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July 18, 2014
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Roses & Thorns


Sober salute

The phrase “gone, but not forgotten” is more than an epitaph. It was put into practice Sunday by members of Roseburg High School’s class of 1964 at the group’s half-century reunion.

These alumni were seniors when Muhammad Ali (then still Cassius Clay) bagged the heavyweight boxing title from Sonny Liston and The Beatles met Ed Sullivan. Those teens probably carried the conviction of most youth that they were invincible. And that long, sun-spangled years stretched before them.

Sadly, one of them would perish in Vietnam, as would a class of ’63 alum. Those two were honored by their classmates last weekend. They also were paid tribute by having their names added to the Remembrance Wall at the Patrick Kelley Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2468 in Roseburg, along with the names of 13 other Vietnam veterans who attended school with them.

Army Pvt. Gary Newport was killed by shrapnel in 1966. Air Force Capt. Mason Burnham died in a plane crash in Laos in 1972. Their fellow Roseburg High alums could have partied on at the reunion, living only for the day. But they stopped to remember their fallen comrades, as well as all those who did not survive to enjoy the gathering.

That shows real class.


Drawn to scale

A busy kid is a happy kid. If that isn’t stitched on a sampler somewhere, it should be.

Regardless, parents and teachers who know the truth of the truism took action to be sure that Tri City Elementary School students have something to keep their limbs as well as their minds engaged, rain or shine. The school’s parent-teacher group took the plunge and raised $10,500 to purchase a climbing wall now installed in the school cafeteria.

The 40-foot-wide, 8-foot-tall wall has built-in safety precautions. It also has an activity book with suggestions for teaching lessons on numbers, for example.

Bravo to the adults who got creative about finding another way to get children high on learning.


Been there, won that

It was fun, placing in the top 10 America’s Homecoming Queen competition on July 11 in Memphis, Tennessee, according to Myrtle Creek’s Rory Petterson. Fun, and now that’s done.

“I don’t think I’ll ever do a pageant again,” said Petterson, an 18-year-old South Umpqua High School graduate. “I’m going to stick to sports.”

Petterson has yet to be told where in the top 10 she placed and how much scholarship money she was awarded. She was chosen among 33 other Oregon high school homecoming queens, which was the win that launched her into the national contest. Her mother, Debbie Petterson, told The News-Review that her daughter had a great time, even if she didn’t arrive in Memphis with a personal hairdresser, as did Miss California and Miss Texas. Rory Petterson admitted she’s far more interested in athletics — she played volleyball and basketball and ran track at South Umpqua — than accessories.

Congratulations to a young woman with clear eyes and a level head free of hair extensions.

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The News-Review Updated Jul 21, 2014 04:33PM Published Jul 18, 2014 10:22AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.