We met Bill, Bob, Dominic and Jack about ten years ago when we moved into the hood. They live up the block from us and they surround themselves with rooftop gardens, bike sheds, chickens that lay golden eggs and a German Shepard named Duncan. They are a family of adventurers: they ride thier bikes all over portland; they take road trips cross-country; they ride buses through London town. They always have something cooking in the oven, and they are constantly walking through halos of honeybees from the hive that buzzes in their front yard. Sometimes they invite us out to their giant old house on the coast: its red and yellow walls tell stories; its ceilings are high and thick with ghosts. They live on a steep hill with views of the ocean and from the window in their kitchen, you can watch the ships move along their silent highway. When we go there, we ride the trolly and walk down to the pier to listen to the chorus of sea lion barks. They make us donuts, take us to coffee shops and play us old recordings of the movie Kindergarten Cop. Being in Astoria with these dear friends has become one of my favorite past-times. I could easily trade in my PDX life for this small town and its misty, overcast days; its salty air and little shops filled with REO Speedwagon records; and the company of these four who always welcome us with open arms and cans of Fort George beer.



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