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By ROBERT WOODSON/for The Herald  —   That’s right, it is 5 a.m. and a few words came to me that might work for this Bio assignment from the editor.

Looking for inspiration and a place to start last night I went back to Nan Merrick Phifer’s “MEMOIRS OF THE SOUL”. About 20 years ago Peggy Marconi and Jeanie Callwell brought Nan to Oakridge for a writer’s workshop. I was fortunate enough to make it into her class that was at capacity. At that time, Nan was director of the Oregon Writing Project at the University Of Oregon where Peggy met her.

Billed as a guide for our Voyage Into the Soul, two days in her class was a life changing experience. At least for that part of life that continues to put words on paper. A few years later I joined a Creative Writing group at the U of O with a weekly deadline. Being prone to procrastination, it was just what was needed.

Once I reached 70 years of age, being intimidated has been more difficult but this group of former writers for the Register Guard, Eugene Weekly and U of O prof’s put me in deep water. I was not the only amateur and the pros were very kind so we plowed ahead and each week saw a little improvement all around. Now my editor is asking local authors to submit our stories for publication in The Hwy 58 Herald.

I am convinced it is best to start at the end and work toward our beginning. Our life’s vital data probably shows up in the Obituary so, as of today, this is what mine might look like. OBITURARY: ROBERT EARL WOODSON at the age of very old has gone elsewhere to look for the Unified Theory on this the 1.3 x 10exp10 cosmic year. Having completely exhausted the biological mass issued to him on 26 Oct. 1943 in the very small village of Wadena, Iowa, U.S.A., Earth, in the Spiral Galaxy Milky Way, believed to be in the “A” Universe.

At this point, I have not altogether let go of the conviction that when our souls leave this carbon mass, we become part of WIMPS (Weaky Interactive Massive Particles). When lots of these departed souls get together out there in the great cosmic void, astrophysicist call it “Dark Matter”. It is only called “Dark” because after almost a hundred years of head scratching the answer is still “We don’t know what it is and we are not going to listen to Robert.”

There have been marriages but too numerous to list in this limited space so let me just say that Robert was fortunate in love. We will also skip the achievements as that would surely be construed as grandiloquence. He is survived by an impressive list of friends, former lovers and the lovely dog Radley, his son, best friend and frequent travel companion Warren, daughter Melissa, and three grandkids.

Anyone interested in the unabridged version can read his memoir “To the Best of my Recollection” to be found in the Historical Fiction Section of obscure book sellers, and even more obscure community news papers.

Woodcrafter Robert Woodson sits on one of his creations at the Oakridge Arts Council’s Gallery. He is an enthusiastic, if not reluctant contributor to The Herald Tara Kennedy photo

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