Make the McKenzie Connection!

Articles written by Eric Mortenson


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  • Easter

    Eric Mortenson|Apr 4, 2024

    Easter was a pretty big deal, growing up in Hood River, Ore. We’d dress up especially nice for Mass at Saint Mary’s, of course, and I remember frowning to myself because you’d see people at church on Easter that you never saw any other time of the year. We went to mass every damn Sunday but here were these people, strolling in all holy and high and mighty a couple times a year. We always had a big meal afterward. Ham, usually, I think, and Mom’s famous cinnamon rolls. Many years we went to our...

  • Sometimes all we could do was hold hands and listen

    Eric Mortenson|Mar 7, 2024

    My first column about The Whip appeared in the Eugene Register-Guard in Oregon in December 1994. She called the newspaper because the DMV wanted to yank her license. I don’t know if those people still call or write to media outlets. I hope they do. Some of them from my newspaper days became legendary figures, such as the “Rain Lady” who badgered reporters at The Oregonian for years. During her, yes, reign of terror, any reporter who dared write cheerfully of sunny weather or who dispa...

  • Guest Opinion

    Eric Mortenson|Oct 26, 2023

    (And as far as we knew, things were going to stay that way.) We were free and white, as people in our town used to say, and about five years out from being 21, which would seal the deal. As far as we knew, there wasn’t much to worry about, except the damn Russians and sometimes the Chinese. And things stayed that way for guys like us, for decades. But things did start to change, over time, didn’t they? I’m glad to see America turn, however slow and painful it’s been before our time is completely...

  • Guest Opinion

    Eric Mortenson|Sep 7, 2023

    Life isn’t seamless, but some people swing that way. I’ve been working on a Substack piece that was getting kind of ponderous and it occurred to me just this morning that I really should be writing about golf lessons instead. The annual tournament, put on by the United States Golf Association and played over four days, is open to women over 50. Many of the competitors were international stars when they were younger. I’ll go ahead and tell you now that Trish, our favorite, won the U.S. Senior Wom...

  • Oh, Canada…damn You're just like us, without the routine mass murder and the widespread ignorance

    Eric Mortenson|Jul 27, 2023

    And look, you’ve got a Lake Agnes. In Alberta there, eh? Agnes was my mom’s name, so of course we had to go see. She’s a beauty, set apart and overlooked, maybe. And an uphill 3.5-kilometer hike to reach, a little over 2 miles. But with a sweet tea house at the end of the trail, welcoming you when you get there. We were in Alberta for about 10 days, including for Canada Day on July 1, and it was one of those trips that make you sigh if you know what I mean. We stayed in Calgary and Canmo...

  • Here's how to bridge Oregon's urban-rural divide

    Eric Mortenson|Jun 29, 2023

    I was standing in line at OHSU — Oregon Health and Science University, Oregon’s premier medical facility — when I overheard the clerk ask a patient ahead of me, “Do you want your pronouns added to your chart this morning?” The country boy in me raised his eyebrows and stifled a smirk, because what could be more Woke, more Portland, more urban lib, than brandishing your preferred pronouns? (Mine are singular.) Right there, standing at ground level in OHSU’s Center for Health and Healing com...