To the Editor:

T. Lee Brown’s column of June 5 entitled “The Old Ways” leaves her hoisted by her own petard.

Her anger, discomfort, and judgment stemming from a conversation she overheard a few years ago at Sisters Coffee hinges on a word or phrase, redacted for publication, that readers are led to conclude was an ethnic pejorative. Ms. Brown is quick to establish that the conversation was among “white men” and is equally quick to speculate unkindly about them. I wonder, would the remark have been less offensive had it been spoken by an Asian teen? A Middle Eastern woman? An African-American child? If not, why even mention the race and age of the speakers?

Camo, guns, the Great Emboldening — through a chance encounter in a coffeehouse, Ms. Brown evokes stereotypical negative imagery to paint these men with a broad and ugly brush.

The column brought to mind my own very different experience at Sisters Coffee a few years back.

During the summer of 2015, my husband and I spent several weeks in Central Oregon. We’re native Midwesterners and had lived the past 10 years in St. Louis. For reasons that intrigue social scientists, St. Louis has remained one of the most segregated, racially volatile cities in the U.S. During summer and early autumn of 2014, the city garnered national attention when, in separate incidents less than 90 days apart, two black teenagers were shot and killed by police officers. Riots erupted throughout the city, including our neighborhood, and violent unrest continued until winter. As the anniversary of the first shooting approached and additional violence was anticipated, we were more than happy to be elsewhere.

One morning in early August, we snagged a table near the (much-missed) upright piano. Presently, a young black woman walked through the crowd, sat down at the piano, and began to play. She played well for several minutes, and when she arose from the piano bench, the room filled with applause. I turned to my husband and said, “I want to live where a person of color can walk into a place full of white people, and be appreciated.” A year later, we moved to Sisters.

Perhaps there is an Old Guard here, and perhaps they are leery of newcomers like me. If so, I hope to meet some of them. I’d like to thank them for creating and preserving such a place, shake hands, and maybe sit for a minute with a cup of coffee.

Terri Hunter


To the Editor,

I would like to commend Goss Logging for the excellent job of cutting and clearing the ponderosa pine trees along Highway 20 west of Sisters. Removal of these trees has greatly enhanced the visibility along the highway, providing safer driving. Game crossing the highway can be spotted sooner, as well as traffic entering from side roads.

Another benefit of the tree removal is opening the highway to more sunlight. This will greatly increase snow and ice melt, resulting in safer travel. I doubt that the loss of the removed trees is going to have any negative impact, as there is certainly an abundance of trees in our national forests.

Glad to see the benefits of the tree removal.

David Anderson