This month marks my 20th year in Portland. I moved here to go back to school five years after I dropped out of Lane Community College when the economy in Eugene hit a low in the early 1980s. Reed College used to have something called the Eliot Scholars Program, for students 25 years of age and older who hadn’t finished their undergraduate degree, and they accepted my application, due in no small part to the recommendation letter of my younger brother. Also, there was Barbara.
I’ve only had two homes here in Portland. One was the rental house Barbara was living in when I first moved, the other is the house we’ve lived in since 1990. They’re only about four blocks apart. With the exception of a two-month summer course at NYU, I’ve never been away from Portland for longer than a couple of weeks of vacation since I got here.