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Editorial: Roses and raspberries (Nov. 28)

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Angeline Fischer

Angeline Kieper Fischer shows off her book, Then Sings My Soul: An Autobiography during her local church's annual fall bazaar. 

ROSE (roz) n. One of the most beautiful of all flowers, a symbol of fragrance and loveliness. Often given as a sign of appreciation.

RASPBERRY (raz’ber’e) n. A sharp, scornful comment, criticism or rebuke; a derisive, splatting noise, often called the Bronx cheer.

•ROSES to Angeline Kieper Fischer of Sweet Home, who wrote and published her first book at the young age of 93.

We’re not going to compare Fisher’s work with the literature and other volumes that come out of Oregon State University, mind you – in case you missed it, one talented local author recently appeared on “Jeopardy!”

But in its own way, Fisher’s book is priceless.

“Then Sings My Soul: An Autobiography” is something her family members will always be able to cherish.

You probably heard tales from elders around the dining room table this Thanksgiving, those fascinating tidbits where family members’ lives intersected with history and such. Years from now, you’ll be able to share some of those stories during gatherings with loved ones. Other recollections might end up forgotten, simplified, or turn opaque with time, as often happens with memory.

After a certain point, however, you can’t go back and clarify these stories, unless you possess a certain Delorean. Questions remain unanswered. Often you can see the big picture, but puzzle pieces that provide nuance are missing.

So in that regard, Fischer has created a 400-page memento that her family members can share for generations. It includes details on growing up during the Great Depression, outdoor stories, her love of music, a plane crash and more.

In an interview, Fischer told reporter Maddie Pfeifer that she hopes her book convinces readers to never give up and to live in the moment.

As anyone whose dabbled in writing knows, creating a book is an amazing feat.

So kudos to Fischer on her accomplishment, and let’s hope it spurs other residents to start putting pen to paper, even if it’s just for the sake of their families.

•ROSES to the Linn-Benton Community College volleyball team for its first ever Northwest Athletic Conference championship. The Roadrunners, who have mid-Willamette Valley high school graduates on their roster, overcame injuries and other adversity to have a truly special season.

“This team, they’ve really bought into the fact that you may have to step up at any time,” said coach Jayme Frazier, who has led the program for 28 seasons. “Don’t stop. Don’t think that your role is set and that you’re not going to get out there. Late in the season, I had several players go from not playing much to starting roles.”

Frazier said the championship, while not the only goal for her squad, felt “awesome.” And while it’s never certain what the future will bring, it seems like the Roadrunners are set up for more accolades. Who knows how long their 25-game win streak might stretch?

•ROSES to local prep sports teams for a successful fall season.

We’d especially like to give roses to local state champions: the Corvallis girls cross-country team and Emily Wisniewski of Crescent Valley, who won the girls’ individual cross-country title; the Philomath boys soccer squad; the West Albany volleyball team; and the West boys water polo team.

We can only imagine what they’re feeling, because the title of state champion is something that very few people can ever claim. It is, quite literally, a dream come true for these local teens, and hours and hours of practice turned into what must be bliss.

But we’d be remiss if we didn’t congratulate all the athletes who competed this fall, as well as those students who participated in other extracurriculars. These activities enrich the lives of our small towns in multiple ways. High school sporting events in particular are often the big entertainment events in our area, and bring residents and entire communities together. But more importantly, the teens who engage in sports, band and other groups learn lessons that can’t be taught in the classroom.

Good coaches (and teachers) install the concepts that hard work leads to success, that preparation leads to performance, the value of teamwork and the ethics of sportsmanship. These are things that lead to success not just on the playing field, but in life.

And if you happen to capture some wins, or a league title, state championship or some other trophy along the journey, well, that’s pretty cool, too.

• More mid-valley editorials

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