Sometimes national reporters parachute into Oregon, rip off local reporters, butcher the story and leave readers no better-informed than they were previously.
Other times, they come and do a brilliant job of evoking our strange state and packing a story with killer quotes — as is the case with this story
in today's Los Angeles Times
about Silverton Mayor-elect Stu Rasmussen.
Here's how writer Kim Murphy (who also took the photo above) describes Silverton:
In years past, Silverton has been known mainly as the home of Bobbie the Wonder Dog, who got lost on a road trip to Indiana in 1923 and showed up back home in Oregon six months later, apparently having walked the 2,800 miles in between.
And here are some of the many choice quotes in the story:
Silverton appears to have come to terms long ago with Rasmussen's nebulous gender, which he describes as "25%, maybe 30% between" man and woman, and his "adoption of the twins," as the mayor-elect refers to his breast surgery. But he still manages to catch some people off guard.
"Guys come up to me in the bar and say, 'Hate to tell you this, but I saw this woman on the street the other day, and I'm thinking, great legs, nice tan, and she turns around and I go, 'Oh, my God, it's Stu!' " Rasmussen recounts in the deep voice that seems always softened with a trace of humor.
"If I could have a face transplant, it'd be perfect. A face like this, only a mother could love. But people overlook the face now," he says, glancing discreetly down at his tank top, "because there's all this other real estate."