Frequently Asked Questions About Moving to Lake Oswego

1. What’s the average cost of a home in Lake Oswego? Year-to-date, the average cost of a home in Lake Oswego is $841,548. That figure represents single family detached dwellings.

2. Can I live on the lake? Yes you can. There are approximately 750 waterfront homes on Oswego Lake in prices ranging from $259,900 (a 976 square foot condo at The Villas) to $15,000,000 for a 13,462 square foot main lake home on North Shore Road.

3. Do you have to live on the lake to be able to use the lake? There are lots of options for residents to access the lake even if they don’t own a waterfront home as mentioned in one of my earlier posts. One of the most popular ones is buying a home with easement rights. There are close to 3,000 homes deeded lake access by joining one of 20 lakefront easements. Each easement is managed separately by its members and each only has a limited number of spots. Buying a home with easement rights does not guarantee you’ll have access—you may have to sign up on a waiting list for an opening before joining.

4. What are the best neighborhoods? My general answer to that is you can’t go wrong in Lake Oswego. Unlike other cities, neighborhoods aren’t divided between safe or unsafe, good schools or not good schools. Lake Oswego has an exceedingly low crime rate no matter where you live.

The school district itself was just ranked the best in the state of Oregon by Niche in its 2018 rankings based on data from the Department of Education. And all ten of its individual schools also came out in the Top 10 in each of their grade-level categories. School spirit runs high, however, so if you talk to kids and parents, you’ll probably find differences of opinion.

But like I said in the beginning, you can’t go wrong. Check out some of my earlier blogs for more information on particular neighborhoods in Lake Oswego.

5. What are the best schools? Excuse my redundancy, but my general answer to that is you can’t go wrong in Lake Oswego. The Lake Oswego School District was named the best school district in the state of Oregon by Niche, in its 2018 rankings based on data from the U.S. Department of Education. And all ten of its individual schools also came out in the Top 10 in each of their grade-level categories.

The latest standardized test scores released by the Oregon Department of Education showed that the Lake Oswego School District scored well above the stage average in every category with 83.4 percent of students meeting state standards in English/Language Arts (vs. 53.6 percent statewide) and 75 percent meeting Math standards (compared to 40.8 percent statewide).

My advice is to visit the schools you are considering and see if you child can shadow a student to get a feel for whether one setting or another is the right fit.

6. Are Lake Oswegans pretentious? This is a question that shows up on several of the online forums where people are considering moving here. Much of that reflects the stereotype afforded a more affluent community like Lake Oswego.

In a report funded by the city of Lake Oswego on the demographic trends evolving over time, one of the conclusions reached was that “People living in Lake Oswego are a bit older, more affluent, and better educated than the ‘average citizen’ in the greater Portland metropolitan region, State of Oregon, and the Nation.” The average per capita income in 2008 dollars was $48,313 with a median household income of $83,436 and median family income of $105,593. The largest percentage of Lake Oswegans (27.2%) earned between $35,000 and $74,999.

Does more money mean more pretentious? My experience has been that it’s not a given. In fact, I have seen many more examples of Lake Oswegans using their resources to be generous rather than pretentious. I remember attending a Lakeridge High School choir concert where parents raised over $2,200 in a pass-the-hat donation in support of visiting Jefferson High School’s Choir. Read one of my previous blogs for other examples of how the community rises to the occasion to meet needs in and around them.

7. Why would I live in Lake Oswego over other Portland area suburbs? Lake Oswego is not your sleepy suburb—it’s a vibrant community with engaged citizens and active city government invested in a mission to enhance the quality of life for its residents. As a result there are a host of resources from extensive bike and pedestrian paths to recreational opportunities to excellent school district to a thriving downtown core infused with retail, cultural, entertainment, and artistic opportunities to a record-shattering library program to….the list goes on and on which is the WHY of why you should pick Lake Oswego as your home.

8. Why should I live in Lake Oswego when I can get more house for less money elsewhere? Read the answer to the above question–you get what you pay for. When you buy a home in Lake Oswego, you are buying much more than just a house. You are buying into a community, a lifestyle, and an investment. Appreciation is about 8.1 percent each year, although there were significant upswings in 2016 (16.4 percent) and 2006 (19 percent). Even though there is a large cost of entry, there is a proven return on the backside that is worth it.

If you have questions about moving in, out or within Lake Oswego, give me a call at 503.939.9801 or check out my website. I’d love to put my 25+ years of experience as a Realtor in Lake Oswego to work helping you with your next move.

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10 Ideas for Having a FaBOOlous Halloween in Lake Oswego

Zombies in the garden–just one of the ways kids can burn off that extra energy in Lake Oswego waiting for Halloween to arrive.

Got little kids ready to burn off some nervous energy waiting for Halloween to arrive? Lake Oswego has you covered. Here are some activities to channel all that adrenaline.

VISIT THE SCARECROWS. Checking out the Luscher Farm scarecrows is worth making an annual tradition. From frumpy to spooky to friendly, they come in all shapes and sizes thanks to the inspiration of volunteers who deck them out each year. See if you can find Sneaky Peet hiding out! Scarecrows are up through Halloween. 125 Rosemont Road, 503.534.5284.

GET CRAFTY: NEEDLE FELTED MONSTERS. Felt crafting is a user-friendly way of getting creative and needle felted monsters seem to be all the rage. Just google them and you’ll find more Pinterest boards devoted to the subject than you have time to look at. The library is hosting an hour craft session for tweens and teens on Thursday, October 4 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 706 Fourth Street, 503.679.2579.

PUMPKIN CARVING CONTEST. It’s the battle of the jack-o-lanterns. See if you teen can win! Friday, October 20 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Lake Oswego Teen Lounge, 1500 Greentree Road, Open to ages 11-17. 503. 675.2549.

SCULLY THE SCARECROW WELCOMES THE FALL. Penny’s Puppet Productions invites little ones to get to know Scully and some of his newfound farm friends including Punky the Pumpkin and Creeks the black cat. Saturday, October 21 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. at the Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street. 503.697.6580.

ZOMBIE GARDEN DAY. Give the kids a howling good time on their school days off by signing them up for a day of all things zombie from making a Zombie garden to spooky face paint, ghoulish dress-up and a Zombie stomp. Thursday and Friday, October 26-27 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Luscher Farm, 125 Rosemont Road. $60/Resident;$90/Non-resident. Register online for Class 16458 (Thursday) or 16549 (Friday). 503.675.2549.  https://apm.activecommunities.com/lakeoswegoparks

PAINT YOUR OWN PUMPKIN. Who says a pumpkin can’t be pink? Let them get creative without making a mess at your place! Bring your own pumpkin or choose from ones provided. Friday, October 27 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street. 503.697.6580.

HAUNTED AND ENCHANTED TRAILS. Take a short trek to Mary S. Young Park where the West Linn Parks and Recreation Department is offering age-appropriate trails to entertain or spook you and your kids. The Enchanted Trail is geared for families with younger kids and features a walk through the woods at night with storybook themed scenes and characters to greet you along the way. The Haunted Trail is aimed at children 8 and older with scenes and characters designed to spook you. Friday and Saturday, October 27-28. Enchanted hours: 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. $4/pre-registration; $5/event. Haunted Trail: 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. $12.95/pre-registration; $15/event. Register online. 19900 Willamette Drive, West Linn. 503-557-4700

SCARY MOVIE NIGHT. If shrieking out with friends sounds like your teen’s MO, steer him or her in the direction of the LO Teen Lounge for Scary Movie Night. Open to ages 11-17. Friday, October 27 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 1500 Greentree Road, 503.675.2549.

LAKEWOOD’S ANNUAL COSTUME SHOP SALE. Lakewood Theatre Company needs to make room for costumes for upcoming shows so pick up some unique getups that will make you a hit at any party. Clothing is mostly adult sizes. October 27-29 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Community Meeting Room, 368 S. State Street. 503.635.6338

PAL-O-WEEN. Enjoy safe, family-friendly activities while kids go trick-or-treating in costume. Tuesday, October 31 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. for ages 0-12. Free. Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation at Palisades, 1500 Greentree Road, 503.675.2549.

Looking for other ideas? Check out some of my earlier posts on Halloween activities in Lake Oswego.

Don’t let venturing into the real estate market spook you. Give me a call at 503.939.9801 or check out my website and let me put my 25+ years of experience as a Realtor in Lake Oswego to work helping you make your next move.

 

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5 Reasons Why Lake Oswego’s Wine Walk Is a Win/Win for Wine Lovers and Local Merchants

Science keeps telling us that wine is good for our health. The Lake Oswego Wine Walk keeps proving that wine is also good for business. Sponsored by the Lake Oswego Downtown Business Committee, here are five reasons why this event in its fifth year is a win/win for wine lovers as well as local merchants.

  1. Participants can sample a wide variety of wines. Wizer’s Fine Wines is coordinating the wine selection based on each pouring location’s request. Offerings will hail from many popular regions including Spain, Italy, California, Washington, and Oregon. After checking in at the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce, (459 Third Street, beginning at 12:30 p.m.) tasters will receive a map listing what venues are featuring which wines so they can plan their strategy.
  2. Variety isn’t just in the wine growing regions represented. It’s also in the number of tastes tickets are good for—12 for each $40 ticket. Five additional pours can be purchased at check-in for $10. That’s a lot of territory to cover in a very walkable distance!
  3. Food goes well with wine and the two will be paired at the event. Each business owner will greet you not only with wine but food as well, in most cases prepared by local caterers.
  4. Music and art will also be featured both around town and inside some of the businesses. Get some culture along with your wine—it’s a great combo!
  5. New wines aren’t the only thing participants discover. One of the remarks commonly heard among participants during this event is that they learned about businesses they didn’t know were in Lake Oswego. Approximately 26 businesses have signed up to open their doors to wine lovers ranging from Glance Optics and Eyewear to Blue Moon Coffee and glassybaby.

The Lake Oswego Wine Walk is set for Saturday, October 21 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tickets are $40/person and available online. It has sold out in the past so get your tickets early.

Stay up-to-date on what’s happening in Lake Oswego. Subscribe to “52 Reasons to Love Lake Oswego” by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column.

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6 Places to Grab a Beer in Lake Oswego for National Drink Beer Day

Thursday, September 28,  is National Drink Beer Day and Lake Oswego offers plenty of ways to celebrate. Here are a few.

FlyBoy Brewing. Enjoy your beer here or take it to go. FlyBoy fills growlers and also sells kegs. If you want to stick around, hope you’re good at decision-making. They have 24 beers (including a few of FlyBoy’s own) and hard ciders on tap as well as a couple kombuchas and wine. A remodel is in the works that will make room for a wine cellar and bottle shop for refrigerated bottles. Pub snacks are offered as well as an oven where you can bake the pizza you buy next door at Papa Murphy’s. Happy Hours are 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and all day Sunday. Hours: Monday-Thursday, Noon to 9:00 p.m.; Friday, Noon to 10:00 p.m. Saturday, Noon to 9:00 p.m.; Sunday, 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 15630 Boones Ferry Road, Suite 1A, 503.908.1281.

Hop N Cork. This neighborhood spot on Lower Boones Ferry just celebrated its two year anniversary. Since opening they’ve added patio seating and will soon be expanding their food menu to include more salads, new sandwiches and some fork and knife offerings. Beer is the star here with 26 brews on tap along with 3 ciders, 10 wines, and a non-alcoholic draft root beer, in addition to a selection of bottled beer and wine. They like to think that “Every hour is happy hour at Hop N Cork” so stop by during regular operating hours: Monday-Wednesday 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Thursday-Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.; Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. 17450 Lower Boones Ferry Road, 503.305.5903.

Stickmen Brewing Company. If you want your beer with a view, this is your place with outdoor seating on the deck overlooking Lakewood Bay (weather permitting). The 16 Stickmen craft beers on tap are grouped into different categories: Year-round (including the Buona Mattina-Coffee Porter made with cold pressed Illy® coffee), Seasonal, Occasional, and Experimental such as the Abricotdabra,  a Belgian Triple barrel aged on apricots for a year with brettanomyces. You’ll also find beer, wine, and a full bar as well as a full menu ranging from small and big plates to brunch offerings on weekends. Happy Hours are 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Mondays through Fridays with beer, wine, and liquor discounts. Hours: Monday-Thursday 11:30 .m. to 9:00 p.m.; Friday 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. 40 N. State Street, 503.344.4449.

Uptown Market. Whether you’re a beer aficionado or casual drinker, you’ll find something to suit your preferred flavor profile. Of their 36 taps, 8-10 usually feature Uptown Brewing creations with the rest dedicated to craft beer, ciders, kombucha and root beer. Discover something you really like, they’ll fill a growler for you. Throughout the week there’s a lot going on to give you an excuse to stop by from Taco Tuesday featuring two tacos for $5 and Wednesday Ladies Night offering women $1 off pints and snacks all day long to Thursday night tastings from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with guest brewers sampling three to four of their drafts. Happy Hours are 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. as well as all day Sunday and Monday. Hours: Monday-Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. 3970 Mercantile Drive, 503.479.8536.

Maher’s Irish Brew Pub. If you like your beer with a side of entertainment, check out Maher’s Wednesday (Open Mic Night) through Saturday nights. Irish jam takes the stage on Thursday nights followed by other local talent on the weekends. You’ll find four Irish beers included in their taps as well as domestic and imports which rotate monthly. True to their namesake, their menu features traditional Irish dishes like Guinness Irish Stew and Corned Beef and Cabbage as well as usual pub fare like burgers and appetizers. Other specials include “Wine About Monday” offering half off all wine bottles and Happy Hour food and drink discounts from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Hours: Monday-Friday 3:00 p.m. to Close; Saturday-Sunday 12:00 p.m. to Close. 352 B Avenue, 503.305.8087.

Mountain Park Market. Owners Mark and Samira Wirtala proclaim their “passion is wine and our obsession is beer” and have set out to feature unique and hard-to-find beverages in their store. Primarily a bottle shop, they do have six taps at their growler station. They also offer kegs to go as well as cases of wine delivery. They’re also happy to take your requests for a specific brewer and bring it in—now that’s customer service! Hours: Monday-Friday 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. 4 Monroe Parkway, Suite A, 503.699.9800.

Have a favorite spot to add? Leave your suggestions here.

Thinking about buying a selling your home? I’m more than happy to buy you a beer to talk about how I can put my 25+ years of experience as a Realtor in Lake Oswego to work for you. Give me a call at 503.939.9801 and check out my website.

 

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5 Coming Attractions to Lake Oswego to Ease the Letdown of Summer’s End

Summer can be a very hard thing to say goodbye to when you live in Lake Oswego where afternoons are spent at the swim park and evenings are spent listening to live music at Westlake Park. But luckily we aren’t left high and dry with nothing to do and little to look forward to. Look at this lineup of coming attractions:

●TWILIGHT ON THE TRAIL. The Friends of Luscher Farm invite you to a garden party to benefit expansion of the farm’s trails, benches and trees on Saturday, September 30, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Start the evening by strolling the back fields and historic barn while sipping and grazing from a seasonally inspired Farm to Table menu. Then enjoy dinner, dessert, music and dancing in the barn. Many of the ingredients for the meal will be provided by Lusher Farm’s Community Supported Agriculture partner, 47th Farm, and created by Chef Sarah Carlson of the Red Hare. Music will be provided by the Dryland Farmers Band. Limited tickets are on sale online through September 20 for $85 per person.

●CAMPFIRE EVENINGS AT LUSCHER FARM. Enjoy a (BYO) picnic dinner topped off by s’mores around the campfire while you explore Luscher Farm and participate in discovery-based activities. The next campfire is set for October 6. Register online.

●WINE WALK. Wine, music and art—that’s the Lake Oswego Downtown Business Alliance’s winning formula for its annual Wine Walk set for Saturday, October 21 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Besides discovering new wines, participants also get a chance to discover new businesses in town as they follow their maps to the venues offering the wines they want to taste. Get your tickets now ($40) as this event sells out every year.

●CIVIL WAR GAME. This is the other civil war game—the local one. The Lake Oswego Lakers and Lakeridge Pacers Varsity football teams face off for their annual bragging rights contest on Friday, October 27 at 7:00 p.m. at the Lakeridge field. Experience what this crosstown rivalry feels like in action and wear your favorite shade of blue.

●CROSSTOBERFEST. Put a little oom-pah in your fall festivities by either taking part in or standing on the sidelines and watching Luscher Farm’s second Crosstoberfest on Saturday, October 28, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Cyclocross racing is one of the most beginner-friendly of bicycle race formats with courses no longer than two miles, although they do present interesting (and entertaining) challenges. In addition to a race, it’s also a party with a vendor village offering food, drinks, music, and yes…beer (there’s your oom-pah). Registration information is available online.

If house-hunting is on your fall list of things to do, give me a call. After 25 years as a Realtor in Lake Oswego, you could say I know the market and I’d love to help you make your next move. 503.939.9801 or check my website.

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Celebrate Summer’s Bounty at Lake Oswego’s Harvest Celebration

If you live in Lake Oswego, you’re lucky enough to have enjoyed a summer filled with harvest bounty that you might have gleaned from…

  • The Farmers Market
  • Community Supported Agriculture from 47th Avenue Farms
  • Your own garden plot in your backyard or at Luscher Farm.

Now is the time to celebrate that abundance at Lake Oswego’s Harvest Celebration at Lusher Farm, 125 Rosemont Road, on Sunday, September 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Here’s what organizers have lined up for you:

  • Petting Zoo with goats, bunnies, a burro, and possibly baby ducks or chicks
  • Line Dancing lesson from 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.
  • Foot stomping tunes from Brent Rogers & KJ Miller and Spinning Spokes
  • Grub and Libations from Dogs & Fries, Intentional Espresso, Koi Fusion and Subzero Ice Cream
  • Vendors in the historic milking barn featuring pottery, fiber art, handmade soaps and lotions, garden art and more
  • Face painting offered by the local National Charity Leagues chapter
  • Spencer’s Reptiles
  • Pioneer photo booth featuring bonnets, vests, aprons, skirts and scarecrows to accessorize your shot
  • A ride on Lake Oswego’s blender bike (so you can make your own green smoothie)

With so much going on, there will be no onsite parking during the event. Complimentary shuttle service will be available from Lakeridge High School (1235 Overlook Drive) and Hazelia Field (17800 Stafford Road). Shuttles will run every 10-15 minutes.

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7 Suggestions for Celebrating National Read a Book Day

National Read a Book Day on September 6 comes at a perfect time just as the kids are heading back to school and hitting the books. For the rest of us, here are a few ideas for celebrating from some well-read Lake Oswegans.

THE JEALOUS KIND by James Lee Burke

James Lee Burke is one of my all-time favorite authors, not only because his stories are immensely captivating, but also because they are highly literate. The level of detail in his work is humbling to other writers, such as myself. I read everything this man writes. I loved this coming of age novel and highly recommend it. As are most of Burke’s books, this one is a “guy’s book,” for sure, but women who enjoy a bit of grit will find much to like in this work. If you are a writer, read this AS a writer. You will be impressed … and you will be inspired.

In addition, I highly recommend HEAVEN’S PRISONERS, also by James Lee Burke. This is the second book in the Dave Robicheaux series, and one of the best. If you want to start at the beginning of this amazing series, NEON RAIN is the one you want. Enjoy!

Graham Salisbury, (Author of UNDER THE BLOOD-RED SUN, and others books)

THE LAST DAYS OF NIGHT by Graham Moore

I love reading historical fiction! This tells the story of George Westinghouse, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla as seen through the eyes of a young attorney who was hired by Westinghouse to battle about light bulb patents. Unbelievable, but true!

Cyndie Glazer, Lake Oswego Library

WHO ORDERED THIS TRUCKLOAD OF DUNG? Inspiring Stories for Welcoming Life’s Difficulties by Ajahn Brahm.

A collection of 108 Buddhist-based tales that offer insight in an easily digestible way to help us deal with some of the curves life throws us. It was amazing!

Jennifer Schiele, Principal, Lakeridge High School

THE SCRIBE OF SIENA by Melodie Winowar

This was one of the contenders for this year’s Lake Oswego Reads but still considered a good read even though it didn’t make it to the top of the list. A time-traveling neurologist finds herself enmeshed in a medieval power struggle, investigating the opposing forces of Siena’s cultural/artistic glory and its devastation by the plague…oh yes, and there’s a love story thrown in.

Ricky Korach, Retired Lake Oswego high school English teacher

LINCOLN IN THE BARDO by George Saunders

It’s a post-modern kinda-historical novel about the death of Willie Lincoln, the President’s son that is poignant,bizarre and inventive in a way that few books I have read are. George Saunders summons his genius in it, his first novel, and he also summons his inner Samuel Beckett as his characters philosophize and bumble their way through the dim-lit void. It’s a pretty special book. I also loved Brian Doyle’s Martin Marten and so dearly appreciated my friendship with Brian. The soaring humanity and enduring playfulness and tenderness of Brian Doyle’s writing opens me up in ways I crave and need. Will miss that guy, his essays, his books, his perspective so beatific. Those two stand out from this summer, but I’m always reading of course.

Rollin Dickinson, Principal, Lake Oswego High School

YOU WILL PAY by Lisa Jackson

Barb Randall hasn’t had much time to read this summer as she has been focused on marketing her own book, WILLAMETTE VALLEY WINERIES, a pictorial history of the Willamette Valley wine industry. But she admits…

On my nightstand all summer has been a copy of Lake Oswego author Lisa Jackson’s YOU WILL PAY, released in June 2017. I have interviewed Lisa Jackson and her sister, Nancy Bush, several times; they are two of the most zany, smart and delightful women I’ve ever met. Both are highly successful New York Times best-selling authors with a huge fan base so I imagine I will enjoy YOU WILL PAY when I finally do get to sit down and read it.

This novel of suspense shows how the past can come back to haunt us as the deadly secrets from a summer twenty years ago resurface in light of an investigation into the human remains discovered at a former summer camp.

Barbara Smith Randall, Author and Lake Oswego Review reporter

BEACH MUSIC by Pat Conroy

One of the ways I define my summers is by the books I read. Last year was the summer of Harlan Coben. A friend of mine turned me on to this prolific mystery and thriller novelist whose more than 25 novels kept me quite entertained. This was the summer of John Grisham and Pat Conroy—two of my favorites that I revisited because some things bear repeating. But BEACH MUSIC is on the top of my best reads list ever because of the storyline that addresses themes of dysfunctional families (a Conroy staple), the Holocaust and the Vietnam war; the setting in two of my favorite places—Charleston, South Carolina and Rome, Italy; and most of all, Conroy’s prose which I can only say, “I can’t read slow enough.”

Kevin Costello, Lake Oswego Realtor

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