Spinner of yarns

Word has come that my friend and colleague Ron Lansing has left the planet. He was in his late 80s.

Ron was a multi-talented man, a colorful character, and a good friend. He had a brilliant mind and was quite capable as a teacher of evidence and torts, but he was also a historian, a novelist, and a visual artist. A storyteller in every good sense of the word.

Of all the things he contributed to Portland, and there were many, the greatest was Ron's spirit. He was thoughtful, kind, and playful, and if you were around him a lot, every once in a while he would say something that would stick with you forever.

Lansing was a one-of-a-kind guy on a faculty packed with one-of-a-kind people. There were some vivid personalities in the early days, to say the least. Many of them show up in the history of the school, which Ron wrote with loving care.

When I first started teaching, the faculty and the students would play basketball and softball together all the time. In the pickup basketball games, Ron and I would often be the last two chosen, and I would have to guard him. Every time he got the ball, he'd start by faking a shot. And every time, I'd take the bait.

When Lansing retired, he stayed around for several years and kept giving from his deep well of spirit. We were lucky. Eventually he faded from the scene, gently enough that you didn't notice for a while. 

But we still see him in the early fall sunsets that he used to admire on his way to his classes, and we hear his laugh in the wind blowing through the trees of the nearby forest. He's the friendliest ghost you know.

Condolences to his family and many friends and admirers.


  1. Jack, I don't know this guy, but that's a spectacular comment.

  2. A fine teacher and person. I will never forget his artwork that served as a daily backdrop for his Torts I class. A single panel on the chalkboard depicted a key theme. Two panels demonstrated more complex nuances. And a triptych meant you were in for some serious head scratching. RIP Professor Lansing.


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