Jottings: Remembering Jotter Roy Houston
Jotter Roy Houston has died. This column is a tribute to the man:
It was the fall of 2015 when I, as coordinator of Jottings, asked Roy if he'd like to join our group. The fact that we were an all-woman group at that time may have deterred another man from accepting the invitation, but not Roy! He'd come bouncing into our meetings with cheerful greetings and would soon be regaling us with stories of his growing up in Ireland, or his latest travel adventures, reading them to us in his wonderful Irish lilt. He became a prolific writer and always had extra columns waiting in the wings in the event one of us couldn't make a deadline.
He thanked me many times for inviting him into the group … and I thanked him for joining us.
We will miss Roy. (JoAnn Parsons)
My thoughts of Roy focus on his joy, his humor, and his lovely quality of being a gentleman — pulling out a chair for me or passing goodies to the ladies first. One anecdote I recall is when I challenged him to write something on William Butler Yeats quotation: "Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy." He accepted the challenge with joy! (Jacquelyn Gatewood)
There is an empty space in my heart where Roy resided. I can still hear him in my head. His enthusiastic, warm, and soothing voice with its Irish lilt was a joy to hear. Roy added so much to our Jottings Group. His writing was excellent and vividly descriptive. We experienced Ireland, his travels, humor, and insights as he shared them. I will deeply miss him and wish comfort and blessings to his family. (Esther Halvorson-Hill)
Leprechauns never die! In grief, I remind myself of this Irish truth, as I mourn the loss of my Irish friend, Roy. Roy and I shared a strong Irish heritage and the love of humor and stories that characterize that. So full of life (and a bit of mischief,) Roy would often entertain us with his tales of everyday deeds as well as world travels. (I will never see an elephant again without remembering his hilarious description of mounting one for an Asian jungle ride!) Yet, the entertaining stories often held wise, philosophical comments based upon a life fully lived and loved. Sometime over the last few years, I came to calling Roy a leprechaun. He would smile at the title which seemed so apt as he bounced into our Jottings meeting or led us in riotous laughter. This spirit, the wisdom he offered, the people whose lives he touched, they live on.
Roy brought much elan to our monthly meetings along with some mighty fine spirits. Always a fun, upbeat soul. (Pat Perkins)
Roy was a gem of a gentleman, full of fun and kindness. I'm so glad he was brave enough to join our ladies circle and bring lots of laughter to our group. (Jeanie Anderson)
Roy was a witty and joyful part of our group, kept us laughing at his Irish humor and wonderful insights in his writing. He always brought a bottle of Prosecco to our Christmas meeting. The room seemed a bit brighter when Roy walked in and he will be greatly missed by his "fifteen ladies." (Peggy Keonjian)
Roy was full of JOY and HUMOR and WIT. I am so glad I got to know him because of Jottings. As I write this I can hear his laugh and his warm Irish words. (Joan Waldron)
Roy sensed that stories are medicine and he embedded his with instructions to guide us through the complexities of life. Over it all he sprinkled pixie dust to make us smile. (Cherie Dupuis)
Dear Roy, What is it you have "crossed over"? What has "passed on"? Are you really "not with us anymore"? How come I hear echoes of your bright spirit and even see you in your Orange cashmere sweater when I close my eyes? I am lucky to have been one of your 15 Jottings Sisters, recipient of your wisdom and sensitivity. Thank you. Goodbye for now. (Norma Heyser)
Cherie Dupuis is coordinator of the Jottings Group at The Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.
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