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Friday, August 13, 2010
Dinner with Susan and the ghost of Prefontaine
I met up with Susan Hauser last night and we went to the Deschutes Brewery Street Fair. She's a local freelancer who lives here in Portland and has successfully navigated the choppy waters of American journalism for decades. After heading over to Garden State's booth for meatball sandwiches, we "talked shop" on a bench next to Portland Center Stage for a bit.
Susan had plenty of fantastic stories to tell about her travels across the globe and her experiences with The Oregonian and The Wall Street Journal. She also offered her perspective on an incident that happened back in 1997 with her son, and my old high school pal, Cory. Cory was expelled from our high school for penning an underground newspaper that didn't go over so well with the administration and many of our classmates. The whole thing became enough of a, well, shit storm to land on the front cover of The Oregonian's Metro Section.
Some of Susan's recent projects have included an article in Mix Magazine about Portland restaurateurs who make pickles and an article for CNN about locals who "chicken sit" for urban farmers. She also pens a blog about Hawaiian culture called Hula In Aloha.
One of her most interesting assignments to date came up in the late '90s. She was given the task of interviewing the former girlfriend of University of Oregon legend Steve "Pre" Prefontaine, who was convinced that his spirit was speaking to her from beyond the grave. The girlfriend tracked down a physic and Susan "interviewed" Pre through her. One question that was asked: "What was going through your head, Pre, when your car started rolling down that hill?" The physic/Pre offered a one word response:
At some point, I'm going to track down that article in the Journal's archives.
Susan's definitely a hero of mine and an all around cool gal.