Colin Green: Portland Copywriter, Publisher

Magazine Feature



To write a jour­nal­is­tic pro­file of a Port­land res­i­dent, writ­ten in a lit­er­ary style.





Two women are talking about men, when the elderly one, Martha, says of her deceased husband: If he weren't already dead of killed him by now. She gives the young woman a look. You think I'm kidding?

Martha is the Falcon Arts apartment matriarch. The title is unofficial but there's no other word for it. In a three-story building with 47 apartments and 25 art spaces, Martha keeps tabs on things. She knows what's going on, even if she appears exasperated to know, even if the knowledge came without her asking, even if she's rather not know, Martha knows. And on those occasions when she doesn't have a clue, the pitch of her voice will rise somewhat defensively, as if you expected her to know. Which you might.

Martha sports a keen shock of red hair that is as bold as woman beneath it. Her speech is direct and to the point, and it shows, her face flushing, when she holds her tongue, which is not for long nor often. Peering at you from behind her glasses, periodically, she takes your measure, watching for your acceptance or rejection of what she puts forth. Though not intimidating, the woman is formidable. She means business. Which is not to say that the Falcon Arts matriarch is unfriendly. Quite the opposite. Her talkativeness, her neighborly friendliness, is central to Martha's effective delivery, her peculiar charm.