CANNON BEACH — Matt Love, a noted Oregon author, will be the speaker at the Cannon Beach Library’s Northwest Author series scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 10. This event is held at 2 p.m. at the library and is free to the public.
Love will focus on his two recent books, “Of Walking in Rain” and “Rose City Heist.” The latter is a true crime tale of the biggest jewelery theft in Portland history, a crime in which Matt Love and his friend became the chief suspects. No one was ever arrested in the case, the jewelery never recovered. The statute of limitations on the crime, grand larceny, has finally expired, and Love is free to confess what really happened. His confession is called “Rose City Heist: A True Crime Portland Tale of Sex, Gravy, Jewelery and Almost Rock and Roll.” And it’s all true, meaning creative non-fiction. “I’ve waited a long time to tell this incredible story,” says Love, “and I didn’t leave out a thing or make anything up. I didn’t have to.”
The plot of “Rose City Heist” involved Magic Johnson, a German jewelry salesman, the Grateful Dead, the FBI, tequila, a substitute teacher who looked like Emily Dickenson but danced like Uma Thurman, the Harvey Scott statue in Mount Tabor Park, a fry cook named Tony, and much more.
The story unfolds in the languid era when Portland wasn’t a coffee or dog or bike or quirky indie rock city. It was a cheap gray town . “When I finished writing the book it occurred to me that I had written a short little history of Portland in the early ’90s,” said Love. “What a golden time then, and what a short strange trip it was for me that one sumer day when I was on my way to see the Grateful Dead.”
Love’s preceding book, “Of Walking in the Rain,” is complementary to the “Heist” book. In October 2012, as the longest summer drought in recorded Oregon history finally gave way to the rainy season, Love decided to write a book about what it means to live in one of the rainiest places on earth. He calculates that 1.5 tons of rain have fallen on him during his 16 years living on the Oregon Coast.
“When this project began, I had no idea where it was going. Rain is like that. I did, however, have the modest ambition to write the greatest book on rain in the history of Oregon,” he said. Three months later, Love produced a unique volume about rain that has very little to do with weather and everything to do with life.
Love is the author/editor of 10 books about Oregon, and in 2009 was awarded the Oregon Literary Arts Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award for his contributions to Oregon history and literature. He lives in Astoria teaches at Astoria High School.