On a crisp, sunny morning not too long ago, my good friend Earl parked his car in front of my home, got out, opened the hatch, and produced a worn, brown, soft leather valise that contained his portable coffee shop: a propane stove, Bialetti espresso maker, espresso, milk, cups and homemade biscotti.
It was the first time in my life that a friend had come over to my home and make me coffee.
As Earl set up shop on an outdoor table with exquisite care, we discussed the subjects that interest us: Oregon history, Oregon literature, Oregon geography, basically all things Oregon. He just might be the most hard core Oregonian with the most varied and searing Oregon experiences I’ve ever met and it has been my sincere honor to assist him in the forthcoming publication of his first collection of poetry, She Oregon. I consider this book will be a unique, important and timeless contribution to Oregon poetry and is utterly unprecedented in format and theme.
Earl has four more collections to publish after his debut!
At one point, Earl motioned me over to see the Bialetti machine work its bubbling magic: a veritable tiny fountain of espresso that Earl dipped his finger into and then tasted. Then he suggested I follow suit. I did. Delicious. I’d never tasted espresso that way.
The espresso was ready. Earl poured the brew into cups. We toasted and sipped. Then we talked and talked, sipped and sipped, outside, surrounded by native Oregon trees, as the ocean sounded low in the distance.