My summer farewell to Portland was held yesterday in the shadows of an American celebration. It is now known to the masses that I will be departing for Dutch Harbor, Alaska on Friday evening for a five-week stint with the local radio station. Friends from two past occupations showed; they brought chips and salsa, they brought their wives and husbands, they brought their unwanted boyfriends, they brought their one-week old newborn, and they brought their childhood manners. The festivities were lively, which may seem a bit ironic or appropriate (some think on different wavelengths), since I am traveling to one of the more desolate places in our country. Here’s hoping that I will make an ironic return to this city and leave behind some of those who were in attendance to their static present. A trimming of the Portland family tree is in store for those who bring unwanted boyfriends and childhood manners. A branching out with those who inspire with their dynamic present and presence will follow. Yes, a pruning will occur and some will fail to make the cut. Trust me we’ll all be the better for it. There will be plenty of time to ponder self-improvement in the tundra, and it will be welcomed. When I return I will find that things haven’t changed all that much and won’t unless some effort is put forward. And forward as we all know is the direction of progression.