Cartoonist George Booth’s famous New Yorker cartoons often include scabrous dogs and cats populating spare rooms with bare light bulks and crotchety human characters. My favorite cartoon shows a writer and his typewriter, obviously in a quandry about what to write, surrounded by dogs. The writer’s wife stands over him and offers the perfect advice, “Write about dogs!” Yes, the old saw: write about what you know.
Which is working out pretty well for me. In February, we sold our restaurant, Nora’s Table, here in Hood River. Now I’m drawing on my former life as a journalist and magazine editor to write about … food. I am currently working on stories for “Savor,” the new food magazine published by the Hood River News (see clips in the “Writing” tab). And on and off, between catering gigs and work creating a non-profit culinary training program, I’m working on a memoir, “No Bun for Corky: My Life as a Small Town Chef.”
Stu and I wake up each morning flat out gob-smacked to live in the Columbia River Gorge, surrounded by friends, beauty, and enough clouds in the air. And we have the amazing pleasure of our kids still living and loving in Oregon with us: Abbey and her wife Shannon are in Portland; Annie and our grandson Levi are in Eugene.
And if you’re wondering where all my food love, passion and knowledge came from, I only have two names for you: Max and Rose Fruh, my grandparents, who made incredible food solely from the land, even as America was giving that up for the processed food aisle at the Piggly Wiggly.
For the drab curriculum vitae version of my life, read on:
University of Oregon School of Journalism, 1974-78 (I left one term short of graduation for my first newspaper job. Never went back.)
Oregon State Senate Democratic Majority Office, press secretary, 1984-85
Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, public information officer, 1985-86
Oregon State Senate Democratic Majority Office, press secretary (a command performance!) 1986-88
Press Secretary, Portland Mayor Bud Clark, 1988-89 (brief and painful, but you gotta love Bud)
Oregon Economic and Community Development Department, Director of Communications, 1989-92
Oregon Business magazine, Editor-in-Chief, 1992-98
BIG LIFE changing moment: Moved to Hood River, co-owner of Watsonx2 marketing and communications, 2000
BIGGER LIFE changing moment: Chucking the marketing and communications gig (though not the adorable business partner, Stu Watson, who came along with) to start our first restaurant, Viento, in Bingen, WA in 2005, and then, Nora’s Table, in 2007.
FINAL (maybe?) LIFE changing moment: Cooking, and writing about, cooking