fibers due to the presence of inulin in the bulbs…”


Photo by Martin McClure of Lorane

Seeing these beautiful flowers in the fields provides a connection to the past for me.

A Bit of Lorane History

“The nearest tribes in the area were the Chelamela, the Yoncalla Kalapuyas, the Siuslaws, and the Lower Umpquas. All spoke Chinook jargon, made up of 500 words, which evolved from the various tribes. Primarily, they had the same type of life-style. Their chief food sources came from the abundant plant and animal life in the Siuslaw Valley. Their main staples were acorns, hazelnuts, camas, fish, roots, game and berries. The local tribes regularly practiced field burning to harvest dried wild wheat pods and to control the growth of vegetation. They took advantage each fall of the plentiful supply of salmon provided during the salmon runs in the Siuslaw and Smith Rivers and the connecting streams…

“…Each spring, the members of the tribes would often leave for their favorite hunting or gathering grounds, living in temporary shelters all throughout the spring and summer months. There were no strict territorial boundaries between the tribes and most seemed to agree that no man should own the land, and they respected the areas where their neighbors dwelled…” (From Sawdust & Cider, 1987, 2006)