We had lots of discussions over the holidays about whether Eugene has “pride of place,” and, if not, what to do about it. Do you celebrate living in Eugene and what is unique about the city? Or do you celebrate being a Duck or an Oregonian? Do Corvallis or Portland or Seattle or Ashland have pride of place? Tell us what you think: Letters@EugeneWeekly.com.
• Hey hikers and outdoor lovers! Please welcome popular hiking book author and columnist William L. Sullivan back to Eugene Weekly’s pages! He wrote for us years ago, then moved on to The Register-Guard, but he’s back (and, as they say, better than ever) thanks to a sponsorship from BestMed Urgent and Primary Care.
• It’s 2023 and we’re still printing papers! We do want to give readers a heads-up that we have a snag we are working on. After more than three decades of getting papers delivered to our Lincoln Street location for our drivers (and bicycle riders) to put in our racks and red boxes first thing on Thursday, we got our first noise complaint from a neighbor. We want to be a good neighbor and a valuable community resource. The city of Eugene has been working with us, but currently says we can’t apply for a variance for our once-a-week late night delivery. We are trying to figure out what to do that doesn’t adversely affect our commercially zoned neighborhood, which also allows housing, but also allows us to get the paper out on time! We’ll keep you posted!
• With tears in her eyes, the waitress told us that the Wild Duck Café was closing for good on Jan. 1. We shared her sadness, not only because she was losing her job, but because an important part of the neighborhood around the University of Oregon is going to be gone. All the runners and running fans who liked to go there to celebrate are sad, too. She told us the owner had been ill, the rent was very high, and the decision had been made. Considering the location across the street from Matt Knight Arena, we hope that a new independent owner — not a chain — soon will come in there.
• Eugene novelist Cai Emmons put an end to her suffering Monday, Jan. 2, nearly two years after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The nerve disease steadily robbed Emmons, also a successful playwright and screenwriter, of her ability to speak, swallow and walk, but never eroded her creativity, her élan, her graciousness and her love for her husband, playwright Paul Calandrino. The couple made the most of their final two years together as Emmons, the author most recently of Unleashed and Livid, documented her physical decline in posts on social media, in a piece she wrote for the L.A. Times and in interviews with The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Review of Books and Eugene Weekly.
In an essay that she painstakingly typed and posted Dec. 28 on Medium.com, Emmons wrote, “I will die as I have lived, saying yes to everything, trying to bring closure despite knowing that neat endings are an illusion.” Godspeed, Cai.
• We were delighted to hear from Greenhill Humane Society that Lovebug, the older dog who was shot and abandoned that we featured in last week’s Slant, has been adopted!
• What we’re reading: Janet Malcolm’s Still Pictures: On Photography and Memory. Longtime New Yorker writer Malcolm may be best known among journalists for her scathing critique of their profession: “Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible,” she wrote in 1990. She is less known for her writing on photography, although her 1980 book Diana & Nikon: Essays on the Aesthetic of Photography remains a classic. In Still Pictures, written just before her death in 2021, Malcolm uses ordinary snapshots of herself, the kind found in most family albums, as the starting point for an engaging memoir and sharp reflection on the intersection of art and real life. $26, available Jan. 10.