Breakfast with his lordship

A sign of the times: Two journalists, who haven’t seen each other in a few months, meet for breakfast at a Portland restaurant to renew their friendship.

And what’s the main topic of conversation? No, not the state of the industry.

Guess again.

“Downton Abbey.”

Yep, the show is that popular. Even grizzled guys like me and my friend, Randy Cox, have taken a liking to the PBS series that revolves around an aristocratic family and their servants on an early 20th Century estate in the British countryside.

Men with hats (well, sort of): George and Randy

Men with hats (well, sort of): George and Randy

There we were, talking about plot twists and our favorite characters (Lady Isobel Crawley for him, the maid Anna Bates for me), while Randy sipped Earl Grey tea (how appropriate) and I chugged coffee (how gauche) as we took over a booth at Milo’s City Café.

Randy and I have known each other for about 20 years and worked closely for several of them at The Oregonian.  Most memorably, we collaborated on an in-house newsletter called “Inklings,” that was tall and skinny (and fun) and meant to stand apart from the usual lettersize format.

Randy left The Oregonian last year and I was consumed by caring for my mother in her final months, so we fell out of touch. I was glad to catch up with him – on “Downton,” on recent movies and, yes, on some journalism stuff – because he has always struck me as one of the kindest, most generous people I know.


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