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People know the place when you say you’re from North Bend.

Ask someone where there from and you expect one answer, one place.

Then you get this:

“I grew up all over the place.”

Hear that and know you’ve got someone ashamed of where they’re from.

They know the name of their town, they just don’t want to say it out loud.

Maybe they had a tough childhood, got bullied for wearing funny clothes.

Maybe they lived out of town on a farm with townie friends.

The only reason to not say where you’re from is if you’re a military kid, then you did come from everywhere.

If you grew up in one place, like North Bend, Oregon, and had a little brother, you’ll get this:

Younger brothers have friends. Those friends want to measure up to older kids without the risk of getting hurt.

Too great an age difference, like four years, makes competing in sports one sided.

Instead, you do other things in North Bend.

The best of the choices is King of the Hill.

Fortunately we lived across from a sand dune. Falling off that was a gentle landing.

Little brother’s friend, Paul, who grew up to be Big Paul, was just the right size to play King.

He had the most game of anyone, a good sign for a future playing football and wrestling for the Bulldogs.

Even better for Southern Oregon College where he played college ball.

Every time we played he gave a huge effort. When you’re the oldest boy in the family, like Paul in his, you expect to win. That he kept trying was impressive.

More than a lesson, King of the Hill in North Bend, Oregon set the tone. Call it a life lesson.

You can go Don Quixote and keep fighting in spite of results.

Or you find an easy opponent and go after them.

Little Paul came back every time. Like the town we grew up in, he was tough and got tougher.

He is my King of the Hill.



About David Gillaspie


  1. Paul Munson says:

    Thank you David….I remember our battles. Just for clarification some of those landings were not always in soft sand! Thanks for the memories. Little Paul.

    • David Gillaspie says:

      You know how it is when you feel your age today? I like the idea of memory, helpful memory.

      To tell the truth I don’t remember any soft landings either. More like sand stone than sand dune.

      Being the game fighter made it softer?

      • Paul Munson says:

        Age gives me more humility too…I don’t remember you ever having to worry about “landings”.

        • David Gillaspie says:

          The King of that hill wasn’t the last one standing, but the one who kept coming back. Like Rocky says, “It’s not how hard you get hit, it’s how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” That’s the King.

          About landings: when you jump a hill on a motorcycle the power keeps the front wheel up. On a bike, not so much. The crash on that is never gentle. But it works out.


          • Paul Munson says:

            Yes, but you King David were a merciful King.

          • David Gillaspie says:

            Merciful is good. It’s a goal to strive for. And a good share. I like the idea that tough times don’t last, but tough people do.

            Just like the memory of that dune, forever.

          • Paul Munson says:

            Can’t find you on Facebook…Not sure why I want to be friends with someone that would throw me off a hill though…just saying.

          • David Gillaspie says:

            Giving thanks to you for jumping on board boomerpdx, Paul. You joining up made my day and that’s not a story. Everyone on my subscription list is special to me, which I don’t think is the case for big time blogs. It’s something I’ll never take for granted.

            As a single voice blogger in the internet wilderness it’s easy to say why bother and shut it down. But who likes a quitter, especially when you have to see them in the mirror every morning?

  2. Jim Hughes says:

    nice tribute!

    • David Gillaspie says:

      If everyone came from a place like North Bend, and had a Coos Bay next door, the world would be a better place.

      If everyone had a sand dune, bad ass beaches, and forest close to them, they’d have a better grip on their troubles.

      Thanks Jim

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