I’ve never liked the fourth of July. When I was little it was because I was afraid that the house would catch on fire from stray fireworks. Now I dislike it for different reasons—I think Robinson Jeffers, in his poem “July Fourth by the Ocean” makes an eloquent statement about it: “Therefore we happy masters about the solstice/light bonfires on the shore and celebrate our power.” In any case, we usually try to avoid any kind of July fourth activities not only because of feelings about it, but because there are just so many damned people around.
On the morning of July fourth this year, I thought it would be fun to hike into the next town which we had seen on a previous day’s drive. Yachats is an adorable little seaside town complete with picturesque houses with huge windows looking out to the water, welcoming small shops and cafes, and long stretches of sand walled in by stony cliffs. It bills itself as “the gem of the Oregon Coast,” and if you like the fourth of July, I can imagine that you would agree.
The Newberry Eagle is billed as “the local newspaper of Newberry Country.” I’m not sure where “Newberry Country” begins and ends, but I picked up this gem of a monthly paper in La Pine, Oregon. I adore local newspapers mostly because they are just so awful. When we lived in Boulder Creek I loved getting the mail on Saturday because that meant that I would receive our weekly copy of The San Lorenzo Valley Press Banner, which as a whole isn’t terrible, but would always contain several ridiculous items. One of my favorite things, besides reading the painfully bad “Comedy Corner” written by a local resident, was collecting blurbs from the police blotter: things like a person breaking into a lock box and stealing $25 worth of donuts. However, the Newberry Eagle leaves The Press Banner in the dust.