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Day: October 17, 2016

“Ugly: A Memoir” by Robert Hoge


Ugly: A Memoir” by Robert Hoge

c.2016, Viking
$16.99 / higher in Canada
200 pages


You already have a name.

Your parents gave it to you when you were born. It might’ve meant something special to them, it might’ve been a name they liked, or something that sounded beautiful. Whatever the situation was, you have a name that’s served you just fine but, as in the new book “Ugly” by Robert Hoge, your classmates often use a different one.

Usually, when a baby enters the world, there is a great celebration of its birth but for Australian Robert Hoge, there was silence. He was born with a “massive bulge” from his forehead to the place where his nose should’ve been and his eyes were on either side of his head. His legs were both “mangled” and misshapen. His mother, expecting her fifth child, instead “got a little monster,” Hoge says.

Author Robert Hoge (Photo by Matt Warrell)
Author Robert Hoge (Photo by Matt Warrell)

A week after his birth, when his mother went to see him for the first time, Hoge says she “did not care about her son.” His parents planned on giving him up but they first decided to discuss the matter with Hoge’s siblings, who insisted their parents fetch the baby – and so, just over a month after his birth, Hoge went home with his family.

It didn’t take long for them to realize their love for him, nor did it take long for them to see Hoge’s fighting spirit. Despite his leg deformities, he was able to get around. Though he had a misshapen head, he was clearly very smart. They could appreciate who he was, but they understood that society might not – and so, at four years of age, Hoge underwent an hours-long surgery to correct some of his physical problems.

The surgery was successful – or, at least as successful as it could be with a growing boy – and so Hoge went to school with his siblings. He made friends, got into mischief, found school subjects he loved, tried to find a sport he could play, and was bullied by name-calling. He went to camp, learned to swim, and as he grew, “doctors were… starting to notice me noticing how girls noticed how I looked.”

And so, the year he turned 14, Hoge was offered more surgery to make him look “normal” – a surgery that came with risks…

You’re having a bad hair day. You feel fat in those jeans. And you’ll never complain again, once you’ve read “Ugly.”

What’s striking, the one thing you’ll notice immediately about this book, is that author Robert Hoge writes entirely without a pity-party invitation or an over-sugary attitude of gratitude. His life just is, and he doesn’t fancy that up much; in fact, there are times when his story is told surprisingly unimpassionedly.  That near-monotone telling is saved by Hoge’s delightfully spry sense of humor, which shows up in unexpected places and makes this book less of a sad tale and more of one of triumph.

“I’m the ugliest person you’ve never met,” Hoge says early in his book but readers will know better. They’ll know “Ugly” is the name of a beautiful book.

Terri Schlichenmeyer is based in Wisconsin

Football: Celtics dominate West Albany

Of the Keizertimes

On paper, McNary-West Albany looked like it would go just like most of the Celtics other Greater Valley Conference games this season—a back-and-forth battle to the end.

However, McNary had something else in mind.

Setting the tone with a 15-play, 62-yard scoring drive to open the game, the Celtics defeated West Albany 28-7 on Thursday, Oct. 13 in Keizer.

“We really came together like I don’t think we have yet this year,” senior Kolby Barker said. “Our offense was clicking. Our defense was clicking. Everybody did their job. We’ve been talking this whole time about taking us from good to great and I think we showed that tonight. I think people that haven’t been expecting a lot from us are going to change their minds real quick.”

McNary was missing senior Brendan Van Voorhis, who was in New York on a track and field recruiting visit to West Point.

“I was wondering how we were going to respond both offensively and defensively and it was great to see we didn’t miss a beat,” Celtics head coach Jeff Auvinen said.

Senior Josh Benson became quarterback Josiah Gilbert’s No. 1 option at receiver, catching three touchdown passes.

“I just knew I had to step up with (Van Voorhis) being gone to New York,” Benson said. “I thought we were going to run the whole entire time. I didn’t even expect a pass because of all this rain we’ve had. It’s pretty crazy. It feels nice to be the star.”

McNary started out running as Gilbert and Lucas Garvey went back-and-forth carrying the ball 11 times for 47 yards before the Celtics attempted their first pass—a 10-yard completion to Brayden Ebbs on fourth-and-6 from the West Albany 16-yard line to set up first-and-goal.

“We knew it was going to rain so we were going to have to run the ball,” said Garvey, who finished with 110 yards on 29 carries. “Our line came out and opened up holes and we just pounded through them.

After two more runs for little gain, Gilbert found Benson in the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown to give McNary a 7-0 lead with 6:18 remaining in the first quarter.

“That was great to see,” Auvinen said of Benson’s three touchdown game. “He’s been a kid that’s done everything we’ve asked of him. He does the dirty work. He catches the ball inside. He gets the first down. For him to step in and catch some touchdowns today was awesome.”

The Bulldogs then made their first big mistake—trying to throw the ball in Garvey’s direction, which resulted in the first-year McNary cornerback grabbing his team-leading sixth interception of the season.

“We can put (Garvey) anywhere we want and he’s going to go up and get the ball,” Auvinen said. “He’s very good at hight pointing the ball and has a very good instinct. You can see he’s played a lot of basketball. He knows how to use his body. He can be on an island. He’s a tough kid. He can tackle. He’s smart. I can’t say enough good things about that kid. He’s got great character. It’s nice to be able to say ‘Lucas you take their best guy right here and we’ll play 10-on-10 and you just do your thing.’”

Taking advantage of the turnover, Gilbert connected with Benson for a 6-yard score to extend McNary’s lead to 14-0 with 4:04 remaining in the first quarter.

Barker then recovered a West Albany fumble. However, the Celtics weren’t able to convert the second turnover into any points as A.J. Johnk’s 26-yard field goal was blocked.

Late in the first quarter, the Bulldog offense began finding running room. But McNary’s defense stood tall, twice stopping West Albany from inside the 1-yard line. However, the Bulldogs were able to score their only touchdown on the first play of the second quarter to get within 14-7.

Johnk had another shot at a field goal but his 40-yard attempt missed short.

After the McNary defense got another stop, the offense was able to run out the final three minutes of the first half with a 12-play scoring drive, capped off by a 3-yard touchdown pass from Gilbert to Benson with only 11 seconds remaining.

The Celtics hardly had the ball in the third quarter. After both teams went three-and-out to begin the second half, West Albany ran 13 plays before turning the ball over on downs at the McNary 37.

Garvey then fumbled, giving the ball right back to the Bulldogs.

West Albany appeared as if it would strike off the turnover immediately but a streaking wide open receiver dropped a pass and the Bulldogs were also penalized for an illegal man down field.

West Albany ran seven more plays to set up a fourth-and-2 from the Celtic 21-yard line with 1:44 remaining in the third quarter. The McNary defense then tackled a ball carrier after a 1-yard gain and the Bulldogs again turned the ball over on downs.

“The kids executed really well and played really hard,” Auvinen said. “We tackled better today. We got through blocks better today. I’ve very, very pleased with our defense. They just kept battling.”

As the rain fell harder, both teams struggled to move the ball in the fourth quarter but McNary was able to do enough to flip field position and add a 3-yard touchdown by Gilbert on the ground with only 2:13 remaining.

Gilbert finished with 119 yards passing and 70 rushing. Garvey caught four passes for 54 yards.

“We had 11 guys on both sides of the ball and special teams doing their job, making plays and just fired up,” Auvinen said. “They were excited. We are getting better and better. If we can ride this and keep it going, I think we’ll be in great shape. Hopefully we can ride the momentum.”

Lady Celts in playoff hunt

McNary sophomore Natalie Gonzalez scored the Lady Celts only goal in a 1-1 tie against McMinnville on Thursday, Oct. 6. (KEIZERTIMES/Derek Wiley)
McNary sophomore Natalie Gonzalez scored the Lady Celts only goal in a 1-1 tie against McMinnville on Thursday, Oct. 6. (KEIZERTIMES/Derek Wiley)

Of the Keizertimes

For the first time in years, the McNary girls soccer team has a shot at the playoffs entering the final week of the regular season.

The Lady Celts shut out McKay 5-0 on Monday, Oct. 10 to improve to 6-4-2 overall and 1-3-2 in the  Greater Valley Conference.

With two games to go, McNary is currently 38th in the OSAA rankings and need to move up to 36th to at least get a play-in game, which would be a first since 2009.

The Lady Celts go to North Salem on Tuesday, Oct. 18 and then host South Salem on Thursday, Oct. 20 to finish the season.

McNary head coach AJ Nash believes the girls need a win at North and at least at tie against South in order to get into the playoffs.

“There’s no guarantee but I feel good going into the final game,” Nash said. “I do believe it’s (playoff spot) in our hands, even though I can’t confirm that. We just need to get results in the last two games and we should have playoffs in our destiny.”

South Salem is ranked 30th with two games left to play so the Saxons should also have plenty at stake when they go to McNary.

“It should make for a great game,” Nash said. “I’d say we’re fairly evenly matched so it should be a battle. They are probably going to have similar implications. We might both be fighting for who gets the one playoff spot. They are one of the teams that we’re hoping to leapfrog.”

Senior Kayla Evans made sure the Lady Celts got off to a good start against McKay, which was another must-win game.

Evans scored McNary’s quickest goal of the season, in the first minute and 12 seconds on an assist from fellow senior Abi Rodriguez.

“We challenged the girls to go out and get a good score early and they did that,” Nash said.

Freshman Ariana Santana-Albright then scored her first varsity goal to extend the Lady Celts lead to 2-0 in the 23rd minute. Senior Isabella Heath, who had the assist, scored the next two goals, both in the second half on assists from sophomore Natalie Gonzalez.

The final goal came on a penalty kick by sophomore Gina Munguia.

Senior Scarlett Working got the shutout at goalkeeper.

Playing at home, McNary tied McMinnville 1-1 on Thursday, Oct. 6.

The Grizzlies took advantage of a lost ball in the midfield and scored on a counter attack in the 19th minute.

The equalizer came in the 58th minute as junior Jessy Shore took a long throw from the sideline, flicked on by Munguia, and collected and finished in the box by Gonzalez.

In the 65th minute, sophomore Katy Wyatt put a header on goal off a Munguia corner kick that hit the cross bar, and bounced back towards three charging Celts. But the McMinnville keeper found a fortunate bounce and was able to collect the ball.

McMinnville threatened a couple times on counter attacks, forcing sophomore goalie Sydney Snapp to make a couple strong saves, and with 10 minutes to go Munguia defended a ball with a header on her own goal line to keep the game tied.