The nugget. (Sisters, Or.) 1994-current, January 30, 2019, Page 4, Image 4

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Wednesday, January 30, 2019 The Nugget Newspaper, Sisters, Oregon
Celebrated author to visit Sisters
Renowned author Pam
Houston will visit Paulina
Springs Books in Sisters on
Friday, February 8, at 6:30
p.m. for a reading and discus-
sion of her latest book, <Deep
Creek: Finding Hope In The
High Country.=
At 31 years old, fresh off
a tour promoting her first col-
lection, <Cowboys Are My
Weakness,= Pam Houston
had <no job, no place to live
except my North Face VE
24 tent.= On an impulse and
a good instinct, she spent her
royalties on a 120-acre ranch
near Creede, Colorado. It was
more than she could afford,
and required more mainte-
nance than she could manage.
And yet, twenty-five years
later, it9s the piece of land
that9s defined the largest part
of her life.
<Deep Creek: Finding
Hope In The High Country=
tells the remarkable story of
<that girl who dared herself to
buy a ranch, dared herself to
dig in and care for it, to work
hard enough to pay for it, to
figure out what other people
meant when they used the
world 8home.=9
In its chapters, Houston
spends her days walking
along the fences on her prop-
erty, watching leaves on the
aspens ignite into an erup-
tion of fall colors, and caring
for the animals on her ranch:
the horses, sheep, chickens,
Irish wolfhounds, and a pair
of miniature donkeys with
outsized attitudes. Houston9s
audacity and generosity are
on full display as she cares
for an elk calf abandoned by
its herd and sleeps outside to
comfort her old hound. Deep
Creek raises concern about
the many ways we endanger
the natural world9s delicate
balance, and nature9s enig-
matic powers to survive and
to save. It9s also a chronicle
of recovery.
H o u s t o n 9s c h i l d h o o d
was marked by her parents9
alcoholism and abuse4har-
rowing experiences, which
with Houston9s deft hand are
imparted in a way that9s both
straightforward and deeply
affecting. More shocking
than her surviving multiple
car wrecks at the hands of her
intoxicated parents are her
strength of spirit and open-
ness of heart, qualities that
illuminate every page. It9s no
wonder that despite the seclu-
sion of her ranch, Houston is
never without friends, from
writers like Antonya Nelson
and Robert Boswell, to prac-
tical strangers who have her
back in every situation. There
are the locals who come to
her aid when she9s snowed in,
the woman who shelters her
as a child from her volatile
parents, a surgeon who per-
forms an astonishing opera-
tion on her pulverized arm, a
wise neighbor who tactfully
keeps the ranch from being
bought out from under her,
and firefighters who risk their
lives to try and keep a mas-
sive wildfire from destroying
her ranch.
The <Diary of a Fire= sec-
tion is a gripping account
of the West Fork Complex
wildfire and the efforts to
try and contain its growing
intensity. The burning trav-
eled all the way to Houston9s
backyard, which, by nothing
short of a miracle, was saved
by a valiant stand of aspen
trees that kept it at bay. The
fire scorched the mountains
around her home, transform-
ing her landscape, though not
destroying it. Taking stock of
the damage, Houston notices
fireweed, baby aspen, wood-
peckers, and the exquisite
green of new grass shoots
coming up through all the
Encompassing Houston9s
childhood, her adventures,
and her details of everyday
life at the ranch, Deep Creek
is, above all, a testament.
In holding on to her ranch,
Houston carved a life to sup-
port her spirit and her talents,
and discovered that she could
be the cowboy of her own
<I know,= she explains,
<that when I claimed these
120 acres, they also claimed
me. We are each other9s
mutual saviors.=
Pam Houston is the author
of the novels <Contents May
Outlaws wrestle
at Oregon Classic
By Rongi Yost
Pam Houston will visit Sisters on
February 8.
Have Shifted= and <Sight
Hound,= the short story col-
lections <Cowboys Are My
Weakness= and <Waltzing
the Cat,= and <A Little More
About Me,= a collection
of essays. Her stories have
been selected for volumes
such as The Best American
Short Stories, The O. Henry
Awards, The 2013 Pushcart
Prize, and The Best American
Short Stories of the Century.
She is the winner of the
Western States Book Award,
the WILLA Literary Award
for contemporary fiction, the
Evil Companions Literary
Award, and multiple teach-
ing awards. She cofounded
the literary nonprofit Writing
By Writers, is a professor of
English at UC3Davis, and
teaches in the Institute of
American Indian Arts9 low-
residency MFA program
and at writer9s conferences
around the country and the
Table Saw
Two weeks ago, the
Outlaws attended the Oregon
Classic on Friday and
Saturday, January 18-19,
held at the Redmond Expo
Center. The annual event
brought in 94 high school
teams, which were split into
five divisions. In addition,
this year also featured the
expansion of the high school
girls dual matches, with four
girls teams. They also hosted
the women9s college tourna-
ment that included nine girls
teams from Oregon, Canada,
Illinois, and California.
<One of the best experi-
ences I have as a coach is
when I walk into the Expo
Center and look at the faces
of my wrestlers who have
never been there before,= said
Outlaws Coach John Downs.
<They get to see the Expo
Center floor covered with 16
wrestling mats, and over 4,000
athletes competing, warm-
ing up, or walking around.=
Nineteen of the 94 high
school teams in attendance
were in the 4A bracket with
Sisters started against No.
2-seeded Sweet Home. The
Huskies are always tough
competition and beat the
Outlaws 72-0. In the second
round, the Outlaws lost 72-12
to Estacada.
The two standouts in the
match against Estacada were
junior Anthony Randolph
(145 pounds) and freshman
Wyatt Maffey (132 pounds).
Randolph pinned his oppo-
nent in 1:55 and Wyatt took
down his foe in 1:28.
In the third dual,
Sisters faced No. 4-seeded
Woodburn. The Outlaws lost,
but again Randolph came
through for the Outlaws.
Anthony beat his opponent in
an 11-4 decision.
In the final match of the
night, the Outlaws lost to
the Henley Hornets 72-12.
Randolph pinned his oppo-
nent in 38 seconds to pull
off another win, and Dalton
Ford (126 pounds) pinned his
opponent in 49 seconds.
On Saturday, the Outlaws
started off with a dual against
McLoughlin and lost 66-6.
Ford (126 pounds) continued
his winning streak and got the
pin in 3:52.
The Outlaws finished up
the tournament with a 42-18
loss to Marshfield. The high-
light for Sisters was when
freshman Michael Zoormajian
pinned his opponent in 1:05.
The Outlaws also received
points with forfeits at 132 and
285 pounds.
Downs told The Nugget
that the Outlaws had some
individual success, especially
Anthony Randolph, who fin-
ished the weekend with three
wins and three losses.
The Outlaws will attend
the Madras Invitational on
Saturday, February 2.
— with Lawry
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