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Donna Riddle

SoCal gal Donna Riddle spent childhood summers at Outpost Camp, on the trail to Mt Whitney. "My mom, my sister and I ran a trail camp for a pack station that hauled people to the summit," she says. "I have love-of-nature genes from that time." Riddle got married just out of Corona HS, had a couple kids, and did anti-war work in Orange County. "I went to a protest in Century City," she says. "People sat down, and police attacked with clubs." A year later, in 1968, she and the kids moved to Eugene. Her husband followed, and soon a third child. She got into raising kids, alternative education, the Children's Community School, and its fundraiser that became the Oregon Country Fair. After a divorce in 1977, she organized a summer food program for kids in Whiteaker that later became part of Food For Lane County. She got a UO degree in public affairs and spent two years in DC, helping write the Child Nutrition Act of 1980. Returning for her daughter's senior year, she found a new boy friend, who lasted 15 years, and had a son in 1985. She ran a family day shelter for St Vinnies and oversaw a clinic remodel for White Bird. An avid kayaker, she put volunteer hours into river clean-ups until the Occupy movement appeared in late 2011. "I got involved with the first-aid tent," she says. "I've done intake for Occupy Medical since they opened on the Park Blocks. I'm the queen of tent-drying." Occupy Medical offers free medical services every Sunday, noon til 4, at 8th and Oak in Eugene. Volunteers and donations are welcomed.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 11 December 2014

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