To the editor:

On the Saturday the Portland Rockets mural was dedicated, my good friend Dru Hall asked me if I’d like to say a few words.

Then I dropped the ball.

In my never-ending quest to make someone, anyone, laugh, I cited the old Garret Morris shtick that “baseball haz bin vera, vera goot to me.”

As I said, I dropped the ball.

Now anyone who knows me knows I’m a person of very few words. Just not verbose. However, I could have mentioned that Steve Takats and John Engle, who were present, along with myself, played a game of baseball behind the north Jay Garment 60 years ago and that game led to the reason for the day’s festivities. Steve and John were both still teenagers, but played the game like veterans.

But I dropped the ball.

I should have mentioned that after Frank Inman turned the reins over to me, two players — Jerry Abbott and Larry “Speedy” Mann — returned.

All the present Rockets owe their existence to these two, and Mike Medler, Mark Hearn and Bill McAbee, who were present, and others who weren’t.

But I dropped the ball.

For any further laughs, I should have mentioned, after Randy Miller described my  off-field contributions, the fact that he omitted how many bottles of that Bavarian-style beer we consumed the night (and early morning) we sodded the infield at Runkle-Miller.

I could have mentioned my concern for Mark Flueckiger’s eating habits when he lived with Randy for two years. I asked Mark if he was getting any greenery in his diet. He assured me that everything in Randy’s refrigerator turned green.

All the things that should have been said weren’t, because I dropped the ball for the sake of brevity.


Larry Chittum


Thank you

To the editor:

I would like to thank the following business for their donations for the 10th annual horseshoe tournament Aug. 25 at Haynes Park in Portland:

Local 1620, Faron Parr, Jay Financial Advisors, Aker-Taylor Plumbing and Heating, Berne Ready Mix, T.J. Concrete, Loy Real Estate, Priority Plastics, the Eagles, Walmart, Patriot Fitness, Edward Schmit Chiropractic, Hair Studio, Evans Fine Jewelry, Jeff Hall and May Financial Group, Aker Plumbing, Inman Insurance, Ja-Mar T.V. Appliance and Bedding, Pizza Hut, Pizza King, Greek’s Pizzeria and Pit’s Cocktail Lounge.

Sincerely and grateful,

Tom Hicks