Hidden Gems

Have you ever uncovered hidden gems about your parents after they passed away? What did you do? Did you open a love letter and read it? Did you blush or laugh at reading your father’s term of endearment for your mother? I did as I read my father addressing my mother as “Sweetie Face” and…

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Women’s Perspective on Reading “The Dutchman”

I am pleasantly surprised by the responses I’ve received from women readers of “The Dutchman.”  I anticipated women would be drawn to the evolving love story of Norm and Gloria and attracted to the historical context of everyday challenges that post-WWII brought, but I am intrigued they enjoyed the football scenes. And as I type…

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Men’s Perspective on Reading “The Dutchman”

When I began to write The Dutchman and Portland’s Finest Rose, I wasn’t sure which point of view to use. At first, I wrote from my father Norm’s perspective. After all, he was the one whose love letters I used as inspiration to create the story line and narrative.  Also, he was a football legend…

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Over the Rainbow Bridge

My favorite season of the year used to be Fall. I loved the crisp breezes, the brilliant clarity of blue skies, and the bittersweet scent of burning leaves and chimney smoke. I loved eating freshly picked apples and watching a dazzling palate of yellow, orange, and red leaves drifting slowly downward as the wind playfully…

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2020 Ducks Football Trade-off: Health vs. Sport

I learned the other day the PAC-12 cancelled the 2020 football season.  No games for the Ducks this Fall.  This led me to reflect on the connections between now and my parent’s college days, though seventy years separate the two. My parent’s story began in the spring of 1946, just as Vets were returning to…

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Guided by Dad’s Love Letters, Vanderyt Pens “The Dutchman”

A guest post by Karen’s editor, Wayne South Smith, on her process with him from inspiration to publication. The Dutchman and Portland’s Finest Rose takes place in 1946-49 when young men and women were questioning their roles after WWII ended while endeavoring to make themselves and their country a better place,” shared author Karen J.…

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A Chapter from The Dutchman and Portland’s Finest Rose

As spring turned into summer, they slowly eased into a routine that seemed to work for both of them. Stub continued to have two-a-day practices and attended classes during the week while Gloria began to gain confidence running the household. They discussed finances and agreed that, just as Stub’s and Gloria’s mothers managed their own…

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Honoring Bob Sanders: Last Member of the ’49 Cotton Bowl Team?

I was saddened to hear of the passing of University of Oregon legend Bob Sanders last week. According to his daughter, Molly Sanders, he may be the last member of the fabled ’48 Ducks’ football team. He was a teammate of my dad, Norm Van Brocklin, and played in the Cotton Bowl on January 1,…

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