Daily walks are non-negotiable.   At least once a day; usually twice, Ruffy and I get out the door.

Usually, I’m as eager to go as Ruffy.  He can’t wait to stretch his legs and smell the wonders of his ground level world.   I’m eager to escape into whatever engaging audio book I’ve downloaded to my phone.

In a large part thanks to this chill labradoodle,  I have listened to classics and memoirs; history and humor; books that have made me think, giggle, even cry.   Without fear of looking silly, I walk down the street sometimes laughing out loud at a funny story or repeating a colorful phrase that I want to retain to share later. 

Below is a list of the books, in no particular order,  that I’ve listened to over the past year.  I was a little surprised as I compiled it, realizing that there is no way I would have found the time to sit down to read these titles.     Though the subjects are diverse, the common thread is that these stories are about people, their choices, and consequences.   I  have gleaned tremendous insights and varied perspectives from the information generously shared by each author.    

I recommend all of these books.  Each is entertaining, enlightening and well-produced.  There have been others that I didn’t finish, mostly due to the audio production or sometimes the narration.  Some voices get in the way of content.   

Put your shoes on, put in your earphones, get the dog and go.    And, if you want to share an opinion about any of these audiobooks, feel free. 

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Back from the Dead, by Bill Walton

The Red Pony, by John Steinbeck

A Torch Kept Lit, by William F. Buckley

Why Not Me?  By Mindy Kaling

The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince, by Mayte Garcia

The Perfect Horse, the Daring US Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis, by    Elizabeth Lotts

Thanks for the Money, by Joel McHale

You’ll Grow Out of It, Jessie Klein

Up from Slavery, by Booker T. Washington

The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible Became Possible . . . on Schindler’s List, by Leon Leyson

 Awaken the Giant Within, by Tony Robbins

Rod, The Autobiography of Rod Stewart, Rod Stewart

Paid For:  My journey through Prostitution, by Rachel Moran

South and West, From a Notebook, by Joan Didion

NPR Laughter Therapy, a Comedy Collection

Grace of Monaco: The True Story, by Jeffery Robinson

The Magnolia Story, by Chip & Joanna Gaines

You Must Remember This, by Robert Wagner

Stubborn Twig: Three Generations in the Life of a Japanese American Family, by Lauren Kessler

My Mother was Nuts, A memoir, by Penny Marshall

All the Things We Never Knew, by Sheila Hamilton

I Loved Her in the Movies, by Robert Wagner

Theft by Finding: Diaries, by David Sedaris

Play On: Now, Then, and Fleetwood Mac: The Autobiography of Mick Fleetwood, by Anthony Bozza and Mick Fleetwood

Unsinkable: A Memoir by Debbie Reynolds

A Girl Named Zippy, by Haven Kimmel

Through My Eyes, by Tim Tebow


Note:  Most titles downloaded from he Multnomah County Library (no charge) with a few from Audible.com.      




Oregon Wine Industry, 1983-86

In April, 2013, Fred Delkin and I turned over our collections of literature, photography and press clippings to the Oregon Wine History Archive housed Linfield College in McMinnville. 


There was a time before the personal computer, cell phones and the Internet.

Business tools were Selectric typewriters, land lines and detailed press kits.

It was the same time when the word “wine” was often followed by “cooler,” bulk wines, were typical, White Zin was popular and California Chardonnay was considered special. Most people didn’t drink red wine and therefore weren’t too worried about the correct way to pronounce “Pinot noir.”

My, have times changed. 

The infancy of the Oregon wine industry is well documented beginning in the mid-1960’s when David Lett, “Papa Pino,” began planting premium wine grapes in Dundee, ultimately bottling the now heralded wines of The Eyrie Vineyards.   After stunning competitors in a 1979 Paris tasting, and again in Beaune, Lett’s achievement brought international recognition to Oregon as a wine region and established Willamette Valley’s reputation as the New World home for Pinot noir.

By 1982, the “growing years,” the Oregon wine industry counted 33 family-owned wineries and about 90 vineyard owners.     Along with the Lett’s were families named Campbell, Ponzi, Adelsheim, Sokol-Blosser, Redford, Casteel-Dudley-Webb, Vuylsteke, and in Roseburg, Henry and Sommers,  

They organized themselves, establishing the Oregon Winegrowers Association, (the OWA) volunteering as board and committee members, balancing the creation and sales of their vines and wines with raising their own families.  The work never ended.   Dark humor at the time was:  “How do you make a million in the wine business?” Answer:  “Invest ten million and wait five years.”   

Recently graduated from Linfield College, in McMinnville, with several solid media internships under my belt, I had the good fortune to cross paths with Fred Delkin, a principal in the Portland advertising agency of Petzold & Associates.    I joined the firm to work on public relations projects.

At the time, Fred had distinguished himself by heading the highly successful State of Oregon tourism promotion account   Fred was ahead of his time in many ways.   He a passionate foodie, full of fascinating tales,  a tremendous copywriter and an ardent fan of fine wines.

By 1983, the OWA needed a permanent address and a neutral advocate to field the ever-increasing calls from wine writers, solicitors, and the general public all wanting to know what was going on with the burgeoning wine industry.   Though the monthly budget was modest, our agency was awarded the first OWA management and PR contract, and for several years, I wore two hats—that of PR director for the firm and also executive-secretary for the OWA, with supervision from Fred and the OWA board.

Fred and I were introduced at an annual meeting of winemakers and grape growers at Silver Creek Falls in the fall of 1983.  We went to work meeting the OWA members and helping coordinate the association’s  communications.

We reached out and responded to wine writers, travel writers, purveyors, restaurateurs,  political leaders,  civic groups and local media.  We coordinated wine tasting events statewide, in Seattle and boldly, in San Francisco, working to introduce Oregon wines to influential journalists and decision makers.   We built programs that allowed those early participants to share the costs. 

When the OWA lobby persuaded state lawmakers to establish a wine and grape tax to fund the Oregon Wine Advisory Board, at last, significant revenues were earmarked for ongoing marketing and research.  Because of our experience and familiarity with the wines and winemakers, we were awarded the first OWAB marketing contract. By that time, Fred had established his own firm, The Delkin Company and I joined him there. 

Before web sites and power point, slide shows and full-color literature was developed to tell the story of Oregon wines. “Oregon wines…they could only happen here.” 

Here.  In Oregon.  Deliberately not bundled under a “Northwest” banner.   At the time, many disagreed. Certainly in hindsight, it was the right call.  

Tremendous inroads were made in those four years that laid the groundwork for growth and the Oregon wine notoriety that exists today. 

In 1984, these 33 wineries were included in the annual, “Discover Oregon Wines & Wineries” pamphlet. One of the OWA’s first grassroots efforts. I mailed out thousands of them back in the day.   Many continue to thrive.  Not all are still around. 

Adelsheim Vineyard

Alpine Vineyards

Amity Vineyards

Arterberry Winery

Bjelland Vineyards

Chateau Benoit Winery

Elk Cove Vineyards

Ellendale Vineyards

The Eyrie Vineyards

Forgeron Vineyard

Giradet Wine Cellars

Glen Creek Winery

Henry Winery

Hidden Springs Winery

Hillcrest Vineyard

Hinman Vineyards

Honeywood Winery

Hood River Vineyards

Jonicole Vineyards

Knudsen-Erath Vineyards

Mt. Hood Winery

Chehalem Mountain Winery

Nehalem Bay Wine Co.

Oak Knoll Winery

Ponzi Vineyards

Serendipity Cellars

Shafer Vineyard Cellars

Shallon Winery

Siskiyou Vineyards

Sokol Blosser Winery

Tualatin Vineyards

 I left Oregon for career and life opportunities in San Diego in June of 1986.  By that time, the number of OWA member wineries had already doubled to 86.   Now in 2017, the Oregon Wine Commission counts over 700.

I’m grateful to have seen and contributed first hand to the foundation of the Oregon wine industry so cherished today.

A tip of the glass to those who made it happen!  And a toast to Fred Delkin, who passed away in 2014