JOHNSON: Getting used to a new place
I am Joshua Allen Johnson, the new sports and outdoors writer for the La Grande Observer.
My story starts in Southern Oregon where I was born. When I was 2, my mother moved our family to La Grande. Since then, I’ve lived here for the majority of my 31 years.
There has always been a love/hate relationship between me and the Grande Ronde Valley. When I am here, I feel like there is something more significant past the peaks of the valley walls.
Then, after being away, I miss the shape of Mount Emily hovering protectively over me, the people I am with and the places I go.
Each time I return, after years or months, there is a cathartic feeling of renewal and homecoming. Then, a few months or years later, I am ready to head out and try a new culture, experience and setting again.
However, sometimes the new things that I need are much closer than I think. For example, I married the girl next door, Sheyenne, and love to be with her wherever we are. Also, now that I am going to be writing about the local sports teams and outdoor events, I feel renewed and excited to give my best effort.
I hope to one day be a successful screenwriter, be known for designing and writing the next great board game, and, as most writers, be a published author and make the bestsellers list.
My background in sports is not extensive, but I have played them since I got into an elementary school volleyball league. I also played Little League Baseball for years until I made it into the Babe Ruth League and played my last games on a competitive team –– if I remember, I think we got second place that year.
Other than volleyball and baseball I also enjoyed deer and elk hunting, local fishing, miniature golf and ultimate frisbee.
I love playing the game of soccer and played for fun both locally and in England and Wales –– where I spent time as a missionary. This is a World Cup year and, when June arrives, I will be rooting for both the USA and England. This only happens once every four years, so I would encourage everyone to watch.
My wife and I really enjoy shooting bows. Someday soon, I hope to pick a couple up and do target shooting just for fun.
The sport I still enjoy most is cycling. I really want to get more involved –– and in better personal shape –– with local events.
I like and will try almost anything that is a game. I enjoy playing several sports and have a respect and appreciation for the ones I don’t play. I don’t hunt or fish anymore, but I like hearing true experiences that people have to tell.
My passions are writing, reading, and games. I am a nerd who will try almost anything once and sometimes twice. I can go from playing something online to a local ball game and then end the evening writing.
Now, I am excited to meet the coaches and players of the local teams that I will be writing about and representing in The Observer. I’ll see you at the games!