Continuing a legacy

August 20, 2005

Hood River Valley High School’s new football coach, Tracy Jackson, is settling happily into his new surroundings. His move from Madison High School in northeast Portland to the laid-back country setting of HRVHS was a dramatic change of scenery and civics. As he settles into his new home and community, Jackson is hard at work with his new coaches, players and resources, getting ready for another rich season of Eagle football.

Every morning last week Jackson focused his attention on 48 seventh and eighth graders during the Double-Wing Youth Football Camp at the high school. In the evenings he coached a squad of 62 high school players in their pre-season training. The Eagle’s officially begin team practice— the often dreaded daily-doubles— bright and early Monday morning.

In between the mayhem of almost 50 middle-school players in the morning and the intensity of over 60 high schoolers in the evening, Jackson took the time to reflect on his new surroundings:

HR News: Do you like your new home so far?

Jackson: “In Portland we had very little. Around here, whether it’s looking at the mountains or looking how well taken care of our fields are… I talk to kids about never taking this stuff for granted. You look at how nice things are here and how nice we have it and it’s pretty awesome. I drive around here and I’m thinking ‘I can’t believe this is where I get to live’. I love it out here … I’m almost giddy coming out here most days. Life is pretty dang good right now.”

HR News: How do you feel about moving from a city environment to the country?

Jackson: “It’s a different world from where I come from and this is a place you can really make home... Northeast Portland is some of the rougher part of the city. Sometimes you really felt like you were doing good things for the guys. Just trying to teach them things that maybe they weren’t getting from anybody else. And I think we accomplished a lot of things, but the way that this job came about for me, I knew it was the right thing.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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