Long time Oregonian sportswriter Brian Meehan passed away yesterday, due to complications resulting from a heart surgery. Deepest sympathies to his family.
Amazingly, Mr. Meehan filed his last story, about the Mariners' recent struggles, just last Tuesday, July 22nd. Here's a link.
I was in need of some professional focus, so I offered to treat him to lunch at Portland's Pearl Bakery so I could pick his brain. We grabbed a table by the window, and for three hours, I was walking on air. It was like meeting a celebrity only to realize, with great relief, that they're fabulously down-to-earth.
I told him about my career goals and life plans, and he listened as though a young person had never had such lofty ambitions. In return, he opened up about all sorts of thing strangers don't usually share at a first lunch: the time he spent in New York City right after Sept. 11; his forays into the dating world as a man of a certain age; and his love for his place outside the city, in Scappoose. We covered the Blazers and the Mariners, Beaver football and Beaver baseball, and I think we even ventured into military history before the date was over.
Recently, I wrote that the most important thing a writer can do is inspire other writers. Reading that post, it is clear Mr. Meehan succeeded in this regard.
To read Mr. Meehan's work going back to March, click here. I encourage Oregonlive.com to open up his entire archive of articles so that they may be read openly. It would be a fitting tribute to an important figure in Oregon sports journalism.
-- Ben (firstname.lastname@example.org)