Category: Essays & Letters

No Fooling, Part 2

Story and photo by Pete Shaw When is a home a Home? That is the central question at the heart of C Pam Zhang’s recent novel, How Much of These Hills Is Gold. The book, which I recommend highly, was released shortly before the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic and Republican Donald Trump’s racializing…

One Year of Covid, Part 2

Story and photo by Pete Shaw When I went into a quasi-lockdown a little over a year ago, just before the first case of the novel coronavirus in the US was announced, it seemed my life would continue more or less unchanged. After all, particularly during the Winter, my better 99% prefers I keep a…

One Year of Covid, Part 1

Story by Pete Shaw A year ago, almost exactly to the minute of my typing this, I came home from the gym and said to my better 99%, “Do you think I am smart if I say I should not be going to the gym anymore?” While lifting weights, I had noticed on one of…

Giving Thanks

Story by Pete Shaw The idea of Thankfulness this year may seem a bit odd, and certainly for many, a clear-cut case for the glass being “half-empty” as a default position. Yet here we are again, most of us if not all, which is worthy of appreciation and gratitude. And for those who have against…

Let A Thousand Lilies Bloom

Story by Pete Shaw It is a little early in the Summer for such things, but the lilies are blooming. In the front of my house, there are about 30 of them, some reaching over 12 feet tall. The trumpet varieties reach toward the sky, their flowers blaring unheard but not unnoticed. I am not…

Today’s Progress Indebted to Sustained Activist Efforts

Story by Pete Shaw A month ago I attended the 10th anniversary memorial for Keaton Otis, the young Black man executed by the Portland police near the corner of Northeast 6th and Halsey. That corner has become hallowed ground. For an all too short spell, Otis’s father Fred Bryant held a monthly vigil at the…

No Fooling

Story and photos by Pete Shaw Call me Plum. Golden Plum. My Friend’s four year old daughter, Grape, declared it so.  As did her mother, Pear, and her 17 month old brother, Lemon who, holding on to Mother Pear’s leg, looks upon me with wonder and smiles. For a time, I had been Peach. I…

Giving Thanks

Story by Pete Shaw Although it is not often listed in podiatry and infectious disease journals, one of the primary attributes of erythrasma is boredom. Erythrasma is a superficial skin infection caused by a bacteria, Corynebacterium minutissimum, that we all have on our feet, but most people can fight it off. However, in July of…