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Archive for the ‘family’ Category

meet ralph

To rectify a massive oversight and kill time until we get back on the road, I asked Ralph, co-pilot of our DWR, to finally guest post on ‘Streaming. Ladies and gentlemen, for the first time ever, put your hands together for “The Master of History”:

Hello! I’m the other half (or quarter, if you count Ripley and Raven) of the quartet that’s featured here. I’m the one that’s the product of that celebrity math equation on the “Who is ‘Streaming?” page, and the one with the foldable fetish.

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raven

Ralston’s passing, as any pet owner can attest, was difficult and bittersweet. He will never be replaced, and I miss him every day. His demise was no reason to delay restoring the Four Rs to pack capacity, however. Ripley needed a companion—preferably a non-human that could understand the byzantine games he likes to play.

When people asked if I was ready for another dog so soon, I replied, “I may never be ready for another dog. But I’m ready for a miniature dachshund!”

Down, small dog lovers; just kidding.

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chumash casino

My mom and dad—married 65 years and counting—still live in the POS town in California where I went to high school, an hour’s drive north of Santa Barbara (which sounds far tonier than it is).

It’s also near Solvang, the ersatz Danish community where tourists flock to buy abelskivers and crap from the Thomas Kinkade gallery. Six miles further lies the promised land: the smoke-choked but otherwise upscale Chumash Casino.

My parents, frequent flyers of the resort, drag me there when I return home to visit. This trip to Chumash had three saving graces.

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ralston

Ralston crossed the bridge comfortably at home this week after a bout with cancer. He was nearly twelve; a little early in the life span for his breed, but well into his senior years.

Everybody loved Ralston, and he lived a life more robust, meaningful and exciting as many humans.

A crossbreed (Yellow Lab x Golden Retriever) born into the Guide Dogs for the Blind program, Ralston grew up going to work every day at U.S. Bank in the Big Pink tower, preparing for his future blind partner by learning office manners and getting accustomed to the sights and smells of downtown Portland.

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memories of wally

In 1955, a group of 55 avid Airstream owners—mostly friends of founder Wally—became charter members of the Wally Byam Caravan Club. During that year, the largest Airstream caravan in history was launched to Mexico.

Ralph’s Norwegian grandmother Odne and her husband George were part of the historic WBCCI Western Mexico Winter Caravan of ’55. During our visit to Detroit Lakes, Ralph’s mother—Odne’s daughter—dug through a box of keepsakes and produced Odne’s journals about the trip that winter, handwritten in notebooks she purchased along the way.

Update the cultural references and much of her chronicle could be written about an Airstream caravan in 2010 (though hopefully highway conditions have improved by today).

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meet the cast

‘Streaming is published by Oregonian RG Coleman, who explores the 45th parallel and beyond in a crowded 16′ Airstream with a tall mate and two wet dogs.

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