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So you know, 'Abe Lincoln' finished 135th.

Byline: Bob Welch / The Register-Guard

You awaken. You step outside to get your newspaper and pose a rhetorical question to yourself: Is there another place on Earth with more perfect summer mornings than Oregon?

Then, of course, come the more difficult, nonrhetorical questions, such as:

Q. How come at Emeralds baseball games the vendors no longer throw back change inside a tennis ball with a slit in it? And whatever happened to ice cream in those mini major league batting helmets?

A. Money is at the root of both evils. A few years ago, the organization was sued when a tennis ball hit a woman in the head, so the Ems stopped that practice. And the company that made the helmets stopped doing so. Other companies that made the helmets charged too much to make it feasible, according to club president and general manager Bob Beban.

Q. The flags in honor of Ronald Reagan seem to have been at half-staff forever. What's the protocol?

A. President Bush issued a proclamation directing that flags remain at half-staff for one month. Reagan died June 5, which means Sunday was the last day they needed to remain lowered.

Q. While watching the start of the Butte to Butte race Sunday, I noticed a guy dressed as Abe Lincoln. Any idea how he finished?

A. An "Abe Lincoln" finished 135th out of 1,497 10K finishers in 42:13, which we think makes him "first politician." Congressman Peter DeFazio finished 756th in 53:36. In the unofficial "first literary character" category, a "Harry Potter" finished 82nd in the 4.5-mile walk in 51:29.

Q. What happened to the white lights that, in summers past, shone from the trees above the Heritage Courtyard at Oakway Center?

A. Most of the bulbs have burned out. Because a high lift is needed to replace them, however, and the weight is hard on the trees' roots, management waits until nearly all bulbs have burned out to install new ones. Now that some limbing has become necessary, the lifts will be brought in during the next few weeks and the bulbs replaced.

Q. By the Millrace, near where East Franklin Boulevard and 11th Avenue meet, there's a small structure with a half-completed roof. When will it be finished?

A. For all practical purposes, it is. The structure was designed and built by students from the University of Oregon's landscape architecture department a few years ago. Funded by the UO's facilities department, the peak-roofed structure provides a place for people to sit and, say, read the Q&A column while staying dry or in the shade. The roof was never intended to cover the whole structure.

Q. At Emmaus Lutheran Church, 18th & Polk, the marquee says: "Don't wait for 6 strong men to take you to church." Explain, please.

A. Pastor Steve Carlson says the sign is intended to get people to consider coming to church before the pallbearers do it for them - once they're dead.

Q. In the middle of Sixth Avenue, in front of Junction City High, there has been a big white "X" with letters and numbers next to it. (``OBEC"). On Prairie Road, there's a big "Y." What are these?

A. They're called "premarks" and are placed, in this case by OBEC Consulting Engineers of Eugene, to help with aerial photography projects. The letters help the pilot know what path to fly. And once the photos are taken, the "X'' and "Y" images help technicians piece together the photos to create one seamless photograph.

This particular project stretches from Junction City to Cottage Grove to Santiam Pass. Latex paint is used and the marks fade after a few months.

You tell us. On Oakmont Way, near Cal Young Road, I recently saw three signs posted on telephone poles about a block apart, in Burma-Shave style: "Love ... Each ... Other." And on Crescent Drive, near Cal Young: "Love ... Your ... Kids." Who put 'em up and why?

Have questions for the August Q&A? Bob Welch can be reached at 338-2354 or at bwelch@guardnet.com.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Columns
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Column
Date:Jul 6, 2004
Words:678
Previous Article:Two projects will finish Valley River Village.
Next Article:Campus project European at heart.


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