Jason Weisenburg has been away from home for the last 15 months. He has not been on vacation, he has been serving with the 41st Brigade of the Oregon National Guard in Iraq. This is Jasons’ 2nd tour in Iraq, he was there with the Marines in 2003 for Operation Iraqi Freedom. I have known Jason for almost 20 years and he is one of the coolest people I have ever known. I know that his wife Cindy, his parents, Jim and Marilyn, his brother, Daniel and sister, Liz are all anxiously awaiting his arrival. Hopefully all 2,700 members of the 41st Brigade will arrive home safely in the next week or so. See ya in a while,dude!
I was just thinking today about some people who were friends during my High School years, people who were influential in the way I lived during those years. During high school I was active in three Christian organizations, two were with other kids from school and the other was with kids from other schools. The two at South Eugene were Campus Life and Young Life, which were non denominational Christian groups, which were about using fun activities to introduce us to the Christian Message. The Campus Life leaders that I really remember are Bart Brewer and Diane Hoisington. Bart was a very funny man who was a good comedic actor, who often would do skits as Herkymeyer, the something. He cared a lot about the kids that he was befriended and would often attend events that we were participating in. I remember once when he loaded four of us in his 240 Z to go to a track meet. A guy and a gal in the passenger seat and Tim Losaco and I laying in the back with our legs hanging out and holding onto the hatchback. Diane Hoisington was striking and very, very nice. The thing I remember about her other than her concern for us was the white patch she had in the front of her hair. She told us that when she was very young, her black hair started to turn white and someone prayed for her and it stopped. The Young Life leaders who influenced my later decision to work with Young Life were Mickey Elfers and Charlie Marshall. They were only at SEHS for one year, my senior year, I didn’t get to know them very well. Thank you all for your influence.
While I was in high school in Eugene, one of my best friends was Pat Vann. We were in the same youth group but went to different high schools. We seemed to be really good friends, then at some point he moved, to Reno I think. That was the last I saw of him, but there are very few days I don’t think of him.
While I was in the Navy and living in Oakland, CA I attended Lakeside Baptist Church. I made a great friend there named Rick Lindholm, he was attending Cal State Hayward. After I moved back to Portland, we stayed in touch for a while. We were going to be the best man at each others weddings, but when those dates rolled around neither of us could afford the trip. March 4 is Ricks’ birthday and I remember it each year. That was a great trip we made to Canada, and when I roll through yellow lights, I think of Rick.
I would love to reconnect with both of these friends, so what we have here is a six degrees of separation experiment.
Last week I shared our friendship with Greg and Leanne Rowlett, this week I would like to talk about their sons. They have no daughters, but two daughter in laws, this picture was taken at Andrews’ wedding to Heather. Each of these men have a distinct personality, none of them are remotely alike. Isaiah is the youngest at 17, Nate is 18, John and Andrew are 25 and Josh is the oldest at 28. The are all friends of mine and they are all friends in different styles. They have all played football at Portland Christian High School and all of them have participated in the track program there. Josh, is a cowboy who owns a couple of dogs and a horse, he drives truck for a lumber company. Andrew is going to school and being an awesome husband to Heather, and he works for a physical fitness equipment manufacturer. John is a combat corpsman in the Naval Reserve, works for a warehouse company and being a good husband to Allie and dad to Malachi. Nate is a football player and student at Western Oregon. Isaiah is a junior at Portland Christian and a chess state champion. I know that I could count on any of them at any time, they are truly true friends. I really like all of these guys.
These are two of our very best friends, Greg and Leanne Rowlett. We have all worked for Leanne at one time or another, at Pumpkin Patch, selling Christmas trees or at Farmers’ Market. Greg has been our mechanic for several cars. We have sons that are the same age as our sons who have grown up together. We have spent lots of time doing things with Greg and Leanne as couples and as families. We have gone on vacation with them and will be going on vacation with them soon. Greg can be quiet most of the time but get him going and he is one of the funniest guys around. We know that if we ever need help Greg and Leanne will be there for us and we will be there will for them. We always look forward to spending with Greg and Leanne.