Oregon, here we come!

Yaquina Head Light in Newport, Oregon. Photo by Neil Howard
Yaquina Head Light in Newport, Oregon. Photo by Neil Howard

After writing and publishing my first book, Gulag to Rhapsody by Paul Tarko, life changed dramatically.  I sold my ranch-style home near Biscayne Bay in Miami Shores, ended a marriage of 22 years and moved to Bucks County, a picturesque region of Pennsylvania.

Over the last eleven years, I succeeded in adding one more book project, Pickled Punks and Girlie Shows by Rick West.  Although modestly successful, my contribution was limited to editing West’s manuscript and finding a reputable, reliable publisher to design, print and market the coffee-table-sized book.  Not too shabby, though.

I spent a lot of time writing for a local newspaper, the Bucks County Herald.  Although the free weekly paper’s demographics are enviable, its growing five-figure distribution does not compare with the mass-circulation readership I experienced in South Florida.  So to survive, I supplemented my meager income by driving for several limousine companies.

Well, the old adage – life is what happens while you’re busy making plans – is now apparent.  Four years ago, while chatting up two young honeys in a wine bar in Doylestown, a lean, towering force of a woman named Alice McCormick infused me with new beginnings, a healthy lifestyle and a rewarding partnership.

This year, Alice began the process of selling her spacious Doylestown two-story home, including pool, gazebo and Irish-bar-themed basement.  With its disposition in sight, she is dragging me – willingly – to the outskirts of Portland, Oregon where we will set up stakes on September 20.

Oregon is an awesome, environmentally sensible state and also reputed to be 420-friendly.  Preliminarily, I find a beckoning writing community throughout the Beaver State to be far more active and embracing than what Pennsylvania has to offer, but the cynical side of myself says to wait and see.

After an expected soft landing, I will report on what we find out there, including  a report on our 3,000-mile trek across the country with our finicky tabby cat, Millie.  Stay tuned!