© 2024 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
Listen | Discover | Engage a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Reub Long Offers Desert Cowboy Philosophy

E.R. Jackson and Reub Long co-authored a book a half century ago about the Oregon desert titled, appropriately, The Oregon Desert.  Long had lived all his life in the state’s central and southeastern desert.  The book is filled with information about desert life, human and animal, and a lot of homespun humor and philosophy.

In a chapter titled “A-Horseback and Alone,” Long offers some cowboy aphorisms:

On memory: “The older I get, the better I used to be.”

On changing needs:  “As a man rises in the world, his luxuries of yesterday become today’s necessities.”

On self-esteem:  “Conduct yourself in such a manner that you are in good company when you are alone.”

On trouble: “When in doubt, do nothing – the situation may get worse.”

On small annoyances:  “Learn to ignore small annoyances.  The trick, though, is to tell for sure which are the small ones.”

On self-importance: “If you need something to make you feel important, find another man wrong.”

On winning friends: “If you would make a man your friend, let him do you a favor.”

On humor and philosophy:  “Brevity is the essence of humor – also of philosophy.”

Source: Jackman, E. R., and R A. Long. The Oregon Desert.  1st ed. Calwell, Idaho: the Caxton Printers, Ltd., 1964. 380-91. Print.

Kernan Turner is the Southern Oregon Historical Society’s volunteer editor and coordinator of the As It Was series broadcast daily by Jefferson Public Radio. A University of Oregon journalism graduate, Turner was a reporter for the Coos Bay World and managing editor of the Democrat-Herald in Albany before joining the Associated Press in Portland in 1967. Turner spent 35 years with the AP before retiring in Ashland.